Interzone Number 163, January 2001.

Catch the Sleep Ship: the first science-fiction story of the century. George Zebrowski.

Complements the author’s “The last science fiction story of the twentieth century” (Interzone #162, December 2000).

In this short tale an old sci-fi writer (sic) looks back on the days (cover illustrations supplied) when he and his colleagues used their talents to predict the futures they want – and those which they do not. He looks to find a way to realise those futures for himself.

Speedstream. James Lovegrove.

Robert Stoneham is one of society’s elite: a Fogg, travelling ever higher through timestreams, sightseeing in increasingly strange and alternate cities, seeking the ultimate nirvana of The Continuum. Like the historical Phileas Fogg he too has a Passepartout, although his is electronic.

Fogg fears that he is being trailed by someone wishing to slow his progress, and he has to start from the beginning once more, before confronting his nemesis.

An inventive and well-written story.

A New Beginning. Tony Ballantyne.

A couple in London come into contact with the strange and mysterious alien that has settled in their part of town, and are infected by it. The wide range of infections introduced by the aliens are becoming popular: from Blue Grass to the musical String Symphony to the unpleasant Scabs (ewww!)

The aliens’ motivation becomes chillingly clear as the couple’s relationship falls apart, and post-humanity beckons.

Return to Cockaigne. Paul Di Filippo.

Three adults return, after a long absence, to the magical land of Cockaigne which they frequented in their youths.

Given the wherewithal so to do once more by the mysterious Iatros, they find, in their heroic guises of Aniatis, Dormender and Yodsess, that the other member of their original group has let their ambrosial land fall into rack and ruin.

Di Filippo packs a lot into a short space – others would take 700 pages to cover this ground! (But his closing trick is a bit mean – [spoiler]

The Children of Winter. Eric Brown.

Ak-helion is a city on the planet of Fortune, which has a long, long, bitterly cold dark winter, and a short, roasting summer.

Jen is in his 18th term, approaching maturity and Initiation as the summer approaches. A chance meeting with a Blue, a member of the indigenous race, which rapidly becomes his first love affair, creates a crisis for him. This crisis heightens when at the Initiation, held at the mysterious starship, there is outlined some challenging historical information, which itself is later challenged.

A strong story.

Other stuff.

  • Letters and Ansible Link
  • Molly Brown interviews Juliet McKenna
  • Nick Lowe reviews David Twohy’s Pitch Black, Harold Ramis’ Bedazzled (cue photo of scantily dressed Liz Hurley), Disney’s The Kid, Willard Carroll’s Tom’s Midnight Garden, Lhe Little Vampire
  • Jayme Lynn Blaschke interviews Charles de Lint
  • Gary Westfahl looks at Robert Heinlein’s view of the year 2001 and contrasts it with, and points out its contribution to AC Clarke’s 2001.
  • Chris Gilmore reviews Walter Moer’s The 131/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear, Robert Rankin’s Waiting for Godalming, Caroline Stevermer’s When the King Comes Home, and Suzanna Alles Blom’s Inca’s: the Scarlet Fringe.
  • Paul Beardsley reviews some Dr. Who books
  • Tim Robins reviews at length Michael Moorcock’s King of the City
  • John K. Brady reviews Michel Delville’s biography of J.G.Ballard (titled thus)
  • David V. Barrett reviews a new edition of Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur
  • Books Received

Conclusion

A very good issue, with a good range, and each story well written.

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