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Founded nearly 20 years ago, Interzone has, for much of that time, been the only professional magazine publishing new science fiction in Britain. Ever since the death of the pulp magazines many decades ago now, short fiction has been a neglected form in almost all genres; this is something of a shame, since it is usually in the writing and publishing of short stories that new authors develop and hone their skills before moving on to novels, and without a continual influx of new writers any genre will tend to stagnate and die. The science fiction and fantasy genres are no exception to this rule, and it is Interzone that we have to thank for initially nurturing the talents of many of the British science fiction writers who have appeared over the last twenty years, including people such as Stephen Baxter, Paul J. McAuley, Kim Newman and Eric Brown. The magazine’s current format is slightly smaller than A4 (it is also sold in America, where European A4 is disliked as it is apparently too large to sit on newsagent shelves), and the magazine runs to 68 pages with a full-colour front and back cover and greyscale interior. There are usually around six short stories in the science fiction or fantasy genres, although there is no sword-and-sorcery or other populist tosh published in this magazine, most of which (at least two-thirds) come from British writers, with the remainder usually from Americans (although the magazine has also featured writers from, off the top of my head, Australia, Japan and Yugoslavia in the past year or so as well). The quality of the fiction is high, and in 1995 this was recognised when Interzone won the Hugo award, the only British magazine ever to do so. As well as the fiction the magazine also contains factual articles and reviews, with interviews with sf, fantasy and horror authors and occasional one-off discussion articles being supplemented by the Regulars, including Mutant Popcorn, a brilliant film review column by Nick
Lowe, Ansible Link, a gossip page by hugely popular fan writer David Langford, and Reader’s Letters column called Interaction. The magazine also features in-depth book reviews by such people as Paul J. McAuley, Chris Gilmore, David Mathew and others, which are probably the best in the science fiction field; if Interzone says a book is good, then I usually take it as read that it actually IS (although with the sheer number of book reviewed by the magazine it would be sheer insanity to attempt to buy them all!). The magazine is sold in certain newsagents (that is, in fact, where I picked up my first copy), but finding a particular newsagent that does sell it is not always easy since its distribution in that area is not as strong as it could be. Interzone is also sold in some bookshops and specialist sci-fi stores, however the best bet is probably to take out a postal subscription, and this is one of the few magazines that I would actually recommend as worthy of such an investment. Information on how to do this can be found at Interzone’s official website at www.sfsite.com/interzone. Any science fiction fan (and most fans of fantasy and even horror) should find something to appreciate in this magazine. Even those people whose only interaction with sf is on television and at the cinema and who would never dream of going into Dillons and buying a hard-sf hardback should buy this magazine; it will convert you, as it did me some two years ago. Recommended unreservedly.