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Interzone – Issue 216 – June 2008
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Christopher Nurse
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press  ISBN/ITEM#: 0264-3596
Date: 23 June 2008

Links: Publisher's Website / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The June 2008 issue of Interzone, billed as "our special Mundane-SF issue", is here with stories by Lavie Tidhar, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Billie Aul, R.R. Angell, Elizabeth Vonarburg, Anil Menon and Geoff Ryman.

The June 2008 issue of Interzone is billed as "our special Mundane-SF issue. In the introduction, Geoff Ryman explains what this means. It's science fiction based on things actually possible. FTL, time-travel, parallel universes, etc, need not apply. Ryman writes more about the challenges to write good stories and, then, they begin.

"How to Make Paper Airplanes" by Lavie Tidhar is set (mostly) in a bar in the town of Sola in the Republic of Vanuatu. A group of men sit around a bar drinking a local alcoholic liquid called kava. They all have their own jobs but they decide to do something useful which is where the title comes in. This is a pretty "mundane" story but nicely atmospheric.

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's "Endra-From Memory" is taken from the memoirs of Melizan kem Gishcar-Shwy, who had been Trading Monitor of Lavrant City when one day a ship of the Taksteppe Empire, the Empress FahrenDeir comes sailing into port captained by the beautiful Endra YuiduJin. The ship is laden with much cargo and she trades some of it in the city. Melizan is enthralled by her and her stories of searching for a legendary Shangri-La type place called Simoon. She leaves and returns, still looking for the locale. Yarbro has written a beautiful, lyrical tale here, and shows that she has been doing this kind of thing for forty years. In "The Hour is Getting Late", Billie Aul shows us Woodstock 2044, an event done in virtual reality. Jessica Mason is reporting and critiquing it and fending off manipulation from the event's promoter, her ex-husband, Jaykwees. Aul concocts a fascinating story of a less-than-bright future.

"Remote Control" by R.R. Angell is a dark, satirical look at a future way of "securing our borders". Robots are controlled by remote connections with people paying money to shoot some guns and patrol the borders. Today, however, there is something mysterious signing on. Elizabeth Vonarburg's "The Invisibles" is translated from French by the author and Howard Scott. In a future controlled domed city, two people set out, separately, on their usual routes. But they are diverted to a strange place for a very interesting reason. This is a nice little story of what to do about a controlled future. "Into the Night" by Anil Menon is set in a near-future. Ramaswamy is an elderly Indian man who misses his late wife. He is forced to move in with his daughter who lives in Fiji. He doesn't understand her materialistic view or the modern world that she forces on him. Menon has written a sad story of a man out of his time.

The issue concludes with "Talk is Cheap" by Geoff Ryman. Our narrator is an older man who has recently lost someone he loves. He has a job as a Walker, in which he inspects things. Through an implant called a "Turing" he communicates with a young woman named Jinny and they talk about the way the world is going. Ryman has given us an interesting look into a future.

Interzone continues to be a cutting edge magazine. You should subscribe.

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