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April 2020 ISSUE


In the history of human writing, the earliest word for “freedom” is found in Sumerian, signifying freedom from debt.
—Treatise of Our Divine Debt, 02:35

The dream’s last sequence looped in my memory. A sticky black tide swept every inch of my body. Its rippling foam splintered into tiny chains that swarmed my [...]

April 2020 ISSUE

From Kibbutz to Career: A Conversation with Lavie Tidhar

Raised on a kibbutz in Israel, Lavie Tidhar began his world travels at fifteen, living in South Africa, the UK, Laos, and Vanuatu. At twenty-two he published a collection of poetry, and he had his first fiction stories published at twenty-seven. In 2009, the first volume of The Apex Book of World SF came out, [...]

March 2020 ISSUE

Separated at Birth? Occultism, Science Fiction, and Why People Can't Tell Them Apart

Things are not always what they appear to be.
For example, take The Suns of Easter Island (1972), a film by French New Wave director Pierre Kast. The basic premise is familiar. So familiar, in fact, that one has to keep reminding oneself that it was made several years before a certain far better-known film. Aliens [...]

February 2020 ISSUE


Part I
Toozen remembered Auntie Heather, sitting hunched on the sand, retreating under her beach towel.
“Auntie, come swim nah,” he’d said that day, still a small boy.
But even at that age he could feel the waves of her anxiety and anger lapping up against him.
She steupsed like she was peeling skin between her teeth and her [...]

February 2020 ISSUE

Jigsaw Children

Hong Kong, China – 2098 AD
I was nine when my second-mother’s mother died.
Shortly before her death, Schoolteacher Shumin took me to visit her. We took the monorail and got off at the last stop, on the northern outskirts of Hong Kong. The sky was gray and low. Damp air drew beads of sweat from my [...]

January 2020 ISSUE

The Ancestral Temple in a Box

This episode features “The Ancestral Temple in a Box” written by Chen Qiufan. Published in the January 2020 issue of Clarkesworld Magazine and read by Kate Baker.

The text version of this story can be found at:

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icon for podpress  Clarkesworld Magazine Issue 160 - The Ancestral Temple in a Box by Chen Qiufan [41:29m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download (56991)

January 2020 ISSUE


No one at the Guiyang airport speaks English. I have the UTranslator app on my phone, and before I left my colleague Jeanine said that it had worked fine for her. But she’d also said she’d never had trouble finding an English speaker in China. And her trips were to Shanghai and Beijing.
“I’m going to [...]

January 2020 ISSUE

The Ancestral Temple in a Box

“Mr. Huang has a few words to say . . . ”
Everyone in the room stood up at once. The intelligent care robot, however, slowly turned its face in my direction. Emojis flashed on the blue screen. I wasn’t sure whether I understood what those emojis meant.
“ . . . to you, in private,” the robot continued.
I took a deep breath. All [...]

January 2020 ISSUE

The Color of Nature: A Conversation with Victo Ngai

Victo Ngai’s images have captivated the science fiction community since her striking 2011 cover for publishing’s Time Considered as a Series of Thermite Burns in No Particular Order. It is a cover with soft pastels set against a dark, dangerous backdrop, with careful intimacy amidst the danger, and a spray of petals caught in [...]

January 2020 ISSUE

Editor's Desk: A Bucket of Things

Normally, I struggle to think of a topic for my editorials, but this month I have three things on my plate and none can really wait. I’m going to briefly cover all of them right now and cover some in detail when I have the luxury of some worry-free time.
Thing 1: That Whirring Sound From [...]