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Kevin J. Anderson is a Hugo nominee, the author of more than fifty national or international bestsellers, and has recently become a publisher as WordFire Press. This is his third appearance in Galaxy’s Edge, and the first featuring his popular detective Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I.

LOCKED ROOM
A Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. Adventure
by
Kevin J. Anderson

1

When a harpy tells you to do something, there’s no room for discussion.

As a zombie private detective, as well as a regular customer at the Ghoul’s Diner, I had plenty of experience with Esther the harpy waitress. She had been a client of mine, seeking to get rid of a bad luck charm that a customer had left her as a tip for the awful service Esther usually provided (if “service” is a word that even applies in that situation.)

Esther had a hawkish face, a raptorlike demeanor, and a vulturelike personality. Her curled iridescent feathers looked like straight razors that had been mangled in a mail-sorting machine. With her glittering eyes, she could shoot a sharp glare at anyone who looked at her the wrong way, and Esther considered almost any way “the wrong way.” Her mood swings were best measured on the Richter scale.

Nevertheless, she was a client of Chambeaux & Deyer Investigations, and a paying one. In the Unnatural Quarter, where monsters tried to make quiet, normal lives for themselves, I’d had far worse cases before.

Late this afternoon, Esther had called our offices demanding—because Esther was incapable of making a mere request—that my ghost girlfriend Sheyenne and I meet her out in the Greenlawn Cemetery for the grand opening of a very special new crypt.

“It’s imperative that you’re both there,” Esther said in a voice that made fingernails on chalkboards sound like sweet music.

As our office administrator, Sheyenne already knew about the case. “I’m surprised you want me along too. Dan is our private investigator. I often help out on cases but—”

The harpy cut her off. “Stop arguing with me! I need a zombie and a ghost. Be there.”

We’d had a quiet day wrapping up cases and waiting for new ones to walk through the door. Robin Deyer, my human lawyer partner, had left town to visit her parents for their anniversary celebration, so it was only Sheyenne and me in the offices. I wouldn’t normally leave the place unattended, but I had my phone and I didn’t expect this would take long.

Besides, who was going to tell Esther she couldn’t have what she wanted?

The Greenlawn Cemetery was a nice place, as far as cemeteries went, with well-tended lots, mid-range tombstones, and used crypts for rent or for sale. The flowers were replenished regularly, and a park and recreation area for new tenants had been added as part of an urban beautification project. After being killed during one of my cases as a human detective, I had been buried here, and then I clawed my way back out of the earth, cleaned myself up, put on a change of clothes, and got back to work. Yes, this place held fond memories.…

As Sheyenne and I arrived at the cemetery, I wore my usual sport jacket with its stitched-up bullet holes and my traditional fedora that didn’t quite go low enough to cover the exit wound in the center of my forehead. I looked fairly decent—maybe even handsome enough to accompany my vivacious blonde, blue-eyed ghost girlfriend. Sheyenne drifted along beside me through the lanes of tombstones, ectoplasmic and glowing, too beautiful to touch (which was a good thing: since she was a ghost, I couldn’t touch her anyway).

We found the harpy standing next to the impressive new crypt, which looked like a private fortress with thick granite walls and massive columns that conveyed an ornate but unwelcoming appearance. I wasn’t surprised to see a broad-shouldered and bare-chested Minotaur standing next to Esther. Yes, the classical architect would want to be there for the grand opening of his special new tomb.

With a loud snort, Percy Minotaur, Sr. adjusted the golden ring through his blocky nose. “Thank you both for coming.”

The door to the crypt was wide open to show an austere, cold interior, dimly lit by high narrow windows.

“Where is everyone else for the celebration?” Sheyenne asked.

“We only need you two,” Esther snapped, and gestured with a feathered arm. The harpy had an odd and unsettling feminine appearance, a sexiness that at first attracted men, then made them ill as they realized exactly what they’d been attracted to. “You’re here to test Elspeth’s tomb. There’s no time to waste.”

