Award-Winning Editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, Forever Magazine, The Best Science Fiction of the Year, and More

Month: January 2021

Clarkesworld Readers Poll

The nomination phase of the annual Clarkesworld Magazine poll is now open. In this phase, you’ll pick your three favorite covers and stories published in Clarkesworld in 2020. The works with the most nominations will go on to be our 2020 finalists and a winner will be determined by a second round of voting in February. All stories and artwork can be found here: neil-clarke.com/2020-clarkesworld-stories-and-cover-art and the survey is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/cw2021nom

NOMINATIONS WILL CLOSE ON TUESDAY JANUARY 26th, 2020 11:00PM EST.

2020 Clarkesworld Stories and Cover Art

2020 Clarkesworld Stories

“Helicopter Story” by Isabel Fall (Novelette, 1/2020) (This is the replacement title for the story published in our January 2020 issue and later withdrawn by the author.)
“Monster” by Naomi Kritzer (Novelette, 1/2020)
“The AI That Looked at the Sun” by Filip Hajdar Drnovšek Zorko (Short Story, 1/2020)
“The Last to Die” by Rita Chang-Eppig (Short Story, 1/2020)
“The Perfect Sail” by I-Hyeong Yun (Novelette, 1/2020)
“The Ancestral Temple in a Box” by Chen Qiufan (Short Story, 1/2020)
“Outer” by Hollis Joel Henry (Short Story, 2/2020)
“Eyes of the Crocodile” by Malena Salazar Maciá (Short Story, 2/2020)
“Mandorla” by Cooper Shrivastava (Short Story, 2/2020)
“The Host” by Neal Asher (Novelette, 2/2020)
“Jigsaw Children” by Grace Chan (Novelette, 2/2020)
“Generation Gap” by Thoraiya Dyer (Novelette, 2/2020)
“Time Reveals the Heart” by Derek Künsken (Short Story, 3/2020)
“Coffee Boom: Decoctions, Micronized” by D.A. Xiaolin Spires (Short Story, 3/2020)
“Leave-Taking” by M. L. Clark (Novelette, 3/2020)
“The Amusement Dark” by Mike Buckley (Novelette, 3/2020)
“Grayer Than Lead, Heavier Than Snow” by Yukimi Ogawa (Novelette, 3/2020)
“The Whale Fall at the End of the Universe” by Cameron Van Sant (Short Story, 3/2020)
“Distant Stars” by P H Lee (Short Story, 4/2020)
“AirBody” by Sameem Siddiqui (Short Story, 4/2020)
“A System for Investigating Recapitulation and Evolutionary Novelty” by Kyle E Miller (Short Story, 4/2020)
“The ThoughtBox” by Tlotlo Tsamaase (Short Story, 4/2020)
“Debtless” by Chen Qiufan (Novelette, 4/2020)
“Angel Pattern” by Henry Szabranski (Novelette, 4/2020)
“What Happens in Solarium Square 21” by Ashleigh Shears (Short Story, 5/2020)
“Albedo Season” by Ray Nayler (Short Story, 5/2020)
“A Stick of Clay, in the Hands of God, is Infinite Potential” by JY Neon Yang (Novelette, 5/2020)
“Quantum Fish” by Bo Balder (Novelette, 5/2020)
“The Language Sheath” by Regina Kanyu Wang (Novelette, 5/2020)
“The Translator, at Low Tide” by Vajra Chandrasekera (Short Story, 5/2020)
“The Iridescent Lake” by D.A. Xiaolin Spires (Novelette, 6/2020)
“How Long the Shadows Cast” by Kenji Yanagawa (Novelette, 6/2020)
“Nine Words for Loneliness in the Language of the Uma’u” by M. L. Clark (Novella, 6/2020)
“Optimizing the Path to Enlightenment” by Priya Chand (Short Story, 6/2020)
“Own Goal” by Dennard Dayle (Short Story, 6/2020)
“Artificial People” by Michael Swanwick (Short Story, 7/2020)
“One Time, a Reluctant Traveler” by A. T. Greenblatt (Short Story, 7/2020)
“Three Stories Conjured from Nothing” by ShakeSpace (Short Story, 7/2020)
“Power to Yield” by Bogi Takács (Novella, 7/2020)
“Strange Comfort” by Tegan Moore (Novelette, 7/2020)
“The Oddish Gesture of Humans” by Gabriel Calácia (Short Story, 7/2020)
“The House That Leapt into Forever” by Beth Goder (Short Story, 7/2020)
“The Lori” by Fiona Moore (Short Story, 8/2020)
“Drawing Lines Between the Stars” by Frank Smith (Short Story, 8/2020)
“The Plague” by Yan Leisheng (Short Story, 8/2020)
“An Important Failure” by Rebecca Campbell (Novelette, 8/2020)
“The Immolation of Kev Magee” by L.X. Beckett (Novelette, 8/2020)
