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Interzone – #Issue 220 – Feb 2009
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Kenn Brown
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press  ISBN/ITEM#: 0264-3596
Date: 29 January 2009

Links: Interzone / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The February 2009 issue of Interzone is here with stories by Jason Stoddard, Eugie Foster, Rudy Rucker, Neil Williamson, Leah Bobet and Gareth L. Powell, along with the usual articles.

The February 2009 issue of Interzone is here and has its usual complement of some of the best stories being published.

The issue begins with "Monetized" by Jason Stoddard. Mike Palmetto is a young man in a near-future that, once again, shows how inventive Jason Stoddard is. His mother, trying to support the two of them, had come up with a dynamite cyberspace idea, "monetizing word of mouth" on the Internet. One can make money just by recommending something in casual conversation. If one has a high Attention Index (related to fame), you could make quite a bit. If you have a high Monetization Effectiveness, even better. Mike doesn't like the world his mother is largely responsible for creating and does his best to avoid it. However, when she wants him to meet with an entrepreneur, he agrees but does some investigating. This sets off a series of events that make for an exciting story.

"Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest, Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast" by Eugie Foster is a tale of a different world, in which, every day, people put on a mask which changes their personality, even their gender. Our unnamed narrator puts on different masks and has different experiences even being murdered. But one day, he meets someone who tears away his mask and reveals the real world. Foster has created a fascinating world here.

One always knows that Rudy Rucker will provide something different and "After Everything Woke Up" definitely fills that bill. Jayjay & Thuy are newlyweds and have found a place to build their home. In this world, people have developed their mental powers and can teleport themselves or anything else. They can merge their minds with others but that includes more than just people. Animals, plants, rocks, even rivers have their own minds and can be communicated with. As the story goes on, we get more and more examples of just how awake "everything" is. Rucker has created a world of endless possibilities here and this will apparently be part of his next novel, Hylozoic. That should prove interesting.

"Spy Vs Spy" by Neil Williamson is a funny one-pager about one crazy rivalry. The narrator is obsessed with a neighbor and ordering technology from ACME to do battle. This one really made me smile.

Leah Bobet never explains the meaning of the title "Miles to Isengard", but she doesn't explain much else either. A group of people have somehow stolen an atomic bomb and are transporting it across the country. She creates some interesting characters and drops hints that something has changed in the U.S. Ultimately, we don't get a clear picture how or why this is being done I found this one a bit unsatisfying.

Last of all, there is "Memory Dust" by Gareth L. Powell. Caesar is taking a octopus-like creature back to its home planet. He is haunted by a dream of the planet and a black dust falling from the sky. He manages to get the creature back to its home and finds some answers to his questions. This one was pretty interesting.

Interzone continues to please. You should subscribe.

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