“How is your sister’s condition?” I asked. “Any change?”

“No, still terminal.” Esther sounded disappointed. “And still no closer to it.”

The Minotaur invited us through the open door of the tomb. “Allow me to show you the finer points of the new construction. It is magnificent, as usual.”

Sheyenne and I entered the tomb, though there wasn’t much to see—an open empty vault with stone walls, stone floor, stone ceiling. The narrow slit windows at the top of the wall were thickly barricaded. The harpy’s hard face curled in a smile as she saw me looking at them. “Those are so my undead sister can look out like a sad kid on a rainy day … if she ever dies, that is.”

The tomb walls glistened as if coated with some kind of thick varnish … or maybe saliva. “A special anti-ectoplasmic preventive coating,” said the Minotaur architect. “One of the special upgrades Esther requested.”

In the center sat a raised slab on which the resident’s body would lie in repose. “Is this where you’ll place your sister’s coffin?” I asked Esther.

“Coffin? Hell, no! Why buy a fancy coffin? Who’s going to see her in here anyway? She can just lie on the slab.”

“I take it that’s why you didn’t waste money on interior decorating, either?” Sheyenne asked.

“Why would I waste money like that on Elspeth? This damned crypt is already costing enough arms and legs to make a body-repair shop happy! And it’s all his fault.” She snorted at Percy, who snorted right back.

“Great work doesn’t come cheap,” said the Minotaur. “This crypt is my finest creation so far. It is beyond a masterpiece, because I’ve already produced a masterpiece, and that’s just a beginning. Elspeth’s tomb will be—”

Esther cut him off, “Will be serviceable, I hope.”

“It looks secure,” I said. “Impressive.”

“We’ll see about that,” said Esther.

She and the Minotaur slipped back outside the crypt, and before Sheyenne and I could ask any questions, the Minotaur flexed his muscles and swung shut the massive door.

The harpy had just enough time to say, in her shrieking voice (which could cut through stone blocks), “I sincerely hope you never get out. Ever!”

After the slab sealed, we heard the loud clang of the massive bolt slamming into place.

2

When the harpy had first contacted us about her sister’s ailment, I couldn’t be sure if she was angling for sympathy or something else. She preened herself in front of Sheyenne’s desk. “Elspeth is dying, and she’s been doing so for a very long time—an unconscionably long time!”

“Oh dear,” Sheyenne said. “I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Don’t be sorry for her—be sorry for me! I’ve had to put up with all this.”

Esther’s sister suffered from a debilitating mange—a lingering illness that made her linger … and linger … and linger, like something out of a heart-wrenching movie of the week but not at all poignant. Esther had been tending her, reluctantly, for some time.

“Elspeth was obnoxious even on her good days—I got all the charm in the family.” Esther clacked her teeth together and curled her fingers so that metallic black talons extended from the tips. The harpy family must not have gotten a large share of charm to start with.

“Elspeth won’t let anyone see her because the mange makes her revolting. I told her no one would notice because she was revolting before she caught the disease—but she doesn’t believe me.”

“You certainly have a bedside manner,” Sheyenne said.

Esther fluttered her feathers. “I always wanted to be a doctor, except that I can’t stand sick people. They’re so needy.”

I wished Robin were here, because she was always good at handling difficult clients. “Is the mange contagious?” I asked.

“Always thinking of yourself, Mr. Chambeaux!” Esther snapped. “You have nothing to worry about—zombies can’t catch it.”

“Actually, I was thinking about you,” I said.

Esther flapped her arms, extended her plumage, inspected the small pinfeathers in her underarms. “What, do you see any symptoms? I douse Elspeth with bleach every day, as therapy—but if she’s infected me, I’ll pluck her naked, then tar and feather her all over again!”

I tried to calm her. “Just asking a question. I didn’t notice anything in particular.”

Sheyenne turned on the charm, which I knew hid her acid annoyance. “And how can we help you at Chambeaux and Deyer Investigations, ma’am?”

