Editor's Desk: In Mourning

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 169 – October 2020

I was all set to pen an editorial celebrating our fourteenth-anniversary issue and the plans we have for next year, but I’m not sure I have it in me right now. Mind you, I’m extremely grateful to see the magazine reach this milestone and proud of the accomplishment. There are ups and downs, certainly, but […]

Editor's Desk: Warning, May Contain Marketing

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 168 – September 2020

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been editing The Best Science Fiction of the Year anthologies for five years now. Under normal conditions, volume five—covering 2019—would have been published by now, but 2020 has been anything but normal and I fear that it’s not quite done with us yet. But that’s a path I’d rather […]

Editor's Desk: Yes, Virginia, Short Fiction is Important

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 167 – August 2020

Short fiction is important. I feel like I shouldn’t have to say that, but in my years as both a fan and as a professional, I’ve seen it treated like a younger sibling or supporting character when compared to novels. It’s easy to come up with examples of this. I’ve spoken about the perceived financial […]

Editor's Desk: The Most Science Fictional Worldcon Ever

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 166 – July 2020

In recent years, I’ve had the privilege of being able to attend several Worldcons. It’s one of those rare occasions where I get to meet readers and authors that I might not normally see at the regional conventions I regularly attend. Last year, I made the trek to Dublin, Ireland to visit family and attend […]

Editor's Desk: SF/F Fiction Magazines, Pandemic Edition

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 165 – June 2020

When I was mining social media for ideas for editorials last month, several people asked if I could write something on how magazines have been impacted by the pandemic. While I had already been in contact with several editors, I didn’t feel like I had enough information or time to pursue it for the May […]

Editor's Desk: Focus Neil, Focus

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 164 – May 2020

Maintaining any semblance of motivation during this time period has been hard, certainly, and dealing with an unidentified uneasiness/anxiety has not been fun. Deadlines particularly have been difficult. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. When I find the strength to tackle the slush pile, I can’t help but notice a few things: […]

Editor's Desk: Lockdown

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 163 – April 2020

From all of us here at Clarkesworld, we wish you good health in these difficult times, particularly those of you who share my designation of “high risk” due to medical or age-related reasons. Covid-19 is a part of our daily lives. It’s hard to avoid when you can’t leave your house. I live in NJ, […]

Editor's Desk: The Best from 2019

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 162 – March 2020

Over the last two months, our readers have been helping us select the best story and cover art that we published in 2019. While the first round went very smoothly, there were several easily-spotted attempts to stuff the ballot in round two. With that obvious exception, we’d like to thank everyone who participated this year. […]

Editor's Desk: 2019 Readers' Poll Finalists

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 161 – February 2020

I’d like to start this month by thanking everyone for their support and understanding during my surgery and recovery over the last month. The procedure went off without a hitch. I’ll admit that I was nervous about the whole lasers-being-fired-in-my-heart thing, but I had an amazing team of doctors and probably the most space-age operating […]

Editor's Desk: A Bucket of Things

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 160 – January 2020

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 […]

About the Story by Isabel Fall

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 160 – January 2020

Yesterday, I removed the story “I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter” by Isabel Fall from the current issue of Clarkesworld Magazine. The recent barrage of attacks on Isabel have taken a toll and I ask that even if you disagree with the decision, that you respect it. This is not censorship. She needed this […]

Editor's Desk: Staring at the Hole

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 159 – December 2019

This month’s editorial was supposed to be about my adventures at a pair of science fiction conventions in China, but it won’t be. I’m sitting on the floor of my house, blasting some music by Infected Mushroom, and trying to work out how to tell you the story of how none of that came to […]

Editor's Desk: Your 9AM Wakeup Call

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 158 – November 2019

For almost seven years now, I’ve been living with a mechanical friend who lives in my chest and  monitors my heart for any abnormal activity and who is prepared to zap me if necessary. Boxy, as my kids dubbed it, while reassuring, is a single-minded cyborg enhancement. When it was first discussed, I had asked […]

Editor's Desk: And into Year Fourteen We Go

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 157 – October 2019

October marks our thirteenth anniversary! To celebrate, we have a larger-than-normal issue this month, highlighted in part by a novella and an extra translation. Both works were made possible by a grant from LTI Korea. That funding has allowed us to substitute original Korean translations  in place of nine reprints in our 2019 schedule. We’re […]

Editor’s Desk: A Journey “Home”

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 156 – September 2019

When Dublin first announced its bid to host a Worldcon, something weird happened: my family’s ears perked up. My parents were born and raised in Ireland—Navan to be precise—and immigrated to the US in the 1960s. While my grandparents were still alive, we made regular pilgrimages “home” to visit family and I have many fond […]

