Tuesday, March 14, 2017

March 2017 Ratings

5- & 4-Star Stories: 7;  Estimated Time: 5h:52m (106K words)
Recommended By Stories: 26;  Estimated Time: 15h:41m (282K words)
Total Stories: 64;  Estimated Time: 30h:40m (552K words)
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Rating: 5 -> Hugo-worthy

And Then There Were (N-One) by Sarah Pinsker  Time: 1h:03m (Novella)  IssueUncanny 15
(SF Mystery) The inventor of trans-multiverse travel invites hundreds of instances of herself to a conference. It’s great fun until one gets murdered.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5
Concessions by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali2  Time: 27m (Novelette)  IssueStrange Horizons 03/06/17
(Near-Future SFF) Bilqis,  the only real doctor in a dying community of religious exiles, finds something strange when she examines a pregnant woman.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5
Nexus by Michael F. Flynn  Time: 1h:21m (Novella)  IssueAnalog 03.04|17
(Time Travel) A time traveler, an immortal, an android, a telepath, and a variety of space aliens meet at cross purposes in modern America.

Rating: 4 -> Recommended

Auspicium Melioris Aevi by JY Yang  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 15
(SF) Harry, a clone of Lee Kwan Yew, was on track to graduate until decided to start improvising.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
Ecuador vs. the Bug-Eyed Monsters by Jay Werkheiser  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 03.04|17
(SF Sports) On an alien spaceship, the Ecuadorian football team plays against France for the World Cup. But the stakes may be a lot higher.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 SFRevu:4
Mira's Last Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold  Time: 1h:33m (Novella)  IssueMira's Last Dance 2017
(High Fantasy; Five Gods) Gravely injured, out of money, and pursued by the imperial government, Penric needs to get himself and his two companions out of the country, despite them being so recognizable.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
Soulmates.com by Will McIntosh  Time: 51m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 03.04|17
(Near-Future SF) Daniel, a lonely grad student in Athens, Georgia, meets the girl of his dreams through an online matching service. Now if he can just get her to meet in person . . .

