Letter From The Editor - Issue 42 - November 2014

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Issue 1 -
Stories
Respite
by Rachel Ann Dryden
A Rarefied View at Dawn
by Dave Wolverton
Loose in the Wires
by John Brown
Trill and the Beanstalk
by Edmund R. Schubert
Night Walks
by Robert Stoddard
Taint of Treason
by Eric James Stone
Eviction Notice
by Scott M. Roberts
From the Ender Saga
Mazer in Prison
by Orson Scott Card
Mazer na Prisão   (Portugues)
by Orson Scott Card
Audio Bonus
Mazer in Prison
Read by Audie-winner Stefan Rudnicki
Serialized Novel
Hot Sleep
by Orson Scott Card
Comics
Fat Farm
by Orson Scott Card
Column: I Screen the Body Eclectic
Special Software Bonus
I-Wei's Amazing Clocks
by I-Wei Huang

Writing Fantasy

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-   -   -   -   P   r   e   v   i   e   w   -   -   -   -

Loose in the Wires
    by John Brown

Some thought my brother-in-law Delmus was unstable; I just figured he needed some trials and tribulations to help clear his vision a bit. So when he found an agricultural role in the Peace Corps, I cheered. I could not wait to see the changes a noble service in the third-world would surely bring.

Delmus came back from Botswana one year later with the gleam of purpose in his eyes. He sat across the booth from me at an Artic Circle in Big Pine, Wyoming. I watched him eat his Bacon Bounty Cheeseburger in one long, concentrated go. No talking, no looking about, just earnest chewing, punctuated by a few drags on his chocolate shake. When he finally came back from whatever gustatory dimension he had slipped into, he sat back with a smile of slack joy.

"Was the food over there that bad?" I asked.

"Billy Boy," he said, "they were feeding me on rats and grass."

Then he grinned all big and goofy, and I couldn't tell if he was pulling my leg about the cuisine or the fact that he was calling me Billy Boy. He knew I preferred William or Will, but he said those names made me sound like some rich city fart and what kind of numb nut would want that?

He picked up his napkin and wiped his fingers like he was polishing silverware, then he looked me square in the eye. "Here's the deal. I wanted you to be the first to know."

"Know what?"

He motioned at me with his chin. "What have you heard about the old ways?"

I groaned inside. "You've gone and hooked up with a bunch of zombies and voodoo, haven't you?"

"Voodoo?" he said. "That's nothing but watered down Caribbean crap."

"Delmus," I said. He'd tried fighting fires. He'd tried college. He'd tried Wicca, magnet healing, Evangelical radio, nudist camps, and quantum mechanics. For one week he considered living on a Kibbutz in Israel. He'd told me that something as powerful and deep as oak roots worked inside him, driving him to find the three-dimensional manifestation of the ten-dimensionality of our existence.

Delmus could see my disappointment.

"Things have changed," he said. "I ain't blowing in the wind."

I just nodded. I liked Delmus. He was funny and kind. And no matter what he might sound like, he wasn't dumb - he had gotten a 31 on his ACT exams, and he hadn't even been trying. The boy had a lot of horses under his hood, but they were never given any opportunity to show what they could do: a Lamborghini stuck in life's parking lot.

"Let me guess," I said.

"No," he said. "First, you've got to hear this thing whole hog."

"Okay," I said. "I'm all ears."

He nodded, and when he'd gauged my sincerity, he leaned in close. "The truth is I've got me an African god in a Smucker's jelly jar in my trunk."

Then he sat back like he'd just showed me a million dollars.

"I see," I said.

Maybe I'd been wrong about Delmus. He wasn't a Lamborghini. Heck, he wasn't even a Ford. Delmus was turning out to be a go-cart.

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