2018 Year-To-Date

Year-To-Date by Rating (Recommended stories grouped by RSR Rating)
Year-To-Date by Score (Recommended stories grouped by Score)
Year-To-Date by Magazine (Recommended stories grouped by Magazine)
2018: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
[New 2018 Year-To-Date page.]
[Best stories before 2018 available at the RSR Library.]

Year-To-Date by Rating

The year’s 5-star and 4-star stories recommended by Rocket Stack Rank are listed below like the monthly ratings.
The 3-star, 2-star, 1-star, and Not Rated stories are filtered to show only the ones recommended by other reviewers.

Rating: 5 -> Hugo-worthy

Stories: 2;  Estimated Time: 2h:32m (46K words)
Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire  Time: 2h:10m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 01/09/18
(Portal Fantasy; Wayward Children) Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children caters to children who went to a portal world, came back, and can’t cope. No one planned on the arrival of a child born in a portal world, much less one asking for help—from a dea
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [5]  Recommended By: RSR+2
Sour Milk Girls by Erin Roberts2  Time: 21m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 136
(Near-Future SF) Fourteen-year-old Ghost gave up on finding a foster family a long time ago. She’s just waiting until she turns 18 and can leave “the Agency.” Then a new girl turns up—one who can actually remember her life before she was sent there.

Rating: 4 -> Recommended

Stories: 15;  Estimated Time: 7h:29m (135K words)
A List of Forty-Nine Lies by Steven Fisher2  Time: 01m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 01.02|18
(Dystopia) Levi is not telling this story. He is not a freedom fighter—the world is so perfect no one needs to be a freedom fighter. Secrets don’t exist anymore.
Air Gap by Eric Cline  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 01.02|18
(Near-Future SF) You travel to visit an AI so powerful that it has to be isolated from all possible contact with modern technology.
An Aria for the Bloodlords by Hannah Strom-Martin  Time: 33m (Novelette)  IssueBCS 242
(High Fantasy) As a composer, D’Isle  knows that the Bloodlords tightly control music because it can attract demons from the forest. He’s alarmed when his new prima donna starts improvising illegally.
Assassin in the Clouds by Robert R. Chase  Time: 33m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 01.02|18
(Near-Future SF Adventure) The narrator boards an aerostat for a leisurely aerial cruise, but his job is to protect the life of a scientist, and he has no idea why anyone wants to kill him.
Big Mother by Anya Ow  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 01/01/18
(Modern Fantasy) The narrator and her friends go fishing for snakehead in a stream in Singapore, but the biggest one is something more than just a fish.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR+1
Home on the Free Range by Holly Schofield  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 01.02|18
(Colony SF) On planet Skale, the seasons are three years long, and as winter ends, Jadey finds that spring brings real challenges to the ranch she works on.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR+1 GDozois+1
In the Lost City of Leng by Rudy Rucker and Paul Di Filippo  Time: 1h:11m (Novella)  IssueAsimov's 01.02|18
(Lovecraft Pastiche) In 1933, Doug quits his job to go on an expedition to Antarctica to kill the Great Shoggoth and retrieve the priceless treasures of the lost city of Leng.
Jewel of the Heart by Matthew Hughes  Time: 1h:15m (Novella)  IssueF&SF 01.02|18
(Fantasy Adventure; Baldemar) Baldemar is just a young henchman for the mage Thelerion, but he’s the only one who can wear the Helm of Sagacity, and right at the moment, they’re doomed without its help. But that help comes at a price.
Mother Tongues by S. Qiouyi Lu  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 01.02|18
(Near-Future SF) A Chinese woman living in the Bay Area needs to raise money to get her daughter into Stanford. She tries to sell her English-language proficiency, but even after fifteen years, it’s not good enough. But her native fluency in Mandarin is w
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.
The Donner Party by Dale Bailey  Time: 34m (Novelette)  IssueF&SF 01.02|18
(Alternate History Horror) In this version of 19th-Century England, only the upper classes are entitled to eat human flesh once a year in a special ceremony.
The Equationist by J.D. Moyer  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 01.02|18
(Math Fantasy) Niall had a powerful gift for math, starting as a child. So powerful he can identify people with equations and predict their futures.
(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.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR+1
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.
(Modern Fantasy) Jamie’s a non-binary teenager in a small town, but they remember at least a dozen past lives, one of which relates to a forty-year-old murder.