Rating: 3 -> Average

A Green Silk Dress and a Wedding-Death by Cat Hellisen  Time: 25m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 03.04|17
(Fairy Tale) In South Africa, nearsighted Héloise has a hopeless job cleaning fish. Things start to change after she sees a water spirit—or thinks she did
A Singular Event in the Fourth Dimension by Andrea M. Pawley  Time: 15m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 03.04|17
(SF) Olive’s parents are having a baby soon, and she fears they won’t need an android daughter after that.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
After the Atrocity by Ian Creasey  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 03.04|17
(Near-Future SF) Violet’s duplication machine makes it easier to interrogate the world’s most famous terrorist, but they need so many copies of him, she’s had to duplicate herself to keep up with the workload.
Alexander's Theory of Special Relativity by Shane Halbach  Time: 07m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 03.04|17
(Time Travel) Alexander sent his girlfriend, Maria, to the future for what he thought was ten minutes, but for her it was eleven years. She's <i>not</i> pleased.
Crown of Thorns by Octavia Cade  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 126
(Post-Apocalypse) In a remote scientific outpost , Andrew and his wife survived the plague that killed most of the world. Now they have to decide whether to join other survivors.
Cupido by Rich Larson  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 03.04|17
(Near-Future SF) Marcel surreptitiously sprays people with pheromones to make them fall in love with his clients. He’s not supposed to get attached to them himself.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: RHorton:4
Daisy by Eleanor Arnason  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 03.04|17
(Detective SF) Emily agrees to help a gangster find his missing octopus.
Death Every Seventy-Two Minutes by Adam-Troy Castro  Time: 08m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 82
(Horror) Every 72 minutes, Negelein has a vision of his own death. They don’t hurt him, but they’re so vivid, they’re ruining his life.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Driverless by Robert Grossbach  Time: 31m (Novelette)  IssueF&SF 03.04|17
(Near-future SF) Everyone knows Jacob’s driverless-car company destroyed the world economy, but he wants to tell his side of the story.
Eli's Coming by Catherine Wells  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 03.04|17
(Time Travel) Eli’s company sells vacations in the past, but they're having some technical problems. Nevertheless, he not going to postpone his visit to Herod’s temple.
Extracurricular Activities by Yoon Ha Lee  Time: 47m (Novelette)  IssueTor.com 02/15/17
(Space Opera; Machineries of Empire) A Heptarchate undercover mission lead by one of Jedao’s friends has gone missing, so Jedao goes undercover to try and rescue them.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: RHorton:5
Goner by Gregory Norman Bossert  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 03.04|17
(Near-Future SF) Teenage Char is fascinated by space travel, even though pilots have to give up their bodies to make it work.
Grandmaster by Jay O'Connell  Time: 06m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 03.04|17
(Time Travel) October 18, 1945. A time-traveler visits a woman who co-authors SFF with her husband under a pseudonym.
Hidden Intentions by Mary E. Lowd  Time: 02m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 03.04|17
(SF Humor) S’lisha hates babysitting the captain’s 5-year-old. Human larvae are a pain to deal with—especially in space.
Host by Eneasz Brodski  Time: 28m (Novelette)  IssueAnalog 03.04|17
(Space Zombies) Bored and depressed, Julian cuts high school and wanders around the space station, unaware that his father plots the end of the world.
Idle Ingredients by Matt Wallace  Time: 1h:45m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 02/07/17
(Modern Fantasy; Sin du Jour) Sin du Jour gets a new liaison, who mesmerizes the men, alienates the women, and starts making unwelcome changes.
Invasion Of the Saucer-Men by Dale Bailey  Time: 23m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 03.04|17
(Retro-SF Humor) In the 1950s, teenagers had to be ready to repel alien invasions at any moment, and as a football star, Hank knew he had to be a leader. But it was all so inconvenient.
Losing Heart Among the Tall by A.M. Dellamonica  Time: 27m (Novelette)  IssueTor.com 02/22/17
(High Fantasy; Stormwrack) Gale and Parrish solve a mystery involving a dead merman, a missing magical artifact, and their captain, who only wants to retire in peace.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: RHorton:4
Luminaria by John Hornor Jacobs  Time: 33m (Novelette)  IssueApex 94
(Horror) In a remote part of Arkansas, Victoria plans to celebrate her 100th birthday in style.
(High Fantasy) The kingdom’s security depends on its goddesses, so it’s a big problem that they all want to die.
Real Ghosts by J.B. Park  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 126
(Near-Future SF) At the end of his life, Maury Hong considers making an “image” of himself so his friends and relatives can still talk to him after he’s gone.
Rising Star by Stephen Graham Jones  Time: 07m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 15
(Time Travel) A modest proposal for a grant to experiment with a most imperfect time machine.
Shakesville by Adam-Troy Castro and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 03.04|17
(Time Travel) Fifty older copies of the narrator have come back in time to warn him not to make a terrible mistake. Pity none of them agrees on what it is.
Soccer Fields and Frozen Lakes by Greg Kurzawa  Time: 22m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 82
(Near-future SFF) After the government rules he isn't really human, Chris loses his human wife and hybrid kids.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: RHorton:5
(Diesel Punk) In an alternate 1960s LA, Ray is the last robot in the world, and he's working as a hit man.
Suddenwall by Sara Saab  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 220
(High Fantasy) The city of Vannat offers forgiveness to former war criminals, but those it deems unworthy get trapped inside stone walls that appear out of nowhere.
Ten Half-Pennies by Matthew Hughes  Time: 25m (Novelette)  IssueF&SF 03.04|17
(High Fantasy) Young Baldemar gets a favor from a moneylender’s hired muscle. The challenge is paying it back.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
The Avenger by Albert E. Cowdrey  Time: 34m (Novelette)  IssueF&SF 03.04|17
(Modern Fantasy) Jeanne hires Mr. Warlock because no normal attorney could cope with the problems her late husband’s crooked relatives are causing her.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
The Human Way by Tony Ballantyne  Time: 32m (Novelette)  IssueAnalog 03.04|17
(Military SF) A terrorist group has kidnapped an alien, and Serena’s team need to find them and free it before it’s too late.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: RHorton:4
The Man Who Put the Bomp by Richard Chwedyk  Time: 1h:33m (Novella)  IssueF&SF 03.04|17
(Near-Future SF) Danner investigates a problem at the house where little dinosaur toys are housed since they were recalled for being too intelligent.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
The Ones Who Know Where They Are Going by Sarah Pinsker  Time: 05m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 03.04|17
(Fantasy) You have lain in your cell long enough to forget how to walk. Then you see sunlight and realize someone has left the door open.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: RHorton:5
The Snatchers by Edward McDermott  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 03.04|17
(Time Travel) Max makes a living snatching valuable individuals from the past. Snatching the author of “The Little Prince” from WWII France shouldn’t be too difficult, if everything goes according to plan.
The Stone Lover by Marta Randall  Time: 05m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 82
(Fantasy Erotica) The new queen wants a beautiful male statue carved to satisfy her desires.
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The Toymaker's Daughter by Arundhati Hazra1  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 03.04|17
(Fairy Tale) As she paints them, the girl makes up stories about the wooden toys her father carves, unaware that she’s filling them with magic.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
The Wisdom of the Group by Ian R. MacLeod  Time: 29m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 03.04|17
(Near-future SF) Samuel’s trading group makes a fortune from their predictions. Something troubling happened in the gestalt this morning, though, and he needs to find out what it meant.
Three Can Keep a Secret... by Bill Johnson and Gregory Frost  Time: 31m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 03.04|17
(SF Thriller) A resourceful assassin from Earth comes to an unnamed planet on a mission to double-cross someone.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Two Ways of Living by Robert Reed  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 126
(Near-Future SF) Each sleep takes Artemus two years closer to his goal, but he wakes up weak and starving after each one, and he doesn’t need nosey neighbors bothering him while he recovers.
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(Apocalyptic) The narrator wants to spend the last hours before the asteroid strike with her parents, but she runs out of gas in the middle of South Dakota.
Waste by Mary Elizabeth Burroughs  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 94
(Dystopia) Thirteen-year-old Eudora works on the Heap west of Sydney, where defective children of the upper class are dumped. But she’s whole and wants a better deal.
With Cardamom I'll Bind Their Lips by Beth Cato  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 15
(Fantasy) Vera gets a job helping a local woman seal the spirits of the dead so they can fade away in peace.

