Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, early July 2015

Here are the Dell digests, along with a couple of ezines. I found plenty of stories this time to reward the reading, if not to add to the award list.


Publications Reviewed
  • Lightspeed, 62 July 2015
  • Asimov’s, August 2015
  • Analog, September 2015
  • Kaleidotrope, Summer 2015


Lightspeed, July 2015

The zine is only posting three individual stories this month, with two installments of a long novelette. The editor clearly ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, late June 2015

Looking at a miscellaneous bunch of ezines, not finding any real stars in them. Hoping to have the digests in for July.


Publications Reviewed
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies #175-176, June 2015
  • Tor.com, June 2015
  • GigaNotoSaurus, June 2015
  • Perihelion, June 2015
  • Aphelion, June 2015
  • Fireside, June 2015


Beneath Ceaseless Skies #175-176, June 2015

#175 has women going forth on adventures; #176 has women with a destiny.


“On Freedom of ...Read More Read more

Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, mid-June 2015

This time I feature the latest “Destroy” special issue from Lightspeed, from which I give the increasingly rare Good Story award to Chaz Brenchley. Also the June stories from Strange Horizons, from which I like the Evanby.


Publications Reviewed
  • Lightspeed, June 2015
  • Strange Horizons, June 2015


Lightspeed, June 2015

Special “Queers Destroy Science Fiction!” issue, the latest but not last of the “Destroy” series, this one with Seanan ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, early June

It’s getting kind of unusual to see more than one print publication at a time. This time, I prefer their stories overall to the webzines.


Publications Reviewed
  • F&SF, July/Aug 2015
  • Clarkesworld, June 2015
  • Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, June 2015
  • Apex Magazine, June 2015


F&SF, July/Aug 2015

Featuring a novella by Rachel Pollack. What I like in this issue are a couple of the shorter pieces, most notably the ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, late May 2015

I find one favorite story in each of the publications reviewed this time.


Publications Reviewed
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies #173-174, May 2015
  • Tor.com, May 2015
  • Analog, July/August 2015
  • Asimov’s, July 2015


Beneath Ceaseless Skies #173-174, May 2015

There’s no obvious connection between the stories in Issue #173; both stories in #174, the better issue, are set on rivers bordering an otherland. I note an interesting contrast between these two ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, mid-May

A bunch of shorter publications in which I find little to be very enthusiastic about.


Publications Reviewed
  • Lightspeed, May 2015
  • Strange Horizons, May 2015
  • Apex Magazine, May 2015
  • Shimmer, May 2015


Lightspeed, May 2015

Finally ending [or so it seems] Hughes’ “Erm Kaslo” serial, with the rest of the original fiction on the short and weak side.

“Time Bomb Time” by C C Finlay

Hannah’s boyfriend is messing ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, early May

The best fiction this time comes from The Dark, which is free from the taint of sentimentality that I find all too frequently in the other publications.


Publications Reviewed
  • The Dark, May 2015
  • Interzone, May/June 2015
  • Clarkesworld, May 2015
  • Uncanny, May/June 2015
  • Fingerbones, by Erzebet Yellowboy


The Dark, May 2015

A particularly good issue of this dark fantasy zine. The four stories divide into two groups: one darkly ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, late April

Giving the Good Story award this time to the Malik piece at Tor.com, where I found a couple near-misses as well.


Publications Reviewed
  • Tor.com, April 2015
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies 170-172, April 2015
  • Strange Horizons, April 2015
  • Lackington’s, Spring 2015


Tor.com, April 2015

A fine novella here from Usman T Malik. I wanted to enjoy the other two stories, but couldn’t get over some stumbling blocks.

“Ballroom Blitz” by ...Read More Read more

Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, mid-April

Featuring a special issue of Analog, plus its sister zine and a couple of online publications.


Publications Reviewed
  • Analog, June 2015
  • Asimov’s, June 2015
  • Unlikely Story, April 2015
  • Kaleidotrope, Spring 2015


Analog, June 2015

This issue marks a very notable milestone for the magazine: number one thousand, counting from the Astounding era. That’s venerable. That’s longevity. To mark the occasion, there are a number of commemorative essays, which, ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, early April

I manage to sift out some good stories this time, most noticeably in Clarkesworld.


Publications Reviewed
  • F&SF, May/June 2015
  • Clarkesworld, April 2015
  • Lightspeed, April 2015


F&SF, May/June 2015

Regular readers of this magazine will be aware that despite the presence of a new editor onboard, there is still a lot of existing inventory stored in the hold. Some may wish to entertain themselves speculating as to which fiction ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, late March

A mixed bag of publications this time, including a medium-sized anthology. Interzone gets my highest recommendation, with the Good Story award to Alastair Reynolds.


