Interzone, Number 157, July 2000

Hideaway, Alastair Reynolds.

Far future, with humanity in dire straits. The enigmatic Waymakers have, perhaps, left one route to safety with their Waynet, which may be a Krasnikov tube. Merlin is determined to try this route using one of the remaining srynix. With the Huskers closing in, another opportunity appears – to hide. The twin planets of Ghost and Cinder however offer more than a chance to hide…

Another far-future hard sf drama, similar to the author’s Galactic North. The story is only slightly spoilt by the handling of the chronological jumps, for example: ‘”There are definitely tunnels here,” Sayace said, years later.’ and ‘Several months later Merlin buckled on an immersion suit;’ which suggest that Sayace had been waiting some years to speak, and that Merlin had been waiting to buckle on his suit fo several months. The sub-plot concerning the Waynet and the syrix are not fully described, and perhaps that story element could have been left for another story, but these are minor points which barely detract from an otherwise excellent, lengthy, story. An illuminating author interview follows.

Antibodies, Charles Stross.

Stross writes for a PC magazine, which shows in the early parts of this story. If you have an aversion to either computers or maths, you may struggle with this story. If you are computer phobic *and* innumerate, then don’t bother! Mathematical theorems and computing lead to Edinburgh, and far beyond. Excellent stuff.

A Very British History, Paul J. McAuley

Charming alternate-history non-fiction, in which the British Empire dominates the space race. Some clever touches.

The Train, Zoran Zivkovic

Serbian short story, describing an encounter between a passenger and someone who is much more than simply a fellow passenger. Neither SF nor fantasy, the kind of story about an encounter, a promise, and a twist in the tale, that has been written many, many times before.

Out to Grass, Roy Gray

A new author, in which a genmod athlete decides that he wishes to reverse engineer his mods to return to some semblance of normality. Neatly written. The author also appears in this issue with one of his irregular theatre reviews.

Other bits

Film reviews, book reviews, Ansible Link, and an essay on the fate of prehistoric man give further value to this issue. The first 3 stories are Well Worth Reading, which makes this issue of Interzone another good collection.

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