Letter From The Editor - Issue 55 - February 2017

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Issue 42
Stories
A Dragon's Doula
by M.K. Hutchins
Fire Born, Water Made
by Adria Laycraft
The Burden of Triumph
by Samuel Marzioli
IGMS Audio
Orson Scott Card - Bonus
Visitors, Chapter 1
by Orson Scott Card
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews
Vintage Fiction
Small Offerings
by Paolo Bacigalupi

Writing Fantasy

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-   -   -   -   P   r   e   v   i   e   w   -   -   -   -

Visitors, Chapter 1
Pathfinder, volume 3
    by Orson Scott Card

Visitors

Chapter 1

Copies

The Place:

From the surface of the planet Garden, it looks like a plateau surrounded by a steep cliff, with a mountain in the middle. But from space, it is plain that the plateau is a huge crater, and the mountain is its center point.

Buried deep beneath that central mountain is a starship. It crashed into the planet Garden 11,203 years ago.

Yet the starship was launched from near-Earth orbit only nineteen years ago. It journeyed seven years, then made the jump that was meant to create an anomaly in spacetime and appear near Garden instantaneously.

It was as instantaneous to Ram Odin, the pilot of the starship -- the only living person awake on the starship.

But compared to the surrounding universe, the ship arrived 11,191 years before it made the jump.

In the process, it divided into nineteen ships, one for each of the onboard computers that calculated the jump. All those ships contained a duplicate of Ram Odin, along with all the other humans lying in stasis, waiting to arrive at the world they would colonize.

All nineteen ships were deliberately crashed into the surface of the planet Garden. The simultaneous impact slowed the rotation of the planet, lengthening the day. Each impact formed a crater. Protected by anti-inertial and anti-collision fields, all the starships and their colonists survived.

Nineteen colonies were created, each separated from the others by a psychoactive field called "the Wall."

This starship is in the middle of the wallfold called Vadeshfold.

The People:

In the conetrol room of the starship, there are either four men, or three, or two, or one, depending on how you count them.

One of them is the sole surviving Ram Odin. If you say that there is only one man in the control room, he is that man. He has survived all these centuries by rising out of stasis for only one day in each fifty years, or sometimes for one week after a hundred years -- whatever is needed in order to make the decisions that the ship's computers are not competent to make without him.

Another of them looks like an adult man, and speaks like one, but he is really a machine, an expendable. He is called Vadeshex. All the humans in his colony were wiped out in terrible warfare more than ten thousand years before. In the years since then, he has devoted himself to creating a version of a native parasite that might be a suitable symbiotic partner for humans, if they ever came to Vadeshfold again.

The two other men were born as a single human being named Rigg Sessamekesh, fifteen years before the present day. Arguably they are not men but boys.

Both of them wear upon their heads, half-covering their faces, the symbiotic facemask created by Vadeshex. The facemask penetrates their brains and bodies, enhancing their senses, quickening their movements, strengthening their bodies, so that some might consider them no longer to be human at all, but rather some strange new hybrid, only half human at best.

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