Review: Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 124

Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 124 (Clarkesworld Magazine, #124)Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 124 by Neil Clarke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great issue. As always Neil Clarke selects some pretty amazing stories for this issue.

The Ghost Ship Anastasia – It’s the space trope no character is ever wise to – you DO NOT inspect a distress call on a space ship!

So of course things go pear-shaped. The specifics of this story involve ships run by AIs and an experimental Bioship in which the ship is partly metal and partly living matter.

A Series of Steaks – Very, very great fun story. This one by it self is worth the price of the issue. Depicts a future in which meat can be 3D printed cheaply (or cheaply enough that’s it’s not just universities doing it). It’s a blackmail-based story. The characters were fun and the so was the conclusion to the story.

Justice Systems in Quantum Parallel Probabilities – Explores a bunch of different ways we could orient the justice system if we were to start from scratch. Some are mere glimpses and some attack the straw man arguments that prop them up. This seems like it would be a great story to give first year law students as a reminder that our way isn’t necessarily the only or best way, it’s just the one we’ve ended up with.

Interchange – A group of workers upgrading a highway get into a time forwarded chunk of space to work on a stretch of highway without interrupting traffic. To the outside world, the highway will be upraded one second later. There’s a glitch and the story takes off from there. Just like space miners, the blue collar folk end up in a terror situation so everyone else can profit from their labor.

Milla – Someone is exploring a new planet and encounters an alien AI. Things go interestingly…..

Events Preceding the Helvetican Renaissance: A SF story in which a monk undertakes an espionage mission. Pretty neat backstory is hinted at. Just about the right level of intrigue for a short story.

The Shipmaker: A story of a designer of ships that have a cyborg birthed to command them. The ship’s design needs to be perfect Feng Shui, but the next cyborg to be born is coming early. A beautiful story and one that takes place in a very interesting universe.

The Evolved Brain: A neuroscientist discusses the way the brain works: so dedicated to movement, and what the consequences of a better understanding of the brain has for SF.

A Collective Pseudonym: James SA Corey: An interview about working together. This Clarkesworld is a few months old, but I just heard JSAC on a recent episode of Sword and Laser. After reading this, moved Leviathon Wakes up in my To Read Queue.

Dystopias are not enough: A Call to authors to use SF to show us a way out of our current some-what dystopic society.

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