Clarkesworld 108 – September 2015
Edited by Neil Clarke
Cover Artist: New World Coming by J. Otto Szatmari
Review by Sam Tomaino
Clarkesworld eZine / Podcasts ISBN/ITEM#: 1937-7843
Date: 28 September 2015
Links: Clarkesworld / How to Support / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The 108th issue of Clarkesworld is here, with five new stories, two reprints and other features.
The first story is "Cremulator" by Robert Reed. -+- This is a series of stories about three people, Melanie, Gwen, and Walter. The alternate earths they inhabit involve different outcomes, but they start with Gwen & Melanie being lovers and Walter being Gwen's high school student. There is also a rain of "soft bony ash" in each. We find out the reason for that. Typical strangeness from Reed.
The second story is "Loving Grace" by Erica L. Satifka. -+- In a future in which machines do all the work, people are drafted into employment by having their minds downloaded into drones. They are promised that they will come back. Chase's wife Marybeth is one of them. But no one ever comes back. Doesn't anyone notice this? The story does not hang together well.
The third story is "Preserve Her Memory" by Bao Shu, translated by Ken Liu. -+- Here people have a chip (called a memory black box) implanted into their hippocampus that records the last few minutes of someone's life. After the apparent suicide of actress Ye Lin, a newbie investigator named Liu Ningning is convinced it is murder. Her boss, Jiang Yong reviews the black box. Facts come out about Ye Lin's ex-husband, a real bastard. He winds up dead, assassinated by a teenage girl. But the story does not end there. It has a delicious twist at the end.
The fourth story is "The Algebra of Events" by Elizabeth Bourne. -+- This was a very wordy piece about an extraterrestrial ship that experiences difficulties and winds up on Earth. This is done from the viewpoint of the extraterrestrials. That did not make it particularly interesting.
The fifth story is "The Occidental Bride" by Benjanun Sriduangkaew. -+- Doctor Lan Heilui is to take Kertuu, an "engineer of genocides....tamed war criminal" for her wife. Heilui is assured by the institute that the skeletons in her closet will be expunged from her record when "the operation concludes". The operation is her marriage and something else that we learn. This one was just OK.
There are also two reprinted stories, "Canary Land" by Tom Purdom and "Sea Change" by Una McCormack. 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 http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/ .