Wednesday, December 14, 2016

December 2016 Ratings

5 & 4 Stories: 18;  Estimated Time: 7h:12m (130K words)
Recommended By Stories: 30;  Estimated Time: 11h:24m (205K words)
Total Stories: 64;  Estimated Time: 21h:55m (395K words)
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Rating: 5 -> Hugo-worthy

Das Steingeschöpf by G.V. Anderson1  Time: 21m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 12/12/16
(Historical Fantasy) On the even of the Nazi takeover, a young German man's first assignment fixing a living statue becomes more complicated than he expected.
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Prodigal by Gord Sellar  Time: 32m (Novelette)  IssueAnalog 12|16
(Near-Future SF) Benji was an ordinary terrier until his master decided to have him sentientized.
Rock, Paper, Incisors by David Cleden  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 267
(Fantasy Horror) The narrator resents being transformed into a monster to fight for her tribe, not least because she thinks they're screwing it up.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5 SFRevu:4
The Rock in the Water by Thoraiya Dyer  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueFantasy 60
(Modern Fantasy) A Hatian girl and a Syrian girl flee their countries but with very different results.
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The Story of Kao Yu by Peter S. Beagle  Time: 24m (ShortStory) 12/07/16
(Chinese Fantasy) Sometimes a  unicorn assisted Judge Kao Yu, and because he was so just and honest, he never feared its judgment. Until now.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5
The Things My Mother Left Me by P. Djèlí Clark  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueFantasy 60
(African Fantasy) After her father's death, Tausi needs someone to take her from Epoulu before her aunts marry her off.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5
They Have All One Breath by Karl Bunker  Time: 40m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 12|16
(Post Singularity) James seeks fulfillment through his sculpture, even though it all seems pointless in a perfect world run by Ais.
Where There is Nothing, There is God by David Erik Nelson  Time: 1h:14m (Novella)  IssueAsimov's 12|16
(Time Travel) Paul finds a job selling drugs for the mafia in 1770s America.
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Rating: 4 -> Recommended

A Future Far Too Bright by Yosef Lindell  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 123
(Near-Future SF) Jesse Is just in the third grade, but his dad sends him letters telling him about the time-machine experiment he's working on.
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Empty Shoes by the Lake by Gay Partington Terry  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 12|16
(Modern Fantasy) Abused by his father, Rafi leaves his small town, but he sends his best friend Becca a gift that will change both their lives.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 SFRevu:4
My Generations Shall Praise by Samantha Henderson  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 267
(SF) A woman on death row is offered a fortune for her children if she'll let another woman take over her body.
One Giant Leap by Jay Werkheiser  Time: 15m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 11/21/16
(Hard SF) A corroded railing gives way, and Kent falls from a Venusian cloud city to near-certain death. But it takes a long time to fall fifty kilometers.
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Red Dirt Witch by N.K. Jemisin  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueFantasy 60
(Black Historical Fantasy) In the closing years of segregation, Emmaline uses her magic to help neighbors and protect her children, for trouble is coming.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 JStrahan
Some Things I Probably Should Have Mentioned Earlier by Laura Pearlman  Time: 05m (ShortStory)  IssueMothership Zeta 3
(SF Humor) A man gets a letter from his wife, explaining a few things. She's not exactly human, but that's not the worst part.
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The Continuing Saga of Tom Corbett: Space Cadet by James Van Pelt  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 12|16
(SF Adventure) Everyone calls Tomika "Space Cadet," but she really feels she doesn't belong in this world.
The Jeweled Nawab Jungle Retreat by Priya Sridhar  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 214
(Indian Steampunk) Mr. and Mrs. Coates came to India to hunt the most difficult prey, and no one can convince them that hunting the Great Worm is suicide.
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The Orangery by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam  Time: 28m (Novelette)  IssueBCS 214
(Greek Mythos) The trees in the grove used to be women, and the Guardian protects them zealously from the men who still pursue them.
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You Make Pattaya by Rich Larson  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 267
(SF Thriller) The narrator is a con man in near-future Thailand, and he has a scheme that might net him enough to retire.

