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Interzone #262 Jan/Feb 2016
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Vincent Sammy
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press  ISBN/ITEM#: 0264-3596
Date: 27 January 2016

Links: Interzone / How to Subscribe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The Jan/Feb 2016 issue of Interzone, #262 is here, with stories by Mercurio D. Rivera, Rahul Kanakia, Ian Sales, Carole Johnstone, T.R. Napper, and Philip A. Suggars, along with the usual articles and features.

The Jan/Feb 2016 issue of Interzone, #262, has arrived and it's a pretty good one.

The fiction begins with "The Water Walls of Enceladus" by Mercurio D. Rivera. -+- This is Rivera's fifth story in Interzone set in the Wergen universe. Lily has been stationed on Enceladus with a Wergen settlement observing the "water walls" formed by the geyser's on this moon of Saturn. She came because she was tired of humans reacting to the pustules on her face caused by a virus. The Wergen, on the other hand, think she is beautiful. She has grown tired of this and, three years into her five-year contract, she finds a way to leave. What she finds on her return to humanity surprises her and gives her a new outlook on life. Good solid story.

"Empty Planets" by Rahul Kanakia -+- In a galaxy run by the Machine, rich kid David goes to Mars to pursue Non-Mandatory studies with no real purpose in mind. He meets, and falls in love with, Margery who wants to solve one of the problems that will earn her a "share" which insures a comfortable life. Things turn out differently for both of them but they do have some happiness. This one was just okay without much of an ending.

"Geologic" by Ian Sales -+- On the planet designated 61 Virginis b, extremely hostile too human life, there people live to explore what is referred to as the Rock. "Eighty metres across, ten metres high and one hundred and sixty metres long". It is entirely black with worn carvings on its surface. They cannot get inside but ground penetrating radar has shown interconnected chambers with what looks like statues inside. A tiny crack on the surface has been widening. The three have experienced "shades and shadows" flickering in an out of their peripheral vision. Kellere, the lead viewpoint character speculates on what is going on. A very haunting story.

"Circa Diem" by Carole Johnstone -+- In a world where Earth's rotation has slowed down and days and nights are sixty hours long, some live underground and some live on the surface. Two classic star-crossed young people find each other but far too briefly. Well-told in just four pages. Poignant.

"A Strange Loop" by T.R. Napper -+- Irving Kupferman has been selling his memories for a lot of money to a company called Thanks for the Memories. They are recorded and sold to rich people. They are wiped from Irving's mind although they can resurface. If they do, he must report to the company because these memories are now their property and he can go to jail for using them. He has made a lot of money but there are side effects that go beyond just losing those memories. It's like a form of Alzheimer's. What can he do? The solution is a good one and makes for a very good story.

The fiction concludes with "Dependent Assemblies" by Philip A. Suggars. -+- In what one assumes is an alternate version of late 19th century Argentina, Alfonso and Marcelo are lovers who want to have a child of their own. They have been building clockwork girls and animating them using a substance called lux which brings life to inorganic material. Their attempts have failed and they fear discovery by the government. When Marcelo starts getting mysterious letters, Alfonso wants to know why and Marcelo tells him about his past and another experiment with lux. A very good story to end this issue.

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