Interzone #249

Andy Cox et al.

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New science fiction and fantasy stories by John Shirley, Lavie Tidhar, Claire Humphrey, Tim Lees, Jason Sanford, Sarah Brooks. Cover art by Jim Burns, interior illustrations by Wayne Haag, Richard Wagner, Martin Hanford, Ben Baldwin. Book reviews, including an in-depth interview with John Shirley and Jonathan McCalmont’s Future Interrupted column. Film reviews by Nick Lowe. DVD/Blu-ray reviews by Tony Lee. Ansible Link by David Langford. 100 pages, full colour throughout.



Item image: IZ249 Contents



Unknown Cities of America by Tim Lees
illustrated by Richard Wagner

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“He can say ‘bananas’. Go on, boy – say it. Say it, boy.”

“Bananas,” says the dog.

Everyone laughs. Even the dog looks pleased. A big man in a baseball cap says, “Go again?” and cracks a peanut shell between his teeth.


Paprika by Jason Sanford
illustrated by Ben Baldwin

Item image: Paprika

“Ah Paprika, you dance so well,” Satoshi exclaimed each bright-sun morning, his praise always pleasing no matter how many times Paprika heard it.

And Paprika could dance, she really could.


Filaments by Lavie Tidhar
illustrated by Wayne Haag

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“Reality,” said the robo-priest, “is a thin and fragile thing.”

R. Brother Patch-It looked at its small congregation. This node of the Church of Robot sat on the Level Three Concourse of Central Station, in the station’s own multifaith bazaar, besides the wire-head emporiums and games-worlds and flesh pits. R. Patch-It watched its congregation. Few followed the true faith any more. Robots alone, it sometimes seemed to R. Patch-It, still believed. Others, those strange, bodiless digital intelligences, had abandoned belief for worlds of pure mathematics, an infinity of virtual possibilities. While humans needed, sometimes craved, faith, they seldom knew which one to choose, and competition was fierce when one had Judaism alongside Roman Catholicism, Buddhism against Elronism, the Martian Re-Born alongside Islam.


Haunts by Claire Humphrey
illustrated by Martin Hanford 

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The chirurgeon’s knife severs my little finger from my palm, just above the mount of Mercury.

“You are permitted to look away,” the chirurgeon comments.

I shrug the shoulder that isn’t locked down, and keep watching. The knife, obsidian, joints me like I’m a bird.


The Kindest Man in Stormland by John Shirley
illustrated by Wayne Haag

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Webb peered out through the porthole beside his seat, not able to make out much in the green-gray murk. Was that part of a sunken freight barge? It was just a shadow in the shape of the frame of a long low vessel, half buried in the sand.


Trans-Siberia: An Account of a Journey, with added notes from The Cautious Traveller’s Guide to Greater Siberia by L. Girard (Mauriac Publishing, Paris, 1859) by Sarah Brooks
illustrated by Richard Wagner

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The sole means of passage across the Greater Siberian wastes is by train, for those who can afford the ticket, and the risk.

I left Beijing at seventeen, carrying a box of pencils and a suitcase held together with rope. At the station families sobbed and embraced. I tried not to look. Nor did I let my eyes widen at the size of the train, its wheels as tall as a man’s shoulder, the iron bars over the windows as thick as my arm. The green paint was faded, but the gold lettering on the carriages still stood out: Beijing to Moscow.



Ansible Link by David Langford

news and obituaries


Book Zone by Andy Hedgecock, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Ian Sales, Jo L. Walton, Jack Deighton, Paul Kincaid, Stephen Theaker, Barbara Melville, Peter Loftus, Simon Marshall-Jones, Paul F. Cockburn, Duncan Lunan, Jonathan McCalmont, Lawrence Osborn, Jim Steel

book reviews including New Taboos by John Shirley (with author interview conducted by Andy Hedgecock), Exit Kingdom by Alden Bell, Swords of Good Men by Snorri Kristjansson, 21st Century SF edited by David G. Hartwell & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, We See A Different Frontier edited by Fabio Fernandes & Djibril al-Ayad, Evening’s Empires by Paul McAuley, The Violent Century by Lavie Tidhar, Phoenix by SF Said, The Secret of Abdu El Yezdi by Mark Hodder, The Detainee by Peter Liney, Some Remarks by Neal Stephenson, Shaman by Kim Stanley Robinson, Hide Me Among the Graves by Tim Powers, The Diamond Deep by Brenda Cooper, plus Jonathan McCalmont’s Future Interrupted column


Mutant Popcorn by Nick Lowe

film reviews including Thor: The Dark World, Ender’s Game, How I Live Now, Justin and the Knights of Valour, About Time, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, Riddick, R.I.P.D.


Laser Fodder by Tony Lee

DVD and Blu-ray reviews including Ikarie XB-1, Lifeforce, Grimm Season 2, Dr Mabuse the Gambler, My Amityville Horror, The Night of the Hunter, Pacific Rim, Under the Dome

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