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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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, mid-August

Just two works here this time: the September issue of F&SF and a cyborg anthology from the publishers of the ezine Clarkesworld, which adds up to just about as many stories as usual, or maybe more.


Publications Reviewed
  • F&SF, September/October 2014
  • Upgraded, edited by Neil Clarke


F&SF, September/October 2014

Back to the regular lineup of suspects here, after the last, guest-edited issue that offered some rare fresh author ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, early August

Featuring the final issue of Subterranean Online magazine, a great loss to readers looking for good fiction, particularly at the novella length. Subterranean Press will undoubtedly continue to publish single-volume novellas, which alas I see all too infrequently for review. I also read the regular first-of-the-month zines.


Publications Reviewed
  • Subterranean, Summer 2014
  • Clarkesworld, 95 August 2014
  • The Dark, August 2014
  • Apex Magazine, August 2014


Subterranean, Summer 2014

It ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, late July

This time, scheduling issues led to a shorter column than usual. I guess it averages out.


Publications Reviewed
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies #151-152, July 2014
  • Tor.com, July 2014
  • Scale-Bright by Benjanun Sriduangkaew


Beneath Ceaseless Skies #151-152, July 2014

The first issue has people afflicted by their pasts, the second by hostile forces. The one I like is the Marshall.


“Rappaccini’s Crow” by Cat Rambo

Referencing the Hawthorne classic, ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, mid-July

Scheduling changes make this column an especially long one. It would have been considerably longer if I’d reviewed the all-too-numerous serializations, which is not my practice here. At least I managed to get caught up.

For the good stories, look at Interzone and the little zine Shimmer.


Publications Reviewed
  • Asimov’s, September 2014
  • Analog, October 2014
  • Interzone, July/August 2014
  • Strange Horizons, July 2014
  • Lightspeed, July 2014
  • Shimmer, May 2014
  • Heroic
...Read More Read more

Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, early July

This wasn’t the column I’d intended to write, but material for review doesn’t always come in according to my plans. So here are a couple of the regular periodical, a less-regular one, and a couple of new [at least to me] publications. My favorite is Unlikely Story.

Here is also a theme, inspired or perhaps incited by the recent issues of Clarkesworld analyzing in great detail the publication statistics of ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, late June

Trying to catch up here after losing some time to an emergency. This column features a Hard SF anthology.


Publications Reviewed
  • Reach for Infinity, edited by Jonathan Strahan
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 149,150 June 2014
  • Strange Horizons, June 2014
  • Tor.com, June 2014


Reach for Infinity, edited by Jonathan Strahan

Another in the editor’s fine “Infinity” series of Hard SF anthologies on the subject of human expansion into space. This ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, mid-June

Here are a bunch of the usual monthly zines.


Publications Reviewed
  • Asimov’s, August 2014
  • Analog, September 2014
  • Clarkesworld, June 2014
  • Apex Magazine, June 2014


Asimov’s, August 2014

The issue is anchored by a novella from Jay O’Connell; I can’t say any of these pieces enthuse me greatly.

“Of All Possible Worlds” by Jay O’Connell

In 1997, Costas, an unemployed youngish man with multiple useless degrees [Nonviolent Studies] is ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, early June

June looks to be a very interesting month in genre short fiction, with special, guest-edited issues of some of our more prominent zines, notably F&SF and Lightspeed, the latter expanded to several times its normal length.


Publications Reviewed
  • F&SF, July/August 2014
  • Lightspeed, June 2014


F&SF, July/August 2014

An issue guest-edited by C C Finlay, via electronic submission, and featuring some less usual suspects for this zine. There is ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, late May

Playing catch-up here, trying to cover as many publications as I can get in before the end of the month. The prize this time goes to Tor.com, offering a fine set of original stories.


Publications Reviewed
  • Interzone 252, May/June 2014
  • Tor.com, May 2014
  • Lightspeed, May 2014
  • Strange Horizons, May 2014
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies #146-148, May 2014
  • Apex Magazine, May 2014


Interzone 252, May/June 2014

An issue featuring Neil ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, mid-May

This column is mostly taken up with a massive and entertaining anthology full of long-established authors. I also look at a smallish new ezine with new authors.


Publications Reviewed
  • Rogues, edited by George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois
  • Bastion, May 2014


Rogues, edited by George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois

Be careful what you wish for. I’ve remarked a number of times in the course of doing these ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, early May


Publications Reviewed
  • Analog, July/August 2014
  • Asimov’s, July 2014
  • Clarkesworld, May 2014
  • The Dark, May 2014


Analog, July/August 2014

A double issue opening with another installment of Flynn’s Journeyman serial. Readers who’ve been following this extended adventure may well find it the most entertaining story in the issue, although my own favorite is the Esaias. There’s still plenty of room for a near-dozen shorter works, which have inspired some ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, late April

As I began writing this column, the nominations for the Hugo Awards were announced. I was pleased to see some of my recommendations in the short story category. But I also noted that several of the works nominated for the longer awards were stories I hadn’t seen. It’s a reminder that the genre world keeps expanding, and there are stories to be found outside and beyond the usual sources. I ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, mid-April

Winter is over! This time featuring the Spring issue of Subterranean online magazine as well as F&SF.


Publications Reviewed
  • Subterranean, Spring 2014
  • Kaleidotrope, Spring 2014
  • F&SF, May/June 2014


Subterranean, Spring 2014

Seven stories in this quarter’s issue, none that seem to be of novella length.

“The Screams of Dragons” by Kelly Armstrong

As a child, Bobby’s life was cold and grey, except in his dreams of golden palaces. ...Read More

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Lois Tilton reviews Short Fiction, early April

Featuring the June issues of the Dell digests, both with some enjoyable stuff. The real prize, though, is the April Clarkesworld. A Good Story award to both the Swanwick and Wallace pieces.


Publications Reviewed
  • Asimov’s, June 2014
  • Analog, June 2014
  • Clarkesworld, April 2014
  • Apex Magazine, April 2014


Asimov’s, June 2014

A better issue than usual. Particularly liking the Palmer and Tidhar stories.

“Shatterdown” by Suzanne Palmer

Cjoi was ...Read More

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