Letter From The Editor - Issue 56 - April 2017

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Issue 55
Stories
Collecting Jessup
by Allison Mulder
The Sea of Ghosts
by Anna Zumbro
The Five Stages of Grief
by Michelle Ann King
A Century of Princes
by H.L. Fullerton
IGMS Audio
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews
Vintage Fiction
Inferno
by Laura Anne Gilman
Bonus Material
The Cold Eye
by Laura Anne Gilman

Writing Fantasy

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Excerpt from The Devil's West, Book Two

The Cold Eye
    by Laura Anne Gilman

PART ONE

UNCERTAIN GROUND

There was a well-ordered murmur to the saloon in Flood that evening, some combination of chairs scraping and glassware clinking, laid against the flickerthwack of cards against felt, and the self-assured calls of the dealers. Marie cast her gaze around her domain, confirming that all was well, then moved through the crowd to stand behind the dealer at the main table.

"Gentleman in the far corner wishes to have a word with you when you're done dealing for the evening."

She waited until the boss nodded, the barest hint of a chin drop, and moved along to the next table, a smile on her lips, eyes bright and alert. The carmine she'd rubbed on her cheeks had been replaced by the flush of warmth and hard work, the ache of ankle and hip joined by the soreness of elbow and knee. It was entirely possible, Marie thought, that she was finally growing too old for this.

A dry snort behind her gave the boss's opinion of that, and her smile warmed for a heartbeat.

Still and all, there was no gainsaying she'd earned her aches. Five tables full, and Iktan busy at the bar, her people coming and going in a well-choreographed dance. She should feel satisfied. She did feel satisfied. It was near impossible for her not to take satisfaction, being who and what she was, when things went well and needs were gratified.

But her ankle and hip ached, and her elbows and knees were sore, and she worked to keep her smile in place as she nodded to strangers and placed warm hands on the shoulders of regulars. The responsibilities of the Devil's Right Hand were hers: the gathering-in and the granting, ensuring that all who came to him were noted and heard.

"We dance to his tune," she'd told Izzy. So you put your smile on and left the aches until later.

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