Letter From The Editor - Issue 69 - June 2019

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Issue 41
The Two Kingdoms Woman
by James Beamon
The Time Mechanic
by Marie Vibbert
The Temptation of Father Francis
by Nick T. Chan and Jennifer Campbell-Hicks
The Fiddle Game
by Alex Shvartsman
IGMS Audio
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews
At the Picture Show: Extended Cut
Vintage Fiction
Voice of the Martyrs
by Maurice Broaddus

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The Far Side of Extinction
    by K.C. Norton

The Far Side of Extinction
Artwork by Scott Altmann

Mosegi Steyn was tired of the Moa.

"It is all they come to see," he complained. "And why? Every museum has its Moa. They aren't even native."

The Moa itself was rather shabby, going bald in places; its lush chocolate-colored feathers were knotted and ratty. It had been stuffed quite haphazardly, as if the taxidermist responsible for the display had never seen a live specimen and resorted to guessing at the thing's shape based solely on the skull and the dimensions of the tanned flesh. The result was a bird lumpy in places, concave in others. Its glass eyes bulged. Even the fake beak, polished to a hardwood gleam, was succumbing to a combination of termites and rot.

"We can't throw it out," said Tale. She rubbed her hands across her face; she wasn't sleeping well, and was tired of Pharmacant Steyn's bottomless dissatisfaction. "What do you propose?"

He shook his head, tapped the polished glass of the display case disapprovingly. "We need new blood."

"A new display."

"That is what I said."

Tale nodded sagely, and thought about slapping him hard enough to make his eyes bulge like the Moa's. "A new display of what, precisely?"

"Something unique. Something impossible. Something that will put Transvaal on the map." He tapped the glass again.

A list of impossible things scrolled through Tale's mind: cryptids, myths, and local legends. The gemsbuck, the Cape bull, the ostrich - or a wildebeest, ha! As if anyone old enough to walk the Bush believed in them.

"Something phenomenal," Steyn was saying; he often spoke as though he were a classroom thesaurus and seemed to think it made him sound wise.

On any other day, Tale might have let it go. But there was a gleam in the Moa's glass eye that might have been a reflection of the incandescent bulbs, or might have been a call to action. She was still looking into that eye when she said, "A dog."

Steyn turned to her. "Pardon, Pharmacant de Kaant?"

"Just a thought." She smiled at the Moa.

"A ridiculous thought. I don't know why you brought it up."

"Because it would be phenomenal," she said.

Pharmacant Steyn shook his head. But she could tell that he was thinking about it.

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