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THE EDITOR’S WORD by Lezli Robyn

While I sit here looking out at a gorgeous vista of majestic trees and lush ferns on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, writing this editorial, most of the United States is being buried under a deluge of snow and ice and record sub-zero temperatures. Millions are left without power when they need it the most, and thousands of turtles in Texas are being rescued and brought to warming centers due to suffering severe shock at the acute temperature plunge.

This new year had been advertised to us as being an improvement on the previous one—I mean, what could be worse than a pandemic being declared?—but so far it looks like 2021 turned around and looked back at 2020’s carnage and said “I can do better.”

Well, I, for one, am not impressed.

But I also have a solution…

Let’s bury ourselves in fiction, instead. Remember those good old days where we would lose ourselves in a book and shut out the realities of the world?

Yes, I know that is quite hard to do at the moment. COVID-19 cases are on the rise, there is still significant political unrest in this country, and so many people are suffering from the financial losses incurred in 2020.

But fiction makes for great escapism, and we have put together a wonderful issue of Galaxy’s Edge to help you forget about your troubles. Why not take advantage of being able to travel again—if only in your imagination.

In this issue, our lone female fiction writer is the wonderful M. O. Muriel, gifting us a delightful steampunk tale, “A Matter of time,” the first of her pieces to ever appear in our magazine. The Atomic Clock—power generator for Lagoon City—has sped up by one micro-unit, throwing all of its citizens into a tizzy. Can Mada, Ace, and Gebrielle solve this matter of time before all of industry comes to a screeching halt?

It is also a pleasure to welcome David Farland to our magazine. In 1898, Martians attacked Earth, according to H.G. Wells in his classic War of the Worlds. Wells told the story of what happened in England, but what about the rest of the world? In “After a Lean Winter,” David reimagines the invasion from the point of view of international bestseller Jack London—with dark and fascinating results.

Finnish author, Ville Meriläinen, is also new to our pages with “The Language of Leaves,” about the witch, the wolf and the Huntsman’s burial. A wolf and a girl share a curious kindship…

You will have to read more to find out what that connection entails.

If you are looking for a less magical and more science-fictional change of pace, flip to “Ping” by J. Scott Coatsworth, a humorous story about a Seattle man who discovers aliens in the Museum of Popular Culture. Their need to get off this planet and return to their own world makes for an entertaining ride for our readers

Along with our regular columnists gifting us more insight into the Science Fiction and Fantasy field, we continue our new tradition of publishing a Mike Resnick piece in every issue of the magazine going forward—this particular story being a coda to Mike’s Doc Holliday novel series. We also welcome another favorite back into the fold: Todd McCaffrey. We’re thrilled to be able to publish “Golden,” which tells the trials and tribulations of a dragon princess.

And last but not least, we also have new fiction by Andrew Dykstal and the first half of an absolutely fascinating novella by Walter Jon Williams, “Incarnation Day.” In the outer solar system, children are raised as computer simulations and then incarnated into physical bodies when they come of age. If that captivating premise isn’t sufficient enough to distract you from the harsh realities of our world and remind you there are better discoveries on our horizon, real or imagined, then I don’t know what will.