Tag Archives: Interzone

Interzone #247 – a GRTR

Interzone #247 (Jul – Aug 2013)


TTA Press

My gestalt real-time review of the fiction in this magazine that I received as a result of my subscription to TTA Press.

All my previous reviews of Interzone are linked from HERE.

All my real-time reviews since 2008 are linked from HERE.

The fiction in this issue is written by L.S. Johnson, Philip Suggars, V.H. Leslie, Rebecca Schwarz, Jacob A. Boyd, Russ Colson.

My review will appear in the ‘comment’ stream below as and when I read each story.


Filed under Uncategorized

FACIAL JUSTICE (1960) by L.P. Hartley




A book about the woman Jael, a remarkable book I’ve completed reading today. A rarely read SF novel by the great fictioneer L.P. Hartley (who wrote ‘The Go Between’ and some wonderful short stories and much else of value). It tells of a lowest common denominator civilisation escaping from the post holocaust-underworld to live on the surface. Yes, on the surface. The quotes below on this page will give you some idea of the ground-breaking spiritual fiction that is perhaps more real than most fictions if least believable. Not necessarily politically correct. Bear with it. With birthmark-baiting, kiddy-kuddlers, the need to assuage differences, alphas becoming betas to avoid the Bad Egg (Envy?) involving betafication, being betafied, betting on themselves, with, inter alia, marvellous images involved with hospital-visiting, being outside the remains of Ely Cathedral (that I visited just before buying this book), flayed sex, self sucked out like excrement: a fabricated Big Brother game or mock theatrical play conducted – by whom-dunnit as or by the Dictator? I can’t possibly do justice (facial or othewise) to it here or give you all the answers. And the Cineraria, of course. And Jael. I once knew someone by that name in the late 80s – early 90s. Jael Nuit. Jael from the book goes back to her night? I wonder where he went back to?

from FACIAL JUSTICE (1960) by L.P. Hartley:-
The postwar [i.e. post Third World War] landscape, then, was all over the country, featureless and dull. But in the neighborhood of Cambridge there was an exception to this. Owing to one of those freaks in the process of destruction, of which the Second World War had given many examples, the western tower of Ely Cathedral still survived. The rest of the church was flat, its ruins scarcely distinguishable in the mud that heaved around it, but the tower still stood, a gigantic and awe-inspiring landmark. Indeed its effect was so overwhelming that beholders had been known to faint at the sight of it, and even the least sensitive were moved with tumultuous feelings for which they couldn’t account. Those few who remembered the great building in its glory would sometimes try to describe it but they got no encouragement to do this, for nostalgia of any kind was looked on askance. Not that the Dictator frowned upon religion; he even encouraged it as a necessary outlet of the human spirit; but it had to be the contemporary religion of his own brand, and the Litany was the only form of it that he permitted to delinquents. The Litany in which everyone was equal, equal in sinnerdom. The tower of Ely Cathedral, piercing the heavens, spoke another language.”
“People were allowed five minutes a day in which to laugh and get it over, like the interval for coughing which, in earlier days, was sometimes conceded to bronchial subjects at a concert.”
“Betafy means beautify.”
“Motorists (as they used to be called) were utterly irresponsible in their dealings with the pedestrian public; for their benefit homicide was legalised.”


“Little spirals of femininity had welled up in her, like bubbles in a soda-water siphon.”

“Didn’t you read that correspondence in the DAILY LEVELER — all about ‘who’ and ‘whom,’ and the tyranny of the Objective Case? Lots of people thought that the cases should be standardised — it wasn’t fair for a word to be governed by a verb, or even a preposition. Words can only be free if they’re equal, and how can they be equal if they’re governed by other words? […]…no one shall be better at writing than anybody else. Only quite simple words will be allowed, because it’s so embarrassing for other people not to know them. But it won’t be altogether easy, because the simplified language will have to be learned.”

