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 […]

More Complex Than Caricature: A Conversation with Alex Shvartsman & Tarryn Thomas

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 188 – May 2022

Alex Shvartsman was born and grew up in Odesa, Ukraine, “or Odessa, USSR back then, the different spelling is not a typo.” He lived there for about fourteen years, then immigrated to New York City. He has lived in Brooklyn since 1991, and still lives there with his family, including a cat and a dog. […]

Editor's Desk: Recognition

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 188 – May 2022

Award season is once again upon us and I’m pleased to have some good news to share with you. Early last month, we received the news that two Clarkesworld stories are finalists for this year’s Aurealis Award: Grace Chan’s “He Leaps for the Stars, He Leaps for the Stars” (Best Science Fiction Short Story) and […]

Finding Endor: The Quest for Habitable Exomoons

NON-FICTION by Julie Nováková in Issue 187 – April 2022

Endor. Pandora. Acheron. What do these science-fictional places have in common? They’re moons. More precisely, habitable moons. In our own solar system, multiple moons—such as Jupiter’s Europa or Saturn’s Enceladus—host vast oceans of liquid water underneath their icy shells. But we have no moon whose surface would be habitable for life as we know it […]

A Whole World of SFF: A Conversation with Rachel Cordasco

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 187 – April 2022

Rachel Cordasco was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. At age eight she encountered Star Trek: The Next Generation, which became her gateway to genre. “I wandered into the living room while the TV was on and was hooked by the episode about the crew of the Enterprise traveling back to nineteenth century America and […]

Unpredictable Changes and Surprises: A Conversation with Djuna

INTERVIEW by Gord Sellar and Jihyun Park in Issue 187 – April 2022

Djuna is the pseudonym for an enigmatic and prolific giant of Korean SF whose offline identity has remained completely unknown to the world during their decades-long career. Djuna has played an important role in the development of modern science fiction in South Korea, a living link between its earlier period as an online amateur scene […]

Editor's Desk: Looking Ahead, 2022 Edition

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 187 – April 2022

As you may have noticed, the first three editorials of the year tend to get eaten up by our annual reader’s poll. After months of looking backwards, I get a bit jittery and want to do something that looks forward instead. Oddly enough, to prepare, I read last April’s editorial on the same theme and […]

Validating Rage: Women in Horror

NON-FICTION by Carrie Sessarego in Issue 186 – March 2022

Spoilers for: Halloween, Alien, The Babadook, Gaslight, Ready or Not, Rosemary’s Baby, A Nightmare on Elm Street In today’s world, women are often expected to be polite, to be selfless and self-sacrificing, and to be nurturing. Women never face more vitriol than when they express anger, an emotion that taints them with labels like “shrill,” […]

Breaking the Gender Barrier: A Conversation with Regina Kanyu Wang and Yu Chen

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 186 – March 2022

Regina Kanyu Wang was born and grew up in Shanghai, spending the first thirty years of her life there. She occasionally left for brief periods—the longest being one or two months—mainly for education or work. She did a writing residency in Las Vegas, summer school in Helsinki, and spent time in Nordic and Baltic fandom. […]

Friendship in the Time Of Kaiju: A Conversation with John Scalzi

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 186 – March 2022

John Scalzi grew up in Southern California and went to school in Claremont. He graduated from the Webb School in 1987 and attended the University of Chicago, where he became editor-in-chief of The Chicago Maroon. He graduated in 1991 with a philosophy degree. He returned to California and worked as a film critic, then as […]

Editor's Desk: The Best from 2021

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 186 – March 2022

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. Although participation rose by nearly ten percent over last year in round one, it was […]

COVID-19 and the Mental Health Crisis

NON-FICTION by Douglas F. Dluzen in Issue 185 – February 2022

For many people, the COVID-19 pandemic changed perceptions about mental health, including my own. Suddenly, during lockdown, I was extremely restless at night, dreaming up worst-case scenarios for my family and community: What if my two-year-old son developed long COVID What if I lost my job? What if society completely fell apart? These worries have […]

Community and Story: A Conversation with Zoraida Córdova

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 185 – February 2022

Zoraida Córdova was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. She immigrated to the US with her family on a family visa at age five or six, and grew up in Queens, New York. As a kid, farther back than she can remember, she watched X-Men, Gargoyles, Sailor Moon, and more, quickly discovering films such as Totoro, Merlin, […]

Staying Loose: A Conversation with Max Gladstone

INTERVIEW by Arley Sorg in Issue 185 – February 2022

Max Gladstone was born in Concord, MA and grew up in Ohio and Tennessee. He studied Chinese Literature at Yale, then lived in China as a Yale Fellow, teaching for two years in the rural Anhui province. When he returned to the US in 2008, the economic crisis and its impact on people was an […]

Editor's Desk: 2021 Reader's Poll Finalists

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 185 – February 2022

In late January, we held the first phase of our annual Clarkesworld Magazine Reader’s Poll for best story and cover art. Maintaining the model we’ve used in recent years, the nomination phase took place online and lasted just under two days. The narrow window has proven an effective tool in our efforts to minimize the […]

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 […]