Clarkesworld 112 – January 2016
Edited by Neil Clarke
Cover Artist: Hierophant by Julie Dillon
Review by Sam Tomaino
Clarkesworld eMagazine ISBN/ITEM#: 1937-7843
Date: 28 January 2016
Links: Clarkesworld / How to Support / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The 112th issue of Clarkesworld is here, with four new stories, two reprints and other features.
The first story is "The Algorithms of Value" by Robert Reed. -+- Parchment is an old lady responsible for this future world being much as it is. One day she goes out for a stroll and meets a strange young man calling himself Ink. He wants something very specific about life. She makes him a very different proposal. Strange.
The second story is "The Abduction of Europa" by E. Catherine Tobler. -+- Marius set out on Europa in search of something called the "lost station". Bolaji sets out after him and Kotto is sent after him. It is deadly to be on the surface of Europa without a protective suit but they find an odd phenomena that seems to contradict that. All this connects with the myth of the abduction of Europa by Zeus. Nicely atmospheric.
The third story is "Extraction Request" by Rich Larson. -+- A squad of soldiers are brought down in a swamp when a smart mine takes out their transport. One is killed right away. Then, the others are set upon by a something that could not be natural but is very deadly. Not really any likable characters here, so why would you care how it ends?
The fourth story is "Everybody Loves Charles" by Bao Shu, translated by Ken Liu. -+- Charlie Mann has taken off into space on Pegasus as part of "the most prestigious aerospace competition of them all: the Trans-Pacific Championship Race". Charles has a superior ship, and wins the race, landing in Tokyo Olympic Stadium first. He abandons the medal ceremony, awarded by the Empress to rendezvous with the actress, Masa Aoi. All this is experienced by the innumerable followers of his webcast. Suddenly, to his surprise, a police craft lands and he is arrested on a charge of terrorism. Actually, he is being arrested for speeding. All this is being monitored by Takumi Naoto, who writes code for a living. He had been doing this while in a kind of sleep. The arrest broke up the livecast. Naoto is enraged that he will have to spend time as himself, not Charles. Charles is released, resuming the webcast. He is at dinner with Hosokawa Homi, the policewoman who arrested him. and she convinces him to turn off his webcast and see what it is like. Cut off from the webcast, Naoto is with Minami and she has taken him exercising and he enjoys that experience. After 100 days, Charles has been enjoying his free time with Homi. His lawyer, Lisa Goldstone, is not happy. His ratings are down. She tells Charles what his life is really about. Things take some turns after that and this story becomes a real chiller. More than that, it is great science fiction and will be on my shortlist for Best Hugo Novella next year.
There are also two reprinted stories, "The True Vintage of Eruzine Thale" by Robert Silverberg and "Old Paint" by Megan Lindholm. 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).