Throughout the anniversay year there will be two '25' columns: 25 IZ in which various editors and authors comment on the magazine's first twenty-five years, and 25 TV in which a different columnist comments on her/his personal genre highs, starting off with Stephen Volk on 25 years of genre TV.
Personal favourites in this issue are Hal Duncan's "The Whenever at the City's Heart" (which I think is phenomenal, a true tour de force), Al Reynold's "The Sledge-Maker''s Daughter" (with a great Jesse Speak illo) and Ed Morris's "Journey to the Center of the Earth".
"The Whenever at the City's Heart" is part of Al's (yes, his real name is Al) The Book of All Hours, encompassing his novels Vellum and Ink and a four story cycle of which "The Whenever..." is a part.
Those four stories are (in chronological order):
- "The City of Rotted Names" Grendelsong chapbook, illustrated by Gabe Chouinard (slated for May 2007);
- "The Prince of End Times" Solaris Book of New Fantasy (slated for December 2007);
- "The Whenever at the City’s Heart" Interzone #209 (you know you want it...;-);
- "The Tower of Morning's Bones" Moonlit Domes anthology (slated November 2007);
If the other three stories are only half as good as 'WatCH' (you don't think Al would 'code extra meaning into titles', would you?), then you should go out of your way to get them. I already ordered the Grendelsong chapbook, and will buy both the Solaris Book of New Fantasy (I already have the SF counterpart) and the Moonlit Domes anthology.
I actively solicited this story from Al at last year's FantasyCon in Nottingham, and I'm very happy that I did. Should make Year's Best's ToCs, but of course I'm prejudiced.
Ed Morris sent me "Journey to the Center of the Earth" during one of the email reading periods. All 24K of it. I looked at the length of this one (officially we have a 15K cap), shook my weary head, and thought: Ed, this had better be better than sliced bread. Then I read the novella, was completely enchanted, and thought Who needs sliced bread, anyway? I forwarded it to my colleagues, who were just as enthusiastic about it as I was.
Since a 24K story is very difficult to place in a 64-page, A4-sized illustrated magazine we decided to release it as a separate PDF for the special occasion.
Update: the first review is already posted, thanks to the folks at Tangent Online. So check out the review of IZ #209, and the separate one for the "Journey to the Center of the Earth" PDF, and see that I'm not the only one who's enthusiastic about the Hal Duncan and Ed Morris stories.