“To be empty, but empty of what? Of life? She didn’t think she minded. Of self? Perhaps they would drag the self out of her by some kind of spiritual suction. In her mind’s eye she saw the open nozzle of a tube writhing toward her; it would fasten on some part of her where the self was nearest to the surface, a powerful vacuum would form inside it, and then her sentient self would be sucked in and pass like excrement along the tube…”


There are also a few references to this book in my recent real-time reviews of other books.

BTW from ages ago in my blogging life, The Power or Tower of Interzone and Ely Cathedral (and ‘Facial Justice’ by LP Hartley): http://ttapress.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3797&sid=c954060bec4229d87b38924d75854966

Photo above of me taken by my wife in Ely Cathedral when on holiday in May 2012 just before I bought the FACIAL JUSTICE book.

A fulfilling coincidence this very afternoon (21 August 2012) just before issuing this whole blog post: — “I am finishing my reading of FACIAL JUSTICE (1960) by L.P. Hartley …. A rarely read SF novel where, intermittently, the CINERARIA flower features. Simultaneously listening to a repeat of the recent London Prom concert being broadcast at the moment this afternoon on BBC Radio 3: which features a rare work by Delius: CYNARA, which according to Google is a variant of CINERARIA…..” (a quote from Facebook an hour ago)

NB: The Head Office of TTA Press that publishes Interzone and Black Static is within the power radius of Ely Cathedral…


Filed under Uncategorized


I’m starting below another of my gradual real-time reviews. This time it is of the fiction stories in TTA Press’s ‘INTERZONE’Issue 239 (Mar /Apr 2012).

{Received in the last few days in the post as part of my normal subscription.}

CAVEAT: Spoilers are not intended but there may be inadvertent ones. You may wish (i) to take that risk and read my review before or during your own reading of the stories, or (ii) to wait until you have finished reading them. In either case, I hope it gives a useful or interesting perspective.

There is no guarantee how quickly it will take to complete this review, whether days or years.

All my real-time reviews are linked from here: http://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/

My previous real-time reviews of TTA Press publications linked from here: https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2010/09/25/tta-press-my-real-time-reviews/

Item image: IZ239 cover

Interzone # 239 – www.ttapress.com

‘Interzone’ magazine contains a lot of material in addition to the fiction.

Authors: Steve Rasnic Tem, Jon Wallace, Suzanne Palmer, Jacob A. Boyd, Matthew Cook, Nigel Brown.


Twember – Steve Rasnic Tem

Time disruption, alien invasion, dimensional shifts at the earth’s core.”

[My previous real-time reviews of Steve Rasnic Tem fiction included here: Black Static #12 — Cinnabar’s Gnosis — Null Immortalis — Black Static #19 — Ghosts (Crimewave Eleven) — The Far Side of the Lake]

I can see the genesis of this SF story in many of the weird and horror and literary works I’ve reviewed or read by Tem in the past: but it stands on its own as a remarkable vision of ‘escarpments’ that arrive in our world like a cross between ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ constructs and unpredictable Tornados for Tornado Chasers or Watchers (literally to watch as one’s wrist-watch watches time): Tem has various other tantalising analogies for the phenomenon.  I sense, too, a cross-sectioning through various cross-pollenations of one’s normal life, past, present and future, as a form of poignant spirituality, loss, hope, faith, identity (that some garner from their own version of a cross symbol or transcendent moving of the Holy Ghost through their self). [Also compare: ‘Window’ by Bob Leman and ‘Little Lambs’ by Stephen Graham Jones]. There is much ordinary life here, too, and believable characterisations as they face the white noise, “faux snow” and infiltration by synthetic or alien material or new matter or old matter become new again, as these things come through otherwise normal existences like substantial yet ghost-like structures.  I’ve called kindred processes ‘hawling’ in the past. This story ‘hawls’ the reader in the same way with its words.  Also, I am wondering whether ‘Twember’ as the title and the word for a sort of ‘weather’-season or concocted holiday-celebration, constituted by these hawlers or escarpments, stems from a form of ‘Tem’ and ‘Twin’ (cf the mirror in this story), as well as the more overt betwixt and between. (22 Mar 12 – 1.05 pm gmt)

Lips & Teeth – Jon Wallace

“Time passes here in ages. This is the age of acceptance. There was also an age of despair, and one of hope, or maybe anger, before that.”

