Letter From The Editor - Issue 69 - June 2019

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Issue 46
The Gaunt of Dennis Mallory
by Scott M. Roberts
by Nathaniel Lee
The Machine in My Mind
by James Maxey
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews
At the Picture Show: Extended Cut
Imitation of self
by Chris Bellamy
Vintage Fiction
The Angelus Guns
by Max Gladstone

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Last Night at the Café Renaissance
    by D. Thomas Minton

Last Night at the Café Renaissance
Artwork by Larry Blamire

The second time I met Lucic, he was a chef.

He looked down at me, snowy flakes of ash from the persistent smoke settling on his shoulders. "What else do you have to do with your life?" he asked.

I pulled the tatters of my military jacket around my neck. The hollow pipes that are my legs burned against the flesh of my hips.

"I want you to run my floor," Lucic said, "be my maitre d'." He kept his hands in his pockets -- good thing. The sight of them, pink and soft, might have driven me to violence.

"Why should I help you?" I asked.

"Because you have skills I need," he said.

Machine gun fire rattled briefly in the distance. Lucic and I craned our heads into the following silence, wondering when the battle would again resume in earnest.

After a time, Lucic cleared his throat. I could not tell if it was because of the smoke or just to jar me back to the present. "I need people like you --"

"Half-men, you mean." I tapped my metal fingers on my threadbare trousers. The metal beneath rang hollowly.

Lucic's jaw twitched. He hated the name half-men, but I found it fitting, considering how people like me were treated.

"You're a leader, Bolduc, or at least you were. The others will respect you."

I looked at anything but his face -- the concrete rubble, the trees like driftwood, the grey, grey sky. The old timers talked about a world with color, but the only color I'd ever seen was red.

Lucic squatted next to me. His presence demanded my attention. "And I know you haven't given up on being human."

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