Month in Review: January 2019

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This is a slightly re-titled and graphically enhanced version of what used to be the “Monthly Summation” and marks the first month of the two-tiered review system in which eight magazines are fully reviewed and twelve are selectively reviewed. This installment looks back on 96 stories of 502K words which produced just four recommendations and seven honorable mentions. It also includes links to the thirteen relevant reviews and the seven other January articles.

Noted Stories

Recommended

Science Fiction

  • “Applied Linguistics” by Auston Habershaw, Analog, January/February 2019 (short story)
  • Thoughts and Prayers” by Ken Liu, Slate, January 26, 2019 (short story)

Fantasy

Also Mentioned

Science Fiction

  • All Show, No Go” by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro, Galaxy’s Edge #36, January/February 2019 (short story)
  • “All the Smells in the World” by Julie Novakova, Analog, January/February 2019 (short story)
  • Elementary School” by J. D. Trye, Nature, January 30, 2019 (short story)
  • I’ve Got the World on a String” by Edward M. Lerner, Galaxy’s Edge #36, January/February 2019 (short story)
  • Skinned” by Rich Larson, Terraform, January 10, 2019 (short story)
  • VTE” by S. R. Algernon, Nature, January 23, 2019 (short story)

Fantasy

  • “The City of Lost Desire” by Phyllis Eisenstein, F&SF, January/February 2019  (novella)

Reviews

Magazines

Books/Other

News

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Summation: December 2018

December closes the year with little to fully recommend but with several good stories to note, mostly from unusual sources. These half-dozen tales were drawn from the month’s reading of 44 stories of 177K words (plus four November stories of 10K in December’s first review of the weeklies). Aside from the recommended stories, the most interesting items posted this month were probably (hopefully) this site’s “Year’s Best” and the start of the “Collated Contents” of the real “Year’s Bests” (linked in the News section at the end of this post).

Noted Stories

Recommended

Science Fiction

  • The Forest Eats” by Santiago Belluco, Compelling #12, Winter 2018 (short story)

Honorable Mentions

Science Fiction

  • Compulsory” by Martha Wells, Wired, December 17, 2018 (short story)
  • Maximum Outflow” by Adam Rogers, Wired, December 17, 2018 (short story)
  • Overvalued” by Mark Stasenko, Slate, November 27, 2018 (short story)

Fantasy

Reviews

Magazines

News

Edit (2019-01-01): Bumped story/word counts to include two stories which came out after the “2018-12-28 Wrap-Up” (which has also been edited to mention them).

Summation: November 2018

The issues of Clarkesworld and F&SF were especially strong and Galaxy’s Edge had a couple of nice tales. I also did a special review of the resurrected Amazing‘s August “Fall” issue this November. On the other hand, in general, non-prozine news, Shimmer ceased publication and I noticed that the long-dormant SQ Mag had finally acknowledged its death in September. Speaking of death, this month’s wombat was at least three excellent stories in which the deaths of mothers and a sister played significant parts.

The tally for November was 79 stories of 482K words (plus five October stories of 19K in November’s first review of the weeklies) with thirteen noted and six of those recommended. In more general site news, I’ve decided on Featured Futures‘ 2019 coverage. The link to that is in the “News” section at the end of this post.

Noted Stories

Recommended

Science Fiction

  • “Empress of Starlight” by G. David Nordley, Analog, November/December 2018 (novelette)
  • “Foster Earth” by Julie Czerneda, Amazing, Fall 2018 (short story)
  • The Gift of Angels: an introduction” by Nina Allan, Clarkesworld #146, November 2018 (novelette)
  • Octo-Heist in Progress” by Rich Larson, Clarkesworld #146, November 2018 (short story)

Fantasy

  • “The Lady of Butterflies” by Y. M. Pang, F&SF, November/December 2018 (novelette)
  • The Thing About Ghost Stories” by Naomi Kritzer, Uncanny #25, November/December 2018 (novelette)

Honorable Mentions

Science Fiction

  • “Joyride” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Asimov’s, November/December 2018 (novella)
  • A Waltz in Eternity” by Gregory Benford, Galaxy’s Edge #35, November/December 2018 (novelette)

Fantasy

  • “The Baron and His Floating Daughter” by Nick DiChario, F&SF, November/December 2018  (short story)
  • Cat Lady” by Susan Taitel, Galaxy’s Edge #35, November/December 2018 (short story)
  • The Coal Remembers What It Was” by Paul R. Hardy, Diabolical Plots #45B, November 16, 2018 (short story)
  • Godzilla vs. Buster Keaton or: I Didn’t Even Need a Map” by Gary A. Braunbeck, Apex #114, November 2018 (novelette)
  • “Thanksgiving” by Jeffrey Ford, F&SF, November/December 2018 (short story)

Reviews

Magazines

News

Edit (2019-01-17): Corrected the description of a magazine review.

Summation: October 2018

October was fairly light in both total and noted stories. Counting a couple of late September stories in the month’s first Wrap-Up, there were 39 of the former, weighing in at about 215K words, and a half-dozen of the latter at about 41K (with two recommendations of 7K). Somewhat unusually, Nature and CRES produced the recommended tales, with a science fantasy from Lightspeed and a trio of BCS fantasies from one of its anniversary issues getting the honorable mentions.

