Wednesday, 26 November 2008

New Interzone!

Highlights from issue 219:

Butterfly, Falling At Dawn - a short story by Aliette de Bodard, set in an alternative history where Aztec culture survived the European invaders becoming Greater Mexica. The plot here is a fairly straightforward whodunnit set in the near future - it's the characters and the setting that make this story stand out.

The editorial takes issue with "positive sf's cheerleaders" and makes it clear that, at least in Interzone, sf shouldn't ignore crises, or focus on technological fixes. Not sure if I agree or not. A change to the universe, say the introduction of a new tech, creates moral implications and potentials for accident or misuse - but the potential for good, particularly the most imaginative extrapolations, is also there to be explored. And there's a lot of negative sf that just seems to rehash the same 1984 scenario with minor variations. From a literary point of view I do accept there's a need for a certain amount of angst or discomfort to make a plot interesting. I just think sci-fi still has the potential to inspire as well as scare, and should be a place to find new and exotic ideas of any kind.

Tony Lee reviews the Colour of Magic DVD. Some quotes: "This is not an objective review...," "I have developed a numbingly phobic, debilitatingly allergic reaction to gurning wizards in floppy hats," "A pox on it's rancid cheesy cliches, lame sightseeing gags, telegraphed Tolkien twists, desperately overworked bits of aimless busyness, solipsistic remarks and throwaway pantomime blathering."

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