Clarkesworld #59

Hello, it is August. New month, new magazines. What do we have for you this time?

Leading off we have “Conservation of Shadows” by Yoon Ha Lee, which on a quick look appears to be a re-telling of Ishtar’s journey to the underworld. I’m sold already. As always, Kate Baker provides the audio version.

The second story delights me for a different reason. It is a translation, from Chinese (I’m not sure which language, I’ll try to find out). The original is by Chen Qiufan, who has an excellent track record with over 30 stories sold and several available in English. The translation is by Ken Liu. And the story is “The Fish of Lijiang”. The audio for this will be available mid-month.

Jeremy continues his epic, multi-author round table discussion of epic fantasy. In addition he provides an interview with one of my favorite writers, Minister Faust.

In my department we have “Inconstant Constants” by my good friend Karen Burnham who holds out the tantalizing possibility that some of the fundamental constants of physics might not be so constant after all. It is a very controversial issue in cosmology, but magnificently science-fictional (and Karen points us at a few examples of it being used that way).

By the way, one of the objections to the idea of changing constants is that one current set of data seems to suggest that the Earth is the center of the universe. That’s a daft idea, of course. Or is it? Adam Roberts’ story, “Anticopernicus”, which suggests it might be true after all, is selling very well over at the Wizard’s Tower store.

There’s an editorial from Neil that outlines his schedule for Worldcon in Reno. We are, of course, up for the Hugo again, but I shall be very surprised (and rather disappointed) if Locus doesn’t win this year. Miss you, Charles.

On the other hand, I have my fingers crossed for Peter Watts and “The Things”. Peter, of course, can’t travel to Reno. Like me he has been banned from the USA. If he wins, Neil gets to collect the rocket, which will be nice as he missed out on doing so in Melbourne.

Finally our cover for August is “Into the Woods” by Erik Storstein, a Norwegian artist currently studying in Bournemouth. I wonder if I can lure him to BristolCon?

The new Clarkesworld is, of course, available through the Wizard’s Tower store.