Interzone : Britain’s Longest Running Scifi / Fantasy Magazine
Interzone 211 (July/Aug 2007)
Cover Art: Interzone’s striking new cover design starts with Richard Marchand’s ‘Lunar Flare’ and leads with news that Interzone 211 is a special edition featuring Michael Moorcock, the writer described by the late Angela Carter as “a lord of misrule, whose work is the nearest thing we have in English to a never-ending carnival.”
Moorcock’s name will trigger a host of associations for SF and other readers. In his half century spanning career he has given us the albino warrior Elric of Melniboné; the multiverse-traversing trickster-victim Jerry Cornelius; the genre-bending voyages of the Von Bek dynasty; a masterful secret history of the twentieth century related by the self-deceiving Colonel Pyat; an unforgettable examination of the impulses for faith and martyrdom in Behold the Man; the exploits of steampunk time traveller Oswald Bastable; and the book IZ co-editor Andy Hedgecock would take to a desert island if Kirsty Young allowed him just one – Mother London, the magnificently mythic, affecting and optimistic celebration of life in the city.
Unmentioned as yet: the Hawkmoon books, the Dancers at the End of Time cycle or his, partly satirical, response to the works of J.R.R. Tolkein, The Chronicles of Corum.
And, as editor of New Worlds (1964 - 1971), Moorcock strove to encourage sf with greater narrative and linguistic complexity and to shift its focus towards the way we were living at the end of the twentieth century – towards an examination of our morality, our psychology and our sexuality.
A never-ending carnival indeed. But there’s a lot more to Michael Moorcock’s work than its variety. And while David Pringle, Interzone’s former editor, was spot-on in calling Moorcock “the consummate professional entertainer”, what makes Moorock unique is his ability to combine dazzling, compelling and accessible storytelling with relentlessly challenging moral exploration.
In 1999, Alan Warner (Morvern Callar and These Demented Lands) chose Moorcock’s Jerry Cornelius Quartet as one of his ‘essential classics for the next 100 years’, saying: “… no other contemporary English writer seems to capture the moral dilemmas around us with such wry good humour, vigour and style in such a richly modernist way.”
The moral focus Warner talks about has always been a defining aspect of Moorcock’s work, but it has become more concentrated, more intense as he has honed his craft over the years. In 1982, as Interzone began publication, Moorcock was entering a new phase of moral engagement with his searing examination of sexual obsession, escapism and alienation, The Brothel in Rosenstrasse. Since then we’ve had the final three quarters of the Pyat quartet; the wonderful ‘Mother London’, an angry but hilarious outing for Jerry Cornelius in ‘The Alchemist’s Question’; the savagely satirical fable King of the City; and an underrated but, for some, hugely influential polemic, The Retreat from Liberty.
Talking of polemics, read Michael Moorcock’s Guest Editorial, ‘The March of the Whiteshirts’. It’s a fascinating dissection of the deadening effect of cultural stasis and conformity over the past four decades, and a plea for a vibrant counterculture to challenge the domination of the ‘Whiteshirts’. It makes an inspiring start to a cracking Moorcock special:
Guest Editorial: The March of the Whiteshirts
The Affair of the Bassin les Hivers (short story)
Lovers: A Memoir of Mervyn and Maeve Peake (extract from work in progress)
London, My Life! or The Sedentary Jew (extract from novel in progress)
Interviewed by Andrew Hedgecock: Staring Down the Witches (with unpublished photos)
In the rest of Interzone 211:
Exvisible by Carlos Hernandez
illustrated by Fraser Warwick-Coombe
Deer Flight by Aliette de Bodard
illustrated by Stefan Olsen
Elevator Episodes in Seven Genres by Ahmed A. Khan
Knowledge by Grace Dugan
illustrated by David Gentry
25 IZ: Celebrating 25 Years of Interzone, with contributions from John Picacio, Jason Stoddard, Paul Di Filippo, Eric Brown, Gwyneth Jones, Jamie Barras, Peter F. Hamilton, Ian R. MacLeod, Stephen Baxter.
Ansible Link by David Langford: news and gossip.
Mutant Popcorn by Nick Lowe: film reviews
Laser Fodder @ 500 RPM by Tony Lee: DVD reviews (NEW!)
Scores by John Clute: book reviews
Interview Richard Morgan on Black Man/Thirteen, by Andrew Hedgecock
Bookzone: more book reviews
Mangazone by Sarah Ash: manga reviews
Coming soon with double page spreads, and… for subscribers only, a bookmark!
Overall, 4 more pages than usual, at 68, matt art paper, plus gloss sealed cover and printed in full colour throughout.
Oh blimey, that artwork and font is cool!
25th Anniversary OFFER FOR SCIFI UK REVIEW Readers!
Running through the whole of 2007 SCIFI UK REVIEW readers can obtain 25% extra issues on a 12-issue subscription (that’s six months worth) from the Interzone Subscription Site. (That’s three whole issues, free!)
Remember to include ’scifi.uk’ as your Shopper’s Reference so they know to include your extra free issues!
Read past reviews and articles on Interzone, it will give you an idea of the content and how it has transformed into the sensewunda it is today.