Interzone 260

Sep-Oct 2015, TTA Press.

Interzone 260  cover

Weedkiller1 by John Shirley. In a world overburdened by population, climate change and lack of food the unproductive are hunted down by “weedkillers.” Both our protagonists, a weedkiller and an immersive game user, have moral dilemmas.
Blonde2 by Priya Sharma. In a world where light hair colours have all but disappeared Rapunzel, yes, has been kept locked up in a tower, her constantly growing blonde hair cropped every day. No prince rescues her but she does escape.
No Rez3 by Jeff Noon is laid out transversely, across the page, and uses a variety of fonts and typographical quirks to tell its story of a world of “streamers, surfers, users, blip seekers. Pixel chasers, image junkies” where people are their POV, nothing more.
Murder on the Laplacian Express4 by C A Hawksmoor. Said express is an interplanetary train (though powered, I note, by interstellar engines) on which a politically inspired murder takes place. Incidentally, the author of this, given in the accompanying biographical information as Caerwyn Allegra Hawksmoor, is thereafter referred to as “they”.
The Spin of Stars by Christien Gholson. A hitch-hiker encounters an old man and a talking manatee in deepest darkest Florida.

Pedant’s corner:-
1 Written in USian “Both … would be paralysed from the neck up, when he set it up with them to read” (if you’re paralysed from the neck up you wouldn’t be able to read aloud. Down was meant. Later one of them does say he can’t move from the neck down.)
2 stokes (strokes,) hung (hanged,) Rapunzel’s sat at her desk (seated; or sitting,) he holds the gold filament up the light (up to the light,) neither of them hear the door open (neither hears the door open,) his topknot and beard makes him look older (make.) Four months of silence follows (four months follow,) ‘I’ve bought some things to look at’ (context suggests “brought”.)
3 “too many people, to many viewpoints” (context suggests “too many viewpoints”)
4 outside of (outside; just outside) off of (off is sufficient) and the construction, “‘What aren’t I scared of?’” is awful; so much less natural – to me at any rate – than “‘What amn’t I scared of?’”

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