RogerBW's Blog

Clarkesworld 161, February 2020 17 March 2020

Clarkesworld is a monthly on-line magazine edited by Neil Clarke.

Everything is available in HTML from the magazine's site, and it can be bought in various other formats.

"Outer" by Hollis Joel Henry: after a big mutation event, the September children have superpowers and everyone else hates them… and that's it, that's all this story has to say. And it says it in Caribbean style ("They go hate you too. They go come for you too. You have to get hard, Toozen. They go mash you up.") If that were my voice I might welcome this story as something written in it. But it isn't, and it doesn't add anything for me.

"Eyes of the Crocodile" by Malena Salazar Maciá, translated by Toshiya Kamei: in a dying world with plot-driven rogue nanotech, bad things happen to people. Several of the stories in this issue have the same problem: there's no life of the mind, nothing that these people (human or otherwise, though in this case they're human) think about beyond a basic idea or two.

"Mandorla" by Cooper Shrivastava has two species of sapient plants failing to understand each other. Again, they don't have any culture so everything they say is straightforward telling. Has a point, but takes 6,000 words to get to it.

"The Host" by Neal Asher has a criminal with holes in his memory going to a strange planet… the writing quality has taken a sharp uptick compared with the rest of this issue because Asher's been at this game for a while, though the story's still rather longer than it needs to be.

"Jigsaw Children" by Grace Chan has the great biotech revolution: in order to prevent cancer, children are produced by gene-splicing four or more parents, and in China at least this means the family has been abolished (um, right). Chan assumes that the reader will share her revulsion at this.

"Generation Gap" by Thoraiya Dyer is some kind of post-human post-apocalyptic bare survival and pointless conflict, and again there's nothing these people think about.

"Jules Verne and a Journey Through Genre" by Carrie Sessarego has a quick examination of how scientific romance turned into science fiction, and tries to make a claim that Twenty Thousand Leagues was much closer to reality than we generally see it. After all, there were submarines in 1871! Well, just about.

"Nanobots and Braincases: A Conversation with Tochi Onyebuchi" and "Faith in Vision: A Conversation with Ken Liu" by Arley Sorg both fail to interest me in these authors' works. I'm probably unreasonably put off Ken Liu because of his translation of The Three-Body Problem.

"Editor's Desk: 2019 Reader's Poll Finalists" by Neil Clarke: it's now too late to vote.

The Asher was all right. The rest of the fiction left me cold. Some issues definitely have moods, and this was one that didn't suit me.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog.

Previous in series: Clarkesworld 160, January 2020 | Series: Clarkesworld | Next in series: Clarkesworld 162, March 2020

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2022 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1