Interzone 234 (May-June) Out Now
The cover art is Relics by Richard Wagner
Sleepers by Jon Ingold
illustrated by Mark Pexton
“Sleepers.” He paused to let the word sink in. “From Centauri.” / “I don’t know, Jean-Luc.” I smiled the same steady smile I’d been wearing since I first took the chair across from his. My hands were folded around my beads: I usually found them to be a great comfort in the face of such decrepitude, but with Jean-Luc I pushed them around more for patience. “No-one’s been to Centauri for a hundred years.” / “One hundred and seven. The last colonists escaped Independence Day ’81. I bet you didn’t know that? Independence Day. One of their jokes at our expense.”
In the Season of the Mango Rains by Lavie Tidhar
illustration by Richard Wagner
It was in the season of the mango rains… / The sun set every evening like a drunk’s swollen red eye, misted over by clouds. / At that time we were living in Vientiane, in the land of the Lao. You worked in an air-conditioned office opposite the Patuxai. I stayed at home, shopping at the talat noi, the small row of stalls beside our road, buying bok choi and man falang, galangal and shallots, and the small sweet purple eggplants available year round. / We drank – moderately. We gathered our love to us like a fragile, precious thing that was about to run out. It was the season of green mango…sour and new, and quick to end.
The Ceiling is Sky by Suzanne Palmer
illustrated by Richard Wagner
It was eight days this time, eight days pacing my cubbyhome listening to my neighbor bang around in his, like rats in bottles, waiting for the next job. When it came it was like someone had jabbed me with a knife; I jumped up and was out the door, readypack over my shoulder and flashing assignment pad in hand, before the job could pass on to someone else. If I was lucky, it’d be a multi-week assignment and I could afford to get some real food before returning home. / I spared a quick glance at my neighbor’s door as I headed down the narrow corridors of the cubbyplex. I’d peeked once at the old man’s skill-ratings and didn’t think there were very many well-paying jobs that he was qualified for, even without the age penalty. Not my problem, I told myself. I was careful, always kept a reserve of food and set aside a portion of my pay for voluntary supplemental training. When I could, I sometimes brought him back a little extra food to help tide him over, so I shouldn’t feel guilty for the times I couldn’t, right? It wasn’t like anyone else ever gave free help around here.
Her Scientifiction, Far Future, Medieval Fantasy by Jason Sanford
illustrated by Richard Wagner
Princess Krisja Jerome stood before her tower’s lone window, listening to the sounds of battle in the courtyard below. Metal clashed on ceramic. Rifle shots zinged off the castle’s stone abutments. Lasers buzzed the moat to steam. From Krisja’s viewpoint, it looked like her father’s knights fought valiantly against the invaders from, well, from somewhere outside the kingdom. Where exactly, Kris couldn’t say. But then so few invaders announced their origins. It simply killed the romance, claiming to be a Sir Lancelot hero when you really hailed from a Scranton or Sheboygan nowhere.
Incompatible by Will McIntosh
illustrated by Mark Pexton
The Methodist Church was selling pumpkins. There were thousands of them – thousands of setting suns spilling across the straw-covered grass, stacked in rolling piles, and propped on makeshift plywood displays. This was a power place. Leia would be safe here. / She got out of the car and waded in among the pumpkins, absorbing the goodness, the realness of them, letting fond memories of Halloweens past wash over her. / The dots shrunk and receded. The squeeze of anxiety receded with them, the sweat on Leia’s palms drying in the crisp fall air. The respite was sweet; she drank it in, inhaled deeply and easily, picking up a hint of burning leaves. The scent of burning leaves was good, too. It was not as powerful an ally as the pumpkins, but Leia appreciated all of her allies.
Ansible Link by David Langford
news and obituaries
Book Zone by Jim Steel, Ian Sales, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Paul F. Cockburn, Ian Hunter, Jonathan McCalmont, Juliet E. McKenna, Jack Deighton
book reviews including Son of Heaven by David Wingrove plus author interview (by Ian Sales); Sleight of Hand by Peter S. Beagle; Infinity Plus eBooks by Keith Brooke, Eric Brown, John Grant, Anna Tambour, Kaitlin Queen; After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn; Outpost by Adam Baker; Equations of Life by Simon Morden; Down to the Bone by Justina Robson; Smallworld by Dominic Green; On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers
Mutant Popcorn by Nick Lowe
film reviews including Source Code, The Adjustment Bureau, Sucker Punch, Limitless, Red Riding Hood, Beastly, Your Highness, Mars Needs Moms, Battle: Los Angeles, The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec, Thor
Laser Fodder by Tony Lee
DVD and Blu-ray reviews including Fantastic Factory (Beyond Re-Animator, Faust: Love of the Damned, Romasanta: The Werewolf Hunt, Arachnid), Universal Squadrons, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, The Twilight Zone Season 1, Woochi – The Demon Slayer, Blood Reich – Bloodrayne 3, The Devil's Tomb, Dark and Stormy Night, I Saw the Devil, Pandemic, Sweatshop, The Walking Dead, The Frankenstein Experiment
the results, plus readers' comments and summary by Martin McGrath
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