Clarkesworld 84 – September 2013
Edited by Neil Clarke
Cover Artist: Matt Dixon
Review by Sam Tomaino
Clarkesworld Magazine / eZine ISBN/ITEM#: 1937-7843
Date: 25 September 2013
Links: Clarkesworld / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Clarkesworld #84 is here with some new stories.
The first story is "Mar Pacifico" by Greg Mellor –+- In a future where something called the algeron had been developed to put into the seas with the intention of "bring the carbon cycles back into balance", things had gone wrong. The algeron had mutated and washed back onto the land, "absorbing just about every living thing on the planet". Erin and her six-year-old daughter, Kelly, are by the seaside when the algeron forms in the ocean and becomes something that looks like Erin's mother and Kelly's grandmother. Erin hits the creature with a stick and runs away with her daughter. Grandma keeps appearing and Kelly is welcoming but Erin skeptical. This builds to a conclusion that I can't quite accept.
The second story is "The Promise of Space" by James Patrick Kelly -+- Zoe is talking to her husband, Andy. But it's not quite that. Zoe, a science fiction writer had met Captain Kirk Anderson when he gave a speech at a Nebula Awards ceremony. It was love at first sight for both of them. They married but she stopped writing. He had a secret. His two trips to Mars would result in him developing Alzheimer's in his life. He has captured many of their moments. Now, after one last mission in which he saved people's lives, he can only talk to her intelligently through a cognitive prosthesis. A deeply poignant, affecting story.
The third story is "One Flesh" by Mark Bourne and Elizabeth Bourne -+- The story alternates between Jen and Ras, a husband and wife who are in separate stories. In a future in which life has been extended and intelligent life has been discovered on Jupiter, Jen, an artist, has had her mind melded with a Jovian native and is experiencing life on Jupiter. Ras, is dealing with a revelation about something disastrous that has happened to him. There is an overwhelming sense of loss that becomes even more poignant when the biographies of the authors tell us that this is a posthumous collaboration between husband and wife. There is a lot of imagination here, too, as we find out the Jovians share biological roots with us. Beautifully done.
There are also two reprinted stories: "Out of Copyright" by Charles Sheffield and "First Principle" by Nancy Kress. I do not review reprinted stories but I hope you enjoy them.
The stories in Clarkesworld are always available, you can check them out at their website (See the Links section at the top of this review).