Clones And Consciousness: A Conversation with Nadia Afifi

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 198 – March 2023

Nadia Afifi was born in Michigan and grew up in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. One of my favorite memories of growing up in the Middle East is having school days for heavy rain. Bahrain had almost no drainage system, so when it rained, the streets flooded. I remember turning on the radio in the morning […]

Striking A Balance: A Conversation with Janice L. Newman and Gideon Marcus of Galactic Journey

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 198 – March 2023

Galactic Journey is a Hugo award nominated blog site which, essentially, takes place fifty-five years ago. They discuss politics, landmark moments, and importantly, science fiction and fantasy, as if the unfolding of the events of fifty-five years ago were happening now. In fact, the family behind Galactic Journey—Gideon, Janice, and daughter Lorelei—have several rooms of […]

Editor's Desk: An Important One

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 198 – March 2023

I work in an industry where words matter, so when I hear that short fiction will die because of _______, I bristle. I’ve been hearing about the death of short fiction for as long as I’ve been in the field. For example, here’s a button we distributed in 2009: Time and time again, whatever has […]

The Best from 2022

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 198 – March 2023

Each year, we provide Clarkesworld readers with the opportunity to let us know which of our stories and cover art were their favorites from the prior year. Over two rounds of voting–in January and February–finalists were selected and voted on. Voting in round two was slightly down over last year and the races remained very close throughout. […]

The Expanding Repertoire of the Gene

NON-FICTION by Douglas F. Dluzen in Issue 197 – February 2023

Our genes govern how we grow and develop and influence our responses to the environment. Thanks to the advent of sophisticated genetic engineering tools such as CRISPR and the growing usage of personalized medicine to treat disease, genes have never been more present in everyday conversation. They are highlighted by the media, found in dialogue […]

Nonexistent People in Worlds Unobserved: A Conversation with Kelly Barnhill

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 197 – February 2023

Kelly Barnhill was born in Minneapolis, MN. She went to St. Catherine University in St. Paul and double majored in English and theology. “I started college thinking I would be both a doctor and a nun, and four years later, I broke my parents’ hearts by driving away from my graduation in a rusty Oldsmobile […]

Joy and Wonder: A Conversation with Ian McDonald

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 197 – February 2023

Ian McDonald was born in Manchester, England, the son of an Irish mother and Scottish father. He has lived in Northern Ireland since age five. He attended Bangor Grammar School and worked as head of development for a TV production company, including working on an iteration of Sesame Street, but set in Northern Ireland. McDonald […]

Editor's Desk: 2022 Readers' Poll Finalists

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 197 – February 2023

In late January, we held the first phase of our annual Clarkesworld Magazine Readers’ Poll for best short story, novelette/novella, and cover art. This is the first year that we have separated short stories from novelettes and novellas. It’s more in line with industry awards and there are differences between the categories. Since we only […]

A (Brief) Love Letter to the Chemistry of Molecules

NON-FICTION by Ashley Deng in Issue 196 – January 2023

The microscopic world is fascinatingly geometric. Look at viruses under a microscope (and you would need a particularly powerful one to do so, the tiny buggers that viruses are), and you’d see the various polyhedral shapes they take on. The smaller the virus, the more geometric they seem to be, giving them an unnatural shape […]

Pausing to Think: A Conversation with Ada Hoffmann

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 196 – January 2023

Ada Hoffmann was born in Kingston, Ontario—a university town about halfway between Toronto and Ottawa. Technically, they have been writing since they were five. “There was a little program on my school computer called ‘Word Processing for Kids,’ and I adored it and would just type away and write little nonsense stories about dinosaurs. I […]

Relentless Curiosity: A Conversation with Paul McAuley

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 196 – January 2023

Paul McAuley’s “Wagon, Passing” was published in the June 1984 issue of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, and he has been publishing short fiction fairly consistently ever since. His debut novel, Four Hundred Billion Stars, was published in 1988 by Ballantine/Del Rey in the US and Gollancz in the UK. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction […]

Editor's Desk: 2022 in Review

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 196 – January 2023

With the start of a new year comes the inevitable looking back at the previous one. Strictly by the numbers, here’s a quick snapshot of Clarkesworld’s 2022 output. 12 issues 71 authors 37 authors had never been published in Clarkesworld before 9 authors making their first sale 86 stories (classified by Hugo Award categories below) […]

A Stroll into Unfamiliar Worlds

NON-FICTION by Julie Nováková in Issue 195 – December 2022

“Perhaps it should be called a stroll into unfamiliar worlds; worlds strange to us but known to other creatures, manifold and varied as the animals themselves.” —Jakob von Uexküll, A Stroll through The Worlds of Animals and Men (1934) Science fiction often asks us to imagine the inner states of beings most alien, be it […]

Endings & Experimentations: Conversations with Bora Chung and Anton Hur

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 195 – December 2022

Bora Chung Bora Chung was born in Seoul, Korea. She has earned an M.A. in Russian and East European area studies from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Slavic Literatures from Indiana University with a focus on modern Russian and Polish Literatures—specifically, utopian literature. She fell in love with strange, fantastic stories by Eastern European […]

