Thursday, September 15, 2016

September 2016 Ratings

5 & 4 Stories: 14;  Estimated Time: 6h:21m (114K words)
Recommended By Stories: 29;  Estimated Time: 12h:00m (216K words)
Total Stories: 60;  Estimated Time: 24h:06m (434K words)
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Rating: 5 -> Hugo-worthy

Rooms Formed of Neurons and Sex by Ferrett Steinmetz  Time: 20m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 12
(Near-Future SF) Lydia's boyfriend, Ross, was just a brain in a jar. So how, exactly, did she injure him during sex?
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5
The Mind Is Its Own Place by Carrie Vaughn  Time: 39m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 09|16
(SF) Mitchell was a navigator on the Francis Drake, but something terrible happened. The doctors tell him he's losing his mind, but he doesn't believe them. If only he could remember what happened.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5 SFRevu:4
The Visitor From Taured by Ian R. Macleod  Time: 29m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 09|16
(Near-Future Hard SF) Lita learned Rob's obsession with alternate universes in college, but waning interest in science made it hard for him to explore it.
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Rating: 4 -> Recommended

A Deeper Green by Samantha Murray  Time: 26m (Novelette)  IssueBCS 205
(Fantasy) The colony can't tolerate assault, and it depends on Juvianna's gift of making people forget crime and motivation alike. But what if she used it preventively?
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Angles Of Incidence by Nancy Fulda  Time: 22m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 10|16
(SF) The human colony on Kokkal IV can't expand without permission from the "Evermother," but the local aliens require they "assimilate the shadows" first.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
Dragon-Smoked Barbeque by M.K. Hutchins  Time: 02m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 09/12/16
(Slipstream) Grandpa is gone, but the young narrator is determined to win the Tastiest Ribs competition in his memory, even if he's not quite sure how you're supposed to use the dragon.
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Epitome by Tegan Moore1  Time: 25m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 09|16
(SF AI) Shelby's friend Vivian faces a long recovery from a head injury, and she can't bear the loss of her company, so she starts using an AI surrogate.
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(Historical Fantasy) In 1879, little George and his big brother run away from their farm and sail down the river toward a new life in Pittsburgh
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In Our Rags Of Light by Shira Lipkin  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 08/15/16
(Modern Fantasy) Twenty years ago, Jess was a teenage swamp witch in the Everglades. She flirted with the boys and took what she wanted, but Ben saw her for what she really was.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
Not a Miracle But a Marvel by Tim Pratt  Time: 20m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 12
(Modern Fantasy) Two couples come to a cabin by the lake to relax and enjoy four days together. Then one of them disappears.
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The Green-Eyed Boy by Peter S. Beagle  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 09.10|16
(Fantasy) The old magician rarely takes students, but young Schmendrick has so much potential--if he could just make his spells come out right.
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The Soul Behind The Face by Adam-Troy Castro  Time: 59m (Novella)  IssueAnalog 10|16
(SF) Draiken used to be a spy, but now he wants revenge on his former masters, and he has a complicated plan to enlist a former associate.
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The Whole Mess by Jack Skillingstead  Time: 25m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 09|16
(Fantasy Math) A strange student give Professor Dunn a math problem that whose solution will change the world. Literally.
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Under One Roof by Sarah Pinsker  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 12
(Horror) When newlyweds Courtney and Josh rent an old Victorian in Baltimore, they're told to stay out of the attic. But they hear noises up there at night. Footsteps.
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Rating: 3 -> Average

