2. Story magazines (Interzone) can be a bit of a mixed bag. But this issue (May/June 2005) was flawless.
- First there was a far-future story, Piccadilly Circus, of the last real humans descending into senility among those who have chosen to upload themselves into a computer-generated London. Loved the image of a batty, determined old lady riding into the centre of London on her mobility scooter, flicking between the potholed physical world and the twinkly Consensual Field.
- Then Go Tell the Phoenicians by Matthew Hughes, a detective story about a mysterious new alien race - one of my favourite genres. Bastogne V.9 is about soliders who suspect they are a computer simulation.
- The Court of the Beast Emperor (John Aegard) is beautiful - it's about judges who take on the pain of the judged. It's told through the eyes of a petitioner who wants his love released from a bond to the army.
- Finally, Dominic Green's terrifying The Clockwork Atom Bomb is set in the aftermath of a war between the People's Democratic Republic of Congo and the Democratic People's Republic of Congo. It tells, with sharp wit, of horrendously frightening weaspons technology and how it was used in peacetime. It also lampoons the UN's ugly acronyms - UNPERFORCONG; UNTASFORDEMRECONG.
3. Setting the alarm for Saturday time 8.30am instead of 6.30am.