Interzone #281


TTA PRESS May – Jun 2019

My previous reviews of this publisher:

Stories by James Warner, Kai Hudson, Andy Dudak, Malcolm Devlin, Matt Thompson, Georgina Bruce, Rebecca Campbell.

When I read the fiction in this magazine, my thoughts will appear in the comment stream below…

10 thoughts on “Interzone #281

  1. THE REALITARIANS by James Warner

    “His favourite book was Bulgakov’s ‘The Master and Margharita’…”

    Also ‘The Master in Café Morphine’, no doubt, a café where Gertrude Stein often sat mumbling ‘Rhombus is a rhombus is a rhombus is a rhombus’ to herself, in tune with a man in Bogotá who had invented some physics that would tear the world apart…. perhaps strange that, by chance, I am simultaneously reviewing a huge fiction book here about Paris, where Paris resists your presence by dint of its title, and in the story that I have already reviewed today by Gerke, someone also buys new shoes and I have cause to mention a passport. Jacinta here buys new shoes and has had a false passport given to her with a strange name, and she meets talking cats, and cuts herself to ease stress, and moves suitcases of drugs for people, and ends up, like Alice, in the Paris catacombs with the cats talking about unicorns. And Brexit is mentioned, too, and the Deep State. All configured by someone called Nestor with the tattoo of a heart above his heart. A liar and a cad. The master of cafe morphine? Not for long I hope, and I enjoyed this story because I am myself a realitarian as defined in it. You will, too, if you’re into Interzone as much as I am.

    My previous review of James Warner:

  2. FLOAT by Kai Hudson


    Only this morning I learnt of the blue gravity demon significantly described earlier this morning here and quoted in a chance concurrent review. And another review finished by chance yesterday here with words printed on blue paper as it is here. And I wallowed in the blue sky here, the ocean, the gravity. More a poem than a story? Yet it has story, too. An experience of a space colony worth having. Worth thinking back on.

  3. HARMONY by Andy Dudak

    “The only true sanctuary is within yourself.”

    An imbuing song that hooks you with its harmony into behavioural modes beyond anhedonia, in a society in conflict and endemic brexiting. It seems that the ‘you’ narrator fits in with a quote I happened to requote only half an hour before reading this story ‘There’s a call to reclassify schizophrenia as a spectrum instead of a disease.’ In connection with the review of ‘Speaking Still’ here. Combining the hypnotising self-imbual represented by the blue gravity etc. in the previous story above and exploring the catacombs, here a labyrinth, in the Realitarians. Dudak ending arguably satisfying that divisive spectrum, if that is not a contradiction in terms? Doodack as the hook in the tune?

    My previous review of the Dudak:


    “Depending on the context, dreams were described as prophecies, memories or strange, illogical narrative defined by the subconscious of the dreamer.”

    I am a Hawler, not a Loper, yet I recognised the Gestalt real-time going on here, an inturning of the patronage, conspiracy and aberrance, the art and the treason of this magazine of fiction so far, as we enter one of those bars in a genius loci of a place you soon establish, in your mind if not your own dreams, if you are allowed dreams at all, an ambiance akin to the dream singing in Twin Peaks clubs or bars, and we hear a new Dudak song, a place where dreaming is banned, and citadels hold those who, during curfews, spread their own gestalt of dreams to feed our art. Who is dreaming whom here? Tantalising. Performance art via words that dreamcatch themselves.

    My previous reviews of Malcolm Devlin:

  5. SCOLEX by Matt Thompson

    “From somewhere two chaabi songs overlay on top of each other. The resultant polyrhythm matches the beat of his heart.”

    The beating tattoo of the heart above the heart erstwhile in this review? Or a Dudak song that takes you over just as this drug mule is taken over not by drugs he transports in his luggage — in this far future orientation of the Orient — but in his veins themselves, tantamount perhaps to the drug overload or drug overlord himself actually being in the mule’s veins, thus almost BEING him? Or not? There is so much going on here, that it seemed to enter my own veins with a dizzy feeling of plot. And in tune with the blue sky thinking of Kai. “The light bird song rises in pitch, disintegrating into an electronic howl as the scene shivers in and out of focus.”

    My previous reviews of Matt Thompson:

    And amazingly, as an added bonus of gestalt, I explicitly mentioned the levelling of Ash or by Ash TWICE for separate stories in this review of a different book in the last day or so! And here in the Matt Thompson, today: “A wildfire burned in Ash’s eyes. ‘Levellers of the playing field, you know?’”

  6. 922786D9-248E-4F10-A515-182645CB2A3A

    August Macke, 1912

    CAFÉ CORONA by Georgina Bruce

    “You’ve given up on the sky, on the colour blue.”

    Almost literally as well as by accepted terminology, a flash fiction. A rhomboid aperture opening and then shutting to a theme-and-variations upon scalded milk coffee, and ink-stained newspapers, all with an orange corona. As we all are experiencing today in real life, experiencing something orange, visited as we are by its ammoniac stench or tench, and a negative’s vista of world domination, as a dreadful flash snapped and shot of Mr Mommy — him to be snapshot, dare I say, hopefully. Renoir umbrellas, too. A painting as a photograph, constructively blurred by Brucean vision.

  7. From Bruce’s snapchat of Mr Mommy to the mummies in…

    “Circles and right lines limit and close all bodies, and the mortal right lined circle must conclude and shut up all. There is no antidote against the opium of time, which temporally considereth all things: our fathers find their graves in our short memories, and sadly tell us how we may be buried in our survivors. Grave-stones tell truth scarce forty years. Generations pass while some trees stand, and old families last not three oaks. To be read by bare inscriptions like many in Gruter, to hope for eternity by enigmatical epithets or first letters of our names, to be studied by antiquaries, who we were, and have new names given us like many of the mummies are cold consolations unto the students of perpetuity, even by everlasting languages.”
    — Sir Thomas Browne, URN BURIAL

    My bold. (I studied Sir Thomas Browne at university in the late 1960s. It says so in whatever Gestalt is finally collected of me, beyond the blank otherwise.)

    My previous review of Rebecca Campbell: (also the same issue wherein I first read Georgina Bruce.)

    “…and bought an Instagram-friendly Vermillion Dragon latte, made of iridescent gold and copper syrup,…”

    And the flash instagrams et al collected here in this unforgettable global-percolation vision as the new Google, the new Ossuary of us all, our memories, our selves, even “that corner coffee shop”, today, on Covfefe Day in UK, in outer orbits, some orbits or obits decaying, even as I speak… the only review that precedes what it reviews…”precious lost ephemera the screen flashes.”



  8. Pingback: Synchronicity rampant… | DES LEWIS GESTALT REAL-TIME REVIEWS: I’m gettin great hawlin here.

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