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Interzone

New Science Fiction & Fantasy INTERZONE ISSUE 283 OUT NOW!

INTERZONE #284 (NOV-DEC 2019)

1st Nov, 2019

Cover

Item image: Interzone 284

Interzone's 2019 cover artist is Richard Wagner

 

Contents

Item image: IZ284 Contents

 

Fiction

The Kindest God is Light by Joanna Berry
illustrated by Vincent Sammy 

Item image: The Kindest God is Light

…always in xenopsychological studies, what’s most fascinating is not differences, but similarities.

Pre-Excursion thinkers suggested that an alien mind would be so alien we could never have any points of connection between their sentience and ours. But go back to fundamentals. Any neurology capable of intelligence is a system. Any evolving system will demonstrate typical and atypical functions. Any intelligence that recognises itself as such will eventually identify these functions too, and develop a framework of response. And any intelligence capable of recognising another intelligence will find some point of similarity to relate to them.

More importantly, as we map as yet uncategorised corners of the human mind, alien intelligence has an underrated but inherently valuable gift to offer – an outsider’s perspective.

Aram S. Vikander, Rebuilding the Superego, 2137

 

She and I and We by Timothy Mudie

Item image: She and I and We

The coffee shop is dimly lit, but still, I keep my head down, taking furtive sips of a latte just to keep something in front of my face. I may be almost forty years older than Nat, but faces don’t change that much, and I don’t want to give myself away. My heart thrills as I watch her climb onto a stool behind a microphone on a small round stage – open mic night set-ups truly will never change – and flip through a sheaf of papers. Sans preamble, she launches into a poem. I recognize it, of course, an old favorite, one she wrote her sophomore year of college. Her voice lilts and rises, caresses my eardrums. I can’t help it; I start to cry. My throat hitches and hops, and I push back from the table before I start sobbing through my gigantic smile. The chair scrapes the linoleum and Nat looks up sharply. Her eyes flash and she stumbles over a line, but recovers. Without looking back, I run from the bar, outside, down the street, into a deserted and dirty alley.

 

Dent-de-lion by Natalia Theodoridou

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The descent is slow. My hands steady, my breath not. No matter how many times I’ve gone through this by now – this first, shuddering handshake with a foreign planet – it still gets to me, makes me feel taut, stretched like the skin of a drum. And even more so now, after so long. Pharon beckons beneath me, a bloom of dark colour suspended in an expanse of nothing, unlikely as much as hoped for, shattering in its improbability. I take off Mathilda’s wedding ring and place it in my breast pocket. This was always my ritual before the accident. It’s good to be back.

 

Parasite Art by David Tallerman
illustrated by Richard Wagner 

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I dream of darkness.

A sun burns far off on the horizon. Its glow, ancient and reddish, makes the shadows purple and endlessly long. The plain before me is dark too, though veined with pale lightning of crystal.

Then – warmth in my belly, or rather in the core of me, where I imagine my belly to be. The warmth is good, and also frightening. In the gloom, soft lights build, barely perceptible at first but rapidly growing brighter. My eyes – what I think of as my eyes – can differentiate more shades than that sullen red star should allow: pastel violets, oranges, and yellows. Each new illumination sends a thrill through me, and a sense of want.

This feels important, but I can’t say why – because the dream isn’t mine.

 

The Duchess of Drinke Street by Tim Chawaga
illustrated by Dave Senecal 

Item image: The Duchess of Drinke Street

Where was I when New Lagos sailed away? Was I at the prow with the corporate Ahabs in Victoria Island Square, chasing the white whale of profit? No. Was I with the mayor, spending my kickback on a few last cases of tariff-free Lagosian whiskey like JFK securing Cuban cigars? No. Was I obeying the PSA and confining myself to my quarters? You would think so, but no.

 

Dream of the High Mountain by Daniel Bennett

Item image: Dream of the High Mountain

A man in white djellaba crossing a high rise balcony. A view from a compound window in Tucson. Wagtails dying by the motorway. “My name is Mieko Tan. Welcome to my crazy world!!!” The last spire of Venice slipping beneath the waves.

