Wednesday, February 15, 2017

February 2017 Ratings

5 & 4 Stories: 6;  Estimated Time: 4h:28m (80K words)
Recommended By Stories: 9;  Estimated Time: 5h:24m (97K words)
Stories: 32;  Estimated Time: 16h:30m (297K words)
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Rating: 5 -> Hugo-worthy

Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire  Time: 2h:08m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 01/10/17
(Horror) Jenna has lived in New York City ever since she died forty years ago. Now something is happening to New York City’s ghosts, and she’s determined to find out what and stop it—if it doesn’t find her first.
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Rating: 4 -> Recommended

Gravity's Exile by Grace Seybold  Time: 30m (Novelette)  IssueBCS 219
(High Fantasy) Jeone has been descending the World Cliff for years, but she's never seen a town quite as strange as Shasten Dhu.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
Probably Still the Chosen One by Kelly Barnhill  Time: 22m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 81
(Portal Fantasy) Corinna was eleven when her magical journey to the Land of Nibiru ended with her returning to her kitchen at home. Now she’s waiting for her friends to return for her. Probably.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 RHorton:5
Queen of Dirt by Nisi Shawl  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 93
(Contemporary Fantasy; Brit Williams) Teenage Brit enjoys teaching little kids at a Seattle Experience Outreach camp, even though she senses that something evil haunts the abandoned bunkers up the hill.
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The Atonement Tango by Stephen Leigh  Time: 50m (Novelette) 01/18/17
(Superhero SF; Wild Cards) Michael “Drummer boy”  Vogali seeks vengeance on the terrorists who maimed him and killed most of his band and many of his fans.
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(Cambodian Horror/Mystery) Thirteen years after Dara’s sister Sopha disappeared, a foreign film crew comes to their village asking awkward questions about what really happened to the little girl.
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Rating: 3 -> Average

