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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:31 am 
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Just finished reading issue 219 - another great one - especially enjoyed The Country Of The Young by Gord Sellar, but thought all the stories were good. Not sure why The Fix gave this issue such a negative review...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 6:49 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:00 am
Posts: 21
Location: Peterborough
Well I thought this was a great issue. I enjoyed all the stories.
I had a look at the review at "The Fix", it gave a mostly positive review of all the stories except "Everything That Matters" and "Butterfly Falling at Dawn" , but I found these to be good stories .
"When Thorns Are The Tips of Trees" got me thinking of Orson Scott Card Speaker for the Dead or was it Xenocide can't remember now, the one where the animals turn into trees anyway.
"The Fifth Zhi" is a great story, think it would be great if it was turned into a full novel. "The country of the young" had some great ideas, though I wish it had a better ending. "Butterfly Falling at Dawn" is was always going to be hit with me as I love detective SF.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:56 am
Posts: 23
I think The Fix feels the need to be a little severer on TTA publications to avoid the charge of looking after their own.

It was a good issue: for me the standouts were 'When Thorns Are The Tips Of Trees' by Jason Sanford and 'The Country Of The Young' by Gord Sellar, but I also enjoyed 'Everything That Matters' by Jeff Spock and 'The Fifth Zhi' by Mercurio D. Rivera.

'Butterfly, Falling At Dawn' by Aliette de Bodard was let down by the protagonist constantly cutting to memories of the war (like in movies when the burdened hero pauses, looks off into space, then goes transparent as images of war go across the screen): it happened too often for me, eventually to comic effect: a pity, because the background was interesting.

I note the editorial puts Interzone into the "Painfully Earnest SF" camp, as opposed to the "Irritatingly Chirpy SF" one; a pity as - though I agree with the point made about technological fixes - I worry that if there's a feeling you have a message to convey it'll get in the way of the stories (to be fair, I haven't felt this to be the case to date).


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 Post subject: Pianfully earnest
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:22 pm
Posts: 70
Location: The pig-farming bit of Nottinghamshire
Hi Steven

Quick response from a mamber of the painfully earnest editorial team (I like your terminology so much I'm going to borrow it). :wink:

I'm glad you enjoyed most of the stories in IZ219, but please don't worry that our position as set out in the editorial will distort our strategy for selecting stories. It won't - we promise. The intention wasn't to constrain the kind of fiction people send us - anything but that.

If there are some fundamental absurdities in the 'Irritatingly Cheerful' position, particularly in relation to the overemphasis on technological fixes, an attempt to confine writers to 'Painfully Earnest sf' would be just as corrosive to innovative, imaginative and insightful storytelling. You'll be reading some unsettling stories and some uplifting ones; you might even read something reassuring from time to time - but not because we've asked authors to provide reassurance.

Optimism in fiction is great, as long as it emerges from a story rather than providing a precondition or framework for a story's construction. That would, as we suggested, be an artistic dead end - or, at its worst, produce a form of sf that sounds like corporate marketing copy.

The doom-laden references in the editorial are simply a range of things that have an inevitable effect on our thinking about the world and our relationship to it. They constitute an argument against the prescription for 'irritating cheer' not an argument for the prescription of the 'painfully earnest'.

I think I can share this without giving anything away inappropriately: nearly all the stories we've selected recently would resist being slotted into the Cheerful or Earnest boxes. But you tell us when the time comes!

Thanks again for your comments on stories and editorial - interesting and much appreciated.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:16 pm
Posts: 249
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
219 has not yet arrived at my home. This Thursday I will look for it at Amsterdam's American Book Center. All concerned please note that shop's special Thanksgiving discount.
George


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:56 am
Posts: 23
Andy

Thanks for the reassuring reply.

