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New Science Fiction & Fantasy 2023 BRITISH FANTASY AWARD WINNER


31st Oct, 2020


Item image: Interzone 289

Interzone's 2020 cover artist is Warwick Fraser-Coombe. This image continues on the back cover.



Cryptozoology by Tim Lees
illustrated by Richard Wagner 

Item image: Cryptozoology

I’d seen forests on TV but I’d never thought about the way they smelled – not fragrant like a garden, but dark and complex, rank with rot and ordure and the sharp, sweet tang of pine.

That was the first day.

The second day, we found the stink.


The Ephemeral Quality of Mersay by John Possidente
illustrated by Jim Burns

Item image: The Ephemeral Quality of Mersay

Dateline: Humboldt Station, GEO
‘Two Found Dead After Solar Storm’
Byline: Debin, CEJ#220377 (Prob.)

Today I spent way too much time inside the old nuclear power core, hiding from the sun while three people died outside.


The Way of His Kind by James Sallis

When you were born, you didn’t cry. The nurses in the tiny hospital where we then lived grew concerned. They feared you’d been damaged in the birthing, that you were deaf, or worse. Whenever anyone came close, you’d meet their eyes and hold on them till the faces above went away. Even then there seemed within your own eyes a deep intelligence, as though you were merely observing, piecing together these bits of the world offered you before committing to stay.


Smoke Bomb by Matt Thompson
illustrated by Vincernt Sammy 

Item image: Smoke Bomb

She was older than the usual type you get in the Fix, maybe eighty or so, with early-’90s style glass-tinted hair braids and a silicone-toned torso that bulged discreetly beneath her corset. She’d settled into one of the private booths furthest from the entrance. It wasn’t so uncommon. Sometimes you’d see ones like her coming in on their own, dead eyes lighting up at the sight of the mixing girls displaying their enhanced anatomies, money suddenly no object to gratifying their desires.


There's a Gift Shop Now by Françoise Harvey

The set up is so: walls painted black and white only – the purest black and white, no specks or flecks marring the clear outlined shapes. The effect, looking at them, is of the light that flares after a punch in the eye. The surfaces of the walls are perfectly smooth, no possibility of a finger-hold, no invitation to clamber or deface. They are set to lean 95 degrees out from the floor, creating a slight blossom of roof, a suggestion of space overhead so that if a person lay on the floor the top of the wall might not immediately infringe on the eye. There’s freedom if you only gaze at the sky, though of course anyone was free to leave and go home, should they wish. The music is piped room to room, never the same song repeated, but every one of them has a crunching beat like the steps of a parading army on gravel.


The Third Time I Saw a Fox by Cécile Cristofari

“You know what I think, the world is going bonkers,” the circus man says.

I nod, draw a gulp of burning coffee from my thermos flask. A decent night watch needs to start with a little bitterness on the tongue, the first drink just a little too hot before the next cups fade to lukewarm. It’s the only excitement I’m afforded, after all. No one ever breaks into natural history museums.


2019 James White Award Winner:
Limitations by David Maskill

To my great disappointment, I remained unmauled by a vicious alien monster.



Guest Editorial
Jim Burns


Future Interrupted: Cancelled Futures, Possible Worlds
Andy Hedgecock


Climbing Stories: A Farewell to Worms
Aliya Whiteley

Ansible Link
David Langford



Book Zone

Duncan Lawie: World Engines Destroyer + World Engines Creator by Stephen Baxter • Stephen Theaker: Machine by Elizabeth Bear + The Arrest by Jonathan Lethem • Maureen Kincaid Speller: Mordew by Alex Pheby •Juliet E. McKenna: Divine Heretic by Jaime Lee Moyer + Hollow Empire by Sam Hawke • Jack Deighton: Hold Up the Sky by Cixin Liu


Mutant Popcorn
Nick Lowe

Films reviewed include Bill & Ted Face the Music, Tenet, The New Mutants, Carmilla, Wolfwalkers, Possessor, Love You Forever, Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite!


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Coming soon

Interzone 290 is out in January, with the first of 2021's covers by Vincent Sammy. Please subscribe now.


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