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Interzone - Issue #222 - May-June 2009
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Adam Tredowski
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press  ISBN/ITEM#: 0264-3596
Date: 27 May 2009

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

The June2009 issue Interzone is here with stories by Kim Lakin-Smith, Tim Pratt, Sarah L. Edwards, Nina Allan, Aliette de Bodard, and Sean McMullen, along with the usual articles.

The June 2009 issue Interzone is here and is another good one.

The issue begins with "Johnny and Emmie-Lou Get Married" by Kim Lakin-Smith. This is set in some Fifties-style world with Poodle-skirts and pomade. Johnny and Emmie-Lou are in love and want to get married. But they are in rival gangs and her boyfriend is not pleased. They are chased in hot-rods and we get the viewpoint from Johnny in his gang lingo. This one was just OK and not one of my favorites.

Next up is Tim Pratt's "Unexpected Outcomes". Set in California, early in the morning of September 11, 2001, this has a significant change. Just before the second building is about to be hit, time stops and a man appears telling the world that the whole thing is a computer simulation that is going to be abandoned. The "people" will still live but the weather will not change and much of the world will remain static. One man travels back to his home in North Carolina, seeking an old friend and wanting to get to the bottom of things. What happens makes for the kind of unusual story that Interzone is known for.

The setting of "Lady of the White-Spired City" by Sarah L. Edwards is another world. Evriel Pashtan is an emissary from the high regent of what this planet considers its home star. No one from there has visited this world for a long time. Evriel had visited it hundreds of years ago and found something special there. Now she has returned to see if anything remains of her past. Edwards writes a sad but beautiful story.

In "Microcosmos" by Nina Allan, a young girl name Melodie is taken on a trip by her parents to see a man who had loved her deceased aunt, Chantal. It's not explained what is really going on between her parents and this man, but he lets her see into his microscope, starring at paramecium in the water. This is a subtly told story and the paramecium means something more. This was yet another very different piece that would not be published elsewhere.

Aliette de Bodard is one of my favorite new writers and will get my vote for the Campbell Award this year. We are told in her bio that she is half-French and half-Vietnamese and usually her stories are set in the Far East. This one is set in France (actually Brittany) and concerns Françoise, who has been made pregnant with a "goddess's" baby. The goddess is the Princess Ahez who had ruled the now-sunken city of Ys. She had been an evil woman who killed her lovers every night. The baby in Françoise's womb has a bad heart and may not survive and, with the help of a friend, she confronts the goddess. This was yet another compelling tale from someone we should keep watching.

The issue ends with "Mother of Champions" by Sean McMullen. This is told from the point of view of a Cheetah who appears to be intelligent. She is cared for by her "familiar", a scientist named Mike. Mike is visited by Ella, who informs him about something going wrong with the Cheetah population. We get a fascinating story here and some imaginative speculation about the fastest being on Earth.

I say it again, Interzone the best science fiction magazine around . You should subscribe.

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