Letter From The Editor - Issue 59 - October 2017

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Issue 30
Stories
Sojourn for Ephah
by Marina Lostetter
Dragonslayer
by Nathaniel Lee
Write What You Want
by Eric James Stone
Constance's Mask
by Nick T. Chan
The Last God-Killer
by Grá Linnaea & Dave Raines
Tales for the Young and Unafraid
Shaken to the Bone
by David Lubar
Orson Scott Card - Sneak Preview
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews

Writing Fantasy

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The Last God-Killer
    by Grá Linnaea & Dave Raines

The Last God-Killer
Artwork by M. Wayne Miller

Sing, O goddess, of great Andern, and of his wrath.

This line I stole from an ancient writer named Homer. I have millions of such texts in Recorded Mind, and Contemplative Mind suggested this as an epigraph. My writing does not belong in the same class as Homer's. However, I believe it is fitting to replace Achilles' name with that of Andern the god-killer.

And fitting irony, that the goddess cannot sing, being dead at Andern's hand.

It was day thirty of our silent pilgrimage from earth to the goddess's paradise on M89. Daily I uploaded my experience to the All-Net: sight, sound, scent, even touch and taste, twenty-four hours a day. I used low-def and 2-D to conserve bio-energy, holding off the aging process as much as possible. Later I would need Full Immersion recording, and I would Record nearly to my own death; but during travel, essentially nothing happened.

"Don't truck much with your kind." It was the first time the god-killer spoke to me and to the extent I could be, I was shocked that a man who kills gods would be so conservative. It was more common for those aligned with an old god to dislike the non-born, such as Recorders like me.

"My kind? Unnatural abominations, you mean?" Often it was better to say their words before they did.

Recording Mind noted my increased heart rate and small adrenaline spike. Contemplative Mind kept me centered and pleasant. I smiled; from long experience I know that smiling puts people at ease.

But he never looked at me. "There's already too many damn people. We don't need to make more."

His old-fashioned attitudes showed his age more than his body did. Even so, I observed that his eyes peered sharply from a bird's-nest of subtle shallow wrinkles; skin puckered on the tops of his hands: after multiple anti-aging treatments, these things forced themselves onto the body. The whites of his eyes had turned slightly yellow. Every day, at precisely 0900 and 2100 hours, he laid his hand on the medbot and it pumped molecular-repair bots into his circulatory system. I worried that either one of us might not even last the journey.

I am a Recorder. Our abilities burn up our cells and double our aging process. The oldest recorder in history died at forty-nine of an embolism. I am forty-three.

Humans could only speculate how many gods still existed. Once easy to identify, they'd become scarce, but Delight was almost certainly the last of the majors. When gods were plentiful, life was certainly more orderly. People like Andern felt that their lives were not their own back then, but I don't see how that has changed. I have no soul and don't need to worry about anything past physical existence. Born-humans say I miss subtleties.

Without the gods, there are no heavens. With no heavens, there is nothing after people die, which seems to be how they want it. Still, a god-killer's job makes them hated by half the people and feared by all.

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