Letter From The Editor - Issue 58 - August 2017

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Issue 8
Stories
The Frankenstein Diaries
by Matt Rotundo
The Angel's Touch
by Dennis Danvers
Accounting for Dragons
by Eric James Stone
End Time
by Scott Emerson Bull
Limbo
by Stephanie Dray
Horus Ascending
by Aliette de Bodard
From the Ender Saga
Ender in Flight
by Orson Scott Card
Tales for the Young and Unafraid
Laws and Sausages
by David Lubar
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews

Writing Fantasy

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From The Clay of His Heart
    by John Brown
From The Clay of His Heart
Artwork by Scott Altmann

The golem was a thief. Nothing in the village, nothing in the whole vale for that matter, was safe. It was forever stealing and bringing its thefts to Braslava's door, laying them on her step like a cat lays down dead birds and mice.

One day it was the butcher's blue and white Turkish stockings, the next it was cranky Petar's new pitchfork.

And then the golem would stand there, looking down upon her, and all she could say was, "You think you're doing me favors? Take your inscrutable face and go sit." And the golem would go and sit in the shade of her spruce, the sap sometimes falling to speckle the red clay of its bald head and shoulders.

Braslava did not know, was this God's curse? Was it his blessing?

The golem was anatomically correct in every way, except for the missing belly button. But if God was going to go to all that trouble, why not just send a man instead?

Sometimes the thefts were not such a bad thing. For instance, the golem once brought her a shoe that months ago Zvonka the carpenter's wife had lost. It is a terrible thing to lose a favorite shoe, but the golem found it.

The golem once brought Braslava a quiver of quality hunting arrows. Each had a black shaft with three yellow grooves running from the fine steel head. The grooves, the blood lines to speed the bleeding of the animal, had been painted to look like tiny, spotted snakes. Nobody in the vale had even heard of anyone -- Croat or Hungarian -- who used such markings, so Braslava was able to claim and sell them for a good price.

These were the good things. But most of the time the golem brought things that it should not.

And it did not matter how strongly the inhabitants of the vale locked their possessions up. It didn't not matter if they hid their treasures with great cunning. The golem would find them, and it would take them. It was an excellent thief. Quiet as stone. Quiet as the red mud and clay from which it was formed. The only way a victim might know he'd been burgled was by looking for the tell-tale crumbs of red dust that it sometimes left behind.

This is how holy things steal.

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