Interzone #271 - Jul/Aug 2017
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Dave Senecal
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press Magazine (print/digital) ISBN/ITEM#: 0264-3596
Date: 30 July 2017
Links: Interzone / How to Subscribe / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The Jul/Aug 2017 issue of Interzone #271 has arrived and it's got mostly good stories.
The fiction begins with "The Rocket Farmer" by Julie C. Day. -+- Sarnai is divorcing her husband and estranged from her daughter, Sophie. She finds out what Sophie is doing in secret. Sophie has been keeping with the old family tradition of rocket farming. Yes, rockets, even those N.A.A.A. uses, are grown in the ground. Sarnai's father has been unsuccessful in his launches and so has Sarnai. But a new generation of rockets has a different outlook. A really great idea coupled with realistic characters, make for a great story.
"Gods in the Blood (Of Those Who Rise)" by Tim Casson -+- Everett is a science teacher and a secret admirer of Nietzsche. He has a low opinion of the students he teaches, believing that some seem to have genes left over from the Neanderthals. He considers them subhuman and not as intelligent. But he might get an unpleasant surprise from his latest class. Nicely done.
"If Your Powers Fail You in a City Under Tin" by Michael Reid -+- In some near future, something called the God Beast had "tore open the sky and started raining down free magic and death". People in a city in China would have various kinds of special powers that ebbed if they left the city. The death comes from some eldritch tentacled monster above the city. This had happened in the time of the grandparents of Jun, our chief character, and his parents had taken him to the city in the hopes of a better life. Tin roofs in the city now called Duolunduo protect people. Jun is a portalist who can open doors to other places, but he was not able to develop them because a panicked use of them had resulted in the death of his mother. The world is in turmoil and Jun's lover Riel is using his powers in the Cŏte d'Ivoire to help people in a war zone. But Riel is missing, can Jun finally use his powers to rescue them. The story effortlessly reveals the details of this world and weaves them into the narrative while making Jun a real person. Well done.
"Chubba Luna" by Eliot Fintushel -+- In some near future, couples are forced together as soul mates, even though they see things differently. But because of a principle called Non-Punitive Justice, there is a way out. All this to the tune of a pop singer named Chubba Luna. Okay.
"When I Close My Eyes" by Chris Barnham -+- Darlo is trapped by a rockslide in a cave on Titan. His suit is still intact but he is losing heat. He has a working suit programmed with the voice of Keanu Reeves in Point Break. His legs are trapped but he manages to free them. Can he tunnel out and ge back to to the crawler and his partner Willis? He can't communicate with her. He is also seeing visions of his dead wife Lorna and hearing her voice. She is actually helping him. The other problem is that there are tiny groups of pebbles that are moving. These are creatures that have trapped him. What can he do? Great story!
The fiction concludes with "Cryptic Female Choice" by Andy Dudak. -+- Our narrator has chosen to conceive using something called the Carbonhousian spermatheca that allows her to hold the genes from the sperm of her male sexual partners until she has the right combination of genes to make the ideal child. This sounds just a little far-fetched to me. We get the story of her encounters with the various fathers along with the suppression of the people taking advantage of this by over-the-top jackbooted murderous thugs which just takes over the story. Seriously flawed.