Editor's Desk: One Hundred Thousand Titles

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 155 – August 2019

In April 2015, I wrote a blog post about the most popular titles submitted to Clarkesworld after its first fifty thousand submissions. We started using that system in 2009, so it took about six years. Just under four years later, we passed the one hundred thousand mark, so I decided to jump back into our […]

Editor's Desk: From the Moon to Magazines

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 154 – July 2019

I have two anthologies being published by Night Shade Books this month: The Eagle has Landed—a retrospective of lunar science fiction published since Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the Moon—and The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Four. Each project was a unique learning opportunity, one looking at history […]

Editor's Desk: Living Through the Solstice

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 153 – June 2019

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the Nebula Conference run by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). The conference was in Los Angeles this year, so after an early morning cross-country flight and a long drive through the never-ending LA traffic, I arrived at the hotel and settled in. Over […]

Editor's Desk: I Don't Want to Bother You

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 152 – May 2019

One of my favorite things about working in the science fiction field—even all the way back to my days as a bookseller—is the people I get to work with, be it staff, authors, artists, other editors, or fellow fans. Most days, I’m physically isolated from that world and as an introvert that actually works well […]

Editor's Desk: An International Journey

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 151 – April 2019

On more than a few occasions, I’ve been asked to explain my interest in international science fiction—and in particular—works in translation. With this month marking the publication of the first of nine translated South Korean stories in Clarkesworld, I thought it might be a good time to dig into that and explore our journey. Truth […]

Editor's Desk: A Celebration of Many Things

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 150 – March 2019

Our annual Reader’s Poll came to a close last month as six finalists for our best cover and story of 2018 competed against one another in a second round of voting. Each and every one of these works would have been a worthy winner. Finalists for Best Story “Dandelion” by Elly Bangs (September) “The Anchorite […]

Editor's Desk: Finalists, Translations, and Awards

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 149 – February 2019

There’s a lot to cover this month so I’m going to dive right in. We held a two-day nomination period for the Clarkesworld Magazine Reader’s Poll in January. Similar to last year, the shortened nomination phase appears to have minimized the attempts at ballot-stuffing without any significant impact on the total number of participants. It […]

Editor's Desk: 2018 Readers' Poll

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 148 – January 2019

It’s almost time to pick your favorite Clarkesworld story and cover art from 2018 in our annual readers’ poll! Last year, we switched to a two-stage voting system—more like a traditional two-round genre award—and we intend to use the same model again this year. Phase 1: Nominations (mid-January) Later this month, we’ll open for a […]

Editor's Desk: A Note to End On

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 147 – December 2018

You might be wondering why there’s only one reprint this month. Earlier this year, I mentioned that I wanted to phase out the reprints and replace them with more original content. We’re still a good way from reaching the subscription milestone that will allow us to make that change, but we’re slowly moving in the […]

Editor's Desk: Wouldn't it be Nice?

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 146 – November 2018

I’ve already forgotten where and why, but I was recently reading an article that included a interesting passing comment—one or two wealthy Silicon Valley tech-types could completely change the literary landscape by annually donating a few million to one or two dozen organizations. It’s essentially a return to the old-school patronage model, but with publishers […]

Editor's Desk: After the Dirty Dozen

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 145 – October 2018

It looks like October has swung back around already. That means Clarkesworld has turned twelve and is now in its thirteenth year. Good thing we’re not superstitious! However, it occurs to me that I’m a bit overdue on another, “where we’re going” editorials, so this seems like a good time to jump in and do […]

Editor's Desk: Another Post-Con Crash

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 144 – September 2018

It’s been over a week, but I’m still a bit worn out from the San Jose Worldcon. Part of that is my usual post-con introvert crash and the rest is from the breakneck schedule I kept while there. I only had a couple of panels, but my calendar was filled with meetings, meals, and other […]

Editor's Desk: Oh, the Horror of it All!

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 143 – August 2018

Points from last month’s editorial and a couple of conversations at Readercon inspired me to go on another data mining expedition. I started digging into the genre data—which the authors provide on submissions—to take a look at possible trends. The data isn’t specific to themes within a genre, but that wasn’t what I was after […]

Editor's Desk: A Threat, Followed Through

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 142 – July 2018

When I was at the Nebula Awards a couple of months ago, Andrea Pawley and I started talking about these editorials—actually, it was more like the continuation of a discussion I started in a previous editorial. As you may know, I sometimes struggle with something to say in this column and have extended an open […]

Editor's Desk: A Death in the Clarkesworld Family

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 141 – June 2018

It is with a heavy heart that I must report the passing of Gardner Dozois, our reprints editor. His work at Clarkesworld is a mere footnote in a long list of impressive accomplishments during his career in science fiction and fantasy as an editor and writer. To this day, I’m still surprised and flattered that […]