Letter From The Editor - Issue 68 - April 2019

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Issue 3
Dream Engine
by Tim Pratt
The Adjoa Gambit
by Rick Novy
Xoco's Fire
by Oliver Dale
Small Magics
by Alethea Kontis
Fat Town
by Jose Mojica
From the Ender Saga
by Orson Scott Card
Audio Bonus
Read by Orson Scott Card
Tales for the Young and Unafraid
Hats Off
by David Lubar
Running Out of Air
by David Lubar
Senior Paper
Special Software Bonus
I-Wei's Amazing Clocks
by I-Wei Huang

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The Box of Beautiful Things
    by Brian Dolton
The Box of Beautiful Things
Artwork by Laura Givens

Yi Qin came to visit Weng Hao's Grand Carnival Of Curiosities on a spring day, with the air sharp and clear. She was humbly dressed, not like an emissary of the Emperor at all, and she took her place in the line, and she handed over her quarter-teng piece. She looked at the tigers, pacing back and forth in their cages. She watched the acrobats perform, tumbling and swooping and spinning. She listened to the story-teller, and laughed when he recounted the tale of the Little Fisherman and the Seven Foolish Demons.

She had not come, however, to see these things. They were diversions; amusing in their way, but no more than that. No; she had come, like everyone else, to see the Box Of Beautiful Things.

But not for the same reason.

There was a long line. Even though the carnival was camped in the middle of a dusty plain, people had come from a hundred li in every direction, spurred on by rumor. Weng Hao himself was marshalling the customers. As Yi Qin waited for her turn (for no more than ten people at a time were allowed into the tent where the Box Of Beautiful Things was kept), she studied him. He was a big man; bigger, almost, than his skin could withstand. His cheeks seemed distended, and his eyes were thin black slits that he could barely open. He had a long black moustache and wore gaudy silks.

His voice boomed out, from time to time. The wait is worth it, he would cry. Why, a wait of a Great Year would be worth it, to see the Box Of Beautiful Things. Such things as you have never before seen. Such things as you could not even imagine! Gaze upon beauty, and let your heart lift, to know that there is still such wonder in the world!

Yi Qin had seen many wonders, and by no means all of them were beautiful. She shuffled forwards as the line moved, and folded her hands together under her sleeves. Her thumb sought the point of one of the darts she kept hidden. Not yet, she told herself. Not until you can see the Box Of Beautiful Things.

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