Zero-g Zoo: Trying to Solve Reproduction in Space

NON-FICTION by Julie Nováková in Issue 184 – January 2022

Shall we go where no one has gone before? However, if we’re to stay there, we need to think about the next generation. Which means procreation in space—an issue we know very little about so far. What do we know, and what could be the potential obstacles of reproducing in space conditions? At least officially, […]

Working Towards Legacy: A Conversation with Ann & Jeff VanderMeer

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 184 – January 2022

Ann & Jeff VanderMeer’s The Big Book of Modern Fantasy, published in 2020 by Penguin Random House imprint Vintage, came out to a host of stellar reviews, was a finalist for a Locus Award, and won a World Fantasy Award. The Big Book of Classic Fantasy (2009, Vintage) received similar praise, including landing as a […]

It's . . . Complicated: A Conversation with James S.A. Corey

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 184 – January 2022

Daniel Abraham’s first publication was “Mixing Rebecca” in 1996 (in Ann VanderMeer’s The Silver Web magazine). That same year he graduated from the University of New Mexico with a degree in biology. He worked for a decade in tech support but continued to write and sell stories. “Veritas” came out in Warren Lapine’s Absolute Magnitude […]

Editor's Desk: 2021 in Review

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 184 – January 2022

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 2021 output. 12 issues 73 authors 40 authors had never been published in Clarkesworld before 83 stories (classified by Hugo Award categories below) 61 short stories 17 novelettes 5 […]

A Universe of Possibilities: Planets of Red Dwarfs

NON-FICTION by Julie Nováková in Issue 183 – December 2021

Live fast, shine brightly, die young: some stars are like that. But they are few. So are, cosmically speaking, stars like our own Sun, though it’s taking its “life” more slowly. By far, the most numerous stars in the cosmos are M dwarfs, also dubbed red dwarfs: tiny, dim stars that will never undergo the […]

Navigating the Seas of South Asian Diversity: A Conversation with Tarun K. Saint

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 183 – December 2021

Independent scholar and writer Tarun K. Saint was born in Kenya and moved to Long Island, New York at the age of two. He started reading around age five or six. His father taught at Friends World College. They moved to Udaipur in Rajasthan, India in 1972, and Saint was deschooled until 1977, “with the […]

A Whole New Realm: A Conversation with Diana M. Pho

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 183 – December 2021

Diana M. Pho was born and raised in the suburbs of Massachusetts. She’s lived in NYC most of her adult life, but has also traveled extensively, including studying abroad in Moscow. Pho earned a double bachelor’s degree in English and Russian literature from Mount Holyoke College. She was mentored by Corinne Demas, Susan Daniels, and […]

Editor's Desk: Worldcon Bound

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 183 – December 2021

In October, I attended Capclave, my first in-person convention since November 2019. It was small, low-key, and perfect for an overly introverted person to dip back into social waters after a long absence. Afterwards, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I needed nothing more than my normal post-convention recovery period. In November, I attended […]

Navigating the Storms of the Mind

NON-FICTION by Douglas F. Dluzen in Issue 182 – November 2021

The first time my four-month-old daughter Cedar spasmed, I had no idea I was witnessing a seizure. I had seen seizures in adults before, but this looked entirely different. Babies do strange stuff all the time, I thought, and this had been a brief thing. I dismissed the possibility that anything was wrong. But my […]

Celebrating the Diversity of Chinese Culture: A Conversation with Xueting Christine Ni

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 182 – November 2021

Xueting Christine Ni was born in Guangzhou and spent most of her childhood there, but moved around a lot as a child, experiencing many regions and cultural dynamics in China. “I’ve lived in the old town with its very close alleyways, in meandering tenements, as well as in modern gated apartment complexes.” Her father worked […]

Explicit Queerness: A Conversation with Charlie Jane Anders

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 182 – November 2021

If you ever get to see Charlie Jane Anders host an event where she introduces people, you will be amazed by the way she sparkles; but you’ll also be astonished by her creative prowess. She comes up with highly entertaining, whimsical, and in-some-world probable introductions, individualized for each person she introduces. It’s kind of breathtaking […]

Editor's Desk: Changing the Conventional Wisdom

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 182 – November 2021

“Everyone knows you can’t make money in short fiction.” —conventional wisdom Conventional wisdom often has an element of truth to it, but sometimes it’s used as an excuse to keep things the way they are or to discourage people from trying something hard. The problem is that it reframes beliefs and expectations rather than addressing […]

The Mermaid Problem

NON-FICTION by Carrie Sessarego in Issue 181 – October 2021

Almost everybody knows what a mermaid is, right? Human above the waist, fish on the bottom, oftentimes beautiful and seductive, sometimes terrifying and murderous: these creatures have appeared in a standardized form in Western art for hundreds of years. However, a deeper look at mer-lore shows a bounty of ancient and modern ways of thinking […]

Breaking Out of the Box: A Conversation with Cadwell Turnbull

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 181 – October 2021

Cadwell Turnbull was born in Chevy Chase, MD and moved to his parents’ home island of St. Thomas when he was still an infant. He moved to Pittsburgh to attend La Roche University and earned a degree in professional writing. He returned to St. Thomas for a year and worked as a substitute teacher, and […]

The Freedom of Science Fiction: A Conversation with Tobias S. Buckell

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 181 – October 2021

Tobias Samuel Buckell was born in Grenada. He grew up there, as well as on the British Virgin Islands and the US Virgin Islands. He moved to Ohio as a teen, after Hurricane Marilyn destroyed the boat his family lived on. Buckell attended Clarion in 1999 and shortly after graduated from Bluffton University with an […]

Editor's Desk: Fifteen

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 181 – October 2021

We were told we wouldn’t last a year, but here we are at our fifteenth anniversary issue and I have to say that it feels really good. To be fair to our early critics, the landscape for online fiction was more like a slaughterhouse back in 2006. While a lot of that was simply poor […]

Under Pressure: Life's Last Dance?

