Department header
Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories’
Fourth Quarterly Review, 2018

Year 17 of Bewildering Stories

The Editors’ Choices in issues 779-790


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 — fall or spring, depending on your hemisphere — with the Review Editors’ selection of favorites from the fourth 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 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, Gary Inbinder, Bill Kowaleski, Alison McBain, 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, Heather J. Frederick, and Alison McBain; 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

In the past 12 weeks, the Review Editors cast 925 votes on 88 titles, 28 of which have qualified as Editors’ Choices. We congratulate the authors for a strong fourth quarter. 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 quite 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.

The 2018 Annual Review will appear on December 31.
We resume regular publication with issue 791 on January 7, 2019.

Titles selected of titles eligible

1 of 1
2 of 3
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
14 of 38
2 of 5
Short Poetry
Essays & Memoirs
3 of 19
5 of 20
1 of 2


Danko Antolovic, My Name Is Daedalus


Tom Crowley, When Working Memory Retires
Tim Miller, The Spoons of Jupiter

Short Stories

Leslie Burton-López, Baggage
Gary Clifton, Heather J. Frederick, Bill Kowaleski, Morris J. Marshall, The Bottle Man
Alison McBain, Finale Fortissimo
Ronald Schulte, Creative Differences
Lewayne L. White, FTPD: Homicide
Subodhana Wijereratne, They Meet in the Wall
Clark Zlotchew, The Smell of Land

Flash Fiction

Channie Greenberg, A Bear Walked Into a Bar
Don Webb, The Flying Dutchman of MacKinnon Hall


Mike Acker, Out of the Blue
Jerome Malenfant, A Platypus Once Said to Me
Ljubo Popovich, Absinthe

Short Poetry

Edward Ahern, Robin Helweg-Larsen, Interplanetary Explorer
Oonah V. Joslin, The Box
Anna Ruiz, Anamnesis

Essays & Memoirs

John McBain, Danger, Will Robinson!


Books and Other Reviews


Digging Out
Blowing Town
Trip or Treat
Walls Come A-Tumbling Up
Invented Idioms
Brush Back

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. Five 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. Danko Antolovic, My Name Is Daedalus
  2. Tom Crowley, When Working Memory Retires
  3. Clark Zlotchew, The Smell of Land
  4. Robin Helweg-Larsen, Interplanetary Explorer
  5. Sacha Moore, That Thing With Feathers
  6. Oonah V. Joslin, The Box
  7. Denise O’Hagan, The Hanging
  8. John Urbanek, Gutierrez’ Garden
  9. Mohan Pandey, Beyond Trail’s End
  10. Marc Carver, Trust
  11. Meg Smith, Closing

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
Flash Fiction
Short Poetry

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

Return to top
Go to issue 742
Go to the All Issues index
Go to the Schedule “In Times to Come”

Copyright © December 18, 2018 by Bewildering Stories

Home Page