Review: Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 134

Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 134 (Clarkesworld Magazine, #134)Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 134 by Neil Clarke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wasn’t quite into this one as much as some other recent issues. Here are my reviews per story:

Prasetyo Plastics – Less of a traditional story and more of a meditation on unbridled capitalism that does not descend into a libertarian dystopia. Rather, it’s another that asks if we truly realize what we’re doing to this planet on a scale that we believe has never been attempted before.

Retrieval: Fantasy with some sci-fi elements. Kinda Ghostbusters in space.
Dead Heroes: A weird and very sad meditation on technology, the environment, and dementia metaphors.
Who won the battle of Arsia Mons: Told as a news story about a robot competition that quickly gets more and more complex. I really enjoyed both the story and the tone.
The Catalog of Virgins (translated): A weird retelling of the Bluebeard fairy tale that I found didn’t really make any sense (to me) and I didn’t really get it.
Second Person, Present Tense: A really neat story about the nature of consciousness revolving around a drug that removes some of the consciousness. I wonder if the author was inspired by the sleeping pill stuff that was going on in the early 2000s where folks would do all sorts of things without any memory of it (story originally published in 2005). I think it works really well and also touches lots of little interesting areas about life, the pressures put on us and the pressures we put on ourselves.
Martian Blood: An alternate universe where there were Martians on Mars somewhat similar to the Edgar Rice Bouroughs stories. A good story and written in an older pulp style.Science Fiction and the Fall of the Evil Empire: I thought this was going to be about changing tropes, but it turned out to be a survey of SF movies in the USSR. Pretty neat seeing how the subversion worked.
Huskey Genes…Paul McAuley: Interview about new book.
Another Word: Listen UP!: A look at how audiobooks have been transformed by technology and a theory on why their sales continue to rise.
Editor’s Desk: The Voice in the Shadows: About overcoming both impostor symdrome and public speaking fears.
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