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Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories’
First Quarterly Review, 2018

Year 16 of Bewildering Stories

The Editors’ Choices in issues 743-754


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, according to your hemisphere — with the Review Editors’ selection of favorites from the first quarter of 2018. 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 12 weeks, the Review Editors cast 760 votes on 79 titles, 30 of which have qualified as Editors’ Choices. We congratulate the authors and 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 11 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 755 on April 2, 2018.

Titles selected of titles eligible

0 of 1
1 of 3
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
16 of 33
4 of 6
1 of 1
Short Poetry
Essays & Memoirs
6 of 20
1 of 14
1 of 1


Ronald Linson, Nightburn

Short Stories

Kayla Bashe, The Revolution of Painted Birds
Rebecca Bennett, The Balderson Legacy
Max Christopher, The 101 Domitians
Gary Clifton Tom Crowley, Death Diminishes
Mark Dennis, Certifiable Love
Ada Fetters, Meatspace and MAIA
A. Elizabeth Herting, Moments Upon the Stage
Donna Hole, Laughing at Butterflies
Joshua Kamin, Our Little Sanctuaries
Bill Kowaleski Chelsea McGlynn, Knits and Knots
Ronald Schulte, Home Brew
Stuart North, All That Glitters


Charles C. Cole, Make Way for the Duck Family

Flash Fiction

Charles C. Cole


Edward Ahern, The Wake
Bertrand Cayzac, In the City Where Mother Dwelt
Robin Helweg-Larsen, The Trendy
Oonah V. Joslin Michael Murry, Another Commander in Brief

Short Poetry

Mike Acker, The River in Winter

Essays & Memoirs

Ronald Linson, Ghost Lights


Book Reviews  |  Music Reviews


Mike Murry, Getting the Point and Getting the Girl
Deborah Palmer, A Poem for the Ages
Lewayne L. White, Good Experiences


Ghost Lights
Page Readers
Dramatizing Stories
God & Empire


Escape Lines
Back Again
Prime Origins
Not Just a Cigar
Who’s Your Ghost?

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. Two 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. Dan Rice, The Future of Our Prosperity
  2. Gary Beck, Virtual America
  3. David Adès, The Big Picture
  4. John Grey, A Note From Victor
  5. Chelsea McGlynn, Knits and Knots
  6. Roy Dorman, Duplicity in Dubuque
  7. Russell Helms, The Forensic Toddler
  8. Mark Dennis, The Speaking of Lorna
  9. Susan Savage Lee, The Illusion of Brilliance
  10. Max Christopher, The 101 Domitians
  11. Oonah V. Joslin, In My Element

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. Multiple listings are ties, which are listed in chronological order.

Short Stories
Flash Fiction

The Sagittarius 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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