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 […]

Abstract Concepts: A Conversation with Ashley Mackenzie

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 191 – August 2022

Ashley Mackenzie was born in Victoria, BC and grew up in Vancouver. Their family moved to Edmonton when they were eight and, other than spending a few years in Toronto for university, they ended up moving back to help their family. Mackenzie took a year of online courses via the Academy of Art University in […]

War and Peace: A Conversation with Anya Ow

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 191 – August 2022

Anya Ow was born and raised in Singapore. “At the time, Yio Chu Kang wasn’t as built over, migratory birds were more common, and you could fish in the canals closer to the aerospace park. It was a childhood that is perhaps less commonly possible in Singapore now that the country’s becoming more densely developed […]

Editor's Desk: Aristotle Would Be Disappointed

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 191 – August 2022

At the 2008 Worldcon, a motion was put forward to eliminate the Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine. Several people, myself included, registered our disagreement with the proposal at the time. We demonstrated both the range and quality of work being done by those publications while acknowledging that there were flaws in the current criteria for […]

Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire: Hope on a Small Island

NON-FICTION by E.E. King in Issue 190 – July 2022

About fifty miles (eighty kilometers) off the coast of Venezuela lies Bonaire, the “B,” in The ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao). There isn’t much to see on Bonaire, the capital Kralendijk is about three blocks long. The island is flat, warm, dry, and humid. The only notable wildlife are flamingos. In the evenings they […]

Mushrooms Sprout From Dead Things: A Conversation with Silvia Moreno-Garcia

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 190 – July 2022

Silvia Moreno-Garcia was born in Baja California, Mexico, and grew up in various places throughout the country. Her parents worked at radio stations, and she grew up surrounded by vinyl records. Her great-grandmother was from Hidalgo, and Moreno-Garcia drew inspiration from her stories and oral storytelling. Moreno-Garcia’s introduction to horror literature was via a collection […]

Dirty Words: A Conversation with Eileen Gunn

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 190 – July 2022

If you ask your favorite science fiction authors who their favorite science fiction author is, many of them will say: Eileen Gunn. Eileen Gunn was born in Dorchester, MA. “I grew up partly in Quincy, Mass., south of Boston, and partly south of there in Norwell, in the remote ’burbs, where we lived in a […]

Editor's Desk: I'm Still Here

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 190 – July 2022

Ten years ago, I was looking forward to attending Readercon with my family, relaxing with friends, selling some books, and celebrating Clarkesworld’s sixth anniversary. When I arrived on July 12th, I had no idea that it was going to become the luckiest and unluckiest day of my life. Shortly after dinner, I started feeling unwell. […]

Visitors From Other Stars: The First Interstellar Objects

NON-FICTION by Pauline Barmby in Issue 189 – June 2022

Many SF readers will know Arthur C. Clarke’s 1973 novel Rendezvous with Rama, in which an alien starship passing through the solar system is at first mistaken for an asteroid. Twenty years after the novel’s publication, the first nonfictional interstellar objects were found: interstellar dust grains measured by the Ulysses spacecraft. It took another twenty-five […]

A Whole New Wonderful Nightmare: A Conversation with Sam J. Miller

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 189 – June 2022

When Sam J. Miller was in preschool, they asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. He said, “Tyrannosaurus rex.” Miller was born in Hudson, NY, and he escaped when he was eighteen. Trained to be a butcher, the family shop went under; Walmart took over the town. Miller went to Rutgers […]

Everyday Dystopia: A Conversation with Samit Basu

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 189 – June 2022

Samit Basu was born and raised in Kolkata in West Bengal, India. He earned a degree in economics at Presidency College and completed a course in broadcasting and documentary filmmaking at the University of Westminster in London. Basu’s debut novel, The Simoqin Prophecies, “India’s first ever SFF (science fiction/fantasy) genre novel in English,” was published […]

Editor's Desk: Managing This Expectation

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 189 – June 2022

I’ve made no secret that I find writing these editorials to be difficult. It’s primarily because I’m a very slow writer, but also because it often feels like I’m standing in an empty field talking to myself. What other jobs have this sort of thing as an expectation? Is this the SF equivalent of a […]

Of Time and Travel

NON-FICTION by Galen T. Pickett in Issue 188 – May 2022

A fundamental consequence of Einstein’s Special Relativity is that no physical object can travel faster than light. A somewhat lesser-known consequence of this fact is a counterfactual. Any physical object (like a starship) traveling faster than light will break causality in exactly the same way a “time machine” would. That is, faster-than-light travel and time […]

Making Short Work of Commentary: A Conversation with Dennard Dayle

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 188 – May 2022

Dennard Dayle is a serious prankster. No, really. Even the news says this, so you know it’s true. Well, that program may not have used the term “prank,” but The New Yorker did. Dayle may be recognized by many for the pranks he’s pulled, but he’s also a successful fiction author with impressive sales and […]
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