“I’m having a new tomb constructed for my sister, a special monument with many added features, designed to my exact specifications. I’ve got to make sure it’s done on time—and properly. There’s no room for error.”

She withdrew blueprints and spread them on Sheyenne’s desk, unceremoniously knocking aside the other papers and folders for our pending cases. As far as Esther was concerned, no other pending cases were as important.

“I’ve hired the greatest architect to build thick walls, reinforced windows, and an unbreakable door, with a few external decorative flourishes that will make the tomb fit in with the other ones in the cemetery. They have covenants for landscaping and exterior design.”

Looking at the blueprints, I was impressed. This massive structure would certainly stand out among the ostentatious crypts and memorial markers at Greenlawn Cemetery. I understood what she was thinking. “It’ll be like the great pyramids of Egypt.”

Esther snorted. “No—more like Alcatraz. Once I’m finally rid of my sister, I’ll seal her up inside there. If she stays dead, then fine—but a lot of people don’t stay dead anymore.”

Since I had come back as a zombie and Sheyenne came back as a ghost, I said, “Yes, we’re well aware of that.”

The harpy strutted about our offices. “Elspeth is just too mean to stay dead. Once she goes, I don’t want to deal with her anymore. If and when my sister comes back, whether as a zombie or a ghost, I want her sealed up where she can’t bother anyone again. Ever. So, I have to be sure that tomb is undead proof.” Her eyes glittered at me and Sheyenne. “That’s where you two come in.”

3

A private investigation agency has to take cases of all kinds, but some are more unpleasant than others.

We were sealed inside Elspeth’s fortress-like crypt, but I had no intention of staying there. As Sheyenne drifted in front of me, her faint glow illuminated the austere vault. Her blue eyes sparkled, and so did her smile. “It’s not so bad, Beaux—we’re getting paid to be alone together in a very private place.”

“I’d rather take you to a coffin-and-breakfast of our choosing.” I walked to the solid stone door, pressing my hands against it, tentatively using my strength. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to break out of the tomb, but I had to start somewhere. I pressed hard, felt no movement—the old immovable object and irresistible zombie conundrum. I felt around the crack with numb fingers but couldn’t find any latch or self-release button on the door.

Partly due to Robin’s recent legal efforts, laws had been passed requiring all crypts to have emergency-release locks since you never could tell when someone might wake up and need to get out. But Percy the Minotaur had not built this tomb to code.

I pounded on the door, hard, but that did no good. My cold flesh didn’t even make a satisfying thump. I wondered if Esther and Percy were still waiting out there, amused, trying to see how quickly we could escape from this trap.

“If you’re that anxious, I’ll just slip through the wall, undo the latch, and open the door,” Sheyenne said. “It’s handy to have a ghost around.”

She drifted in front of me, gave me an air kiss. As a traditional ghost, she could flit through any solid object, and her poltergeist abilities allowed her to manipulate inanimate objects.

She gathered speed as she headed toward the stone wall. Normally she would’ve melted right through without a sound; instead, I heard an alarming wet smack, and Sheyenne’s beautiful form flattened out as she pushed and pushed against the stones. It was a very strange sight. I heard a thrumming as she continued to push, growing more and more flustered. Her form was distorted into a strange blob-like female outline plastered against the impenetrable wall. Finally she withdrew, recomposed herself, and hovered in front of me, shaken.

“That’s not what I expected,” I said.

Sheyenne ran her ghostly fingers on the surface. The glistening coating sparkled faintly with an afterwash of her spectral impact, and I remembered the protective film that the Minotaur architect had applied throughout the interior of the tomb.

She sighed. “Maybe this case is going to be more difficult than we thought.”

If Esther’s sister came back from the dead, she would return as a zombie or a ghost; therefore, Esther had instructed the architect to design a tomb that was proof against either one. A ghost harpy sounded even more unpleasant than an everyday harpy. And a zombie harpy … well, I didn’t even want to go there.

