Interzone's 2012 cover artist is Ben Baldwin. In his guest editorial Ben explains that the images "will be focused around the imagery and symbolism of some of the Major Arcana of the tarot deck". The first is The Moon.
Fata Morgana by Ray Cluley
illustrated by Richard Wagner
They say that out beyond where the sea meets the sky there’s a city built on sand. It does not rise from the waters as our city does, enduring the tidal torture of slow erosion, but stands on land that curves up like an oyster shell. They still have trees there. They do not catch their water when it falls but pull it up from the ground in buckets. I think of this place every day that I’m fresh-lining, but I no longer look for it.
Fearful Symmetry by Tyler Keevil
illustrated by Mark Pexton
The night is freezing and the fierce wind catches her off-guard, cutting through her jacket and raking across her skin. She leaps down from the train, her backpack slung over one shoulder. The doors hiss shut behind her; the brakes wheeze as they release. She looks around. It’s too dark to see any station signs. The conductor seemed to be indicating that this was her stop, but his English was about as good as her Russian. Now, as the train lurches into motion, she wonders if she’s made a mistake.
God of the Gaps by Carole Johnstone
illustrated by David Gentry
I’m expecting it – well, I’m expecting something – so when it actually comes I should be more prepared than I am. Instead, I almost scream out a lung and fling myself forwards, nearly knocking myself out against the lift’s closed doors. Brian is shrieking too, but this concern comes far down a lengthening list that ends with possible concussion and began with the back wall of the lift being blown apart. There is much confused jostling – there were five of us in here a few seconds ago – and copious amounts of green smoke. I can’t see very much (which, I’m guessing, is probably the point), but what I can see looks very much like a giant xenomorph: all crude spines and hissing teeth, rattling briefly around our tiny space before yanking up a screaming body and disappearing backwards into nothing.
The Complex by E.J. Swift
Those who go mad do so when the sun rises. Gill told me this on my first day, over forty years ago now. I’ve been awake through the night, sat by the window, listening to my lungs wheeze and thinking about tomorrow’s hearing. Now I watch dawn seep through the darkened glass. I imagine, on the horizon, rows of tiny figures going mad. What do they do, the chosen ones? They hoot and hop, lift their hands to the sky and sing worship to the red dunes. Or they lie quiet, prone, as the whistling wind covers them with sand. First the feet and hands are buried, then the torso, then the neck. Those who go mad do so when the sun rises, because in the night it is possible to hide. But in the day, this planet is a vast, barren rock.
Ansible Link by David Langford
news and obituaries
Book Zone by Jim Steel, Paul Kincaid, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Paul F. Cockburn, Lawrence Osborn, John Howard, Alan Fraser, Ian Sales, Andy Hedgecock, Tony Lee, Ian Hunter
book reviews including The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin, Lemistry edited by Ra Page & Magda Raczyńska, White Tiger by Kylie Chan, Daylight on Iron Mountain by David Wingrove, The Cold Commands by Richard Morgan, Kafkaesque edited by John Kessel & James Patrick Kelly, The Islanders by Christopher Priest, Manhattan in Reverse by Peter F. Hamilton, In the Lion's Mouth by Michael Flynn, Songs of the Dying Earth edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, The Joy of Technology by Roy Gray
Mutant Popcorn by Nick Lowe
film reviews including Hugo, Puss in Boots, Another Earth, The Future, The Awakening, The Thing, Arthur Christmas, Breaking Dawn Part 1, Immortals
Laser Fodder by Tony Lee
DVD and Blu-ray reviews including Brazil, Captain America, Apollo 18, Camp Hell, First Squad, Legend of the Millennium Dragon, The Skin I Live In, Arena, Faces in the Crowd, Melancholia, Tomie: Unlimited, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Repo Man, The Science of Sleep
Vote for your favourite stories and artworks of 2011
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