Thursday, February 15, 2018

February 2018 Ratings

5- & 4-Star Stories: 3;  Estimated Time: 1h:28m (27K words)
Recommended By Stories: -> Due 3/1/18
Total Stories: 29;  Estimated Time: 10h:46m (194K words)
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Rating: 5 -> Hugo-worthy

To Us May Grace Be Given by L.S. Johnson  Time: 51m (Novelette)  IssueGigaNotoSaurus 10/01/17
(Western Fantasy) Addy and her mom barely scratch out a living on their homestead. Bill Boyland is going to take their land away, but Addy’s mom is ready to do a deal with the devil to stop him.

Rating: 4 -> Recommended

Penitents by Rich Larson  Time: 21m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 245
(Post-Apocalypse) Mara has made a deal with a scavenger girl to help her rescue her best friend, who left the underground habitat to try to talk to the aliens and never came back.
(Alternate History) In a world where we learned to talk to elephants in the 1800s, we get two stories about how elephants were associated with radioactivity, how they (and people) were abused, and what came of it all.
The Starship and the Temple Cat by Yoon Ha Lee  Time: 11m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 244
(Future Fantasy) Even the ghosts have abandoned the ruins of the space station once known as the City of High Bells. All but the faithful temple cat, who sees a starship reenter the system after many long years.

Rating: 3 -> Average

A Coward's Death by Rahul Kanakia  Time: 07m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 93
(High Fantasy) When the Emperor demands a levy of young men, woe be unto he who refuses to go.
(Modern Fantasy) The narrator is a witch who works in a public library somewhere in the American Mid-West. Her job is to get patrons the books they need, but a lonely teenage boy poses a challenge.
Benefactors of Silence by Nin Harris  Time: 05m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 243
(Colony SF) On a lost colony planet, wars between rival empires have almost destroyed the nation of Lusini, but the narrator has a love for the old country, and lives with a survivor, who tells him what was lost.
Nneamaka's Ghost by Walter Dinjos  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 243
(Nigerian Fantasy Horror) Banished for the death of a princess, Ebuka gets a surprise when her ghost visits him in exile and demands he go back to his village and retrieve her body for her.
Obliteration by Robert Reed  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 137
(Near-Future SF) Kleave’s life is upended when a freak accident disables all three of the archives where he stores copies of his experiences and memories.
Obscura by Yoon Ha Lee  Time: 08m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 01/29/18
(Uncanny Horror) A young teenager meets a man with a strange, old-fashioned camera that doesn’t seem to work—so why does the man insist it not be used on people?
Open and Shut by Alastair Reynolds  Time: 59m (Novella)  IssueGollancz 01/05/18
(SF Adventure; Prefect Dreyfus) Dreyfus explains why the Chertoff “lockdown” has affected him so much. He put it in place 20 years ago, he inspected it three weeks ago, and he hasn’t been the same since.
Red Dreams by R.Z. Held1  Time: 22m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 245
(Post-Apocalypse) Tarnish knows that her dreams mean that in a day or two, she’ll start trying to kill people to let their blood out. Her partner on the mail route thinks this is nonsense, and they need to support each other against the other dangers out
(Dystopia) An old woman takes in a young poet fleeing persecution.
Such Were the Faces of the Living Creatures by Josh Pearce  Time: 22m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 245
(Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy) When Cy’s daughter gets the disintegration scabs, they head into the badlands in search of a cure.
The Ghoul Goes West by Dale Bailey  Time: 44m (Novelette)  IssueTor.com 01/17/18
(Uncanny Horror) Ben Clarke travels to Hollywood to settle his late brother’s affairs. He learns a variety of things about his brother, but the biggest surprise is what he finds in the bedroom.
The Power is Out by A Que  Time: 40m (Novelette)  IssueClarkesworld 137
(Post-Apocalypse) In the ruins of a China shattered by an electromagnetic pulse, five friends decide to flee their dead city in the face of an oncoming harsh winter, seeking shelter in the warmer south about which they know nothing.
Umbernight by Carolyn Ives Gilman  Time: 1h:00m (Novella)  IssueClarkesworld 137
(SF Colony Adventure) The colonists on Dust usually hunker down for their years-long winter, especially when the companion star, Umber, blasts the surface with radiation, but a critical package from Earth needs to be retrieved now.
Where the Anchor Lies by Benjamin C. Kinney  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 244
(Military SF) Eita enters the desert in search of her long-lost dreamship, intending to use it to start a war.
Where Would You Be Now? by Carrie Vaughn  Time: 29m (Novelette)  IssueTor.com 02/07/18
(Post-Apocalypse; Coast Road) It has only been five years since The Fall, but the clinic where teenage Kath works is the only medical service for two hundred miles.
Work, and Ye Shall Eat by Walker McKnight1  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 105
(Fantasy Apocalypse) Karen doesn’t know why the government sealed off the Adamstown historical recreation, but something terrible seems to have happened to the outside world.

Rating: 2 -> Not Recommended

A Snow, A Flood, A Fire by Jamie Berrout1  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 01/29/18
(Dystopia) Lupita Garza hates her job as a guard at the museum, her boss seems to hate her, and it looks like her uterus transplant isn’t going to get funded. Things go downhill from there.
(Space Opera; Binti) With a war brewing and her own family under attack, Binti takes the initiative in trying to make peace.
El is a Spaceship Melody by Maurice Broaddus  Time: 44m (Novelette)  IssueBCS 244
(Space Adventure) The first mission to Titan is threatened by conflict between the ship’s Captain and the mission commander.
Four-Point Affective Calibration by Bogi Takács  Time: 04m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 93
(SF) The narrator completes an interview to get qualified to communicate with aliens.
Her Beautiful Body by Adrienne Celt  Time: 09m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 02/05/18
(Slipstream) Come and see her beautiful body! On display for just six to eight weeks. Looking better than when she was alive.
(Fantasy) Nanny gives the man's eulogy, including the personal statement of how the deceased once found himself turned into a bear.
The Glow-in-the-Dark Girls by Senaa Ahmad1  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 01/15/18
(Surreal) A group of women have been chemically altered to set cities on fire from a distance. Not everyone thinks this is a good idea—including the women themselves.
The Goddess Has Many Faces by Ashok K. Banker  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 93
(Military Fantasy) In a near-future India, an assassin targets a rebel leader who claims to be a living god.
The Last Human Child by Milo James Fowler  Time: 25m (Novelette)  IssueBCS 245
(Post-Apocalypse) Dahlia, the last human child, is only ten years old, but she flees the wrath of the Spliced after killing their elder council.
The Quiet Like a Homecoming by Cassandra Khaw  Time: 06m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 93
(Slipstream) An animal wife comes to Sweden to try to erase her memory of a lover who betrayed her.

Rating: 1 -> Needs Improvement

Deep Down in The Cloud by Julie Novakova  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 137
(Dystopian Action Adventure) Mariana and her two companions descend to an underwater datacenter to try to change the world or die trying.

Rating: Not Rated

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