Gardner Dozois reviews Interzone 239.
Interzone also came 9th in the Best Magazine category of the annual readers’ poll.
No excepts for you this time. You can buy your own Locus. You no longer any excuse since you don’t have to wait three weeks for a paper copy (if you’re in Europe, at any rate) and can now get a digital edition for a couple of bucks and a few clicks of the mouse.
It’s worth it.
The January Locus sees Gardner Dozois reviewing no less than three issues of Interzone.
“The strongest story in the July-August Interzone#235 is Mercurio D. Rivera’s For Love’s Delirium Haunts the Fractured Mind, another in the series that Rivera has been writing about the Wergen, aliens who have become obsessed with the ‘‘beauty’’ of humans [...]The only thing I didn’t like about the story was that the first-person narrator dies at the end of the story [...] Matthew Cook’s Insha’Allah [contains] some nice characterization, but could have been set in modern-day Iraq or Afghanistan with almost no changes necessary. Al Robertson’ s Of Dawn is a moody and evocative fantasy about a grieving woman who encounters a Pan-like mythic figure in the remote English backcountry. [...]
“Another Wergen story by Rivera, Tethered, features in the September/October Interzone, #236. This one examines the peculiar mating dynamics of the Wergen through the lens of a friendship between a young Wergen girl and a young human girl, a friendship doomed when the Wergen girl comes of age, and it manages to generate a strong emotional charge by the end. Jason Sanford’s The Ever-Dreaming Verdict of Plagues is another of his ‘‘plague birds’’ stories, set in a strange post-apocalyptic world; entertaining, but the backstory may be getting a little hard to follow by now for those unfamiliar with the earlier stories. [...] Stephen Kotowych’s A Time For Raven is a well-crafted near-fantasy with an almost subliminal fantasy element.
“The November/December Interzone, #237, is a strong issue after a couple of relatively weak ones. The best story here, and one of the strongest stories Interzone has published all year, is Digital Rites by Jim Hawkins, another story like All About Emily and Real Artists, about how human creativity is being supplanted, or at least intensively and intrusively ‘‘supplemented,’’ by artificial means, in this case a massive computer system that allows filmmakers to more or less experience a performance through the eyes of the actors, and subjectively control it. This is a vividly written and strongly characterized story, with a tense murder/espionage plot running through it: highly entertaining. I’d like to believe in the hopeful conclusion about human nature and the viewing audience that Hawkins comes to at the end, but, alas, I’m not sure that I do. Lavie Tidhar’s The Last Osama is also vividly written, almost lurid, in fact, but somehow Tidhar is skilled enough to make the story work, although it takes us on a melodramatic journey into the Heart of Darkness through a world mystically transformed by the death of Osama Bin Laden into something like a weird Spaghetti Western. This is much too surreal to be considered legitimate science fiction, but, whatever it is, it’s a lot of fun, and will stick with you after you turn the last page.”
The October Locus has Gardner Dozois reviewing Interzone 233 (he says that Nina Allan’s The Silver Wind is ‘brilliantly crafted and sensitively characterised’) and Interzone 234: ‘The best story here is Lavie Tidhar’s In the Season of the Mango Rains, which acts as a sort of a sampler of recent themes and locales from Tidhar’s work while also managing to deliver a strong autumnal kick without being, well, bleak.’ He also says that Jason Sanford’s Her Scientifiction, Far Future, Medieval Fantasy ‘works some nice changes on the theme here, and the story is fun to read’.
Rich Horton reviews Interzone 235 and lists Mercurio D. Rivera’s For Love’s Delirium Haunts the Fractured Mind in his recommended stories. He also reviews Jason Sanford’s collection, Never Never Stories, and picks When Thorns are the Tips of Trees (first published in Interzone 219) and The Ships, Like Clouds, Risen by Their Rain (first published in Interzone 217) as highlights.
Flying in the Face of God by Nina Allan (Interzone 227)
Again and Again and Again by Rachel Swirsky (Interzone 226)
The Shipmaker by Aliette de Bodard (Interzone 231)
Chimbwi by Jim Hawkins (Interzone 227)
The Honourable Mentions section for 2010 lists:
The Upstairs Window by Nina Allan (Interzone 230)
The Shoe Factory by Matthew Cook (Interzone 231)
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark by Jim Hawkins (Interzone 229)
The History of Poly-V by Jon Ingold (Interzone 227)
Over Water by John Ingold (Interzone 228)
Hibakusha by Tyler Keevil (Interzone 226)
Human Error by Jay Lake (Interzone 226)
Love and War by Tim Lees (Interzone 230)
Dance of the Kawkawroons by Mercurio D. Rivera (Interzone 227)
In the Harsh Glow of its Incandescent Beauty by Mercurio D. Rivera (Interzone 226)
Camelot by Patrick Samphire (Interzone 230)
Memoria by Jason Sanford (Interzone 231)
Plague Birds by Jason Sanford (Interzone 228)
The Insurance Agent by Lavie Tidhar (Interzone 230)
Iron Monk by Melissa Yuan-Innes (Interzone 228)
I hope I haven’t missed anyone out.
