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 Post subject: Interzone 218
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:28 pm 
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IZ218 is a Chris Beckett special. Chris was an Interzone ‘discovery’ in 1990 and went on to publish a further 18 stories here. We recently received three more quality stories from him in quick succession, so we decided to run all three in the same issue, along with Chris’s own introductions and an in-depth interview conducted by Andy Hedgecock.

The Chris Becket stories are:

Poppyfields, illustrated by Vincent Chong

Greenland, illustrated by Warwick Fraser-Coombe

Rat Island, illustrated by Daniel Bristow-Bailey


The cover image is by Warwick Fraser-Coombe, for Greenland.

Image

Other stories in this issue:

If by Daniel Akselrod & Lenny Royter

His Master’s Voice by Hannu Rajaniemi
illustrated by Paul Drummond

The Corner of the Circle by Tim Lees
illustrated by Warwick Fraser-Coombe


Features:

Ansible Link by David Langford
news, gossip, obituaries

Book Zone
many books reviewed, accompanied by interviews with Charles Stross and Gareth L. Powell

Mutant Popcorn by Nick Lowe
film reviews

Laser Fodder by Tony Lee
DVD reviews, with competitions to win discs, including the director’s cut of Dark City

This issue is published on September 11th. Subscribe now!


Last edited by Andy on Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:47 pm 
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Terrific cover! Warwick Fraser-Coombe and Paul Drummond are both impressive artists. I enjoy the look they bring to the magazine.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:59 pm 
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Just love that cover.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:53 pm 
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That's a great cover, maybe the best so far in the TTA Press era.

I'm delighted to hear that you've made this issue a Chris Beckett special. He's a terrific writer.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:49 am 
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The issue was two days late from the printer (they didn't print enough!) but all subscriber and contributor copies are now on their way. Hope you enjoy it. Please let us know on this thread. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:41 pm 
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Arrived today... I may even have time to read it this weekend.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:23 am 
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Could not arrived at a better time, now have something to read on holiday:-)
Also just over a week ago I bought "The Turing Test" from Elastic Press.
Good cover, think I prefer 217 and 215 though.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 7:37 pm 
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Arrived Bristol this morning, safe and sound.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 8:48 am 
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A great issue - I really enjoyed all 6 stories.

Reading the Chris Beckett ones confirmed that I need to get his collection of short stories ('The Turing Test') as soon as possible, and get his new novel ('Marcher') as soon as it comes out (I love his 'Welfare Man' stories). Great stuff.

'IF' by Daniel Akselrod & Lenny Royter had me laughing out loud - a great idea with some fantastic scenes and dialogue.

'His Master's Voice' by Hannu Rajaniemi told a cool story from an interesting angle - it really did feel like the narrator was a dog.

And 'The Corner of The Circle' by Tim Lees has some great ideas in it - I'd love to read more set in this universe.

It's always been a brilliant read, but it really does feel that IZ is getting stronger and stronger with each issue - the quality of the stories is amazing, the interviews are very insightful, the Film and DVD reviews are spot on, and the book reviews are excellent as ever.

Fantastic stuff folks - keep up the good work !


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:57 am 
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Hello: read IZ218 over the weekend: have some good natured quibbles about the Chris Beckett stories:

Poppyfields: a classic example of sticking an irrelevent SF idea into a mainstream story to make it genre: so the only way a homeless teenager could be introduced into the story was by having her cross from another dimension? On the plus side, it will probably give David Truesdale apoplexy!

Greenland: a good story, no problems with this. But note: it's about a world in which the worst predictions about global warming have come true.

Rat Island: A man looks back at his childhood when his father told him the the worst predictions about global warming willl come true. In his introduction Chris Beckett says what he particularly likes about this story is how the man is writing in a future (a future, remember, in which the worst predictions about global warming have presumably come true) about which you are told nothing. The thing is, the mystery that this tactic is supposed to create is completely undermined by the previous story - which showed you a future in which the worst predictions of global warming have come true! some shooting in the foot there surely?

Incidentally, given the glorious British miserabilism shown by these three stories, did this issue have anything to do with Jetse's resignation?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 1:09 pm 
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StevenLP wrote:
Poppyfields: a classic example of sticking an irrelevent SF idea into a mainstream story to make it genre: so the only way a homeless teenager could be introduced into the story was by having her cross from another dimension? On the plus side, it will probably give David Truesdale apoplexy!


I've only read the first of the Beckett stories so far Steven, but what I would say about it is that the SF element isn't arbitrary - it's canonical. Poppyfields is the latest in the series of slipping-between-universes Interzone stories that gained Beckett early notice. The same scenario is - I believe - the setting for the forthcoming novel, Marcher. So, perhaps it's one for the fans. I certainly enjoyed it.

As I did the Hannu Rajaniemi story later in the issue. Gotta love the strangeness/familiarity balance in the dog's narrative tone, and the idea density is dazzling in places. Fab story.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:50 pm 
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Hello Neil

I've enjoyed Chris Beckett's previous Marcher tales, but all that backstory is irrelevant to this particular story - if the homeless teenager had simply got into Poppyfields through a hole in the fence what happens subsequently would nevertheless not need to be changed because of that.

The SF element is like putting a pair of trousers onto the family dog to get it into a boarding house which has the sign "No Pets Allowed"; you may tell the staff that it must be a boy because its wearing boys trousers, but it won't change the fact its actually a dog - nor is your argument strengthened by pointing out that those same trousers have been worn by several boys in the past.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:25 am 
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That's an amusing analogy, Steven, but I don't really think it fits in this case. For me the beauty of the Marcher stories is how they abut a world that is recognisably very like ours up against a world which is only slightly, but significantly different. And I think, in this case - although not made explicit - that knowing the canon is important in being able to judge the narrator's reaction to what he finds in that wilderness that is Thurston Meadows in this reality.

I've now also read the other two Beckett stories, and I thought they were both very good too. Re Rat Island. Is it really a *mystery* that the world has passed the point of no return in terms of global warming? I don't think it's set up that way. For me what we're getting is the story of someone relating not how world came to be in the state it is now in (at the point from when the story is written), but how he came to understand it. He was a child. He didn't fully understand. It wasn't obvious to him until it was too late. Like the rats on the island, and like the vast majority of adult humans on the planet, then and here and now. It's not building up to the disaster itself, it's building up to the point where we realise. I thought it was a very clever way to tell the story.

Possibly you could argue that the two later stories could have been published in reverse order, but I liked the "full on Britain in the grip of eco disaster" followed by the quieter "so how do you think it will feel to realise that that future is inevitable".

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:55 am 
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Neil

I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one - I've enjoyed Chris' previous Marcher stories*, but I see Poppyfields link to them more as a false beard than something important to the story.

With Rat Island I as basing my comments (on the "mystery" of the future the narrator was writing from) on Chris Beckett's own introduction to the piece. Anyway, I do think Interzone should have opened with Rat Island, with Greenland (which we both agree is a strong story) as the final piece of fiction in the issue, with Poppyfields somewhere in the middle. The seperation would, I feel, have made the stories - and issue as a whole - a richer experience.

* I'm a fan of his work - I bought "The Turing Test" as soon as it came out.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:40 pm 
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Well, it's all about opinions isn't it? :D

I think regarding Rat Island, so, it's just the introduction that spoils it then?

As I've already stated, I never read IZ stories in the published order, so you may be right about an enriched reading experience - I would still have missed it.

Anyway, I have just the Tim Lees to read now, and am looking forward to that one too. I've not been disappointed by anything in this issue yet.

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