Letter From The Editor - Issue 38 - March 2014

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Issue 5
Stories
Beauty's Folly
by Eugie Foster
Under Janey's Garden
by Margit Elland Schmitt
Rumspringa
by Jason Sanford
The Polka Man
by William John Watkins
Original Audrey
by Tammy Brown
From the Ender Saga
The Gold Bug
by Orson Scott Card
Tales for the Young and Unafraid
Toon Out
by David Lubar
Braces
by David Lubar
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews
Essays by Orson Scott Card
Who Is Snape?
by Orson Scott Card

Writing Fantasy

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-   -   -   -   P   r   e   v   i   e   w   -   -   -   -

The Gold Bug
  Included in Ender in Exile and the DabelPro Comic
    by Orson Scott Card


The Gold Bug
Artwork by Jin Han, created for the DabelPro comic book version of "Gold Bug," Copyright 2007 by Dabel Brothers Productions

It was all based on trust, wasn't it? You join the Fleet, you train until it's as natural to pilot your ship as to dance, as reflexive to fight with the ship's weapons as to use your fists. Then you go where they send you, leaving behind your family and friends, knowing that relativistic travel ensures you'll never see them again. To all intents and purposes, you've already given your life for your country -- no, your species.

You can only trust that when you commit to battle near some far-off world, the commander they've assigned to you will actually win, will make it worth the sacrifice.

As to you, personally, does it matter whether you live or die? Sel Menach asked himself this question more than once during the two-year voyage to war. Sometimes he thought it really didn't matter at all. All he cared about was victory.

But when they got to the Formic world, forty lightyears from Earth, and he and his warship hurtled from the transport and faced the enemy formation, he discovered that no matter what his mind decided, his body was determined to live.

It was a child's voice he heard over his headset, giving commands to his squad. And another child giving commands to his commander. They had been warned; it had been explained to them. Mazer Rackham's voice came over the ansible, acquainting them with how these children had been screened, trained, tested, and now the finest military minds among the human race, the most relentlessly competitive, with the fastest reflexes, would give them their orders.

"They don't know the test they're taking is real," said Rackham. "To them, it's all about winning. I can assure you that the supreme commander, Ender Wiggin, does not waste his resources. He will be as careful of your lives as if he knew you were there."

We're trusting our lives to children?

But what choice did they have?

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