Friday, June 1, 2012

Clarkesworld Issue 69 is Now Available

Clarkesworld Issue 69
free online or available by subscription in various ebook formats

Clarkesworld has gotten some high profile attention in the last few years, having won the Hugo for Best Semiprozine in 2010 and 2011.  I've had subscription for the past six months or so.  Time constraints have kept me from finishing all of the issues, but based on everything I've read so far, it's been a good investment. 

This magazine provides a good balance of fiction and nonfiction, and the new issue is no exception.  Here's a closer look at the contents:

"Immersion" by Aliette de Bodard is set on a space habitat in which the inhabitants are long lived.  Tourism is a large part of the economy.  The culture on the station is so different from that of Galactic society that people wear immersers, which help them navigate the customs of the other culture.  This is basically the story of two women, one trapped in her immerser and the other longing to escape hers.

An Owomoyela's "If the Mountain Comes" was my favorite story in the issue.  It's the tale of a young woman whose father is wealthy due to the fact that he controls the only water supply for miles.  And he's ruthless about keeping that control, and by extension, control of his neighbors.  Then one day a man shows up from outside who promises to make the local river, currently dry, flow again. 

Last, but certainly not least, is "You Were She Who Abode" by E. Catherine Tobler is the most complex story in the issue, requiring the reader's full attention.  It's also the most technically accomplished.  It concerns a woman who is a veteran of a horrible war in which children were combatants.  Due to her injuries, she's had an implant to help her maintain her memory.  Only the implant isn't working correctly.

In the nonfiction, we have an essay by Stephen Gaskell, "Energizing Futures:  How SF Fuels Itself", discussing the various methods of energy production throughout the history of science fiction.  I last reviewed Stephen's work here.  The interview ("Neither the Billionaire nor the Tramp: Economics in Speculative Fiction) is a round-robin discussion of economics featuring Elizabeth Bear, N. K. Jemisin, Dani Kollin, Brian Francis Slattery, Charlie Stross, and John C. Wright conducted by Jeremy L. C Jones.  There's lots of good advice for writers in this one.  Daniel Abraham discusses "Assimilation, Multiculturalism, and Me".  Finally, editor Neil Clarke turns statistical in "Clarkesworld by the Numbers".

All in all, I thought this was a strong issue.  The fiction was professional quality and just as good as anything in the main publications such as Asimov's, Analog, or F&SF.  The nonfiction was interesting and thought provoking.  It's easy to see why Clarkesworld has won the Hugo in its category for the last two years.

No comments:

Post a Comment