December 10th, 2010

Summary: Interzone, 2010

Summary: Interzone, 2010

There were a total of 32 new stories: 17 novelettes, and 15 short stories (one short-short) this year at Interzone, for a total of about 231,000 words of  fiction. (I caution as ever that Interzone is not easy to do word counts on, and that quite a few stories were in the 7000-8000 word range, thus I may have the various counts slightly off. Indeed, they published a bibliography of Interzone regular Jason Sanford's stories for the magazine that listed at least one story I counted as a novelette as a short story -- so my counts probably are off to some extent.)

Of the novelettes, I enjoyed "Plague Birds", by Jason Sanford (May-June), an intriguing story set in a strange almost fantastical far future in which the title people control the violent instincts of the "humans", who seem to be hybrids of animal characteristics; and Jon Ingold's "The History of Poly -V" (March-April), about a group of pharmaceutical researchers who discover a drug that seems to enhance memory remarkably: ultimately a story about memory, not surprisingly, and about its reliability, and mutability, and how others share or don’t share the same memory of the same events.

Other fine novelettes included a couple more from Sanford (who was the featured writer in the November-December issue), Nina Allan's "Flying in the Face of God", and a wild piece called "Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark Matter" by Jim Hawkins, who had a story in New Worlds way back in 1969 (as by Granville Hawkins), and nothing since then.

The best short stories were Nina Allan’s "The Upstairs Window" (September/October), a cynically told piece about a repressive alternate present-day England, and an artist in trouble with the government; Rochita Loenen-Ruiz’s "Alternate Girl’s Expatriate Life" (July-August), an odd thing about a human woman created in a town of robots, then exiled to a human town, so that she's an expatriate, missing her Metal Town, and her robot father; and Mercurio D. Rivera’s "Dance of the Kawkawroons" (March-April), about a couple of rapacious humans coming to the planet of the alien Kawkawroons to try to retrieve an egg with some precious properties. Other strong stories came from Aliette de Bodard, Matthew Cook, and David D. Levine.

Stats: Interzone remains mainly focussed on SF: I'd say perhaps 27 of the 32 stories were SF, or 84%. 7 of the stories were by women, about 22%.