Letter From The Editor - Issue 55 - February 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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End Time
Artwork by Dean Spencer
End Time
    by Scott Emerson Bull

"Damn heat," Jacob muttered, as overhead the sun bleached the sky, claiming temporary victory in its immemorial battle with darkness. He leaned forward on his chaise and lit a brown Turkish cigarette, an old addiction that refused to kill him. He was too old to care. He'd stopped counting birthdays after fifty-nine and was convinced that death kept him at arm's length just for spite. If God possessed an ounce of mercy, he would have taken Jacob by now, but Jacob knew the Devil had right of first refusal and evil's patience had no limit.

A screaming child shattered the surface of the pool. The kid's parent, a stooped man with frazzled hair and dead eyes, hovered close as if expecting disaster. It's a sin to bring kids into this world, Jacob thought. What future did they have anymore? He spied one of the cabana boys and waved his empty scotch glass. "And be quick about it," he told him. "The first three are wearing off."

In the pool, the splashing kid swallowed a mouthful of water and flailed away as if drowning. The father grabbed the kid by the arm and pulled him to the steps, ignoring the offered assistance from a middle-aged woman in a pink bathing cap and matching sunglasses. The woman shrugged and continued her journey around the pool, collapsing on the empty chaise next to Jacob in a muddle of paperbacks and sunscreen.

"My Lord it's hot," she said, in perfect Middle American. "I wanted to escape the cold, but this is ridiculous."

Jacob closed his eyes. Maybe if he ignored her.

"Looks like you're enjoying it though," she went on. "My ex used to go on about global warming and I'd tell him he was nuts. Now look at the world. Is it true what they said on the news? Did another polar ice cap break away?"

Yeah, lady, Jacob thought. The earth is melting and the days are getting hotter and the nights blacker and it's all thanks to those wonderfully toxic gases we belch into the air.

The woman continued unfazed. "I have a brother who lives on the Outer Banks and they swear the beach is creeping up to their bungalow. What a world we live in."

You don't know the half of it, Jacob thought.

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