Zombies were strong and persistent, but it wouldn’t be hard to build thick enough barricades to contain a shambler, even a well-preserved one like me. A ghost was more difficult to contain permanently, but this new anti-ectoplasmic film seemed quite durable and effective.

“Esther must really be worried about her sister harassing her from beyond the grave,” I said.

With increasing persistence, then frustration, Sheyenne flung herself against different walls of the crypt, then the ceiling, even the floor, but she couldn’t get through. She drifted up to the narrow windows, hoping to find some chink there, but the reinforced panes remained sturdy. The anti-ecto coating was everywhere.

When hiring us to break out of this unbreakable crypt, we hadn’t established any kind of time limit. That was my fault for not thinking through the parameters. Robin always chastised me for entering into agreements without my lawyer partner vetting them first. Live and learn … or, live, die, come back from the dead, and still miss the point.

I yanked on the raised stone coffin slab, and Sheyenne stood on the other side using her poltergeist powers, hoping we could uproot it, topple it, find a loose floor tile or something. No good. The slab and its base remained as sturdy as a redwood tree.

I removed my .38 from its holster, and Sheyenne looked at me, puzzled. If I fired the pistol, any bullets would just ricochet around the walls, but I had something else in mind.

I use the butt of the weapon to hammer the saliva-like varnish, pounding and pounding, but the film remained smooth, unscratched. “I was hoping to make a dent, chip away enough so that you could work your way through a chink in the armor.”

She pressed her ghostly hand where I had been hammering but couldn’t find the tiniest nick. That stuff was tough!

Thinking the windows might be more vulnerable, I pressed up against the wall, reached as high as I could, and grasped the narrow sill. Pulling myself up, I raised my other hand and pounded on the glass with the .38. Again, the glass was armored, and the anti-ecto coating too thick. I didn’t make a dent.

Back on the floor again, I tried to think the problem through. The cases don’t solve themselves, but even with a hole in my head I can usually figure out a puzzle.

“Ah, of course!” I reached into the pocket of my sport jacket, removing my phone. “I’ll just call somebody to get us out of here.”

“That’s probably cheating,” Sheyenne said.

“The case agreement didn’t preclude it.”

Robin was far away and wouldn’t be back in the Unnatural Quarter for days, but I had plenty of other friends in the Quarter I could call—particularly, Officer Toby McGoohan from the UQPD, my best human friend. I just needed to get him on the phone and we’d be all done here tonight.

The phone said No Service. Of course. Esther and Percy would’ve thought of that and put in shielding. These days, almost everyone elected to be buried with a phone handy.

I sat down on the stone slab. “I hate to admit it, Spooky, but I think we’re stuck.”

4

Early in the case, Esther insisted that we meet her architect, as if we were challengers in a grudge match.

Percy Minotaur, Sr. was well respected in his field, not just in tomb design, but he had also studied with a man who claimed to be Houdini’s ghost, working on a contract job for the Unnatural Quarter’s prison system. Houdini’s ghost and Percy developed specialized unbreakable prisons and holding cells for various unnaturals, demons, specters, and the like. Eventually Houdini’s ghost was exposed as a fraud, that he was actually Jim Houdini, no relation whatsoever to the legendary magician. Jim Houdini was arrested, but before he could be brought up on charges he had miraculously escaped and still remained at large.

Percy the Minotaur’s work, however, was quite remarkable. He had accepted Esther’s commission to build an inescapable, unbreakable tomb for her sister, just in case. He seemed to relish the challenge.

Upon first meeting the bare-chested Percy, I asked him why he insisted on remaining shirtless all the time. Sure, he had a broad chest and decent biceps, but he wasn’t going to win any Mr. Unnatural America contests, especially with a paunch showing over what should have been washboard abs.

The Minotaur reached up to touch his big blocky head and his wide set of curved bullhorns. “Because of these. I can’t ever pull a shirt over my head.”

That made perfect sense, I supposed.

