Interzone – Issue #221 – March-Apr 2009
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Adam Tredowski
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press ISBN/ITEM#: 0264-3596
Date: 30 March 2009
Links: TTA Press / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The April 2009 issue Interzone is here and, once again, has cutting-edge stories, unlike anything else out there.
The issue begins with "A Clown Escapes from Circus Town" by Will McIntosh. Beaners is a clown who does escape from a place called Circus Town. In this future America, there is a Circus Town that features circus acts; a Superhero Cove populated by Green Arrows, Batmen and others like that; Medieval Village with knights; Sextown with whores and so on. Beamer meets up with a Green Arrow (looking for his mate, a Wonder Woman) and they set out to learn more of their world. McIntosh creates a fascinating world, of which I would like to see more.
Al Robertson's "Fishermen" takes place in a world like ours in early Europe. The narrator is an artist whose town is plundered by pirates. They take him prisoner, to create art for their church. As time goes by, he learns more of them and why they are pirates. This inspires his art. McIntosh has given us a beautifully written tale.
In "Saving Diego", Matthew Kessel tells us of Mikal, who has arrived on a planet at the invitation of an old friend. Mikal had abandoned Diego during a drug raid in Earth, six years before. Now, Diego is addicted to a drug native to this world and needs his help. I rarely like stories involving drugs and this was nothing special.
"Far & Deep" by Alaya Dawn Johnson gives us Leilani, a young woman whose mother, Pineki, has just been killed. Her body had been left to be partially eaten by crabs. Pineki had been a woman of great power who had challenged the orthodoxy of her people and had been expelled as one of the leaders. They are denying her the proper, ritualistic cremation. Inspired by her mother's spirit, Leilani finds a way to do her justice, All in all, this was a nicely-told story with well-drawn characters and a nice sense of humor.
Paul Berger's "Home Again" is one of those subtle, little gems that stay with you a long time. Julia knows that her father's spaceship has returned home when the bowl of fruit she reaches for changes from pears to plum-grapes. He pilots a FTL craft called a thought-ship which relies on a crew's memories of where they are going. But those memories can have an affect on where they arrive. This one was only a page and a half and you have to read it carefully and, then, read it again. It will reward you.
Bruce Sterling has always been a visionary and was one of the creators of the cyber-punk movement. His "Black Swan" starts out with a discussion of a special kind of computer chip and where it might come from. Luca is a journalist meeting a well-dressed mystery man named Massimo Montaldo in Turin. Montaldo offers him this amazing chip. Things go in an unexpected direction from there in the wildly, extravagant way that only Bruce Sterling can do.
I still consider Interzone the best science fiction magazine around . You should subscribe.