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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Editor's Desk: What Do You Want?

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 177 – June 2021

“What do you want?” That was the question asked by the representative of the Shadows in Babylon 5. The Shadows were an ancient race that followed the first principles of chaos through warfare, evolution through bloodshed, and perfection through victory. For a younger race to reach their full potential they must endure the chaos of […]

Editor's Desk: A Quarantine Soapbox

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 176 – May 2021

Much like Matt Dixon’s robot on the cover of this month’s issue, I’ve felt a little boxed in this month. I’m currently in mandatory quarantine following a COVID test for the third time in the last two weeks. I should make it clear that I’m not at risk, though. This is solely for the protection […]

Editor's Desk: In the Months Ahead

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 175 – April 2021

My last few editorials have been consumed by a focus on our annual reader’s poll and the works we published in 2020. This month, I’m turning it around and looking ahead to a few of the things that will be happening here in 2021. First, let me set the stage. I started the year with […]

Editor's Desk: The Best from 2020

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 174 – March 2021

Over the last two months, Clarkesworld readers have been helping to determine the best story and cover art that we published in 2020. While there’s almost always someone (or a group of someones) who tries to sway the process, the voting went rather smoothly this year. Participation was up slightly over 2019 with the majority […]

Editor's Desk: 2020 Reader's Poll Finalists

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 173 – February 2021

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 continued to prove effective at minimizing the effects of ballot-stuffing […]

Editor's Desk: 2020 in Review

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 172 – January 2021

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 2020 output. 12 issues 69 authors 36 authors had never been published in Clarkesworld before 8 (possibly 10) had never been published before, 2 others were first professional sales […]

Editor's Desk: Don't Let Go of the Future

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 171 – December 2020

It’s tempting to write a year-in-review editorial, but honestly, I don’t feel up to writing about life-threatening surgery, pandemics, deaths, or the host of other stressful elements that make up this past year’s highlights. It’s pervasive and exhausting. We’ve all been through enough and I understand now why previous pandemics have been more-or-less removed from […]

Editor's Desk: Staring at the Ceiling

EDITORIAL by Neil Clarke in Issue 170 – November 2020

I started off the year with uncertainty. I knew I was heading into risky surgery that would result in weeks of recovery, so I decided that we’d start 2020 simple at Clarkesworld. No extra work. No new projects. Maintain the status quo. I decided that I wouldn’t need the extra stress and despite that, I […]

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 […]
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