The Best of Clarkesworld 2018

written by David Steffen

Clarkesworld continues strong this year with a mix of science fiction and fantasy, and edited by Neil Clarke, with Kate Baker producing and usually narrating the podcast. I am sure they will continue to be heavily represented on the awards ballots, and they remain prolific as ever, publishing 80 stories in 2018 by my count.

Their partnership with StoryCom continues, which provides a steady stream of translations of Chinese science fiction, which I continue to enjoy the different perspectives and flavor and to find new Chinese authors this way.

Every short story that is eligible for Hugo nominations this year which were first published by Clarkesworld are marked with an asterisk (*), novelettes are marked with a double-asterisk (**), novellas are marked with a triple-asterisk (***).

The List

1.“A World to Die For” by Tobias S. Buckell**
Your post-apocalyptic hunting party is stopped, and they ask for you, and they say they were sent by you.

2. “Umbernight” by Carolyn Ives Gillman***
A search party goes out in search of a supply pod from the homeworld, risking the dangers of the umbernight when dangerous radiation pours down from the other sun.

3. “To Fly Like a Fallen Angel” by Qi Yue, translated by Elizabeth Hanlon**
Hiding from authorities in the underground box that holds what’s left of civilization, this story never gave me what I expected at any point.

4. “Master Zhao: The Tale of an Ordinary Time-Traveler” by Zhang Ran, edited by Andy Dudak**
The food delivery guy claims to be a time-traveler with very little control over his fate.

5. “Thirty-Three Percent Joe” by Suzanne Palmer**
Smart prosthetics in a world of rampant war, smart enough to argue with each over about what’s best for their host.

6. “Octo-Heist in Progress” by Rich Larson*
Exactly as much fun as it sounds!

7. “Marshmallows” by D.A. Xiaolin Spires*
Augmented reality with Christmasy overlays, where homeless veterans become giant marshmallows

8. “Two-Year Man” by Kelly Robson
In a rigid class system, a lower-class “two-year man” rescues a baby from work and brings it home.

Honorable Mentions

“Death On Mars” by Madeline Ashby

“Dandelion” by Elly Bangs*

“MayFly” by Peter Watts and Derryl Murphy

“Swift as a Dream and Fleeting as a Sigh” by John Barnes

Published by

David Steffen

David Steffen is an editor, publisher, and writer. If you like what he does you can visit the Support page or buy him a coffee! He is probably best known for being co-founder and administrator of The Submission Grinder, a donation-supported tool to help writers track their submissions and find publishers for their work . David is also the editor-in-chief here at Diabolical Plots. He is also the editor and publisher of The Long List Anthology: More Stories From the Hugo Award Nomination List series. David also (sometimes) writes fiction, and you can follow on BlueSky for updates on cross-stitch projects and occasionally other things.

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