…and with that quote we segue seamlessly from the previous story. — This is an intriguing Political-SF-genre story (if there is such a genre) concerning redemption (where a sort of Messiah-ship is granted aptly on Christmas Eve by careful scrutiny of the dates?), but mostly concerning cycles of ‘ends justifying means’ as factored into a Toybeean ‘challenge-and-response’ view of history … all in a scenario which is, for me, a cross between the current North Korea and McGoohan’s Prisoner (here the prisoner is ’11 – 17′ which is minus six instead of Number Six himself) – where the protagonist has a terrorist power that only a gag neutralises: who also owns a talking pickaxe which is an ‘objective correlative’ that is still resonating for me as it it homes in towards a final meaning probably beyond the time I finish this review and then will not be able to alter it. The last intriguing thing, but not least: just try replacing this story’s “Dear Leader” with ‘Dear Reader’ and a whole new ball starts to roll… “I watch my face appear from behind the beard. I remember this face and I smile.” (22 Mar 12: 2.30 pm gmt)

Tangerine Nectarine Clementine Apocalypse – Suzanne Palmer

“Others of the black shapes are inching across the floor, like giant black static on the carpet,...”

This is amazing complex material, yet when allowing it quickly to flow over the dear reader without obstruction, a  rare understanding seems to dawn on me with a New Economy of ‘sharing’ between surfeit and scarcity: a bit like, as it says at its end: “…always saw too much, and never quite enough”. This is a zone of clones and uniquenesses, spores and spares, more than one Utopia, possibly more than one Hub, a place of fruit-sharers (like Tarot card dealers): a Nectarine for Neri, shoe-sharer, a Pomela for a Politician: cyclic with intrigue and pecking-orders, like the previous story and eventual Destruction through the very act of trying to stop Destruction, and with an Apparatus and a Node like Tem’s ‘escarpments’ or like an internet system (cf: EMF’s ‘The Machine Stops’) that here ‘hawls’ through  irreality with its own reality of tangible, tangerinible fruit and share-bartering etc.  A cyclic quarantine of a civilisation which has ‘coach trip’ travellers suddenly arrive to enjoy the risk of this encased reality as discretely uniform as a soulless spaceship or to enjoy bringing risk or soul to it by their presence, but then eventually facing something vaster, far more important, while our writer-protagonist called Echa who is Each of any  dear writers of fantasies, explicitly interfacing with the dear reader, as the black static that Echa releases, by words if not deeds, attacks his other creations that are actually print-shaped here by “spore-ticks” in an alternate or spare zone… [A story I enjoyed but not yet plumbed to all its depths (I’ve plumbed at least one depth so far, as reported above), but a real-time review, for me, is time’s initial reading and reacting to a whole gestalt of fiction or fictions as published in one place.] (22 Mar 12 – 4.25 pm gmt)

Bound in Place – Jacob A. Boyd

“You read a passage aloud, and things get done.”

…exactly like the protagonist in ‘Lips & Teeth’: the one that could only be stopped with a gag.  But, above all, let me say at the start here: this, in itself as a separate story, is a well-written, enjoyable, humorous story of a haunted house where you can control its ghosts like amenities. However, this seems more like a ‘Black Static’ story than an ‘Interzone’ one, amost as if the ploys of the previous story have actually succeeded… But, meanwhile, it seems to be a disarmingly unintentional gestalt-linker or gestalt-enhancer, that is thus itself, almost frighteningly from the author’s point of view, ‘Bound in Place’! — and, so, to add to the above quotation, some more quotations: “He grinned in a way that made Jolene think that he practised before a mirror.”  — Tem’s ‘escarpments’: “…how to become substantial without taking form,..,.”  and, later, the ghosts’ own Close Encounters ‘structure’ as they depart their haunting or ‘hawling’: “A high black box rose into the gray night sky. It gave them the chills, as if it had once filled the horrible cavity shape in their memories. A narrow chink in its surface glowed and dimmed, glowed and dimmed. The ghosts peered through the chink…”  (22 Mar 12 – 6.45 pm gmt)

Railriders – Matthew Cook

“…after waiting hours for just the right line of haulers.”