Assassins by Jack Skillingstead and Burt Courtier  Time: 08m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 125
(Virtual Reality) Sonia used to be a fan of the <i>Labyrinthiad</i> until they killed off her favorite character. Now she sneaks online and kills other people’s favorites.
BlueBellow by Alexis Pauline Gumbs  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 01/16/17
(Horror) Serena comes to London for a set of business meetings, but is haunted by mermaids calling to her from the mirrors. Or are they zombies?
Everyone Gets A Happy Ending by Julie C. Day  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 268
(Apocalypse) A virus causes women to give birth to rabbits. Kendra flees Ohio with her girlfriend Steph when they learn Steph is infected.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Freedom of Navigation by Val Nolan  Time: 29m (Novelette)  IssueInterzone 268
(Military SF) The narrator flies for the Martian government, but a routine operation turns into a fight with the Belt Republic and his own equipment.
How Bees Fly by Simone Heller1  Time: 27m (Novelette)  IssueClarkesworld 125
(Post-Apocalypse) Just before a chemstorm strikes, Salpe encounters two demons between her community and the bee hives. They don’t act like the demons in the stories, though.
(Superheroes) Ice Sickle joined the Excaliburs to fight evil, but Sin-Master may be her match.
Night Journey of the Dragon-Horse by Xia Jia  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueInvisible Planets 2016
(Chinese Post-Apocalyptic Slipstream) Long after the fall of humanity, a dragon/horse robot wakes up and explores the ruins of Beijing.
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Out of the Woods by Marissa Lingen  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 218
(Historical Fantasy) Lovis uses her magic to help the resistance against the tyrannical brother of the king. When the king dies in battle, she has to make some hard decisions.
Passing Strange by Ellen Klages  Time: 2h:08m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 01/24/17
(Historical Fantasy Romance) In San Francisco in 2015, an old Japanese woman spends her last days dealing with mysterious unfinished business involving the 1940 disappearance of a friend who illustrated pulp magazines.
Proteus Lost by Tony Pi  Time: 20m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 217
(Historical Fantasy) In 1588, Filippo needs the shape-shifter codex he left with a friend, who should have known better than to try to use the codex by himself.
Rain Ship by Chi Hui  Time: 47m (Novelette)  IssueClarkesworld 125
(Post-Human) Jin is a mercenary hired to protect archeologists investigating an ancient ship built by the extinct human race.
Requiem for the Unchained by C.A. Hawksmoor  Time: 21m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 217
(Steampunk/Horror) The narrator flies a lantern ship, a balloon with a special light that keeps away the ghosts that gather during storms. Out of money, she’s desperate enough to take a dangerous contract from a man she hates.
The Bells by Lyndsie Manusos  Time: 15m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 93
(Fantasy Horror) Bishop created Mary, a living doll, and charges local men to see her perform. She resents doing it, and she resents the way he keeps tinkering with her. But what can she do?
The Greenest Gecko by Ploy Pirapokin1  Time: 21m (ShortStory) 02/01/17
(Dystopia) Fon works in the Ministry of Merit, coming up with ways devout citizens of Bankim can “make merit” for the next life. She’s good, but her boss keeps taking the credit for her hard work, and she wants a little something in this life.
The Last Dinosaur Rider of Benessa County by Jeremy Sim  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 219
(Historical Slipstream) Twenty years ago, Jonas rode a Pleesaur back when the frontier was wild. Now he just wants enough money to go home.
The Last Garden by Jack Skillingstead  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 81
(Post-Apocalypse) Casey’s only companion on the Airforce base is a robot, which is determined to protect her. That includes keeping her from investigating frozen clones that might survive in a distant vault.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: RHorton:5
The Noise & The Silence by Christien Gholson  Time: 23m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 268
(Dystopia) The City Assembly and the Love Life corporation rule Reen and Aliss's world absolutely, and there is no freedom not to listen.
The Rhyme of Grievance by T.R. Napper  Time: 22m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 268
(Robot SF) Khamla lives a meagre existence, and she's not happy that the first humanoid robot to get equal rights lives in luxury.
The Transmuted Child by Michael Reid1  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 268
(SF) The Erkess gave humanity lots of benefits, but one of their gifts makes human children go mad. Esmonde goes to the Erkess homeworld to beg them for a cure.
(Virtual Reality) Archer designs virtual worlds that help people with their therapy. He despises his boss, who has an unhealthy interest in one patient and neglects the others.
Weavers in the Cellar by Mel Kassel2  Time: 05m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 268
(Fantasy) The spiders work for the ant queen, spinning beautiful gowns for her, but they still remember tales of when they were free.
You Too Shall Be Psyche by Rich Larson  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 93
(SF Horror) Beautiful Reva makes a forbidden visit to the God in the Pit to tell him he made a mistake choosing her plain sister for his bride.

Rating: 2 -> Not Recommended

Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor  Time: 1h:51m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 01/31/17
(Fantasy Science) After a year at college offworld, Binti comes back to Africa for a visit. Her relatives aren’t pleased with how she’s changed nor with the violent alien friend she brings with her.
Men of the Ashen Morrow by Margaret Killjoy  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 218
(High Fantasy) In Laria, summer doesn’t end unless someone summons the god Hulokk, and he usually takes a human sacrifice. Sal is one of the best summoners, but she’s tired of losing friends.
The Old Dispensation by Lavie Tidhar  Time: 22m (ShortStory) 02/08/17
(Space Opera) Shemesh returns from his mission on planet Kadesh to face inquisition by the Exiliarch. What really happened when he met the heretic there?

Rating: 1 -> Needs Improvement

Prosthetic Daughter by Nin Harris  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 125
(Transhuman) Zhen-Juan suffered a data theft that not only stole his memories, it stole everyone else’s memories of him too.
(Old West Fantasy) Six-gun rides into Dead Gulch and finds the townspeople don’t like “her kind,” but they have a mission for her: to kill the Dead Coon Trashgang.
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Rating: Not Rated

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