Interzone was initially produced by an unpaid collective of eight people—John Clute, Alan Dorey, Malcolm Edwards, Colin Greenland, Graham James, Roz Kaveney, Simon Ounsley and David Pringle. According to Dorey, the group had been fans of the science fiction magazine New Worlds and wanted to create a "New Worlds for the 1980s, something that would publish only great fiction and be a proper outlet for new writers."
While the magazine started as an editorial collective, soon editor David Pringle was the driving force behind Interzone. In 1984 Interzone received a generous donation from Sir Clive Sinclair; the magazine later received support from the Arts Council of Great Britain, Yorkshire Arts, and the Greater London Arts Association.
Interzone was first initially published quarterly, from Spring 1982 to Issue 24, Summer 1988. It was then on a bi-monthly schedule from September/October 1988 to Issue 34, March/April 1990. For over a decade, it was then published monthly until several slippages of schedule reduced it to an effectively bi-monthly magazine in 2003.
Founding editor David Pringle stepped down in early 2004 with issue 193. Andy Cox of TTA Press, which publishes The Third Alternative, then took ownership of Interzone. Since the switch Interzone has undergone a series of redesigns while maintaining high fiction standards. The redesigned Interzone has been called the "handsomest SF magazine in the business" by Gardner Dozois.
In 2006, the Science Fiction Writers of America removed the magazine from its list of professional markets due to low rates and small circulation. However, within the genre field the magazine is still ranked as a professional publication. As Dozois has stated, "By the definition of SFWA, Interzone doesn't really qualify as a 'professional magazine' because of its low rates and circulation, but as it's thoroughly professional in the caliber of writers that it attracts and in the quality of the fiction it produces, just about everyone considers it to be a professional magazine anyway." It pays semi-professional rates to writers.