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Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 147

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FICTION Marshmallows by D.A. XIAOLIN SPIRES Bringing Down the Sky by ALAN BAO When We Find Our Voices by ELEANNA CASTROIANNI The Names and Motions by SHELDON J. PACOTTI Master Zhao: The Tale of an Ordinary Time Traveler by ZHANG RAN Two-Year Man by KELLY ROBSON NON-FICTION The Modern Search for the Fountain of Youth by DOUG DLUZEN 37 Rejections, Language Obsessions, and Dance: A C FICTION Marshmallows by D.A. XIAOLIN SPIRES Bringing Down the Sky by ALAN BAO When We Find Our Voices by ELEANNA CASTROIANNI The Names and Motions by SHELDON J. PACOTTI Master Zhao: The Tale of an Ordinary Time Traveler by ZHANG RAN Two-Year Man by KELLY ROBSON NON-FICTION The Modern Search for the Fountain of Youth by DOUG DLUZEN 37 Rejections, Language Obsessions, and Dance: A Conversation with Rich Larson by CHRIS URIE Another Word: In the Home of Anthony Burgess' Harpsichord by JASON HELLER Editor's Desk: A Note to End On by NEIL CLARKE PODCASTS Marshmallows by D.A. XIAOLIN SPIRES, read by KATE BAKER ART Belt 71 by PASCAL BLANCHÉ


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FICTION Marshmallows by D.A. XIAOLIN SPIRES Bringing Down the Sky by ALAN BAO When We Find Our Voices by ELEANNA CASTROIANNI The Names and Motions by SHELDON J. PACOTTI Master Zhao: The Tale of an Ordinary Time Traveler by ZHANG RAN Two-Year Man by KELLY ROBSON NON-FICTION The Modern Search for the Fountain of Youth by DOUG DLUZEN 37 Rejections, Language Obsessions, and Dance: A C FICTION Marshmallows by D.A. XIAOLIN SPIRES Bringing Down the Sky by ALAN BAO When We Find Our Voices by ELEANNA CASTROIANNI The Names and Motions by SHELDON J. PACOTTI Master Zhao: The Tale of an Ordinary Time Traveler by ZHANG RAN Two-Year Man by KELLY ROBSON NON-FICTION The Modern Search for the Fountain of Youth by DOUG DLUZEN 37 Rejections, Language Obsessions, and Dance: A Conversation with Rich Larson by CHRIS URIE Another Word: In the Home of Anthony Burgess' Harpsichord by JASON HELLER Editor's Desk: A Note to End On by NEIL CLARKE PODCASTS Marshmallows by D.A. XIAOLIN SPIRES, read by KATE BAKER ART Belt 71 by PASCAL BLANCHÉ

39 review for Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 147

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cathy (cathepsut)

