5mm Wider Than Usual, 16 More Pages Than Usual. Colour Throughout.
Cover Artwork By Pawel Lewandowski
Saving Mars by Jason Stoddard (novella)
Illustrated by Josh Finney/Glitchwerk
Strings by David Mace
Illustrated by Jesse Speak
Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh
Illustrated by Chris Nurse
Guadalupe and Hieronymus Bosch by Rudy Rucker
Illustrated by Rudy Rucker
Third Day Lights by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Illustrated by Jesse Speak
Imagine by Edward Morris
Readers’ Poll by Martin McGrath
Ansible Link by David Langford
Richard Calder: Rebel With a Clue
Interviewed by Michael Lohr
Mutant Popcorn by Nick Lowe
Film Reviews (War Of The World, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Four)
I Am Alive And You Are Dead:Philip K. Dick
Book review and sidebars by Andrew Hedgecock
Scores by John Clute
plus other book reviews by Iain Emsley, Farah Mendlesohn, David Mathew, Peter Tennant, Vikki Lee, Jim Steel, John Howard, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Martin Lewis…
INTERZONE 200 REVIEW
Being Britain’s only professional SF short story magazine, it is encouraging to see it’s 200th issue published this month.
Interzone has reached a milestone issue; issue 200. Interzone has now been around for twenty-odd years, and it appears to be stronger than ever. It is 5mm wider than usual, has 16 more pages than usual and is full colour throughout. It truly is a sight to behold and on top of that it also smells nice.
The first thing I noticed when it was delivered was that the full colour actually makes it look like a ‘proper’ magazine, as opposed to a ‘fanzine’. This, in conjunction with the silk finish makes it now fit to be on shelfs in W.H. Smith.
Editorial / First up is the Editorial by Andy Cox, where he delves into the past of Interzone and the future of Interzone, focusing on the positioning of the magazine in highstreet shops. The guy is always interesting to read.
Reader’s Poll / Included in this issue is the time honoured Reader’s Poll. Martin McGrath has put together a list of stories which have appeared within issues 194 to 200. Looking down the list it amazed me at the diversity of authors and stories. Another excuse to dig out earlier issues and re read. The reader’s poll is a good way for the people behind Interzone to work out what kind of stories are liked and disliked, and to get an idea of might need to be published in the future. I personally, can’t wait for the results.
Ansible Linknk / This is more of the same by David Langford, and always an enjoyable read.
Interview With Richard Calder: Rebel With A Clue / Richard Calder first made his appearance in the pre TTA Press Interzone a good while ago. Now, while I don’t particularly like his stories, this is just a personal thing, and I know other people who rave over him. The interview itself is an interesting insight into the author, though the associated photographs of Richard Calder look a wee bit contrived.
Strings: David Mace. (Illustrated by Jesse Speak) / This is the best story of the issue. Following a near-future patrol using hi-tech technology behind enemy lines; they become trapped on all sides by enemy troops and a camp of civilians. Even though they could easily take out the enemies, they have to lay low so as not to be discovered, and thus jepodizing their mission.
I found the build up to the finale a though provoking experience. It comes to it’s conclusion when a boy herding goats comes close to the hiding patrol.
It is well paced, starting off slow with the momentum increasing towards the end. There is a common denominator through this story which is highlighted in it’s title (but enough said as I don’t want to spoil it for you).
The illustrations are suitable though a bit ‘obvious’ for this type of story. Pleasing to the eye non the less.
Soft Apocolypse: Will McIntosh. (Illustrated by Chris Nurse) / Set in the near future, it follows the protagonist struggling to come to terms and get over an x girlfriend. He delves into virtual reality (VR) speed dating. Set against a backdrop of a city plagued with viral attacks (made previously with generally available kits),
An interesting look at what could quite possibly happen in the future. Where speed dating is still around, but utilises a VR environment. I particularly liked the way the persons data/contact details could be downloaded if the participant deemed them suitable.
Guadalupe And Hieronymus Bosh: Rudy Rucker. (Illustrated by Rudy Rucker) /
Saving Mars: Jason Stoddard. Illustrated by Josh Finney/Glitchwerk) /
Third Day Lights: Alaya Dawn Johnson. (Illustrated by Jesse Speak) / This story reminds me of the feeling I had when I first saw Salvador Dali’s paintings at the Tate Gallery in London. Bizarre. You can’t help frowning through half the story, and it just gets deeper towards the end. It’s the story of a stange creature who can shap shift into practically anything it wants, it has a friend who is two dimensional (could be an analogy); and they are visited by a human. The human is set certain tasks, and as they tasks are completed the human releaves it’s true intentions. Beautiful SF.
Imagine: Edward Norris / An easy read in the form of an alternate history article in which John Lennon becomes an assissin because the Beatles career takes alternate paths. As I honestly don’t know the whole story in terms of who is who - I mean, I know the Beatles and the other key characters, but who is Barrack/Barack? And it involves Reagan too. Even though it is an easy read in itself, I was in the dark with it. Not one I would read again.
Philip K Dick : I Am Alive And You Are Dead: A Journey Into The Mind Of Philip K Dick / A review by Andrew Hedgecock of the recently translated into English biography of Philip K Dick.
Nick Lowe’s Mutant Popcorn / Movie news. Nick looks at War Of The Worlds (Tom Cruise), Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (Johnny Depp) and Fantastic Four.
John Clute’s Book Reviews /
- Thud!: Terry Pratchett, Looking For Jake And Other Stories, China Miéville.
- Master’s Of Time And Space: Rudy Rucker. Glass Soup: Jonathan Carroll; reviewed by David Mathew.
- Band Of Gypsys: Gwyneth Jones reviewed by Maureen Kincaid Speller.
- Déja Vu: Ian Hocking reviewed by Martin Lewis.
- Divided Kingdon: Rupert Thomson, Magic Or Madness: Justine Larbalastier, Mélusine: Sarah Monette reviewed by Farah Mendlesohn.
- Vellum: Hal Duncan reviewed by Sandy Auden.
- Sunstrom: Arthur C Clarke And Stephen Baxter reviewed by John Howard.
- Who Needs Cleopatra?: Steve Redwood reviewed by Peter Tennant.
- Air: Geoff Ryman reviewed by Jim Steel.
- Shaman’s Crossing: Robin Hobb reviewed by Vikkie Lee.
- Black Jade: David Zindell, Rose Of The World: Jude Fisher, The Ascendancy Veil: Chris Wooding reviewed by Iain Emsley.
Old Twentieth: Joe Haldeman reviewed by Graham Sleight
Overall I really can’t recommend this issue (and the magazine as a whole) enough. It’s more vibrant, with interesting and well written stories. The regular areas are a joy to read, and can help to break up the SF overoad. Go and subscribe now, you won’t be disappointed.