Friday, December 15, 2017

December 2017 Ratings

5 & 4 Stories: 8;  Estimated Time: 3h:36m (65K words)
Recommended By Stories: 16;  Estimated Time: 6h:40m (120K words)
Total Stories: 31;  Estimated Time: 12h:17m (221K words)
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Rating: 5 -> Hugo-worthy

In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle  Time: 1h:46m (Novella)  IssueIn Calabria 2017
(Modern Fantasy) Claudio tends his farm alone down at the tip of the Italian peninsula until a young woman and a pregnant unicorn disturb his tranquility.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5
The Garden of Eating by R. Boyczuk  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 273
(Post-Apocalypse) Alone in the ruins, Boy finds an “Amerigun,” and he’s sure she’s up to no good. His failing robot tutor gives his strange instructions, and for the first time, he’s not sure what to believe.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5
(SF Horror) A group of runaway cyborgs has to prepare meals for unknowing human ships or else blow their cover. But they’re short on one critical ingredient.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5 SFRevu:4
(Horror) At a drunken party, Scarlett tells the new boy a ghost story she’d promised her now-dead best friend she’d never repeat.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR:5 JMcGregor:4

Rating: 4 -> Recommended

Sasabonsam by Tara Campbell  Time: 05m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 12/11/17
(African Folklore Horror) In the darkness, a Sasabonsam hangs from a tree waiting for suitable victims to walk underneath. You shouldn’t go out alone.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
The Big So-So by Erica L. Satifka  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 273
(Post-Apocalypse) Syl thinks people ought to at least try to put civilization back together—not just sit around moping about how great the alien drugs that destroyed it were. And she worries about her friend who wants to break into the aliens’s compound a
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
The Evaluators by N.K. Jemisin  Time: 10m (ShortStory)  IssueWired 01|17
(SF Horror) A crew on planet Manka has disappeared, possibly eaten by the natives. We read the transcripts to try to decide what happened.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4
The Morrigan by Stewart Horn  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 273
(Modern Fantasy Horror) In the Glasgow slums, the gangs meet a mysterious woman who inspires them to even more violence than usual. Eighteen-year-old Baz watches it happen and struggles to understand it.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4 SFRevu:4

Rating: 3 -> Average

A Third of the Stars of Heaven by Cadwell Turnbull1  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 91
(SF) Henrietta has inoperable cancer, but she rejects the medical treatments the aliens are offering.
After the Titans by Rachael Cupp1  Time: 20m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 273
(Greek Mythology Fantasy) Little Flute loves her brother, Beetle, and she loves Vine the mad shepherd. A new god is rising, causing changes that threaten all three of them.
Behind Her, Trailing Like Butterfly Wings by Daniela Tomova1  Time: 21m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 103
(Apocalypse) Space-time anomalies are destroying the world. Some survivors live in “oases,” which are mostly protected but other walk the road following a mysterious woman. Mallow interviews a roadie to find out why.
Crossing LaSalle by Lettie Prell  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 135
(Near-Future SF) Mara desperately wants to join the Newbodies, but they put her on the waiting list. There’s got to be another way in . . .
Forever Night by Dana Beehr  Time: 23m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 241
(Dark Fantasy) Her grandmother stopped the darkness at great price, so when Elseir comes to Tomas’s village, he’s eager to help her in her new quest. Whatever it is.
Fully Automated Nostalgia Capitalism by Dan Grace2  Time: 06m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 273
(Dystopia) In a future isolationist Britain, most people have meaningless jobs that automation could do better, if the government allowed it. The narrator thinks things could be better and looks for ways to dissent.
Looking for Laika by Laura Mauro1  Time: 39m (Novelette)  IssueInterzone 273
(Alternate History) In 1988 England, 13-year-old Pete obsesses over the threat of nuclear attack, while his 5-year-old sister obsesses over Laika, the space dog.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
Low Bridge! Or The Dark Obstructions by M. Bennardo  Time: 26m (Novelette)  IssueBCS 240
(Historical Fantasy) On the Erie Canal, a young man and his bride confront an author who doesn’t believe in the supernatural at all.
Mandelbrot the Magnificent by Liz Ziemska  Time: 1h:07m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 11/14/17
(Historical Fantasy) An account of how the young Benoit Mandelbrot learned he could affect physical reality with his mathematics and how he tried to mount a defense against the Nazi’s in France.
Museum Piece by J.D. Popham  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueCompellingSF 10
(SF Adventure) The last robot in the solar system uses his creator’s death as an excuse to escape from the museum he’s been imprisoned in for forty years.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: JMcGregor:4
Signal by John Lanchester1  Time: 21m (ShortStory)  IssueThe New Yorker 04/03/17
(Horror) David takes his family for a weekend visit to the manor house of an old friend. He worries about a “tall man” who seems to be taking too much of an interest in his children.
The Edge of Things by Katharine E.K. Duckett  Time: 21m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 103
(Alternate Reality) The narrator wakes up every day to an endless party in an infinite house that seems to have replaced the whole world. She’d like to get out, but she can’t even remember her own name.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
(SFF) Alex’s town is being attacked by aliens, and she needs to save it somehow.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: CPayseur
The Mouth of the Oyster by Adam-Troy Castro and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 239
(High Fantasy) Plague took the narrator’s vision, but now he has the opportunity to get new eyes. Eyes that might see narrowly but too well.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: RHorton:4
The Rains on Mars by Natalia Theodoridou  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 135
(SF Adventure) Mac’s team drills tunnels that will connect the big Martian bases together. He came to Mars to run away from his problems on Earth, but some problems come with you.
(Epic Fantasy) In which we learn how the priests of the Hanged Monkey whose name was Bob resisted the Sublime Empire’s conquest of their realm.
The Wind's Departure by Stephen Case  Time: 36m (Novelette)  IssueBCS 240
(High Fantasy) Diogenes ought to be using the magician’s floating castle to help the emperor, but he feels obliged to honor his promise to restore Sylva’s body to her—even if it destroys the world.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: JMcGregor:4
Trette's Bones by Grace Seybold  Time: 27m (Novelette)  IssueBCS 241
(Dark Fantasy) In a town where becoming an adult means surrendering a body part and getting a ghostly replacement, the narrator opts to sacrifice a finger, but their twin sister has something extreme in mind.
Woe and Other Remedies by Michael Anthony Ashley  Time: 23m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 239
(High Fantasy Horror) The empire’s immortal nobles are hopelessly jaded, and Dejanira’s parties bring them excitement through the threat of death.
You Will Never Know What Opens by Mari Ness  Time: 06m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 91
(Portal Fantasy) Your house is full of doors to other worlds, and you can’t keep yourself from exploring them—even though they’re dangerous.

Rating: 2 -> Not Recommended

Darkness, Our Mother by Eleanna Castroianni1  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 135
(Surreal SF) A priesthood of mathematicians has kept the planet Cemar safe, but things have been safe for so long that some people think the priestesses themselves are the bigger danger.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: SFRevu:4
(Near-Future SF) Chromium Jim and Babe work their way north to Alaska by winning rocket-powered drag races along the way.

Rating: 1 -> Needs Improvement

Landmark by Cassandra Khaw  Time: 05m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 135
(Surreal SF) In which we learn that even in the very far future, long-distance relationships are hard to maintain.

Rating: Not Rated

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