Pure SF railriders or stowaways regrouping, repopulating between the zones of this issue’s fiction: back-packing with their backstories through,  not a parallel or alternate Earth as such, but rather a colonised world in space that deliberately parallels (variously by religion or ethos) the Old Earth “corewards” with brief passing thoughts of another plot-turning bug-invasion ripe from the fruit story: unintentionally but explicitly, I guess, resonating with the Rim and Hub in that fruit story (here the fruit is smuggled food of dubious quality in their imputed backpacks): eg: a “New Athens“, God Forbid, I’d say, in the prevailing New Economies of this issue’s overall fiction gestalt and our own world today of sharing not fruit but sharing debts between nation states…!  This story effectively comprises an atmospheric, cut-throat narrative via a rappy, expletive-sown monologue by one of the cobra- or blade-running female railriders, a member of a well-characterised (almost Dhalgren-like?) group, with whom we grow in sympathy as they negotiate the trials and tribulations of crude chancers and chancey drugs in this New Earth which is perhaps a Tem-type ‘escarpment’ shading in and out of our Old Earth: while we, as readers, also ride the links (or rail points) through some “public ‘net” of blending in empathy with amenity-ghosts and chancers alike: luckily fixed for us here to aim at by actual, rather than electronic, print.  Poignant shrugging when you lose friends or loved ones – as you reach loyalty’s end of reading about them or spending selfish time with them. A good shrugging, and not necessarily an uncaring dismissal-by-shrugging before rolling onward upon “cold, steel rails“…… with “fauxgrav” not “faux snow”… (23 Mar 12 – 11.10 am gmt)

One-Way Ticket – Nigel Brown

Her joints protested against the howdah’s movement.”

A highly memorable story, I guess: if it were not a one-way-ticket away from my later being able to report back here whether it was memorable or not.  Haunting, too. Haunted by it during the single moment or the endless moments I am haunted by its memory. One certainty, though: very well written. And skilfully poignant: at least for me personally: particularly when it mentioned “motor neurone disease”. In my own words, it’s a tale of an alive ferry as a floating, howdah-toting grazer-creature carrying terminally ill humans along a form of the River Styx to a Jules-Verne-like, Lourdes-like  ‘earth’s core’ as explicit cliff-escarpment (cf: Tem) or sessilely-statically parthenogenetic gorge for a beautifully, almost unbearably portrayed curative-subsumation: [and if I may be authorially indulged, please compare with the process into Nemonymous Night‘s ‘earth’s core’, its hawler being its ‘howdah’].  All the stories – without being able to put my finger on it precisely or nail it with my cobra/pickaxe – contain a similar emotionally-charged journey within the “World Wide Site” as crystallised from print. A journey outside the prison of self to a SF Lourdes without the need of any God other than creative tangerinibility.  White Noise or Black Static, notwithstanding. (23 Mar 12 – 1.00 pm gmt)



Filed under Uncategorized

2011 Big Brother (5)



Marion wrote:
The dog turned out to be Tashie, so no scare there.

I thought that was very effective. A yappy dog in a cage with a human face – startled me – and reminded me of the film ‘Freaks‘.

In fact the whole Crypt task should appeal to readers of ‘Black Static* (an award-winning Horror magazine published by TTA Press, the Host of this discussion forum we’re using for our BB comments). Some of it was very well done. Some not. The half-serious, half-absurd elements (certainly in the two crypt-kickers) were interesting if one is able to insulate some of the images and statements from the game-show ‘Reality’ TV of BB against which most people who read our comments are prejudiced.

NB: TTA Press also publish the acclaimed and long-running SF magazine ‘Interzone‘. The Dickian reality of BB is probably that side of things … and dystopian futures.

