Gary's Reviews > Interzone #274

Interzone #274 by Andy Cox
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There are seven new short stories in the new Interzone, all in the fair-to-good range, but no real fire starters. Two of them stood out for me:
“Schrodinger’s” by Julie C. Day has the craftiest premise – two strippers and a physicist open a strip club that puts the titular scientist’s famous theorem into practice. The imagery, especially detailing what goes on inside the club’s “quantum refrigerator”, is prismatic and multifarious, and the two dancers-turned-entrepreneurs have a sweet and affecting relationship. The story ends up trailing off in a direction that didn’t thrill me, but it’s still a solid story with a lot of fun stuff going on.
Hjordis is a teenage girl living in the year 2681, who is also a teenage boy named Saif, dying of pancreatic cancer in 2018, in Michael Reid’s “Never the Twain”. Since the cure for cancer doesn’t arrive until 2203, Hjordis/Saif can’t save his 2018 self without screwing up the timeline. A great SF premise, with a very affecting rendering of the dual experience of its main character(s), especially when Saif’s condition worsens and Hjordis has to experience the disease ravaging his body like a waking nightmare.
There are also the usual columns, two of which make some very bold and potentially controversial assertions about contemporary SF:
Jonathan McCalmont states that this is his last turn writing Future Interrupted, and it’s a doozy: the author blasts what he calls reactionary narratives masquerading as progressive celebrations of diversity. His applies his argument mainly to the new “Star Trek: Discovery”, but also calls out authors John Scalzi, Ann Leckie, and Yoon Ha Lee for reveling in stories of violence and domination instead of relating the experiences of the marginalized and oppressed. Not the kind of thing fans (including myself) want to hear, but food for thought nonetheless.
This issue’s Time Pieces by Nina Allan imagines what science fiction might have been like without Hugo Gernsback, the Amazing Stories publisher who essentially invented the genre as we know it today. She suggests that Gernsback, and the SF fandom he fostered into being, turned speculative fiction into an insular, self-reverential genre that refused to engage with mainstream literary fiction, hence depriving the world of SF literature that could be discussed in conjunction with it.
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Reading Progress

April 6, 2018 – Started Reading
April 6, 2018 – Shelved
April 11, 2018 – Finished Reading

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