John M. Whalen
Shari L. Armstrong
John M. Whalen
Lee S. King
my local athletic club and saw the crowd of new faces working out their New Years resolutions. It would be easy to sneer at the newcomers, but despite the fresh faces competing for the machines I like to use and the racquetball courts that I frequent, I applaud their desire to make things better, whether they ultimately stick with it or not.
I know that the hard fact is that they won’t all stick with it, and for many of them, things will return to ‘normal’ before you know it. However, I’m pulling for them.
Here at Ray Gun Revival magazine, we have our own short list of things we’d like to do this next year. We have a number of serial novels concluding, and will be making them available as printed books. We have others waiting in the wings, including one by noted sci-fi author MKeaton. Behind the scenes, we’d like to cross-train our development so that more of us are able to help do the nuts-and-bolts development of the magazine. We’re looking for more Slushmasters to provide better and faster feedback to story subs. Bill Snodgrass from Double-edged Publishing continues to provide us with author and editor tools. And we’d like to create new formats for the
hand-held device. But most of all, we’d like to release the magazine on time. We’re working on that, too. ; )
So let’s dig into the stories in Issue 37. We start withEver Dark, An Aston West tale by T. M. Hunter. A solitary captain of a tramp freighter gets more than he bargained for when he finds an abandoned freight ship.
A hatch in the right wall split apart as I approached. Three more piles of ash lay at various spots around the rectangular bridge. Only one energy weapon was nearby, which told me someone had disintegrated unarmed victims. I shuddered.
The console stations around the bridge were all functional, so it didn’t take long to find the cargo bay controls at the aft end of the room. Fortunate for me, they weren’t locked down, so I ejected the first four bays and lifted my transmitter. “Jeanie,
I heard the far-off clunk as Jeanie broke free from the docking station. With time to kill, curiosity stepped in and I walked toward a small door half-open in the corner. A golden plaque lay at chest level and marked the room as Captain’s quarters. I pushed the door aside and saw a grey-haired head atop a wooden desk. The attached body was slumped forward in the matching chair. He had a loose grip on a small energy weapon, same as the others I’d seen. I snuck a glance at his left temple where a scorch mark was etched into his leathery skin.
Sad to say, it wasn’t the first dead body I’d ever seen, and wouldn’t be the last. The same could be said for a being who took his own life. Sometimes the darkness of death was preferable to the alternative.
Chapters 9 and 10 ofThePasadena Rule by Ben Schumacher picks up after one of the more selfless, daring acts I’ve ever read in fiction. Katya was trapped on the planet’s surface, and Jack jumped out of a perfectly good orbiting craft to try to help her. Talk about leaping to someone’s aid.
It has been conclusively established from my suit data record that I was unconscious for no more than two minutes. You couldn’t prove that by me. When Katya’s urgent voice dragged me back to awareness, it might have been two hours or two weeks later. At first I did not even know where I was. (Remembering that datum a few seconds later did not exactly cheer me up.)
Finally, Season One of Deuces Wild has concluded when Slap and Tristan returned to Slap’s home planet and took down the Mordas crime syndicate from within. Author L. S. King tells us that we’ve just finished the introduction.
The real story starts now with a little difference between who is the owner and who is the captain.
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