We read the shorty story by Robert Reed “Two Ways of Living” in the Clarkesworld’s ISSUE 126, March 2017 The main idea of this story may be about a man hibernating to a future with better star-travelling conditions but what attracts our interest is the dog. A dog that has attached an AI on his collar thus making him able to communicate with the humans. Don’t we always wonder what our pets would tell us if they had they way to talk to us? As the main character sleeps and wakes after a couple of years each time he meets a lady who causes him only trouble but her friend the dog in the mean time evolves by using technology into a speaking being. Pros: + The dog Cons: – Not much going on apart from the sleeper’s interaction with the dog. But for the story’s size is acceptable.
Interchange by Gary Kloster is published in Clarkesworld’s January 2017 124 Issue Summary: Workers are building a highway interchange in an anti-time dome. They work for 6 months and not a minute change outside. Meanwhile the doctor has an android assistant which is identical to her late husband. But you know what they say, when you play with time… Pros: + A unique story. Usually we manipulate time in stories the other way around. But in this story is in reverse. Moreover, the plot evolves into a suspenseful mystery. + The android. The android’s point of view also helps us to look at more sides of the other characters. Cons: – Some of the characters emotions seem too extreme, a background story would be useful.(Like the doctor’s) – Doesn’t the ending create a time paradox?
A review for “Justice Systems in Quantum Parallel Probabilities” by Lettie Prell published and narrated in Clarkesworld’s January 2016 issue Summary: Cole is ready to face the justice system for the crimes that he committed. As he is entering the court room he will travel through various parallel worlds with their own unique justice systems. Pros: + Some very interesting ideas on justice + humor + feels like a twilight story Cons: – A simple demonstration of lots of justice systems.
The short story “A Series of Steaks” by Vina Jie-Min Prasad is published in January 2017 Clarkesworld’s issue. Not to for the faint-hearted vegans. A one woman company creates fake stakes. A man blackmails her into forging a whole steak. Fortunately, an assistant comes to the rescue. Pros: + Kate Baker’s narration. She seems to really enjoy reading this, and gives life to the dialogue Cons: – Dialogue seems unnatural along with the rest text at some times.
The Ghost Ship Anastasia by Rich Larson was published in January 2017’s Clarkesworld issue. Summary: An action packed mystery story about a space crew (including one sister who is physically dead) following the distress call received by a bioship. Its A.I. seems to have taken the ship over and its occupants are missing apart from one. Pros: + Action thriller packed. + Emotional because of the dead sister + Great ending Cons: + It’s not explained why the sister’s consciousness will deteriorate after a few hours in the spacesuit. Why does it fit in there at the first place?
This short story by Yosef Lindell is published in Clarkesworld’s December 2016 issue. Summary: A young boy is contacted by post sent by his father who is a time-traveler. Tears ensued. Pros: Very emotional. (A possible award winner?) Cons: It is not necessarily sci-fi. Although it helps its emotional impact.
Review for the short story “Blue Grey Blue” by Yukimi Ogawa is published in Clarkesworld’s December 2016 issue. Summary: Tsuyu doesn’t feel special (or belonging in high social class) because of his eyes’ colour. But when he starts dating an A.I. his eyes’ colour is changing and things are getting better… Pros: A serious matter that we are facing in our world through a different type of physical distinction. Cons: Questions are left unanswered as we don’t know much about the A.I.’s motives and its mechanics.
This is the review for “Checkerboard Planet” by Eleanor Arnason which was published in Clarkesworld’s December 2016 Issue. Summary: Lydia Duluth, a reoccurring character in Eleanor’s stories, is being assigned to infiltrate Bio-In’s compounds in this distant checkerboard planet by the A.I.s because they suspect of the existence of an extraterrestrial intelligence. Pros: + the World. A very interesting world has been created by the author. + Action Cons: – condensed. There was a lot of things going on in the story. And a lot of background information to the character’s backstory that as I understood can be traced in other stories as well. In the same story we are introduced in a complicated world, along with interesting characters.
This is the review for “Painter of Stars” by Wang Yuan, translated by Andy Dudak and published in ClarkeWorld’s December 2016 Issue. Summary: A robot becomes a tattoo artist by marking the human skin in an original way (and not very apparent). It starts first with its master and ends up being world famous. Pros: + Humor, there are some funny bits in respect of the robot’s interaction with the world. + Robot’s development. It’s very interesting seeing how a robot becomes self-aware and self-creative. Creating someone’s identity is also one of the story’s main subjects. Cons: – Not very believable in some parts. Specially as the story reaches its conclusion we have some questions You can read the story here
This short story is published as the first story in December’s 2016 Clarkesworld’s issue. Summary: Its premise starts slowly introducing us to this new world that is a result of several events occurring initially on Earth by starting with the catastrophe in Earth’s space elevator. The primary character’s point of view is that of a son that is burying his father in the new world’s soil. Pros: + A rich rural scenery + details on politics + space technologies Cons – Slow pace – We cannot connect to the characters Notes: The story’s theme about planting the remains of a relative as a seed which will grow roots reminded me a lot the ender’s saga’s second book Speaker for the Dead. I will not say more though so to not spoil anything. Please read it if you haven’t yet, it’s a great read!