I am delighted to announce that the wonderful Sheila Williams has bought my novelette “The Prisoner’s Cinema” for Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine. This makes my ninth sale to that venerable publication. Here’s a small taste:

“What’d they nab you for, see? Max said in an attempt at a gangster drawl.  “You know, Madame X was betting on you being Bangus Shi.  I mean, not you, but the new arriv—”

He was cut off by a new set of claxons.  Nhe’eng lifted her chin toward the closest monitor. The livestream had cut to a camera on the outside of the station, a view from the Control module along the central tether to their own Studio module in the distance, the two modules like tin cans twirling on either end of the tether’s string with the Earth and stars slowly spinning past.  The commentators were babbling something about an imminent impact. 

“Ah, well, about that,” Leonora said.

Something small and bright flashed into frame on the monitors, belched a cloud of exhaust, slowed to a stop against the side of the Studio module.   They heard a gentle thud from the hull somewhere off to the Sasquatch’s left, and then a mechanical rattle.  On the monitor, the mysterious something unfolded to release a swarm of smaller objects, which spread along the side of the station and popped in clouds of color, a sizzle of sound audible through the hull, hints of pattern in the shifting sun.  The camera zoomed in, searched shakily for the object, zoomed back out to reveal a painting that stretched halfway across the Station module:  A multi-colored cartoon skull with a silver smile, a lit fuse curling from its round head, and bright bold letters underneath that read, “And introducing Bangus Shi!”  

They heard a second deep thud, and on the monitor a little cloud of glittering confetti rose and slowly drifted outward into its own orbit.

Leonora turned to them with a wide smile, and shrugged.  Max gave a low whistle.  Nhe’eng tilted her head.  Madame X lifted her finger.  The Sasquatch cracked his callous-crusted knuckles and stepped forward.

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