Clarkesworld 111 – December 2015
Edited by Neil Clarke
Cover Artist: Kokabiel, Angel of the Stars by Peter Mohrbacher
Review by Sam Tomaino
Clarkesworld eZine / Podcas ISBN/ITEM#: 1937-7843
Date: 28 December 2015
Links: Clarkesworld / How to Support / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The 111th issue of Clarkesworld is here, with four new stories, two reprints and other features. One story is Hugo-worthy!
The first story is "Yuanyuan's Bubbles" by Liu Cixin, translated by Carmen Yiling Yan. -+- Yuanyuan has from earliest infancy loved soap bubbles. This in a part of China suffering from drought. Her mother had died trying to alleviate it and she wants her daughter to carry on that work. Yuanyuan just wants to make better soap bubbles. Even when she invents a new solar cell and becomes a multi-millionaire, that's what she likes to do. It vexes her father terribly. How this is all resolved is wonderful and this is one great piece of science fiction. It will be on my Hugo short-list for short story for 2015.
The second story is "Union" by Tamsyn Muir. -+- Crofters in the middle of nowhere are sent wives by the central government. These are not human wives but are made from lichen. They seem to have minimal intelligence. One of the crofters, Simeon, is a hothead and think they are getting a raw deal. When a mold develops on their crops and animals, it seems the wives are to blame. But fighting back doesn't seem to be an option. Bizarre.
The third story is "Morrigan in Shadow" by Seth Dickinson. -+- A sequel to "Morrigan in the Sunglare" in the March 2014 issue. Previously, Laporte was the wingman for Simms, the commander, and her best killer. They fought for the Federation (Earth, Mars, the Jupiter moons), a "humanist utopia" against the Alliance (interstellar colonists). Simms and Laporte lost to Alliance Admiral Steele and were dying when al-Alimah came to their rescue. The Alliance had wanted their help against the alien Nemesis and went to war for their resources. Al-Alimah's NAGARI offers her a chance to entirely wipeout the Alliance. Laporte has become a monster focused on one thing--Victory. Her first mission is an atrocity--the neutron bomb killing of non-combatants (dentists and cooks). She flies many more terror missions. But the Federation is still losing. The only way to win is to collapse the wormhole that links Alliance and Federation space. The Nemesis will wipe out the Alliance but will be light-years away from the Federation. Laporte finds out why she is best-suited to do this. But there are twists and turns to a final conclusion. Well done.
The fourth story is "When We Die on Mars" by Cassandra Khaw. -+- A group of people sacrifice their lives to make Mars habitable. Noble sentiment.
There are also two reprinted stories, "Technarion" by Sean McMullen and "Daddy's World" by Walter Jon Williams. 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).