Thinking about this month’s noted stories, I’m reminded of the rational Isaac Asimov’s comments on how numerology “works” because you can find patterns in anything. In this 12th month (1+2=3), threes and twos (and thus ones) are a recurring motif. This month, I recommend three SF stories (two of which come from Compelling – though the one from Nature really can’t be missed) and three fantasy stories (two of which come from Grievous Angel) and honorably mention three fantasy stories (two of which come from Uncanny). Which is, again, three sets: two of recommendations and just one of honorable mentions. Meaningless, but I’ll admit it is a weird coincidence. These nine tales were chosen, not from 32 stories of 123K words, but from forty December webzine stories of 162K words.
As this year ends, before getting to the list I’ll mention (as I’ve mentioned earlier) that 2018 will bring changes to Featured Futures, which include broader coverage and a different review method. Change has actually already begun, since I’ve reviewed the January/February F&SF (a print zine) and that and all December reviews were an experiment in full Tangent-style reviews for everything. However, as I suspected I would, I’ve decided to move to a happy medium between the original bare “recs” method and the December method. I’ll feel my way towards the precise details over time.
Continuing the theme, a change to note in the webzine world is that Compelling is unfortunately moving from bi-monthly to semi-annual with this month’s issue (but for good reasons rather than bad: the editor and his wife are having a baby).
Now, on with the list.
- “Fifteen Minutes” by Alex Shvartsman, Nature, December 13, 2017, short story
- “Museum Piece” by J. D. Popham, Compelling #10, Winter 2017, short story
- “Redo” by Larry Hodges, Compelling #10, Winter 2017, short story
- “The Boy in the Picture” by Morgan Crooks, Grievous Angel, December 16, 2017, flash
- “The Button Box” by Jamie Lackey, Grievous Angel, December 16, 2017, flash
- “The Wind’s Departure” by Stephen Case, Beneath Ceaseless Skies #240, December 7, 2017, novelette
Note: “The Wind’s Departure” is a conditional recommendation, as I say in the relevant Wrap-Up, because it’s part of a series and, in my opinion, doesn’t entirely stand on its own. I do recommend this if you’ve already read some of the series but don’t recommend starting here.
Also, both of the Grievous Angel stories’ links go to the same post so just pick’n’click the title you like best or something. 😉
- “How to Survive an Epic Journey” by Tansy Rayner Roberts, Uncanny #19, November/December 2017, short story
- “Learning to See Dragons” by Sarah Monette, Uncanny #19, November/December 2017, short story
- “You Will Never Know What Opens” by Mari Ness, Lightspeed #91, December 2017, fantasy short story
Reviews of the Above:
(Since I’ve done complete reviews this month, there’s no need to discuss honorable mentions here as I’ve done before, or to link to the recommendations individually, so there are just links to the reviews which discuss the good stuff.)
- Compelling #10
- Uncanny #19
- Weekly Webzine Wrap-Up (2017-12-09) (discusses the Beneath Ceaseless Skies story)
- Weekly Webzine Wrap-Up (2017-12-16) (discusses the Nature story)
- Weekly Webzine Wrap-Up (2017-12-23) (discusses the Grievous Angel stories)
- Weekly Webzine Wrap-Up (2017-12-29) (discusses the Lightspeed story)