“Nameless He” by Robert Reed (Novelette, 8/2020)
“Blue And Blue And Blue And Pink” by Lavie Tidhar (Short Story, 9/2020)
“What Remains of Maya Sankovy” by G. D. Angier (Short Story, 9/2020)
“Lone Puppeteer of a Sleeping City” by Arula Ratnakar (Novelette, 9/2020)
“Certainty” by Isabel Lee (Novelette, 9/2020)
“Ask the Fireflies” by R. P. Sand (Novelette, 9/2020)
“Every Plumage, Every Beak” by Nin Harris (Short Story, 9/2020)
“The Book Reader” by Keishi Kajifune (Short Story, 9/2020)
“Callme and Mink” by Brenda Cooper (Short Story, 10/2020)
“To Set at Twilight In a Land of Reeds” by Natalia Theodoridou (Short Story, 10/2020)
“Wandering Rocks” by Gregory Feeley (Novelette, 10/2020)
“You and Whose Army?” by Greg Egan (Novelette, 10/2020)
“Last Wishes” by D.A. Xiaolin Spires (Novelette, 10/2020)
“All Living Creation” by Xiu Xinyu (Short Story, 10/2020)
“Ashes Under Uricon” by Adrastos Omissi (Short Story, 10/2020)
“The Land of Eternal Jackfruits” by Rupsa Dey (Short Story, 11/2020)
“Death Is for Those Who Die” by Jana Bianchi (Short Story, 11/2020)
“To Sail the Black” by A.C. Wise (Novelette, 11/2020)
“Lost in Darkness and Distance” by Clara Madrigano (Novelette, 11/2020)
“Niuniu” by Baoshu (Novelette, 11/2020)
“The Murders of Jason Hartman” by Brady Nelson and Jamie Wahls (Short Story, 11/2020)
“The Love Life of John Doe” by K Raghasudhan (Short Story, 11/2020)
“The Island of Misfit Toys” by Fiona Moore (Short Story, 12/2020)
“Things That Happen When You Date Your Ex’s Accidentally Restored Backup From Before The Divorce” by Lisa Nohealani Morton (Short Story, 12/2020)
“The Last Days of Old Night” by Michael Swanwick (Short Story, 12/2020)
“Conversations in the Dark” by Robert Reed (Novelette, 12/2020)
“No Way Back” by Chi Hui (Short Story, 12/2020)
“Forward Momentum and a Parallel Toss” by AnaMaria Curtis (Short Story, 12/2020)
“Songs of Activation” by Andy Dudak (Short Story, 12/2020)

2020 Clarkesworld Cover Art

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“Zarrio” by Eduardo García

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“cattleDrive” by Colie Wertz

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“Pitstop” by Thomas Chamberlain-Keen

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“Home Planet” by Beeple

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“From the Moon to Mars” by Thomas Chamberlain-Keen

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“Plains of Forgotten Hopes” by Viko Menezes

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“Family Portrait” by Yigit Koroglu

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“Monk’s Mirror” by Joseph Diaz

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“51” by Rodion Shaldo

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“Ancient Stones” by Francesca Resta

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“Alien Scout” by Arjun Amky

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“I Hear Them” by Claudio Pilia

Health Update

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been dealing with what I’ve been calling “kidney stones.” The truth of the matter is a bit more complicated than that. The story starts over eight years ago, just after having my heart attack. The day I returned home from the hospital, I started feeling an intense pain that landed me back in the emergency room of our local hospital. That turned out to be an impassable kidney stone. Due to my health and the volume of blood thinners I was on, they couldn’t take the standard shockwave approach to dealing with it. When they tried alternatives, the amount of blood was enough to cut the procedure short and they ended up placing a stent so that I would no longer require the pain medications (which they were growing concerned about causing other problems) or a hospital stay. The plan was to come back and deal with it when I was well enough to do so.