“How about something that buttons down the front?” Sheyenne suggested. “Maybe a nice Hawaiian shirt?”

Percy seemed embarrassed. “I never thought of that.”

Esther stood in the architectural offices, impatient. “On with it. Just show them your portfolio.” The Minotaur displayed and explained photos of other buildings he had done, the façade of the Metropolitan Museum, several impressive tombs.

“My aim is to become the most respected, most widely known Minotaur architect in the entire Quarter. I’m very bullish on my career.”

He had spent a summer sabbatical at Notre Dame, considering how to create a fusion of Gothic cathedral architecture with typical Unnatural Quarter buildings.

“A developer wanted me to design tract homes in a new subdivision but I would never stoop that low. A gated community is the minimum I would consider.” With a fist he pounded his unspectacular chest. “My great works will endure the test of time. They’ll last for millennia, like the pyramids.”

“As long as they can endure a pissed-off undead harpy,” Esther said. “That’s all I care about. Better hurry up and finish the building.”

“How long do you think your sister has left?” Sheyenne asked.

Esther made a disgusted sound. “She’s been at death’s doorway for years and years but she just stands there on the welcome mat. How I hate it when she lingers. I wish she’d get on with her death so I can get on with my life.” She pointed a talon at me. “Your case, Mr. Chambeaux, is to test out the new crypt. My architect is confident but I don’t believe anyone. I wasn’t hatched yesterday.”

“What exactly do you want us to do?”

“You’ll be locked inside. If you can escape, then you get paid. If you stay trapped in there until Elspeth dies—and that could be years and years—then the Minotaur gets paid.”

5

I had heard grim stories of trapped undead who were left to tolerate an eternity of unending boredom: vampires given the Jimmy Hoffa treatment, sealed in a coffin wrapped with silver chains and then sunk at the bottom of a deep cold lake where the poor bloodsucker had to lie there without even a book to read or a digest of Sudoku puzzles. Or zombies that rotted and fell apart, unable to move … but if the brain remained alive, did the inanimate decomposing pile of tissue just while away the hours pondering the meaning of life?

Now Sheyenne and I were stuck inside a sealed crypt. Nobody knew where we were, and the harpy certainly had no intention of letting us out.

Through the narrow windows, we watched night set in, then daylight again … and now night had fallen once more. Sheyenne’s frustrated spectral glow was the only illumination to keep me company.

We’d been stuck in the tomb for more than a full day. After we had exhausted the first round of escape possibilities, neither Sheyenne nor I had any idea what to try next. Robin wouldn’t come back to the office for another week. As soon as she found us missing, she would immediately know something was wrong but she’d have no clue where to look for us.

Officer McGoohan would be concerned much sooner than that but he wouldn’t know where to look either. He’d file a missing monsters report and he’d worry about me far more than he would like to admit—but that didn’t mean Sheyenne and I were getting out of there any time soon.

For a while, Sheyenne let herself enjoy the quiet solace of the two of us together. We had all the makings of a romance to last throughout eternity, though I had never pictured our epic romance would all take place in a single room.

“Somehow I thought I’d have a more spectacular end than this, Spooky,” I said as we sat together on the slab. “My first death was kind of embarrassing, getting shot in the back of the head in a dark alley while trying to solve your murder.” I had no reason to wear a fedora inside a sealed tomb, so I took it off, set it in my lap. “Now here we are, stuck, with no place to go, not even solving a case.”

“You’ll figure out something, Beaux.”

“I suppose we can hope that Elspeth gives up the ghost soon so they’ll have to open up the crypt. But that’s not the way I’d like to wrap up a case. After all my detective work, I never thought I’d be stumped by a locked-room mystery.”

Sheyenne snuggled close to me so that her ectoplasmic body blended into mine. I wished I could feel something solid, but we took comfort in each other’s presence nevertheless. Although death was no piece of cake, her afterlife hadn’t been too bad. We had a good thing.

