Review: Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 131

Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 131 (Clarkesworld Magazine, #131)Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 131 by Neil Clarke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With this issue, there were a ton of stories that had killer endings and worlds that I wanted to spend more time in. Strongly recommend!!! See below for a per-story review that may expand on my status updates:

Twisted Knots: A story involving a character who sees the world in geometric terms. It turns out to be a beautiful story about loss and dealing with loss.

Reversion: A story that seems to serve as metaphor for being trans (and maybe larger ideas in the same plane) involving someone who married an Alien as part of a diplomatic mission and ended up with a psychic link with that person, only to have the mission called off. The author does a great job of communicating the inner feelings of our protagonist. An awesome story and I want more in this world!

The Stone Weta: A neat story about a group of scientists working against falsification of data told through clever use of code names relating to various animal and plant species. Love this story even if the reality it conveys is depressing.

In the Blind: A psychological story about a couple of astronauts stranded in space.

A Man out of Fashion (translated): Over time I’ve read MANY SF Rip Van Winkle stories (and seen many movies), but the setup of this one, with our hapless protagonist was so unique and great to read. The author has put a lot of thought into this new world and seeing our protagonist evolve as he gets used to it is great reading. And what an ending it has!

Fleet: A story set after a huge EMP goes off in South East Asia. Very interesting culture has grown in what seems like just one generation since the EMP. Protagonist is trans, seemingly in a culture that’s OK with it. Towards the end we find out the new timeline. And also, a GREAT ENDING. This issue is killing it with great endings.

Venice Drowned: In the aftermath of Global Warming – a piece about how those in Venice have adapted and made a new life. A nice piece. It has modest character growth, but what it’s truly about is survival in a world that has been ravaged by nature.


How to invent an Alien Language? A linguist perspective: A great primer on how to avoid various pitfalls when creating new languages for the aliens (or other creatures) in your SFF stories.

Pirate Pharma…Annalee Newitz: About her novel Autonomous and robot rights and economics.

The Subtle art of Promotion: Cat Rambo (SFWA president at least twice) talks about the challenges of promotion nowadays, especially with social media being such a fraught place for many folks. She also suggests some remedies.

Editor’s Desk: Clarke answers a bunch of questions from twitter. It’s fun and insightful.

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