Sunday, May 15, 2016

Magazine Review: Clarkesworld Magazine Issue 116

I enjoyed this issue a lot. I don't have a good enough memory to say if this issue is my favorite so far but it is definitely up there. At the end of the year, I'd like to go back and look at all the issues but I would like to note this issue for repeat viewing. All of the stories were good, some better than others, but overall this is a great issue to read.

"Left Behind" by Cat Rambo tells of advanced nursing homes and the passing down of generational knowledge through new technology. I'm a big fan of futuristic stories about taking care of the elderly because I see selfishly see my future there and like to dream of the possibilities when my body fails but my mind is able to go somewhere else. There is great writing in this story as well and it is not surprising that Cat Rambo is so popular in science fiction.

"The Universal Museum of Sagacity" by Robert Reed is large in scope with some very cool world-building and unique look at space travel. I also like how it relates to a modern working environment the control of large corporations and how that will play into the knowledge humanity will possess. 

"Breathe" by Cassandra Khaw does a great job capturing the claustrophobia of underwater exploration and it is nice to take a break from the space stories to an ocean story. These two environments are remarkably similar and it is cool to see the parallels.

"Jonas and the Fox" by Rich Larson does a great job world-building and tells a compelling story of revolution, mind-transferring, and poetry. Larson is an author I am recognizing from my various short fiction reading so I always look forward to reading a story by him.

"Away from Home" by Luo Longxiang tells the sprawling space epic with the threat of meteors hanging over it and awesome images of "planetships". I'm so glad Clarkesworld is giving us translated stories because I enjoy reading science fiction with a new perspective. It helps me think and see our world in a different way.

The two reprints were great as well. "Tough Times All Over" by Joe Abercrombie has a great twist on storytelling by narrating from the perspective of each character who comes in possession of a mysterious object. It helps that most of the citizens are thieves or mercenaries. I've wanted to check out the Rogues Anthology and this bodes well for what I can expect in those books. "A Heap of Broken Images" by Sunny Moraine tells of grief and intergalactic war and how we remember those we have lost. A great moving piece to end the fiction of this issue.

The nonfiction was fun to read as well. Andrew Liptak's analysis of Venus in fiction was very informative and well-researched. I like seeing how the vision of the second planet from the sun has changed as our knowledge of it increased. I am enjoying Jason Heller's look at SciFi and Music and found it amusing the editor Neil Clarke plays Destiny. I always like reading author interviews too, especially about prolific and renowned authors like James Gunn who I had never heard of before. As I said, this is a great issue and one I would recommend to readers of science fiction! 

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