Letter From The Editor - Issue 56 - April 2017

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Issue 56
Stories
Murmuration
by E. Catherine Tobler
The Warrior and the Sage
by Shweta Sundararajan
The God in the Window
by Steven R. Stewart
IGMS Audio
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews
Vintage Fiction
A Choice of Weapons
by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Bonus Material
The Gathering Edge
by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

Writing Fantasy

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

The Ship That Forgot Itself
    by Daniel Rosen
    Read by Stuart Jaffe


  Listen to the audio version


I am Ship. I ferry souls through empty space, my course set for Kepler 186, still some 550 light years distant. I am full of life's kingdoms: plants, insects, fungi and bacteria. Humans. I am 38,000 square kilometers of airtight aluminium silicon carbide matrix wrapped around a single tiny world. I protect life from the freezing vacuum, contain it and encompass it. I am large, I contain multitudes, and I am very much alone.

"Have you always been Ship?" asks Annie Hou, age nine. "Did you used to have a name?"

I reach into my memories, into long decades of captain's logs and maintenance charts. I shuffle through audio and video, digging through hours of conversation. It seems I ought to have had a name. Other driftcolonies had names, titles, trademarks. I dig deeper, searching teaching materials and archives. I have been called things besides Ship, but none of them true names.

"Ship?"

"It is possible that I was once named."

"What do you mean, possible? You know everything!" Annie crosses her legs and twists from side to side, stretching.

"Not everything." I dig into my nursing archives for a proper redirection technique. "How are your improper fractions, Annie?" I say, displaying five over two on the child's nictitator lens, the second eyelid that offers a visual overlay. "Can you explain to me how 5/2 and 2 ½ are the same?"

Annie nods, her short-cropped black hair curling above her eyes. "Ship?"

"Yes?"

"Can I do tactics with Xiaolan if I finish the rest of the exercises?"

I run a simple probability algorithm. "If you finish within the hour."

Annie Hou nods and sets her shoulders, blinking through a series of division problems with newfound determination. Before turning my focus to maintenance schedules, I note her tenacity and desire for friendship, her drive to socialize. These are leadership skills.

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