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Author:  Chelsea_Tractor [ Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:39 pm ]
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Roy wrote:
Out of interest which B&N carried Interzone and which has just stopped doing so?

"...because I am totally kicking their ass."

Author:  Mister Chapman [ Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:05 pm ]
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And this B&N would deserve a total TTA ass-kicking. But I voted with my dollars and subscribed instead of loyally buying it at the local B&N.

That said, not long after they canceled Interzone, they started carrying F&SF again, after a year's hiatus... some good with the bad.

Author:  Matthew Cook [ Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:48 pm ]
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Michael R. Fletcher wrote:
Assuming if you're've read the story and aren't worries about SPOILERS...

Ok, I may have to re-read the story.

Off the top of my head...
I don't think we ever know the protagonist's name. There is a cat, but no Cat character. The female he keeps meeting is Emily.

My interpretation was that it is merely his memory of Emily that is being reconstructed, and not the actual person. The Emily he is talking to at the end isn't a reconstructed Emily but the alien making use of his memory of her to communicate with him.

The story is the telling of his thoughts being reconstructed out of order - cuz memories might be stored that way - by the alien.

But then I may have totally misunderstood.

Though at first I thought, "Oh Christ, this is gonna be one of those unreadable jumping all over the place stories," in the end I quite liked it.

My two cents...before taxes.

How fun! Not only are people reading the thing, but it's actually making people THINK!! I'm in writer's heaven right now - thanks.

In answer (and please skip this is you don't want to know why *I* was thinking when I wrote it - sometimes the mystery is more interesting, I'm well aware...

... SPOILERS BELOW (you have been warned)...

1. The protagonist has no name, that's correct. I did it on purpose, to keep the reader at once off-balance while also (hopefully) able to relate to him, since if I'd dropped in a Chinese name right off the bat, it WOULD have skewed the reader's vision of him in any number of directions. most of which I didn't want to go.

2. YES, it's only Emily's memory that's being put back together - obviously the protagonist had no recording of her, other than his own cherished (and sometimes feared) memories. The alien chooses to use Emily as an avatar when contacting him because they believe it will be the least stressful image to use (although one could argue that might be wrong or even an actual bad idea given what happened to her).

3. As far as the shuffling of his memories, that's based on some stuff I read (which I admit might be now out of date or even not understood by the researchers - we're still learning a lot about how the brain works, and don't even get me STARTED on the weirdness associated with time) that indicates memories are not locally stored, but are rather relational in nature, meaning that they're formed in matrices/relationships alongside other associated memories. Obviously, though, the protagonist can ALSO think "alongside" these memories (hence the "This isn't how it happened" comment...)- it's not just pure playback. I was trying to show that the aliens had "rebuilt" the system whereby he can think, and that they were seeding that system with memories in order to make him a real person. I also meant to suggest that they'd tried this many times before, and it had always failed, a possibility that the protagonist was actually aware of.

I'm so glad you enjoyed it, even if it was difficult. I'm well aware that the story likely turned off some readers, but I have no problem with writing for an audience who's willing to work a little bit.

Thanks again!

-Matt C.

Author:  George Berger [ Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:55 am ]
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Thanks For clearing things up, Matthew. I've been interested in time since 1965, when I started studying philosophy. I am now a retired philosophy teacher, and my interest never flagged. I enjoyed reading and thinking about 'The Shoe Factory' for three days.

Author:  Michael R. Fletcher [ Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:12 am ]
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How fun! Not only are people reading the thing, but it's actually making people THINK!! I'm in writer's heaven right now.

Mathew, You're living the dream.

Author:  Chelsea_Tractor [ Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:29 am ]
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OK, so I've wound up with a copy of IZ231 - not sure why, I aimed to line up my subscription with the year, but I'm not complaining - and I've read "The Shoe Factory" and... I'm probably slightly more confused than when I last posted. Despite being clued in to spoilers. Or was I? No, wait - this isn't how it went...

Author:  Jim Steel [ Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:25 am ]
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In February’s Locus, Rich Horton reviews Interzone 231 and says that “Sanford (and some other writers) are producing SF that truly has a different feel to much that has gone before”. He also says that Matthew Cook’s The Shoe Factory “[...]is strikingly resolved”. Aliette's story is reviewed alongside her follow-up in Asimov's which is praised.

Elsewhere there is a summary of 2010, and Jim Hawkins’ two Interzone stories are listed in the novelette’s section of the Locus recommended reading list for 2010.

Gardner Dozois, in his personal review of 2010, says Interzone had a strong year “[...]with good stories by Nina Allan, Lavie Tidhar, Jim Hawkins, Aliette de Bodard, and others.”

Rich Horton says that “TTA press’s Interzone and Black Static continued in solid shape: each put out six fine issues.”

Author:  Jim Steel [ Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:02 pm ]
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Functional Nerds 48 podcasts an interview with Jason Sanford. They discuss his stories in Interzone 231.

Author:  Roy [ Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:47 pm ]
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We have an update on Fictionwise. We are still 5 issues behind but at least it's not 6. This IZ Issue 231 now live.

Author:  Jim Steel [ Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:50 pm ]
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D. Douglas Fratz review for SF Site.

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