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Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories’
Fourth Quarterly Review, 2014

Year 13 of Bewildering Stories

The Editors’ Choices: issues 590-601

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 — fall or spring, depending on your hemisphere — with the Review Editors’ selection of favorites from the Fourth 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, Jo Wharton Heath, Gary Inbinder, 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 533 votes on 68 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 is as hot as ever, with 11 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.

The Annual Review follows next week, on December 29. We will resume regular publication with issue 602 on January 5, 2015.

Titles selected of titles eligible
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
0 of 1

3 of 5
14 of 30
5 of 11
Short Poetry
Essays & Memoirs
5 of 11
0 of 4
2 of 2
4 of 4


Dave Ervin, The Thirteenth Traveler
LaKimbra McKinley, Hold on to My Feets
Rudy Ravindra, A Naive Casanova

Short Stories

Gary Clifton, The Keeper of the San Lo Gate
Bruce Costello, Man to Man
Bertil Falk Heather J. Frederick, Jörn Grote, Home, to the Sea
Timothy Kay, Virtually Painless Dentistry
Mike Madison, Distinction in the Darkness
Mike McNichols, I Shot Sonny Battalion
Adam Randolph, Teddy Bow
James Shaffer, The Sound of Breaking Glass
Jennifer Shaw, Orbiting Janus
Ross Smeltzer, The Thief and the Hidden Citadel
Sherman Smith, If You Say It Again...

Flash Fiction

Charles C. Cole Tom Wylie, A to Z at Brookview Elementary


Crystalwizard, Memory Hole
Oonah V. Joslin Anna Ruiz, Vitruvian Man


Charles C. Cole

Essays and Memoirs

Charles C. Cole, Vermouth and Cigarettes
Sherry Smith Gray, Lawn Nazis in the Suburbs
Henry F. Tonn, Rendezvous at Paul’s Place
Don Webb,
  J. J. O’Donnell, The Ruin of the Roman Empire


Selections are listed in chronological order. Reviews and Interviews are indexed separately. Review articles may be considered essays.

Discussions & Challenge Responses

The Muskrats’ Rosetta Stone
Omniscient Databases
What Is the Inquisitor’s Inquest?
Perception of Frailty
Eyes for the Inquisitor’s Children
Traps of Future History
A Big Night Out Is the Order of the Day
The Sound of Breaking Glass
What Is Franky?


Turnips and Stones
Cryptic Voyage
Hometown Blues
New Shape Age
A Place for Unstrangers
Awkward Guests

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. Eight of the titles appear among the Editors’ Choices. Challenge to the readers: why might these eleven titles be on the list?

  1. Adam Randolph, Teddy Bow
  2. Ron Van Sweringen, Heart Sounds
  3. James Graham, Hill Walk
  4. Charles C. Cole, Science Comes Calling
  5. Jennifer Shaw, Orbiting Janus
  6. Timothy Kay, Virtually Painless Dentistry
  7. Henry F. Tonn, Rendezvous at Paul’s Place
  8. Anna Ruiz, Vitruvian Man
  9. Oonah V. Joslin, Day at the Theatre
  10. Sarah Ann Watts, Winter Ship
  11. Jörn Grote, Home, to the Sea

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.

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
Essays & Memoirs

The Perseus Arm

Return to Quarterly News

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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