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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:18 pm 
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Location: Cheshire, UK
"strongarming". Moi?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:20 pm 
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Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA
Picked up this issue at Barnes & Noble over the Christmas holiday. What a find! As an American, I take Asimov's as my primary sci-fi magazine and have always thought of Interzone as that British magazine I see occasionally in the acknowledgments page of a Year's Best collection.

But it caught my eye as I was browsing at B&N (and this is important too: the magazine is visually striking) -- I thought, "What! They have *Interzone* here??" Anyway, surprised and delighted, I bought the issue, completely on impulse, and ploughed through it. Fantastic fiction, gorgeous artwork, and substantial reviews. In my state of emerging enlightenment, I wonder now why this isn't officially considered a professional magazine.

My local B&N just stopped carrying Interzone, but it's so good; I may just subscribe.

P.S.: it's nice to see a fellow Southerner (I'm from SC, originally) featured prominently in this issue, with excellent fiction to boot.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:40 pm 
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Location: Cheshire, UK
Good to hear from you Mr Chapman and we are glad you were so pleased with your purchase. We have an electronic editions editor presently residing in NC (so another fellow Southerner) and he is in charge of our podcasts, see the link above, where you can download audio mp3 stories from Interzone and other TTA magazines. And all free.

Out of interest which B&N carried Interzone and which has just stopped doing so?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:22 pm 
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Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA
Thanks for the info, Roy.

I bought #231 when visiting family in SC (the Columbia B&N had it), but the one where I normally shop (Newport, KY) has discontinued it, as of the New Year, apparently.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:36 pm 
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Not to spam or anything, but...

If I were to subscribe, when should I do so if I wanted the first issue to be #232?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:21 am 
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Location: Cheshire, UK
If you subscribe now you will catch the IZ 232 mailing but you can tell Andy here or by E mail from the contact page if you want to be sure of an issue. http://ttapress.com/contact/

Thanks for the info Mr C. I'll add it to the In the Wild Thread.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:55 pm 
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Location: Reading, UK
Yay! It's finally arrived!

Not sure if it's the errant original, or a second copy, but thanks guys :D Looking forward to getting stuck in.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:15 pm 
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SF Revu review.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:29 am 
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Location: Uppsala, Sweden
While reading Matthew Cook's 'The Shoe Factory' (IZ 231) I thought it was pointless. Why all the abrupt temporal transitions? Only at the end is an explanation given. I think it is not adequate to the story.

The space-traveller Cat, attempts to save himself from his ship's destruction by placing his memories in a 'memrecorder,' transmitting them to Phobos via laser, and hopefully having them placed after arrival in a new body. Tha plan fails, since the mem recorder is defective and the signal misses Phobos. It travels for centuries, becomes degraded by losing the 'key' to the original sequence of Cat's memories, and is found by an entity that attempts to reconstruct the proper sequence. The try fails, since the key is lost, but the entity does its best.

The entity explains all this to (reconstructed) Cat, who is told 'You experience time as a river, flowing ever in the same direction, but you store memories non-sequentially.' That is, Cat experiences a coherent memory sequence, but the entity claims that some memories are not in their original order.

Is this weird result possible? The British physicist-scholar Julian Barbour thinks it is. He uses it in his controversial book The End of Time. It helped focus attention on this and other strange possibilities of physics and philosophy. Barbour argued that each memory event contains an entire sequence of memories. In terms of Cook's story, wherever Cat 'is at' in the entity's time, Cat experiences a flow of time coherently filled with memories. So Cat will not experience any memory as being misplaced in time.

This description does not cohere with the story. On page seven, Cat thinks about a short sequence of his memories. He has the thought 'This isn't how it went...'. Now if the explanation given above is correct, this thought can have no basis in Cat's experience. For he has a memory sequence that seems coherent to him. Cat has no good reason to question it. If I am right, the story has this conceptual difficulty. Fixing it would require at least distinguishing between memory and other types of mental phenomenon. I have no idea how to do this. I also believe that it is quite possible that I have written gibberish above. We know so little about time that I can only discuss a problem I think I see.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:46 am 
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George after your final paragraph I'm not sure if you have damned with faint praise or praised with faint damns.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:08 pm 
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Location: Uppsala, Sweden
The latter, Roy. Since we know almost nothing about the nature of time (whatever that means!), I didn't expect 'the truth' from the author. Or from myself, for that matter. It's praise because Mr Cook made me think, which I enjoy doing more than almost anything else.
No damns to Cook on time, since then I'd have to damn everyone who wrote on the subject, starting with Augustine. He wrote that if nobody asks him what time is, he understands time, but as soon as he's asked he has no idea what to say. Not much has changed.

My criticisms were 1. that I did not understand what was going on until the very end. That technique doesn't encourage persevering, but I did. I read it twice. 2. That I think I spotted a conceptual error. But that critique means little in the theory of time. These issues are so subtle and confusing that making mistakes is the norm.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:06 am 
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I haven't read the story, I only became a subscriber from IZ232 onwards, but - does the phrase "this isn't how it went" refer to the 'actual' flow of time, or his frame of reference, i.e. is he recalling things differently to how he remembers them and how he has been told events have gone, opening up a third reference that he concludes must be wrong (but isn't necessarily)?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:19 pm 
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That's an excellent question. It is one of the matters that I hinted at towards the end of my comment. Here's how I understand you: can Cat's reconstructed mind reflect upon its pre-reconstruction (i.e. actually past) mental life? I thought about this yesterday afternoon (with some help from Roy), decided that it could (since it had that thought), and that my argument was therefore bad. This is how philosophy progresses.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:37 pm
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
Assuming if you're here...you've read the story and aren't worries about SPOILERS...

Ok, I may have to re-read the story.

Off the top of my head...
I don't think we ever know the protagonist's name. There is a cat, but no Cat character. The female he keeps meeting is Emily.

My interpretation was that it is merely his memory of Emily that is being reconstructed, and not the actual person. The Emily he is talking to at the end isn't a reconstructed Emily but the alien making use of his memory of her to communicate with him.

The story is the telling of his thoughts being reconstructed out of order - cuz memories might be stored that way - by the alien.

But then I may have totally misunderstood.

Though at first I thought, "Oh Christ, this is gonna be one of those unreadable jumping all over the place stories," in the end I quite liked it.

My two cents...before taxes.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:16 pm
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Location: Uppsala, Sweden
@Michael--What an interesting and plausible interpretation! It excited me several hours ago, since I think it makes sense of the entire text.

Let me try to dissect your point. 1. The narrator is describing only the changing condition of the human's mind, during the final stages of its reconstruction by a group of entities. 2. The narrator is neither the human nor a member the group. 3. This group is using the human's ideas and memories of Emily to ease communication with the human. 4. Communication succeeds even though the human's memories are not properly ordered.

On this interpretation the story is coherent (and I was wrong). I need only add that the human's mind can, towards the end, reflect on its stream of consciousness and judge correctly that some memories in it are not in their proper temporal order. The last four paragraphs are mysterious to me. Perhaps the new mind becomes a part (or: new member) of the group.


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