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Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories’
Third Quarterly Review, 2016

Year 15 of Bewildering Stories

The Editors’ Choices: issues 672-683

The Quarterly and Annual Reviews 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 third quarter of 2016. 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 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, no one 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 enable us to converse with our contributors and 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 856 votes on 91 titles, 44 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 is as hot as ever, with 15 items.
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 684 on September 26, 2016.

Titles selected of titles eligible
1 of 1

0 of 4
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
15 of 36
6 of 7
1 of 1
Short Poetry
Essays & Memoirs
7 of 13
11 of 26
3 of 3


Elous Telma, Oikos Nannion

Short Stories

Edward Ahern, Listen to the Deaf Man Sing
Charlie Allison, Krish's New Pet
Gary Clifton Patrick Doerksen, The Grumbling Dark
Ada Fetters Bill Kowaleski, Intelligent Designers
Stuart North, Root Causes: A Tale of Zodom
Roger Pitcher, Your Humble Servants
Bill Prindle, Mere Chance
Nidhi Singh, The Carrot Is Mightier Than the Sword
Martin Westlake, Hemming
Joanna M. Weston, The Mouse Hole Ad
Lewayne L. White, Sunrise and Dawn


Charles C. Cole, What We Do Together

Flash Fiction

Gary Clifton, Madman at the Gate
Charles C. Cole M. C. Tuggle, Whisper Listing


Shola Balogun Lana Bella James R. Rudolph

Short Poetry

David Adès, Hole in One
Edward Ahern Shola Balogun Lana Bella Bill Kowaleski

Essays & Memoirs

Charles C. Cole, Better Off Forgotten
Ada Fetters, Different Spaces
Andrew Sacks, Grandmaster Fearless


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


On the Imbalance Beam
Gloat ’Em If You Got ’Em
Pull Over
Now Hear That
Missed It by That Much
Is Rusty the New Orange?
Everything Literally
Out Loud in Real Life


Born on a Friday in March
J-Cap and Frank
The Dream World in Oikos Nannion
Dreams in Oikos Nannion
Contact With the Depths
Authors and Characters

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. Eleven 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. Michael Siciliano, The Betrayal of Zoar
  2. Bill Prindle, Mere Chance
  3. James R. Rudolph, Born on a Friday in March
  4. Carl Ross Beideman, The Potential Man
  5. Elous Telma, Oikos Nannion
  6. Martin Westlake, Hemming
  7. Charles C. Cole, The White-Faced Dog
  8. Lana Bella, Pulsing Metal Wheels
  9. Ada Fetters, Ambi-Man
  10. Shola Balogun, Distant Voices
  11. Gary Clifton, Buchanan and Tonya
  12. Donnie Hollingsworth, The Angel
  13. David Adès, Hole in One
  14. Stephan James, Unity of the Citizenry
  15. Gary Clifton, Murder Me Tenderly

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. Two “telescopes” in any genre indicate a tie. 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
Essays & Memoirs

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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Copyright © September 19, 2016 by Bewildering Stories

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