Twenty-two years elapsed between the publication of these two issues (#s 9 and 207, the first I ever bought and the most recent) of INTERZONE
, Britain's leading sf short story magazine. In fact, next year is Interzone's 25th anniversary. That kind of longevity, given the nature of the UK short fiction market, is a frankly astounding achievement. Much of the credit belongs to David Pringle, who was a key player in the magazine's creation and, from the late 80s on, its sole editor and driving force, and to Andy Cox who took over the reins a couple of years ago and re-invented it (perhaps even saved it) for the 21st century.
#s 206 and 207 are the first issues I've read cover to cover in a while, and they're good enough to make me think I should get a subscription again, having let my last one lapse years ago. I'd almost forgotten how much I like a good short story mag - there's a particular kind of uncertain, optimistic anticipation, since you never know quite what you're going to find inside, and somehow reading a magazine always feels to me like a more participatory
experience than reading a book. Anyone who likes their sf varied, well-written and nicely presented (not to mention accompanied by some good non-fiction) should give at least one issue of INTERZONE a try.
That illegible list of contributors on the cover of #9, by the way: Brian Aldiss, JG Ballard, Thomas M Disch, M John Harrison. Wow. Those were the days.
I bought my Interzones from Transreal Fiction
(doing my bit to support my local independent bookseller and all that) which gives me a tenuous but convenient excuse to mention the signed copies
thing. I didn't imagine there'd be any particular interest in getting my autograph on copies of Winterbirth
, which just goes to show how little I know (fortunately, I'm sufficiently accustomed to being proved wrong that it came as a mere surprise rather than some kind of terrible shock). There's still just about time to join in. Contact Transreal - details on their website - and they'll willingly sell you a signed (and dedicated, if you like) copy: the perfect Xmas present, since it not only makes the giver and receiver happy but also me and the guy who runs Transreal. Everybody wins!