Monday, May 15, 2017

May 2017 Ratings

5 & 4 Stories: 12;  Estimated Time: 8h:05m (146K words)
Recommended By Stories: 25;  Estimated Time: 12h:19m (222K words)
Total Stories: 71;  Estimated Time: 30h:59m (558K words)
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Rating: 5 -> Hugo-worthy

All Systems Red by Martha Wells  Time: 1h:43m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 05/02/17
(SF Thriller; Murderbot Diaries) A “security bot” assigned to support a survey team impresses them with its competence as a series of things go wrong. What they don’t know is that it has disabled the governor that prevents it from hurting people.
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The Heart's Cartography by Susan Jane Bigelow  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 84
(Time Travel) The time travelers across the road think they’re being clever, but Jade’s family spotted them right away. Even so, they’ve got a daughter her age, and she wants to make friends.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5 SFRevu:4

Rating: 4 -> Recommended

A Place to Grow by A.T. Greenblatt  Time: 20m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 225
(High Fantasy) Lillian likes the most recent world, and she doesn’t want her uncles to tear it down. But they’ve already dismantled the sun, so she’ll have to move fast.
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Carnival Nine by Caroline M. Yoachim  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 225
(Clockwork Fantasy) Zee lives with her father in a windup world. Bored with her life, she decides to visit the carnival.  She meets a boy, and things go from there.
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Come As You Are by Dale Bailey  Time: 34m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 05.06|17
(Near-Future SF) Dave drops out of school when he gets hooked on a drug that lets you experience being other people.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 RHorton:5
My English Name by R.S. Benedict1  Time: 35m (Novelette)  IssueF&SF 05.06|17
(Horror) The narrator is an alien who takes human form, but periodically has to change it. This is a problem if it falls in love with someone.
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Neko Brushes by Leah Cypess  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 05.06|17
(Japanese Historical Fantasy) Kenji is just a boy, and a commoner at that, but his extraordinary drawing ability attracts the attention of nobles and draws him into their plots.
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That Lingering Sweetness by Tony Pi  Time: 29m (Novelette)  IssueBCS 224
(Chinese Historical Fantasy; Candyman Ao) To undo some of the damage caused the last time he invoked zodiacal spirits, Ao needs to lift a pair of conflicting curses cast by two warring spirits.
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The Chatter of Monkeys by Bond Elam  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 05.06|17
(Post Apocalypse) War and pollution are killing the last survivors on Earth, but an alien robot descends and tells young Molly that there is still time to save the planet.
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The Runabout by Kristine Kathryn Rusch  Time: 2h:29m (Novella)  IssueAsimov's 05.06|17
(Space Opera; Diving Universe) The narrator leads a team salvaging long-lost technology from a graveyard of starships, whose stardrives still disrupt the surrounding space in dangerous ways.
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This Is for You by Bruce McAllister  Time: 04m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 84
(SF) He spent his childhood on another planet, but he’s trying to fit into highschool on Earth, and he really wants a girl.
Witch's Hour by Shannon Connor Winward  Time: 34m (Novelette)  IssueF&SF 05.06|17
(High Fantasy) Esmelda really needs to impress the new king with her cooking, but the pesky ghost of the last cook won’t leave her alone.
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Rating: 3 -> Average

