Interzone 226 (January-February)
The cover art is the first part of six connected images by Warwick Fraser-Coombe which at the end of the year will form a new, much larger image.
Into the Depths of Illuminated Seas by Jason Sanford
illustrated by Ben Baldwin
The names of dying sailors washed across Amber Tolester in a sea of rainbow-lit letters. When the ships of Windspur languished in port during the doldrums of summer, the names lay cold-blue and exhausted on her skin. When autumn’s gales churned the seas to crash and foam, the names burned red in response. And when a sailor on any of Windspur’s ships was washed away, or crushed by tackle, or drowned in the endless depths, Amber screamed as that sailor’s white-hot name burned into her body, leaving the other names to wonder which would next fall for the sea’s slippery embrace.
Hibakusha by Tyler Keevil
illustrated by Mark Pexton
They make us wait, as usual. Beneath these flickering lights, upon a jaundiced lino floor, in the foyer of what must have been a school at one time, they make us wait. Standing for this long aggravates the pain in my shins, my joints, my spine. Like tiny slivers in my bones. To take my mind off it, I play that old kid’s game: think of something else. I think of you. I think of getting caught out in that thunderstorm near Pompeii – the way you laughed and spun on the spot as rain slapped down on your sunburned face, your bare shoulders. I think of that night in Whistler, overflowing with alcohol, when you took issue for some imagined slight and tried to punch me. And I think of your studio, of the way you held your charcoal, moving it across the canvas like an orchestra conductor. Vigorous and elegant.
In the Harsh Glow of its Incandescent Beauty by Mercurio D. Rivera
illustrated by Jim Burns
I sprinted through narrow, zigzagging pathways inside the pine-green glacier. I could make out Rossi’s black bomber jacket far behind me, appearing and disappearing with each bend. The air-pulses struck the sides of the walls, sending chunks of ice flying.
Human Error by Jay Lake
illustrated by Daniel Bristow-Bailey
Lappet worked the mineral vein by hand. There were machines, of course, but they weren’t always suitable. This was a narrow, rotten course of pyrochlore, loaded with niobium and tantalum. It corkscrewed through the asteroid like a drunk on a crotch rocket. Machines didn’t work with too many serial vector changes. A rockhead with a hot tip and a trowel, on the other hand, could follow it just fine.
Again and Again and Again by Rachel Swirsky
It started with Lionel Caldwell, born in 1900 to strict Mennonites who believed drinking, dancing, and wearing jewelry were sins against God. As soon as Lionel was old enough, he fled to the decadent city where he drank hard liquor from speakeasies, cursed using the Lord’s name, and danced with women who wore bobbie socks and chin-length hair.
Aquestria by Stephen Gaskell
illustrated by Jim Burns
Kelif always seems too pleased. He stands in the doorway, hand clenching his stun baton, the tendons of his neck taut. “Thirty-five klicks north-north-east. Let’s move!” It isn’t hope that drives him. I’m sure of that. His well of hope was spent weeks ago. No, what drives him now is more primal. A thirst for revenge. A chance to stoke his anger. Maybe it’s because I’m a woman that I don’t feel the same. Since Yemeni died, I’ve barely felt anything.
Ansible Link by David Langford
BookZone by Jim Steel and the team
book reviews including The Secret History of Science Fiction, Winter Song by Colin Harvey, The Cardinal's Blades by Pierre Pavel, The Battle of the Sun by Jeanette Winterson, Brain Thief by Alexander Jablokov, The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart by Jesse Bullington, The New Space Opera 2, Ars Memoriae by Beth Bernobich, Black and White by Jackie Kessler & Caitlin Kittredge
Laser Fodder by Tony Lee
DVD and Blu-ray reviews including District 13: Ultimatum, Godzilla, Year One, Starhyke, The Bronx Warriors Trilogy, Moon, District 9, Misfits, Family Guy: Something Something Something Dark Side, The Final Destination, Star Trek, Terminator Salvation, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, GI Joe
Mutant Popcorn by Nick Lowe
film reviews including The Box, 2012, Ponyo, Where the Wild Things Are, Cold Souls, 9, Fantastic Mr Fox, New Moon, Cirque du Freak, The Fourth Kind, Planet 51, A Christmas Carol
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