Having received two stents in my heart the week before, I made an incorrect assumption that there wasn’t an expiration date on the stent they placed. (Very stupid.) I was no longer in pain and my heart issues took priority. The doctor who had installed the stent was out of network. I kept meaning to find a new urologist, but stupidly didn’t and I’m paying for that now. The stone rarely came up as more than medical history in the years between. I’ve remained on the blood thinners since and wasn’t comfortable with the thought of going off them for another procedure. (I’ve been off them for two weeks now and it’s causing me considerable stress, but not having this dealt with was… stupid. See a trend here?)

This type of stent, however, is meant to be temporary. Eventually, it failed, breaking into many unpassable pieces. My body responded as it should, by attacking it, leading each piece to become calcified with new stones. The stone it had been holding at bay was also eventually released. When I went to the hospital at the start of the month, I thought it was just that one stone, but it was more like an asteroid field of debris scattered between my kidney and bladder. The scan they showed me was lit up like a Christmas tree.

I had to spend several days in the hospital for pain management while they waited for the blood thinners to leave my body. I’m resistant to most pain medication, so it took a bit of time to find something that worked effectively and then they had to balance it with anti-nausea treatments to keep me from being sick. After a few days, they attempted the first procedure–to clear the bladder and remove the larger pieces of stent, including one that was now wedged between the two–and that was largely successful. I went home the next day to recover.

The second procedure, a week later, was anticipated to be significantly more challenging. The goal was to clear my kidney of what remained, but unfortunately they only managed to get about 70% of the material before having to stop and place a new stent to hold what remained at bay. I left the hospital later that day groggy and not really understanding much of what transpired. I’m still finding out little details.

Both procedures involved heading in (not saying how, but I was mercifully unconscious) with lasers to break up materials and vacuum it out. That makes two years in a row where I’ve had people shooting lasers inside my body in January. It’s a habit I hope to break.

Apparently we’ve reached the point where shockwave therapy is back on the table as an option. This causes a fair amount of internal bleeding, so it’s likely I’ll be pulled from the blood thinners again. A normal person with just a plain old stone would have started here and been done, so it feels like the worst might be over. I do still have the new stent–which comes with its own special, but predictable, type of pain–but that can be removed after the shockwave has broken up what remains. At this point, I’m told that I need to heal. The next session hasn’t been scheduled yet and could be weeks away.

If that wasn’t enough, I was informed this morning that they also noticed a cyst in my kidney. Apparently these are quite common, so I’ve been told not to worry about it. Easier said than done, but it’s good to know they are on top of things and will be monitoring the situation.

This latest medical saga isn’t done, but at least there’s no more hospital stays with their infernal IV lines and needles in my immediate future. (I neglected to mention that my IV line was accidentally ripped out when they were moving me back to my hospital bed after the first procedure. By some miracle, my arm ended in exactly the perfect position for the needle to pull out without ripping me to shreds. I’d like to thank the universe for that one small mercy it showed me. When it happened there were audible gasps in the room and I couldn’t bring myself to look until a stunned nurse said there was no blood.)

Quick Health Update

If you’ve been trying to get in touch with me, you should probably know that I’ve been in the hospital much of the last week. In short, kidney stones, but the full story is much more complicated and ugly explanation that spans eight years of medical issues. The good news is that I’m in considerably less pain. I do, however, have another procedure scheduled for next week and the possibility of needing a third not long after that.

I’ll still be working, but expect my schedule to be erratic for a bit. In-progress updates about medical stuff will be on Twitter if you want to follow there.

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