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Interzone Issue #243 Nov/Dec 2012
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Ben Baldwin
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press Magazine  ISBN/ITEM#: 0264-3596
Date: 27 December 2012

Links: Interzone / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The Nov/Dec 2012 issue of Interzone, #243 is here, with stories by Jon Wallace, Chen Qiufan, Caroline M. Yoachim, Priya Sharma, and Jason Sanford along with the usual articles and features.

The Nov/Dec 2012 issue of Interzone, #243, is here with a group of good stories, but nothing exceptional.

The fiction begins with "Moon Drome" by Jon Wallace. In some distant future, an alien race called the Fear had attacked the human race and seemed to be on the verge of destroying them. Then they simply retreated to a gas giant known as Black Tortoise. This star was the site of something called the Moon Drome, a chariot race around two moons, Bacos and Libor. The presence of the Fear did not stop the races. When the racers turned around the inner moon, Bacos, the Fear simply killed at least half of them. With the presence of names like Governor Fabio Maxim and Scorpus, one thinks of Roman chariot races combined with gladiatorial combat. Scorpus is a slave to Maxim, but if he survives this race to win, he will be free. Things are not as simple as that in this, the best story on this issue.

"The Flower of Shazui" is written by the Chines writer Chen Qiufan and translated by Ken Liu. While this it taking place in a future China, the science fictional element is light. Our unnamed narrator had worked in some sort of electronics factory and has stolen a valuable prototype from it. While trying to fence it, he becomes involved with a prostitute whose pimp is her husband. She is pregnant by the husband but rightly thinks he does not want it. Things do not end well in this negative view of a future society.

"The Philosophy of Ships" by Caroline M. Yoachim takes place in a future in which what is currently called humanity has little regard for the human body. Parts are replaced constantly and it is wondered, like the sailing ships of old, if after all the modification, is it still the same body (or ship). Two individuals, one who still respects the body and one who does not come into contact with someone 100% human and the issue comes to a head. Interesting concept.

"Lady Dragon and the Netsuke Carver" by Priya Sharma is set in some future Japan which has, seemingly, taken over the world. Samurai, like the woman who calls herself Lady Dragon consider themselves the lords of civilization. Then, she, meets a simple skilled artisan and her outlook changes. Nicely done story of intrigue.

"Mirrorblink" by Jason Sanford is set on an Earth some million years in the future. Almost a million years ago, a race called the Observers came to Earth. Since then, the sky shows no Sun, Moon, or stars. The planet is divided into small villages that live on subsistence. There is no progress. When a town becomes infected with something called the madness it is burned out and all the people die. This is the world Ein lives in, wandering the waste as a Scope, someone who possessed the knowledge of others. She had been tutored in this by someone she calls Father Jajher. This is not a religious designation although there is much reference to the Bible in the story. We eventually find out a bit of what is going and what might change. We do not get much of an idea of what the "madness" is. An imaginative story, but I could have used a bit more detail.

Whatever my qualms with this issue, I still recommend Interzone. Subscribe!

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