Is it me?
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Author:  ian [ Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Is it me?

I have been reading Interzone for a long time now - my first copy was issue 30-something and I have nearly a complete collection with only issue 17 missing if anyone has a copy. So I have seen the various fads in SF come and go over the years and personally I am pleased with the resurgence of Hard SF

I have also never been a one to rubbish an issue because of a story(ies) I didn't like as I hope I am wise enough to realise that I am not the final arbiter of what is a good story. But I can't help thinking that lately the quality of the stories in Interzone are not as good as they used to be.

That's not to say that some of the stories have not rocked me backwards - some have, its just that this has become a rare event. Its nothing I can say definitively is wrong with the stories because if I could then I would be writing my own, its just that over the last year or so the number of stories that I consider good SF seem to be getting fewer.

I am also pretty sure that my tastes have not changed that much as my book buying and reading is as vigorous as ever and I enjoy many new authors as well as old favourites.

So my question to the wider audience is does anyone agree with me? if so can they put it into better words than or am I the only one that thinks this way?

I would point out one thing though no matter what I feel about the magazines contents it will take a far more serious issue than this to stop my subscription. I believe that we must have magazines like Interzone if only for new and aspiring authors to sell their first works.


Author:  Roy [ Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:51 pm ]
Post subject: 

Well no has taken up the gauntlet and, as publicity person for TTA, I cannot but is it possible that you are suffering from golden age syndrome?

I must admit that I think the editorial team could vastly improve the quality of the magazine by accepting my stories but then I suspect a few authors feel like that at times.

Author:  JasonSanford [ Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:10 pm ]
Post subject: 

Ian: I'd be interested in hearing your view of other long-running science fiction magazines and how they hold up today versus yesterday. Or, alternately, if you think SF novels and stories today hold up as well to stories from the 1980s and 90s.

The reason I ask is I can't compare Interzone today to what is was back then (not having access to those old issues). However, when I dislike stories today it tends to be because I'm not a fan of a particular subgenre of SF stories which happens to be popular with readers. For me, an example of this are singularity stories; basically, I'm one of those singularity doubters and I have tired of reading stories in this subgenre.

Author:  Colin Harvey [ Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:02 pm ]
Post subject: 

I think that Roy is right about there (perhaps) being an element of golden-age-syndrome.

> my book buying and reading is as vigorous as ever and I enjoy many new authors as well as old favourites
But are they appearing in IZ? I suspect not...

That said, I think that the current IZ has a much more specific house-style than much of what I remember from Pringlezone. Whether the stories are fantasy, SF or something else is irrelevant -- it's the feel of them that I'm referring to. They seem much more direct to me than some of what I remember from Pringlezone. That's not a complaint, it's an observation.

It may be because some of the material that appeared in Pringlezone would -- were it accepted by Andy's team -- now be appearing in Black Static. I'm referring to works by people like Zivkovic, Ian Lee, etc. There was a Jamie Barras story in BS1 that would have gone into Pringlezone, simply because there was no BS then. So there's a narrower thrust to IZ nowadays, and that may be changing people's perceptions of the magazine.

And I'm no happier about how I've phrased this than Ian was with his post. :roll:

Author:  SFMurphy [ Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:08 pm ]
Post subject: 

I don't know if it is Golden Age Syndrome. I'm an Asimov's Refugee myself and on the whole, I find myself pleased with what I am seeing in my copies of Interzone.

Of course, my comments have to be taken with a grain of salt because I'm no longer merely a Reader. But I've always been impressed with the quality of work that appears in Interzone. It frequently makes Gardner's YBSF and that, to me, is saying something.

S. F. Murphy

Author:  ian [ Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:16 pm ]
Post subject: 

To answer some of the questions people raised:

Roy: Golden Age Syndrome - never heard of that before but I get the idea :D Thinking about it I don't thinks that's the case or at least consciously. I suppose you can never really tell if this is the case but if I am honest I prefer a lot to the SF now to 20 years a go and way more than 40 years (never got new wave) so no I don't thinks its that.

Jason: Sorry to say I have never subscribed to other SF magazine mainly through time and money restrictions, its only been Interzone but you do make a good point. Are the stories now aiming to a specific genre and is this what I am feeling?

Colin: I will admit that my short story reading is limited to IZ and Dozois' end of year collection. I based my assumption on my novel intake, I'd love to read more collections but just from the fact that nearly all books today are novels and collections are rare means you have to go to magazines for them. You may be right about the changing of the stories due to BS now on the market, and I will get hold of a copy just to see if that's true.

I forgot in my first post to praise the guys at TTA for their presentation and style of the magazine. It is much better that before and I am glad that they have stop perfect binding as that was a pain to put into my folders!

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