Dorian Gray by 2015 cover artist Martin Hanford
a shout is a prayer / for the waiting centuries by T.R. Napper
illustrated by Warwick Fraser-Coombe
I’ll give you a roll of barbwire
A vine for this modern epoch
Climbing all over our souls
That’s our love, take it, don’t ask
“Any food?” asked Phuong.
“No food,” replied the woman.
“Rice, old rice, bamboo shoots. Anything.”
“I have a child. We haven’t eaten in two days.”
“We all have children. Here, take some water.”
Phuong reached out in the darkness, a smooth, cool wooden ladle caressed her hand. She fumbled for the bucket, filled the scoop with water, and held it out for her daughter, who grabbed it and slurped noisily. Phuong felt for Trung and passed the scoop to him. He rested his hand on her shoulder as he drank. Her skin tingled at his touch, familiar, yet always new. Then she took her turn, cracked lips and swollen tongue welcoming the cool stream of water.
The Re'em Song by Julie C. Day
illustrated by Jim Burns
Of course, leaving was easy.
“The same damned people, the same damn trees, even the same damn work, all our God-fearing lives. Do you really think we would have married if there’d been even a handful to choose from?”
Jaw bones and sections of vertebrae hung from the rafters of their house. Ribs and phalanges contained in carefully sewn skins were piled outside, waiting to be shipped off. And always there were the horns calling from somewhere deep in the woods.
Doors by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
illustrated by Richard Wagner
It had been three months since I’d taken my brother anywhere. The last place we’d gone together was our mother’s funeral. Since then Zack had been difficult, more so than usual, refusing to put on his shoes, shushing me when I asked him to do his chores, even screaming and pounding his fists when it was time to drive him to the recycling facility where he sorted paper as part of a program for developmentally disabled adults.
Angel Fire by Christien Gholson
1: Newark to St Louis
35,000 feet over Pennsylvania and we’re finally above the brown film of smog that enshrouds the east coast. To the west, billowing up out of the white horizon, I can see a thousand-armed dancing Nataraja, braiding his hands into a slow-turning column; a cumulo-castle thousands of yards wide.
I am that thousand-armed shape-shifter. My wealth has been created out of thin air – hedge funds, arbitrage, global macro strategies; jargon and numbers in the ether. My kind doesn’t actually do anything. There’s no product: no violin crafted, no corn grown, no poem created, no pipes plumbed, no cement foundations poured. The stupid bastards back in the cheap seats haven’t a clue.
Her First Harvest by Malcolm Devlin
illustrated by Vince Haig
Nina’s dress was made from synthetic silk; it was a pale silver grey which shone even in the thin phosphor lighting of Aunt Caroline’s dressing room. Nina stood side-on to the mirror and twisted so she could see her back more clearly. The dress hung open from her shoulders, sweeping down in smooth symmetrical curves to meet in a discreet bow above her waist. Her exposed back struck her as looking unhealthy and pale in the thin blue light; her crop was barely more than a thick rumple of texture across her skin. It looked barely more valuable than heat rash.
Black Static 46 Out Now:
Issue 46 of Black Static, Interzone's darker half, is out now. Black Static is published in the same format and at the same time as Interzone. To take out a discounted subscription to both magazines please visit this website's shop.
My former agent once told me, “I accept any kind of fiction except science fiction.” When I asked her why, she explained, “I just don’t think I could do it justice,” which was a polite way of saying that she didn’t understand it. But to me, not understanding everything was the point and purpose of reading.
Yesterday's Plays For Today
Between 1970 and 1984, BBC One aired over three hundred standalone dramas as part of their Play for Today anthology programme. During its fourteen year run, the series launched the directorial careers of Ken Loach and Mike Leigh as well as producing such classics of television drama as Leigh’s Nuts in May, Alan Clarke’s Scum, and Dennis Potter’s Brimstone & Treacle. However, while the strand is now best known for its contributions to the canon of British TV drama, it also produced more than its fair share of genre stories. In fact, one of its science fiction stories (Alan Gibson’s The Flipside of Dominick Hide) proved so successful that the producers commissioned not only a rather ill-received sequel but also a spin-off series entitled Play for Tomorrow.
Election Special: the Hugos, the Puppies, and the Big Pile of Poo
Personally, I count literary awards as a good thing. They encourage the discussion of books, not just of individual titles but of what we expect and need from literature in general and the field of science fiction in particular. But all awards are not the same, and if the discussions they promote are to be meaningful, we should take care in identifying the aims and characteristics of each, so we may better assimilate the results they ultimately yield.
News and obituaries
Readers' Poll Results
The stories you voted as your favourites of 2014.
Jim Steel, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Ian Sales, John Howard, Stephen Theaker, Peter Loftus, Ian Hunter, Paul Kincaid, Jack Deighton
Books reviewed include Tamaruq (and the Osiris Project) by E.J. Swift, plus an author interview conducted by Maureen Kincaid Speller, Touch by Claire North, The Silence by Tim Lebbon, The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord, Those Above by Daniel Polansky, The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic 2 edited by Jan Edwards & Jenny Barber, Where by Kit Reed, Impulse by Dave Bara, The Whispering Swarm by Michael Moorcock
Cinema releases reviewed include Avengers: Age of Ultron, Chappie, Robot Overlords, Home, Cinderella, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, Seventh Son, Insurgent, Hot Tub Time Machine 2
DVDs and Blu-rays reviewed include The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Paddington, Rollerball, Interstellar, Frequencies, Mankind's Last Stand, Fellini Satyricon, Harlock Space Pirate, The House at the End of Time, Northmen, Moondial, The Last Survivors, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Exodus, RZ-9
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