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review 2017-07-30 16:12
And the cover is so pretty...
Realms: The First Year of Clarkesworld Magazine - Jeff VanderMeer,Sean Wallace,Elizabeth Bear,Caitlín R. Kiernan

... which is not a word I would use for what's inside.

 

This is not to be read in one sitting. For the most part, the tales in this collection are  upsetting, full of triggers, dark, squicky or all of the above, with some beauty thrown in for flavor. I found about half of the stories very interesting, immersible, though provoking; half I did not quite get; about a quarter were absolutely disgusting; maybe a tenth were just mind-blowing awesome. And almost none could be ascribed to just one or two of those categories.

I'm not totally sure of my rating, I don't know that I really liked experiencing these in a couple of days. But the independent shock value of each piece is really something.

- A light in Troy: Gutting. Specially because it's left there. But maybe for the same, a bit hopeful.

- 304 Adolf Hitler Strasse: Sickening. Take-that to slash too. Recursive. My brain hurts a bit.

- The Moby Clitoris of his beloved: first, WTF is that title (same as above, actually). It was... ick

- Lydia's Body: Well, that was uncomfortable *grimace* You can see it going wrong, and then it turns a 180 and goes worse.

- Urchins, While Swimming: It's Valente. Beautiful and bittersweet.

- The Other Amazon: Meta. A readers' wet dream.

- Orm the Beautiful: Jewels, dragons. No possible loss. But damn was it beautifully bittersweet.

- Automatic: grim

- Chewing Up the Innocent: The agony of the (creepy) artist and mid-life crisis. Little good can come out of it. And it is still oddly hopeful.

- Attar of Roses: Creepy like the smell of wilting flowers at cemeteries

- Clockmakers Requiem: I did not understand that one at all, but I liked the strange world it painted.

- Something in the Mermaid Way: AH! God!

- The Third Bear: That was pointlessly cruel.

- The First Female President: Well, talk about cruelty.

- There's no Light Between Floors: Sad and claustrophobic. Those that forget history and all that.

- Qubit Conflicts: I don't know that much about programing for this, but it IS heavily ironic.

- The Oracle Spoke: That's a terrifying concept.

- Moon Over Yodok: It doesn't say it, but, Oh, my God. She's the rabbit, and she made him her soup. So sad.

- I'll gnaw your bones, the Manticore said: Loved it, for the questions it raises, and for the departure from the all around dark cast.

- Transtexting Pose: Wait, what? Also, squick.

- The Taste of Wheat: Mystical, but ew!

- The Beacon: "Ant's life" and Armageddon and drastic changes in social mores. Awesome-sauce.

- The Ape's Wife: Nightmarish collection of might have beens and excellent exploration. Bonus point for putting me to search for "The thunder, perfect mind"

- Lost Soul: I admit I though it would go deeper. Still:

Are you surprised?” Bela said. “You ought not to be. Did you not know that every woman has a soul that belongs to her alone?

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text 2017-06-27 04:13
Reading progress update: I've read 12%.
Realms: The First Year of Clarkesworld Magazine - Jeff VanderMeer,Sean Wallace,Elizabeth Bear,Caitlín R. Kiernan

Right... not a dinner reading. The editor warned.

 

Also, I want a poster out of that cover to hang in my wall. I can't stop looking at it.

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review 2017-02-23 09:26
Mixed bag, but I so want this magazine
Clarkesworld Magazine Issue 71 - Sofia Samatar,Neil Clarke,Kij Johnson,Catherynne M. Valente

I came to this issue by clicking on other Valente's stories besides "Silently and Very Fast".

 

Mantis Wives by Kij Johnson was... a gory allegory? I'm unclear and I didn't quite care for it. Pity, because Ponies, of the same writer, was too a gory allegory that is awesome in it's absolute cruelty.

 

Honey Bear by Sofia Samatar was damn freaky in how fast it pulls you in an unexpected, creepy direction. Full stars.

 

Fade to White by Katherine Valente reads like the beginning of a Dystopia novel. Leaving it there makes it a damned grim and hopeless, but it's an engrossing and disquieting piece.

 

As for the articles, Magic Systems felt thin, arbitrary and too anglo-centric. Plausibility and Truth was awesome. Finding the Good is a bit heartwarming, but not unexpected to my geek self. Somewhat fringe communities tend to flock to beloved members. The Conversation with China was interesting, and I might end up reading something of his.

 

An uneven whole, but interesting. I wonder if the is a printed version of this, and if the magic of globalization would ever drop some issues in my corner of the word for me to purchase.

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text 2017-02-23 05:53
Reading progress update: I've read 25%.
Clarkesworld Magazine Issue 71 - Sofia Samatar,Neil Clarke,Kij Johnson,Catherynne M. Valente

 

Now, kids, don't forget to register your gift with the Ladies' Auxiliary. We wouldn't want your Daddy to get two of the same gift! How embarrassing! That's why Gimbels carries the complete Whole Father line, right next to the registration desk so your Father's Day is a perfect one.

 

Wuh? OMG! No wonder his "job is here" and the days alloted, and... damn! They are the only ones that don't go to war, aren't they?

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review 2016-01-02 16:41
My Christmas Present to me
Clarkesworld Issue 111 - Cassandra Khaw,Tamsyn Muir,Seth Dickinson,Cixin Liu,Neil Clarke,Sean McMullen,Walter Jon Williams

I enjoy short stories so I got myself a subscription to Clarkesworld Magazine. I started off with the December issue. I had read a few stories on their site previously but decided for $2.99/month I can treat myself to the whole thing. 

 

A short story has to grab the reader and involved them in very few words, like a comic only without the added help of art work. These issues do have a few renderings that make the feel of Science Fiction and Fantasy more pronounced. 

 

Issue #111 was decent as with most magazines you have exceptional stories and those that just fly through just so you felt you got your money's worth of reading the whole issue. 

 

Yuanyan's Bubbles by Liu Cixin was the first story and I must say I was debating on whether I wasted my $2.99, at first. The story is about bubbles, blowing them or at least the first few paragraphs and being a short story one tends to get a bit worried since the first few paragraphs are what are supposed to keep you interested before moving on. But I was not disappointed in the end. 

 

The most confusing story Morrigan in Shadow, by Seth Dickinson. Confusing but good and again I was worried I probably should have just went with buying single issues that interested me instead of committing to a monthly subscription. 

 

The best story in my opinion, which is what this is all about anyway, was Union by Tamsyn Muir. So much information into a few pages was profound. I really wish I had this talent. The use of dialog is very important in any story but short stories much more so since this is how the reader understand the characters in such a short time. Muir did an excellent job of portraying the different characters and giving us each a sense of who they are and why they are that way.

 

All in all it was a decent issue and I look forward to the next one. What better way to learn about past writers and find new ones to follow than in a format such as Clarkesworld Magazine 

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