Publications Reviewed
  • Interzone, March/April 2015
  • Tor.com, March 2015
  • Shimmer, March 2015
  • Operation Arcana, edited by John Joseph Adams


Interzone, March/April 2015

An enjoyable issue. The Reynolds story in particular makes me glad I keep reading this British zine.

“A Murmuration” by Alastair Reynolds

Dark ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, mid-March

Here are a long independent novella, the Dell digests, and a couple March ezines.


Publications Reviewed
  • Slow Bullets, by Alastair Reynolds
  • Asimov’s, April/May 2015
  • Analog, May 2015
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies #168-169, March 2015
  • Strange Horizons, March 2015


Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds

A long independent novella, military space opera, less action-oriented than a character study. Scur, our narrator, is a soldier, conscripted for the long-ongoing war between two ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, early March


Publications Reviewed
  • Lightspeed, 58 March 2015
  • Uncanny, 3 March/April 2015
  • Clarkesworld, 102 March 2015
  • Unlikely Story, 8 February 2014
  • Diabolical Plots, March 2015


Lightspeed, March 2015

Stories involving war, in different odd ways. Also another installment in the Hughes “Erm Kaslo” serial.

“Hot Rods” by Cat Sparks

It seems that most of Australia has dried up and blown away, leaving Terina Flat with a broad salt plain, good ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, late February

Concentrating this time on a fairly substantial anthology set on retro-Venus, from which I give the Good Story award to Ian McDonald’s “Botanica Veneris“.


Publications Reviewed
  • Old Venus, edited by George R R Martin and Gardner Dozois
  • Tor.com, February 2015


Old Venus, edited by George R R Martin and Gardner Dozois

A companion volume to the editors’ Old Mars, presenting sixteen stories in the mode ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, mid-February

Looking at the Dell digests plus some of the regular zines that publish throughout the month, with remarks on the rigor of fantasy as well as continuing my comments on science fiction begun in the previous column.


Publications Reviewed
  • Lightspeed, February 2015
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies #166-167, February 2015
  • Strange Horizons, February 2015
  • The Dark, February 2015
  • Asimov’s, March 2015
  • Analog, April 2015


Lightspeed, February 2015

Featuring stories with ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, early February

Featuring the first regular issue of F&SF under the new editorial hand of C C Finlay. I use the issue as a springboard to discuss the state of science fiction and look at the science-fictional state of some smaller zines as well, which leads me to the following conclusion: science fiction is the literature of the new, the different, the not previously conceived. But too much published under the label ...Read More

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Lois Tilton Reviews Short Fiction, late January

While my previous column looked at some new and changing publications, here I find things rather much the same. A number of smaller and less frequent publications reviewed this time, of which I’m most pleased with Unlikely Story.


Publications Reviewed
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies #164-165, January 2015
  • Strange Horizons, January 2015
  • Tor.com, January 2015
  • Unlikely Story, November 2014
  • Kaleidotrope, Winter 2015
  • Shimmer, January 2015
  • Farrago’s Wainscot, January 2015


Beneath ...Read More Read more

Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, mid-January

In this column, I’m looking at new and changed publications, befitting the new year. Notably, we have Clarkesworld in its January issue beginning a program of publishing Chinese authors in translation. Indeed, this seems to be a growing trend, as the second issue of Uncanny is anchored by a fine piece by Hao Jingfang, to which I present this year’s first Good Story Award. I also have the debut issue ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, early January

Looking mostly at the print publications this time, not seeing much difference from the previous year.


Publications Reviewed
  • Asimov’s, February 2015
  • Analog, March 2015
  • Interzone, January/February 2015
  • Lightspeed, January 2015


Asimov’s, February 2015

The issue is anchored by an entertaining novella by Nick Wolven. There’s also an Elizabeth Bear reprint among the novelettes.

“On the Night of the Robo-Bulls and Zombie Dancers” by Nick Wolven

A near-future after ...Read More

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Lois Tilton’s 2014 Reviews in Review

Looking back over 2014 to pick my favorite stories, I don’t see it as a really good year for short SF. From many directions come charges that the field has fallen into a rut, and the evidence doesn’t strongly dispute it. Subterranean Press discontinued its high-quality magazine and no new periodicals have yet risen to replace it, although Uncanny shows promise. Overall, my assessment of this year’s stories would have ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, late December

And that’s it for the year.

My year-end summary of 2014’s best fiction will be posted soon.


Publications Reviewed
  • Lackington’s, Fall 2014
  • Strange Horizons, December 2014
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies #162-163, December 2014
  • Tor.com, December 2014
  • Nobody’s Home, by Tim Powers


Lackington’s, Fall 2014

Subtitled: Institutions. The editor describes the collective tone of these four stories as morose and melancholic, fitting the oppressive nature of the institutions in which ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, early December

Good issues from Clarkesworld and F&SF this time.


