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Interzone - Issue #230 - Sept/Oct 2010
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Warwick Fraser-Coombe
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press Magazine  ISBN/ITEM#: 0264-3596
Date: 23 September 2010

Links: TTA Press / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The Sept/Oct 2010 issue Interzone is here with stories by Tim Lees, Aliette de Bodard, Lavie Tidhar, Patrick Samphire and Nina Allen, along with the usual articles and features celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the first Mutant Popcorn article by Nick Lowe.

The Sep/Oct 2010 issue of Interzone has arrived and has the kind of stories only it would print.

The issue begins with "Love and War" by Tim Lees. Our narrator is a woman who has some trouble with her identification papers. An unscrupulous bureaucrat named Derek Measdon offers to help, for a price. She becomes his mistress and is with him as he rises in "the Party" during a crisis. The crisis is the invasion by Earth X, which impinges on our world at certain points of it. Creatures called the jumblies are a danger and there is argument if they are even sentient. The war leads to a loss of civil liberties but our narrator is somewhat shielded from that as long as she is Measdon's mistress. But that does not last. Lees writes a good story on ambition and war.

Aliette de Bodard likes to write about Aztec cultures and she does again in "Age of Miracles, Age of Wonders". We only get a few details about what is going on but it seems the ruling gods who practice human sacrifice have been replaced by clockwork robots who are suppressing the old ways with bloody vengeance. The story is told from different points of view: The God, The Hierarch (robot), The Boy and The Mother. Once again de Bodard shows why she is one of my favorite new writers.

"The Insurance Agent" in the story by Lavie Tidhar is our narrator who calls himself James Turner. He is hired to provide insurance (protection) to a woman named Kim. She is some sort of cult leader but there is more to it than that. Tidhar acquaints us with the Alien Theory of Spiritual Beings that says that people in history who had great spiritual power (Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, L. Ron Hubbard, etc) were actually aliens. A Conflict Codicil to this is that there are opposing factions of these aliens. Kim is supposedly one of these aliens. Our narrator finds out what lengths his protection must go. Even if you don't buy this theory, Tidhar tells us an interesting tale.

Patrick Samphire provides us with a new take on "Camelot" in his story of that name. Our narrator was, apparently, there with his brother but fought on the wrong side of the battle. They are cursed with eternal life. Our narrator is in present day but he is searching in France for his brother, shot down during World War II. He encounters a beautiful woman who seems to know his business. Does his quest succeed? Read this little gem and find out.

Last, we have "The Upstairs Window" Nina Allen. Our narrator, here, is a journalist in the near future who has made sacrifices to his integrity in order to survive an increasingly tyrannical government. His friend, Niko, is an artist who refuses to make such compromises and winds up in trouble. Our narrator must make decisions of his own in this atmospheric, moody piece.

Look for Interzone at your local bookstore or subscribe!.

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