Gary's Reviews > Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 138

Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 138 by Neil Clarke
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The quality of the stories in this issue is consistently fair-to-good, but nothing stands out. Entries by Kij Johnson and E. Lily Yu were the most disappointing, due to the higher expectations I have for those authors. The most interesting story in the issue is The Persistence of Blood, by Juliette Wade, a mid-size novella that succeeds in its detailed world-building and gives us a compelling protagonist with a high-stakes goal. Selemei is a politician's wife and a member of the highest caste in her society. For some reason, birth rates among her caste are low (and getting worse) and women are coerced/forced into breeding until it kills them. Selemei's husband Xeref is trying to push through legislation that would give women more reproductive rights, but his sudden death puts the bill in jeopardy. Wade's novella takes a little while to shift into second gear, feels indulgent at times, and ultimately leaves a few too many loose ends. The conclusion, though, is emotionally satisfying and worth the ride. It feels as though the author intends to revisit this world and I would gladly revisit it with her; I am hopeful the next trip will come with a little tighter execution.
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Reading Progress

March 25, 2018 – Shelved
March 26, 2018 – Started Reading
March 26, 2018 – Finished Reading

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