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All Change by 2015 cover artist Martin Hanford
Weedkiller by John Shirley
illustrated by Richard Wagner
The squid balloon was hovering over East L.A., a mile past downtown. The sky was like a gray steel lid, as it usually was. Venter’s observer was hovering just under the thickest layer of haze from the sea’s gradual evaporation. Venter remembered, in childhood, L.A. had been famed for its clear, sunny days. Now the palm trees were shriveled and brown from lack of sun.
Blonde by Priya Sharma
illustrated by Martin Hanford
“When did you go bald?”
Only Clarice would ask such a forthright question.
“Leave her alone.” Jake drains his beer. Only he would dare contradict his sister.
The clock hands have gone from late at night to early in the morning. Jake’s bar is empty of customers. The staff, who are sitting round the table, fall silent, intent on their drinks.
“It’s okay,” Rapunzel says. “I was sick and it all fell out.”
Her scalp is shiny, every follicle devoid of life. Nor does she have any eyebrows. Or hair elsewhere for that matter.
“What colour was it?”
There’s a pause, then laughter.
Jake nudges her. “You’re a joker after all.”
She knows what he thinks of her. That she’s vague and evasive and hasn’t a clue what’s going on most of the time.
“Lucky you’re beautiful enough to be bald,” he adds.
Rapunzel touches the nape of her neck where she feels most exposed and tries not to smile.
No Rez by Jeff Noon
illustrated by Dave Senecal
Waking the same every morning, into darkness
The darkness of the eye
Waiting for the day to kick in, the first little
Murder on the Laplacian Express
illustrated by Warwick Fraser-Coombe
“It’s all right,” Shai Laren said as Anselm swung down into the driver’s cabin of the Laplacian Express. “I’m almost sure I know how to fly this thing.”
Anselm stepped through the haze of bitter smoke pouring from the split control panel, almost stumbling over something obscured underneath it. “Where’s the driver?”
Shai didn’t look up from what was left of the controls, but the iridophores in her skin rippled blue and green with irritation. “I believe you have just found him.”
The Spin of Stars by Christien Gholson
illustrated by Ruchard Wagner
The high desert night stretches out on all sides of the Jeep. Beyond the limits of the headlights, I can feel how the dark space curves away from the earth, folds in on itself, over and over, producing the billion stars that move across my windshield. There are moments, bumping over this dirt road, when I can feel the Pleiades star cluster above me; hundreds of stars spinning, keeping time. Real time – where past and future twist around each other; where beginnings and endings converge…
Black Static 48 Out Now:
Black Static is published at the same time as Interzone. Issue 48 contains novelettes and stories by Jeffrey Thomas, Cate Gardner, Steven J. Dines, Andrew Hook, and Stephen Bacon, plus all the usual columns, reviews, and interviews. To take out a discounted subscription to both magazines please visit this website's shop.
Where O Where Has My Hugo Gone?
Each year, the members of the annual World Science Fiction Convention – held this August in Spokane, Washington state, USA – hand out awards in fourteen categories to genre-related works and people, from best novel to best editor to best fan artist. This year “no award” took an unprecedented five categories: novella, short story, related work, editor (short form) and editor (long form). This was a direct consequence of two campaigns by a group of US right-wing writers, Sad Puppies 3 and Rabid Puppies.
How To Lose Friends and Objectify People
I recently found myself rewatching ‘The Measure of a Man’ from the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It’s the one where the ship’s android second-officer Data is ordered to submit to a battery of dangerous tests designed to replicate his neural functions. This process is deemed necessary because reproducing Data’s consciousness would allow Starfleet to create hundreds of androids who could be sent into situations deemed too dangerous for mere organics. Data understandably refuses to comply and resigns from Starfleet, at which point Starfleet argues that Data is their property and so can neither resign his commission nor refuse an order. The bulk of the episode is then given over to a court case in which Captain Picard and his first-officer Will Riker argue about whether or not Data should be afforded the same basic rights as any other member of the Federation.
The SF of U and Me
Last month I wrote a blog post about the recently announced longlist for the Man Booker Prize. Among other things, I grumbled at the paucity of speculative novels from this year’s selection. The day after posting the article, I received an email expressing surprise that I hadn’t considered Tom McCarthy’s Satin Island – one of the lucky thirteen – as being of interest to science fiction, and pointing me in the direction of a review by Paul Di Filippo in February’s Locus.
News and obituaries
Shaun Green, Jim Steel, Juliet E. McKenna, Stephen Theaker, Duncan Lunan, Ian Hunter, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Jack Deighton, Ian Sales, John Howard, Paul Graham Raven
Books reviewed include The Long way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (plus author interview conducted by Shaun Green), Gene Mapper by Taiyo Fujii (translated by Jim Hubbert), The Fifth Dimension by Martin Vopenka (translated by Hana Sklenkova), The Feminine Future edited by Mike Ashley, Mother of Eden by Chris Beckett, Armada by Ernest Cline, The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi, Three Moments of an Explosion by China Miéville, Skin by Ilka Tampke, A Borrowed Man by Gene Wolfe, Beneath London by James P. Blaylock
Cinema releases reviewed include Hard to be a God, Ant-Man, Fantastic Four, Terminator: Genisys, Pixels, The Cobbler, Self/Less, Ted 2, Absolutely Anything, Inside Out, Strange Magic, Song of the Sea
DVDs and Blu-rays reviewed include Contamination, A Pigeon Sat On a Branch Reflecting on Existence, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, Metal Hurlant Chronicles, Quatermass, Robot Overlords, The Blacklist, The Saragossa Manuscript, The Hourglass Sanatorium, Casanova, Monsters: Dark Continent, Knights of Sidonia, The Phoenix Incident, The Age of Adaline
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We have in hand new stories by rising stars and popular Interzone contributors Rich Larson, Malcolm Devlin, Julie C. Day, T.R. Napper and others. Interzone #261 is out in November.
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