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Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories’
Second Quarterly Review, 2017

Year 15 of Bewildering Stories

The Editors’ Choices in issues 708-718


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 — spring or fall, depending on your hemisphere — with the Review Editors’ selection of favorites from the second 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 Edward Ahern, Ada Fetters, and Bill Kowaleski; Flash Fiction and Drama editor Charles C. Cole; Poetry editor John Stocks; and Reviews editor Alison McBain. 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 747 votes on 76 titles, 34 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 15 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 719 on June 26, 2017.

Titles selected of titles eligible

1 of 1
1 of 2
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
12 of 29
6 of 8
Short Poetry
Essays & Memoirs
3 of 7
11 of 29


Bill Prindle, Somewhere Beyond the Sea


Joseph McKinley, Perfect Wisdom Berry Blast

Short Stories

Gary Clifton Rob Dinsmoor, The World in Gunnar’s Barn
Patrick Doerksen, There Will Be No Puppy
Ásgrímur Hartmannsson, The Incredible Machine
K. A. Mansi, Luzvaminda
Stuart North, Under the Shell
Hannah Spencer, Dolly
Mira Spindler, Old Pointy Bones and Big Ears
John Van Allen, The Fates of Atomic Zombies
Joseph Waugh, The Soon and Ending Nights
Simon Willams, The Gentle Decay of the Past

Flash Fiction

Edward Ahern, Embers
Raluca Balasa, The First Kill
Gary Clifton Charles C. Cole


Stephen Ellams, Grassed-Over Histories
Oonah V. Joslin, Do Not Hurry, Do Not Rest
Sarah Ann Watts, Attrition

Short Poetry

Edward Ahern, A Movement in the Shadows
Shola Balogun Allison Grayhurst Karin S. Heigl, River Glow
Oonah V. Joslin, Not for the Weak
Ronald Linson, Psychotherapy for the Uploaded
Denny Marshall, Space Cloth


Book Reviews
Music Reviews


The Power of Suggestion
Heed the Bark
Enlighten That Cigarette
Chance to Win
Check Your Calendar
Two Heads or Three?


Chapters or Parts?
Choosing Names
Behind the Scenes
What Is “Somewhere Beyond the Sea”?

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. Gary Beck, Blasphemy
  2. Bill Prindle, Somewhere Beyond the Sea
  3. Oonah V. Joslin, Do Not Hurry, Do Not Rest
  4. Edward Ahern, Embers
  5. Patrick Doerksen, There Will Be No Puppy
  6. Mira Spindler, Old Pointy Bones and Big Ears
  7. Matt Saddoris, Depths of Dvonia
  8. Joseph Waugh, The Soon and Ending Nights
  9. K. A. Mansi, Luzvaminda
  10. Oonah V. Joslin, Not for the Weak
  11. Shola Balogun, I, Too, Shall Anoint the Stones
  12. Joseph McKinley, Perfect Wisdom Berry Blast
  13. Channie Greenberg, Fubar on Nosy-Look
  14. John Van Allen, The Fates of Atomic Zombies
  15. Karin S. Heigl, River Glow

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 Index and 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. Double listings are ties.

Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Short Poetry

The Sagittarius Arm
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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Copyright © June 19, 2017 by Bewildering Stories

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