Interzone – Issue #247 – Jul/Aug 2013
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Jim Burns
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press Magazine / eZine ISBN/ITEM#: 0264-3596
Date: 22 August 2013
Links: Interzone / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The fiction begins with "The Pursuit of the Whole Is Called Love" by L.S. Johnson. -+- Our narrator is called Jess who is mated with Cam. They are aliens who were, apparently, one personality, but are now two, They have traveled many worlds but are now on Earth where they turn themselves into people who are more or less human. They alternate genders. They also take something from humans to keep themselves healthy. Jess is having problems with Cam who is pursuing a human that Jess does not like. Interesting look at alien mindset.
"Automatic Diamante" by Philip Suggars -+- Our narrator was part of a hive-mind that had been involved with warfare. It had some sort of nervous breakdown and is being analyzed by a doctor named Derrida. Derrida had problems of his own. Our narrator is very observant and has a solution of his own. Didn't much care for the prose style of this one.
"Just As Good" by Jacob A. Boyd -+- When Tara's mother and father split up, she, her sister, and her mother are visited by the Exchange. They are, apparently, bear-like aliens who go to people's houses, knock them out and exchange items in the house for other things. In the first visit, Tara's mother's LayZ Boy is exchanged for a couch and her record player and records are exchanged for a MP3 player. Then, they exchange her mother for an Australian woman named Madeleine. Tara's mother has been exchanged to a family in the Philippines. Things get stranger and stranger and the methods of the Exchange more and more bizarre. Truly imaginative look at a future that one did not even think could happen.
"The Cloud Cartographer" by V.H. Leslie -+- In a future polluted Earth, Ahren is employed as a cartographer for the somewhat solid cloud cover now around Earth. It is a solitary affair and he has memories of his childhood and his sister, Lucy. But he has become aware of someone else being up there. People have been living in mountains as the surface of the planet has become more uninhabitable. Will this pristine cloudscape become the same way? Good, bittersweet tale.
"Futile the Winds" by Rebecca Schwarz -+- Leigh and Jack are a middle-aged couple who left their grown-up children behind on Earth to be part of the last scientific crew on Mars. When they arrived, they found the previous scientists dead. They vainly tried to make Earth plants grow on Mars but have failed. Now they are failing, too. Leigh eats the last two beans from the plants they had developed and something wondrous happens. A beautifully told tale.
The issue concludes with "The Frog King's Daughter" by Russ Colson. -+- Arnie used to be the CEO of the company he founded. Now, he's a frog. He became a frog on a bet with Joel, a company friend who had since been killed. Don't ask how he became a frog. They just say there was a "frog-transfer". He can communicate and do certain things with the company computer. He must choose between becoming human again or saving his daughter, Amy, from being ruined by the man who had killed Joel. What will he do? What do you think. Fairly silly and a bit contrived, but a wholly satisfactory story.
More great stories from Interzone, still the best science fiction magazine on the market. Subscribe!