Letter From The Editor - Issue 68 - April 2019

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Issue 13
Beautiful Winter
by Eugie Foster
Hologram Bride: Part Two
by Jackie Gamber
Second String
by David A. Simons
Command Transfer
by Darren Eggett
Folk of the Fringe Serialization
by Orson Scott Card
Tales for the Young and Unafraid
by David Lubar
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews

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Command Transfer
    by Darren Eggett
Command Transfer
Artwork by Dean Spencer

It was supposed to be the last time James Clintock woke up for the next six hundred years. He'd been out of Deep Slumber for far too long and he knew it. His body knew it. Three years out, they said. Three years awake, serving the colony, and then he could hibernate again. Well, his shift was finally ending. He'd done his part and more. Someone else could watch over the ship. Someone else could take a turn. He rolled over on his bed. It was time.

So why was he so nervous?

The voice of Pandora, their ship, whispered through his earpiece. "I have prepared a portion of the rations, sir. They are waiting for you in the hopper."

He rarely answered Pandora anymore. When his shift first started, James would chat aimlessly with the computer, reminiscing about his childhood, his marriage; anything to help pass the time, to make him feel less lonely. It hadn't taken long to realize it was pointless. The A.I. was no substitute for another person.

Granola waited for him in the hopper. He cursed. What wouldn't he give for eggs and sausage? This was his last meal, for crying out loud. He choked it down as he made his rounds through the ship, all the while wondering why the shift change made him so uncomfortable.

He made no noise as he canvassed the decks. Black insulating foam sheathed every surface. The helmet-mounted light was so close to his eyes he could barely see shadows. Together, the foam and viewpoint lamp messed with his sense of perspective. Sometimes it felt like he wandered forever in blackness, never reaching the end of his route because it seemed he never left.

His first stop, as usual, was the dormitories. At the start of his shift, when he realized Pandora failed the Turing test of his first several months awake, he had come here and found his wife. Nadia was two hundred forty-three paces down the hallway to his left. James peeled back the black foam from her hibernation tube and brushed his fingers across the glass over her face.

She looked so young.

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