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Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories’
Second Quarterly Review, 2018

Year 16 of Bewildering Stories

The Editors’ Choices in issues 755-765


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, according to your hemisphere — with the Review Editors’ selection of favorites from the second 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 Review is not a contest, competition or poll; it’s an election. And there are no quotas: anything — from everything to nothing — may qualify in any genre. Rather, the “QR” answers a practical question: “If a friend asked you what your favorites are in 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, 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 828 votes on 84 titles, 36 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 qualifies as “very hot,” with 13 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 766 on June 25, 2018.

Titles selected of titles eligible

1 of 1
2 of 2
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
17 of 34
1 of 5
Short Poetry
Essays & Memoirs
8 of 21
6 of 20
1 of 1
  • Serialized works are eligible only in the quarter in which they conclude.
  • All selections are listed in alphabetical order by author unless noted otherwise.
  • Multiple titles are listed in chronological order.


Edward Ahern, The Witches’ Bane


A. A. Khayyat, Void and Repair
Harry Lang, In a Season of Storms

Short Stories

Jeremy E. Brown, The Last Librarian
Max Christopher, Conditioned Love
Gary Clifton Charles C. Cole, The Wizard’s Mule
AJ Cunder, Mirror, Mirror in the Pool
Mark Dennis, A View From Above
Rob Dinsmoor, Grand Opening
Roy Dorman, Take Me With You
Ada Fetters, No Do-Overs
Channie Greenberg, The Road to Amman
Charles Haddox, Wild Strawberries and Moonlight
David Henson, The X52 Tiger Security System
Ronald Linson, All Reapers Come
Demetrios Matsakis, The Sun-Lovers
Phil Temples, Paying It Backwards

Flash Fiction

Gary Clifton, Twilight of the Iceman


Mike Acker, End of Day
Frank Coffman, Portent of Doom
Oonah V. Joslin, Book Ended
Osman Koroma, My African Dreams
Amber Moss, I Am Just Like My Mother
Ljubo M. Popovich, Anthem of My American Youth
Wesley D. Sims, Haunted Spring
Richard Stevenson, Gwrach y Rhibyn

Short Poetry

Edward Ahern, Commiserating Poetry Month
Frank Coffman, Thessalonike
Robin Helweg-Larsen Joyce Meggett, On Reading a Bird
Ljubo M. Popovich, Television Eyes


Brian L. Steed, A Commentary on “Without Sky”


Book Reviews  |  Music Reviews


The Anthony Bourdain epitaph


What Is Perception?


Shave and a Haircut
Book End
Play That Chord Again
Convicted Ghosts
Mincemeat Pie
Borrowed Dreams
They’re Back
Travel Time
Out of the Hat

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. A. Hartmannsson, Less Than the Eye Can See
  2. Max Christopher, Conditioned Love
  3. Harry Lang, In a Season of Storms
  4. Oonah V. Joslin, Book Ended
  5. Karin S. Heigl, Grim Flower
  6. Alan Katerinsky, You Can Only Dream So Much
  7. Charles Haddox, Wild Strawberries and Moonlight
  8. James Robert Rudolph, Paean to a Dope
  9. Ronald Linson, Pyschotherapy for the Uploaded #2
  10. Brian L. Steed, A Commentary on Without Sky
  11. Myra Litton, Sorting Office for Lost Souls
  12. AJ Cunder, Mirror, Mirror in the Pool
  13. Mike Acker, End of Day

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.

Short Stories
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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Copyright © June 18, 2018 by Bewildering Stories

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