*a link to my own recent advert for the latest issue of ‘Black Static’ which has a personal significance to me, i.e. there is a photo of me on the cover! o:


Marion wrote:
What a scare you gave me with the Black Static link, Des – I looked and thought – oh, poor Des! He does look ill!
Then I saw your photo underneath the bigger one!
Such a relief…

LOL! … PREVIOUSLY (in BB voice over) and NOW. “Well worth a closer look”. (That tall lady in the Feeederm advert with the top-knot in her hair will have the latest Black Static in her hand TOMORROW).

BTW, Marion, your summaries of each BB episode are second to none on the whole internet I reckon. I think BB fans must be flocking here, because the viewcount of this thread still increases exponentially.


Marion wrote:
The three were then zombified spectacularly. They truly were quite shuddersome – Faye even managed a wonky sex appeal in her tattered dress and scars as she snarled out of her tomb.

Yes, some more effective Horror Genre last night. And a glimpse of Tashie the Dog again. All grist to the blood&bone-mill. And the stirring-mill of Janton – like those two ladies in an earlier BB, who, after watching secretly live TV of their other housemates, created the biggest fight in BB history when they returned to the fold.
And the film Dead Set – a Zombie film about BB with Davina killed gruesomely – came back to haunt the House. The semi-Celebrities attending the film show as the real Zombies in light disguise.

Jem to go tonight. She hasn’t transcended her newcomer status, in my book.


Marion wrote:
Very often, evictees seem much nicer when they come out of the house and drop the persona they lived in, but not Anton.

Anton left a nice message, though. A weak character trying to be strong. People like that won’t win – but he did for a time persuade me he had taken BB reality/irreality seriously in embracing the need (as a risk of either self-sacrifice or, like Nasty Nick?, self-fulfilment) for the catalytic role of House Villain. Too shallow, in the end.


I agree it was boring last night, but what was that Jay grin to camera over Louise’s shoulder when standing cuddling her? A signal of unreality in this reality show? Jay as corrosively instinctual belittling of the big in big brother…to appeal to BB cynics of whom there are millions who only watch BB to complain about it?


The rhythmic rowing-machines and Jem’s fruity warble of a voice both sent me to sleep tonight.


Marion wrote:
No, Faye is 19. Jem is 27 or 28, the Bossy Big Sister.

Sorry, I thought someone had commented that J looked older but F actually was the oldest. I still fall asleep when Jem starts her fruity warbling.

BTW, Marion, you needn’t have remote-controlled away to avoid Jay micturating – he just stormed off saying he couldn’t give an F.


It was Alex’s evening. The “rolling up” speech to Harry was repetitively redolent with emergent N-Dubzery. She has incredibly soft gauche innocence underpinned by streetwise steel and instinctively and deceptively articulate intelligence. Her head-to-heads separately with Harry and Tom were the most memorable events of this BB season so far.

Meanwhile, elsewhere, the blah blah blah bumped and ground along the ground – hugely and tangibly dream-swagged with a slithy tove in the shape of an ancient god mis-laden with a transgressive motive-impulse and stained with a rippling N-Dubz skin-mosaic.


From what I can see, Tom and Alex are a match made in Chocolate Heaven.

Aaron shafted by Mum’s Net!

Intrigued by slithy Jay’s recounting all the synchronicities concerned with 9/11, via numerology, backward and upside down writing, astrological harmonics etc. At least the Tove has some heuristic ability to think beyond its tattoos.


The match made in heaven yesterday, then Aaron’s match and a thousand trees or a tree and a thousand matches tonight!

Meanwhile, the betting game was a flop. The chocolate ghastly.

Oh dear, I fell asleep in the last 15 minutes. What on earth happened?


Marion wrote:
Aaron played a stormer, wandering about like Hamlet’s father’s ghost murmuring ‘To leave or not to leave’ when it was perfectly obvious that wild horses couldn’t drag him out of there. I paricularly enjoyed the scene where Jay set about persuading Aaron that he should not leave. Aaron sat with trembling hand, hunched over a roll-up like something out of ‘A Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisvitch’, gaunt and drawn and trembling handed, allowing himself to be persuaded to hesitate about going.