    I decided to try out a subscription of this magazine, to give them a little support and say thank you for all the free stories they publish. I might switch to other online magazines and give them a shot, too. Maybe a little project for 2019? Anyway, updates of each story will follow, as I read them: When We Find Our Voices by ELEANNA CASTROIANNI, 10080 words, ★★★☆ „A race of bird-people is forced to save mankind from extinction. Contemplating gender, procreation, duty and intimacy through the eyes I decided to try out a subscription of this magazine, to give them a little support and say thank you for all the free stories they publish. I might switch to other online magazines and give them a shot, too. Maybe a little project for 2019? Anyway, updates of each story will follow, as I read them: When We Find Our Voices by ELEANNA CASTROIANNI, 10080 words, ★★★½☆ „A race of bird-people is forced to save mankind from extinction. Contemplating gender, procreation, duty and intimacy through the eyes of an agender, asexual protagonist. Family, friendship, love, oppression and rebellion in a half-ruined world.“ Hm, odd. The Voices are something that is taken from the bird-people after birth. Voices provide energy. Nuclear fission? Not quite sure what to make of it. Interesting, uncomfortable. Not sure it all makes sense. I have a unscientific image of how the making of an egg could look like, but can‘t think of a way this could actually work. Worth reading just for the oddness of it. Can be read for free here: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/castr... „Eleanna Castroianni is a genderqueer writer, poet and oral storyteller from Greece. A cultural geographer by training, Eleanna tells stories from the margins of history and the far futures of the Anthropocene. They live in Athens, Greece with a number of string instruments.“ Author‘s website: https://eleannacastroianni.wordpress.com ———— Bringing Down the Sky by ALAN BAO, 11088 words, ★★★★★ Climatefic. The world has turned grey, the rich live under domes, the poor struggle with acid rain and collect clean air from high up to earn a living. USA, China, politics... Very good! Can be found for free here ———— Marshmallows by D.A. XIAOLIN SPIRES, 3430 words, ★★★☆☆ A world that has gotten so gruesome and dilapidated that people on their daily commute use visual and auditory enhancements to see a more appealing world. I did not like the storytelling much per se, but the idea was interesting enough. She herself calls this her augmented reality holiday story at her blog She also mentions being inspired by another short story. Although that one was even shorter, I liked it more for where it took me as a reader. Can be found for free here

  2. 5 out of 5

    G33z3r

    I really enjoyed several of these stories which had some interest new viewpoints on some SF older concepts. "Marshmallows" by D.A. Xiaolin Spires Augmented reality sweeps away all the unpleasant things in life. (Why maintain reality when no one – or no one with any money – will even see the reality behind the mockups. Really interesting concept well-told in small details. **** "Bringing Down the Sky" by Alan Bao CliFi story in future when smoke is thick and clean air is harvested from mountain tops. I really enjoyed several of these stories which had some interest new viewpoints on some SF older concepts. "Marshmallows" by D.A. Xiaolin Spires Augmented reality sweeps away all the unpleasant things in life. (Why maintain reality when no one – or no one with any money – will even see the reality behind the mockups. Really interesting concept well-told in small details. **** "Bringing Down the Sky" by Alan Bao CliFi story in future when smoke is thick and clean air is harvested from mountain tops. A well-meaning effort to help just makes things worse for some, better for others. **** "Master Zhao: The Tale of an Ordinary Time Traveler" by Zhang Ran Master Zhao either lives premonitions, so he can avoid "problems", or he re-lives his life in multiple branches and possibilities. But by now he's lived so many variations that he can't tell what, if anything, is his "real timeline". **** "The Names and Motions" by Sheldon J. Pacotti Told in an annoying style. A young sociopath's "cure" via various implants eventually turns her into a real monster of a control freak, with the electronics to make that control real. *** "Two-Year Man" by Kelly Robson Future story of a guy who finds an unwanted mutant baby but can't get his wife to accept it. Didn't work any better for me than it did four years ago. **

