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The first few issues of Interzone...

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  • Stephen_E_Andrews
    replied
    I'd long parted with the first issue, so I'd forgotten that. Thanks for reminding us, David.

    I stuck with Interzone into the early nineties, but as I've indicated, found it less and less satisfying. Speaking entirely subjectively, I think I'm very much of the generation who saw the dominance of British SF publishing by the likes of Ballard, Priest, Harrison, MM, Aldiss, Roberts and similarly 'literary' SF writers as a good thing. But it was almost inevitable that a younger generation would come along to claim SF, especially since the authors I cite almost all ended up seeing their books marketed as mainstream literary novels.

    I guess I'm still rankling at that editorial Pringle wrote about optimism blah blah. Gloomy old New Waver, me!

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  • David Mosley
    replied
    Mike's contribution to the début issue of Interzone was an extract from The Brothel in Rosenstrasse, not the most sf of his '80s output it must be said.

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  • Stephen_E_Andrews
    replied
    Originally posted by opaloka View Post
    Not innacurate but, in their defense, I think it's an expression of the economics of doing a magazine and trying to be a going concern! They had to keep some money coming in and they had to appeal to people. Also, how many writers are working in that anti-tradition tradition? Is it enough to fill up a magazine with reasonable quality stuff on a regular basis? Perhaps they had to go with what they were being supplied with as much as what they wanted.

    I have to confess toi being a Stephen Baxter fan, maybe not earth shattering stuff but theres nothing wrong with a tiny smidgen of science in science fiction and they are fun and quick to read. I've never actually read one where the cover indicated the contents accurately, sort of like those ubiquitous Frazetta style covers in the seventies that always showed a muscle guy with a sword and a woman writhing at his feet, or the Hildebrandt style covers that were on every fantasy from the eighties. As for spaceships, I'd be happier if they did get Foss to do them!
    I don't disagree on the point re finding a market, that's taken as read, as without people to buy the magazine, it would have folded. It's just that I didn't personally find Interzone's stance from the late eighties on as being very innovative or radical, something I like my SF to be.

    No issue with Foss either - I like his work more now than I did years ago. By 'Foss-style covers' I meant to indicate the habitual knee-jerk reaction of publishers to out a spaceship on the cover of everything -again a commercial decision - when I'd prefer to see more original cover designs that match the idea of the spirit of SF as looking for new angles.

    Don't get me wrong, I love all kinds of SF - I wrote a book about it after all - and I'm well aware of the commercial realities, having worked in the book trade since 1984. But my personal expectations of SF's development do diverge from those commercial realities sometimes.

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  • opaloka
    replied
    Not innacurate but, in their defense, I think it's an expression of the economics of doing a magazine and trying to be a going concern! They had to keep some money coming in and they had to appeal to people. Also, how many writers are working in that anti-tradition tradition? Is it enough to fill up a magazine with reasonable quality stuff on a regular basis? Perhaps they had to go with what they were being supplied with as much as what they wanted.

    I have to confess toi being a Stephen Baxter fan, maybe not earth shattering stuff but theres nothing wrong with a tiny smidgen of science in science fiction and they are fun and quick to read. I've never actually read one where the cover indicated the contents accurately, sort of like those ubiquitous Frazetta style covers in the seventies that always showed a muscle guy with a sword and a woman writhing at his feet, or the Hildebrandt style covers that were on every fantasy from the eighties. As for spaceships, I'd be happier if they did get Foss to do them!

    Leave a comment:


  • Stephen_E_Andrews
    replied
    Interzone was described as 'a pallid successor to New Worlds' in something I read - definitely a book as I'm sure this paraphrased quotation is from something in my collection.

    An uncharitable statement, but arguably true at the beginning. I seem to recall the lineup of authors contributing stories to the first issues were Ballard, Carter, Harrison, Roberts, one new author and (possibly) MM ? Or was it Chris Priest? Either way, the contents and the title, referencing William S. Burroughs, did suggest that the magazine would continue the literary/experimental anti-tradition of New Worlds.

    Unfortunately, Interzone's search for new authors ended up publishing mostly dull writers who were eager to leap back on board the tired space opera bandwagon once Iain M. Banks proved the reading public still wanted such things with Consider Phlebas (look at British SF by British authors issued by British publishers between the late seventies and Phlebas and you'll find a marked lack of traditional SF and a definite leaning toward literary SF).

    But then they had to get sales and a new generation typified by Stephen Baxter et all were keen to write books with Chris Foss style covers....so perhaps we can blame Interzone for the generally rather dull techno-obsessed skiffy we've had to endure since.

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  • A_Non_Ymous
    replied
    Pretty much as I remember it.

    As I read Pringle's statement (and other remarks he has made on the subject), they weren't trying to recreate New Worlds. That's impossible. They were trying to fill the gap left by the disappearance of the major British sf magazines.

    That might succeed in part in recapturing the erstwhile New Worlds readership, but I don't think it was designed that way. To me, the intentions of Interzone seem much more modest than those of New Worlds.

    Interzone has, of course, published a number of good stories in the last 20+ years. I am not running the magazine down. It's just...different.

    LSN

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  • David Mosley
    replied
    Don't know if you know this or not, but the following is from the Editorial to the first issue of Interzone (Vol 1 No 1 Spring 1982):

    Originally posted by David Pringle
    "For ten years or more there has been a gap in British magazine publishing. We have lacked a popular magazine devoted to intelligent science fiction and fantasy - and to the other types of imaginative prose which lie on the borders of those genres. Interzone is a new attempt to close that gap, and to bring before a fairly wide but discerning readership the best fantastic fiction we can find. This first issue contains original contributions from Angela Carter, M. John Harrison, MM, Keith Roberts and John Sladek - all writers will well-established names. Our second issue will also feature several well-established names. But in addition we intend to run stories by new writers. We believe that the nurturing of new authors is one of the principal reasons for the necessity of this magazine. Established writers - by definition - have established markets; publishers are willing to invest in their works; they have proved themselves. And in most cases the established imaginative writers of today first proved themselves in magazines - in publications such as Science Fantasy and New Worlds which no longer exist. We wish to enlarge the opportunities for the emergence of new writers; we want to prepare the ground for major talents to come. Interzone hopes to develop within the tradition of the best British magazines of the past, but that's not to say it will be a close copy of the bygone magazines: this is emphatically a new magazine for a new decade..."
    Bet you thought this question would never get an answer. ;)

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  • Zax
    started a topic The first few issues of Interzone...

    The first few issues of Interzone...

    Anyone else remember that period? Based on the authors presented in the early issues I recall getting the impression that the magazine was going to be, in effect, a continuation of New Worlds. Carter, Ballard, MM, the usual suspects... Anyone got any insights? Was there a conscious attempt to recapture that specific readership, I wonder?
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