Clarkesworld 93 - May 2014
Edited by Neil Clarke
Cover Artist: Mecha Collab by Artur Fast and Kemane Ba
Review by Sam Tomaino
Clarkesworld eZine / Magazine / Podcas ISBN/ITEM#: 1937-7843
Date: 27 June 2014
Links: Clarkesworld / How to Support / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Clarkesworld #93 is here and it's just perfect.
The first story is "wHole" by Robert Reed -+- This one is strange, even for Robert Reed. A man is driving a car at night. There is a woman in the passenger seat. The man is talking to himself. The woman is awake but slumped against the door. There appear to be an untold number of people in the back. All this is witnessed by the car which is intelligent but has no idea where it is going. The man eventually stops and he and the woman get out of the car. He digs a circular pit. As the car watched, the man, and, then, the woman tells the story of their lives and things become clearer to the car. More, I won't spoil except to say that Reed has written another fine story.
"Pepe" by Tang Fei, translated by John Chu -+- Our narrator is visiting an amusement park with a girl named Pepe. But things aren't what they seem. Our narrator (unnamed) and Pepe are both artificially created beings with a spring inside, slowly unwinding. The narrator does not know where the key to the spring is. The two of them had been built in the days of the grandparents of today's real people. Their creator was a drunk who built them to tell stories. But he suddenly wanted to destroy them so all the created storytellers fled, our narrator holding tightly on to Pepe's hand. For some reason, the people of that time hunted the others down and killed them. They knew who was one of the storytellers because all they could do was tell stories, not answer a simple question. Our narrator has found a way around that but Pepe has gone mad and is a danger to him. Something happens at the very end that really brings this story into focus. Nicely told.
"Communion" by Mary Anne Mohanraj -+- Chaurin is a member of a saurian race and has come to the planet Kriti to retrieve the remains of his brother Guarav. His brother had died during civil unrest, saving the lives if Narita and Amara. An explosion had left only a few actual remains of Guarav, and Chaurin is concerned that the many members of his family will not be able to consume the remains as is their custom. Narita suggests that he make a soup and this seems a practical idea. Charin has further interaction with the women, a couple who want to have a baby but disagree about particulars. This was an incredibly poignant, beautifully written tale.
There are also two reprinted stories, "Lambing Season" by Molly Gloss and "Have Not Have" by Geoff Ryman. I do not review reprinted stories but I hope you enjoy them and since these are both classics, I am sure you will.
The stories in Clarkesworld are always available, you can check them out at their website (see link at the top of this review).