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Interzone - Issue #224
Edited by Andy Cox
Cover Artist: Adam Tredowski
Review by Sam Tomaino
TTA Press  ISBN/ITEM#: 0264-3596
Date: 28 October 2009

Links: Interzone -- October / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

The Sep/Oct 2009 issue Interzone is here with a novella by Jason Sandford. The fiction is rounded out with stories by Katherine Sparrow and Rachel Swirsky, Adrian Joyce, Jeremiah Tolbert, and Chris Butler along with the usual articles.

The issue begins with a novella by Jason Sandford, "Sublimation Angels". I have enjoyed Sanford's stories in the past and I was looking forward to this one. I was not disappointed. Chicka and Alna are humans, part of a colony living on the planet Eur. Also resident are a race called the Aural, a race that seems to be illuminated balls of energy. They make great designs in the sky but resist all attempts at contact. Six hundred years ago they communicated with Earth and allowed them to land in their home planet, whose orbit they had changed so that it was elliptical enough so as to take it far enough away out of Aural space for humans to land on it. No human ship could approach closer or it would be destroyed. The colony is ruled by a woman called Big Mom who is actually an AI downloaded into a human body because the Aurals do not allow them to have anything but the minimum of tech. Chicka learns more about the way things really are in this truly interesting culture. Sanford shows again just what a talent he is.

In "No Longer You" by Katherine Sparrow and Rachel Swirksky, Simon's lover Rebecca has left him and he is devastated. Almost instantly, he meets a strange woman named Aviva who has something secret about her. She had seen Simon dance before he was injured and thought him very talented. As the story develops, we learn more about Aviva and an Israeli settlement founded by the radical Rabbi Zacharias. What Aviva really is and her plans for Simon make for a very good story.

Adrian Joyce's "Shucked" focuses on two people, working in some sort of tech firm late at night. Kevin appears to be some sort of engineer, trying to correct a project that had gone wrong. Darryl is the night watchman, bored with his job. But there is something in the night with plans for both of them in this horror-tinged tale.

"The Godfall's Chemsong" by Jeremiah Tolbert takes place on an a water world called Kharybdis. It is peopled by an aquatic race that lives off flesh, sometimes their own. It is a matriarchal society ruled by a Mother who decides who gets fed. Muskblue is a young female who discovers a dead body in the water. From the description, it may be a human that somehow fell from the sky. Muskblue considers this being a god of some sort. She has been starved by Mother and she consumes it entirely which is against the rules. She is exiled from the group and must make it, somehow, on her own. She is able to lure a male and get herself pregnant. She can later expel her eggs and feed on her young. But something happens before then that may seem clearer to us then to her. Tolbert does a good job here in creating an alien culture.

Finally, there is "The Festival of Tethselem" by Chris Butler. Devesh and James are thieves who want to pull off the ultimate caper, the theft of a mysterious statue called the Figure of Frozen Time. It is in the city of Tethselem which had won a war against Devesh's and James people. If they just moved the statue, rumor has it that time would be changed. They get into the city under the guise of helping an artist, Lalitchandra Marrow, and his wife, Sahana. While checking out the building which houses the statue, James sees a strange woman whose name he finds out is Cress, who seems to have a reverence for the statue. How all these people come together makes for a well-done story.

Once more, Interzone shows why it the finest magazine on the market. Subscribe!

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