My new story of the week is "Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast" by Eugie Foster from Interzone issue 220. This far future science fiction tale is an exploration of self identity and the masks we all wear in public. But in this case, the masks are not some silly metaphor but actuality, as Eugie's society has evolved so the wearing of these complex disguises--which not only change a person's character, but also their very souls--is mandatory.
Perhaps it would be fun to be another person on occasion, to not have to take responsibility for one's actions by literally claiming that the mask made you do it. But what is the cost to your soul when you change your very being day after day? When you can no longer even find the real you? Eugie explores these questions in a beautifully written and fast-paced tale which is certain to be on many of the year's best lists.
As an aside, this month's Interzone has one of the most beautiful SF covers I've seen in some time. Created by Adam Tredowski, the cover has already created calls on the TTA Press forums for a poster-sized version. And as a final side note about Interzone, TTA Press has contracted with a new shipping company, which fixed their previously delivery problems and caused my issue of IZ 220 to reach here within five days of publication. As Andy Cox says in the editorial of this issue, the current exchange rate makes this a great time for people overseas to subscribe. I totally agree.