Rime by 2015 cover artist Martin Hanford
A Murmuration by Alastair Reynolds
illustrated by Wayne Haag
What we call the ‘hut’ is a couple of insulated portable cabins, with a few smaller sheds containing generators, fuel, wind turbine parts and so on. The main cabin contains a chemical toilet, a wash basin, basic cooking facilities and a set of bunk-beds. The second cabin holds our desks, computer equipment and supply stores. Two or three of us can share the hut at a time, but there is not normally a need for more than one to keep an eye on the experiment. Resources being tight, lately we tend to come out on our own.
Songbird by Fadzlishah Johanabas
illustrated by Vincent Sammy
The memory surfaces like a half-remembered dream. A song. A lullaby, I think. Someone is singing it to me. I feel warm, as if wrapped in a blanket and embraced by strong, gentle hands. I remember a boy whose eyes are like mine. I remember him holding my hand like it was his lifeline.
Brainwhales Are Stoners, Too by Rich Larson
illustrated by Warwick Fraser-Coombe
Me and Theo are pretty ripped when we decide to save the brainwhales. Well, Theo is. I only took one good hoot, because after a year of dealing basement dro I don’t really like the stuff anymore. Plus I know if I smoke up too hard I get sad or boring, and I don’t want to be sad or boring when Theo Vandermeer, finnest and richest boy at Polytechnic, is spilled back on my bed with his shirt riding up so I can see that little groove where muscle carves to hip.
The Worshipful Company of Milliners by Tendai Huchu
illustrated by Richard Wagner
Every writer wears a hat. Most people may not see it, but it’s there, a kind of halo which can be seen if you look from just the right angle, at a particular time of the day when the rays of the moon strike the head at the precise moment when your inner eye opens. But the thing about hats is very few people worry themselves with the milliners who make them – a noble and much neglected profession. Of these artisans, there exists a small special faction, sometimes called the modistes, who work from an old brick factory in Harare, supplying hats to writers all over the world.
Blossoms Falling Down by Aliya Whiteley
illustrated by Richard Wagner
This is the sign on the door. All the rooms in Daiki’s Floating Pagoda have been explored by Neil apart from this one; the idea of an evening of poetry does not appeal for his one night off a month. Not when there’s Geisha Room, and Samurai Room. But tonight he wants something different, and for the sake of completion perhaps he should take a look inside. There are many other cultures he could visit, of course, but Japan has something special. Something more refined.
Issue 45 of Black Static, Interzone's darker half, is out now. Black Static is published in the same format and at the same time as Interzone. To take out a discounted dual subscription please visit this website's shop.
Have Awards for Genre Short Fiction Had Their Day?
On 13 February, the shortlists for the BSFA Awards were announced. At the beginning of April, during this year’s Eastercon in London, the same will happen for the Hugos. This year, the BSFA short fiction shortlist contains only three nominees: two short stories and a novella. Sadly, none are from Interzone, or its sister title Black Static. In 2013, the Hugo short story category contained only three nominees. Last year, the Hugo had four and the BSFA four. For both awards, shortlists of five or six nominees have been average in the past.
Death, Closure and the Great Genre Swindle
Back in 2000, Julien Temple made his second attempt at capturing the history of the Sex Pistols in the form of a documentary film. Drawing upon archive footage and interviews with the band’s surviving members, The Filth and The Fury presents the Sex Pistols and the British punk movement that followed them as an act of defiance against a system that had closed the books on an entire generation of working class kids. Sure…the band might have gone in for the odd publicity stunt and their antics certainly helped to shift over-priced clobber from Chelsea shops but the band would never have enjoyed the success they did if they hadn’t managed to connect to something real. Those of us who want to believe in Britain’s untapped reserves of revolutionary energy are doomed to buy into this flattering picture of the punk movement but The Filth and The Fury only tells half the story.
A Word Child
By my reckoning and if my sums are correct, you should be holding this magazine in your hands sometime around International Women’s Day on March 8th, which seems to me like an appropriate moment to celebrate one of the writers who’s been huge in my reading life and in my canon of writing inspirations from the moment I first encountered her fiction in the mid eighties, just as I was about to leave home for university. This woman didn’t write speculative fiction as such, though her work seemed to me then as it seems now to hover perpetually on the border between the real and the unreal, the known and the unknowable. She’s unfashionable these days – younger readers especially complain that her novels are all Oxford dinner parties and double-barrelled names. I can understand this complaint – who knows how I’d feel if I were twenty again and reading her in 2015 instead of 1985; would I get her? I hope so, but of course I can never know – and yet I regret it deeply. I sense – indeed I know – that those readers who find themselves unwilling to suspend their disbelief are missing something, something it’s hard to put a finger on exactly but, as with all the best speculative fiction, is instantly recognised and appreciated by those who have their ear in. Like all artists who are truly great, she was one of a kind, groundbreaking in her day and a landmark to look back on. The writer I am talking about is Iris Murdoch.
News and obituaries
Vote for your favourite stories of 2014. Hurry! The poll closes on March 31st.
interviewed by Peter Tennant
with added questions from Interzone readers
Jim Steel, Andy Hedgecock, Juliet E. McKenna, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Ian Hunter, Ian Sales, Stephen Theaker, Jack Deighton, Duncan Lunan
Books reviewed include Gifts for the One Who Comes After by Helen Marshall (plus author interview conducted by Andy Hedgecock), Tigerman by Nick Harkaway, The Final Testimony of Raphael Ignatius Phoenix by Paul Sussman, Hyperluminal by Jim Burns, Edge of Dark by Brenda Cooper, Revenger 1 by Warwick Fraser-Coombe, The Very Best of Kate Elliott, Beta-Life edited by Martin Amos & Ra Page, Tell No Lies by John Grant, The Glorious Angels by Justina Robson, Ditko's Shorts edited by Craig Yoe & Fester Faceplant
Cinema releases reviewed include Jupiter Ascending, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Ex Machina, Into the Woods, Big Hero 6, Project Almanac, Coherence
DVDs and Blu-rays reviewed include Extant, The Haunting of Black Wood, Enemy, The Maze Runner, The Rendlesham UFO Incident, Coherence, Dark Planet, Game of Thrones, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Continuum, Halo: Nightfall, The Device, The Signal
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