A problem with some stories that rely on Technological Fixes is that the TF simply maintains or reinforces the status quo - society is saved from a threat, but is not changed by them e.g. an invention prevents global warming, so things can carry on as before (sort of a something for nothing solution). Its more likely that a TF - even if 100% successful - will have other consequences - e.g. the discovery of a cure for a major disease doesn't just mean people stop dying and get on with their life; a consequence may be overpopulation and a stretching of resources in countries where the disease was formerly rampant: it is the consequences of the TF that makes an interesting story - will it lead to war with neighbouring states over land and resources; how will society react to the growing poverty (that's rather a simple example, better ones would have the TA effecting society in a way we're not already familiar with)?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:14 am
Posts: 12
Location: Tromsø, Norway
Arrived today in the North of Norway!

George Berger wrote:
This Thursday I will look for it at Amsterdam's American Book Center. All concerned please note that shop's special Thanksgiving discount.
George


Has the store moved? I couldn't find it last time I was in Amsterdam (July) at the end of Kalverstraat.


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 Post subject: American Book Center
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:16 pm
Posts: 249
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Tromso?! That's way above the Arctic Circle. Keep warm!
The ABC moved from the Kalverstraat to the Spui a bit more than one year ago. Nice place, helpful, friendly staff, good advisors (me), but a bit cramped. Chock full of books. It's located RIGHT on the square called Het Spui. A better location cannot be imagined. I will be there tomorrow, since they have a Thanksgiving sale that allows me a 20% discount.
How do you know the place? If you are interested, go to abcATnl. Good luck and thanks for responding.
George


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:00 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:13 am
Posts: 80
Location: United States of America
Editor Richard Horton has released his 2008 summary of Interzone at http://ecbatan.livejournal.com/54819.html Thought I'd pass the word.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:14 am
Posts: 12
Location: Tromsø, Norway
350 km above the Arctic Circle, that's correct! It's not cold for the latitude (-5C), being on the coast and thanks to the influence of the Gulf Stream, but we have lots of snow, 42 cm now :)

Thanks for the info about ABC's new location, sounds like a good one! I'll take a look next time I stop by Amsterdam. I found the staff friendly and helpful the last times I went. I used to go to the NL and Amsterdam quite often up to a few years ago (for parties), that's how I discovered the shop, walking through town. Just by chance! Lucky you can get 20% off.

Thanks for the link Jason, and congratulations for your story, I enjoyed it very much!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 4:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:16 pm
Posts: 249
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
It would be nice to meet up with you if you visit Amsterdam again. Just call me at +31204040990, anytime at all. My email address is bergergeorge AT yahoo DOT com. Another address is grg DOT berger AT gmail DOT com . I enjoy meeting new people with common interests. CU. G.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 11:27 am
Posts: 247
Location: Bethesda, Gwynedd
I have to say, I found 219 something of a mixed bag. Country of the Young really didn't do anything for me, and Everything that Matters felt sort of like a commercial that I didn't mind watching between shows. The Shenu I found interesting but I felt the ending was a bit rushed, and the story of Butterfly, Falling at Dawn didn't interest me but the world its set in has me at its pleasure (next payday, I'm purchasing myself a copy of IZ 213 especially for The Lost Xuyan Bride). When Thorns are the Tips of the Trees, though, was worth the cover price as well as a generous tip. I think it deserves a quote: "that is so amazingly amazing, I think I'd like to steal it."

The Tim Lebbon piece was interesting and I would be buying a copy of The Reach of Children, were it not so expensive (for my budget, anyway). But the Clone Wars review was way harsh!

...okay, it wasn't really, I just liked Ashoka because I gave up on the whole franchise after Episode 3 and she was fun...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:10 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:38 pm
Posts: 19
Location: London
Foxie wrote:

Cover is beautiful.

The cover reminded me of Dr. Manhattan from the "Watchmen" trailer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:11 pm
Posts: 2165
Location: Cheshire, UK
Anthony G William's blog review here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:22 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:16 pm
Posts: 249
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Perhaps I mentioned this before, I don't remember. 219 arrived at my home two days ago. It's at the American Book Center too: 3 copies.


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