And I also liked the way he is now treating his life as I do real-time reviews – ie. in 10 minute insulated bites. A good method of decisive indecisiveness. At least we can now tell the matches from the trees.


The Palmer sisters are an enigma to me. They strike me as businesswomen first and foremost. So I tend to believe all their moods and actions are orchestrated. They may be bad businesswomen and have misorchestrated their stay in the house, but businesswomen nevertheless (forging a wrestling compnay, not only wrestling with bodies but with minds, our minds as well as, subconsciously, their own?).

Tom and Alex did some side role-playing – delightfully threatening to ‘go’ – and then to buy a house called ANUAS. They both perhaps live in a land called REHTORB GIB or a new version of Psycho: AXMOTEL.

[BTW, does anyone remember Alison Hammond from Big Brother 2002 (according to Wikipedia she was the second housemate evicted and she broke a picnic table). I don’t recall her myself, but I noticed a poster when walking on Clacton pier today, and that she recently opened the new ten-pin bowling-alley there!]

PS: When I dance, I do it like Aaron did in the 90s rave last night.


Marion wrote:
Aaron was mightily teased by all the others for his dancing. He told jay that when he goes out he’ll see that everyone’s doing it his way now! He was a bit frenetic, true, but jay was like a zombie coming to life!

And the sock wrestling when they announced it, I first imagined they would be fighting with their hands in sock puppets.
Hope Jay goes tonight. Zombie or Slithy Tove, his voice is beginning to grate.

PS: Sorry, I forgot – Jay is still in!
Harry went – amid much sobbing. Nice lad.

COMMENTARY CONTINUED HERE: https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2011/10/29/2011-big-brother-6/


ABOVE ARE EXTRACTS FROM: http://ttapress.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=182 where Marion’s posts are also shown in full.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Real-Time Review of INTERZONE #230


I’m starting below another of my gradual real-time reviews. This time it is of the fiction stories in TTA Press’s ‘INTERZONE’Issue 230 (Sep /Oct 2010). I shall attempt to draw out all the fiction’s leitmotifs and mould them into a gestalt.

CAVEAT: Spoilers are not intended but there may be inadvertent ones. You may wish (i) to take that risk and read my review before or during your own reading of the stories, or (ii) to wait until you have finished reading them.  In either case, I hope it gives a useful or interesting perspective.

There is no guarantee how quickly it will take to complete this review.

All my real-time reviews are linked from here: https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/df-lewis-real-time-reviews/

The previous real-time reviews of TTA’s Black Static linked from here:  https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2010/08/21/black-static-issue-18/

Item image: Interzone 230

 Interzone # 230 – www.ttapress.com

Authors: Tim Lees, Aliette de Bodard, Lavie Tidhar, Patrick Samphire & Nina Allan.


Love and War – by Tim Lees

“…the oldest sixty-odd, sporting a thin, grey, military moustache.”

A power-dressed female narrator-protagonist facing a dual palimpsest of competing worlds, not parallel or alternate worlds, but intriguingly an intermeshment – and her relationships with the men in power (one in particular) as counter-adumbrated by caged jumblies.  It is an impressionist painting where I am left wondering what is worse: one’s friends or one’s enemies.  The style flows and then is staccato then flows again.  Punctuated by a distracting illustration in real-space (as opposed to real-time) of the female narrator’s face strobing page by page. I keep my powder dry as to how this story stores up a context for itself (in my yet-to-be-dreamed dreams) or for the magazine’s remaining fiction yet to be read.  Meanwhile, “ovals of Toynbeean history” is a strange phrase, but this story somehow evoked it.  Don’t ask.

