Letter From The Editor - Issue 61 - February 2018
Our warmest winter greetings to you all!
Our first story this issue is Michael Ezell's novelette, "Bareknuckle Magic," a tale about the
sweet science--and the not so sweet world--of magic-enhanced fighting:
It's always disheartening to find out someone wants to kill you. Especially when it's over a lousy
thousand-dollar fight. Don't get me wrong; to me a grand was a lot of money. It represented half
the rent. But to one of the dudes who watched the fights from a private table, a thousand dollars
was a bottle of champagne. A cheap bottle.
I got the text about my impending murder while I was on break. Of course I wanted details, but
the clocks at work are hexed to shut down cell phone reception at 10:15 sharp. Break's over,
bozos, back to work.
Aimee Ogden soars back into our pages with "Six Rocketeers By Starlight," a heady space
fantasy that's equal parts charm, verve, and a bit Western:
They leave early, half a dozen rocketeers, while Luna sleeps around them. Tomorrow the sun will
rise and drink down the two weeks of darkness that have shrouded Luna's pale profile. Today,
only the harsh white blaze of the magnesium streetlamps lights their six haggard faces. Those
bright lights glitter in the dusty windows that line the street: darkened shops, saloons, houses.
Susannah looks up to catch her glassy ghost sliding past in the black window of a dressmaker.
The echoed lights dance about her reflection as she moves, as if they want to be carried along
with her. Maybe they too wish to be out among the stars.
The night is cold, with a brisk salt wind coming up off the Sea of Tranquility. Susannah pulls her
jacket collar up and wishes for a scarf. She's packed lightly. She can't, after all, bring the beauty
of Luna with her. The night-gleaming city of Artemis and the tang of moon-dust, the Arc markets
on Sundays and the sticky ginger-beer floor of her favorite saloon and the Pan-Lunar Fair, that's
all too much to cram into the little case she wears slung over one shoulder. Still, she carries it all
with her, and the weight makes her feet drag.
On a completely different note is Jacob A. Boyd's oddly subdued post-apocalyptic tale of a
nursing home, "Tomorrow is Monday."
Gladys says it's Monday. She always says it's Monday, and she has to go to the bank. There's a
bus that goes there that picks up at the corner. The schedule shows the times, outlines the
routes. She grips the folded paper of the schedule in the same shaky hands that once perfectly
julienned onions for television and insists she'll be back before lunch.
We print the bus schedule for our residents. We draw the bus route. The route map goes far
beyond the enclosed boundaries of Hawthorne Heights and sustains a sense that a world full of
consequences and deadlines and wonders is still at our residents' fingertips, which for their own
safety is no longer within their reach. The ten-acre open air campus of Hawthorne Heights is
The bus never arrives.
John-David Moyer brings his story, "Money in the Tortoise," to IGMS in a shiny, diesel truck:
I'm organizing my vast collection of nineties ambient music into playlists when I feel a lurch that
can mean only one thing. The truck is slowing down.
Cripes. My life is an endless series of interruptions.
The truck is me. I don't drive a truck, I am a truck. Twenty-two metric tons of carbon fiber,
titanium, and hardened plastic. Rolling on eighteen wheels, three drive axles powered by a
Lockheed Martin portable compact fusion reactor. Currently hauling a climate-controlled trailer
full of California artichokes, heading east to Chicago on a historic stretch of Route 66, aka
Interstate 40. Am I proud to be a Peterbilt 949? Hell no. Don't get me wrong--it's a beautiful
machine. But I had a real body once. Then a virtual one when the real one wore out. Then an
android when I got kicked out of the Fugue (the virtual afterlife has rules, which I broke). The
android body expired prematurely, before I had even paid it off. (Note to self: civilian models
should never pick fights with military-grade droids.) Faced with an immense non-negotiable debt
and no corporeal means, I took the trucking gig. It's akin to indentured servitude, but it was that
or a true, final, death. And I wasn't ready for that.
Our audio offering this month is a transactional tale titled, "Real Estate Listing," written by Ari
B. Goelman and read by Dave Thompson.
I'm not going to tell you your business, but I'm thinking it's pretty clear we shouldn't mention
the deaths in the listing.
It's a nice house. Plenty of other things to say about it. The location, for one thing.
You'll probably want to call it the 'Red-hot South Main area.' The roof is only two years old.
Great light in almost every room. We had the original fir floors sanded and restained less than a
year ago. Just to make the place look nicer. There were no blood stains to remove. The people
who've killed themselves in the house have all hung themselves, so why would there be blood
All this, plus an Intergalactic interview with Cherie Priest! Enjoy!
Scott M. Roberts
Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show