Summary: Interzone, 2007
There were a total of 33 new stories: 2 novellas, 12 novelettes, 19 short-stories (1 a short-short) this year at Interzone, for a total of about 255,000 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, and one novella was 17600 words according to my estimate: thus I may have the various counts slightly off. Also, I am not including a couple of Michael Moorcock stories that were reprints. I am, however, including one story, Edward Morris's "Journey to the Center of the Earth", which appeared only online.)
Of the two novellas I much preferred Paul Meloy's "Islington Crocodiles" (February), a very strange story about a small-time gangster whose lover is pregnant with a child destined to be a central figure in the battle with the Autoscopes ... like I said, very weird! Read it -- I can't describe it.
Of the novelettes, three stood out for me. These were Will McIntosh's "Dada Jihad" (October), Jayme Lynn Blaschke's "The Final Voyage of La Riaza" (June), and Jason Stoddard's "The Best of Your Life" (December). McIntosh's story is one of a series of apocalyptical stories from him: the world seems to be ending for a mix of political and scientific reasons, including out of control engineered viruses. This story features a student encountering a radical group engaged in "Dada Jihad" -- random acts of grotesque violence, pretty much. Blaschke's is fun adventure stuff -- space opera, indeed -- involving pirates on a dirigible that travels between the moons of a large planet. And Stoddard's story is smart near future speculation/satire about a corporation planning your future life for you -- including such details as a devoted spouse (made so by electronic stimulation). Novelettes by John Phillip Olsen, Hal Duncan, and Alastair Reynolds were also intriguing.
My favorite Interzone short story was "Heartstrung", by Rachel Swirsky (June), with its powerful central metaphor of girls removing their hearts and sewing them to their sleeves as part of their passage to adulthood. I also liked Beth Bernobich's "A Handful of Pearls" (October), a dark story about a scientist investigating an isolated island who has a troubled history -- only too disturbingly replicated when his team discovers a girl from a humanlike species on the island. Another good one is Gareth Lyn Powell's "Ack-Ack Macaque" (October), about a man's failed relationship with a woman who writes a successful anime about a monkey airship pilot. (One does wonder, between this story and the Blaschke story and David Mole's "Finisterra" in F&SF, if some stories aimed at the delightful anthology of a couple of years ago, All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories (co-edited by Moles, actually), didn't get finished in time for that book and are now appearing.) And I enjoyed Benjamin Rosenbaum's "Molly and the Red Hat" (December), a neat tale about a very young girl and her magical hat and how it saved her brother. M. John Harrison's "The Good Detective" (April), about missing persons -- people lost to the pressures or the existential stress of contemporary life. It's quite beautifully written. Other good stories came from Jay Lake, Stephen Francis Murphy, Aliette de Bodard, Tim Akers, and Ahmed A. Khan.
Stats: Interzone remains mainly focussed on SF: I'd say perhaps 22 of the 33 stories were SF, or 67%. To the best of my knowledge, 5 of the 33 were by women, just 15%. Last year the numbers were similar, 6 of 32 that I could make a determination on -- about 19%.