Letter From The Editor - Issue 58 - August 2017

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Issue 28
Stories
The Curse of Sally Tincakes
by Brad Torgersen
Blank Faces
by M.K. Hutchins
The Snake King Sells Out
by Rahul Kanakia
Calling the Train
by Jeff Stehman
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The Curse of Sally Tincakes
    by Brad Torgersen

The Curse of Sally Tincakes
Artwork by Nick Greenwood

She was brunette, with dark eyes, 100 meters high, and stacked like a pin-up model. The red thermal paint of her bikini had begun to flake after decades spent broiling in the lunar sunlight, but her smile never wavered. Both arms stretched above her head into the black sky. The empty first-stage of an ancient Tokawa moon booster rocket sat balanced across her palms. The cylinder of the booster was parallel to the roughly-graded regolith at the statue's base, where the statue's silvered platform heels sent anchor spikes deep into the lunar basalt below the surface. Across the cylinder the words CAZETTI RACEWAY were emblazoned in massive, royal blue lettering.

Jane Jeffords grinned at the sight.

It had taken years of effort to make it to the top.

Though her eager mood was not shared by her driver.

"What's wrong?" Jane asked Bill. The old man was frowning as he slowly navigated their suborbital moon car over the lumpy, gray infield - patiently waiting for traffic control to clear them for landing. A cloud of other cars, all belonging to competitors, had begun to swarm in the airless space above the track.

"You racing here is a bad idea," Bill said. "Sally Tincakes is watching."

"Who?"

"The giant broad down there. Sally Tincakes. That's what we used to call her, two generations ago; when I was still a racer."

Bill's liver-spotted hands smoothly worked the car's controls as he talked. Age had taken his hair and his looks, but not his surety with machines. The car moved with precision.

Jane shook her head, bemused.

"How in the heck did you come up with that ridiculous name?"

"The real Sally - Mrs. Frank Cazetti - was the darling of the racing circuit when I was your age. Her billionaire husband made a show of her everywhere he went. Liked to rub it in other guys' faces - how hot she was."

"To the point of making a huge effigy?" Jane said, eyebrow raised.

"That was strictly for publicity," Bill said.

"Why not just put up an LCD billboard?"

"Any idiot can stare at a screen. Sally down there was an experiment in throwback marketing. Something special. From a time when there just weren't that many women on the moon."

Jane felt her stomach shift as the car suddenly dropped, the lunar gravity tugging them gently towards the ground. The race track itself was a wide, shallow, concave half-pipe. It formed an irregular pattern of long straightaways, occasionally punctuated by a series of wicked-looking twists -- like an outsized Earth bobsled course. On steroids.

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