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Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories’
Second Quarterly Review, 2016

Year 14 of Bewildering Stories

The Editors’ Choices: issues 660-671

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 second 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 12 weeks, the Review Editors cast 739 votes on 78 titles, 35 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 pleasantly warm, with 9 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 672 on June 27, 2016.

Titles selected of titles eligible
1 of 1
1 of 2
2 of 3
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
10 of 26
6 of 7
3 of 3
Short Poetry
Essays & Memoirs
3 of 13
9 of 23


Bertrand Cayzac, Floozman in Space


Terry L. Mirll, Karat Cake


Philip Ivory, The Yellow Man
Bill Kowaleski, Down Under, Over There

Short Stories

Cheyenne Brown, Inverness Dogs
Gary Clifton, Another New Guy
Charles C. Cole, Brother Jacinto’s Mission
Jill Hand, Louie and Nick
Simon Hole, Hot Hand
Paul Lees-Haley, The Old Man and the Pond
Harry Lang, Mr. Hedayat’s Friend
Morris Marshall, That Unstable Summer
James Ogunjimi, A Promise Kept
Gary L. Robbe, Reflections Turn Away


Charles C. Cole Boris Kokotov, Hooks and Loops

Flash Fiction

Edward Ahern, The Water’s Edge
Gary Clifton Dan Korgan, Earlier Snows
Alison McBain, Supply and Demand


Edward Ahern, Defectus
Lana Bella

Short Poetry

Lana Bella Gregg Dotoli, Spring Ivy Party
Stephen Ellams Gary Inbinder, A Ripe Red Apple
Oonah V. Joslin, Behind Lines
Hongping Liu, Winter Scene
Joan McNerney, I Planted My Garden


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


Bang, You’re Sane
Your Cull Is Important to Us
All Hail the Purpose
Bottled Up
Locked and Loaded
Triple Boxcars
Take the Money and Run


Creepy Brother Jacinto
Floozman Down to Earth
Karat Cake
The Ending of “Karat Cake”
The Number of the Bea... er, Issue
Literary Favorites
The Sacrificial Camera
The Reality Behind the Lines

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. Seven 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. Lana Bella, In Water, the Marked One Fades
  2. Stephen Ellams, Mirror Man
  3. Hongping Liu, Winter Scene
  4. Lana Bella, A Shadowed Cloak
  5. Bertrand Cayzac, Floozman in Space
  6. Gary L. Robbe, Reflections Turn Away
  7. Oonah V. Joslin, Behind Lines
  8. Lana Bella, Changeling
  9. Nicole Smith, Everybody Has It

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 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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Copyright © June 20, 2016 by Bewildering Stories

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