Brooke and Brown were regulars in the David Pringle-era of Interzone, and this is a story that could be straight from one of those issues.
Brown picks up the story of the spacer and the AI construct embodied in a foxy Venezualan body from the first Conflicts volume
Brown effectively paints a bleak, desert and deserted Earth.
The story skips along at a fair pace without really offering any real depth, or colour, or description (save for the opening restaurant centre) beyond the routine
Stories by Eric Brown and Jacques Barcia
John Meaney. Entangled Eyes are Smiling. Jack’s love life takes a turn for the worse when Anya leaves him. In his cups (or pints of Guinness) the Irishman is able to take advantage of the alien presence, the Zajinet, to sort things out. An implant in his brain appears to be a painless solution, but… Continue reading Interzone Number 190 July/August
Eric Brown. The Wisdom of the Dead. Interzone have published a number of stories in Brown’s ‘Kethani’ sequence. Here we are reunited with Richard – a Ferryman, who takes the bodies of the dead to the Kethani, who whisk the bodies back to their home planet, and resurrect them. This story gives more detail on… Continue reading Interzone Number 186 February 2003
Mat Coward. Time Spent in Reconnaissance. A very peculiarly British take on Roswell visitors. Having been held in utmost secrecy for decades, the aliens are being quietly released into society. A short, balding ‘Mr. Easter’ is freed to integrate into a society where people whilst they have little belief, similarly have little disbelief. Initially Eastern… Continue reading Interzone Number 181 August 2002
The publishers are at pains to point out that whilst this issue is dated ‘June/July’ this does not mean that Interzone is now publishing bi-monthly, but rather that they are trying to catch up on slippage on production. By cunning maniupulation of the space-time continuum, they are now endeavouring to have their magazine appear in… Continue reading Interzone Number 180 June/July 2002
The Frankenberg Process. Eric Brown. Shades of ‘Think Like a Dinosaur’, in that the Frankenberg Process is one which ‘translates’ copies of scientists off-Earth. However, the translation puts ‘copies’ of those scientists on planets far from Earth, leaving the originals to carry on. In a militaristic future, Freeman (none too subtle a name!) has the… Continue reading Interzone Number 171, September 2001
Flickering. Ayerdhal. Credit to Interzone for including yet more non-English SF, in this case a story from the French author who goes by the single name of Ayerdhal, and who evidently concentrates primarily on novels. A far future, galaxy spanning war with the human side facing a seemingly intransigent race, the Batiques, virtually nothing of… Continue reading Interzone Number 167, May 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… Continue reading Interzone Number 163, January 2001.
A strong collection, with the Purdom story somewhat of a struggle.
Daw and Crowther provide the goods once again, in a pocket-sized collection that manages to 15 almost invariably top quality stories.
The first volume in this new series from Solaris Books, was a safe and solid volume, half of whose 16 stories hit the mark for this reader. So what of the second volume? The back cover boasts ‘..an eclectic collection of science fiction short stories from some of the foremost luminaries in the genre..’, which,… Continue reading The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction Volume Two, ed George Mann, Solaris 2008
Sixteen stories, of which I’d say 8 hit the mark. It’s a collection of fairly traditional SF, eschewing the new speculative, as perhaps might be expected with the authors for the most being well established. The majority of the stories could have been written anytime during the 1990s, making it a good, if safe collection, and a solid start.
If it’s SFnal bang for your buck you’re after, you won’t get much better value for money than this during 2005.
Eric Brown has been writing for more than a decade, a (very) regular contributor to Interzone, and a virtually ever-present in all nine issues of Spectrum SF in the early 00’s. I certainly had felt that, how shall I put it?, that Brown was somewhat over-exposed at this point, with his Kethani/Tartarus story sequences going… Continue reading Eric Brown. Approaching Omega. Telos Publishing, 2005.
Whilst I have a suspicion that the 498 pages of the Mammoth Book of New Jules Verne Adventures may well never get read, I can confirm that the slimmer volume in hand was a most enjoyable read (concluding pun notwithstanding) in which Brown gives a convincing impersonation of M Verne. Certainly a better showpiece of Brown’s ability than his recent ‘Approaching Omega’
A nice volume to have on the shelves, with a wide range of quality content which showcases a wide range of SF, and high production values. The high price and limited print run will restrict the volume to collectors, but as the stories aren’t originals, we can’t complain that the average SF reader is being deprived.
This is a handsome hard-back book which would grace any shelf (albeit that the shape of the book will require a deep shelf!). The stories are of varying quality and SFness, but work together well. A recommended purchase for those of you who haven’t got the stories in their PS Publishing format.
The Ant-Men of Tibet. Stephen Baxter Originally in Interzone #95, May 1995. Baxter pays a classy tribute to HG Wells’ ‘The First Men in the Moon’. He has done this previously – with the novel ‘The Time Ships’, which was a sequel to ‘The Time Machine’, and the short story ‘The Columbiad’. In this story… Continue reading The Ant-Men of Tibet and other stories. Edited by David Pringle. Big Engine, 2001.