A Marvelous Deal by Kate Dollarhyde  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 224
(Horror) Sylvie lost both of her parents, and she’s running out of food, but a magic carrot offers a way to bring them back.
A Thousand Deaths Through Flesh and Stone by Brian Trent  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 05.06|17
(SF thriller) The narrator thought he’d retired from Martian covert ops ten years ago, but his bosses resurrected a copy and expect him to do another mission for them.
Buffalo Soldier by Maurice Broaddus  Time: 1h:37m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 03/28/17
(Steampunk Thriller) In a very different 20th-Century North America, Desmond tries to smuggle a young boy across the border from independent Tejas to the free land of the Five Civilized tribes.
Decrypted by Eric Choi  Time: 09m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 05.06|17
(Near-Future SF) Ever since quantum computers broke RSA encryption, vigilantes have been after people who’d done bad things online and whose identities are now exposed. They’re after Mike for something, but he has no idea what.
Dirty Old Town by Richard Bowes  Time: 28m (Novelette)  IssueF&SF 05.06|17
(Modern Fantasy) The narrator describes his childhood in 1950s Boston, the boys who bullied him, and the magic he used to defend himself.
Focus by Gord Sellar  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 05.06|17
(Near-Future SF) Locals plan a riot to disrupt foreign factories in Vietnam which use a drug called “focus” to control their employees.
How Lovely Is the Silence of Growing Things by Evan Dicken  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 96
(Apocalypse) The world is ending, but Kate and her daughter Mel survive by hiding in the basement during the day eating peanut-butter-and-spider sandwiches.
(Afterlife Fantasy) James really enjoys Heaven, but he wonders why he can’t find his wife and kids anywhere.
Kepler's Law by Jay Werkheiser  Time: 39m (Novelette)  IssueAnalog 05.06|17
(Hard SF) When the Earth colony ship sent the first shuttles down to Kepler, there didn’t seem to be anything dangerous down there. Appearances can be deceiving.
Lips Together by Ken Brady  Time: 04m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 05.06|17
(Near-Future SF) Emiko hates her bad teeth, and she thinks science owes it to her to spread a cure for tooth decay.
Making the Magic Lightning Strike Me by John Chu  Time: 22m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 16
(SF) Charlie’s company does clandestine jobs for the ultra rich. He likes it because they’ve given him the body he always wanted to have. Now if he can just learn to be satisfied with it.
Octopus vs. Bear by Kendra Fortmeyer1  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 84
(Modern Fantasy) Unexpectedly, you woke up female this morning, in someone else's body. Now you have to decide what to do about it.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: RHorton:5
On the Ship by Leah Cypess  Time: 21m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 05.06|17
(Exploration SF) A child on a spaceship worries that the first five planets they've found weren’t habitable, and the sixth isn’t looking good.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: RHorton:4
Paradox by Naomi Kritzer  Time: 05m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 16
(Time Travel) In which a chorus of time travelers give us advice, in the paradoxical way of time travelers.
Persephone of the Crows by Karen Joy Fowler  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 05.06|17
(Modern Fantasy) Ten-year-old Polly wishes she could see fairies like her friend Isabelle can. She wishes a lot of things. Not all wishes should come true.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: RHorton:5
Proteus by Joe Pitkin  Time: 20m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 05.06|17
(Solar System SF; John Demitrius Stories) Epic Khorasani travels to Venus in disguise to get evidence of illegal genetic engineering in the cloud colony of Proteus.
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Read Before Use by Chinelo Onwualu  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 16
(Post-Apocalypse) Satellite City will die if it can’t find a new source of power. Alia thinks the secret lies in a library of ancient books, but she needs results soon because her support is drying up.
Rings by Nina Kiriki Hoffman  Time: 20m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 05.06|17
(SF Horror) Aris wanted a male slave from off-planet, and she thinks Firen is a fine choice. Young, strong, flawed only because he can’t speak.
Seeds by Margaret Wack1  Time: 02m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 04/17/17
(Post Apocalypse) In the ruins of the world, Snow learns that hope for the future lies to the north, and she makes plans to go there.
Seven Ways to Fall in Love with an Astronaut by Dominica Phetteplace  Time: 07m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 05.06|17
(Hard SF) The narrator struggles to get plants to grow on Mars, and in the process she falls in love with a colleague.
Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time by K.M. Szpara  Time: 30m (Novelette)  IssueUncanny 16
(Vampire Humor) When Finley gets bitten by a vampire, he’s pissed because he didn’t consent. When he learns he’s going to become a vampire, he’s really upset, because it’s not legal for a trans person to be a vampire at all.
Streams and Mountains by Nick Wolven  Time: 29m (Novelette)  IssueClarkesworld 128
