Locus 612

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.”

 

 

 

 

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