Third Quarterly Review, 2020
Year 19 of Bewildering Stories
The Editors’ Choices in issues 861-872
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.”
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 — summer or winter, according to your hemisphere — with the Review Editors’ selection of favorites from the third quarter of 2020. 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 or competition; they are a special poll. And there are no quotas: anything — from everything to nothing — may qualify in any genre. 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, Heather J. Frederick, Andrew L. Hodges, Gary Inbinder, Bill Kowaleski, Johanna Miklós, 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, whether we send regrets or they qualify for the Mariner Awards at year’s end.
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, Heather J. Frederick, Bill Kowaleski and Johanna Miklós; Flash Fiction and Drama Editor Charles C. Cole; 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
We think our Review Editors reflect the range of opinion to be found among our readers. In the past 12 weeks, the Review Editors cast 603 votes on 68 titles, 27 of which have qualified as Editors’ Choices. We congratulate the authors and hope they will inspire all our contributors.
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 873 on September 28, 2020.
|Titles selected of titles eligible|
1 of 2
0 of 4
12 of 31 |
7 of 9
3 of 13 |
4 of 8
0 of 1
• Serialized works are eligible only in the quarter in which they conclude.
NovellasJ. H. Malone, Roundup
Short StoriesThéodore de Banville, Fire Stealer
Gary Clifton, The Decision Button
Jeffrey Greene, The Stranger from Syllamar
Evelyn M. Lewis, A Solipsist's Country
Ana Teresa Pereira, The Dark Pond
Dan Sexton-Riley, The Skein of a Life
Charles David Taylor, Delphi, Voice from the Cloud
Howard Zaharoff, Escher Dines Alone
Flash FictionColeman Bomar, The New Fatherhood
Gary Clifton, Llorona
PoetryStephen Ellams, Lizzie Siddal
LindaAnn LoSchiavo, Lethe’s Lullaby
Peter Roberts, In a Maryland Graveyard
Short PoetryEdward Ahern, Breaking Waves
Meg Smith, Yellow Weeds
Discussions and Challenge Responses
MemoirsCharles C. Cole, My Friend the Bully
Boris Kokotov, For My Brother
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 or more reasons. The titles are listed in descending order with the most controversial first. Four 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.
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.