“Awesome Scifi”

I’ve said before that I think of the quintessential Clarkesworld style as “awesome scifi.” Helena Bell’s “All the Young Kirks and Their Good Intentions” in the current issue is a great example.

All the young Kirks in Riverside are in love with Jamie. She wears tight green skirts and impractical shoes. When she crosses and uncrosses her legs all the Kirks, even the girls, turn their heads ever so slightly to watch. Jamie does not have a boyfriend as none of the Kirks are so bold as to admit their feelings to another.

Gorgeous, isn’t it? It pulls you right in and makes you want to follow along even if you aren’t sure what’s going on.

Bell’s bio says that she’s a poet. I bet that’s true of a lot of Clarkesworld authors. Xia Jia, whose story I translated for this issue, is another Clarkesworld author who writes scifi poetically.

Update 2/3/2012: the other stoy in the issue, Mari Ness’s “And the Hollow Space Inside,” is beautiful and haunting. I like this one even more than her Clarkesworld story from last year, which was lovely. I can’t say much about it without giving away the point, so you should go read it yourself. This whole issue is really good.