(Near-Future SF) A “sasquatch” is pregnant, and that’s a big problem.
Sun, Moon, Dust by Ursula Vernon  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 16
(High Fantasy) Allpa receives a magic sword on his grandmother’s deathbed. Three spirits in the sword are supposed to train him to be a mighty warrior, but he really just wants to be a better farmer.
Ténéré by Manny Frishberg and Edd Vick  Time: 20m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 05.06|17
(Hard SF) Arab men reenacting a desert caravan discover a key oasis has dried up, and they blame a neighboring solar installation.
The Banffs by Lavie Tidhar  Time: 08m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 05.06|17
(SF Conspiracy) Suffering from writer’s block, the author agrees to house sit for some rich friends of his agent.
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The Best Man by Jay O'Connell  Time: 23m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 05.06|17
(Near-Future SF) Brendan needs to be in Italy in a few days to be best man at his brother’s wedding. He needs to do something to keep his face from being green though.
The Final Nail by Stanley Schmidt  Time: 41m (Novelette)  IssueAnalog 05.06|17
(Hard SF Thriller) Something causes a lot of people to acquire an allergy to red meat, and Dr. Strassman finds even tracking down the cause may be dangerous.
The First Day of Someone Else's Life by John Schoffstall  Time: 23m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 05.06|17
(SF Thriller) Your name is Mook Donnel. You’re an important person. You negotiate with governments for your corporation. But you don’t think that’s who you really are at all, and the lady in your head won't stop talking to you.
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The History of the Invasion Told in Five Dogs by Kelly Jennings  Time: 07m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 05.06|17
(Alien Invasion) The narrator describes his/her efforts to stay alive over a period of years. Each segment includes a dog who made a difference in the narrator’s life.
The Person Who Saw Cetus by Tang Fei  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 128
(SF) Lillian grew up poor, but soon she’ll be one of the first astronauts to traverse a wormhole. Memories of her father keep haunting her, though.
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The Prognosticant by Matthew Hughes  Time: 43m (Novelette)  IssueF&SF 05.06|17
(Sword and Sorcery; Baldemar) Master Thelerion sends Baldemar and Oldo on a dangerous mission to recover a powerful magical artifact.
The Return by Bud Sparhawk  Time: 03m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 05.06|17
(SF) An worn old man struggles to get to his cabin, and he lets the young man assisting him know just how easy kids have it these days.
The Speed of Faith in Vacuum by Igor Teper  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 05.06|17
(Colony SF) When the “Immortals” return to planet Nadezhda, the locals are pretty desperate for resupply. So why is the starship so stingy with them?
The Three-Tongued Mummy by E. Catherine Tobler  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 96
(Horror) Jackson partly revived an ancient mummy to use in his carnival. The undead thing has its own agenda, though.
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The Woman with the Long Black Hair by Zach Shephard  Time: 02m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 05.06|17
(Mythic Fantasy) The woman with the long black hair asks people about Korlova. Woe be to they who give a displeasing answer.
(Alternate History) Back in the fifties, the Benefactors came to Earth and made some people “geniuses.” Now, as those people die, the Benefactors “harvest” their bodies. Akeem hates them for this, and he fears his grandmother might be next.
Tired of the Same Old Quests? by Peter Wood  Time: 06m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 05.06|17
(Portal Fantasy Humor) To distract themselves from their boring world of magic and quests, Mirk and her friends play an exciting game about people who live in suburbs, drive cars, and work in cubicles.
To See the Elephant by Julie Novakova  Time: 27m (Novelette)  IssueAnalog 05.06|17
(Near-Future SF) After a plague kills off 90% of Africa’s elephants, every survivor is precious. Doctor Adina Ipolla is called in to try to save a bull elephant that’s behaving very strangely.
Triceratops by Ian McHugh  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 05.06|17
(Near-Future SF) The narrator visits a reserve in Northern Canada where they’re experimenting with resurrected mammoths.
Vulture's Nest by Marissa Lingen  Time: 08m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 05.06|17
(Solar System SF; Oort Cloud Stories) A virus devastated the Oort Cloud communities, and many of the survivors hate the family businesses who salvage abandoned ships.
What the Hands Know by Gregor Hartmann  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 05.06|17
(Far-Future SF; Franden) Franden goes to a fight club to get some ideas for characters in his stories. A peaceful sort, despite his size, he has no intention of actually participating.
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Where the Flock Wanders by Andrew Barton  Time: 11m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 05.06|17
(Solar System SF) Rho and Static are looking for alien artifacts in Saturn’s rings when then run across something very different.

