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Current Issue Highlights

November/December 2022

We’re already wrapping up 2022, but we still have a few treats in store before we see the year off! Next issue, our cover story features the return of an iconic science-fiction character: when a genetically-modified animal is killed and the details don’t add up, ARM sends one of its top investigators—Gil Hamilton! Get the whole story in “Sacred Cow,” by Larry Niven and Steven Barnes.

Our fact article for the issue, from Christopher MacLeod, wonders if rather than the popular Alcubierre drive, a quantum mechanical star-drive might instead be “Another Way To the Stars.”

Then, of course, we also have a wide selection of other stories:

Even a peace between humans and aliens can be fraught with hidden danger, as we see in “Jazz Age,” by Mark W. Tiedemann; the Nietzsche quote about staring into the abyss turns out to be far more literally true than anyone expected in Lisa Herbert’s “Seen”; a high-tech repo man stumbles into a far-reaching conspiracy in “Cryptonic,” by Aurelien Gayet; a robot struggles to find its better self in “In All Good Conscience,” by Meghan Hyland, and more, from Guy Stewart, Mark Laidlaw, Tom Jolly, Holly Schofield, Leonard Richardson, Deborah L. Davitt, and others, plus all our usual columns and features!

Get your copy now!

NOVELLA

The Jazz Age
by Mark W. Tiedemann

Lerin Olva entered the Grand Hall of the Accords and reveled briefly in the surge of shared excitement. Beneath the arching transparency, through which the shoulder of Mars and the variegated assemblage of the Trishti mothership glowed, the highest lattices of government and society gathered for the Jubilee. This was only Lerin’s second visit to the hall, the first in an official capacity. He had grown up watching broadcasts of the events in this space, and it still possessed an aura of mystery for him. He paused at the end of the ramp up to the peaked entryway, touched the silk accent Josa had folded into his breast pocket, briefly distracted by the tinge of disappointment that she had chosen not to accompany him tonight, and stepped into the arena with a sensation of passing from one life into another. READ MORE

SHORT STORIES

Sacred Cow
by Larry Niven & Steven Barnes

Taffy’s bedroom was a bit too warm, but I sensed that the chamber itself was cold. Couldn’t feel it of course. It was just a projection from Geneva. And it was probable that none of the people I faced were really at ARM’s Geneva facility at all.

The committee chamber was dark at the edges, with bright glowing circles spotlighting each of five ARM executives. Martin Lister sat second from the left. He was one of my supervisors and seemed more irritated than the others. Maybe that was just his default face, as if a normal person had gargled with lemon juice. “Before we retire to consider, have you anything to say, Officer Hamilton?” Lister stands five feet two, lean and muscular, straight black hair, pale complexion, sharp-edged nose and chin and cheekbones. It’s hard to meet his eyes. They burn, especially when he is pissed. At those moments there’s someone else living in there, someone I’m not sure I’d want to know. READ MORE

POETRY

Moscovium
by Drew Pisarra

Why you of all people would make me speak
of the molecular level / would have
me muse in microscopic terms / the blink

READ MORE

DEPARTMENTS

Guest Editorial: Breaking the Cycle of Fake News
by Richard A. Lovett

Fake news isn’t new. Silly headlines in supermarket tabloids, for example, have been around for years. My favorite? “Hillary Clinton Adopts Alien Baby. Secret Service Building Special Nursery in the White House!”

The exclamation point is all most people need to realize this story isn’t to be taken seriously. But sadly, that’s not always the case. Nazi Germany used misinformation to stir up hate against Jewish people. American newspapers used it to stoke fervor for the Spanish American War. Remember the Maine? Spain had nothing to gain from sneak-attacking an American battleship in Havana Harbor and a lot to lose, as the ensuing war proved, but that wasn’t how the story was told at the time, and the sensationalism that seized on it soon went down in history as “yellow journalism.” READ MORE


Alternate View: Gravitational Focusing and Alien Networks
by John G. Cramer

One of the first triumphs of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity (GR) was the observation, performed in 1919 by Arthur Eddington, Frank W. Dyson, and their collaborators during the total solar eclipse of May 29, that light is bent by the Sun’s gravitational field. The observed light deflection agreed well with Einstein’s GR prediction and was twice the deflection predicted by Newtonian gravity. READ MORE


Guest Reference Library
by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

November and December are busy times of year with the holidays and travel and family gatherings. And especially after three years of COVID, I know this year will be particularly so. One of the joys of reviewing is you get the opportunity to explore a lot of material that might not otherwise come across your desk or gain your attention. As anyone who visits any bookstore or searches any online book merchant can tell you, there are more books and authors out there than any one person could ever hope to keep track of and they just keep coming. READ MORE


Upcoming Events
by Anthony Lewis

Check here for the latest conventions upcoming in November and December. READ MORE

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