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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:11 pm 
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Re: Rat Island. I found what I saw as the author intentions being undermined by the stories' positioning as ironic.

However, the story itself didn't really work for me - the characters were too stereotyped - the distant upper middle class father; the younger child trying to get the fathers attention; the introverted, resentful elder child. Stereotypes often become so because they reflect a common truth, but when using them an author has to convey a real sense of them as individuals, and this didn't really come across to me (the same was true of Poppyfields, but I thought the narrator in Greenland was done well).

However, what I did like (about Rat Island) was the father treating the 11 year old as an adult - passing on grown-up knowledge to the child, which the child resents. I think that was interesting and worth developing.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 2:01 pm 
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I think it's interesting how different readers interact with a story, Steven. I didn't find the characters in Rat Trap particularly stereotypical. But then perhaps I've just not read enough of a particular kind of story. For me these characters felt well drawn - if a little sketchy perhaps, but this is a short story after all.

I agree with you about the father treating the 11 year old as an adult being the place where the story became especially interesting. It trod a fine line between "now you're old enough to be treated as an adult" and "the father *needed* another adult to talk to about all of this, but the kid was the closest he had - and it wasn't enough". I thought that was very touching.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:02 pm 
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I can't say I found the SF element of 'Poppyfields' arbitrary or irrelevant, though I put that down to reading the story in the context of Beckett's previous Marcher/Tammy Pendant stories; the events of the story are consistent with that particular fictional universe. Anyway, 'Rat Island' was my favourite Beckett story in this issue (if favourite is the right word, given that it's ultimately a rather grim tale...)

I loved Daniel Akselrod & Lenny Royter's 'If' - funny, but at the same time honest and rather touching. I'll be looking out for these guys.

Both the Rajaniemi and Lees were impressive too. All in all, another stellar issue.

Did the Paul Drummond illustration on page 34 remind anybody else of Half Life 2, or was that just me?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:55 am 
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I thought the general standard of tales in 218 was very high, though I must give particular praise to 'If' and 'Greenland' - one laugh out loud funny, the other darkly disturbing - both classics. :)

As for the SF element in 'Poppyfields' being unnecessary - I wouldn't entirely agree, as I quite like the idea of the thin fragile nature of reality on a personal level (ie: Angus willing to give up his stable married life at a moment's notice) being mirrored by the fragile nature of reality on a universal level (the phrase is overused perhaps, but the desciption of the universe as being more fragile than a soap bubble is nicely appropriate).

However, I would say that despite the theme working, it doesn't come together quite so well in execution, with the whole element of traversing between the universes thrown away in a bald infodump, and the fact that Angus never even comments about the girl appearing from thin air, or asks her about it (do people regularly appear out of nowhere in Angus's universe, so he feels no comment is neccessary?), makes the whole element seem a little 'tacked on'.

I suspect that some of these weaknesses may be due to to the fact that this is obviously one story in a larger series. I still enjoyed it, but I think with a little more polish it might have worked better as a standalone story.


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 Post subject: New Subscription
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:52 am 
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I subscribed to Interzone last week Friday and was wondering whether I should expect the current issue or the next issue in October?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:55 am 
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The current issue ali, number 218.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:53 pm 
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Colin Harvey's glowing Suite 101 review.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 6:58 pm 
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Ali84. Next IZ is November. Those of you who subscribed at Fantasycon will get that issue; 219.

Anyone who did subscribe at F'con 2008 please PM me.
Roy


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:03 am 
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I quoted Rich and, for balance, Steven on the Chronicles Network site.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 12:43 pm 
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For my two cents (but hey, the way Wall Street is going, they're worth less every day), I thought the beginning of Poppyfields was great and the technique of Rat Island was brilliant. The stories themselves, though, left me a bit disappointed, Poppyfields especially. This was my first encounter with Chris Beckett, so maybe I missed something but having read the other comments on it, maybe I didn't. Tammy seemed wholly out of place with the pastoral feel of the story. Maybe that was the point, but it didn't work for me.

If, however, was brilliant and I loved it. Amusing, quirky, intelligent... everything I want in a story. Worth the cover price alone :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 1:59 pm 
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Just picked up IZ 218 in Borders and pages 16-23 are repeated, as is the Tim Lees story. If and His Master's Voice are missing.

Pity, as I was particularly looking forward to the latter ...


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:06 pm 
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I have to admit that my favourite was the "His Master's Voice" story. Probably has more to do with my own, influential hellhound than anything. I enjoyed "IF". I liked the rest, just not as much.

I can see where the "Poppyfields"/non-SF argument is coming from as I feel the story could have quite easily have been sold to a literature magazine (though, obviously, IZ is just better!), with or without the alternative worlds explanation. But then, I'm not as familiar with Chris Beckett's work as I probably should be if I want to express an informed opinion. As Foxie says, the technique Beckett shows is bloody good. I can only envy him.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:21 pm 
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Schnappi wrote:
Just picked up IZ 218 in Borders and pages 16-23 are repeated, as is the Tim Lees story. If and His Master's Voice are missing.

Pity, as I was particularly looking forward to the latter ...


Are you the person who emailed me about this a short while ago, Schnappi? If not, sorry you're the second person I know of who got a duff retail copy. Please email me with your postal address and I'll send you a replacement. I really hope there aren't any more copies like this out there...


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:34 pm 
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That wasn't me, but I hope the same!

I've sent you a PM :)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:51 pm 
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Enjoyed the issue very much. Personal favourites were "Rat Island" and "His Master's Voice" (which was a startling mix of funny and moving). "Poppyfields" was an enjoyable read, but not as memorable as the other two.

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