It’s good week for camp Foxie. Winterlands came out yesterday, and I very much hope you’re enjoying your copy.
If you want some more amazing fiction for your weekend, you can purchase Issue 6 of Encounters Magazine, which features my story, Shadows That Scratch at Frosted Glass.
Juna captains a small trawler, working the deep space dust clouds for hydrogen ions. She has problems with the companies buying her catches squeezing her out the market, she has problems with her first mate Adele, and she has problems with her son. But none of those problems compare to those of her sleepers, the people who lend their sleeping minds to the on-board computer so the trawler can take a short cut through dreamspace and travel thousands of light years in just a few weeks. Something has noticed the sleepers, something greater than anything their minds can hold.
“There’s good fishing around Seventeen,” Alex said. He leaned over the table and lined his shot up. “I heard skipper say she’s been going there for years.”
“And I’ve slept for her the whole damned time. I’ve requested dozens of transfers and I’ve been rejected dozens of times.”
Louisiana finished her drink, turned around, leaned over the counter and mixed herself another.
The eight ball cracked into the corner pocket. “I heard Seventeen was haunted,” Alex said.
“That’s what they said, before I was assigned here. I laughed. Haunted? That’s a child’s word. But Seventeen is a dark place. When I sleep there, I am not myself. I am possessed by something. I am in my body, but I do not control it. It is like being a puppet for God, and God is an old, old thing. Humanity is nothing to it.”
He glanced up at Louisiana. She watched him carefully over the rim of her glass.
“Maybe if I’d been sleeping there for four years, I’d unplug too,” he said.
A sleeper who believed in ghosts was a liability, and no one would hire a liability. It was a dangerous confession.
She traded him in kind.
“I feel it when I’m awake sometimes,” she said. “It watches me. Like a shadow on the wrong side of frosted glass.”
She watched him, worried she’d said too much. If he ruined her, it was one less person he had to compete against for work.
But then he nodded, and she saw the fear in his eyes.
Issue 6 also features fantastic fiction from Robert Mitchell Evans, Thomas Canfield, Steven L. Peck, Wade Peterson, Jeff Barr and Harry F. Kane. So don’t you dare say you’re not getting value for money!