Tag Archives: Interzone

Mythic Journeys

I am a huge lover of myths and legends, so am a very happy bunny to be included in “Mythic Journeys: Myths & Legends Retold” from Night Shade Books, edited by Paula Guran.

Mythic Journeys Edited by Paula Guran

Table of Contents:

Introduction: A Map or Maybe Not

“Lost Lake” – Emma Straub and Peter Straub
“White Lines on a Green Field” – Catherynne M. Valente
“Trickster” – Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due
“Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” – Brooke Bolander
“A Memory of Wind” – Rachel Swirsky
“Leda” – M. Rickert
“Chivalry” – Neil Gaiman
“The God of Au” – Ann Leckie
“Faint Voices, Increasingly Desperate” – Anya Johanna DeNiro
“Ogres of East Africa” – Sofia Samatar
“Ys” – Aliette de Bodard
“The Gorgon” – Tanith Lee
“Merlin Dreams in the Mondream Wood” – Charles de Lint
“Calypso in Berlin” – Elizabeth Hand
“Seeds” – Lisa L. Hannett and Angela Slatter
“Wonder-Worker-of-the-World” – Nisi Shawl
“Thesea and Astaurius” – Priya Sharma
“Foxfire, Foxfire” – Yoon Ha Lee
“Owl vs. the Neighborhood Watch” – Darcie Little Badger
“How to Survive an Epic Journey” – Tansy Rayner Roberts
“Simargl and the Rowan Tree” – Ekaterina Sedia
“The Ten Suns” – Ken Liu
“Armless Maidens of the American West” – Genevieve Valentine
“Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream” – Maria Dahvana Headley
“Zhyuin” – John Shirley
“Immortal Snake” – Rachel Pollack
“A Wolf in Iceland Is the Child of a Lie” – Sonya Taaffe


My story is a reworking of the Minotaur myth, with Thesea instead of Theseus. It was originally published in Interzone (Issue 246) and reprinted in Steve Haynes’ Best British Fantasy 2014.

“Daddy, you’re telling it wrong.”
“Am I?”
Thesea smiles at her husband and daughter.
“You tell it then,” he says to the child.
“King Minos prayed to Poseidon, who sent him a magic bull but Minos didn’t sacrifice it like he was supposed to, so Aphrodite made Minos’ wife fall in love with it.”
Only the gods inflict love as a punishment, Thesea thinks.
“The bull and queen made a baby called the Minotaur.” Thesea’s glad that she’s too young to be concerned with the details. She bares her teeth and draws her fingers into claws. “It was a monster.”
“The Minotaur had a bull’s head on a man’s body.” Their son; older, placid, lacking his sibling’s drama.
“I’m telling it. Minos made Daedalus, his inventor, build the labyrinth to hold the Minotaur. He fed it human sacrifices that were sent from Athens.”
“Really?” her father asks.
“Yes, then Athens sent a prince called Theseus who was so handsome that Ariadne, Minos’ daughter, gave him a sword to kill the Minotaur and string to find his way out of the maze.”
She has no interest in being Ariadne. She leaps about pretending to be Theseus, imaginary sword in hand.
“Calm down,” Thesea puts an arm around her and draws her in. “You’ve all got it wrong. Listen and I’ll tell you what really happened.”

-Thesea and Astaurius

If you want to know a little more, you can find it here.

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Interzone Review of Mad Hatters and March Hares

Thanks to Andy Hedgecock for his review of “Mad Hatters and March Hares” (edited by Ellen Datlow) in Interzone 274.

“Ellen Datlow will have soon edited 100 anthologies. An impressive achievement in itself, but one accentuated by the positive critical reception those books have elicited. In her introduction to “Mad Hatters and  March Hares”, Datlow reveals her lifelong fascination with Lewis Carroll’s Alice books and the enduring pleasure she has taken in the art and films they have inspired. So it’s just as well that this is a stimulating, rich varied collection of stories….there’s whimsy, dirty realism, surrealism, dark fantasy and metafiction.”

Hedgecock describes “Moon, and Memory, and Muchness” by Katherine Vaz as a tour de force. Of Kaaron Warren’s “Eating the Alice Cake” that it’s a harrowing tale but an emotionally gripping and necessary one. Stephen Graham Jones’  horrific “Alis” is a tightly controlled piece of writing and Jones produces an interesting riff on the notion of minatory mirror and its inverted realities. 

