RogerBW's Blog

Clarkesworld 160, January 2020 24 January 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.

"I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter", by Isabel Fall, has a clickbait title hiding some good if implausible ideas about rewriting gender-based instincts for military use, and how the concept of queering is still useful in that context. It's a bit rough and ready, especially in its worldbuilding, but it works remarkably well. I haven't previously heard of Fall but I'll definitely be keeping a lookout for this name in future.

"Monster", by Naomi Kritzer, is a tale of biohacking and revenge, but where it shines is in the gender relations. Predictable but solid.

"The AI That Looked at the Sun", by Filip Hajdar Drnovšek Zorko, is a bit hazy but does its best to show why this AI became conscious in this particular way.

"The Last to Die", by Rita Chang-Eppig, tries to say something profound about the people who were too old for immortality treatment when it was invented, but wanders off into reassuring platitude.

"The Perfect Sail", by I-hyeong Yun, translated by Elisa Sinn and Justin Howe, has some intriguing ideas about integrating the personalities of one's parallel-timeline equivalents when they're near death, but ends up not really saying anything.

"The Ancestral Temple in a Box", by Chen Qiufan, translated by Emily Jin, suffers in translation but has a good theme about suppressed cultures and the transition from human- to machine-mediated art.

"Reshuffling Evolution", by Douglas F. Dluzen, is the usual high-level overview, this time of non-protein-coding DNA.

"Charging A Brick Wall: A Conversation with Walter Jon Williams", by Arley Sorg, gets me interested in Williams' fantasy novel, and it takes a lot to interest me in fantasy even when it's by Williams.

"The Color of Nature: A Conversation with Victo Ngai", by Arley Sorg, makes a decent fist of talking about visual art.

"Editor's Desk: A Bucket of Things", by Neil Clarke, tells us that his implanted defibrillator needs maintenance, looks back on five years of translated Chinese SF in the magazine, and tells us that nominations will soon open for the magazine's awards.

Hugo nomination for the Kritzer, and if I see anything else this good by Fall I'm likely to put her up for the Astounding: needs more practice but also should be encouraged to write more.

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Previous in series: Clarkesworld 159, December 2019 | Series: Clarkesworld | Next in series: Clarkesworld 161, February 2020

  1. Posted by John Dallman at 09:25pm on 24 January 2020

    The Fall story has been taken down, after many comments. Full details at Clarkesworld.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 09:33pm on 24 January 2020

    Huh. Thanks. I never look at the Clarkesworld comments (I pull the HTML pages to my ebook device because I'm a cheapskate, and this omits the javascript that loads the comments).

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