Please Support Clarkesworld via Patreon or with a Digital Subscription.

Science Fiction & Fantasy








March 2019 ISSUE

Another Word: A Flock of Crows in a Swan Suit

rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno
~ Juvenal
Modern Translation: Whelp, I sure didn’t see that coming.

Recently at a convention, my friend Paul di Filippo moderated a panel where he asked several of us about writing near-future science fiction. Paul invoked Charles Stross’ World building 404: The unknown unknowns regarding worldbuilding, especially in [...]

August 2018 ISSUE

Another Word: Keeping Time

Motion was once the enemy of time. Dust still is.
Depending on when and where it is, a clock in motion may lose increments of time in the form of water drops, humidity, sun angles or clouds, gear ticks, pendulum swings, grit, gravitational pull, and more. One of humanity’s great challenges is to reduce those losses, [...]

February 2018 ISSUE

Another Word: A Brief Parable about Exchanges Between Time, Independence, Technology, and Privacy

Economies of time, independence, technology, and privacy intersect in many places, especially in this mostly shiny now-future we programmed for ourselves. For me, one intersection is primarily in my refrigerator. Another’s in how I get where I want to go.
As a person with mobility and weight-bearing concerns, what I’m somewhat reluctantly giving up in privacy [...]

July 2017 ISSUE

Another Word: Invisible and Visible Engineering in Science Fiction

In science fiction and fantasy, scientific heroics sometimes occur in concentric rings—in the lab, in the field, on the ship. They come in career rings also—from astronomer and physicist to theoretical chemist and astrophysicist (there are a lot of flavors of physicists in hard SF), to linguists, xenobiologists, and more.
Out of all of these, it’s [...]

October 2016 ISSUE

Another Word: The Ship’s Voice: A Risk Analysis and Modest Proposal

I’ve been thinking about voice a lot, about who speaks, who is heard, and how. Automated voices in particular are interesting, found in everything from our handheld robots to our future means of travel off planet. Who—and what—we listen to, and don’t, and why, and how? This impacts us greatly going forward.
Also I’ve been thinking [...]

February ISSUE

Another Word: Very Close Now

Virtual (adj.): (1) very close to being something without actually being it; (2) existing or occurring on the internet. source: Merriam-Webster

/Advertising voice: The virtual is coming! It’s already here! You missed it! Here it comes again! This time, yours for $500./

In the latter days of the previous millennium, Janet Murray’s Hamlet on the Holodeck (MIT, [...]