Letter From The Editor - Issue 69 - June 2019

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Issue 49
Into Dust
by Sofie Bird
Souls Are Like Livers
by Aurelia Flaming
...Or Be Forever Fallen
by A. Merc Rustad
Going Green
by Jennifer Noelle Welch
The Soul Mate Requirement
by Kelly Sandoval
IGMS Audio
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews
At the Picture Show: Extended Cut
Accept the mystery
by Chris Bellamy
Vintage Fiction
Yesterday's Taste
by Lawrence M. Schoen
Bonus Material
Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard
A Novel by Lawrence M. Schoen

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Yesterday's Taste
    by Lawrence M. Schoen

When Dugli, the most powerful and feared food critic in the galaxy, invited me to join him at a restaurant so exclusive even billionaires like me have to wait two years for a table, I didn't stop to ask why. I packed a bag, scooped up my buffalo dog, and headed for a planet so far off the trade routes that Dugli had sent his private shuttle to ensure I'd come.

Bwill is not a tourist destination. The people smell, the air tastes funny, and the local language will make your ears bleed. But alongside other more common sea creatures, its oceans teem with lithic ichthus, a species of silicon-based fish hard as corundum and ugly as sin. They thrive there. Imagine a swimming creature made of rock. Rock fins, rock gills, rock scales. The culinary masterminds of Bwill prepare them using a series of marinades that permeate the minerals of these creatures, and over the course of months render them as tender and delicate as meringue, and exquisitely safe to be ingested by us carbon-types.

Dugli's shuttle delivered me to Bwill, and a waiting sloop took me from the splashport straight to the dock of Stone Fin, a restaurant created by master chef Plorm. A crowd of Bwillers -- with a handful of offworld foodies -- loitered in front, waiting for their reservations. I was probably the only human on Bwill and Dugli the only Caliopoean. A dark, otterish pelt covered him from crown to heel, with tiny flaps where humans would keep their ears and a whiskered nose that gave him an astonishing palate. We spotted each other at once.

"Conroy!" Dugli's webbed hand pulled me from the sloop and before I could say a word he had frogmarched me past the outraged stares of would-be diners and into the restaurant. Reggie, my buffalito, clattered after on tiny hooves, desperate not to be left out. We were expected. Plorm herself took us through the curtained maze typical of Bwill style and seated us at an elegant table of polished onyx and chalcedony.

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