I’m at MystiCon this weekend, which is why Misty graciously arranged for a guest to post in my place yesterday. However, I did want to take a moment to mention that the winners of the first annual InterGalactic Awards (a reader’s poll of favorite IGMS stories of the year) are available for a limited time for free. First Prize went to Peter Beagle for “Trinity County CA,” second place to Von Carr’s “Sister Jasmine Brings the Pain,” and there was a tie for third place between Bruce Worden’s “The American” and Keffy Kehrli’s “Ghost of a Girl Who never Lived.” I was going to provide more details about these stories myself, but IGMS assistant editor Scott Robert’s did it so much better than I ever could have, so the following is his announcement from over on the IGMS blog:
Psst. Hey. Looking for some fun? Yeah. You know what I mean, don’t you. Look, I’m not going to lie, this stuff is primo. Pure, like. And I am the only guy with this sort of deal out on the street, the only working man this side of Xanadu.
Tell you what: I’ll give you four of ‘em. Four is your magic number, oh yeah. Four soul-expanding, universe-changing, life-altering, brain-blending stories. For the price of NONE.
Did you get that? Am I talking loud enough?
First up: ‘Ghost of a Girl Who Never Lived’, by Keffy Kehrli. Look, the title itself is enough to make your brain turn in on itself to be sucked down a wormhole of wonder. Am I right? Yes, yes I am. But there’s a lot more to this story than just the title. I mean, there are like…words and things inside it. Clones. Defective clones. Ethical conundrums, even. Old houses, little brothers, mothers, fathers, hope, desperation, and death. Maybe death. I don’t want to spoil it for you. Does death even exist if you can just copy all your memories to a clone? Like I said, man—wormhole of wonder.
Speaking of transhumanism—wait, what were we talking about? I’m sure that we were talking about the Singularity—the point in which human intelligence is conferred on machines of bits and bytes and nanotechnology. Or transferred there. Sure of it. Because that’s what Bruce Worden’s The American is about, and why wouldn’t I talk about that? I would. I am. Even though it talks about a Polish farmgirl experiencing the event of trans-Atlantic transhumanism. Poland? I mean, who talks about Poland? Apparently, only really good science fiction does. You think you’re going to find stories of this quality in those high-brow, literary elitist fop mags? Uh-uh. This kind of primo, mind-affecting, soul-blasting fiction can only be found here. I am your man, baby! Rawr.
Now, listen. Don’t let the next title confuse you. Stay with me and you’ll love it. Promise. In Sister Jasmine Brings the Pain, I want to assure you that no pain is actually wrought upon you personally. Naw, this medicine man doesn’t sell that sort of concoction. Author Von Carr promises a rip-roaring cavalcade of excitement and thrills, but the only pain that gets brought is directed against zombies, robots, triffids, and cellularly controlled psychic slaves, in the wasteland that is the world after the event of all possible apocalypses. Go on—take a peek. Feast your eyes. Transcendental. I am not kidding.
You’ve heard of this next one. I’m going to say four words: Peter. Beagle. Trinity County, CA. You see how generous I am? I threw in a word for free. Free love, all day long, right here at my booth of lies and truth. Or at least as long as it takes you to read these four stories. You might not want to wait long—there are dragons about. That’s what I hear, anyway. Dragons crawling through the woods, raised by unethical dragon tamers. You be careful—this story might give you some ideas about how to survive in such a world. What’s it going to hurt? Nothing, that’s what. Might just save your life.
Hey. Beautiful. You want to thank me, I’ll tell you want to do. Send some of your little friends my way. Preach and proselytize, that’s how it goes. Spread some kind rumors my way, you know what I’m saying? I’m always right here, generous guy that I am. Here to help, that’s me.
Tell ‘em to mind the dragons, though.
Scott M. Roberts
Assistant Editor, Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show