We reminisced about the times we had together, but I could tell she was growing agitated. Finally, Sheyenne flung herself at the film-coated walls and ceiling, again and again, becoming panicked. She smashed against the barrier, distorted her spectral body, then flew off to strike a different wall, trying to find some weakness in the protective film. She was like a moth, battering herself against a lamp.

I lurched to my feet and tried to catch her, but of course she slipped right through my grasp. I tried to calm her. “Hey, Spooky—let me think. I know you have faith in me, so let’s work this through. Calm down.”

“I don’t want to be stuck in here anymore! I just want to get back to normal.” Sheyenne slumped back on the slab and sat shuddering.

“Normal?” I said, cocking my eyebrow. “We have to break out of a sealed tomb that was built for a harpy by a Minotaur, and then go back to work for a detective agency in a city full of monsters. Yes, let’s get back to normal.”

I worked my way around the sealed door again, looking at the corners, looking at the wall. Maybe I would notice a clue after all.

Sheyenne said in a depressed voice, “Looks like this tomb will stand the test of time, like the pyramids—just like that arrogant Minotaur said.”

“He’s talented, I’ll give Percy that. He did exactly what Esther hired him to do,” I said. “But I didn’t really see him as arrogant—just proud of his work. He intended for this crypt to be his masterpiece.” Which was saying something, I realized, because we had looked at his architectural portfolio, all the great works he had already created. His masterpiece …

I sat up straighter, turned slowly around. An architect like Percy the Minotaur took so much pride in his work—he would never leave a masterpiece unsigned. Esther wouldn’t have let him make a big flourish since she owned the crypt, had commissioned it for her own purposes. But Percy … I was sure he would have found some way.

“Let’s look for initials,” I said. “Comb every block. If that architect is the artist I think he is …”

Sheyenne didn’t let herself show too much hope, not yet, but she flitted to the ceiling and scrutinized the stone crown molding while I methodically—or as is fitting for a zombie, relentlessly—went from block to stone block, studying each one, looking for a signature or initials, hoping I’d find what I needed.

Finally, on a floor tile in the corner, back behind the coffin slab designed to hold the harpy’s body, I discovered it. “Found it!”

The ghost swooped over, hovering next to me so that her lambent glow illuminated the initials: PMS.

“Percy Minotaur, Senior,” I said.

“PMS,” Sheyenne said, “could well be Esther’s initials. But what good does that do us?”

I ran my fingers over the initials and felt the roughness. If my heart had been beating much, my pulse would’ve sped up. “Percy chiseled his initials in here at the last minute. He must have slipped in, pounded the letters, and then left before Esther could spot him.”

With a fingernail, I tapped the chiseled letters, found a noticeable nick. “And he carved them right through the ectoplasmic protective film. The barrier is broken here, a chink in the armor.” I smiled up at Sheyenne. “I’ve seen you slip through a keyhole when you needed to. Can you get through this crack now?”

She brightened—literally. “Even if there’s only a little slit, I’ll make it work.”

Sheyenne bent over, concentrated, and extended her finger, sliding it through the tiny chisel mark of PMS. The rest of the crypt was sealed to her with the anti-ecto film, but she managed to push her spectral form into that tiny crack.

Her finger went first, elongating, then her entire hand plunged after it. She was gathering speed. “I can do this, Beaux.” She flashed me one of those beautiful grins until she spun down and dove entirely into the chiseled letters. She disappeared through the floor tile with a faint pop, and her spectral light went out in the crypt, leaving me all alone in darkness.

Until she used her poltergeist powers to throw open the heavy bolt that sealed the door, cracking open the entrance to the crypt. I pushed as hard as I could, shoving open the stone barricade. I worked my way out into the humid miasma of the cemetery night.

Sheyenne was there waiting for me, smiling in triumph. I inhaled a deep breath, and it smelled like roses.

