The August issue of Clarkesworld Magazine is another that I read over my vacation. Once again, my brief reviews of the fiction in the issue.
It opens with a technological retelling of Adam, Eve, and the garden of Eden in “Every Seed is a Prayer (And Your World is a Seed)” by Stephen Case. Ava joins Odem at a station in the midst of a forest managed by AI El. Their job is to fix the drones, but they drift further and further apart regarding doing what they are told. An interesting future perspective on an old myth. (My rating: 4/5)
“Window Boy” by Thomas Ha starts out as a simple enough story. A boy sits staring out a window while waiting to go to boarding school and occasionally talks to the “window boy”. But after the window boy asks him for something, he starts to realize that things aren’t what they seem. An interesting take on haves and have-nots in the future. (My rating: 3/5)
I didn’t really get “Light Speed Is Not a Speed” by Andy Dudak. For me it was a confusing mish-mash of a history of a storyteller on a world seeded by humans. (My rating: 2/5)
Clarkesworld often has Chinese science fiction in its pages. In “Who Can Have the Moon” by Congyun ‘Muming’ Gu, translated by Tian Huang, a poor Chinese woman with nothing grows up to become a famous artist of 3D dream boxes. It’s about the transition from 2D to 3D and digital art. Well told, and it is always good to get a different culture’s view of science fiction. (My rating: 4/5)
A history lecturer at an English university deals with discrimination and becomes an unwitting accomplice in a plan that eliminates her job in “Empathetic Ear” by M. J. Pettit. An interesting perspective and exploration of discrimination and the politics surrounding it. (My rating: 4/5)
“Gel Pen Notes from Generation Ship Y” by Marisca Pichette is a unique twist on the story of a ship that will take generations to reach its destination. The ship leaves earth for Proxima Centauri with a crew of people sterile and unable to age. How does one handle generations of time without aging? What does endless life aboard a ship do to those on board? (My rating: 3/5)
In the future, everyone has nanobots installed in their body. These regulate and heal the body. Everybody has them implanted in their youth. But what happens if your body rejects them? That is the premise of “Resistant” by Koji A. Dae. For me it felt a bit like an allegory for an abortion clinic(?). (My rating: 3/5)
This issue tried some unique story lines. Some worked for me. Others not so much. Over all for me the issue is 3.29 out of five starts.