RogerBW's Blog

Clarkesworld 149, February 2019 23 February 2019

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.

East of the Sun, West of the Stars by Brit E. B. Hvide is a conscious update of a fairy tale. Too conscious? And perhaps a bit too condescending and paternalistic in its treatment of an Amish-like community travelling through space? Not sure, but it didn't sit well with me.

Painwise by Robert Reed, while it has some minimal science-fiction trappings, is mostly about living with someone else's illness. It works but I don't love it.

The Final Ascent by Ian Creasey has humanity, or at least one human, offered an afterlife via mysterious alien glands; it starts developing its ideas in an interesting way, then collapses and ends without reaching anything more than the basics.

Give the Family My Love by A. T. Greenblatt has an astronaut visiting an enigmatic alien library; and it's about despair, and hope, and how they can coexist. I found it rather fine.

The Face of God by Bo Balder has a dead giant falling on the village; but its flesh has miraculous properties. So of course they start strip-mining it; there's fascinating technical climbing here, and it's let down only by the somewhat trite ending.

The Butcher of New Tasmania by Suo Hefu has someone explaining why what he did wasn't genocide. It's all right but slight.

Mother Tongues by S. Qiouyi Lu has a world in which people can sell their knowledge of language. Interesting ideas, but it may well speak more to people who've lived in a second language than it does to me.

Digging by Ian McDonald has a huge Martian terraforming project, and heroic engineering, and then… an anticlimax.

The Mighty Feats of the Everyday Microbe by Douglas F. Dluzen is another stock Dluzen piece, a very quick survey of microbes (gosh, they can do lots of amazing things) with no depth to it. This is only barely beyond the level I'd expect from the sort of person, moderately interested in everything, who is my mental model of a science fiction reader, so I'm not sure what the audience is.

Cable Cars, Explosions, and Life-Sized Griffins: A Conversation with Suzanne Palmer by Chris Urie spends more time hinting about interesting things about this author than it does talking about them, but I'm more interested in Palmer (from whom I've read two short pieces so far) than I was before.

Another Word: Stories that Change the World by Cat Rambo is a thoughtful piece on learning/teaching about transformative stories: what the key elements are, and how to distinguish them from propaganda (I'm not convinced there's a firm line to be drawn, but it's a nice idea).

Editor's Desk: Finalists, Translations, and Awards by Neil Clarke is administrivia: you can now vote for top story of 2018; there will be more translated stories in future issues.

The Greenblatt piece was excellent and may get an award nod from me; as may the Rambo for non-fiction.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

Previous in series: Clarkesworld 148, January 2019 | Series: Clarkesworld | Next in series: Clarkesworld 150, March 2019

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 crystal 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 essen 2023 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 2021 hugo 2022 hugo 2023 hugo 2024 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