Interzone 227

Interzone 227

The featured author in the March/April issue of Interzone is Connie Willis. There's an interview with Paul F. Cockburn in which she talks about her work in general and her latest duology set in the London Blitz, Blackout and All Clear (really one novel split into two volumes). There's also a review of Blackout. The author is best known for short stories, although I can't recall having read any by her (my short-story reading being largely confined to Interzone and British Fantasy Society publications). I have read a couple of her novels, however; To Say Nothing of the Dog and Passage, both of which I reviewed on this blog (see review list on the left). Two things struck me about her novel writing: it is very good, but it goes on at inordinate length. As the reviewer of the 500-page Blackout puts it, she has a "relaxed pacing". Still, I expect I might well tackle these two sometime, despite the vast allocation of time I'd need to set aside for them.

The rest of the review section is notable for discussing the film Avatar at some length, providing a lot of background information concerning the making of the film.

Finally, the usual half-dozen short stories:

The History of Poly-V by Jon Ingold, illustrated by Robert Dunn.
A small team of research scientists discovers a drug which enables memories to be retrieved precisely and in great detail, as if they were being experienced afresh. It's a great commercial success, but further development work begins to reveal that memories are not what they used to be.

Dance of the Kawkawroons by Mercurio D. Rivera, illustrated by Jim Burns.
A couple of fortune hunters manage to bypass the quarantine patrols around a planet populated by some exotic intelligent flying creatures living among the ruins of an ancient alien civilisation. They steal some eggs which have characteristics which are incredibly valuable to humanity; but who is exploiting whom?

Chimbwi by Jim Hawkins, illustrated by Ben Baldwin.
Western civilisation is collapsing into chaos, but in Africa scientific breakthroughs have provided limitless free power. A British physicist makes the hazardous journey to start a new life there, and discovers that to be accepted he needs to demonstrate a lot more than just scientific knowledge.

Flying in the Face of God by Nina Allan, illustrated by Robert Dunn.
An astronaut makes her goodbyes as she is irrevocably changed by a treatment to make long space journeys possible.

Johnny's New Job by Chris Beckett.
The ultimate expression of the blame culture visitied upon social workers who make the wrong judgments.

The Glare and the Glow by Steve Rasnic Tem, illustrated by Dave Senecal.
Strange new light bulbs reveal far more than is comfortable.

I was particularly impressed by the first three stories which, while very different in style and content, are good enough to be published anywhere.

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