Interzone #287


TTA PRESS May-June 2020

My previous reviews of this publisher:

Stories by Tim Lees, Eugenia Triantafyllou, Val Nolan, John Possidente.

When I read these stories, Covfefe permitting, my thoughts will appear in the comment stream below…

8 thoughts on “Interzone #287

  1. NIGHT-TOWN OF MARS by Tim Lees

    Illustrated by Richard Wagner
    Those dummies, that Domi Ummings later this very afternoon?!

    “I noticed a large, coloured mole, like a raisin…”

    At the start, and I noticed it later, too, as the monster emerged with the mole grown into a cancer….
    Actually, this novella has a multi-old-fashioned SF plot, beautifully blended from Boys Own Yarns, Orwell, Huxley, Carroll, CS Lewis, Wells, Frankenstein, even Blyton with an Uncle often in dirty gardening clothes, bald, but in other worlds with his side hair grown long, taking our schoolboy hero through walls into a morphed version of the place he just left, into Mad Science and Philosophy, transcending distances, evoking battles between dummies and rebels, a fight for our soul in a realm where mindsets are both the bored and the boring, with stones and cornices talking like people, a hive of officialese, cacophony versus Gilbert and Sullivan… and much more. Needs to flow over you…

    At the beginning I found this about his uncle: “He was the sort of person who could stand upon the lip of the Grand Canyon (for example) and exclaim over the pattern of the ant-trails at his feet, or point to some cloud on the horizon, shaped — hilariously! — like a duck. The vista itself, though, would go wholly unremarked.
    He fascinated me.”
    I feel with my real-time reviewing, I try to examine the ant-trails and clouds individually within the gestalt as well as developing a vision of the gestalt itself. Sometimes those clouds and ant-trails are sourced from different deities of creativity. And I contend that this novella succeeds in doing this by developing its potential readers towards the strength of its often wildly panoramic imaginative powers in brainstorming SF tropes both unique and traditional.

    My previous reviews of Tim Lees:

  2. Possible spoilers

    THOSE WE SERVE by Eugenia Triantafyllou

    “Ships arrived at the docks by the dozens, people engulfed the streets, shoulders bumped against shoulders,…”

    And, it is telling, perhaps, that Manoli as an ‘artificial’ later receives a brief hug, the fullest hug from a real person he ( it?) had felt for some time. An eventually very moving story – where a human called Amelia rôle-plays the need to be helped with her luggage to override his ‘spine’ (a brain constraint) so that he can reach his version of Heaven called Butterfly Island. A story so satisfyingly complex that I cannot possibly teach you its parameters in a short review. Indeed, its complexity makes me unsure of my own grounding in it and what I should divulge…
    Above I made this story’s “mild alert” into my own alert, one concerning spoilers. A story granting me a richness of vision that helps transcend the earthquake cracks between summer and winter staff (those artificials with strict protocols for money and movement), a vision of the continental island I imagine it to be with its own “body memory” of tectonic plates in location and emotion, yes, to help transcend those cracks between artificials and tourists, as well as between — in the previous story’s terms — dummies and rebels. A story where Manoli meets his own original person-self, and vice versa. A love story, in fact, with Amelia treating his artificial-copy self as if it is him, i.e. the ‘him’ as Manoli the artificial feels himself to be at source. This version of the story’s reader is currently inspired by it, and believes that that will remain the case.

    My reviews of this author

  3. THE TRANSPORT OF BODIES by John Possidente

    “All we knew was somebody had found some gravity in a place where nobody could find an object to match.”

    A satisfyingly brief story of a Trans-Neptunian community of humans in its ‘likeable’ gravity where methods of transportation involve a blend of crypto-cryo methods, and we follow a journalist as narrator whereby this story itself is actually his latest scoop of an article! Fake news, dummies and artificials or what? The reported story of coronal rocks inadvertently seen to be pitched as boomerangs whatever the cause of the gravity involving these objects as part of the emotional trajectory of a pair of mutual husbands the unlikeliest one of whom wasn’t the femme one; and a woman in the current story’s real-time gravity who fancies our narrator; and a female cousin of his in unconscious transit through further real-time gravity with warning contagion stickers on her cask like spoilers. Alongside the transport cask of one of the two husbands. No vaccine available, I guess.
    Ironically, I found it more believable than any SF.
    Sort of transported by it, myself. Any momentum batteries, notwithstanding.

    My reviews of this author:

  4. Preluded by the journalist/reporter of ‘story’ as science fiction truth in the previous Possidente story, the review of which above I completed before reading this Val Nolan (my previous Nolan reviews here: …


    “The more she drew her unlikely connections, the more her audience began to slip away.”

    Those who have their channels of hatred, and polarities, do not want that gestalt of ‘unlikely connections’ to exist, that nub of connections is anathema to them, it is counter-productive for all those Pussy Grabbers. Those dummies against rebels, and perhaps the artificials versus real people, earlier in this set of Interzone fictions. Now, here, some whites versus blacks. And aliens — as SF aliens time-travelled from that war against Hitler and those considered to be human ‘aliens’ and aliens as angels — all these aliens versus the Nazis, those Nazis that have never really gone away. Yet, our reporter (discretely the fictional hero reporter protagonist and the authorial story reporter himself) here with their collaborated ‘story’, a fiction as truth, a fiction that the reporter at first disowns, but here eventually he has his “I saw how everything is connected” epiphany. Even, here in 2019, there seems also to be a premonition of “the tang of hand sanitizer.”
    This is a heartfelt and powerful work. It needs to be read by everyone. A didactic work that for once transcends didacticism itself – as well as, here at least, transcending the taint of fake news by a cleansing tang of inner truth in such creative fiction.


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