NON-FICTION by Julie Nováková in Issue 180 – September 2021

In the stifling depths where nothing had been thought to live, life thrives. In the deepest regions of Earth’s oceans or embedded far within its crust, both macroscopic and microbial life flourish despite the pressure that would instantly crush a human. Do you think the Mariana Trench is deep with great pressure at its bottom? […]

The Practice of Writing: A Conversation with Nina Allan

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 180 – September 2021

Nina Allan was born in Whitechapel, London, and grew up in the Midlands and West Sussex. She studied Russian language and literature at the University of Reading and the University of Exeter and earned her master’s in literature at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. She has lived on the Isle of Bute for nearly five years […]

5,000 Words a Day: A Conversation with Cat Rambo

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 180 – September 2021

Getting started in genre in the 2000s, with sales at venues including Strange Horizons, Talebones, Subterranean, and Fantasy Magazine, Cat Rambo now has published more stories than many authors will ever write. Rambo was born in College Station, TX, and grew up in South Bend, IN, in a house that was full of books, with […]

Editor's Desk: Ten+ Years of Translation

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 180 – September 2021

August quietly marked the tenth anniversary of our first translation, “The Fish of Lijiang” by Chen Qiufan, translated by Ken Liu. So why am I talking about it a month later? Well, to be honest, it sort of snuck up on me. I am not the first editor to feel passionately about the importance of […]

Retro Heroines: Bella, Buffy, and Katniss

NON-FICTION by Carrie Sessarego in Issue 179 – August 2021

The first decade of the 2000s was dominated by three groundbreaking heroines: Buffy Summers, of the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bella Swan from the Twilight series, and Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. These three heroines exercised power in ways consistent with their personalities and had different levels of success in reaching their […]

Just Under the Threshold: A Conversation with Adrian Tchaikovsky

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 179 – August 2021

Adrian Tchaikovsky, né Adrian Czajkowski, was born in Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire. He studied zoology and psychology at the University of Reading. In the mid-nineties, he paid the bills working with the Legal Aid Board, and via on-the-job training became a legal executive, eventually specializing in debt collection, litigation, and landlord/tenant law. At eighteen, Tchaikovsky discovered […]

Culture Beyond Flair: A Conversation with S. Qiouyi Lu

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 179 – August 2021

S. Qiouyi Lu was born and grew up in the San Gabriel Valley. Æ went to college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majoring in linguistics with a minor in Chinese. Æ did a few years of grad school, studying linguistics at Ohio State University, but ultimately returned to the San Gabriel […]

Editor's Desk: No Solicitations

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 179 – August 2021

A month doesn’t pass where I don’t field a question or see a comment about whether or not magazines, Clarkesworld included, are welcoming to new authors. A lot of this stems from a belief that magazines prioritize “name” authors over newcomers in the submissions process. Of major concern is the practice of solicited submissions, works […]

Destination Mercury

NON-FICTION by Andrew Liptak in Issue 178 – July 2021

There is no better example of how science fiction’s tendency to try and imagine a plausible future is like throwing a dart at a moving target than Larry Niven’s 1964 short story “The Coldest Place.” Up to that point, astronomers widely believed that the planet Mercury was tidally locked to the Sun: its rotation matched […]

Perpetual Training: An Interview with Tommy Arnold

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 178 – July 2021

Tommy Arnold’s memorable illustrations grace Fran Wilde’s Updraft books, the Subterranean Press edition of Martha Wells’ The Murderbot Diaries, C. L. Clark’s The Unbroken, Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth and Harrow the Ninth, and many more. Among other accolades, he was a Jack Gaughan Award winner in 2016, has been a Chesley Award nominee every […]

Connected to Culture: A Conversation with Sheree Renée Thomas

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 178 – July 2021

Sheree Renée Thomas was born in Memphis, TN. The eldest child of an air force vet, she grew up on various military bases. She eventually moved to New York, where she lived for twenty years before returning to live in Memphis. She worked at genre bookstore Forbidden Planet, as well as working full-time in publishing […]

Editor's Desk: An In-House Holiday

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 178 – July 2021

In October, Clarkesworld will celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of its very first issue, but for those of us behind-the-scenes, July (the seventh, to be precise) is where it all began. I was set on this path after a late-night conversation about the state of online fiction with Sean Wallace at Readercon. If you know your […]

Fungi in Fiction

NON-FICTION by Carrie Sessarego in Issue 177 – June 2021

Depictions of alien life-forms in movies and television are constrained by budget, by practicalities, and by storytelling purposes. For the purposes of budget and storytelling possibilities, Hollywood tends to highlight aliens with whom we can communicate, combat, cooperate with, and (if the original Star Trek is any indication) have sex with. Because of this, most […]

Undoing Good Women: A Conversation with Cassandra Khaw

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 177 – June 2021

Born in Malaysia, Cassandra Khaw grew up watching horror movies with their parents, from John Carpenter’s The Thing to A Nightmare on Elm Street to Critters. When they got older, they got into Asian horror movies, such as Shutter and The Eye. Nonetheless, long before landing their first fiction sales, they were a tech and […]
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