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Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories’
First Quarterly Review, 2016

Year 14 of Bewildering Stories

The Editors’ Choices: issues 649-659

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 — winter or summer, depending on your hemisphere — with the Review Editors’ selection of favorites from the First quarter of 2016. 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, Ada Fetters, Gary Inbinder, Bill Kowaleski, Marina J. Neary, 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 Editors Bill Bowler, Edward Ahern and Bill Kowaleski; 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 11 weeks, the Review Editors cast 574 votes on 64 titles, 27 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 unusually hot, with 14 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 660 on March 29, 2016.

Titles selected of titles eligible

Short Stories
Flash Fiction
10 of 26
3 of 5
1 of 1
Short Poetry
Essays & Memoirs
5 of 10
7 of 20
1 of 2

Short Stories

Gary Clifton, Murder Out of Hand
Patrick Hueller, Sigh, O Narnia
Scott Jessop, Moviola
Bill Kowaleski, The Paradox Principle
Harry Lang, Arabella of Radius Lane
Susan Bass Marcus, Pieces of Stars
Matt Thompson, The Map of the 181 Seas
Daniel Tierney, Weeping Willows
Ron Van Sweringen


Charles C. Cole, Happy Transition Day

Flash Fiction

Gary Clifton


David Adès, Ever So Quiet in My Plenitude
Oonah V. Joslin, Evergreen
James Robert Rudolph Anna Ruiz, Pleiades, My Starship

Short Poetry

David Adès, Flyby
Edward Ahern Lana Bella Ken A. Dronsfield, Where the Pink Flowers Grow


Brenda Kern, Still, in the Woods


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


House Calls
Sniffing in the Depths
A Fullness of Haunts


Oikos Nannion and Science
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. Harry Lang, Arabella of Radius Lane
  2. David Adès, Ever So Quiet in My Plenitude
  3. Daniel Tierney, Weeping Willows
  4. Rudy Ravindra, Cash Cow
  5. Anna Ruiz, Pleiades, My Starship
  6. Gary Clifton, Temptation’s Limit
  7. David Adès, Flyby
  8. Oonah V. Joslin, Evergreen
  9. Scott Jessop, Moviola
  10. Edward Ahern, Shambling
  11. Gregg Dotoli, Daydreamer
  12. Lana Bella, The Quiet Roots of an Ancient Tree
  13. Robert Earle, Weapons-Grade Humanity
  14. Corinne Enright, Hearing Voices

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

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