Rich Horton reviews Interzone 232 in April’s Locus and says that Michael R. Fletcher’s Intellectual Property is “fun [...] with a clever twist at the end…”, and he makes Sarah L. Edwards’ By Plucking Her Petals one of his recommended stories. Gardner Dozois also reviews it and thinks that Sue Burke’s Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise is the best story in the issue.
In February’s Locus, Rich Horton reviews Interzone 231 and says that “Sanford (and some other writers) are producing SF that truly has a different feel to much that has gone before”. He also says that Matthew Cook’s The Shoe Factory “[...]is strikingly resolved”.
Elsewhere there is a summary of 2010, and Jim Hawkins’ two Interzone stories are listed in the novelette’s section of the Locus recommended reading list for 2010.
Gardner Dozois, in his personal review of 2010, says Interzone had a strong year “[...]with good stories by Nina Allan, Lavie Tidhar, Jim Hawkins, Aliette de Bodard, and others.”
Rich Horton says that “TTA Press’s Interzone and Black Static continued in solid shape: each put out six fine issues.”
Locus guesses Interzone‘s circulation at 2000-3000 and also notes that Vector‘s circulation increased last year to over 600.
Gardner Dozois reviews Interzone 231 in the January Locus. He says that Memoria is the best of Jason Sanford’s three stories and it reminds him of Cordwainer Smith. He also says that the best story in the issue is Aliette de Bodard’s The Shipmaker, which is “engrossing”, and “Also good is [...] Matthew Cook’s The Shoe Factory, a well-executed take on the story of the man who becomes unstuck in time…”
Here’s the full table of contents for the anthology. Four Interzone stories. Neat.
Gardner Dozois reviews Interzone 229 in the November Locus and says that Jim Hawkins’s Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark Matter is the strongest story. “This is a complex and chewy story, and it wouldn’t surprise me if some readers had trouble parsing it, particularily in the early going [...] Stick with it, though, and you’ll ultimately be rewarded.” He also says that the rest of the stories “include some worthwhile reading”. Gardner also reviews Interzone 230 (which he feels is stronger than the previous issue) and says the strongest story “is Lavie Tidhar’s The Insurance Agent, a writer who’s having a good year so far, with several excellent stories published.” He also says that Nina Allan’s The Upstairs Window and Tim Lees’s Love and War are both “good”, and Patrick Samphire’s Camelot is “elegantly crafted”.
Rich Horton also reviews Interzone 230 in the same issue and makes The Upstairs Window one of his Recommended Stories.
Gardner Dozois says in The Year’s Best SF: Twenty-Seventh Annual Collection (or The Mammoth Book of Best New SF 23 as the British edition is titled) that “Interzone had an above-average year” in 2009.
He reprints Black Swan by Bruce Sterling (Interzone 221) and Butterfly Bomb by Dominic Green (Interzone 223) and gives honourable mentions to The Festival of Tethselem by Chris Butler (Interzone 224), Ys by Aliette de Bodard (Interzone 222), Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast by Eugie Foster (Interzone 220), The Transformation of Aishwarya Desai by Eric Gregory (Interzone 223), Coat of Many Colours and Glister by Dominic Green (Interzone 223), Eagleburger’s Lawn by by Alex Irvine (Interzone 223), Saving Diego by Matthew Kressel (Interzone 221), A Clown Escapes from Circus Town by Will McIntosh (Interzone 221), Mother of Champions by Sean McMullen (Interzone 222), Bone Island by Shannon Page & Jay Lake (Interzone 225), Silence and Roses by Suzanne Palmer (Interzone 223), By Starlight by Rebecca J. Payne (Interzone 225), Unexpected Outcomes by Tim Pratt (Interzone 222), Sublimation Angels by Jason Sanford (Interzone 224), No Longer You by Katherine Sparrow & Rachel Swirsky (Interzone 224), Monetized by Jason Stoddard (Interzone 220), and Funny Pages by Lavie Tidhar (Interzone 225).
Gardner Dozois reviews Interzone 228 in October’s Locus. It’s certainly not his favourite issue, but he says that Jason Sanford’s Plague Birds is “good solid entertainment.”