“In terms of drawing inspiration from Carroll’s Alice and gheading off somewhere entirely unexpected, Priya Sharma’s “Mercury” sets the bar exceeding highly…using fiction to explore the boundaries between madness and imagination is an activity fraught with pitfalls relating to coherence, plausibility and taste, but Sharma’s liminal tale wanders between the debatable lands of historical fantasy and historical realism with quiet assurance.”

“Mad Hatters and March Hares is an impressive and consistently original collection that includes several exceptionally good short stories – then contributions from Priya Sharma, Jeffrey Ford and Richard Bowes are three of then best stories I’ve read in the last couple of years. Another rich, varied and entertaining anthology from Ellen Datlow.”

Interzone 274

Mad Hatters and March Hares


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Mithila Review Issue 9

Issue 9 of Mithila Review, the journal of international science fiction and fantasy, is now Mithila Review Issue 9out.

It contains interviews, roundtable discussions, reviews, essays and poetry.

I am proud to be included with a reprint of “Blonde”, a story which originally appeared in Interzone (Issue 260 / Sept 2015). I’m also part of the roundtable on Women in Colour in Speculative Fiction alongside S.B Divya, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Shveta Thakrar, Mimi Mondal and Isha Karki

Read “Blonde”  and Women of Color in Speculative Fiction online.

Down epub/mobi of the entire issue at:

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Reviews of Interzone 260 stories by Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford, passionate advocate for short sci fi and fantasy fiction, has chosen two stories from issue 260 of Interzone to review on 862_large[1]his blog as “story of the week”.

Jason is a writer himself and his accolades include being a Nebula Best Novella finalist, a multiple Interzone Readers’ Poll winner and a BSFA nominee. He cofounded literary journal, southStory. His essays and reviews have been published in SF Signal, The New York Review of Science Fiction and The Pedestal Magazine.

Jason says of  “No Rez” by Jeff Noon

The rez in the title refers to resolution, as in the number of pixels available for seeing in this futuristic world. Thanks to artificially enhanced eyes humanity can access not only our own limited field of vision but also the countless cameras and devices recording everything in life. This creates an overwhelming range of what you can see, a high-rez view of the world which both overwhelms and subsumes what it means to be human….This is what science fiction short stories should be. The closest I can come to describing this story is to say it combines the narrative urgency of Samuel R. Delany’s “Aye, and Gomorrah…” with the all-encompassing world creation of William Gibson’s Neuromancer. But “No Rez” is also totally different than these examples, a story like no other. “No Rez” is a primal scream of a story swallowing the reasoned insanity of today’s ever connected world.

Full review here.

Of my story, “Blonde”-

“Blonde” is a gripping, eerie, well-written tale with the most compelling Rapunzel I’ve ever read. And unlike any Disney reworking of the fairy tale, this story retains its razor-slice edge as it presents a thought-provoking examination of the stereotypes and beliefs which influence the world around us.

I’ve long loved Sharma’s stories — for my money she’s one of the most underappreciated short fiction writers in the SF/F genre. She’s also one of the few writers who could convince me to take a chance on a fairy tale retelling. In this case I’m glad I did.

Full review here.

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Blonde, illustrated by Martin Hanford.“When did you go bald?”
Only Clarice would ask such a forthright question.
“Leave her alone,” Jake drains his beer. Only he would dare contradict his sister.
The clock hands have gone from late at night to early in the morning. Jake’s bar is empty of customers. The staff, who are sitting round the table, fall silent, intent on their drinks.
“It’s okay,” Rapunzel says. “I was sick and it all fell out.”
Her scalp is shiny, every follicle devoid of life. Nor does she have any eyebrows. Or hair elsewhere for that matter.
“What colour was it?”
There’s a pause, then laughter.
Jake nudges her. “You’re a joker after all.”
She knows what he thinks of her. That she’s vague and evasive and hasn’t a clue what’s going on most of the time.
“Lucky you’re beautiful enough to be bald,” he adds.
Rapunzel touches the nape of her neck where she feels most exposed and tries not to smile.

From my story, “Blonde”, Issue 260 of Interzone, now available from TTA Press.

Thanks to Andy Cox for including this story.

862_large[1]The September-October issue of Britain’s longest running science fiction and fantasy magazine contains new stories by John Shirley, Jeff Noon, Priya Sharma, C.A. Hawksmoor, Christien Gholson. The 2015 cover artist is Martin Hanford, and interior colour illustrations are by Richard Wagner, Dave Senecal, Martin Hanford, Warwick Fraser-Coombe. Features: Where O Where Has My Hugo Gone? by Ian Sales; Ansible Link by David Langford (news and obits); Mutant Popcorn by Nick Lowe (film reviews); Laser Fodder by Tony Lee (DVD/Blu-ray reviews); Book Zone (book reviews); Jonathan McCalmont’s Future Interrupted (comment); Nina Allan’s Time Pieces (comment); and Shaun Green interviews Becky Chambers.