Thanks to those folks who have shared their thoughts about which magazines Featured Futures should cover in 2019; they’ve already been very helpful but the more thoughts, the better. While the poll‘s the easiest to keep track of, if you don’t want to participate in it but would still like to provide input, feel free to contact me directly or to leave a comment on the poll’s blog post.

Noted Stories

Recommended

Science Fiction

Fantasy

  • The Mirror Crack’d” by Jordan Taylor, Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, September 30, 2018 (short story)

Honorable Mentions

Fantasy

Reviews

Magazines

Books/Other

News

Edit (2018-10-31): added last October Links post and review of The Dark.

Summation: September 2018

Edit (2018-10-12): added Analog review; updated noted stories, story/word count. (2018-10-17): as above, but for Galaxy’s Edge. (2018-10-24): as above, but for F&SF.

Apologies for taking so long to finish what I read for this month. I ended up reading 90 stories of about 533K words. That netted fourteen noted stories (four recs), with Lightspeed‘s special issue, Asimov’s, Analog, and Galaxy’s Edge contributing multiple tales.

In other magazine news, while I mentioned it in a “Links” post, I neglected to note in the last “Summation” that Grievous Angel (speculative microfiction) closed at the end of last month. This month, word came that the YA zine Cicada (which published SF & F as part of its mix) is now defunct.

Noted Stories

Recommended

Science Fiction

  • “In the Sharing Place” by David Erik Nelson, Asimov’s, September/October 2018 (short story)
  • Nine Last Days on Planet Earth” by Daryl Gregory, Tor.com, September 19, 2018 (novelette)

Fantasy

  • Jump” by Cadwell Turnbull, Lightspeed #100, September 2018 (short story)
  • Shadowdrop” by Chris Willrich, Beneath Ceaseless Skies #261, September 27, 2018 (novella)

Honorable Mentions

Science Fiction

  • “3-adica” by Greg Egan , Asimov’s, September/October 2018 (novella)
  • “Hard Mary” by Sofia Samatar, Lightspeed #100, September 2018 (novelette)
  • “Harry and the Lewises” by Edward M. Lerner, Analog, September/October 2018 (novella)
  • “It Came from the Coffee Maker” by Martin L. Shoemaker, Analog, September/October 2018 (short story)
  • Lions and Gazelles” by Hannu Rajaniemi, Slate, September 27, 2018 (short story)
  • “We Mete Justice with Beak and Talon” by Jeremiah Tolbert, F&SF, September/October 2018 (short story)

Fantasy

Reviews

Magazines

News

Summation: August 2018

This month has been doubly strange. Despite reading 42 stories of about 201K words from the August magazines, I’m in the unprecedented and unpleasant position of only being able to note one story (and that’s not even fully recommended). Counting a late July story and things for a couple of Tangent reviews, I read 59 stories of about 324K words this month and can at least add two recs and another honorable mention, all from the July/August Black Static, but only one of those is even speculative with the other two being straight horror.

Noted Stories

Recommended

Fantasy

  • “The Monstrosity in Love” by Sam Thompson, Black Static #64, July/August 2018 (dark fantasy short story)

Horror

  • “The Blockage” by Jack Westlake, Black Static #64, July/August 2018 (non-speculative short story)

Honorable Mentions

Science Fiction

Horror

  • “Why We Don’t Go Back” by Simon Avery, Black Static #64, July/August 2018 (non-speculative novelette)

Reviews

Magazines

Books/Other

News

 

Summation: July 2018

Here are the fifteen noted stories (four recommended) from the 92 stories of 503 Kwds I read from the July issues along with links to all their reviews and the other July posts on Featured Futures. This month’s wombat was a remarkable number of mostly print SF honorable mentions while all the few other items (except an excellent F&SF dark fantasy) came from the web.

Noted Stories

Recommended

Science Fiction

  • Chasing the Start” by Evan Marcroft, Strange Horizons, July 9, 2018 (novelette)
  • The Nearest” by Greg Egan, Tor.com, July 19, 2018 (novelette)

Fantasy

  • “Hainted” by Ashley Blooms, F&SF, July/August 2018 (short story)
  • A Song of Home, the Organ Grinds” by James Beamon, Lightspeed #98, July 2018 (short story)

Honorable Mentions

Science Fiction

  • “Broken Wings” by William Ledbetter, F&SF, July/August 2018 (novelette)
  • “A Crystal Dipped in Dreams” by Auston Habershaw, Analog, July/August 2018 (novelette)
  • “Left to Take the Lead” by Marissa Lingen, Analog, July/August 2018 (novelette)
  • Resigned” by Floris M. Kleijne, Galaxy’s Edge #33, July/August 2018 (short story)
  • “Starship Mountain” by Allen M. Steele, Asimov’s, July/August 2018 (novella)
  • “True Jing” by Zack Be, Asimov’s, July/August 2018 (novelette)
  • “Until We Are Utterly Destroyed” by Frank Wu, Analog, July/August 2018 (novelette)
  • Your Face” by Grace Tang, Nature, July 11, 2018 (short story)

Fantasy

Reviews

Magazines

News