Interzone #252 (May-Jun 2014)


Neil Williamson. The Posset Pot.

A bleak, virtually deserted Glasgow, with but one chink of light.

Aird is alone in the city, saved for his older companion Ettrick. The city is being gradually replaced – shimmering bubbles appear in the city, removing that which they encompass, and replacing it with -something- from -somewhere-. Aird is still in the city as his girlfriend had the misfortune of being enclosed in a bubble, and transported away. And Aird clings to the hope that she will return, or he will be able to follow her.

Katharine E.K. Duckett. The Mortuaries.

The world has gone to pot, and with little future, the fashion is for the departed to be plastinated and displayed in life-like poses and settings in a mammoth mortuary, where relatives of the deceased come to view them.

Young Tem lives in a crowded apartment with his extended family, and when his father dies, his mother’s decision as to what to do with the body leads to family breakup, and he seeks solace, and finds friendship in an altogether darker mortuary. Strange and unsettling…

Val Nolan. Diving into the Wreck.

The wreck in question being The Eagle, the ascent stage of Apollo 11, long-lost on the Moon.

When it is finally found, it brings some history to the fore, some old relationships and losses, and there are differing opinions at the close, leading to a dramatic denouement.

Oliver Buckram. Two Truths and a Lie.

Short love story, looking at a potentially strange relationship, told through the two truths/one lie mechanism. I will put the story forward for the Best SF Short Story Award 2014. This review is in the form of a two truths/one lie paragraph.

Claire Humphrey. A Brief Light.

A relationship between a couple has to cope with the palpable presence of the spirit of a dead person, and a visit from the mother-in-law on account of the unwanted presence of a dead sibling, a same-sex relationship for one of the partners.

Nicely told, but a bit offputting as it’s the second story I’ve read in a couple of months featuring a couple having trouble with the undead, with a very much alive mother in law factored in to the equation (the first being D.M. Armstrong’s ‘Butterscotch’)

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam. Sleepers.

Meme ahoy!

It’s all very confusing. The last story I reviewed was Jo Walton’s ‘Sleeper’, so I’m going to confuse Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam’s ‘Sleepers’ with that on. And this story about a nebulous undead follows on directly from this issue of Interzone in featuring a story about society being plagued by a nebulous undead, the previous one being Claire Humphrey’s ‘Brief Light‘, in which I commented on that being the second story in recent weeks about the nebulous undead, following on from D.M. Armstrong’s ‘Butterscotch.

So, for the record, this story features a daughter struggling with her father, who is in intensive care, having her lost her mother not long since. Are the nebulous ghostlike apparitions that appear at night harbingers of something?


Duckett the pick of the issue.

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