Rating: 3 -> Average

(Slipstream) Rather than killing the monster, Devon would rather negotiate with them and blog about it later.
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A Pest Most Fiendish by Caighlan Smith  Time: 22m (ShortStory) 11/16/16
(Historical Fantasy) Pippa and her automaton attempt to destroy an undead pest infesting the future site of a chalet.
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Black, Their Regalia by Darcie Little Badger  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueFantasy 60
(Fantasy) Three college kids infected with the plage head off to quarantine, still believing their music can make a difference.
Blue Grey Blue by Yukimi Ogawa  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 123
(Future Fantasy) Tsuyu's color varies from day to day, but he'd make more money if he were a darker shade of blue all the time.
Crowdfinding by Eric James Stone  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 12|16
(SF Mystery) When Maria witnesses a ten-year-old boy being abducted, she chases the van with her delivery drone, and calls for everyone on the net to help.
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Dogfights in Olympus and Other Absences by Ryan Row1  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 267
(Military SF) Diego flies fighter missions above planet Olympus, and he's good at it. It's the rest of his life that sucks.
Dragons of Tomorrow by Kathleen Baldwin  Time: 15m (ShortStory) 11/30/16
(Post Apocalypse) In the rural midwest, Nora and her little brother flee the approach of one of the "dragons" that destroyed civilization eleven years ago.
Every Day Is the Full Moon by Carlie St. George  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 79
(Slipstream) B's werewolf dad beats her, but what really gets her down is she hasn't become supernatural like her friends have.
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Every Instance of You by Cassandra Khaw  Time: 03m (ShortStory)  IssueMothership Zeta 3
(Multiverse) The narrator walks the worlds while waiting for her husband to get home.
Evolution by James C. Glass  Time: 10m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 12|16
(Robot SF) In which we learn about 10,000 years of robot progress, much of it unexpected.
Fermi Meets Sagan by Robert Scherrer  Time: 03m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 12|16
(SF) The Xarl, dedicated to exterminating other intelligent races, find a space probe with directions to Earth.
Higherworks by Gregory Norman Bossert  Time: 37m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 12|16
(SF Thriller) Every since she leaked the secret of mind-expanding nanotech, Dyer has been on the run. And they're getting close.
In Boonker's Room by Eliot Fintushel  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 12|16
(Hard SF) Boonker is a powerful alien, and teenage-human Saul is his apprentice, although he doesn't know it yet.
Masks of the Mud God by Greg Kurzawa  Time: 23m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 213
(Fantasy) The Raah dominate the humans, but Miriam wants to try to be more like a human, incurring her father's wrath.
Red Christmas by Lavie Tidhar  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 91
(Alternate History Hardboiled Detective) A movie star facing blackmail comes to Adolph Hitler's private detective agency in 1937 London.
Reverse Documentary by Marisela Navarro1  Time: 18m (ShortStory) 11/09/16
(Horror) Dino still loves Jennifer, seven months after her death, but he's not so fond of her ghost, which doesn't want him to move on.
Straight Lines by Naru Dames Sundar2  Time: 09m (ShortStory)  IssueMothership Zeta 3
(Hard SF) AIs are too expensive to discard, even after a major disaster, but how do you fix one that seems to have gone crazy?
(Alternate History Fantasy) Oona works for The Company making the land across the Mississippi stand still so they can survey and tame it.
(Military SF) Private Berenson is nervous about serving with the Space Navy's only cybernetic soldier, since ordinary troops around him die like flies.
The Dancer on the Stairs by Sarah Tolmie  Time: 43m (Novelette)  IssueStrange Horizons 11/28/16
(Portal Fantasy) A personel manager is transported to a medieval world as an outcast, but she does have a purpose there, if she can only find it.
The Death of Paul Bunyan by Charles Payseur2  Time: 09m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 79
(Slipstream) Johnny Appleseed and Paul Bunyan broke up years ago, but he still gets called in to answer questions about his death.
The Hunger of Auntie Tiger by Sarah Brooks  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 267
(SF) Two children play games amid the wreckage the Company left behind.
The Magical Properties of Unicorn Ivory by Carlos Hernandez  Time: 15m (ShortStory)  IssueThe Assimilated Cuban's Guide to Quantum Santeria 2016
(Magical SF) Writing a story on Unicorns in Scotland, Gabby tangles with some poachers.
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The Marvelous Inventions of Mr. Tock by Daniel Baker  Time: 22m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 213
(Steampunk Horror) Justice Latch investigates the curious case of a girl who exploded.
The Penelope Qingdom by Aidan Moher2  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueMothership Zeta 5
(Modern Fantasy) Teenage Ivan finds a lot of things confusing, not least of them why the miniatures in his best friend's basement seem to come to life for them.
(Old-West Fantasy) Hunting for her old partner and some missing townspeople, Calamity confronts a pair of fairies.
Uncontainable by Helen Stubbs  Time: 15m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 91
(Horror) A mad little child speaks only to the boarder, and her message is too terrible to believe.
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Where She Went by Linden A. Lewis1  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 215
(SF) When his granddaughter doesn't come home one night, Rhee looks for her at the witch's lair--even though it's forbidden to approach it.