 

Black Static #72 Out Now

Item image: Black Static 72

Black Static is published at the same time, and in the same format, as Interzone. Issue 72 contains new dark fiction by Matt Thompson, S. Qioui Lu, Emily B. Cataneo, Tim Lees, Jack Westlake, and Sarah Read. The cover art is by Joachim Luetke, and interior illustrations are by Richard Wagner, Ben Baldwin and others. Regular features: Notes From the Borderland by Lynda E. Rucker; Into the Woods by Ralph Robert Moore; Case Notes book reviews by Laura Mauro, Andy Hedgecock, David Surface, Mike O'Driscoll, Sadie Hartmann, Gary Couzens, and Daniel Carpenter; Blood Spectrum film reviews by Gary Couzens. To take out a subscription to Black Static, or Black Static + Interzone combined, please click on the Shop link above or below.

 

Interface

Guest Editorial
Joanna Berry 

 

Future Interrupted: The Resistible Rise of Argos Panoptes
Andy Hedgecock

 

Climbing Stories: Mega-Robot Rampage Repellant
Aliya Whiteley


Ansible Link
David Langford

 

Reviews

Book Zone

Books reviewed include Automatic Eve by Rokuro Inui, Incomplete Solutions by Wole Talabi, From the Moon to the Stars by Duncan Lunan, Vita Nostra by Marina & Sergey Dyachenko, The New Voices of Science Fiction edited by Hannu Rajaniemi & Jacob Weisman, Exhalation by Ted Chiang, The Sea Inside Me by Sarah Dobbs, Earwig by B. Catling, Tales from the Spired Inn by Stephen Palmer, Poems by Diana Wynne Jones, Around Alien Stars by G. David Nordley

 

Mutant Popcorn
Nick Lowe

Films reviewed include Ad Astra, Joker, Farmageddon: A Shaun the Sheep Movie, Abominable, Gemini Man, It Chapter 2, Addams Family, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Terminator: Dark Fate, Synchronic, Zombieland: Double Tap

 

How To Buy Interzone

Interzone is available in good shops in the UK and many other countries around the world, including the USA where it is stocked by Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and elsewhere. If your local store (in any country) doesn't stock the magazine they should easily be able to order it for you so please don't hesitate to ask them. You can also buy the magazine from a variety of online retailers, or a version for e-readers from places like Weightless Books, Amazon, Apple, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, etc.

The best thing though is to click on the Shop button above or the link below and buy this new issue or a subscription direct with us. You'll receive issues much cheaper and much quicker, and the magazine will receive a much higher percentage of the revenue. No postage charge is added to UK orders, and overseas shipping is just £1 per item.

 

Please Help Spread the Word

Magazines like Interzone cannot survive without subscriptions, and we always need more. If you enjoy the magazine please blog about it, review it, or simply recommend it to your friends. Thank you!

 

The Teardrop Method by Simon Avery

Item image: The Teardrop Method

2018 WORLD FANTASY AWARD FINALIST
NOT MANY COPIES LEFT • NOW ONLY £5 

Interzone readers will be interested to know that TTA Novella 4, The Teardrop Method by Simon Avery, is out now as a B-Format paperback with wraparound cover art by Richard Wagner and bonus connected short story. You can buy it now from the TTA Shop.

"The Teardrop Method is a story about stories; a beautiful novella about love and loss and the connections people make and then sometimes break. It's quiet, haunting, and ultimately moving" Gary McMahon

"Nightmare plotting infused with an aching mitteleuropäische sadness, Simon Avery’s tale of music and mortality could be the novelisation of a lost Argento movie" Nicholas Royle

