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Interzone - Issue #228 - May/Jun 2010
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Warwick Fraser-Coombe
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press  ISBN/ITEM#: 0264-3596
Date: 27 May 2010

Links: Interzone / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The May/Jun 2010 issue Interzone is here with stories by Mario Milosevic, Melissa Yuan-Innes, David D. Levine, Jason Sanford, and Jon Ingold, along with the usual articles.

The May/Jun 2010 issue of Interzone has arrived with more great fiction, including one that is Hugo-worthy.

The issue begins with "Untied States of America" by Mario Milosevic. When I saw the title, I figured it was going to be about a break-up of the United States of America, but I didn't think it would be about a literal one. Our narrator is an old woman who lives by the sea in the state of Washington. Years ago, when her grandmother was pregnant with her mother, people got pellets in the mail and were told to drop them along state lines. Many did and each state separated from the other and started floating by itself on the sea. This caused earthquakes and the literal fall of many cities and many more problems. We are told that there were 48 floating states that might pass near each other but don't often. No word on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan or the District of Columbia! Another change was that great cliffs appeared along the shores and people moved inland. All this is the backdrop for a very imaginative story in which the woman receives a visitor who has come overseas from Vermont.

"Iron Monk" by Melissa Yuan-Innes takes place on a space ship containing people that the still despotic China of the future thinks that they can lose. Moon, Wynton, Jigme, Hunan, our unnamed narrator and a boy called Little Tiger are the fourth expedition sent to meet aliens in the asteroid belt after the others vanished without a trace. Our narrator notices a rash on Little Tiger's arm. It gets worse and our narrator starts exhibiting the same symptom. So does the rest of the crew. They find out why and do something about this in this well-written story of heroism.

Security expert Justin Carnes meets someone with "A Passion for Art" in the story by David D. Levine. He is called in by the director of the Art Institute of Chicago because of a security problem. It's not whole piece of art that have gone missing. It's characters within a painting. Levine gets high points for coming up with a truly spectacular idea, but you might be a bit horrified by what happens to a famous painting in this story.

"Over Water" by Jon Ingold is set in a fantasy world and much of it on an island named Hawn. Our narrator is telling us a story of when he was a boy and the men of Hawn fought off the marauders from Polyph. He also relates his romance with Lorca, the daughter of the Mayjore (=Mayor) of the island. There is a lot to his story about language and libraries and much more. It is a rich and rewarding fantasy and a joy to read.

I have been a fan of Jason Sanford's stories for some time, now, and "Plague Birds" is another of his fine efforts. Christine de Ane lives in a future world in which people live primitively, but one in which AI's interfere in human affairs. Genetic manipulation has made some people animal-like and a special AI called a plague bird comes to settlements when justice needs to be done. One comes in the form of a woman with red hair and a scar that runs from her right eye to her lips. She insists on Christina's help, partly because a young man named Beuten Pauler had attacked her when his wolf nature had got the better of him and for another deeper reason. More is going on and I'll leave it at that. I frequently like to put Sanford's stories on my short list for the Hugos and this will be another that will make that list!

Once more, I'll recommend Interzone as having the best writing in the genre. Subscribe!

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