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Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories’
First Quarterly Review, 2017

Year 15 of Bewildering Stories

The Editors’ Choices in issues 696-707


by Richard Ong

The Quarterly and Annual Reviews and Bewildering Stories itself
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 2017. 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 are your favorites? 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, nothing 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 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 967 votes on 98 titles, 46 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 hot, with 17 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 708 on April 3, 2017.

Titles selected of titles eligible

1 of 1
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
16 of 36
5 of 8
1 of 1
Short Poetry
Essays & Memoirs
5 of 13
17 of 36
1 of 3


Bryon Havranek, From the Ashes of Our Fall

Short Stories

Sam Buckley, Majoring in Semtex
David Castlewitz, Red Eye
Charles G. Chettiar, The Cracked Ball
Gary Clifton Ada Fetters, TradeWinds
Mary-Jean Harris, Puppet Masters
Harry Lang. Down to the Wild Blue Yonder
Stuart North, To Free a Ghost
Nick Pipitone, City of Dogs
Bill Prindle, Cat With a Young Woman
Robert Stephenson, A Battleground Muse
R. W. Warwick, Troubleshooting Your Death Ray
Dave Wisker, Blood Group


Charles C. Cole, Now Departing

Flash Fiction

Charles C. Cole Ed Kyatt


Shola Balogun, Tiresias
Stephen Ellams, Love Letters Never Sent
Oonah V. Joslin, Give ’Em an Inch!
Anna Ruiz

Short Poetry

Edward Ahern Shola Balogun Anna Ruiz Allison Grayhurst, When One Falters
Denny Marshall, Story of the Stars
James R. Rudolph Marjorie Sadin, Autumn Passion

Essays & Memoirs

Boghos L. Artinian, Extraterrestrial Echoes


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

Review Article

James Graham, The Poetry of Edwin Morgan


The Lay of the Land
Your Place and Time
Cadence Count
Rules of Resistance
Don’t Eat My Fins
A Cap of Another Color


The Baneful Effects of Tiro

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. All but three 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. Stuart North, To Free a Ghost
  2. Anna Ruiz, Euclid Avenue
  3. Gary Clifton, Stiff Katies
  4. James R. Rudolph, Winterkill
  5. Shola Balogun, Strange Fire
  6. Robert Stephenson, A Battleground Muse
  7. Marjorie Sadin, Autumn Passion
  8. Gary Clifton, Hill Country Showdown
  9. Elizabeth Racz, Last Night
  10. Ljubo Popovich, The River Waits
  11. Harry Lang, Down to the Wild Blue Yonder
  12. Denny Marshall, Ghost of Forevermore
  13. Ed Kyatt, What Good Is Arithmetic?
  14. Ada Fetters, TradeWinds
  15. Allison Grayhurst, When One Falters
  16. Nick Pipitone, City of Dogs
  17. Dave Wisker, Blood Group

The Order of Merit

Here are links to 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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