Clarkesworld 99 – December 2014
Edited by Neil Clarke
Cover Artist: The Magpie God by Lake Hurwitz
Review by Sam Tomaino
Clarkesworld ISBN/ITEM#: 19377843201412
Date: 29 December 2014
Links: Clarkesworld / How to Support / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
Clarkesworld #99 is here with four new stories.
The first story is "Fatima's Wound" by Kali Wallace. -+- Fatima's Wound is some sort of gateway to elsewhere. Condemned prisoners get sent through it. But when something appears to be coming out of it, everyone wants to go through the wound to avoid what is coming out. Not sure what this is about.
The second story (just over the word count to be a novelette) is "The Magician and Laplace's Demon" by Tom Crosshill -+- Our narrator is an AI that controls events in the universe for the benefit of mankind. It runs into trouble when it finds out that magic exist. It battles magicians for more than a thousand years. It has an extended conversation with the last magician, Alicia Ochoa, before it kills her. But does the AI triumph. That's up for the reader to decide. Fantastic story!
The third story is "Now Dress Me Up in My Finest Suit and Lay Me in My Casket" by M. Bennardo. -+- Our narrator is Patty, who as a young girl, dressed her grandfather up every night and put him in a coffin, so he could get used to death. It didn't work. Now, she is going on a mission in which she is unlikely to return but will save lives. Nice simple story that shows the nature of heroism.
The fourth story is "No Vera There" by Dominica Phetteplace. -+- The Vera that opens our story is being interrogated by people, given personality quizzes (What type of heart do you have?) and asked for a password. She is rescued by people who look just like her. It turns out that they are incomplete downloads of the original Vera who is presumed dead. Our Vera is assigned the number 201 and is considered the least of them. Then, the original Vera shows up. Another story that didn't quite work for me.
There are also three reprinted stories, "The Emperor of Mars" by Allen M. Steele, "The Sledge-Maker's Daughter" by Alastair Reynolds, and "Tongtong's Summer" by Xia Jia. 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 link at the top of this review).