Letter From The Editor - Issue 69 - June 2019

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Issue 32
The Temple's Posthole
by M.K. Hutchins
Through the Veil
by Michael T. Banker
Notes on a Page
by Barbara A. Barnett
The War of Peace - Part 2
by Trina Marie Phillips
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews

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Winning Veronica's Heart
    by Ian Creasey

Winning Veronica's Heart
Artwork by Kevin Wasden

Hello! Hello to everyone down in the front row, and all the folks sitting by the aisle in case there's a fire. Hello to you people at the back who thought you were here for something else. The robot porn is over the road, down the steps, through the unmarked gate . . . or so I've heard. Hello to my alternate selves, and everyone here who isn't me. Hello Manchester!

It's great to be back. I grew up here, in one of those council estates where burglary is the local form of recycling. You know the kind of place: the police got tired of putting up Crime Scene boards every day -- "Have you seen this murder?" -- so eventually they just used an enormous piece of hazard tape to enclose the whole estate as a permanent Crime Scene. Instead of the old notice-board with the dry-wipe markers, they put up a wiki-screen so we could input the crimes ourselves. It worked fine until someone stole the screen . . .

But it wasn't all shoplifting and joyriding. When I was a boy, I used to go and watch the football. Back then, football was real -- you could pretend to know one of the players, because he was your cousin . . . well, your cousin's friend . . . okay, your cousin's friend's babysitter's brother-in-law . . . but it was a connection! Nowadays it's all nostalgia: stars from the past uploaded into cloned bodies, scuttling around the pitch like dogs looking for somewhere to have a dump. Why do we need a veterans' replay of every Cup final from the last century? Sometimes I get nostalgic for the days before the Nostalgia Channel.

I don't need TV: I have my own nostalgia. Right now, I'm nostalgic for my ex-girlfriend. I was with Veronica for five years. Now we've split up -- we're seeing other people. Well, she is. I'm not; I want to get back with Veronica, because I love her.

Okay, at that point you're all supposed to go "Aahhh" in a mass outpouring of sympathy. So, let's pretend you're not a bunch of heartless bastards, and give it another go. One, two, three, Aahhh. That's better. Keep it up, I'll make an audience out of you yet.

I have a plan for getting Veronica back, and I need your help. It'll all become clear as we go along. Pay attention! This could be on the exam.

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