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Interzone #266 - Sep/Oct 2016
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Vincent Sammy
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press eMagazine  ISBN/ITEM#: 0264-3596
Date: 26 September 2016

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

The Sep/Oct 2016 issue of Interzone #266 is here with stories by Tade Thompson, Georgina Bruce, Ray Cluley, Aliya Whiteley, and Malcolm Devlin, along with the usual articles and features.

The Sep/Oct 2016 issue of Interzone #266 has arrived and it's another good one.

The fiction begins with the novelette "The Apologists" by Tade Thompson. -+- Storm is one of only five humans that survived when aliens accidentally wiped out Earth. The remaining humans are either incapable or unwilling to breed and the aliens have been trying to restore Earth. They are not doing a good job of it and a lot of the reason is that Storm and the others are not being helpful. Things get worse as the story progresses. Not a very likable story but an interesting take on the end of the world.

"Extraterrestrial Folk Metal Fusion" by Georgina Bruce -+- Astrophysicist Jane Lovage has received a message from space, probably from a long dead civilization. The media has dubbed her Alien Jane and she is working with Mariel Hewitt, a professor of media studies to whom she is attracted. She has also been introduced to exolinguist Susan Lorimer who is attracted to her. They do not communicate these feelings to each other. How can they interpret a communication from aliens when they cannot talk to each other? Cleverly done.

The second novelette is "Sideways" by Ray Cluley. -+- This is told by a former test pilot from the "right stuff" days about what happened to his best friend, Captain Sam Harding and a very strange craft he test-piloted twice. It was called the Arrow and Harding told him only a few things about it. He talked about scientists and others who came from New Mexico. He told him about the Arrow going sideways into a place totally dark. He told him about strange creatures that he saw. On the second flight, Harding crashed and that was the strangest of all. Cluley gives the story a firm founding in the early 50s. It has a real Right Stuff feel about it, and seems to be alternate history, if an aside about one of the other test pilots is true. A great read.

"Three Love Letters from an Unrepeatable Garden" by Aliya Whiteley -+- Three letters written by a man to a woman he cares about dealing with a flower that cannot be smelled without killing it. What good is the flower if it cannot be smelled? Another interesting idea.

The fiction concludes with the third novelette, "The End of Hope Street" by Malcolm Devlin. -+- One by one the houses on Hope Street become unlivable. The inhabitants suddenly know they must leave and do. Or they know they cannot enter. There is a visible darkness that everyone can see. If they don't get out in time or they do enter, they die, and no one dares enter the house to recover the bodies. What those who have livable houses do is take in the refugees. All do it, except for one. Who has his own opinions about what is happening. The characters are all well drawn and this is really quite a horror story Really well told.

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