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Interzone 265 Jul-Aug 2016

Interzone 265 cover

Jo L Walton’s Editorial welcomes the arrival of the Sputnik AwardsTM. Jonathan McCalmont rightly eviscerates Becky Chambers’s1 the long way to a small angry planet (its title is not capitalised on the cover) for its self-satisfaction and its lack of challenge. Nina Allan’s Timepiece argues that the canon (both SF and the wider literary one) ought not to be restrictive. In the Book Zone Lisa Tuttle is interviewed, I review Extinction by Kazuaki Takano and Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie while Sofia Samatar’s The Winged Histories, James Lovegrove’s World of Water and Guy Gavriel Kay’s Children of Earth and Sky gain approval.

As to the fiction:-
All Your Cities I Will Burn2 by John Schoffstall is set in the aftermath of a 2042 meteor strike on Earth. Humanity has just about survived. Then strange creatures arise from the sea. This story contains fine speculation about the implications for life on Earth from meteor-borne organisms.
The Eye of Job3 by Dan Reade. An alien tower twenty miles high and ten in diameter “covers most of Omaha.” An air force psychologist is still trying to come to terms with the ramifications.
Belong4 by Suzanne Palmer sees gwenna Thirty-Seven rejected for Placement in QuangEngXorp’s exploitation team despite always achieving the highest marks in training.
The title and subject matter of Ken Hinckley’s on the techno-erotic potential of Donald Trump under conditions of partially induced psychosis does of course invite comparisons with a certain J G Ballard short story. Its setting in a high-rise, its harping on the diesel fumes emanating from lorries on a motorway junction below, not to mention a vehicle crash and the matching style of its attendant author information appendix only add to this temptation. As you might expect it is estranged stuff but, to take up the invitation, Mr Hinckley is no Ballard. (Then again, who is?)
The Inside Out5 by Andrew Kozma. The eponymous structure (aka IO) is an abandoned Dyson sphere to which the remnants of humanity have been transported.
A Man of Modest Means6 by Robert Reed relates the encounter between a woman and a man who are both not what the reader first assumes.

Pedant’s corner:- All the fiction was written in USian. 1McCalmont has Chambers’. 2at loose ends (at a loose end?) “I would expatiate my guilt and despair” (expiate, expatiate means something else entirely,) not thrall to his own fears (in thrall.) 3“covers most of Omaha” (granted the tower would dominate the countryside but I’m sure Omaha is more than ten miles across,) Amos’ (Amos’s,) “behind him are a trio of radio towers” (is a trio,) “None of us do.” (None of us does.) 4“in the line from her shoulder down near her wrist” (to near her wrist?) “the enemies lay there peacefully” (lie there,) 5humongous (more usually humungous?) 6wack job (is usually spelt whack job,) “How would describe that gesture” (missing an “I” after would?) a double “the” in the author information.

Ronald vs Donald

I never really thought too much of Ronald Reagan…

But he was an intellectual genius in comparison to one D Trump (whose comments I paraphrase below.)

Ronald Reagan – “Mr Gorbachev. Tear Down this wall!”

Donald Trump – “Build up a wall!”


This photo (credited to Dominick Reuter/Reuters) – which doesn’t seem to be on the website – appeared in Thursday’s print edition of the Guardian:-


Surely Mr Trump is using the wrong finger to go along with that facial expression.

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