Interzone 214, due Jan 2008

Hi, Roy,

Certainly an eye-catching cover. Something of a departure for IZ, isn't it? Personally, I'm all for variety, and nobody could question the SF credentials of this image.

Iain Banks, I see... That man gets everywhere! :)

I look forward to the magazine, as ever.
Interzone 214 (Jan/Feb 2008) Contents
Cover Art: Science fiction imagery by new cover artist Paul Drummond for Jason Stoddard’s novella ‘Far Horizon’.


Far Horizon by Jason Stoddard (novella)
illustrated by Paul Drummond

Pseudo Tokyo by Jennifer Linnaea
illustrated by Darren Winter

The Trace of Him by Christopher Priest

The Scent of Their Arrival by Mercurio D. Rivera; who won Interzone’s 2006 IZ Readers’ Poll.
illustrated by Paul Drummond

2006 James White Award Winning Story
The Faces of My Friends by Jennifer Harwood-Smith
Jennifer Harwood-Smith winning story now propels her from the rank of unpublished amateur to published professional.
Jennifer’s 3000-word story is the result of her musing on the way hard won freedoms are easily lost. In ‘The Faces of My Friends’ the loss is the freedom to make connections but there are those, including the narrator, who find extreme means to break out.
Since winning Jennifer has obtained her degree in New Media and English at University of Limerick with first class honours, and is now doing an MPhil in Popular Literature at Trinity College, Dublin.
The James White Award was instituted to honour his memory as one of Ireland's most successful science fiction authors. Winners are published in Interzone, Britain's only professional science fiction and fantasy short fiction magazine.
Jennifer received her award in a presentation at Octocon, the 2006 National Science Fiction Convention in Ireland. To date few have seen her winner. That will be rectified once Interzone arrives in newsagents, and some bookshops, from 8th Jan. Jennifer is sharing the contents list with Iain M Banks and Christopher Priest and her story will go around the world.
To quote Jennifer, "I love getting a short sf or fantasy story and dipping into another world, and I think the stories in Interzone are ones that you can just lose yourself in for a little while. I particularly love the illustrations, because I think they enhance the lingering effect of the stories."
Limerick is Jennifer's hometown but her parents were wanderers who lived in Libya and Iraq during their travels and she was born in Tripoli in 1983,
Jennifer is keen to write novels and has several “in my hard drive clamouring for me to finish editing them, including an SF adventure story and a few fantasy stories”.


The Facts of the Matter Paul Raven interviews: Iain M. Banks about ‘the Culture’ and Iain’s latest novel Matter (out in February).

Plus all the usual features are here, including book reviews by John Clute, David Mathew, Maureen Kincaid Speller, John Howard, Paul Kincaid, Tony Lee, Paul F. Cockburn, Rick Kleffel, Jim Steel; film reviews by Nick Lowe; DVD reviews by Tony Lee; manga reviews by Sarah Ash; David Langford’s Ansible Link.

Readers' Poll list of 2007 stories and artworks, rules, closing date

NOTE Interzone is now available as a download for all types of E reader devices from Fictionwise

An extract from my SFF blog, reviewing Interzone 214:

An interesting preview of Iain M Banks' new Culture novel "Matter" (due out in hardback in February), within an entertaining interview with the author, is the first feature in the latest issue of the SFF mag. One to look out for when it arrives in paperback (not that I'm a skinflint, I'm just short of bookshelf space…).

There are fewer stories this time, because they include a novella; "Far Horizon" by Jason Stoddard, illustrated by Paul Drummond (an engagingly retro wheel-shaped space station features, repeated on the cover). One of the richest men on a rather dystopian, corporation-ruled near-future Earth, has plans for terraforming Venus which won't bear fruit for millennia. He decides that the immediate future is too uninteresting to hang around for, so he cheats time by going into cold sleep until his new planet is ready, only to discover a vast surprise.

In "Pseudo Tokyo" by Jennifer Linnaea, a future tourist, eagerly anticipating teleporting into Japan, finds himself not quite where he expected.

"The Trace of Him" by Christopher Priest is a brief glimpse of a few hours in the life of a woman returning for the funeral of a lover she had left twenty years before.

"The Faces of my Friends" by Jennifer Harwood-Smith is the winner of the James White Award. The last remnant of a outcast group is persecuted towards extinction in an intolerant future world; but what they are being persecuted for is an uncomfortable surprise.

Finally, "The Scent of their Arrival" by Mercurio D. Riviera explores the world of planet-bound but intelligent beings who communicate by scent, struggling to understand the message sent by the vast spaceship which had arrived in orbit around their world. All is not what it seems…

A good crop, as usual; original, inventive and absorbing. I've noticed that it's some time since I read a story in Interzone which I didn't enjoy. Either the standard is rising or I'm becoming acclimatised. Or perhaps I've become more tolerant of a fiction form which, even if it doesn't always work, at least doesn't involve a large investment in time to find that out. Or maybe it's all of those things.

The final section in the mag is, as usual, the pages of detailed and sometimes hard-hitting reviews of films, TV programmes and books. Top of my "might buy" list from this batch is "Darwinia" by Robert Charles Wilson, which sounds like a story I might enjoy getting my teeth into.

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