7 thoughts on “INTERZONE 275

  1. REVIEWED HERE on 28 May 2018 as follows:


    “They look a lot like us, except for their mouths, which resemble anuses.”

    A nifty short short the title of which resonates with our immediacy. Plus aliens’ takeover over of a bar where a man and his girlfriend are drinking. The takeover is TAKEN OVER AND OUT, all its customers and staff insulated somewhere else in the universe. It seems serendipitously to exactly share the rhythm of emotions — emotions of nowhere and nobody and timelessness and the fluidity of orientation — in a story called ‘1961’ that I happened to gestalt-read only just a few minutes ago here. Completely different stories but if read together, each is even more powerful than it already is, I contend. If you follow, like me, such gestalt-reading’s preternatural instincts, you too can share such privileges of good literature.

    My previous reviews of this author: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/tag/erica-l-satifka/

  2. LOOKING FOR LANDAU by Steven J. Dines

    “That is just what I want to believe — that everything has a circular nature, nothing is random, nothing just happens. There is a meaning to everything, even if the meaning is one I arbitrarily apply myself…”

    A novelette that breeds itself, a sort of captain of a Flying Dutchman legend in a ship that creates the sea beneath it, except the sea is the Arizona desert, a legend relentlessly and attritionally seeking the door to death via some inscrutability called Landau (is it a spoiler that this man turns out to be a hearse? Kill me then!) and this seemingly endless quest is like riding the potholes of Britain’s roads today, except the questing protagonist is an embodiment of — and traveling through — Arizona’s Phoenix, a Phoenix surviving lightning strikes that strike more than once, while entering a sort of Expressionist painting, beset by a gestalt of Screams as the “skrik”, and by the ghostly “bleachers”, a horror story to end all horror stories if you enjoy riding nightmares on an endless journey, free-wheeling with all manner of visions, reaching a car crash to end all such car crashes, where rubber-necking is essential if not desirable, and a crash-squashed character called Ms Roadkill who is channelled as a communication device by Landau. Texting on a mobile while not keeping an eye on the ricochets of the plot’s roadway towards the start of this Dines where we had a “barkeep” to keep the bar from Satifka’s aliens and at the end towards the birth, from this car crash, I guess, of Alfie’s Special baby sibling from the mighty Dines novella that I have just finished reviewing (here) in my concurrent review of the latest Black Static. The control of control, and of a historical Holocaust, as well as of future ones. Each such a human car crash as this one. Give or take the odd six pointed star. Or, rather it is a lack of control not a control of control. Like traffic lights on the open sea? Or beliefs on Superstition Highway?

    “There are patterns in this world, rhythms, beats I don’t always want to see, but sometimes I have little choice; my mind goes there and makes those connections without me.”

    My previous reviews of this author: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/tag/steven-j-dines/

  3. 0A123BC2-B0C2-434B-949D-77B1D919E9F3
    THE MARK by Abi Hynes

    “I think the word, wound.”

    The Dines bleacher crowd, now the hiss of silencers? The narrator climbs a mountain, in an emotionally fraught rite of passage or escape. An escape from an extrapolated SF race of boys and men. This narrator a boy amongst these other boys and men, with a mark or wound he cannot diagnose, but we can. We readers recognise what he suffers (and what bundles he describes and carries) – or what, in better circumstances, he might better endure or, even, enjoy. This is powerful bodily and emotional stuff and I don’t want to spoil your own rite of passage with this story as it morphs and tells stories of crab men and the narrator’s backstory. And the cat with tumours in its ears. It is this narrator’s version of another but strikingly comparable narrator’s Rite of Raining Street read and reviewed an hour ago here under an apposite cover for this Hynes.


    “This time, they would be ready. This time they would witness the event in real-time. This time, they would capture it all.”

    …dodo, to do and do again? If only, we can return to the Species of Origin as the main character, Prentis O’Rourke, seems to end up doing? A rationale for Null Immortalis, a brand of immortality that is actually feasible. So, yes, despite the Collateral Damage of this novelette’s chapter collating boring data about the Alternate Causes of death of the infinite numbers of Prentis O’Rourkes that this work’s AUTHORity places on the empirical playing-card table of free will and fate, in the endlessly bifurcating channels of one’s self, yes, despite all this, I am willing to place this story in a category of historical importance, that will make you look, in a revelatory way (“that would ultimately reveal god”), at the current version of, say, one’s wife or mother in this real-time, and the stoical nature of self and of what last words you might utter when death comes. If only death comes. And alongside this, it has the explicitly gravitational thrust of ‘the fate of the world’ pissing contest of Satifka and the car crash syndrome of the Dines, as well as the contrasting thoughts of a slower, more painful emergence of one of your selves in Hynes and the fateful choice when reaching the top of that self’s metaphorical mountain – Become a blimp? Or shape-shifter of a gestalt of all your creature selves as in the concurrent Black Static’s Thompson story…the ‘following through’ of the thumb-bone, and other bits of the body? This time they would capture it all.

    My reviews of all the other Malcolm Devlins I have encountered: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/tag/malcolm-devlin/

  5. THE CHRIST LOOP by Leo Vladimirsky

    “Each time, my death is different.”

    After entering the “great question mark” at the end of the Satifka, we have not a Swastika cross but a Christian one, and we have had a series of self-sacrificial victims in each work. And, like the Devlin (there is even another boring, but thankfully much shorter, list of death accoutrements) this is the potentially important work that somehow autonomously follows on from that Devlin choice of deaths, that meditation on fate and free will, and this is Christ through a series of rehearsals for the Golgotha tableau of self-sacrifice to redeem all our sins. Without the prelude of the Devlin as an act of its own altruism, this Vladimirsky might have been considered sacrilegious and condemned to obscurity, as this Christ narrator tries to help ‘nail’ the memorable advertising avatar or logo (in the beginning was logos) for his recurrent “status reports” in some real-time near Jerusalem. Seeking the optimal religious tableau with legs. To outlast generations of faith in its efficacy as redemption. And it is only when he reaches a feeling that he has been wasting his time, does he reach the optimal avatar as icon. Upon which he is crucified in some ecstasy of status. Upon which choice of avatars we are all crucified, whichever we choose for ourselves? A parable as coda to this set of fiction. Null Immortalis.

    “I’d never noticed how they moved with such synchrony.”


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