My previous reviews of this publisher: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/tta-press-interzone-black-static/
Work by Alexander Glass, Gary Gibson, Cécile Cristofari, John K. Peck, Daniel Bennett.
When I read these stories, my thoughts will appear in the comment stream below…
TIME’S OWN GRAVITY by Alexander Glass
“The government was tracking them, keeping a record of each location and trajectory, trying to identify patterns.”
…as I try to do with words and their stories. This one is a very intriguing pattern of wind-up timepieces involved with fending off an ‘invisible enemy’, one that is still alive despite having no physical form. Time itself moving faster than childhood summers, depleting everything in its wake arguably with a “temporal metabolic process” or at least depleting everything living. A pattern involving ‘your scientists’, the impossible gestalt of all scientists as a single received wisdom? Or a pattern with a tipping-point glitch, a living meddler as refugee from elsewhere in time and space? Whatever the case, the married couple in this compelling story reach mitosis point. The only hope, Ragnarok?
SOARING, THE WORLD ON THEIR SHOULDERS
by Cécile Cristofari
“I have a cell. It’s unmistakably alive. Then I have two cells,…
[…] …time crushing on itself as if the gravity of the planet was swallowing it.”
In deep, consecutive, inadvertent synergy with the previous story, this is a truly beautiful and poignant account of a woman hid away in her cave, tussling in conflict with the politics of putting a nation first, the dire forces upon her and even direr repercussions in sight, set against a backstory of her male dancer friend and her previous Sapphic female friend, I infer, as our heroine, when cynically induced to do so by her political enemies, models into being — from the swifts flying above her cave — a craft to fly to the stars or, perhaps more likely, to drop bombs on her enemies’ enemies below. The tantalising ending eventually unhatched is not just steampunk invention, but a gravity’s synergy with her own … I infer.
A DISTANT HUM by John K. Peck
“: a low, faint hum from beyond the edge of civilisation, keeping the waking world from falling asleep, the dreamers from waking.”
For hum, read human? My gestalt real-time reviewing has long spoken of triangulating the coordinates of a fiction work by all its readers as the ultimate gestalt. And this is a story that “triangulates” sounds and radio signals and dark motives of drug dealing and rifling places with signals, done and undone deals, in a strong genius-loci with various aspects of a spicy dockside nightlife, by means of our following a woman with a planted statuette, and further triangulating connections with her childhood swimming incidents with a sister as well as certain nefarious men with past and future intent, and I certainly could recognise how brilliantly written this story is, but it is almost out-meant in meaning by even further triangulations of the place’s atonal and/or gestalt-patterned foghorns, word-noises that often left me unguided and gloriously lost.
“Those with money bet money; those without bet scrounged coins, half-broken watches, bicycles, promises.”
CAPTURED DREAMS OF THE DEAD MACHINE by Daniel Bennett
“LIKE A STUBBORN HALLUCINATION”
Ostensibly amazing piece of work that boggles the future mind with enormous extrapolative conceits about how tech develops, past the huge information plague virus, to a situation of reality being enhanced with old programmes and memes and film clips bartered and poached and smuggled by a museum worker called Ash and strange characters like an old man with a goat, while beset by anti-tech warriors amid cities and plains with manned hovers and bolt guns and vine infestations. One film clip, Ash’s first sale of stolen material, was a girl in a red t shirt tossing and catching a yellow ball. Otherwise, all Ash saw were ‘fictions’. Or, at best, warped files as art installations for elite carnivals. My co-vivid dream of the day! Ash as well as tears in my eyes.
“The clip represented a moment vanished, a period of purity and hope, and innocence in the history of the planet.”
My previous reviews of this author: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/tag/daniel-bennett/
My previous review of the following author: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/interzone-261/
WARSUIT by Gary Gibson
“He turned to see a Track-and-Kill rushing towards him on spindly little legs.”
I wonder whether these five fiction works are within each other’s Warsuits, and argue the toss, share memories, eventually conspire to help each other for the optimum result for both of them, about who is which and which is who, clones and mindsets, like the Glass meddler of Time’s gravity, the Cristofari Swiftbird synergy of Self, the Peck statuette now become Gibson’s bracelet or cube (or even Bennett’s yellow ball) …. whatever the case, this Gibson is a most entertaining mindbuckling story of Warsuits like body and mind fitting gloves of personal soldiership, not autonomous like their mindless enemy machines on a planet with a static sun and a dose of altruistic solipsism to think about. I particularly loved the poignant aspect of the backstories and respective ambitions of the man and the machine, or of the two men and the Golem machine they each wore, the interaction between them ingeniously characterful.
As ever, there is much else in Interzone in addition to its fiction.