Featuring new Cover Art by Christophe Vacher, and From the Archives, a select past BCS story related to one in the current issue.
“Knowing Neither Kin Nor Foe,” by Nancy Fulda
She was in the fields and out of sight of the kin-nest before she stopped to reconsider. Tahn would die anyway, once the Destroyer broke completely free of the barrier. If the old fool wanted to hurry the process, why stop him? He was no friend of hers, just another selfish lackey of the ley-readers. He’d probably only gone to manipulate her into following him. And like a soft-shelled hatchling, she was doing exactly that.
“Waiting for Number Five,” by Ton Crosshill
He’d called her excellent! Four’s heart soared, and she sped up to keep pace with the music’s racing beat. Oh, let them watch. Let them ooh and aah, them with their foul stinking breath. Even when sweat rolled down their noses and fell to her platform in large blobs, splashing so she had to jump out of the way, she never flinched. Let Master see how strong she was.
“Pale,” by Kathryn Allen, from BCS #37
There’s always a woman. And she plays her part, one way or the other. “The stranger’ll come for you,” I tell her, trying to tip-toe round the vulgarity. Whether it’s The Marshal or The Hired Gun, the innocent’s champion gets the woman. He’ll be good to her, but she’ll never forget, never be quite the same when he rides away.
I lifted my muzzle and sniffed. The wood was different today. Fine dust still hung in the air and sparkled in sunlit shafts. Such a thing this sparkling was. I gazed at it in wonder. Had the light ever been just so before? Was this a new thing?