IZ #294, the latest issue

IZ #294, the latest issue

The long running British1 SF Magazine Interzone has a new home and new editor, Gareth Jelley, starting with issue 294.

It's also got a swanky new format ("JB6"): a perfect-bound, paperback novel size, perfect for fitting into an oversize coat or jeans pocket for reading on the train.

I started reading Interzone in around 2003, having picked up an issue (#176) from Feb 2002 that was languishing on the shelves in Forbidden Planet. Once I discovered it I wondered why it had taken me so long. That issue introduced me to Greg Egan. I bought a number of back issues on eBay, to grab issues with stories by people including Terry Pratchett, Iain Banks, Alastair Reynolds, and others.

IZ #194: The first by TTA press

IZ #194: The first by TTA press

A short while later in early 2004, after 22 years, Interzone's owner and editorship changed from David Pringle to Andy Cox and TTA Press. I can remember the initial transition was very jarring: the cover emphasised expanding into coverage of Manga, Graphic Novels and Video Games (which ultimately didn't happen) but after a short period of experimentation it quickly settled down into a similarly fantastic read. I particularly liked the move to a smaller, perfect-bound form-factor in 2012.

I had to double-check this but I'd been reading IZ throughout the TTA era and it lasted 18 years! Throughout that time I have discovered countless fantastic authors that I would otherwise never have experienced. Some (but by no means all) are Dominic Green, Daniel Kaysen, Chris Beckett, Cécile Cristofari, Aliya Whiteley, Tim Major, Françoise Harvey, Will McIntosh.

Cox has now retired (after 100 issues and a tenure almost as long as Pringle) and handed the reins to Gareth Jelley/MYY Press, who have published their first issue, #294.

Jelley is clearly putting a huge amount of effort into revitalizing the magazine. There's a new homepage at interzone.press but also companion internet presences: a plethora of digital content at interzone.digital, Interzone Socials (a novel idea), a Discord server, a podcast, and no doubt more.

Having said that, the economics of small magazines have been perilous for a long time, and that hasn't changed, so I think the future of IZ (in physical format at least) is in peril. If you enjoy short fiction, fresh ideas, SF/F/Fantastika; why not try a subscription to Interzone, whilst you still can!

  1. Interzone has always been "British", in some sense, but never exclusively so. I recall fondly a long-term project under Pringle to publish a lot of Serbian writer Zoran Živković, for example, and the very first story I read was by Australian Greg Egan. Under Jelley, the magazine is being printed in Poland and priced in Euros. I expect it to continue to attract and publish writers from all over the place.