Sunday, October 15, 2017

October 2017 Ratings

5- & 4-Star Stories: 6;  Estimated Time: 5h:08m (93K words)
Recommended By Stories: 12;  Estimated Time: 6h:43m (121K words)
Total Stories: 30;  Estimated Time: 15h:05m (272K words)
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Rating: 5 -> Hugo-worthy

The Dragon of Dread Peak by Jeremiah Tolbert  Time: 1h:19m (Novella)  IssueLightspeed 89
(YA Portal Fantasy; Dungeonspace) Flip and his teenage friends accept a dangerous mission to steal from a dragon. They’re really too green to attempt this, the dragon is very old and powerful, and they’re falling behind on their trigonometry homework.

Rating: 4 -> Recommended

Crispin's Model by Max Gladstone  Time: 26m (Novelette) 10/04/17
(Eldritch  Horror) Delilah makes some money modeling, and Crispin offers twice what anyone else does. He never lets her look at the works in progress, though. He has his reasons.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
Krace Is Not a Highway by Scott Vanyur1  Time: 03m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 10/02/17
(Post Apocalypse) HiQIRR was built to rate national highways and report problems, but no one listens anymore. Only Krace, and he wants HiQIRR to look for other surviving humans.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
On the Road to the Hell of Hungry Ghosts by Richard Parks  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 235
(Chinese Historical Fantasy; Pan Bao and Jing) Pan Bao, his daughter Jing, and their snake-devil friend, Mei Li, encounter a ghost who needs help. They usually expect to be paid for their sorcery, but the ghost is very persistent.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang  Time: 2h:13m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 09/26/17
(Epic Fantasy; Tensorate) The Protector’s twin children threaten her absolute rule. Their magic is almost as strong as hers, and they pursue technology as well.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
The Goddess of the Highway by Erica L. Satifka  Time: 41m (Novelette)  IssueInterzone 272
(Dystopia) Since the mist came down, people are sorted into castes based on metal plates screwed into their temples which determine how much thinking they’re allowed to do. A girl from the top wants to break the system, and a man from the bottom may give
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 SFRevu:4

Rating: 3 -> Average

And the Village Breathes by Emily B. Cataneo  Time: 28m (Novelette)  IssueBCS 236
(Fantasy Horror) Sleeping monsters keep turning up outside the village, and the villagers are making uncomfortable connections with Magda because she too hibernates for months at a time.
Becoming by Rachel Swirsky  Time: 06m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 89
(Slipstream Humor) Megan has learned that being a vampire sucks, but it turns out there are worse things to be.
Blessings Erupt by Aliya Whiteley  Time: 26m (Novelette)  IssueInterzone 272
(Future Fantasy) People like Hope, born in some of the most plastic-contaminated areas of the world, have an ability to extract toxic plastics from people, which helps the cleanup effort, but at the expense of their own health.
Every Black Tree by Natalia Theodoridou  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 236
(Fantasy Adventure) Tired of immortality, Pentheas seeks the one tree that can hang him. Eternally pregnant, Serah seeks an end to it one way or another. So they’re going to work together. Somehow.
Ghosts of a Neon God by T.R. Napper  Time: 25m (Novelette)  IssueInterzone 272
(Dystopia) Jack and Col are petty thieves in a near-future Melbourne, Australia, when their lives are changed by an upper-class Chinese woman who begs them for help. Even though all they do is steal her shoes.
Grassland by T.S. McAdams1  Time: 27m (Novelette)  IssueBCS 235
(Alternate History Fantasy) In an Old West where people still worship pagan gods, Marcus plans to sneak away from his cattle drive to find the lost statue of Mithras his family once worshiped.
Intro to Prom by Genevieve Valentine  Time: 36m (Novelette)  IssueClarkesworld 133
(Post Apocalypse) The four teens are the last people left in their town, and they hold a prom night every few days—while trying to ignore that crack in the sky.
Longing for Stars Once Lost by A. Merc Rustad  Time: 15m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 89
(Space Opera; Sun Lords of the Principality) Stuck on an inhospitable planet with his enemies closing in and his spaceship in dire need of repairs, Kitshan finds an unlikely source of help.
My Struggle by Lavie Tidhar  Time: 25m (Novelette)  IssueApex 101
(Alternate History) Adolph Hitler, a failing private investigator in London, tries to locate a relic alleged to be the spear that pierced the side of Christ.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Oshun, Inc. by Jordan Ifueko1  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 09/18/17
(Modern Fantasy) Yemi serves the Nigerian goddess, Oshun, answering the prayers of believers, but she works out of the LA office, which handles Americans of Nigerian descent, and she never gets the best cases.
Penelope Waits by Dennis Danvers  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 101
(Alien Abduction) Cindy’s boyfriend says alien’s abducted him, but she’s sure he was with another woman. Up until the aliens contact her too.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
The Fisherman and the Pig by Kameron Hurley  Time: 22m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 235
(Fantasy Adventure) Nev has been in hiding for eight years, so when some men offer him too good a deal to sell their fish, he suspects a trap.
(SF Horror) Meant to clear plastic from the sea, the artificial “squids” have put the oceans off-limits to humanity. Not everyone takes that lying down.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
(Horror) Molly has an affliction: whenever she bleeds, the blood grows into duplicates of her. Duplicates who always want to kill her.
The Nightingales in Plátres by Natalia Theodoridou  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 133
(Generation Ship) Captain Yánnis needs to get the ship moving again, and then God gives him a message.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
The Red Threads of Fortune by JY Yang  Time: 2h:04m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 09/27/17
(Fantasy Adventure; Tensorate) Mokoya and her brother use their powerful magic to defend Bataanar from external attack which her mysterious new love interest may be involved with.
The Sum of Her Expectations by Jack Skillingstead  Time: 25m (Novelette)  IssueClarkesworld 133
(SF Adventure) A tractor beam crashes Amrita on a forbidden planet that she just <i>had</i> to check out. Since no one is supposed to get close to it, she may have a long wait.
Tree of the Forest Seven Bells Turns the World Round Midnight by Sheree Renée Thomas  Time: 22m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 101
(Horror) Wilder’s girlfriend wants him to meet her mother. In the middle of the night, in the wetlands near the Mississippi river.

Rating: 2 -> Not Recommended

So Sings the Siren by Annie Neugebauer  Time: 03m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 101
(Horror) A little girl accompanies her mother to a performance by a “siren.” What does it really mean to suffer for your art?
The Case of the Mysterious Meat by Kate Ingram1  Time: 02m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 101
(Slipstream) Is the Salisbury Steakhouse serving meat from their petting zoo? Detective Mauve means to find out.
The Fall of the Mundaneum by Rebecca Campbell  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 235
(Historical Fantasy) In the first days of World War I, young Oskar is left to manage the Mundaneum as the Germans approach. He’s nervous, but hopeful they’ll respect the institution and its priceless artifacts.
The Music of Ghosts by Paul Jessup  Time: 15m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 272
(Generation Ship) Passengers on the long journey try to preserve the personalities of those who die along the way.
(SF Horror) The narrator’s four-year-old asks uncomfortable questions about the holocaust that awaits the human race in just a few weeks.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4

Rating: 1 -> Needs Improvement

The Psychology Game by Xia Jia  Time: 09m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 133
(Near-Future SF) A TV show features a person and a therapist, and the audience tries to guess whether the therapist is human or an AI.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [1]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4

Rating: Not Rated

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