Rating: 2 -> Not Recommended

Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin R. Kiernan  Time: 1h:17m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 02/28/17
(SF Horror) Signalman investigates the origins of a mysterious fungus that killed some cultists in California.
An Abundance of Fish by S. Qiouyi Lu2  Time: 02m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 15
(Magical Realism) The narrator, second-generation Chinese, doesn’t take the surplus fish ritual seriously.
Concerning the Devastation Wrought by the Nefarious Gray Comma and Its Ilk: A Men In Tie-Dye Adventure by Tim McDaniel  Time: 10m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 03.04|17
(SF Humor) Austin catches some men in tie-dye costumes digging up his plants in the middle of the night.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Ghosts of Amarana by Kurt Hunt  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 220
(High Fantasy) Lash helped destroy the city of Amarana for the revolution, but languishing in prison he feels remorse. Then someone comes to help him escape.
Goodnight, Melancholy by Xia Jia  Time: 39m (Novelette)  IssueClarkesworld 126
(AI) The narrator’s therapy includes some cute little robots that help cheer her up.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Kitty Hawk by Alan Smale  Time: 52m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 03.04|17
(Alternate History) Wilbur Wright dies in a crash just weeks before the historic flight, and his sister Katharine steps in to take his place.
London Calling by Philip A. Suggars  Time: 09m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 02/20/17
(Slipstream) Ingrid can talk to the soul of the city, and she has something she wants from it. And vice versa.
Miss Cruz by James Sallis  Time: 10m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 03.04|17
(Horror) When the narrator plays his guitar, people really listen.
Number Thirty-Nine Skink by Suzanne Palmer  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 03.04|17
(Hard SF) Long after the loss of its crew, Kade-5 continues its mission of terraforming the planet. It finds something interesting, but whom can it tell?
Tao Zero by Damien Broderick  Time: 1h:13m (Novella)  IssueAsimov's 03.04|17
(SF) Someone has attacked New York and MIT, and 16-year-old Shipton is caught in the middle of it.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: RHorton:5
The Worldless by Indrapramit Das  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 82
(Offworld SF) The Dunyshar are stranded on an outpost, but NuTay dreams of going home to Earth.
Unbearable Burden by Gwendolyn Clare  Time: 05m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 03.04|17
(AI) Alexis is one of a set of AIs in a research project, and she’s worried that her best friend wants to commit suicide.
We Regret the Error by Terry Bisson  Time: 04m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 03.04|17
(SF Humor) A pattern of retractions in the media reveals something bad is going on.

Rating: 1 -> Needs Improvement

Europa's Survivors by Marianne J. Dyson  Time: 55m (Novelette)  IssueAnalog 03.04|17
(Hard SF) Despite the cancer that’s killing her, young Cassie heads to Europa to join a research team.
Plaisir d'Amour by John Alfred Taylor  Time: 1h:14m (Novella)  IssueAnalog 03.04|17
(Utopian SF) Ben visits an asteroid mining ship to study the people who live on it, and he falls in love.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [1]  Recommended By: RHorton:4
Time Heals by James C. Glass  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 03.04|17
(Time Travel) John travels back in time to try to eliminate the hateful stepfather who made his life miserable for so many years.

Rating: Not Rated

Come See the Living Dryad by Theodora Goss  Time: 29m (Novelette)  IssueTor.com 03/08/17
(Mainstream) In 1888 a woman suffering a hideous deformity was murdered in London. Today, her descendent wants to find the culprit.

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