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Letter From The Editor - Issue 54 - December 2016


This special edition of Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show rolls out a bit earlier than normal thanks to our dedicated elves, dwarves, Scandanavian troll-gods, Turkish saints, and sundry ancient deities. It's our first themed issue, and the theme, fittingly, is "Festivals at the Front." Back in the summer, I solicited a group of writers for stories about holiday celebrations during war-time. Military fiction is something I never see enough of; I hope you enjoy these as much as I did.

Starting the festivities with a whisper is Laurie Tom's "Poison Maiden." The presence of the Harpy Squad means death. An all-female squad of survivors of a factory accident, they are one of the Allies' best kept secrets, and most powerful weapons, in the trenches. But the secrets kept from the Harpy Squad may be more damning than their own poison.

Magicians and mountain men keep the secrets of their arts as close to their hearts as a prized locket. Jeremy M. Gottwig's weird western, "A Heart in the Hand" is about magicians, mountain men, and a prized locket that holds the power to keep a soldier living even after he's been scalped and left for dead. Or it might just be about the blessing of not getting what you want for Christmas.

In Frances Silversmith's "Yuletide Warrior," Bertlinde wants to save the world for Jul. With her warrior sisters, she fights to prevent the Turst from breaching our world and attacking the innocent and vulnerable. And you thought the holidays were about peace, love, and goodwill to men . . . . Bertlinde and her line of thirteen fight a bloody, devastating war so you can enjoy a peaceful evening sipping mulled cider by the light of the yul log.

There's no peace in Ethiopia in 1935 (nor yul logs, nor cider). There's sand and tanks and soldiers, though, and the threat of an impending battle. And at least two Christmases. Jonathan Edelstein's "The Emperor's Gift" is an alternate history story that finds a diverse army of British, Greek, and Americans fighting alongside Ethiopians to battle Mussolini's forces in pre-WWII Africa.

Our audio offering this issue is a short story about Islam, Christmas, space exploration, and weaponized wormholes. "A Special Extra Christmas" was penned by one of our favorite authors, Eric James Stone, and is read by Emily Rankin.

Also in this issue, Lawrence Schoen interviews Chuck Gannon!

Crom bless us, every one!

Scott M. Roberts
Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show

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