Clarkesworld 126 - March 2017
Edited by Neil Clarke
Cover Artist: Sergei Sarichev
Review by Sam Tomaino
Clarkesworld eMagazine ISBN/ITEM#: 1937-7843
Date: 25 March 2017
Links: Clarkesworld / How to Support / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The 126th issue of Clarkesworld is here, with five new stories, two reprints, and other features.
The first story is "Two Ways of Living" by Robert Reed. -+- Artemus Tenor. Regularly hibernates. When he wakes up he eats a lot to fatten up for the next hibernation. He doesn't get along with neighbors that don't hibernate. Cleverly done, perfect little story.
The second story is "Real Ghosts" by J.B. Park. -+- Maury Hong is dying but before that he is scheduled to have the latest imaging of himself done so that his family can call it up after he dies. He's already been visited by the holo of his dead sister, Maureen. But when his estranged brother, Maurice, visits, he is outraged that the alive Maurice just sent a holo. How will his holo treat Maurice? Interesting story.
The third story is "Waiting Out the End of the World in Patty's Place Cafe" by Naomi Kritzer. -+- There's a good chance that an asteroid is going to hit the Earth so Lorien (not her birth name) had decided to drive from Spokane, Washington to Pierre, South Dakota to see her estranged parents. She is almost out of gas and stops in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, about two hundred miles from Pierre. There she meets Robin and Michael on their own last journey. Nice look at such a situation with well-drawn characters.
The fourth story is "Crown of Thorns" by Octavia Cade. -+- The title refers to Acanthaster planci, a species of starfish that's poisonous. In the story, they have multiplied and have caused a global apocalypse. Andy and Mel are scientists living on a reef off of New Zealand, feeling guilty about not being able to be with their daughter when she died. Andy spends his time killing the starfish. Grim sense of doom makes for a pretty effective story.
The fifth story is "Goodnight, Melancholy" by Xia Jia, translated by Ken Liu. -+- This is two stories. One is a near-future tale narrated by a woman who is in need of a special kind of therapy given by two artificially intelligent anthropomorphic machines named Lindy and Nocko. The other story is about Alan Turing which posits him having built some sort of machine that he can talk to named Christopher, named after a real-life young man that Turing had loved and who had died young. They come together in a beautifully written story with much speculation about artificial intelligence.
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).