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Clarkesworld 104 May 2015
Edited by Neil Clarke
Cover Artist: Julie Dillon's Io Emissary
Review by Sam Tomaino
Clarkesworld Magazine / eZine / Podcas  ISBN/ITEM#: 19377843201505
Date: 28 May 2015

Links: Clarkesworld / How to Support / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Clarkesworld #104 is here with stories by Matthew Kressel, Andrea M. Pawley, A Que, Ian Muneshwar, Bo-Young Kim, James Van Pelt, and Hannu Rajaniemi

The 104st issue of Clarkesworld is here, with four new stories, three reprints and other features.

The first story is "The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies" by Matther Kressel. -+- Aya is one of the hundred thousand Farmers of the Branch, energy beings tasked with rooting out anomalies. But she might find value in something in them. What should she do? This seems to get what I would call "overly cosmic" ("a hundred billion galaxies"? Really?) but it does have a heart to it.

The second story is "For the Love of Sylvia City" by Andrea M. Pawley. -+- Our unnamed narrator is a refugee from a previous was on the dryland of the Earth. Now she works at keeping a cable that facilitates communication between the dryland and her adopted home of Sylvia City. When odd things start happening, she realizes that a Carbon War (one in which carbon dioxide is unleashed into the air) has broken out again. She must rescue a surface boy who has fallen into the water, get back to her podsisters warn then of what is happening and do one more important job. Good tale of heroism.

The third story is "Mrs. Griffin Prepares to Commit Suicide Tonight" by A Que (translated by John Chu -+- Mrs. Griffin is an elderly woman who wants to commit suicide. She says that everyone that ever loved her is dead. She talks things over with her robot LW31. It describes for her the drawbacks of various methods of suicide. Stories, many not from her viewpoint, are told about her parents, her husband, and her daughter and what happened to them. LW31 and her have one last conversation. A wonderful story, beautifully told.

The fourth story is "Ossuary" by Ian Muneshwar -+- Magdalena is an AI that has the task of taking irreparably damaged spaceships and salvaging useful parts. But she wants more than that. She repairs a slightly damaged ship so that it could be useful again, but to no avail. Then, she gets the opportunity to do more. Nicely done.

"An Evolutionary Myth" by Bo-Young Kim, translated by Gord Sellar and Jihyun Park -+- Our narrator's father was king but abdicated his crown to his brother, who is cruel. The land is under a long drought and people and animals metamorphose to adjust to changing conditions. Our narrator had undergone many changes as he runs from the king's assassins and soldiers, until things reach their conclusion. Fine, mythic fantasy, with a bit of modern science sprinkled in.

There are also two reprinted stories, "Solace" by James Van Pelt, and "Tyche and the Ants" by Hannu Rajaniemi. 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).

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