The 3-star, 2-star, 1-star, and Not Rated stories are filtered to show only the ones recommended by other reviewers.

Rating: 3 -> Average

Stories: 23;  Estimated Time: 11h:25m (206K words)
A Cigarette Burn In Your Memory by Bo Balder  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 136
(Apocalypse) After memory-loss plague strikes the world, Gouda helps clients track missing family members they can barely remember—even though she can’t even remember her own last name.
A Feather in Her Cap by Mary Robinette Kowal  Time: 15m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 01.02|18
(Mannerpunk) Biantera doesn’t make enough in her hat business, so she moonlights as an assassin. A customer has stiffed her, so she decides to teach him a lesson.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu+1
(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.
A World to Die For by Tobias S. Buckell  Time: 32m (Novelette)  IssueClarkesworld 136
(Multiverse) Chenra is a gunner for a Mad Max-like cluster of fighters in a world devastated by climate change. She’s surprised when strangers come looking for her. Strangers driving equipment that looks like it was made recently—not decades ago.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: GDozois+1
An Equation of State by Robert Reed  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 01.02|18
(SF) The army wakes in the new solar system and prepares to face enemy attack. But the enemy doesn’t show up. While they wait, one of them decides to study one of the inner planets.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: GDozois+1
Asylum of Cuckoos by Lila Bowen  Time: 20m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 104
(Alternate History Fantasy Adventure) In a wild West with magic, Rhett and his crew of rangers run into trouble in a town where the local sheriff thinks Rhett is an escaped horse thief.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu+1
Blurred Lives by Adam-Troy Castro  Time: 1h:14m (Novella)  IssueAnalog 01.02|18
(SF Adventure; Andrea Cort) Draiken and Thorne seek out a torturer they once knew in hopes he can lead them to surviving leaders of the organizations they once worked for but are now sworn to destroy.
Endless City by David Gerrold  Time: 32m (Novelette)  IssueAnalog 01.02|18
(SF Mystery) The hard-boiled narrator runs investigations in cyberspace and reality. This time they’ve got a murder to solve, and it’s proving a challenge—even though they saw it happen.
Galatea in Utopia by Nick Wolven  Time: 35m (Novelette)  IssueF&SF 01.02|18
(SF) On a whim, Rick decides to make himself 100% female for a night out with friends, but he meets a special guy who falls in love with “her” and he’s not sure he wants to be female for him all the time.
Neanderthals by Gardner Dozois  Time: 07m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 01.02|18
(Near-Future SF) The narrator is a cyborg hitman, but the target is guarded by two Neanderthals, either of whom would be a challenge to defeat.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: RHorton+1
Sea of Dreams by Cixin Liu  Time: 38m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 01.02|18
(Epic SF) The Low-Temperature Artist arrives from outer space, with plans for a fantastic work of art made of ice. He won’t talk to any Earth people but ice sculptor Yan Dong, who struggles to get the alien not to use up all the water for his sculpture.
Solicited Discordance by Matthew Hughes  Time: 28m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 01.02|18
(SF Adventure) A rich aristocrat hires Kaslo to track down her young heir, who has gone off to a wild, dangerous continent with an off-world woman he barely knows.
Suite for Accompanied Cello by Tamara Vardomskaya  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 242
(Clockwork Fantasy) Rielle accepts an offer from her husband’s rival to play accompaniment for his daughter in a competition. They need the money, but there’s something too perfect about this daughter.
Ten and Ten by Alan Dean Foster  Time: 09m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 01.02|18
(Hard SF) Claire is sure she can teach sign language to cuttlefish, but progress has been slow and her grant is running out.
The Court Magician by Sarah Pinsker  Time: 10m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 92
(High Fantasy) In which we learn how the new court magician was recruited and find out how even a “market rat” can qualify. We learn that there is real magic, but it comes with a price.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: RHorton+2
The Equalizers by Ian Creasey  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 01.02|18
(Near-Future SF) To reduce discrimination , Pamela’s office is trying out “Equalizers,” special glasses that make everyone look and sound the same. She wonders if they could improve her love life too.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: RHorton+2
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.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: JMcGregor+2
The Hydraulic Emperor by Arkady Martine  Time: 22m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 20
(SF Adventure) Mallory Iheji would do anything to watch her favorite artist’s lost movie, “The Hydraulic Emperor.” But what would she really sacrifice for it?
The Journeyman: Through Madness Gap by Michael F. Flynn  Time: 49m (Novelette)  IssueAnalog 01.02|18
(SF Adventure; The Journeyman) Teo has command of some forces for the invasion of Yavalprawns, but they’re only half-trained, so he and Sammi look for a way to sneak through a forgotten pass and take the enemy by surprise.
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.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: SFRevu+1
The Rescue of the Renegat by Kristine Kathryn Rusch  Time: 1h:13m (Novella)  IssueAsimov's 01.02|18
(SF Adventure; Diving Universe) A badly-damaged Fleet ship of long-obsolete design appears out of foldspace. There seem to be 200 people on board, but they’re not trying to communicate. Captain Dauber has to try to rescue them, even though it may be a tra
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: GDozois+1
The Utmost Bound by Vivian Shaw2  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 20
(SF Adventure) From a high Venus orbit, McBride and Artanian manage a rover on the surface. Today they’re supposed to inspect an anomaly that seems to be made of metal.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [3]  Recommended By: RHorton+1
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.

