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Interzone - Issue #233 - Mar/Apr 2011
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Richard Wagner
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press  ISBN/ITEM#: 0264-3596
Date: 27 March 2011

Links: Interzone / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The Mar/Apr 2011 issue of Interzone is an exceptional one, with a novella by Nina Allan and stories by Chris Butler, Ray Cluley and Tim Lees along with the usual articles and features.

The Mar/Apr 2011 issue of Interzone is one of its best, with two stories that are Hugo-worthy..

Novellas are unusual in Interzone, but this issue starts off with one, "The Silver Wind" by Nina Allan. Our lead characters here is a man named Martin. We actually met Martin in a story called "My Brother's Keeper" way back in Black Static 12 but that story has little to do with this one. Martin lives in a future or alternate England in which non-whites were kicked out and strict genetic laws are in place. He makes a good living as a real estate broker, although he deeply misses his wife who died in a tragic accident. He comes across a special clock made by a dwarf named Owen Andrews. He hears that Andrews has found a way to travel in time. He seeks out Andrews in a suburb of London that is so dangerous, there is a strict curfew. That's just the beginning of this imaginative story which goes off in unexpected directions. Allan packs a lot of story here and I enjoyed it so much that I'll be adding it to my Hugo short list nest year.

It's one thing to take a novella and pack it with detail, but when you can introduce new concepts and tell a good story about it, all in four pages, that's something else. "Tell Me Everything" by Chris Butler is the second story in this issue that will be on my Hugo short list. This takes place in a world something like ours, but one which has an aristocracy that is untouchable by the law. But what's really different is that people give out what are called "spores" that reveal their innermost emotions. In this world, a police officer, whose wife died in an unsolved hit-and-run accident, is working security for a powerful man called the Summer Duke. At the Summer Duke's party, a man shows up who is "almost invisible, except to the eye." He gives off no spores. This outrages the Duke who demands the man be investigated. I won't say more but that this had a very good ending and just the kind you want in a story like this.

Ray Cluley also has a story in this month's Black Static, but this one, "Tethered to the Cold and Dying", is science fiction of a sort. Jackson lives on some unnamed world. Life is hard for him and a woman he calls mother even though she is not. A man comes to their habitat who tells him about a space-elevator that can take him up to a station. Jackson gives him some rare beef for pills the size of beans that will allow him to use this elevator. He ascends the elevator to find a very large man living there by himself. It took me a little while to catch on what this was but I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Last of all, there is "Crosstown Traffic" by Tim Lees, set in the same world as a story by Lees in Interzone. #218 called "The Corner of the Circle." It's set in a future New York City inhabited by more than one extraterrestrial and our narrator is a young kid working for an alien called Reuben. Reuben takes him to a place where he sees something really strange looking extracted from a man. Reuben later gives him a package which has this thing inside. He is to deliver it across town. Reuben gives him money for a cab, but the kid thinks he can pocket that at take the subway. Things are not that simple in this wild story.

With two Hugo-worthy stories this is an exceptional issue of Interzone, which is an exceptional magazine. Buy it at your local bookstore or subscribe!

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