One of the true pillars of the British SF&F community is about to celebrate the big quarter of a century marker: yes, folks, believe it or not, Interzone turns twenty five with the next issue due on the 10th of March. Andy Cox, who is also responsible for the excellent The Third Alternative, tells me that the March-April anniversary issue will be packed with must-read articles, including short stories by M John Harrison, Gwyneth Jones, Alastair Reynolds, James Barras and Daniel Kaysen, while Hal Duncan, literary tart that he is, has both a short story in there and an interview as his Second Book of All Hours: Ink comes out, a truly stunning and multi-faceted book and sequel to the astonishing debut novel Vellum. I think I would summarise it best as a ‘quantum headf**k’ of a book (that’s a literary term, honest) and, just like sub-atomic particles simply looking at the words can change everything. Yes, it really is that good – very, very hard work and makes the reader seriously think and engage with it, but very much worth that mental effort). Think Grant Morrison’s Invisibles with a side helping of Michael Moorcock, Bryan Talbot’s Luther Arkwright and some strangely unique multi-dimensional quality that comes from a dark and strange place inside Hal.
Stephen Volk has a good feature looking back at some of the top telefantasy that has been broadcast during Interzone’s quarter century (some you will expect, like the X-Files, Star Trek the Next Generation, others, equally brilliant but remembered less except by we geeks, like the seminal 80s nuclear-political thriller Edge of Darkness or Joe Ahearne’s brilliant reworking of the vampire mythos for the modern day with Ultraviolet). Sarah Ash casts her eye over ‘manga for grown-ups’ with a look at Eternal Sabbath and Basilisk from Del Rey, there are the usual compliment of film and book reviews (including the upcoming Execution Channel from Ken MacLeod, which is one of the books I am most looking forward to this year) and more; there will even be a free novella by Edward Morris to download from the site – this is the issue that goes on giving!
It really is hard to overestimate the influence of Interzone in British SF circles; how many now bestselling authors got their early tastes of SF through its pages? And how many first got their name in front of readers with their short fiction in those self-same pages? As 2000AD has been both a great comic to read and a great hotbed for nurturing new Brit talent, so too has been Interzone to the SF&F novelists and, like 2000AD in its 30th year it is hard to imagine how different it would have been had it not been there, so we should celebrate this landmark birthday. After all, how many journals do you know who can boast anniversary messages from Neal Asher, Michael Moorcock and the great Arthur C Clarke in the same issue? Happy 25th to Interzone and many more to come; issue #209 should be on sale on the 10th of March.