Special double-issue for BCS Science-Fantasy Month 6, featuring a bonus story, a bonus novella, and new science-fantasy cover art “Ancient Ones” by Jose Borges.
Today Kei tended the three that had been given to her care in her first year. If she did well—if the bonsai starships matured into acceptable usefulness—she would be initiated; she would join the shrine's priesthood.
That dying anchor said some mysterious ‘he’ was looking for her. Chakatie tried to think of who that could be. When she’d been an anchor in charge of her own land, she’d thought she’d been even-handed. But traveling with the day-fellows had revealed to her the painful reality of being on the receiving end of the grains’ anger and punishments—pains she’d once inflicted on far too many people to count.
But now, as I age and see the beginning of personal withering, I find I want to know that this patch will be tended once I lie down and die. So I’ve saved enough for a child of my own. Thirty gemflowers. There must surely be somebody out there who will exchange their own treasure for such a fortune.
“We are not afraid,” said one man with greying hair—I remembered him as a younger man, wielding an axe that had severed my legs from my body. “But the seasons have grown harsh. There is not much food.” The silence that followed served as grim confirmation.