“(Children are shot.)” (13 Sep 10)


AGE of MIRACLES, AGE of WONDERS – by Aliette de Bodard

“Walking back from her children’s graves…”

A remarkable symphony of movements as if by Richard Wagner composing his Ring Cycle about a South American mythology rather than Norse, perhaps like that yet to grow up about the current plight of the Chilean miners.   It is a blend of E.M. Forster’s ‘The Machine Stops’ (effectively a fiction about the Internet and the World as a Machine-God published in 1909!) and a DH-Lawrencian vision of the Earth as a near-menopausal  but still bleeding grandmother.  It has Harmonics in tune with Astrology, a divine-less destiny controlled (synchronously, not by cause-and-effect) with the cogs and wheels of the Cosmos.  And  references to stoning for adulterers that religions can manifest.  It is a memorable Cyborg vision, that — with, inter alia, its ‘Heavens’ rather than ‘Heaven’ — echoes the multi-Earth palimpsest of the previous story. As well as the stories themselves becoming mutual palimpsests! 

Loved it.  Even the continued Philip Glass-like strobing of a face, this time a grim staring out-daring me to fail to like the words that surround it. (14 Sep 10)


The Insurance Agent – by Lavie Tidhar

“We use names like shields. We use names to blend in.”

I was biased in two opposite directions before reading this story.  Lavie Tidhar’s first published story was nameless and in ‘Nemonymous’.  And my professional life was spent in Insurance dealing with Insurance Agents.  However, this all went out of the window with thoughts of life & existence compared to canoes on a river outshining any possible doubts about this story having a rare poetic truth – making the Alternate World boxing-matches, the living-room filled coconut and Garland’s ‘The Beach’ ambiance possess you with their ‘reality’.  It has a machine un-mining itself from the earth. And a crab in a top hat to match the jumblies earlier. This is perfect harmony.  Another palimpZest.

The face-strobing slows down and is a gentler face not now daring me to out-face the text but one enticing me to dream within it. (I genuinely had not noticed the artist is someone called Richard Wagner when I wrote my review of the previous story!) (14 Sep 10 – another 3 hours later)


CAMELOT – by Patrick Samphire

“I never told her my name.”

On the face of it, a quite different story from the other three.  A more direct prose style and a simpler concept, a Whovian search through time for the narrator’s brother Jack lost at the end of the parachute in 2nd World War France. But, no, there is far more to this truly wonderful story – the interleaved tracing-paper(s) of Time, unrequited Toynbeean history and the loves and relationships within it.  It also echoes the earlier Wagnerian fire and brimstone…  So full of the harmonised music of the fiction in this particular magazine…

It is also personal to me. The narrator and his brother and their circumstances echo exactly my father and his own brother, in more ways than one. I was named after the brother.

Meanwhile, the strobing has now become a faceless coin, not an oval but a perfect circle. A panoply, a currency of war and doom in flight. Our Future History. (14 Sep 10 – another 2 hours later)


The Upstairs Window – by Nina Allan

“I had read the novel in a samizdat carbon copy…”

A staggering story – that does not seem to stagger when you’re reading it. Not SF other than its slowly emerging Alternate World that only gradually takes ‘copy’ (like the journalist narrator) in an imprint like an ill-bled and disgruntled Xerox.   Or a painting that explicitly has Tidhar’s coconuts embedded. And the ‘face’-strobing of the female part page by page (Cf. – beware! – the image about a third of the way down on the right hand side here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustave_Courbet ).

“…your role was decided for you by whoever got to write the history books.”

“…wrestling: two evenly matched opponents locked in perpetual stalemate.”

“The more I repeated a phrase in my head the less meaning it seemed to have.”

“If I tell you he looked like his own ghost…”

“World War Two gas masks…”

Just a few things that re-catch my eye after reading this intense London ‘roach motel’ as a ‘painting’ of a story.  

This resolves the Music of the Magazine of Fiction as a spy novel mis-carboned from a secret agent story: a paranoia stemming from this now wholly synchronised Alternate World.

 Palimpsest as Interzone – literally.

 “He crossed out liberally, making heavy indentations in the paper.” (14 Sep 10 – another two hours later)

NB: There is also much else of value for the SF reader within ‘Interzone’ in addition to its fiction: – www.ttapress.com


Filed under Uncategorized