January 21, 2021

Magazine Roundup: Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 170

Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 170 Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 170 by Neil Clarke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is another very cool cover. In fact, I think I'd buy a print of it if it was available. Story-wise, it had good overall quality, with one outstanding story. 

"The Land of Eternal Jackfruits," Rupsa Dey

This is a bit of a murder mystery, in a futuristic world of robots, here called "processors." It felt pretty slight, and neither the characters or the plot lingered after I read it. 

Grade: C

A poignant little story about a robot caregiver learning from its centenarian charge, and following its patient into death. 

Grade: B

The highlight of this issue, this is a terrific story about space pirates, running a ship powered by a captive star and laden with ghosts, past and future. 

Grade: A

A sad tale of clones and the past, and a family coming apart.

Grade: B

"Niuniu," Baoshu, translated by Andy Dudak

I didn't care for this much. This tale of parents grieving the loss of their daughter and ending up with a robot substitute just seemed overwrought and maudlin.

Grade: D

"The Murders of Jason Hartman," Brady Nelson and Jamie Wahls

This story is cleverly structured in the form of a transcribed interview with the questions missing...but the answers tell you all you need to know. 

Grade: B+

A postapocalyptic horror tale with a whiff of  The Matrix, with machines dragging off survivors to a "processor tower" where they become living circuits. It's told from the viewpoint (in second person, for those who don't like that POV) of the programmer who freed it in return for its providing him with an avatar of his dead love. This is a bleak downer of a story, and creepy as heck.

Grade: B- 

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