Rating: 2 -> Not Recommended

Stories: 8;  Estimated Time: 2h:50m (51K words)
A Night Out at a Nice Place by Nick Mamatas  Time: 09m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 104
(Surreal SF) A godlike being descended from human uploads downloads into a “limbsuit” and goes slumming with real human beings aka has a date.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: JMcGregor+1
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.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: CPayseur+2
Barren Isle by Allen M. Steele  Time: 36m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 01.02|18
(Colony SF) A couple of children are lost on the dangerous Barren Isle, which still has the original flora and fauna of Coyote. The search and rescue team will have their hands full.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: GDozois+1
Margin of Error by Paul Carlson  Time: 02m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 01.02|18
(SF) James and Dick would do anything to get their candidate elected. Well, almost anything.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: JMcGregor+1
The Heaven-Moving Way by Chi Hui  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 104
(Hard SF Adventure) Zhang Xuan steals a starship to go hunt for her brother Kai, who went off to look for living alien civilizations in the galactic core and never came back.
The Lighthouse Girl by Bao Shu  Time: 27m (Novelette)  IssueClarkesworld 136
(Uncanny SF) Rourou is a Chinese little girl who loves her papa but wonders what happened to her momma. And why she can’t remember anything before age 5. And why she speaks fluent English.
The Streets of Babel by Adam-Troy Castro  Time: 22m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 92
(Allegory) A man in the countryside is scooped up by one of the “living cities” which immediately impresses him into its workforce.
Widdam by Vandana Singh  Time: 44m (Novelette)  IssueF&SF 01.02|18
(Dystopia) Five vignettes showing how three people get by in a horribly polluted world ravaged by climate change where giant, intelligent mining machines chew up the landscape in search of metals and oil.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [2]  Recommended By: GDozois+2

Rating: 1 -> Needs Improvement

Stories: 1;  Estimated Time: 14m (4K words)
Consciousness: 4107's Story by James Gunn  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 01.02|18
(SF Background) In which we learn the history of the intelligent plants of planet Flora and how 4107 came to travel to planet Terminal.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [1]  Recommended By: SFRevu+1

Rating: Not Rated


Not Yet Rated

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