RogerBW's Blog

Clarkesworld 163, April 2020 24 April 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.

"Distant Stars" by P H Lee is one of those terribly clever stories that tries to do "as above, so below" and make parallels between the wonders of the universe and the utterly mundane breakup of two relationships. It's been done. This says nothing that hasn't been said many times before.

"AirBody" by Sameem Siddiqui posits a system in which people rent out their bodies (and homes) to virtual travellers. Some decent ideas about not assuming stereotypes, but it doesn't go anywhere.

"A System for Investigating Recapitulation and Evolutionary Novelty" by Kyle E Miller has a thoroughly bizarre setting (each person lives, isolated, on their own "leaf") and some interest in exploring it, but no people worth speaking of. "L", like any person in this society, basically knows nothing, not even why she feels an urge to rebel.

"The ThoughtBox" by Tlotlo Tsamaase seems like a tawdry tale of relationship failure and then gets a bit more interesting.

"Debtless" by Chen Qiufan, translated by Blake Stone-Banks: there's a good societal revolution here, and an idea about space mining that's really not as new as it thinks it is, but the author's insistence on having debt encoded in a blockchain into your genes so that you can pass it on to your children just died for me at the first plausibility check. (What if you have more than one child? What if your level of debt changes after you've had the child?)

"Angel Pattern" by Henry Szabranski is a sequel to last year's excellent The Witch of the Weave, which should really be read first. The protagonists of that book travel through the ultra-tech post-apocalypse and reach their goal. Good mood and description, decent characters, and a reasonable plot. (And it has a disabled character whose disability is relevant to the story, rather than just being box-ticking representation.)

"A Machine for Telling Stories: Tarot and Speculative Fiction" by Carrie Sessarego is a very brief overview of the history of the Tarot deck and of its use in F&SF. The latter tends to fall into mere listing.

"Short Stories and Sad Endings: A Conversation with Martha Wells" by Arley Sorg reminds me that Network Effect is coming out in May. But there's also some interesting material on the shape of her career.

"From Kibbutz to Career: A Conversation with Lavie Tidhar" by Arley Sorg reminds me that I've read three Tidhar short stories and not particularly liked any of them. Tidhar has that mannerism I've seen in many Israelis of making everything a brag as well as actually answering the question; it's probably normal behaviour in that culture but I find it offputting.

"Editor's Desk: Lockdown" by Neil Clarke talks about, not working from home, but continuing to do so when other members of the household have just started.

The Szabranski is very much the stand-out here, though tye Tsamaase stayed with me more than I expected it to.

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

Previous in series: Clarkesworld 162, March 2020 | Series: Clarkesworld | Next in series: Clarkesworld 164, May 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 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