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Interzone #208
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Keven Brown
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press Zine  ISBN/ITEM#: 0264-3596
Date: March 2007

Links: Website /

I always enjoy Interzone and the February 2007 is well worth reading. It's starts off a bit slow but soon recovers.

Interzone - Issue 208 - February 2007 - ISSN 0264-3596
Table of Contents:
Intermission: Softly Shining in the Forbidden Dark by Jason Stoddard – Illustrator: Kenn Brown * Empty Clouds by G.D. Leeming – Illustrator: Doug Sirois * Where the Water Meets the Sky by Jay Lake * Islington Crocodiles by Paul Meloy – Illustrator: Vincent Chong * The Star Necromancers by Alexander Marsh Freed – Illustrator: Jim Burns * Cover Art Kevin Brown for Softly Shining
Interface: Editorial – Sensawunda! * Ansible Link – David Langford's SF News & Gossip
Interviews: The World Happens Twice: Elizabeth Hand – Interviewer: Rosanne Rabinowitz * Neil Gaiman - Interviewer: Sandy Auden * Susanna Clarke – Interviewer: Albert Grinney
Interlocutions: Mutant Popcorn - Nick Lowe's Regular Review of SF Films * Bookzone - More of the Latest SF&F Books Reviewed

I will have to admit that I didn't care much for the lead story, "Softly Shining in the Forbidden Dark" by Jason Stoddard. It's the story of a very different search for intelligent life but spends too much time in some sort of cyberspace. No one seems to have a body in this story and we spend a long time in their minds. There is a lot in the background of their search but I did not find it all that interesting. However, the issue quickly recovers with "Empty Clouds" by G.D. Leeming. This is set in a future China, part of a world in which machines in space form a cloud that will kill anything that remotely threatens it. Chen is a policeman looking for a fugitive who has fled to the desert wastes. He comes across a old weatherman who wants to make rain but must risk his life to do it. The story ends on a hopeful note that things are changing for the better. The story got an Excellent from me.

The rest of the stories in this issue all got a Very Good. Jay Lake's "Where the Water Meets the Sky" is a near future tale where technology has become more environment-friendly and a man takes his son to see an abandoned dam and hear an old legend about a giant salmon named Grandfather Seqey. For a real change of pace, Paul Meloy gives us "Islington Crocodiles". What starts out as a story about petty London criminals takes a different turn when they steal an unusual stone and one of the gang starts calling himself the King of England. Meloy takes us to a battle between cosmic forces in a truly imaginative tale. I'd like to see this turned into a novel. Last, "The Star Necromancers" by Alexander Marsh Freed is set in a distant future world whose sun has died. Special technology keeps things warm but their leader has come up with a plan to re-ignite to sun with the help of a cult of "star necromancers". There is much invention here and the characters could also be used in a novel.

This is a fine issue of Interzone and I recommend it. I do wish they had author bios. The stories are highlighted in the editorial and some authors do not need an introduction but I still like some background on them. The issue is, as usual, supplemented with great illustrations and interesting articles. Highly recommended.

Our Readers Respond

From: Roy Gray:
Empty Clouds by Gary Leeming. It is his first professional sale. He has been in China himself for over a year and told me he has written a novel while there. Now he has to find a publisher but a few more short stories would be welcome.

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