Jim Burns is Interzone's 2013 cover artist.
The Book Seller by Lavie Tidhar
illustrated by Warwick Fraser-Coombe
Achimwene loved Central Station. He loved the adaptoplant neighbourhoods sprouting over the old stone and concrete buildings, the budding of new apartments and the gradual fading and shearing of old ones, dried windows and walls flaking and falling down in the wind.
Build Guide by Helen Jackson
illustrated by Richard Wagner
The new apprentice was a slight, childish figure, maybe 150cm tall and massing about 50 kilos. She clung to a grabrail and glared at us. She looked nauseous. She wasn’t what I’d hoped for.
The Gaffer said what we were all thinking: “Great. They’ve sent us a little girl. She’s no good to us. Did you know about this, Peggy?”
I shook my head and sighed. I was too old to wrangle teenagers. The Earthside contractor we worked for had embraced the New Modern Apprentice scheme. They got government subsidies, tax breaks, and good PR. We got a stream of unemployed – possibly unemployable – youngsters. This was the youngest yet.
The Genoa Passage by George Zebrowski
illustrated by Martin Hanford
I told myself that they would have to be fakes. At worst, it would be a good hike; forewarned, I would not be fooled.
“I will take you to the places,” he said, “and you will pay me later, or not at all.”
He gave me a rifle and said that two other people would come with us.
iRobot by Guy Haley
illustrated by Jim Burns
There is nothing but the desert, a landscape of dust and ceaseless wind. Dunes of dust creep across the land, dust sheets from their scimitar peaks. Ribbons of dust undulate swiftly up and down their sides. The dust makes the sky brown, the rising sun pale and dirty. Shrouds of dust chase each other through the air, tangling daylight in their umber strands. The sun retaliates, flaring a little brighter, calling shadows from the desert; hard and straight, traces of something beneath the sand.
Sky Leap–Earth Flame by Jim Hawkins
illustrated by Richard Wagner
“Why is sky blue, Mariam?”
“I don’t know. Ask Victor.”
“Can you touch it, Mariam?”
“This will bring the whole thing down, to a standstill,” says Mikhail. They’re running, running, running, voices pushed out in breathy bursts.
“You sure?” asks Roberto. “If we get caught…”
“You sound like that fuzz-chin baby Conrad. We’re not going to get caught.”
“Alright, then. A dare’s a dare.”
Both laugh, hearts pounding in their chests in time with the thumping of their regulation boots on the wet pavement.
Ansible Link by David Langford
news and obituaries
Book Zone by Ian Sales, Matthew S. Dent, Paul F. Cockburn, Simon Marshall Jones, Juliet E. McKenna, Ian Hunter, Lawrence Osborn, Barbara Melville, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Jim Steel, Stephen Theaker
book reviews including Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed (with author interview by Ian Sales), Nexus by Ramez Naam, Bedlam by Christopher Brookmyre, Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution edited by Ann VanderMeer, Taken by Benedict Jacka, Origin by J.T. Brannan, Helix Wars by Eric Brown, In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination by Margaret Atwood, The Corpse-Rat King by Lee Battersby, The Creative Fire by Brenda Cooper, Jagannath by Karin Tidbeck (with author interview by Stephen Theaker)
Mutant Popcorn by Nick Lowe
film reviews including The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Rise of the Guardians, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
Laser Fodder by Tony Lee
DVD and Blu-ray reviews including Death Watch, The Arrival of Wang, The Castle, The Lord of the Rings, U.F.O., Continuum
Vote for your favourite Interzone stories of 2012
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