Publications Reviewed
  • Clarkesworld, December 2014
  • F&SF, January/February 2015
  • Lightspeed, December 2014
  • Apex Magazine, December 2014


Clarkesworld, December 2014

CW goes out for the year on a pretty strong note. Four stories here, three quite short and one long, that I like best.

“Now Dress Me in My Finest Suit and Lay Me in My Casket” by M Bennardo

Patty, facing ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, Late November

With one foot in the old year and another in the new, I redeem the Good Story award from the pawnshop to bestow on “Where the Trains Turn” from Tor.com.


Publications Reviewed
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies #160-161, November 2014
  • Tor.com, November 2014
  • Analog, January/February 2015
  • Asimov’s, January 2015


Beneath Ceaseless Skies #160-161, November 2014

There are no obvious thematic links between the stories in either of these issues. The ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, mid-November

A miscellaneous column this time, with a number of smaller and less-regular publications, one being the debut issue of a new e-magazine, Uncanny.


Publications Reviewed
  • Uncanny #1, November/December 2014
  • Interzone, November/December 2014
  • Shimmer, November 2014
  • Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, December 2014
  • Lightspeed, November 2014
  • Strange Horizons, November 2014


Uncanny Magazine #1, November/December 2014

Lynne M Thomas was previously editor of Apex Magazine. Now she and Michael Damian Thomas ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, early November

Regular readers of these columns will be aware that I keep looking for high quality Hard SF, a quest not often fulfilled. Lately, it seems that the ground may be more fertile for this subgenre in anthologies than periodicals. Here’s another, with an intriguing hint of hardness in the title, as well as some of the usual periodical short fiction.


Publications Reviewed
  • Carbide Tipped Pens, edited by Ben Bova
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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, late October

This time, the bonus fiction comes from Beneath Ceaseless Skies, with a sixth anniversary double issue added onto a three-issue month. We also have more of the regular and less regular ezines. I give the high scores for October to BCS and Tor.com.


Publications Reviewed
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies #157-159, October 2014
  • The Dark, November 2014
  • Strange Horizons, October 2014
  • Tor.com, October 2014
  • Kaleidotrope, Autumn 2014
  • Bastion, October 2014

  ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, mid-October

The genre’s editors seem to be adding a lot of bonus short fiction for October. More to read, beginning with the year-end issues of Asimov’s and Analog, both among the better of the year.


Publications Reviewed
  • Asimov’s, December 2014
  • Analog, December 2014
  • Lightspeed, October 2014
  • Fantasy Magazine, October 2014
  • On Spec, Summer 2014


Asimov’s, December 2014

This zine is wrapping up the publishing year on a strong note. ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, early October

The crushing noise you don’t hear is the sound of the fiction avalanche that’s come down on my head over the last month. I’m trying to read myself out from under, but it looks like I just may not get to everything in a timely manner.

This column features the anthology Hieroglyph, from which I give the Good Story award to the Doctorow. Also several regular periodicals.


Publications ...Read More Read more

Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, late September

And this time the stories are fantasy, with an anthology edited by Jonathan Strahan, whose collections are better known for hard science fiction. Also the September offerings from Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Tor.com. Finally, for a change of pace, a science fiction novella by Genevieve Valentine.


Publications Reviewed
  • Fearsome Magics, edited by Jonathan Strahan
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies #155-156, September 2014
  • Tor.com, September 2014
  • Dream Houses, by Genevieve Valentine

  ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, mid-September

A whole lot of material showing up this time, and most of it science fiction, with both Dell digests appearing, one a double, and both with sequel novellas, which I generally consider a bad idea. Also the September stories from Strange Horizons and a long independent fantasy novella.


Publications Reviewed
  • Asimov’s, October/November 2014
  • Analog, November 2014
  • Strange Horizons, September 2014
  • The Don’t Girls, Octavia Cade


Asimov’s, October/November 2014 ...Read More Read more

Lois Tilton reviews Short fiction, early September

I’m finding the best fiction in Interzone this time.


Publications Reviewed
  • Interzone #254, September/October 2014
  • Coming Soon Enough, edited by Stephen Cass
  • Clarkesworld, September 2014
  • Apex Magazine, September 2014
  • Lightspeed, September 2014


Interzone #254, September/October 2014

A Nina Allan special issue, introducing her new nonfiction column.

“Mirielena” by Nina Allan

Noah is a refugee, a poet from somewhere in the Mideast, now applying for asylum in Britain. Despair ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, late August

A lot of fantasy here, little actual science fiction.


Publications Reviewed
  • Lightspeed, 51 August 2014
  • Strange Horizons, August 2014
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 153-154 August 2014
  • Tor.com, August 2014
  • Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, 30 September 2014


Lightspeed, August 2014

Only the Owomoyela piece is really science fiction.

“Undermarket Data” by An Owomoyela

A dystopia future in which wealth inequality has led to division between Upcity and the districts, where ...Read More

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