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

What’s in a name?

Picked this up from Sean’s blog this morning:

“New site Clarkesworld Magazine has to date published mostly fantasy, in spite of its title, and rather sexually explicity fantasy at that, but is attracting high-level professional writers, and is another site to watch.”—Gardner Dozois

This comes from the current issue of Locus, which I haven’t picked up from my PO box yet.   I am amused.

 “in spite of its title”

My name is Neil Clarke.  Though it would be cool if Arthur C. Clarke was related in some way, as far as I can tell, he isn’t.  The name of the magazine comes from the name of the bookstore.  The name of the bookstore came from the name of the domain we owned.  That domain was originally purchased as a site for my family, the Clarkes.  So, as much as I admire his work, he wasn’t in my mind when any of this happened. 

“rather sexually explicit”

Wow.  The first six stories do contain some sex or sexual references in them.  I’d certainly like to hear what other people have to say.  In my opinion, that phrase is a bit too strong.  Reminds me of porn.  Either way, it wasn’t intentional and not one of our goals.

“and is another site to watch”

All is forgiven.  You are a wise man Mr. Dozois.  Thank you!


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  1. “rather sexually explicit”

    Tent peg.

  2. I think you should work the Arthur C Clarke being related to you angle.

  3. >”rather sexually explicit”

    to a degree, it feels more like sexual obsession/ perversity is one of the key elements sought after. Not so much with the establshed author slot – Elibeth Bear, etc – but the newbie ones, most of the ones I’ve read, have all had heavy sexual themes.
    Does that bother me, as a reader? Not really; if it’s interesting I’ll read it. But it does get tiring too.

    Ditto on the Arthur Clarke angle, lol!

    • I don’t think they are sought after. Looks to be more an accident of timing, and something we should probably watch in the future. Funny, I was concerned that we weren’t getting enough SF…

  4. It’s a big deal to get a heads up from Dozois despite the fantasy. He’s a pretty SF-only type.

    And I guess you can’t blame the poor fellow for the Carke assumption. He was editor at Asimovs for about 3 million years.

    • I’m absolutely thrilled that he noticed us. I just had to say something about the Clarke assumption though. I find it amusing.

  5. Change the name to Neilsworld!!! 😛

  6. I just want to say that I’ve enjoyed many of the stories that GD was probably referring to. And I’m sure you’ve already received lots of support, so you likely don’t need my late-arriving attaboy.

    Still, just in case you’ve lingering worries, I wanted to throw this into the mix:

    If you’re playing in the gender/sexuality/race/disability end of the specfic pool, or if you’re interested in communication or epistemology and embodiment, or family and kinship, chances are good they’ll be body/perversity/explicit sex/sexuality, &c in your writing.

    And with certain pro sf magazines with an unstated bias against stories with ‘physical’ content, and others with an avowed preference for PG13, finding a market for stories in that territory can be tricky.

    Just because stories are for grown-ups, doesn’t mean they need an ‘adult’ rating.

    Just my 2¢ worth in passing.

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