In the newsletter today: a new IZ Digital story of disappearances and discoveries by Andrew Hook; an art preview; and an opportunity to meet Interzone writers and talk about short stories…
The second story in IZ Digital this week is Andrew Hook’s ‘Some Pastel Morning’.
Here is an excerpt:
Missy imagined herself as a parent: the rough and tumble in that juxtaposition of a body intent on living faster than the one it was coupled to. The effort it might take to stand still. The warmth of something to hold onto. And then she would also imagine herself as a parent that had lost: the vacuum of uncertainty, the pinprick of despair, which would hollow then rend asunder before slowly contracting, as if that previous life had never in fact lived. In both instances, she was a uniquely-shaped peg. Thoughts flitted through her mind: is it possible to lose something that you’ve never had? If she were completely unaware of children, then would she never want one?
IZ Digital supporters and print Interzone subscribers can read the rest of Andrew Hook’s brilliant ‘Some Pastel Morning’; and the story will move to the free fiction section of IZ Digital on 12 July 2023.
Andrew Hook has a great blog, Nitrospective, and every time a story of his is published, he writes a post about how it came to be. Look out for his post about ‘Some Pastel Morning’ – it is full of fantastic insights into how Hook writes.
I love to work with artists on Interzone and IZ Digital illustrations. Very frequently an artist will see a story in an entirely unexpected way, turning the words to the light just so and discovering something entirely new and beautiful. It is an absolute joy.
Emma Howitt’s art for Cécile Cristofari’s ‘The Fishery’ does just that, and after seeing it an early sketch, I went straight back to Cristofari’s story and enjoyed it all over again.
Here is the finished piece:
Look out for ‘The Fishery’ in IZ Digital later this month.
Some time back the editor and author Teika Marija Smits (who has a story forthcoming in Interzone #296) mentioned an idea she’d had that was inspired by something she’d seen the publisher Galley Beggar do very successfully. Teika wasn’t sure if this idea would work, but thought that if it did, it could be both a great opportunity for Interzone readers (and writers) for attendees, and a way to provide Interzone with more financial stability at a time of volatile paper prices and a thousand and one different ways to discover and read brilliant short fiction.
The first time Teika told me about this, I had way too much to do and filed it away in the back of my brain; the second time, I sat with the idea a little and then decided to run with it.
And so IZ Story Socials came to be.
IZ Story Socials are a new way to read the stories we love
For 12 weeks, starting in July 2023, sit down with Gareth Jelley, editor of Interzone and IZ Digital, and an Interzone author to learn about our favourite short stories and discuss how and why they work.
Read more about these excellent authors (all of whom have stories coming in Interzone #296, have experience teaching, and love short fiction) on their IZ Story Social pages.
I can’t wait to join them in July, and I hope some newsletter readers will be there, too.
The response from Interzone subscribers (who got an early look, so I could check I hadn’t lost my mind) has taken me completely by surprise and places are already filling up, so book early if you’d like to sit down once a week with an Interzone writer (and me) to talk about stories and discuss how and why they are great.
There are a limited number places available for people on a low income – no proof or information required; just email and let me know which day you would like to attend.
Until next time. Thanks very much for reading.
Gareth Jelley, Editor & Publisher
Interzone & IZ Digital
‘We walked in single file along the stone parapet of the lake, looking at the grey water. The wind, blowing without hindrance over its surface, had cut it into choppy waves, restless, without pattern. Everything was cold. Out in the middle, riding the water as indifferently as if it had been a smooth summer day, were the two mute swans which lived there all year round. They were indescribably sad and beautiful, like swans out of some cruel story from the far north, like birds in some cold elegy I had but dimly heard and understood only its sorrow.’
— Leslie Norris, ‘The Wind, The Cold Wind’