Aside from a two-part novella from BCS (which was just a flash away from counting as a novel), July was a relatively light month in the webzine world. The number of noteworthy stories is also light, but Clarkesworld continued its resurgence with a July issue that was probably even better overall than the June (though each had a standout story), Ellen Datlow picked another for Tor.com, and some other zines also contributed particularly good work.
In addition (and not unrelated) to the Clarkesworld streak, June’s preponderance of SF over F continued in July.
The numbers for this month were thirty-five stories from eleven prozines, of which I read thirty-two of 178K words.
- “Last Chance” by Nicole Kornher-Stace, Clarkesworld, novelette (rec)
- “The Martian Obelisk” by Linda Nagata, Tor.com, short story (rec)
- “Good News” by Jack McDevitt, Nature, short story
- “The Law of Conservation of Data” by John Grant, Lightspeed, novelette
- “The Significance of Significance” by Robert Reed, Clarkesworld, short story
- “Fallow” by Ashley Blooms, Shimmer (May 2017), short story
I mentioned the Reed in the recommendation of the Kornher-Stace story. The McDevitt is a flash on environmental messes and overpopulation. The Grant is a kind of Egan-esque (or anti-Egan-esque) second-person tale with data stream people squirting around black holes except that it’s not supposed to be even better than the real thing.
Because Ashley Blooms’ story seemed so weird, I decided to look for anything else out there that would indicate whether this was an exception or a rule. Turns out she has two other stories and I was able to read “Fallow,” which gets a belated honorable mention. It indicates the weirdness could be a rule, though “Fallow” is a little more generically “literary” somehow and less boldly idiosyncratic.