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New Science Fiction & Fantasy INTERZONE 290/291 DOUBLE ISSUE OUT NOW!


16th Dec, 2015

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Item image: Interzone 262

The Orion Crusades by 2016 cover artist Vincent Sammy



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The Water-Walls of Enceladus by Mercurio D. Rivera
illustrated by Jim Burns

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The bots laced my snowboots while Sancho stared at the door, wagging his tail in anticipation. The cysts made it difficult for me to breathe, to swallow without pain. My toes cramped up. I stomped my foot, scattering the six-legged bots.

“Is everything all right, Lily?” A voice boomed out of the walls. “We’re worried about you.”

Trax. My official shadow.

“I’m…I’m fine,” I lied.

I felt numb, as if I was locked inside a glass coffin, able to see the world of the living but unable to affect it in any way. I’d never learned where the cameras were located but Trax – or one of his brethren – observed me thirty-three hours a day. I had given up any pretense of privacy three years ago, part of the deal I’d made to be stationed here on Enceladus with the Wergens. EarthCouncil couldn’t have cared less – it had given them one less freak to deal with and a bone they could throw to our alien partners and benefactors.

The bots helped button my parka and activated my blue-tinted body field. Sancho barked. His leather collar glowed, enveloping him in aquamarine blue.

Empty Planets by Rahul Kanakia
illustrated by Richard Wagner

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Most of the other kids around the pond tried to talk me out of signing up for Non-Mandatory Study. They didn’t even give me credit for being rebellious, because, for a trust-kid, real rebellion meant either going deep into neural reprogramming or buying a starship and heading for the Magellanic Clouds, which in those days were way past the boundaries of the Machine-mind, to find some adventure.


Geologic by Ian Sales
illustrated by Jim Burns 

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Keller sits on the decking in the habitat’s entrance chamber, a steel cylinder two metres in diameter and two point five metres tall. In the centre of the decking is a circular opening one metre across, through which Keller’s legs dangle. Despite his heated suit, he can feel a chill on his feet and calves. His umbilical lies coiled beside him: it is two hundred metres long and gives him complete freedom of movement within that distance from the habitat.

He looks down, past his boots, to the ground below. His vision is constrained by his diving helmet. He is not underwater but he cannot breathe the air here. The atmosphere is a toxic mixture of methane, carbon dioxide and nitrogen, with only trace amounts of oxygen…and a surface pressure of three thousand kiloPascals. The heliox fed to his diving helmet by the umbilical is also at thirty atmospheres, as is the heliox throughout the entire habitat.


Circa Diem by Carole Johnstone
illustrated by Richard Wagner 

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They said it was the moon. Might as well have been. By then, the how probably wasn’t important to most folk anyway. Not after it had already happened: the asteroid, the tidal-locking, the lengthening days, the lengthening nights. By the time the Earth started slowing down, the only thing people cared about was how to fix it, and not one of them knew the answer to that. They still don’t.


A Strange Loop by T.R. Napper 

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A huge clown, jaws as wide as Irving was tall, about to swallow him whole… A woman, black hair with the fringe cut too short, green eye-shadow, skin so smooth it looked real-life airbrushed… The woman – what was her name again? – yelling at him, perfect skin creased with contempt…a red fireworks blast, neon, frozen into the sky…fairy floss and sweat and machine grease in his nostrils and a girl, freckled, staring up at him with tears in her eyes…and those sounds, tinny music on a maddening, endless cycle, and the clown, swallowing him, while the woman yelled and the girl watched with sadness.

Irving Kupfermann blinked into consciousness. White room with a white duo, man and woman, standing over him. The woman, young, lips glistening in the bright lights, pressed a paper cup into his hand. “Drink this,” she said.


Dependent Assemblies by Philip A. Suggars
illustrated by Richard Wagner 

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“Purity of blood, purity of spirit. One nation united by the river, one nation united under the sun” — Elias Rojas presidential campaign slogan, Buenos Aires 1894

Alfonso and Marcelo were cold and tired as they shovelled the dirt onto Celia’s small body in the shallow grave. Alfonso dared himself to look down, catching a glimpse of her porcelain fingers and the yellowing heads of the freesias that they had buried with her in the garden. He wanted to cry, but all he felt was an aching numbness in his fingertips.


Black Static 50 Out Now:

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Black Static is published at the same time as Interzone. Issue 50 contains new novelettes and stories by Georgina Bruce, Ray Cluley, V.H. Leslie, Tyler Keevil, Tim Casson, and Gary Budden, plus all the usual columns, reviews, and interviews. To take out a discounted subscription to both magazines please visit this website's shop.



The Imitation Game
Vincent Sammy

Interzone's 2016 cover artist talks about his early inspirations and providing the cover art for the next six issues. 


Future Interrupted
Jonathan McCalmont

Jumping, Leaping From Past to Future

Britain is a nation that struggles to see beyond its own kitchen table. Visit any museum devoted to World War II and you will be confronted by a 1940s kitchen complete with ration books and a piped-in approximation of the BBC light programme. In National Trust properties and stately homes, the same pathetic lunge for domestic relatability lands us in the Victorian era where plastic chickens sit atop polished silverware. Aside from being an indictment of museum curatorship, these kitchens signal the limits of our collective imagination: We struggle to imagine either a past or a future that does not resemble the present.


Time Pieces
Nina Allan

Woolf in Winter

There is a scene in Stephen Daldry’s film The Hours in which we see Virgina Woolf (played by Nicole Kidman) struggling with the beginning of what will ultimately become her next novel, Mrs Dalloway. Unable to find a way into the material, she has become mired in exhaustive depression. Then suddenly, a breakthrough. We see the light – the delight – in her eyes as she exclaims to her husband: “Leonard, I think I’ve got it – the first sentence!”


Ansible Link
David Langford

News and obituaries



Book Zone
Andy Hedgecock, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Paul Kincaid, Jo L. Walton, Ian Hunter, Shaun Green, Jack Deighton, John Howard, Ian Sales, Paul Graham Raven, Lawrence Osborn, Nina Allan, Elaine Gallagher, Tony Lee

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Books reviewed include Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson (plus author interview), Planetfall by Emma Newman, The Night Clock by Paul Meloy, Hanzai Japan edited by Haikasoru, Occupy Me by Tricia Sullivan, Ultima by Stephen Baxter, The Sand Men by Christopher Fowler, After the Saucers Landed by Douglas Lain, Testament by Hal Duncan, Finnish Weird 2: Children of the Weird, plus several Book Zone contributors talk about their favourite books of 2015


Mutant Popcorn
Nick Lowe

Cinema releases reviewed include Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Victor Frankenstein, The Good Dinosaur, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse


Laser Fodder
Tony Lee

DVDs and Blu-rays reviewed include Robo-Dog, The Man From the Future, A Traveller in Time, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, Alien Extinction


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Interzone 263 is out in March. Subscribe now!


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