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Clarkesworld 129 - June 2017
Edited by Neil Clarke
Cover Artist: Sea Change by Matt Dixon
Review by Sam Tomaino
Clarkesworld eMagazine  ISBN/ITEM#: 1937-7843
Date: 25 June 2017

Links: Clarkesworld / How to Support / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Clarkesworld #129 is here with stories by Andy Dudak, Julia K. Patt, Nina Allan, Sam. J. Miller, and A Que, along with many other features.

The 129th issue of Clarkesworld is here, with five new stories, two reprints and other features. This issue has a Hugo-worthy story.

The first story is "Fool's Cap" by Andy Dudak. -+- Beadith has come to the planet Igiugig to find Kiniod Stationer, the most notorious mass-murderer in history. But, she finds herself stranded there when the shuttle to her ship inexplicably explodes and her vizcort implants fail. Luckily, her will-o-the-wisp, a luminous vapor of drones still exist to do her bidding. Stationer had killed half-a-trillion souls that had been written to space-time in the belief that "writing on space-time will unravel causality". One of those destroyed was Beadith's father. She confronts Stationer but does not kill him. She notices the strange moss native to the planet. It can invade her dreams and do more than that. She takes a drastic action and learns more about Stationer and herself. This was a truly amazing story. It will be on my short-lost for Hugo Award novelette next year.

The second story is "My Dear, Like the Sky and Stars and Sun" by Julia K. Patt. -+- Elspeth has her own shop in which she etches tattoos onto people's skin. But she also has an under the counter trade in special tech. When a young girl, who knows her passwords, starts coming in for odd items, she wonders what is going on. The girl is the scion of one of the seven big corporate heads, but she has a secret and a mission. It all comes together for another good story.

The third story "Neptune's Trident" by Nina Allan. -+- In Caitlin's world, some sort of disaster has happened. There is a wasting disease caused by some sort of parasite. Computers had been hacked causing nuclear strikes. Caitlin's lover, Steph is infected and dying. People are trying to find reasons for what is happening. It's just one long depressing story.

The fourth story is "The Ways Out" by Sam J. Miller. -+- Ryx is a ten-year-old girl. Hector is a young man of 19. They are both under surveillance because they have been tagged as variant--people with special abilities. The girl, especially, has been identified as someone who could be dangerous but the agent filing the reports that makes up the story doesn't see it. That changes. Effectively told. Details about the society in which this is taking place are revealed in a seamless manner. Very good story.

The fifth story is "An Account of the Sky Whales" by A Que (translated by Andy Dudak). -+- Our narrator's former girlfriend, whom he calls Frond, has died and he wants to bring her home from the planet on which she had been working. Her work has involved the planet's cloud whales which were being poached for a valuable chemical that they carried in their bodies, But human remains cannot be transported in space, so he falls in with the poachers. But the poachers have an enemy: the cloud whales. Our narrator's encounter with them make for a great story.

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).

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