Monday, 29 June 2009

Interzone 222

Johnny and Emmie-Lou get Married by Kim Lakin-Smith

Greaserpunk gang love story. This is a small and perfect story set in an original universe. Read it and tell others.

Unexpected Outcomes by Tim Pratt

Mellow apocolypse story that questions the nature of reality. I liked the slackerish main character who responds other people, rather than acting for himself.

Lady of the White-Spired City by Sarah L. Edwards

An emissary visits a primative colony to find the family she left behind. This had a really good mountainy feel to it -- it had a fresh air and bright cold sun and splintery grey wood atmosphere reminded me of Alpine holidays. It explores the effects of extending life spans by deep sleep space travel.

Microcosmos by Nina Allan

A child puzzles out adult relationships in a resource-starved landscape. This is beautifully written, so atmospheric. I felt the heat; I thirsted with Melodie. I was fascinated by the view down the microscope. I stood with her looking over the shore of the lake and wondered: 'What happened here?'

But the end of this story had me rearing up Godzilla-like 20 storeys high, breathing fire, head in the sky.

It stopped. Short. With a hint at foul experiments and a lost love; with no explanation of why Melodie's parents are so angry with the scientist, and yet so keen to help him.

I'm guessing that this feeling of deprivation mirrors the helplessness and water-starvation felt by the characters. I've been well and truly manipulated. Nina Allan, I hope you're satisfied. Now please get back to work and write some more stories to tell me more about this landscape.

Ys by Aliette de Bodard

Unwillingly impregnated woman goes head-to-head with cruel goddess. Aliette de Bodard always comes up with the goods as far as I'm concerned, and I'm always excited to see her stories in Interzone. This is a tense salty tale, stinking of ozone and seaweed, of a woman -- or maybe two women -- who refuse to walk the set paths. I liked it very much.

Mother of Champions by Sean McMullen

Conservation thriller that explores non-human intelligence. I was intrigued by the narrative voice, so I kept reading despite the clunky dialogue. I'm thinking now, having finished the story, that the dialogue clunked along for a good reason -- the narrator thinks the speakers are morons; and she was hearing the talk, but not seeing any actions that could be used as dialogue tags.

It's very cleverly written, and has a lot to give on a second read: once you know the ending, you can see all the clues that point to it.

Read more about Interzone on the TTA Press website.

No comments: