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Interzone Issue #242 Sep/Oct 2012
Edited by Andy Cox & Andy Hedgecock
Cover Artist: Ben Baldwin
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press  ISBN/ITEM#: 0264-3596
Date: 28 October 2012

Links: Interzone / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The Sept/Oct 2012 issue of Interzone, #242 is here, with stories by Debbie Urbanski, Ken Liu, Priya Sharma, C.W. Johnstone, Karl Bunler, and Lavie Tidhar, along with the usual articles and features.

The Sept/Oct 2012 issue of Interzone, #242, is here with the new (digest sized) format that Black Static has and it's still a great magazine.

The fiction begins with "Wonder" by Debbie Urbanski. The story starts out ordinarily enough as a young boy named Daniel tells about his mother taking him and his brother from what appears to be a community that lives primitively to a regular town. There she makes a living as a medium helping dead people talk to living people. Daniel is afraid of the woods nearby, something his brother uses to bully him. Into all this, a large group of aliens have crashed down somewhere in Indiana. They are called the "blues" and look pretty humanoid with some physical and cultural differences, which cause problems. They have dispersed throughout the country and some live in their town. They become good customers for Daniel's mother and he befriends one named Carrie. This was a beautifully told tale and a good start to the issue.

Next up is "The Message" by Ken Liu. James is a xenoarcheologist, rushing to complete a survey of a planet called Pi Baeo before it is forever changed by terraformers. He is unexpectedly saddled with a young daughter named Maggie when his ex-wife dies. They had never met and Maggie is understandably resentful. But, as you might expect, things change and we get a touching, poignant tale that shows why Liu is one of our best new (relatively) writers

"Needlepoint" by Priya Sharma is more fantasy than science fiction. Lady Agnes is a lady of the court of the Kingdom of Albion. She is a favorite of the king, but not of the queen, and it is the queen she must attend. Since she is so adept at sewing she is called Needlepoint. A group who has been exploring what is called Lesser Albion and Lady Agnes become involved with a man who made marvelous sketches of the beasts there. Unfortunately, the queen has her own ideas. Another story with such beautiful prose, it was a delight to read.

In "Beyond the Light Cone" by C.W. Johnstone, our narrator is a woman named Marga who had once been a cop, until she confessed to murder to save her son from prosecution. Her sentence is to be part of a crew that endlessly travels at light speed, delivering messages to far-flung locations in the galaxy. She can never go back to the real world but is in communications with other ships in the light cone. A woman named Rahab, on one of them, makes her a tempting offer. The decision she makes is a heartbreaking one in this well-told tale.

"The Remembered" by Karl Bunker is actually two stories of aliens who live in an aquatic environment. They only go to the land surface of their world at their peril. It opens with a couple we are told to call Sam and Sarah. They are much like human couples, being more-or-less male and female. We also get a story of the past about another couple we are told to call Jason and Janice. Their stories come together well in yet another story that will touch your heart.

The fiction concludes with "Strigoi" by Lavie Tidhar. A woman named Carmel comes from space to the Central Station in old Tel Aviv that we have seen in other stories. Carmel is not entirely human, she is a Shambleau, a Strigoi, a kind of vampire with a few modern touches. She does not like what she is and has come to the Earth looking for a man. She finds him as this wonderfully imaginative story concludes.

It sounds repetitious, but here is more great science fiction from Interzone. Subscribe!

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