"Without any prep or background, I started reading the novella The Teardrop Method by British author Simon Avery, and was immediately engaged by the moodiness, the bleakness, the desperation and creaky, world-weariness of the setting and characters. These appealing elements perfectly coalesced into a tragic and fervent eulogy to the creative process - to Art with a capital A - as a means of salvation and transcendence and doom, and to love itself in all its complex iterations, exploring the concept of loving, dying, and even killing, in order to achieve the proper reception code from the eternal Muse while the roaring Danube drowns out the rest of the world. This is a very European story, in all its faded baroque finery and cafe claustrophobia. The snow is heavier here, the dawn ever more surprising. The supernatural and the natural are not so far removed in places like this. The old and the new forever caught in a twirling waltz. I highly recommend this novella, and cannot wait to see what melody Mr Avery pens next. I'll be listening" T.E. Grau

"A monumentally haunting novella" Des Lewis

“Simon Avery’s descriptions of Krysztina’s music makes me want to hear it. It’s a subtle and beautifully told tale with echoes of European film-makers like Haneke and Kieslowski, as well as their predecessors like Franju and Polanski. It conjures a powerful sense of foreboding that reminds me of Roeg’s Don’t Look Now, and shares with that film a sense of being haunted. It has moments of profound sadness and yet still managed to surprise me with its uplifting ending. One of the novellas of the year” Mike O'Driscoll

“Majestic and compelling throughout, The Teardrop Method is an exemplary specimen of a standout novella. It’s beautifully written, excellently produced, and a sign of publisher TTA Press at the top of their game” Gareth Jones, Dread Central

"I can honestly say that Simon Avery's The Teardrop Method is one of the finest and most fascinating novellas I've ever had the pleasure of reading. I highly recommend this novella to speculative fiction readers, because it's a beautiful and subtly complex exploration of death, love, loss and how to recover from a tragedy. Its darkly beautiful atmosphere and delicate story will captivate everyone who appreciates quiet horror" Rising Shadow

"The Teardrop Method is a complex, intricately structured piece of dark fiction, or perhaps quite horror. It is a story about the weaving of stories, about the transmutation of the darkest personal grief into art, and about the coming to terms with the inevitability of death. As a key line puts it – Art leads you back to the person you were after the world took you away from yourself" Gary Dalkin, Amazing Stories

"Simon Avery’s prose is spare and masterly, and certainly the equal of any Booker Prize nominee I’ve ever read. As much goes on between the lines as on them. The interstitial dark spaces are filled with horrors and a creeping unease that drags the reader in and won’t let go. The characterisation and storytelling, too, are brilliant" John Dodds, Amazing Stories

"This highly original piece is written with the sad, chilly atmosphere of much central European fiction but it has a very British rejection of miserabilism for its own sake. The desire for even the most fantastical stories to make sense and to make progress keeps breaking through and the result is a charming, and charmingly odd, novella which stays in the mind like an overheard song" Mat Coward, Morning Star

"Avery's story is a dark and tense thriller, set against a cold Hungarian back drop. The reconnection between father and daughter gives The Teardrop Method melancholy in light of the father's declining health, and the handling of the supernatural element is done so latently it feels authentic and hence, genuinely spooky. The prose here is compulsively readable and even the stranger members of the cast pop off the page" Nick Cato, The Horror Fiction Review

 

Crimewave 13: Bad Light

Item image: Crimewave 13

VERY FEW COPIES LEFT

Interzone readers might also like to know that a new volume of Crimewave is available now. This 240-page American Royal paperback contains groundbreaking and often genre-bending new stories by Simon Bestwick, Gerri Brightwell, Georgina Bruce, Ray Cluley, Mat Coward, Catherine Donnelly, Stephen Hargadon, Andrew Hook, Linda Mannheim, Ralph Robert Moore, Mike O'Driscoll, Steve Rasnic Tem and others, with wraparound cover art by Ben Baldwin. It's only £10 and available from the TTA Shop now.

“One of the very best anthologies I have ever read, in any genre. An absolute gem” Tim Lees

“Crimewave 13 explores a broadly common theme — the utter blurring of the traditional boundaries between the criminal and the victim, with the trajectories and locations of each of the stories quite distinct from each other and the clever use of partial perspectives confounding the reader throughout” Morning Star

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