Saturday, April 24, 2010
Interzone #227 (March-April)
British magazine Interzone, which unlike its counterpart on the publisher Black Static, mainly focuses on horror and dark fantasy, specializes in science fiction, but does not hesitate to print fantasy.
Non-fiction part of the issue consists of book, DVD and film reviews, in my opinion, is weaker than non-fiction section of Black Static. Maybe it's the problem with that single issue, but it looks all pretty boring. Peter Tennant has some sort of depth and the extent, in Interzone, with all diversity, breathtaking polyphony does not arise.
With the stories all is much better. To failures - and at a stretch – there can be attributed only «Chimbwi» by Jim Hawkins, had once printed in New Worlds. Nice setting - Africans have learned to convert sunlight into electricity by 98%, but nobody told the secret, Europe and America are dying; black men are murdered around the world – was not turned into a cheerful story. An English professor hired by the people of Zimbabwe must participate in the construction of the second underground tunnel under Africa. He blames Africans in cruelty towards them, the Europeans, but Africans have an irrefutable answer: did you helped us in due time, when we were starving? The author immersing in African motifs did not benefited the action: instead, to make the hero look at the dying land, he forces him to play with the gods.
I have mixed feelings with the story by Nina Allan «Flying In The Face of God». Detail-written psychology of characters tries to win plot over to its side, leaving the story without intelligible plot and, consequently, any changes within the characters. Two women, Anita and Rachel, suffer from the fact that soon they will become separated: Rachel will fly to the stars, so her body she undergoes the necessarily procedure, so that parts of her body is transformed, as Anita will make a documentary about this story. It would be foolish to blame the lack of action to this women's drama (which in addition to that two friends have added to Anita`s mother and grandmother): it's not space opera, the title of the story still involves a flight. Besides the fact that the heroines yearn, think, talk to each other and read old letters, there is nothing more and nothing is assumed. But conflict in the end did not occur, so that all experiences and passions do not lead anywhere.
Chris Beckett takes in this issue sort of a joke: in his "Johnny`s New Job" the society judges employee of the Welfare, which overlooked a little girl - and she died. For that he will have to stake his life on, and possibly his child`s. The future of Britain's unenviable, but the writer smooths out the horror of the situation by satire and eccentric characters, and style compensates the expected ending.
Mercurio D. Rivera in his «Dance of the Kawkawroons» affects the theme of contact but avoids erased topics, translating it to another plane: greed and people's dependence on new technologies. Two astronauts on a planet meet with a specimen of another race, like a cockatoo, which just like the birds lay eggs. Because the eggs, which give a person superhuman capabilities, human beings kill the Kawkawroon and take the eggs. Drily written, but thoughtful story.
The opening story «The History of Poly-V» by John Ingold because of the title may not be immediately arouse interest, but actually turns out to be one of the gems. If any work addresses themes of memory, past and future, search for yourself - plus the important role played by drugs - that certainly Philip K. Dick comes to mind. So when with the reading «The History of Poly-V» - but if some writer could be compared to Dick, allowing his influence, it might be a good compliment to a writer. In the story a group of students by experiment ways find the new formula of the drug poly-V, and its effect is difficult to understand. It is difficult to the heroes to understand it too. They, to find out what is the effect, write in his diary all of his actions during the experiments with the drug. The reader will also need to write for understanding what is happening with the characters. The author did not immediately reveal all the secrets, and this story is very appealing.
Another gem in this issue is «The Glare and the Glow» by Steve Rasnic Tem. The author immediately offers an unusual combination: a story about the light bulbs narrated by the man who speak only with quotations and even thinks this way. Juicy and very skillfully written short story about what the darkness hides.
Perhaps, fiction part of Interzone looks more advantageous than the recently reviewed the Black Static issue one. Together they compliment each other.