Monday, May 1, 2017

April 2017 Ratings

5- & 4-Star Stories: 12;  Estimated Time: 7h:21m (132K words)
Recommended By Stories: 14;  Estimated Time: 8h:07m (146K words)
Total Stories: 35;  Estimated Time: 15h:04m (271K words)
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Rating: 5 -> Hugo-worthy

In the Shade of the Pixie Tree by Rodello Santos  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 221
(High Fantasy) Bekka is apprentice to the local witch, and she's off to collect pixies. Joakem wants to walk with her, and she can't tell him no.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5
Remote Presence by Susan Palwick  Time: 33m (Novelette)  IssueLightspeed 83
(Modern Fantasy) Chaplin Win is in trouble for letting an unauthorized ghost talk with hospital patients, and inspectors are coming tomorrow.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5 RHorton:5
The Common Sea by Steve Rasnic Tem  Time: 22m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 269
(Near-Future SF) Trips from flooded Miami to the trading post are always hazardous, especially for an old man, but Tom needs supplies for his family.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5
When Stars Are Scattered by Spencer Ellsworth  Time: 43m (Novelette) 04/05/17
(Exoplanetary SF) On planet Isach, the native Kites are enthusiastic converts to Islam, but they’re dying from a virus that the local Muslims suspect was planted by the neighboring Christian colony.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5
When We Go by Evan Dicken  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 223
(Mythic Fantasy) Because the gods abandoned her people, she has sworn to kill them. Now only one remains.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5

Rating: 4 -> Recommended

A Strange Kind of Beauty by Christien Gholson  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 269
(High Fantasy) Based on a new prophecy she found, Heoli leads her people out of the desert to a ruined city rich with water. Some fear that it’s too good to be true, though.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
Brother's Ruin by Emma Newman  Time: 2h:13m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 03/14/17
(Historical Fantasy) In order for her to marry her fiance, help her brother and pursue her secret career as an illustrator, Charlotte has to keep her magic a secret.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
Sunwake, in the Lands of Teeth by Juliette Wade  Time: 1h:12m (Novella)  IssueClarkesworld 127
(SF) Liaison Rulii must travel into a war zone to find a missing human linguist whom his king wants to meet in just three days.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 SFRevu:4
The Robot Who Liked to Tell Tall Tales by Fei Dao  Time: 26m (Novelette)  IssueClarkesworld 127
(Fairy Tale) The king programs a robot to lie even more than he does, hoping to change his reputation as the biggest liar in the kingdom.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 SFRevu:4
(Space Opera) The Scholast fell to earth in the Low Waters Kingdom and called on them to prepare to defend themselves from an invasion from another world.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
The Selkie Wives by Kendra Fortmeyer1  Time: 10m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 95
(Fairy Tale) In which we learn that there’s more than one way for a fisherman to find a selkie wife, and lots of ways it can turn out.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
The Shark God's Child by Jonathan Edelstein  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 222
(High Fantasy; Tasik) The shark god rises from under Mei’s island home, leaving all the inhabitants homeless or drowned. She escapes and finds a home, but the shark god still has plans for her.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4

