Interzone - Issue #223 - Jul/Aug 2009
Edited by Andy Cox
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press ISBN/ITEM#: 0264-3596
Date: 27 July 2009
Links: Interzone / Pub Info / Table of Contents /
The July/Aug 2009 issue Interzone is here and is built around the author, Dominic Green with three stories by him and an interview. This was a good issue and up to their usual standards.
The issue begins with three stories by Dominic Green. The first and the third of these stories is set in what Green calls the Proprietorsí Universe, so I will review them together. Green tells us that "Butterfly Bomb" was the second story he thought of in the universe but is more of an introduction of it. The Proprietors are an alien race who have enslaved humans so that they can operate their complex machines. It seems that the artificial intelligences they developed further developed into "two diametrically opposed views of the cosmos". This actually happened in the Earth year 1908 and resulted in two of their scout ships colliding over Tunguska in Siberia. This put on hold their invasion of our Solar System but they found that humans were willing to sell other humans into slavery. This is the culture in which this story takes place as an old man called Old Krishna sells himself into slavery to find his granddaughter who had been enslaved before. Thatís all Iíll say because the tale goes into a direction you will not expect and makes for a very good read. "Glister" is set in the same universe but the slavers donít really come into it. The narrator, Alasdair, sold his family estate on Earth to seek his fortune in space. He and companions, Bradamante (a woman) and Yuri have found a planet called Midas where gold is plentiful. Getting it proves a bit trickier than they thought, though, in yet another well-written piece.
"Coat of Many Colours" is set in something closer to our own time in Brazil. A place called Ugly Farm had developed a species from prehistoric DNA called Number 2308. It is useful as a food animal and its hide would make for fine clothes. The only problem is that a research assistant is claiming that the species is intelligent and a woman named Mullen has been called in to investigate. She also has an intelligent parrot, a pet called Polymath. All this comes together of another interesting tale. I will have to agree that Dominic Green is a talented writer and that Interzone did well to devote most of an issue to him.
There are two more items that complete the fiction in this issue. In "The Transmigration of Aishwarya Desai" by Eric Gregory, the title character has been invited to Ganesha Colony to debate the Guest of Honor of the colonyís annual workshop, a fellow anthropologist named Simon Trung. The title anthropologist is somewhat a misnomer because they are both studying an alien race, but they are stuck with it. The debate is over a planet and its people called Yama and Desai's controversial communication with the species. But the story quickly moves away from dry debate and there are real consequences for Desai. All this came together into a thought-provoking story.
The issue is completed by "Silence and Roses" by Suzanne Palmer. This is told from the point of view of a robot called Button-4-Circle-Peach who is tending to some roses when it gets word that the human it serves. Thomas, had "fallen silent". Thomas is the last of the humans in their community to fall silent and the robots serving them do not know what to do. When a young girl, fleeing a repressive place enters their community, she tells them what is perfectly obvious: they're dead. This changes things as Button-4-Circle-Peach and the other robots react. The young girl leaves but gives the robot something else to take care of in this charming, touching tale.
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