Special Issue for BCS Science-Fantasy Month 2, featuring two bonus stories, science-fantasy cover art “Sojourn” by Ferdinand Dumago Ladera, and a giveaway for a signed George R.R. Martin anthology!
But you wouldn't know, Rechan thought, chilled. You'd be quite happy, either way. That's what you were carved for, to give your breath to Akanlam's babies, and even if you hadn't been born knowing it, everyone in our society has been telling you that for as long as you can remember. How much responsibility did people have for their carvings? How much of themselves had they put into them; and how much had they taught them?
Now she walks through broken ruins warmed with radiation and the fading light of the sun, through streets strangled by the fallen brickwork of a hundred years' abandonment and train tracks whose split rails are choked with dust. The aqueducts have run dry and flow only with hydrolyzed acid, their walls fanned with slender needles of pale yellow crystal.
She did keep the gun pointed at the curtain, because she'd said she would and a Knight must not lie. She turned it off as soon as she was out of sight, though. Humming and lighting up was all it could actually do, and Groton had warned her about letting it overheat.
I pulled a heavy sidearm from my weapons harness, a Navy variable-bore Persuader with deep scrollwork along the barrel and grip, as natural an extension of my mechanical hand as were wrist couplings and steel-jacketed fingers. “I’m a weaponsmith. I’ve got your diplomacy right here.”