A Melancholy Apparition by Ian Creasey  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 09.10|16
(Historical Fantasy) Boswell recounts a story of Dr. Johnson that he never revealed before. Involving a country estate, a scandal, and a ghost.
Abere and the Poisoner by Jonathan Edelstein2  Time: 11m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 208
(High Fantasy) A swamp woman traps a youth who came seeking a love potion, and before she eats him, she tells him a story.
Academic Circles by Peter Wood  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 09|16
(Time Travel) Kate is sure Marzano stole the paper she spent a year writing, but he somehow submitted his for publication eighteen months ago.
All That Robot... by Rich Larson  Time: 15m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 09|16
(Post Apocalypse AI) Carver Seven spends a lot of time talking to the Human Being and helps him make spears and things. They each want something from the other, if they can manage to express it.
Anything for You by Lisa Mason  Time: 11m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 09.10|16
(Near-Future SF) Willem loves Dr. Isley more than he loves his real life. Even though she's just a character in a soap opera.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
(AI Fantasy) The humans disappeared years ago, but the Factory AI can't accept that they're gone, so he makes a plan to bring them back.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Burned Away by Kristen Simmons  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueTor.com 09/14/16
(Alternate World) 16-year-old Caris tries to investigate a labor riot to prove she's a journalist. She meets a boy who seems to enjoy it all too much.
Cold-Forged Flame by Marie Brennan  Time: 1h:12m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 09/13/16
(High Fantasy) The locals summoned her to get blood from the Lhian's cauldron, but she has no idea who that is. Or even who she herself is.
Crocodile Tears by Jaymee Goh  Time: 06m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 76
(Fable) A crocodile visits a man whose ambitions have led him far away from home and family.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Cupid's Compass by Leah Cypess  Time: 09m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 09.10|16
(Near-Future SF) Julie had reservations about using hardware that can make people fall in love, but at age 35, she let herself get talked into it.
Dome On The Prairie by Robert Reed  Time: 21m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 09|16
(Alien Invasion) You are building a home on an alien world, despite the objections of the natives and the complaints of your wife and children.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
My Body, Herself by Carmen Maria Machado  Time: 06m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 12
(Horror) A dead woman sees her doppelgänger watching over her remains and wonders what she's up to.
Revenge Of The Invisible Man by Robert R. Chase  Time: 26m (Novelette)  IssueAnalog 10|16
(SF Mystery) Angelo investigates the mystery of an invisible man who manages to attack victims despite his being confined to a cell.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Salt And Sorcery by Raphael Ordoñez  Time: 33m (Novelette)  IssueBCS 205
(Steampunk Fantasy) Orana needs to find shelter after her airship goes down in the wastes of the western desert, but her people know nothing about the place.
Talking to Dead People by Sarah Pinsker  Time: 15m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 09.10|16
(Near-Future SF) Gwen and Eliza are college roommates who start a business making miniature houses that can talk about the murders committed there.
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The Dream-Quest Of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson  Time: 1h:59m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 08/16/16
(Fantasy) Vellitt Boe teaches math at a university in the dreamworld. When her star student elopes with a dreamer from the real world, she goes after them.
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The Dunsmuir Horror by David Gerrold  Time: 1h:00m (Novella)  IssueF&SF 09.10|16
(Horror/Humor) From confinement in an institution the narrator describes the events that put him there. There's something weird about the Northwest.
The Further Adventures of Mr. Costello by David Gerrold  Time: 1h:05m (Novella)  IssueF&SF 09.10|16
(Planetary SF) Mr. Costello's crackpot moneymaking scheme promises entertainment to the rural community he sets down in, but the narrator senses a threat.
The Green Man Cometh by Rich Larson  Time: 42m (Novelette)  IssueClarkesworld 120
(SF) 22-year-old Eris flies a cab in the City. A stranger pays her to elude a follower, and she gets caught up in intrigue.
The House of Half Mirrors by Thoraiya Dyer  Time: 22m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 120
(Near Future Fantasy Dystopia) In a 2042 Ireland beset by ecoological catastrophe, the narrator meets a fairy at a protest.
The Opposite and the Adjacent by Liu Yang1  Time: 06m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 120
(Math Fantasy) Explorers find a wrecked alien spaceship, a dead alien, and a logbook that suggests he came from a world with different laws of physics.
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The Sweet Warm Earth by Steven Popkes  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 09.10|16
(Historical Fantasy) In 1961, Larry joins the LA mob as an enforcer, keeping the wrong people from fixing the horses. But does that include an old man who only talks to them?
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The Voice in the Cornfield, the Word Made Flesh by Desirina Boskovich  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 09.10|16
(Present-day SF) An alien crash lands in a cornfield. It tries to get help, but no one can see or hear it. Almost no one.
The Witch of Orion Waste and the Boy Knight by E. Lily Yu  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 12
(Fairy Tale) A young, newly minted witch meets an equally green knight, and they go off together in search of dragons.
To Rise No More by Marie Brennan  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 207
(Historical Fantasy) In the spring of 1828, Ada Lovelace, aged 8, wants to learn to fly, with help from a secret woodland friend: a faerie swan-maiden.
Toward the Luminous Towers by Bogi Takács  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 120
(Military Fantasy) On a remote planet, the narrator uses a mix of magic and technology to control the drones that fight his country's enemy.
Unauthorized Access by An Owomoyela  Time: 34m (Novelette)  IssueLightspeed 76
(Hacker SF) Fresh out of prison for hacking, Aedo gets a request to do an even bigger hack. But why does Energy Divison want to hack its own systems?
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Up from Hell by David Drake  Time: 41m (Novelette)  IssueTor.com 08/18/16
(Historical Fantasy) Around 500 BC, mercenary soldier Taranis leaves camp for a few days after trouble over a captured woman who claim to be a witch.
What Pada-Sara Means To The Elephant by Jeremy Sim  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 206
(High Fantasy) A boy and his sister flee their home city during a crackdown on the underclass, but the soldiers chasing them are closing in.

