THE EDITOR’S WORD by Lezli Robyn
Award season is in the air. In the month leading up to the publication of this issue of Galaxy’s Edge, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki’s novelette, the thought-provoking “O2 Arena,” was announced as a finalist for a British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Award, a Nebula Award, and a Hugo Award! We are so proud of that novelette and love witnessing how high and far the author is souring. We are obviously biased, but we hope the story’s hard-hitting commentary on global warming, and medical and gender inequality, garners all the votes it deserves to win.
In this issue, we have the absolute pleasure of interviewing Martha Wells. One of the highlights as editor of this magazine is being first to read the interviews that come in from Jean Marie Ward. Her insightful questions help this editor, as well other writers and readers, to pull back the curtain and take a glimpse into the mind and creative process of a wildly successful author. Martha’s Murderbot Diaries series is taking the book world by storm, and her conversation with Jean Marie is equally captivating.
We are also publishing three brand new authors in this issue. Both new to our pages and new to the field. Shirley Song was one of the five finalists for the first Mike Resnick Memorial Award (for Best Short Fiction by a New Author). Her short story, “Time, Needles, and Gravity,” gives us an unexpected viewpoint within a Time Travel Bureau, where the reader will discover just how important period-appropriate clothing can be when travelling into the past. Candice R. Lisle also adds charm and heart to our pages with her short story, “Eyes and Hands,” about two damaged salvage robots that help each other complete their assigned tasks so they don’t get scrapped themselves. In Alicia Cay’s thought-provoking and bittersweet short story, “The Color of Thunder,” we can witness the beauty an author can create with words. Ella’s brother was murdered, and she is on the verge of losing her parents to grief and anger. How can she help her parents get closure for her brother’s death, and save a magical creature’s life in the process, when she can only prove the Seraph’s innocence by revealing she also has magical gifts of her own?
Sometimes when putting together a new issue of the magazine, you realize that despite the pages being filled with very different stories, by diverse authors, an overarching theme presents itself. In issue 56, I discovered many of the stories have at least one character whose role is to aide or help another—whether in a poignant or hilarious manner. Larry Hodges is back in Galaxy’s Edge with a delightful science fiction short about an overworked angel helping God create the Solar System. Let’s just say “harried” is an understatement, when it comes to this poor heavenly being’s state of mind in “Prototype Solar System with Strings Attached.”
Along with our regular Recommended Books article by Richard Chwedyk, and columns by L. Penelope and Gregory Benford, we also have reprint stories by Mike Resnick, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Angela Slatter. Angela is new to our pages, but one of Australia’s most celebrated writers, and her story, “The Badger Bride,” tells the tale of Gytha, a copiest and bookbinder who has been given the task of copying a book of magic spells.
And, last, but not least, we have a new novelette by David Gerrold, “Duty and the Beast.” Not only is it a great study of character, but David’s a deft hand at depicting humans that are very alien to those we know now, takes us on a journey that is quite unexpected. As the title suggests, this piece showcases the oddest pairing of protagonists, who are navigating the evacuation of a world where the misunderstood are often the most likely to be left behind.