Clarkesworld 119 – August 2016
Edited by Neil Clarke
Cover Artist: Regis III (The Invincible) by Jarsoslaw Marcinek
Review by Sam Tomaino
Clarkesworld ISBN/ITEM#: 1937-7843
Date: 25 August 2016
Links: Clarkesworld / How to Support / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The first story is "First Light at Mistaken Point" by Kali Wallace. -+- Charlie is back at her mother's house after her funeral. Her estranged sister is there, too. But Charlie's mind is on the Mars mission she is involved with. Her lover is part of the crew and they had lost contact with it a month ago. Now they have received first a four second message and then a 47 second one. What's being said or who is saying it is unclear. Charlie reconnects a bit with her sister but what is happening one hundred million miles away is unclear. Beautiful poignant tale.
The second story is "Teenagers from Outer Space" by Dale Bailey. -+- Aliens had come to Nancy Miller's hometown of Milledgeville, Ohio, when she was a baby. Now it is 1955. She is sixteen and goes to high school with children of the aliens. They bought up a poor part of town which was called Bug Town, even though the aliens, seven-foot-tall and green, did not look bug-like. Nancy's best friend is Joan Hayden who revolts against her strict father by dating bad boys. She meets Johnny Fabiano, Wild one wannabe who takes her to Bug Town one night where she "catches strange", a state brought on by the music that pervades Bug Town. When Tham, one of the aliens, saves her from being raped by Johnny, Joan takes up with Tham and eventually moves to Bug Town, resulting in a final confrontation between Tham and Johnny. Great story!
The third story is "Now is the Hour" by Emily Devenport. -+- Maybie won the lottery and could afford to get her family off the horrible planet, Hardcase, and on a ship going to the better planet, Oceana. But things do not go smoothly. The end was a little too contrived.
The fourth story is "The Engines Imperial" by Sean Bensinger. -+- The thoughts of an AI made for war that has become meaningless, but it continues to fight. Okay.
The fifth story is "Reclamation" by Ryan Row. -+- Drift is an asteroid miner who, owing to a mishap is floating in space. She will eventually die. We have glimpses of her life. Then, things change for her. Is she saved? I won't tell except to say this is beautifully written and a good ending.
The sixth story is "Alone, on the Wind" by Karla Schmidt, translated by Lara Harmon. -+- Tuela's people, those of the Dancing Stones are genderless but human-like aliens and have a long conflict with the people of the Yellow World, who appear to be standard humans. The Yellows have names like Pierre and Jen, so one might assume they were originally from Earth. But Tuela's people are even more different as we find out, but a relationship develops between Tuela and Pierre which may mean changes. Interesting.
There are also two reprinted stories, 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).