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Interzone # 227 - Mar-Apr 2010

01/04/2010. Contributed by Gareth D Jones

Buy Interzone in the USA - or Buy Interzone in the UK

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bi-monthly magazine: UK publisher/editor address: Andy Cox, TTA Press, 5 Martins Lane, Witcham, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB6 2LB. Price: 3.75 (UK) $ 7.00(US. ISSN: 0264-3596.

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Last year, all of the 'Interzone' covers were by a single artist and the same is true this year. The added twist this time is that all of Warwick Fraser-Combs pictures can be combined into one larger piece at the end of the year. Typically, now I have the second issue of the year, I can't find the previous magazine to put the two together. Ah well, inside to the fiction then.

'The History Of Poly-V' by Jon Ingold charts the development of a memory enhancing drug whose side effects only become apparent by checking the lab note-books. As their own memories are warped by the drug, the truth becomes difficult to define. It's written very subtly, so that the discrepancies aren't immediately apparent. It's a cleverly woven story with a suitable enigmatic resolution.

'Dance Of The Kawkawroons' from regular contributor Mercurio D. Rivera sounds initially like it may be an environmental campaigning story, but slowly develops into something more intricate. The viewpoint shifts between the humans and the avian Kawkawroons adds an extra intriguing dimension.

Jim Hawkins takes us to Africa in 'Chimbwi'. With most of the world in chaos, a physicist becomes a refugee in an Africa that is prosperous and green - a new centre of technological development that is portrayed with a refreshingly original style. This Africa hasn't morphed into a modern hi-tech Western civilisation but maintains its heritage. A very satisfying tale.

Mankind's aspirations to travel between the stars is 'Flying In The Face Of God' according to some decriers in Nina Allan's melancholic story. This isn't a space opera or an adventure, but the story of one woman's transformation as she undergoes the procedure that will allow her to travel for years across the void. Told through the eyes of a documentary maker, it brings a very human aspect to the quest for the stars.

Chris Beckett's guest editorial explains how his job as a social worker inspired the supremely satirical story, 'Johnny's New Job'. The story of public outrage at the failure of social services to protect a little girl is a reflection of real-life news stories and the over-the-top response of society as seen through the eyes of a factory worker who goes along with the mob is dealt with deftly. The story is sprinkled throughout with ironic comments on human behaviour and full of smart dialogue, making it an excellent read.

'The Glare And The Glow' is Steve Rasnic Tem's short contribution to this issue. It's an atmospheric story about light bulbs of all things, narrated by an oddly insecure character who laces his speech with quotations. A quirky and enjoyable piece to conclude the fiction.

As usual, there is an array of book, movie and DVD reviews to round off the magazine, along with an interview and the always entertaining 'Ansible Link'. Another solid issue of good quality stories that continue to exemplify the scope of Science Fiction today.

Gareth D. Jones

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