Rating: 3 -> Average

Aunt Dissy's Policy Dream Book by Sheree Renée Thomas  Time: 25m (Novelette)  IssueApex 95
(Horror) Cassie uses the Sight to earn a living, but visions only come to her in dreams, and some dreams aren’t meant to be told.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Crescendo by J.S. Veter2  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 221
(Fantasy) Four children sneak out to investigate a Hole, even though they're dangerous and forbidden.
Dark Warm Heart by Rich Larson  Time: 20m (ShortStory) 04/12/17
(Horror) A Canadian man returns from a near-fatal accident in the far north, but his wife notices something’s not quite right with him now.
Ecdysis by Julianna Baggott  Time: 08m (ShortStory) 03/22/17
(Surreal) A.S. returns from life in a simulation to check on the sister and abusive father he left behind.
Excerpts from a Film (1942-1987) by A.C. Wise  Time: 32m (Novelette) 03/21/17
(Horror) A Hollywood producer is haunted by a starlett he loved who disappeared 40 years earlier.
I Have Been Drowned in Rain by Carrie Vaughn  Time: 11m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 223
(High Fantasy) Jared has almost brought the princess to safety, but he worries that Kat, the crazy women who accompanies them, might have betrayed them.
Infinite Love Engine by Joseph Allen Hill  Time: 23m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 83
(Science Fantasy) Aria just has a few days to save the whole universe from being swallowed up by Zarzak, the infinite love machine.
Lacuna by Lane Robins  Time: 11m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 04/10/17
(Modern Fantasy) Father Jean-Paulo has come to Lacuna to bring an old dying priest home, but the golem girls in the Burlesk are a powerful distraction.
Love Pressed in Vinyl by Devon Wong1  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 04/03/17
(Horror) It’s not healthy to listen to the music on the record, and Malik is determined to destroy whoever made it.
Maybe Look Up by Jess Barber  Time: 09m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 83
(Time Travel) You get one chance to go back in time and spend 30 minutes trying to fix the worst mistake you ever made. Which one will you pick?
Mental Diplopia by Julianna Baggott  Time: 15m (ShortStory) 04/11/17
(Apocalypse) A fatal illness that causes people to relive the best moments of their past sweeps the world.
Nightshade by J.W. Halicks1  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 222
(Dark Fantasy) At sunset, Ezekiel Nightshade, King of Night, rises from the earth and heads for an appointment with a dying woman. But her seven-year-old daughter bars the way.
Proof of Concept by Gwyneth Jones  Time: 1h:33m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 04/11/17
(Dystopia) A few centuries from now, on a dying Earth, Kir joins a team trying to build an interstellar teleportation device. Unfortunately, to get funding they have to incorporate the crew from a reality show.
Seven Permutations of My Daughter by Lina Rather1  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 83
(Multiverse) Sarah travels the multiverse looking for a reality where her daughter isn’t a drug addict.
Still Life With Falling Man by Richard E. Gropp  Time: 25m (Novelette)  IssueInterzone 269
(Paranormal) Julian is a clairvoyant who works for a secret society investigating places where time has stopped.
The Influence Machine by Sean McMullen  Time: 28m (Novelette)  IssueInterzone 269
(Historical SF) In 1899 London, Inspector Grant investigates a lady who claims her big electrical apparatus is for a camera, even though it looks like a bomb or a death ray.
(SF) Reuth has come to a beach resort on Ardabaab to try to finish his last novel before he dies. A young girl distracts him, then inspires him.

Rating: 2 -> Not Recommended

A Death in the Wayward Drift by Tim Akers  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 269
(Science Fantasy) Castaa and the other initiates of the Water Caste travel with their master to try and fix a problem with the machines that stir the lake.
Cut, Cut, Cut by Walter Mosley  Time: 20m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 95
(Horror) Marilee dates a brilliant plastic surgeon who might have murdered his ex-wife and has an unhealthy interest in brains.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
(Android SF) Robot goes through rigorous training to fight assassins.
(Far-Future SF) An uplifted octopus finds a mysterious capsule in the water and wonders if one of the long-vanished humans might be inside it.
Terra Nullius by Hanuš Seiner2  Time: 21m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 03/20/17
(Alien Invasion) Only juvenile aliens are capable of original thought, so we can't even tell the adults that they're destroying our world. Reaching the juvenile's means going deep inside the enormous females.

Rating: 1 -> Needs Improvement

Conglomerate by Robert Brice1  Time: 15m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 127
(Far-Future SF) A group of uploaded intelligences on a space probe debates how to handle the discovery of a habitable planet.
Say, She Toy by Chesya Burke  Time: 08m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 95
(Horror) Cloe is a black android built to let white people act out their aggressions.

Rating: Not Rated

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