Letter From The Editor - Issue 59 - October 2017

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Issue 52
Stories
Silverbird Rising
by Rebecca Birch
The Cenotaph
by Deborah L. Davitt
A Touch of Scarlet
by David Steffen
Cabbage Communion
by Chris Phillips
Orphaned
by James Van Pelt
IGMS Audio
Orphaned by James Van Pelt
Read by Stuart Jaffe
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews
Vintage Fiction
Waiting for Rain
by Mary Robinette Kowal
Bonus Material
Ghost Talkers
by Mary Robinette Kowal

Writing Fantasy

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Letter From The Editor - Issue 52 - September 2016

Worldcon has come and gone, and DragonCon is breathing fire down our necks. Congratulations to the Hugo award winners, and good luck to all the Dragon Award nominees!

This issue of Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show features a melange of steampunk gumption, sentient viruses, teen rebellion, alien gravedust, bloody cabbages, and innocence. Something for everyone, I'd say.

Invention and desperation know no gender barrier in Rebecca Birch's Silverbird Rising. Madeline Rowe is a brilliant inventor whose tragedy informs her creations. Smart as she is, the University doesn't favor the fairer sex, and every experiment is a battle against the boy's club. Low on funds, Madeline's partner takes resource-gathering to an extreme, and Madeline is forced to hunt after her. Complicating the search is a completely boorish suitor, who may just be the fount of all of Madeline's difficulties. . .

The rogue planet of Exoria took 33 years to pass through the solar system to settle into orbit between Venus and Earth. The crew of the Predpriyatiye ventures out to the now-melting world to see what is to be seen in the tradition of great human explorers. Deborah Davitt's hard science fiction short story, The Cenotaph, delves into the idea of what happens when our first contact with aliens is with their grave marker.

War and death can make aliens of loved ones. That's what HG Parry's protagonist, Edith, discovers in Material Without Being Real. Ever since he returned from death, Edith's brother has been acting oddly. She resolves to find out what has happened to him--but what she discovers about what he was may be more disturbing than what she finds out about what he is.

There are no loved ones to be suspicious of in David Steffen's A Touch of Scarlet. There are only Citizens, Mentors, and the adolescents who will become Citizens. Human contact is outlawed and laws are controlled by means of a hyper-democracy where safety is the paramount concern. One Citizen's "safety" is another Citizen's repression, and an adolescent's curiosity burgeons into something. . . dangerous.

In Chris Phillips's Cabbage Communion, the word is that the Christian god can bring loved ones back from the dead as easy as pulling up a potato. Magic and miracles vie for worshippers in this bittersweet story of loss, love, and need.

Parents care for children. That's the way it has always been for Ethan, in James Van Pelt's short story. They even kept his birth secret from their commanders. But now his parents are in danger, and it is up to Ethan to save them, or be Orphaned. Orphaned is this month's audio selection, and is performed by Stuart Jaffe.

Also in this issue, our reprint editor, Lawrence Schoen, interviews Mary Robinette Kowal. We've got a short story reprint from her VAST archive, and a brief selection from her newest novel.

Scott M. Roberts
Editor


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