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Interzone - Issue #231 - Nov/Dec 2010
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Warwick Fraser-Coombe
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press Magazine  ISBN/ITEM#: 0264-3596
Date: 30 December 2010

Links: Interzone / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The Nov/Dec 2010 issue Interzone is a special Jason Sanford issue with three stories by and an interview with Sanford, stories by Matthew Cook and Aliette de Bodard, along with the usual articles and features

The Nov/Dec 2010 issue of Interzone has three stories by one of my favorite authors and the other two are also very good.

The issue begins with "The Shoe Factory" by Matthew Cook. Our main character is unnamed but his story alternates from a tragic love story set in an abandoned shoe factory in China to a doomed situation on his asteroid-mining ship, the Easy Rider out in space. Cook gives us a good story here.

The other non-Sanford story in this issue is by another of my favorite authors, Aliette de Bodard. In "The Shipmaker". We are told that it is set in her Xuya contunity (where China discovered America before Columbus), but centuries after "The Lost Xuyan Bride" and "Butterfly, Falling at Dawn", previously published in Interzone. Dac Kien is Grand Master of Design Harmony and her task is to use arcane methods to bring a deep space ship together so that it can receive a Mind from a pregnant Mexica named Zoquitl. Dac Kien has given up much. Her same sex relationship with Hanh has estranged her from her family and her ancestors. She is uncomfortable with Zoquitl who will gain much from birthing a Mind. Aliette de Bodard is a very talented writer and she shows that, once again, with this amazing story.

Then, we get the three stories by Jason Sanford. Sanford is especially good at coming up with some entirely new idea and writing a great story about it. In the first story, "Peacemaker, Peacemaker, Little Bo-Peep", the new idea is a strange movement that has been spreading across the world, coming at people through their dreams. The dreams cause people to want to kill anyone who does any kind of violence. This is not limited to just criminals, but also soldiers, policemen, firemen and even their families. Sergeant Ellen Davies is a policewoman who has just captured a serial killer named Victor when the local church pastor declares war on the violent. Part of the cult is the trilling of the word 'Peace', and the cultists are called 'trillers'. Davies must make common cause with Victor and she finds out something about what is really going on.

Next, comes "Memoria", in which the new idea is not just travel to alternate Earths, but the barriers that make this difficult. It seems the ghosts of everyone who has ever lived, famous or not, tries to stop such ships. The only way to get through is to have people act as shields, attracting the ghosts. The ghosts take away their memories and the people who volunteer for this are convicted criminals who will be set free after five such journeys. Our narrator refers to himself as "Oil Can" because his ghost is Andy Kaufman (remember Mighty Mouse and Oil Can Harry?). On this voyage, one of the crew is possessed by an evil personality and therein lies our story.

Finally, there is "Millisent Ka Plays in Realtime", which posits a world in which people can become vassals to Lords for a certain amount of time. This debt is written into their genetic code. Millicent Ka is a young woman who is a vassal to His Lordship but his Lordship's wife Lady Amanza Collins, an expert geneticist, has some special plan for her, making for another great story.

They are all great and you should check this issue out. As I've said before, look for Interzone at your local bookstore or subscribe!

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