Rating: 2 -> Not Recommended

A Man Most Imperiled by Dan Malakin2  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueMothership Zeta 3
(SF Humor) A mad scientist fights off builders who want to redevelop the land his lair is on.
A Tower for the Coming World by Maggie Clark  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 123
(SF) The destruction of the new Space Elevator puts human expansion into space at risk.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: GDozois:5
Alts by Harmony Neal1  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 267
(Transhuman SF) StateCorp has made a fortune creating modified humans with animal characteristics. They take care of failures like Cat, but at a price.
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How the Damned Live On by James Sallis  Time: 02m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 12|16
(Fantasy) Shipwrecked with a giant spider, threatened by a pirate ship, the narrator has some concerns.
Jewels From the Sky by Brendan Dubois  Time: 20m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 12|16
(Military SF) Amy works doing salvage in space, and she plans something special to celebrate being certified for solo work.
Like the Deadly Hands by Nisi Shawl  Time: 23m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 12|16
(Hard SF) Carpenter Marie, a trustee in a prison on another world, sees a great opportunity to meet a prisoner she admires.
Nobody Puts Baby in a Chamber by Alexis A. Hunter  Time: 01m (ShortStory)  IssueMothership Zeta 3
(SF Humor) The AI vacuum cleaner didn't mean to suck up the baby, but now what?
Sister: Loki by Arlan Andrews, Sr.  Time: 09m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 12|16
(Apocalypse) Loki works as a MercOp in an enclave in a ruined future St. Louis, killing bad guys remotely.
The Iron Beast by Andy Remic  Time: 1h:34m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 11/08/16
(World War I Horror) The three-part series concludes with Robert Jones fighting the Walriders in the other world.
The Love It Bears Fair Maidens by K.T. Bryski  Time: 07m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 91
(Fantasy) Unicorn hunting is more complicated if the virgin freaks out and runs when she sees the thing.
The Smoke Job by Aaron Canton2  Time: 15m (ShortStory)  IssueMothership Zeta 3
(Modern Fantasy) Charisma, a dragon disguised as a college student, robs jewelry stores and copes with a blackmailer.
The Thanatos Mode by Tom Hadrava  Time: 09m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 12/05/16
(Far-Future SF) When a ship is ready to die, it spawns an intelligent self-destruct entity inside itself. These are their stories.
The Venus Effect by Joseph Allen Hill2  Time: 30m (Novelette)  IssueLightspeed 79
(Metafiction) A black author accepts  the challenge of writing a black SF hero, but the police just keep shooting him.

Rating: 1 -> Needs Improvement

Black Orbit by Martin L. Shoemaker  Time: 32m (Novelette)  IssueAnalog 12|16
(Hard SF) Cynthia had the evidence to send the crooked Initiative officers to prison, but how to get it from Jupiter back to Earth?
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Checkerboard Planet by Eleanor Arnason  Time: 39m (Novelette)  IssueClarkesworld 123
(SF) The AIs contract Lydia to check out an unusual planet and the secretive corporation that's supposed to be developing it.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [1]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4 GDozois:5
Painter of Stars by Wang Yuan1  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 123
(SF) A robot discovers it has artistic talent and sets out to save the world by tattooing stars on people.
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(Fantasy Time Travel) A Greek free diver finds an ancient shipwreck where there was nothing at all just days earlier.

Rating: Not Rated

The Cold Side of the Island by Kali Wallace  Time: 22m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 12|16
(Mainstream) Two women mourn the death of a childhood friend and try to make peace with themselves by returning the mysterious skeleton that tore them apart as teenagers.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [0]  Recommended By: GDozois:4

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