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lena

    Marshmallows by D.A. Xiaolin Spires ★★★☆☆ “She sees the giant marshmallows that surround her, trying to pretend they really are marshmallows and not the slumped bodies of neglected veterans.” A future postwar China where you pay for real-time virtual-reality overlay to make the world seem more pleasant than it is. Bringing Down the Sky by Alan Bao ★★★★☆ “...if the old men and the stuffy politicians are to be believed, my entire generation should feel guilty because we learned to make our own blu Marshmallows by D.A. Xiaolin Spires ★★★☆☆ “She sees the giant marshmallows that surround her, trying to pretend they really are marshmallows and not the slumped bodies of neglected veterans.” A future postwar China where you pay for real-time virtual-reality overlay to make the world seem more pleasant than it is. Bringing Down the Sky by Alan Bao ★★★★☆ “...if the old men and the stuffy politicians are to be believed, my entire generation should feel guilty because we learned to make our own blue skies, rather than pining for the one our parents destroyed before we were born. I’m twenty-seven, and I’ve never seen the stars. Frankly, I don’t miss them at all.” A well written dystopia from several points of view. The air has been polluted to the point where clean air, and not oil, is the hot commodity. But in many ways, it’s still the same world. The rich find a way to be comfortable, the poor are taken advantage of, and the new generation still fights with the old to live their life. We Find Our Voices by Eleanna Castroianni ★★★☆☆ “And in the sky, my only friend dissolved into stars.” Five star worldbuilding but with an inescapably maudlin tone. The sons of man have conquered the world of a three sex bird people. As men have long lost their women, and their ability to make women, due to an accident of genetic modification, they have forced arrangements with the bird people. I think with support the MC could have made a better stand for freedom. The Names and Motions by Sheldon J. Pacotti ★★☆☆☆ “We weren’t the ones who deserved expulsion. It was every kid with a savage face in one of those videos. The adults had the evidence, online logs of every mean word, but still we were the aberration.” When the authorities do not protect the victim the victims will see their own justice. It was a relevant story written strangely and chopping. Master Zhao: Tale of an Ordinary Time Traveler by Zhang Ran ★★★☆☆ “You could visit the future.” “That doesn’t matter to me.” The world’s least imaginative person becomes a time traveler after throwing himself in front of a car. Mostly he just goes through the trauma of his wife’s cancer over and over and over again. Time travel stories are normally expansive, this was micro, sad sad micro. Two Year Man by Kelly Robson ★★☆☆☆ “Maria would probably be gone when he got home; he understood that now. The thought made a hollow in his chest, a Maria-shaped hole where he’d cuddled her to his heart. But if Maria was gone, if Anna had taken her to the train station and abandoned her, that only meant Anna needed time.” Jesus that was bleak. Set in caste system future dystopia a janitor rescues babies set to be incinerated and brings them home to his barren wife... who never wanted children. And that finishes off the most depressing issue of Clarkesworld. At an average of 2.83 I’m not going to round up because I think it’s foul of them to have put out this many sad stories for the holiday season. Merry Fucking Christmas.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dennis

    Place holder for Bringing Down the Sky by Alan Bao

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michael Whiteman

    Marshmallows - DA Xiaolin Spires *** Bringing Down The Sky - Alan Bao **** When We Find Our Voices - Eleanna Castroianni *** The Names And Motions - Sheldon J Pacotti **** Master Zhao: The Tale Of An Ordinary Time Traveler - Zhang Ran, trans. Andy Dudak *** Two-Year Man - Kelly Robson ****

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dylan Tomorrow

    "Master Zhao: The Tale of an Ordinary Time Traveler" is simply amazing. mental time travel experienced by an ordinary guy who loves his wife no matter what.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jovan Trujillo

    Wow! So many great stories and articles to read! You rock Neil Clarke!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Maryam

    3.5

  9. 5 out of 5

    Vasi

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chris Hyde

  11. 5 out of 5

    Isabel

  12. 5 out of 5

    Pexa

  13. 5 out of 5

    Finrod

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elaysee

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  16. 4 out of 5

    John Young

  17. 5 out of 5

    Julia

  18. 5 out of 5

    James

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Satterley

  20. 4 out of 5

    Hannu Venesperä

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mark Schebel

  22. 4 out of 5

    Karl Kendall

  23. 4 out of 5

    Adeline

  24. 4 out of 5

    The Brazen Bell

  25. 4 out of 5

    Pooja Banga

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alex Darton

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eric Hart

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chawin Narkraksa

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tiberius The Treefrog

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lillian Jensen

  31. 5 out of 5

    L. Farmer

  32. 4 out of 5

    Kristīne Vītola

  33. 4 out of 5

    Carlos Norcia

  34. 4 out of 5

    Sherri Dishon

  35. 5 out of 5

    Aqsa (On Hiatus)

  36. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  37. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  38. 5 out of 5

    Quasinabo

  39. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

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