Department header
Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories’
Fourth Quarterly Review, 2015

Year 14 of Bewildering Stories

The Editors’ Choices: issues 637-648

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. A few links are standard (blue, underlined). The genres in the “Titles selected” table are anchor or alert links. Links to pages other than the QR open in a new window; 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 2015. 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 outstanding 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 Edward Ahern, Bill Bowler, Gary Clifton, Charles C. Cole, Gary Inbinder, Bill Kowaleski, 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 qualify 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 and determine what Bewildering Stories shall be. 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.

Our special editors also deserve a vote of thanks: Coordinating Editor Bill Bowler, Flash Fiction Editor Charles C. Cole, and Poetry Editor John Stocks. They provide the kind of personal touch Bewildering Stories takes pride in, and they make the administrative work not only easier but possible.

The Quarterly News

In the past 12 weeks, the Review Editors cast 762 votes on 86 titles, 38 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 12 titles.
The Order of Merit is a special acknowledgment to our contributors. It’s a kind of “surprise package” that links to the most highly rated works in this Quarterly Review.

We resume regular publication with issue 649 on January 4, 2016.

Titles selected of titles eligible

2 of 4
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
17 of 34
4 of 8
3 of 3
Short Poetry
Essays & Memoirs
6 of 18
6 of 19


Chris Capps, Hands from the Sky
Bill Prindle, Mr. Beelzy’s Trick

Short Stories

Bryan Brown, Celeste’s Secret
Denis Bushlatov, Safe Haven
Gary Clifton Elena Croitoru, When the World's Echoes Stopped
Walter Giersbach, Truth and Consequences
Elana Gomel, White, Green and Gold
Cathrin Hagey, Baug's Hollow
Casey E. Hamilton, Plenty of Fish
Ásgrímur Hartmannsson, Scheduled for Demolition
Rick Jankowski, Switching Sides
Bill Kowaleski Ludmila Sharga, Angel at My Calling
Henry F. Tonn, Legs to Die For

Flash Fiction

Gary Clifton, The Casa Loma Players
Charles C. Cole, Near Isleboro
Mike Duran, Ron Van Sweringen, Clyde Morrison’s Secret


Charles C. Cole Thomas L. J. Smith, Your Witness


Mike Acker, Sharp Edges
Andrew Bowen, Chinese Zodiac
Channie Greenberg, Abandoned in an Insane Asylum
Richard King Perkins, II, Voices from the Refrigerator
Anna Ruiz, In New Zealand
Laura Grace Weldon, Fresh Each Day

Short Poetry

Mike Acker, Alan
Edward Ahern Gary Inbinder, De Bevitate Vitae
Carmen Ruggero, My Home Is Ready
Marjorie Sadin, Holding the Sky


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


Down to the Sea
Ready and Waiting
Year of the Double Deal
Smoke That Ghostly Cigarette
Breaking Orbit
Horndogs in Space


What Shall We Say?
Poison Pill
Lurking at the World Fantasy Conference
What is the “Seventh” Ennead?
Floozman’s Seven
Joe Dasein’s Quest
Reading Floozman in Space
The Floozman Discussion

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. Ten of the titles appear among the Editors’ Choices. Challenge to the readers: why might any of these titles be on the list? Discussions are welcome and may appear in a future regular issue.

  1. Rick Jankowski, Switching Sides
  2. Henry F. Tonn, Legs to Die For
  3. Mike Acker, Alan
  4. Casey E. Hamilton, Plenty of Fish
  5. Gregory E. Lucas, The Slaughter
  6. J. P. Flores, Mud
  7. Anna Ruiz, In New Zealand
  8. Carmen Ruggero, My Home Is Ready
  9. Bryan Brown, Celeste’s Secret
  10. Denis Bushlatov, Safe Haven
  11. Marjorie Sadin, Holding the Sky
  12. Edward Ahern, Moving Waters

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
Short Poetry

The Orion 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

Return to top
Go to issue648
Go to the All Issues index
Go to the Schedule “In Times to Come”

Copyright © December 14, 2015 by Bewildering Stories

Home Page