Interzone 225

Interzone 225

The December issue of the SFF magazine features another strangely evocative cover from Adam Tredowski; a vast and incomprehensible machine - is it a spaceship? Is it wrecked? - at the foot of a misty cliff dwarfs the trees and two small, tailcoated human observers. The usual news and book, film and TV reviews are accompanied by only five stories this time, as they are longer than usual.

Here We Are, Falling Through Shadows, by Jason Sandford, illustrated by Mark Pexton: Earth has been invaded by creatures of angular shadow, dubbed Rippers, who absorb their victims into a barely-glimpsed, incomprehensible world of savage horror. A fireman struggles to protect his family in a disintegrating world.

By Starlight, by Rebecca J Payne: A renegade couple, detached from their home fleet, sail their wooden ship across the world. It only slowly becomes clear that they are not sailing on the ocean but up in the sky, forever wary of the Grounders living below. A glimpse into a mysteriously alien world.

The Killing Streets, by Colin Harvey, illustrated by Mark Pexton: More invading creatures eating the population, this time enormous genetically-engineered supermoles tunnelling at high speed to catch their victims, drawn by the sound of regular footprints (shades of the sandworms of Dune). That isn't the only horror to have escaped the laboratory in a world which has become despotic and stratified.

Funny Pages, by Lavie Tidhar, illustrated by Warwick Fraser-Coombe: Strange superheroes battle through and over the streets of Tel Aviv. A very different take on comic (in both senses) figures.

Bone Island, by Shannon Page & Jay Lake, illustrated by Mark Pexton: a remote present-day island, where different kinds of magic still hold sway in parallel with our normal world, sees two fearsome women battling over possession of a young man with a gift - and a responsibility.

The first and the last were the most memorable and I particular liked the quality of the writing in Bone Island, which is my pick from this issue.

(This entry is cross-posted from my science-fiction & fantasy blog.)