857[1] 856_large[1] 855_large[1] Interzone 260





Interzone’s sister magazine, Black Static is also out at the same time, and it promises to be a great issue with the line-up listed below.

Black Static 48The September-October issue contains new novelettes and short stories by Jeffrey Thomas, Cate Gardner, Steven J. Dines, Andrew Hook, and Stephen Bacon. The cover art is by Martin Hanford, and interior illustrations are by Joachim Luetke, Tara Bush, and Richard Wagner. Features: Coffinmaker’s Blues by Stephen Volk (comment); Notes From the Borderland by Lynda E. Rucker (comment); Case Notes by Peter Tennant (book reviews and an interview with Simon Kurt Unsworth); Blood Spectrum by Tony Lee (DVD/Blu-ray reviews).


864_large[1] Black Static 48 867_large[1] 866_large[1] 865_large[1]




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Andy Cox has sent me the preliminary layout for “Blonde” which will be out in September’s issue of Interzone magazine. The artwork is by Martin Hanford.

Thanks Andy and Martin!

Blonde, illustrated by Martin Hanford.

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Story Acceptance : Interzone

Thanks to Andy Cox for accepting my short story, “Blonde”, for Interzone.

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Happy Birthday Interzone

Happy 250th Birthday to Interzone!

Check out The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction for the history of the magazine but here’s the cover of the first ever issue. Seeing Angela Carter’s name makes me shiver.

Issue 250 has cover art by Wayne Haag. There are seven stories, by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, David Tallerman, the wonderful Georgina Bruce, C. Allegra Hawksmoor, Rebecca Campbell, Greg Kurzawa, Caroline M. Yoachim, all illustrated in glorious full colour by Ben Baldwin, Richard Wagner, Martin Hanford, and Dave Senecal. All the usual regular features are present, including David Langford’s 200th Ansible Link; Book Zone, including an interview with Libby McGugan; Nick Lowe’s Mutant Popcorn (film reviews); Tony Lee’s Laser Fodder (DVD/Blu-ray reviews).

Black Static 38 is dedicated to the memory of Joel Lane (1963–2013), and Nicholas Royle pays tribute in ‘The Conscience of the Circuit’. The front and back cover art is by Joachim Luetke. Long and short stories are by John Grant, Andrew Hook, Maura McHugh, Tim Waggoner, Danny Rhodes, and Malcolm Devlin makes his debut. Peter Tennant reviews a great many books and interviews author Gary Fry. Tony Lee reviews DVDs/Blu-rays. Lynda Rucker and Stephen Volk supply their usual comment columns.

Interzone1[1]   647_large[1]  648_large[1]

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Accolades for Ray Cluley and Interzone

The winners of the British Fantasy Awards 2013 have been announced. Ray Cluley won the short story category with Shark! Shark! which appeared in Black Static (issue 29). It couldn’t have happened to a better story or a nicer bloke, despite some very tough competition.

Interzone, Black Static’s sister magazine at TTA Press, edited by Andy Cox, won the best magazine/periodical category.

A big congratulations to both. I know it’s smug to say this but in a previous post I put my money where my mouth is and stated that Shark! Shark! was my favourite short story of the year. It cleverly deconstructs a whole film genre while managing to be funny and horrible at the same time, which is no mean feat.




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Stuff for September

The Best Horror of the Year Volume 5, edited by Ellen Datlow,  is now available in print from Amazon UK, Amazon US and by order from your local The Best Horror of the Year Volume 5 bookshop. I’m delighted that it contains “The Ballad of Boomtown”, my short story that appeared in issue 28 of Black Static.

Ellen’s Honorable Mentions shortlist for the anthology also contains “Pearls” (issue 4 of Bourbon Penn).

“Needlepoint” (issue 242 of Interzone) and“Fish Skins” (issue 42 of Albedo One)  are on her longlist.

So, many many thanks to Ellen Datlow, Andy Cox of TTA Press, Eric Secker of Bourbon Penn and the editorial team of Albedo One (John Kenny, Bob Neilson, Peter Loftus, David Murphy and Frank Ludlow).


Mark Lord, editor of Alt Hist, has published interviews with all the authors who appeared in the last issue. If you want to read the interview with me that relates to my story, “After Mary”, it’s here.

Alt Hist Issue 5

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