Interzone #248

Andy Cox et al.

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The September–October issue contains new science fiction and fantasy stories and novelettes by Carole Johnstone, James Van Pelt, Greg Kurzawa, Ken Altabef, Sean McMullen. The cover art is by Jim Burns, and interior colour illustrations are by Wayne Haag, Richard Wagner, Martin Hanford. All the usual features are present: Ansible Link by David Langford (news and obits); Mutant Popcorn by Nick Lowe (film reviews); Laser Fodder by Tony Lee (DVD/Blu-ray reviews); Book Zone: reviews of many latest releases including an interview with Christopher Priest and Jonathan McCalmont’s new column Future Interrupted.

Fiction:

Ad Astra by Carole Johnstone
illustrated by Wayne Haag

Item image: Ad Astra

We have a lot of sex because it’s a way around the things we can’t say. The things we can’t do. The things we don’t want to think. We’ve always been very good at that; even when we hate the very thought of one another, we can still fuck. I used to think that it was because we were that couple: the ones who never forgot how to be horny, the ones who could go to sleep on an argument but never at the expense of a shag. Because we were grown up, emotionally astute. Because we could compartmentalise. Now I realise that none of that was probably ever true. We keep on having sex – as much of it as we possibly can, even when it hurts – because it makes us feel safe, like having a parent stroke our fevered brow through the worst kind of night terror. And because it’s a way to fool each other. Maybe even to survive each other. I hope so. Though I don’t have a lot of that left.

 

The Hareton K-12 County School and Adult Extension by James Van Pelt
illustrated by Richard Wagner

Item image: The Hareton K-12 County School and Adult Extension

The new building perched on a rocky hill west of town on land no farmer could tease a crop from, so the town donated the property to the school district. Local contractors volunteered their laborers to construct the school, and that first September, when the school threw wide its doors, children had to climb four sets of stairs, fifty-five steps each, from the student drop-off area at the foot of the hill.

 

Dark Gardens by Greg Kurzawa
illustrated by Martin Hanford

Item image: Dark Gardens

Sam bought the foreclosure on Enfield at auction, sight unseen. He assumed its history would be questionable, but as the plan was to gut, remodel and resell, history was irrelevant. Not until the day he took possession did Sam learn the previous owner had been a semi-professional magician, stage name of Kurricke. The magician had vanished after living in the two-bedroom ranch for seventeen years, leaving spoiled milk in the refrigerator, dishes in the sink, and all the tools of his trade in unlocked trunks.

 

Il Teatro Oscuro by Ken Altabef

Item image: Il Teatro Oscuro

The old man’s back aches. This is not unusual, despite his having the best seat in the house. Third balcony, directly center stage, a seat which still clings to some fair portion of crushed red-velvet cushion where the brass studs haven’t yet chewed through.

But this does not matter. All thought of worldly concerns, discomforts or otherwise, fade quickly to obscurity, abandoned in rapt contemplation of the spectacle unfolding on the stage.

 

Technarion by Sean McMullen
illustrated by Richard Wagner

Item image: Technarion

As monsters go, I am not at all typical. I have killed hundreds, but my motives were good. There is a lot more killing to be done, probably more than even I can manage. Then again, I might become an even greater monster and give up. Humans probably deserve what is to come, and I no longer care. After all, I am not a typical human either.

 

Features:

Ansible Link by David Langford

news and obituaries

 

Book Zone by Duncan Lunan, Paul Kincaid, John Howard, Jack Deighton, Jo L. Walton, Ian Hunter, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Paul Graham Raven, Simon Marshall-Jones, Paul F. Cockburn, Peter Loftus, Stephen Theaker, Barbara Melville, Jonathan McCalmont

book reviews including The Alteration by Kingsley Amis, Love Minus Eighty by Will McIntosh, The Adjacent by Christopher Priest (plus author interview, conducted by John Howard), Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente, Fearsome Journeys edited by Jonathan Strahan, The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, God’s War by Kameron Hurley, William Gibson by Gary Westfahl, Theatre of the Gods by M. Suddain, Be My Enemy by Ian McDonald, Invocation by Jo L. Walton, World War Z (Audio) by Max Brooks, Ectopia by Martin Goodman, plus Jonathan McClamont’s new regular column Future Interrupted

 

Mutant Popcorn by Nick Lowe

film reviews including Pacific Rim, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Kick-Ass 2, The Wolverine, Monsters University, Planes, The Wall, Elysium, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, The World’s End

 

Laser Fodder by Tony Lee

DVD and Blu-ray reviews including Defiance, The Host, Blancanieves, Pi, Oblivion, Space Battleship Yamato, Olympus Has Fallen, The Four

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