Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories’
Second Quarterly Review, 2014

The Editors’ Choices: issues 566-577

The Quarterly and Annual Reviews are like lighthouses on the chaotic sea of the Internet.
They signal not danger but “Good landfall” and “Safe harbor.” Welcome ashore!

Everything in green is a link.
Pages other than those of the QR open in a new window, so you won’t lose your place.

Bewildering Stories ends the season — spring or fall, depending on your hemisphere — with the Review Editors’ selection of favorites from the Second Quarter of 2014. New readers will have easy access to the recent best of Bewildering Stories, and veteran readers will have a chance to catch up on anything they may have missed.

The Quarterly Reviews are not a contest, competition or poll. And there are no quotas: anything — from everything to nothing — may qualify in any genre. Rather, they answer a practical question: “If a friend asked you to recommend something special from the past quarter of Bewildering Stories, what would you choose?”

As always, the Review Board’s discussions have been extensive and lively. A big Thank You to Bill Bowler, Charles C. Cole, Bertil Falk, Heather J. Frederick, Gary Inbinder, Michael E. Lloyd, Marina J. Neary, Carmen Ruggero, John Stocks and Lewayne L. White.

At Bewildering Stories, no one is the proverbial tree falling unheard in a forest. All contributors know that real people have given their works a thoughtful reading, regardless whether we send regrets or they quaify for the Mariner Awards.

The Review Editors and Associate Editors — our review readers — have functions that are entirely different but equally important. The Review Editors determine how Bewildering Stories shall carry its flag. The Associate Editors enable us to converse with our contributors. They determine what Bewildering Stories shall be.

For that reason we also express special gratitude to our Coordinating Editor Bill Bowler and the Associate Editors. Their insightful and detailed critiques of submissions help us set what we like to think is an Internet standard for editorial practice and for service to our contributors and readers.

The Quarterly News

In the past 12 weeks, the Review Editors cast 718 votes on 85 titles, 33 of which have qualified as Editors’ Choices. We congratulate the authors represented here. We hope they will inspire all our contributors.

We think our Review Editors reflect the range of opinion to be found among our readers. The Order of the Hot Potato remains as lively as ever, with 13 titles. The Order of Merit is continued for reader interest and as a special acknowledgment to our contributors. It links to the most highly rated works in genres represented by more than one title in this Quarterly Review.

Bewildering Stories begins its 13th year of publication with issue 578 on June 30, 2014.

Titles selected of titles eligible
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
1 of 1
2 of 3
10 of 38
5 of 13
Short Poetry
Essays & Memoirs
9 of 14
3 of 12
3 of 4


Sherman Smith, Two Blind Men and a Fool


Bertil Falk, The Number of the Killer
Danielle L. Parker, The Deathless Hand

Short Stories

Kalliroe Agelopoulou, When Cars Grew Taller
Gary Clifton, The Never Index
Edward H. Garcia, The Right Hand
Eric J. Guignard, Living in the Moment
Prashila Naik, Portrait of My Youth
James Shaffer, The Sandman’s Dream
Simon Smith, A Short, Happy Life
Hannah Spencer, The Watchers in the Hills
Mia Tijam, What the Children of Muerta Caxerex Say
Kelly Zientek-Baker, The Thirteenth Door

Flash Fiction

Charles C. Cole JD DeHart, Begets


Bill Bowler, The History of the Last Five Seconds
John Grey, Space Turbulence
Oonah V. Joslin, Our Daily Breed
Cristina-Monica Moldoveanu, Did I Love Too Much?
John Stocks P. K. Vijayan, The Bastards
Visalakshi Viswanathan

Short Poetry

Zane Blom, John Harris, Hustler
Cristina-Monica Moldoveanu, The Old Man
Thomas F. Wylie, The Empty Seat

Essays and Memoirs

Charles C. Cole, A Portable Childhood
Boris Kokotov, Poetry Reading at a Local Library
Thomas Lee Joseph Smith, Bin There, Dumb That


Selections are listed in chronological order. Reviews and Interviews are indexed separately.

Discussions and Editorials

The Chips Are Up: Technology in Science Fiction
Film Cartoon Culture in the Pre- and Post-War Eras with Sherman Smith
What the Heck Do Editors Really Want? with Harry Lang
Friends on the Net
The Deathless Hand with Bill Bowler and Danielle L. Parker
The Year Civilization Collapsed

Challenge Responses

Reading Poetry with Boris Kokotov
Them Stones, Them Stones... with J. J. Roth
Space and or Time
Cultural and Historical Realism with Sherman Smith
Disability and Comedy with Sherman Smith
Run or Roll?
Auto-Mate and Habit with Bertrand Cayzac


Live Letter
Beware of Improvements
Off the House
Drive-Through or Drive-By?
Suggest a Revelation
Real Reality?
Penal Colonies
Apocalypses Then and Now

The Order of the Hot Potato

Here are the most controversial works of the quarter, the ones on which the Review Editors’ opinions diverged significantly for one reason or another. The titles are listed in descending order with the most controversial first. Five of the titles appear among the Editors’ Choices. Challenge to the readers: why might these 13 titles be on the list?

  1. Martin Westlake, Just Protein
  2. John Grey, Journey’s End
  3. Cristina-Monica Moldoveanu, The Old Man
  4. Bertil Falk, A Surprise at Starbucks
  5. Walter Giersbach, Dancing with the Jersey Devil
  6. J. Daniel Batt, Run Like You’re on Fire
  7. JD DeHart, Begets
  8. David Adès, Ribbitt, the Frog Who Couldn’t
  9. John Stocks, Chantry’s Sleeping Children
  10. Jeremy Szal, A Hunter’s Wrath
  11. Edward Ahern, Home Fires Burning
  12. Simon Smith, A Short, Happy Life
  13. Thos. Lee Jos. Smith, Bin There, Dumb That

The Order of Merit

Here are links to the top winners, the most highly rated works in each genre represented by more than one title in this Quarterly Review. The categories are listed according to their normal order in the Readers’ Guide. Ties are listed in chronological order.

In keeping with Bewildering Stories’ astronomical motif, the winners are indicated by the names of space telescopes. The most highly rated title in the quarter is indicated by the name of an arm of the Galaxy.

Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Short Poetry
Essays & Memoirs

The Perseus Arm

Available at Bewildering Press

Bewildering Press
Jack Alcott, Grim Legion
Sam Ivey, Gilboy’s Quest
Martin Kerharo, The Dohani War
Harry Lang, The Mountains of the Eldritch Sea
Danielle L. Parker, In a Pig’s Eye
Slawomir Rapala, Aezubah, the Crimson General
Bertrand Cayzac, Floozman in Space
Michael E. Lloyd, Donna’s Men
Michael E. Lloyd, Missing Emilie
Michael E. Lloyd, Observation One
Michael E. Lloyd, Observation Two
Michael E. Lloyd, Observation Three

Bewildering Press

Grim Legion   Gilboy's Quest   The Dohani War   Mountains of the Eldritch Sea

Donna's Men Missing Emilie   Observation One   Observation Two   Observation Three

In a Pig's Eye   The Crimson General   Floozman in Space   Floozman dans l'espace

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