Rating: 2 -> Not Recommended

(Near-Future SF) An interview with a simulation of the dead artist, Satka, who still has a big online following years after her death.
Progenesis by J.L. Forrest  Time: 30m (Novelette)  IssueAnalog 10|16
(Transhuman SF) The world doesn't react well to Tom and Samantha's new technology, and their labs around the world are attacked. So they speed up their plans for human testing.
Ratspeak by Sarah Porter  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueTor.com 08/24/16
(Urban Fantasy) Little Ivan wants nothing more than to learn the language of rats so he can talk to them, but the rats don't appreciate his interest in them.
(Modern Fantasy) A circus comes to town, but the tickets are for fifty years ago or fifty years from now.
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The Blue Lady Of Entanglement Chamber 1 by Ron Collins  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 10|16
(SF) Izna wants to write a story about how Selma died on the first quantum drone flight, but she also wants an excuse to investigate what really happened.
The Despoilers by Jack Skillingstead  Time: 10m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 120
(Hard SF) Seventeen-year-old Allegra's mad father has trapped them both on 51 PegasiD. They'll both die there unless she can find a way to get help.
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The High Lonesome Frontier by Rebecca Campbell  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueTor.com 09/07/16
(Musical SF) A song composed in 1902 influences people for the next 166 years.
The Key to the Coward's Spell by Alex Bledsoe  Time: 21m (ShortStory)  IssueTor.com 08/31/16
(High Fantasy) Eddie, a private eye with a sword, seeks help from an unusual quarter as he searches for a missing boy.
The Lives of Riley by Sean Williams  Time: 05m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 76
(SF) Riley hacked his personal teleporter to make illegal copies of himself. The police have found him out, and he's trying to lead all 17 of him to safety.
The Old Man and the Phoenix by Alexandria Baisden1  Time: 04m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 88
(Slipstream) An old man lies dying, his faithful companion at his side.
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The Prince Who Gave Up Her Empire by Benjanun Sriduangkaew  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 88
(High Fantasy) A prophesy says Prince Terasadh will either immoralize her empire or else destroy it. Naturally the prince wants to know which it's going to be.
The Warrior Boy Who Would Not Suffer by Abhinav Bhat1  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 88
(Religious Fantasy) An old man quizzes a dying youth in a place between life and death.
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The Weight Of Memories by Cixin Liu  Time: 09m (ShortStory)  IssueTor.com 08/17/16
(Present-day SF) A woman communicates with her unborn baby, which has all of her memories as a result of an experiment.
Those Shadows Laugh by Geoff Ryman  Time: 32m (Novelette)  IssueF&SF 09.10|16
(Near-Future SF) The secretive parthenogenetic women of Colinas Bravas usually don't allow outsiders into their country, but they invite Ms. Vargas to fix a genetic problem with their children.

Rating: 1 -> Needs Improvement

Mom In The Moon by Muri McCage  Time: 11m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 10|16
(SF) Little Poppy and Captain Drew climb a mountain for a once-in-a-year chance to communicate with her mom.
The Patchwork Procedure by Claude Lalumière  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 206
(Steampunk) An agent from the city-state of Montreal lies in prison after unsuccessfully trying to apprehend a man who stole Montreal's secret immortality treatment.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [1]  Recommended By: RHorton:5

Rating: Not Rated

Teeth, Tapestries by Alex Dally MacFarlane  Time: 07m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 208
(Mainstream) In the middle of a storm on an almost-abandoned island, a midwife finds the greatest threat to a new mother is her husband.


2 comments (may contain spoilers):

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