Our issue may be a bit of a surprise: its another "double" like the July/August. Were rearranging our schedule, with a year still containing the equivalent of twelve "single" issues, but now distributed as eight singles and two doubles (January/February plus July/August) instead of the old ten singles and one double. That wont significantly change the total amount we offer you in a year, but it will significantly increase our flexibility in the kinds of things we can offer. In particular, the new schedule will make it easier to schedule more long novellas like last months "Lucky Luke." It took some real finagling to shoehorn that into a regular issue, but it would have been no particular problem in a double.
George Krauters dramatic cover illustrates "Inherit the Vortex," a new "Ray and Rokey" story by Ramona Louise Wheeler. One of the most ambitious tales in the series to date, this one gives us a look at Rokeys past, which includes a quite different sort of time-binding than yours or mine.
Thanks to the extra space, we also have quite a line-up of stories long and short by such well-known writers as Stephen L. Burns, Grey Rollins, Michael A. Burstein, Richard A. Lovett, and Robert J. Sawyer, plus a talented newcomer or two.
Our recent science fact articles have tended toward more or less biological topics, but Gary Lai takes us solidly back to physics and space with one tantalizingly titled "Hot-Air Ballooning Through Space: The Promise of Mini-Magnetospheric Plasma Propulsion."
Last but by no means least, remember that Januarywhich now means "January/February"is when we give you the annual index of everything we published in 2003, plus the ballot for The Analytical Laboratoryyour chance to reward authors and artists for outstanding work and influence our future choices. Please vote!