Women Have Always Been Here: A Conversation with Lisa Yaszek

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 195 – December 2022

Lisa Yaszek just might be an anthologist and scholar we all should be talking about more. Yaszek was born in Dearborn, Michigan and grew up in various Detroit suburbs. She could read fluently by the time she was three. She earned her bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, first putting in two […]

Editor's Desk: Wellness Check

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 195 – December 2022

In my never-ending quest to figure out what to write about for this column, I decided to take a trip down memory lane and read through all of my past December editorials. Oddly enough, it made me feel better. I’m apparently always exhausted by this point in the year. Alongside the holidays, this time, it […]

The Neuroscience of “Babirusa”

NON-FICTION by Arula Ratnakar in Issue 194 – November 2022

Human minds are fascinating machines. They are able to process photons, soundwaves, and various other physical phenomena, turning the information into thought, emotion, and cognition—experience. They take snapshots and store these experiences to reemerge as memories in the presence of a reminder, then use those memories to generate fantastical simulations during dreams—experiences in their own […]

Refusing Categorization: A Conversation with Ray Nayler

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 194 – November 2022

Ray Nayler was born in Quebec and spoke French before he spoke English. The son of a hardware engineer, Nayler grew up in Fremont, California. “As a kid I once had so many overdue books that one of the librarians showed up at my house to get them back. I grew up skateboarding, and still […]

The Poetry of Prose: A Conversation with Nisi Shawl

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 194 – November 2022

Nisi Shawl has been reading since around age six. They have also been crafting entertaining stories since early childhood. A confession, from the autobiography on their website: “When I was little, I told my middle sister Julie convoluted tales of how I, a mermaid, had come to dwell in the small midwestern town of Kalamazoo, […]

Editor's Desk: Bringing the Future One Step Closer

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 194 – November 2022

The future of science fiction is international and, much like other envisioned futures, it arrives unevenly. Some people reap the benefits of things like clean water, cars, computers, or the Internet years, decades, or generations after the early adopters. When I last spoke of this, I realized a flaw in the phrasing. Science fiction is […]

Between Chaos and Order: The (Un)predictability of Evolution

NON-FICTION by Julie Nováková in Issue 193 – October 2022

When the crew of USS Enterprise encounters yet another alien species that looks exceptionally humanlike, we know to suspect the production budget rather than more profound reasons. But the underlying question is an important one: How humanlike, or not, would members of an extraterrestrial civilization be? How familiar would we find walking through a forest […]

Switching Perspectives: A Conversation with Marie Vibbert

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 193 – October 2022

Marie Vibbert was born at Booth Charity Hospital in East Cleveland, Ohio. She has lived in the greater Cleveland area since. She earned a bachelor’s from Case Western Reserve University and has also received “some boring technology certifications.” Vibbert met Brian Crick at Case Western, and they were married in 2001 at his mother’s house […]

Editor's Desk: Sweet Sixteen

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 193 – October 2022

It’s difficult to believe that sixteen years have passed since we published our first issue. Around two thousand of you can claim to have been there at the start, but like the size of our magazine, your ranks have swelled in the years since, too! About eight thousand words of fiction and a piece of […]

The White Tree of Gondor: A Brief Overview of Modern Ukrainian SF&F

NON-FICTION by Volodymyr Arenev and Mykhailo Nazarenko, translated by Alex Shvartsman in Issue 192 – September 2022

It is known that Númenor had sunk under a great wave, much as the Kievan Rus had perished in the flames of the invasion by the Golden Horde. In both cases, the legacies of those cultures live on. The descendants of Númenor had founded Arnor and Gondor, while the descendants of Kievan Rus live in […]

Intersectional Communities: A Conversation with Tory Stephens

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 192 – September 2022

Tory Stephens lived in East Cambridge, Massachusetts until he was ten years old. It was an ideal place to live until the eighties crack epidemic happened. “My mother, brother, and I walked into our apartment one day and surprised some burglars. I remember seeing the microwave, TV, and AC all stacked on top of each […]

Weird Compost: A Conversation with Ruthanna Emrys

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 192 – September 2022

Ruthanna Emrys was born and raised on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She moved for college, grad school, and academic positions, eventually landing in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed outside Washington, DC. “I love DC; it feels like home, and I hope to stay living there for the rest of my life. I love the free museums that […]

Editor's Desk: Not Alone

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 192 – September 2022

In a few days, I’ll be boarding my first flight in over two years and heading to Chicago for this year’s Worldcon. A decade ago, I had similar plans, but they were cut short by my heart attack. On some level, that makes this year’s trip more meaningful to me. I’ll be on several interesting […]

To Bear Witness: The Polar Bear as Refugee in Speculative Fiction

NON-FICTION by Octavia Cade in Issue 191 – August 2022

Polar bears are a charismatic species. They’re also one of the most visible victims of climate change, as the Arctic ice melts and deprives the bears of much of their hunting grounds, forcing them to spend more time onshore instead of out on the ice, and to exploit terrestrial food sources in order to avoid […]