Running a bit late with a lot to read recently, but I managed to finish the April issued of Clarkesworld Magazine and found some stories I loved and others that were interesting in their narrative style and content.
"Touring with the Alien" by Carolyn Ives Gilman was a very cool alien invasion story with heart. It tells the story of a driver Avery who is assigned to take a strange new type of alien on a tour from D.C. to St. Louis with its human counterpart. This story had me wiping my eyes by the end and made me think of my conscious mind, not much more you can ask for in a piece of short fiction.
"Balin" by Chen Qiufan had a very curious creature called a "paoxiao" that could mimic human movement and was inhumanely empathetic, which led to some complex ideas but the experiment lost me for a while though the ending was mind-blowing enough to make me glad I stuck with it.
"The Bridge of Dreams" by Gregory Feeley was a complex work of short fiction retelling an alien tale with the Norse Gods but the combination of characters made for some strange pronouns, which decreased my comprehension when I was reading this story late at night. I might need to revisit it later because I didn't get it.
"The Cedar Grid" by Sara Saab also left me kind of lost. I figured out there was a martyr but I must have missed some essential plot details at the beginning because this story never grabbed my attention.
"Old Friends" by Garth Nix created a cool world but continued my distance from the stories. Sometimes if I find that I'm not getting stories it will follow through but this story brought me back into the issue somewhat with a growing weed in the ocean coming after a strange plant being.
The second classic fiction story really finished off this issue with a great piece for me. "Winter's Wife" by Elizabeth Hand had the subtle fantasy in it while telling a great story with entertaining narration to reel me in.
All of the nonfiction was great to read from the sci-fi music essay and the changing publishing world of genre fiction. I always appreciate these extra pieces after reading some great short fiction.