Letter From The Editor - Issue 56 - April 2017

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Issue 7
Stories
Silent As Dust
by James Maxey
Lost Soul
by Marie Brennan
The Price of Love
by Alan Schoolcraft
The Braiding
by Pat Esden
After This Life
by Janna Silverstein
The Smell of the Earth
by Joan L. Savage
From the Ender Saga
Ender's Homecoming
by Orson Scott Card
Tales for the Young and Unafraid
The Talk
by David Lubar
Split Decision
by David Lubar
Comics
A Plague of Butterflies
by Orson Scott Card
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews

Writing Fantasy

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Lost Soul
Artwork by Julie Dillon
Lost Soul
    by Marie Brennan

I first heard her fiddling on a corner at Taranabh Fair. There were plenty of buskers around; it was odd that she caught my ear so clearly. I stopped in front of a booth selling woven amulets and looked around, trying to spot the source of the music.

She'd perched herself on the edge of a well, legs crossed, fiddle tucked under her chin. The music she was playing was unusual; that's what drew my attention. I cocked my head to listen. It sounded for the life of me like a court waltz.

It was a court waltz. A simplified one, true, but the five-beat pattern was unmistakable. I snorted. Busking Taranabh Fair with music like that? Not exactly brilliant of her.

I drifted closer, still listening. The crowds passed by her without stopping. Technically she was very good; I'm enough of a musician to recognize skill when I hear it. Somewhere, some time, she had gotten training. She wouldn't last a season out here, though. Not playing music like that.

She wrapped the waltz up with an intricate flourish that was wasted on the passers-by. By then I was standing just a pace or two away, arms crossed over my chest, watching her.

She glanced up at me. I watched her expression closely; it's useful to monitor how people react to finding a gypsy man hanging around.

Her gaze didn't linger on me long, although I did notice a momentary widening of the eyes when she took in my appearance. I get that a lot. Nytere says I'm more creative about how I dye my hair than any three other Ieros, and about every third attempt succeeds at being something other than ugly. It took me a moment to remember what my hair looked like today. Mostly it was its natural blonde, but I'd tipped it with dark green. Not one of my best efforts.

The busker was rolling her head around to release neck tension. I stepped closer. "You taking requests?"

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