Rating: 2 -> Not Recommended

A Burden Shared by Jo Walton  Time: 10m (ShortStory) 04/19/17
(Near-Future SF) Penny uses a technology that lets her share some of her daughter’s pain from a congenital joint problem.
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A Grand Gesture by Dave Creek  Time: 15m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 05.06|17
(Hard SF) Kayonga’s wracked with guilt about his last mission, his partner resents having to work with him, and the planet they’re exploring is trying to kill them.
Baroness by E. Catherine Tobler  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 128
(Planetary Exploration) In the methane oceans of Titan, Bishop and her crew try to figure out what happened to another ship which seems to have been crushed by a giant alien vessel.
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Facebook Screamed and Screamed, Then I Ate It by Sam Schreiber1  Time: 09m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 05.06|17
(Emergent AI) The narrator is an emergent AI trying to survive in a hostile world.
Good Show by William Preston  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 05.06|17
(SF Horror) Even in retirement, Pete can’t stop being a film critic, albeit just on his web site. He’s intrigued when some strangers want to pay him to critique their work in progress.
Hexagrammaton by Hanuš Seiner2  Time: 33m (Novelette) 05/10/17
(SF) A woman approaches the narrator to help her smuggle a special package to the human survivors of an alien virus that could make people something more than human.
In the Mists by Bill Pronzini and Barry N. Malzberg  Time: 07m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 05.06|17
(SF) The narrator has been cast away on a deserted planet for seventeen years. He’s filled up 766 logbooks, and he’s starting on 767. And he’s having awful dreams.
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(Historical Fantasy) In 1968 Montreal, Gus joins the FLQ and helps mount terrorist attacks in the name of Quebecois independence.
Mr. Thursday by Emily St. John Mandel  Time: 16m (ShortStory) 03/17/17
(Time Travel) Victor wants a Lamborghini, but a strange man offers him money not to buy it.
Night Fever by Will Ludwigsen  Time: 52m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 05.06|17
(Alternate History) Charles Manson spends ten years in prison and doesn’t start his cult until 1977 instead of 1967.
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Notes from Liminal Spaces by Hiromi Goto  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 16
(Modern Fantasy) Eiko sees a meteor, finds three dead birds, and is sure that it’s an omen telling her to do something.
Sweetlings by Lucy Taylor  Time: 29m (Novelette) 05/03/17
(Climate Apocalypse Horror) As the seas have risen, terrible things have come crawling out of them. Jersey wants Mir to come with him and move inland, but she won’t go without her disabled father.
The Awakening of Insects by Bobby Sun  Time: 23m (ShortStory) 04/26/17
(Hard SF) Jingru Lee researches animal life on Earth-IX, and she wants to understand the strange “thermal flashes” that randomly cook plants and animals in scattered locations.
We Who Live in the Heart by Kelly Robson  Time: 49m (Novelette)  IssueClarkesworld 128
(Colony SF) People who don’t like living underground in the colony can live inside giant “whales” that float high in the planet’s atmosphere. That’s usually pretty safe.

Rating: 1 -> Needs Improvement

Killing Gravity by Corey J. White1  Time: 1h:47m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 05/09/17
(Space Opera) She calls herself Mars. She’s running from the authorities, who want to use her powerful telekinetic powers. Powers that leave scores of dead in her wake.
The Escape of the Adastra: Asha's Story by James Gunn  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 05.06|17
(Generation Ship) Aliens captured the Adastra years ago, but Asha and her boyfriend have a plan to escape and get a warning back to Earth.
The Girls With Kaleidoscope Eyes by Howard V. Hendrix  Time: 1h:24m (Novella)  IssueAnalog 05.06|17
(SF Mystery) When a high school teacher tries to murder his students, the FBI sends Special Agent Ciera Onilongo to Utah to investigate.

Rating: Not Rated

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