6

Proud and satisfied, Sheyenne accompanied me as we presented our bill to Esther the harpy for services rendered. Sheyenne insisted on carrying the paperwork herself. Somehow, I don’t think she liked the harpy much.…

Esther was meeting with Percy the Minotaur inside his offices, going over landscaping concepts and shrubbery arrangements for the exterior of Elspeth’s tomb. Esther was never in a good mood but right now she was particularly unhappy to see us. Instead of welcoming us back, instead of graciously accepting defeat, her bird-bright eyes flashed like black lasers. She whirled to the Minotaur, shrieking. “You miserable failure!”

“Now there’s no need for that, Esther,” I said. “You hired us to test the tomb. I’m sure he can make modifications.” I wasn’t sure I wanted to suggest improvements, though; no matter how awful Elspeth was—and harpies had their own separate category for “awful”—no one deserved to be sealed away like that for eternity.

“No! I want him to start from scratch and do it right next time—and I’m not paying you until it’s perfect.”

Percy snorted so loudly that the gold ring in his nose flapped and jangled. “This is bull!”

Sheyenne slapped our bill down in front of the harpy. “We, however, expect to get paid. We did exactly what we were contracted to do.”

Esther shrieked, “You’ll get paid when—”

“We’ll get paid now, thank you,” Sheyenne said. “You can take it out of your tips at the Ghoul’s Diner.”

Esther always provided abominably bad service, but she was so intimidating that customers were afraid not to leave a tip.

With a huff and a squawk, the harpy found a purse somewhere among her plumage and paid us. “This has been a lousy day. My sister suffered a relapse.”

“Sorry to hear that,” I said. “Is she getting worse?”

“No, a relapse of health! Looks like she might last after all.… This is the worst day of my life. And they keep getting worse and worse.”

“There’s always tomorrow,” Sheyenne said in a flippant voice, and she drifted out of the Minotaur architect’s offices, with me following her.

As I closed the door, the harpy was launching into a long succession of nagging instructions, but this was no longer my case. “We should make it a general practice not to take harpies as clients.”

“Sure, there were problems, Beaux,” Sheyenne said as we headed through the bustling, colorful, and unnatural streets of the Quarter, “but I did get to spend time with you, and I like cases like that.”

I stuck out my elbow, and she slipped her ghostly arm through mine. It was a charade, but we were good at it now. As we strolled along, other naturals and unnaturals saw how we were both positively glowing. They smiled at us, and we smiled back.

It was a good day to be alive but, barring that, it was a good day for us to be together.

Copyright © 2014 by Kevin J. Anderson.

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

HOME

The Editor's Word

FICTION
BRAGGING RITES
by Samantha Murray

THE TRAGEDY OF THE DEAD
IS THAT THEY CANNOT CRY

by Sunil Patel

THE LOYAL ORDER OF BEASTS
by Kay Kenyon
YOU CAN ALWAYS
CHANGE THE PAST
by George Nikolopoulos
IT TAKES A SPECIAL-
SPECIAL PERSON

by Andrea G. Stewart

LOCKED ROOM
by Kevin J. Anderson

GOLF TO THE DEATH
by Alex Shvartsman

MY MONSTER CAN BEAT
UP YOUR MONSTER
by Brennan Harvey
THE OBSERVER
by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
YOUR GRIEF IS
IMPORTANT TO US
by Yaroslav Barsukov
DO NOT CALL ME BENTO
by Tina Gower

IN THE GROUP
by Robert Silverberg

INTERVIEW
Mike Resnick
by Joy Ward

SERIALIZATION
Double Star (Part 2)
Heinlein's First Hugo Winner
by Robert A. Heinlein

COLUMNS
From the Heart's Basement
by Barry N. Malzberg
Science Column
by Gregory Benford
Recommended Books
by Bill Fawcett & Jody Lynn Nye

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © Arc Manor LLC 2017 All Rights Reserved. Galaxy's Edge is an online magazine published every two months (January, March, May, July, September, November) by Phoenix Pick, the Science Fiction and Fantasy imprint of Arc Manor Publishers.