#RRSciFiMonth: Review: Clarkesworld Magazine Issue #94
Published July 1st 2014 by Neil Clarke
As with any magazine and short story collection, the contents can be hit or miss, depending on your personal preferences. This issue of Clarkesworld begins with five short stories, some by names I know well, and others, not so much. While I liked some far more than others, what really impressed me was how skilled each of the five authors were in crafting such unique worlds, complete with dialect, cultures, technology and/or magics, within so few words. It just goes to show that less can be a whole lot more, and I appreciate the opportunity to read such works.
If I have to choose a favourite, it would be Yoon Ha Lee‘s “The Contemporary Foxwife.” This is a quite little scifi tale about a young woman who unexpectedly earns herself an unusual companion. This is the second short story I’ve read by this author, and I really love the way she incorporates elements of Asian culture and mythology.
The issue featured an article filled with math and statistics, which aren’t my thing, but I did skim through enough to get the gist of the author’s points on the apparent imbalance in gender in genre fiction. Meanwhile, an interview with Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance author, Jeff VanderMeer. And I took particular interest in James L. Sutter’s article on the tie-in novel, something, apparently, people shun, feeling that it’s not real novel writing. I’m a huge fan of tie-in novels, so I’m certainly not in that boat, but I understand the sentiment, since I happen to feel that way about movie novelizations.
Clarkesworld is the first genre fiction magazine that I’ve subscribed to (well, the first since my LucasArts subscription when I was a kid), and I’ve been really impressed with it. The covers are all stunning, and the words have all been profound in some way or another.