Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show

BOOK: Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show
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Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show

By Orson Scott Card from Tom Doherty Associates

Empire

The Folk of the Fringe

Future on Fire
(editor)

Future on Ice
(editor)

Invasive Procedures
(with Aaron Johnston)

Keeper of Dreams

Lovelock
(with Kathryn Kidd)

Maps in a Mirror: The Short Fiction of Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show

Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus

Saints

Songmaster

Treason

A War of Gifts

The Worthing Saga

Wyrms

THE TALES OF ALVIN MAKER

Seventh Son

Red Prophet

Prentice Alvin

Alvin Journeyman

Heartfire

The Crystal City

ENDER

Ender’s Game

Ender’s Shadow

Shadow of the Hegemon

Shadow Puppets

Shadow of the Giant

Speaker for the Dead

Xenocide

Children of the Mind

First Meetings

HOMECOMING

The Memory of Earth

The Call of Earth

The Ships of Earth

Earthfall

Earthborn

WOMEN OF GENESIS

Sarah

Rebekah

Rachel & Leah

From Other Publishers

Enchantment

Homebody

Lost Boys

Magic Street

Stone Tables

Treasure Box

How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy

Characters and Viewpoint

Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show
Edmund R. Schubert
and
Orson Scott Card

A T
OM
D
OHERTY
A
SSOCIATES
B
OOK

N
EW
Y
ORK

The author and publisher have provided this e-book to you without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied so that you can enjoy reading it on your personal devices. This e-book is for your personal use only. You may not print or post this e-book, or make this e-book publicly available in any way. You may not copy, reproduce or upload this e-book, other than to read it on one of your personal devices.

Copyright infringement is against the law. If you believe the copy of this e-book you are reading infringes on the author’s copyright, please notify the publisher at:
us.macmillanusa.com/piracy
.
Copyright Acknowledgments

“In the Eyes of the Empress’s Cat,” by Bradley P. Beaulieu

First appeared in
IGMS
Issue #2

Copyright © March 2006, Hatrack River Enterprises

“Mazer in Prison,” by Orson Scott Card

First appeared in
IGMS
Issue #1

Copyright © October 2005, Hatrack River Enterprises

“Tabloid Reporter to the Stars,” by Eric James Stone

First appeared in
IGMS
Issue #4

Copyright © February 2007, Hatrack River Enterprises

“Audience,” by Ty Franck

First appeared in
IGMS
Issue #2

Copyright © March 2006, Hatrack River Enterprises

“The Mooncalfe,” by David Farland

First appeared in
IGMS
Issue #2

Copyright © March 2006, Hatrack River Enterprises

“Cheater,” by Orson Scott Card

First appeared in
IGMS
Issue #3

Copyright © October 2006, Hatrack River Enterprises

“Dream Engine,” by Tim Pratt

First appeared in
IGMS
Issue #3

Copyright © October 2006, Hatrack River Enterprises

“Hats Off,” by David Lubar

First appeared in
IGMS
Issue #3

Copyright © October 2006, Hatrack River Enterprises

“Eviction Notice,” by Scott M. Roberts

First appeared in
IGMS
Issue #1

Copyright © October 2005, Hatrack River Enterprises

“To Know All Things That Are in the Earth,” by James Maxey

First appeared in
IGMS
Issue #3

Copyright © October 2006, Hatrack River Enterprises

“Beats of Seven,” by Peter Orullian

First appeared in
IGMS
Issue #4

Copyright © February 2007, Hatrack River Enterprises

“Pretty Boy,” by Orson Scott Card

First appeared in
IGMS
Issue #2

Copyright © March 2006, Hatrack River Enterprises

“Respite,” by Rachel Ann Dryden

First appeared in
IGMS
Issue #1

Copyright © October 2005, Hatrack River Enterprises

“The Box of Beautiful Things,” by Brian Dolton

First appeared in
IGMS
Issue #3

Copyright © October 2006, Hatrack River Enterprises

“Taint of Treason,” by Eric James Stone

First appeared in
IGMS
Issue #1

Copyright © October 2005, Hatrack River Enterprises

“Call Me Mr. Positive,” by Tom Barlow

First appeared in
IGMS
Issue #4

Copyright © February 2007, Hatrack River Enterprises

“A Young Man with Prospects,” by Orson Scott Card

First appeared in
IGMS
Issue #4

Copyright © February 2007, Hatrack River Enterprises

All reprint rights reassigned to authors.

Foreword
BY
O
RSON
S
COTT
C
ARD

The Medicine
wagon rolls into town. With brightly painted signs, it advertises cures for every ailment, from cancer to impotence to senility to drought. The man on the wagon can do miracles.

Of course, they’re all fake. You’ll get a bottle of
something,
but it’s a sure thing it won’t cure any of the things he’s said it will cure.

He’ll keep only one of his promises, and that one is the unstated one: He’ll put on a great show.

He stops the wagon; he stands on top of it, or at the top step at its back, and he makes his pitch.

And here’s where his talents have to shine. He has to have a voice that can be heard all through a town square, in order to draw a crowd. He has to have a face that knows how to zero in on an audience, member by member, so that they take his words seriously, so that their eyes are drawn to him and can’t escape.

Even if they know he’s lying, even if they’re determined not to believe, they can’t bear to miss the
show.

We fiction writers are all medicine men. All we have to sell are lies. Everyone knows they’re lies. We
admit
they’re lies. If somebody sues us for libel, we
insist
they’re lies. We made it up. None of it ever happened anywhere, to anybody.

So why do people buy these tales of ours?

One reason is the voice. We fiction writers speak with confidence. We declare that we
know
the answers to the great mysteries, and we can tell you with certainty:

Why people do the strange, hurtful, terrible, wonderful, cruel, kind things they do.

That’s the miracle of our made-up stories. When we tell you
why
a person does something, nobody can argue with us. Nobody can say, “No, the
real
reason he did it is something else entirely.”

Because the person doesn’t exist. It’s a character, existing only in the storyteller’s mind. There is no authority but the author.

And yet…when the author gets it right, the characters he made up resonate with us. They feel true and right: Yes, this is why people do what they do. Now I understand. Things make sense. And in the midst of fiction, awash with lies, we tie ourselves to the mast of a kind of truth we cannot ever find in the real world.

So we authors speak with a voice of command. And as we weave our tales out of thin air, if you believe in them, you allow us to spin threads in your own mind and begin to weave a fabric in your memory. It is composed of pieces of your own experience that we cannot see, but when we say certain things, your own memories are awakened and fibers of this and that from your real life get twisted into the threads and woven into the textiles that our text creates.

It’s magic. When we’re done, you have memories implanted in your minds—vivid ones, powerful ones, treasured ones, if we’ve done our job aright—and these memories we’ve given you are clearer than anything in real life.

That’s the medicine in our bottles. That’s the show we put on.

 

Short stories
are the treasurehouse of fiction. Few writers are ready to tackle a novel as their first venture into fiction. It is in the short stories that they can try out their voice, make their first tentative explorations into new worlds, and test new ideas to see if there’s any truth in them.

In recent years, the market for short fiction has shrunk to a shocking degree. Yet the need for it has not. I believe that the reason is not that the audience does not want short stories, but rather that the marketplace offers no easy way to reach an audience.

Printing magazines is expensive—even on the cheap pulp paper that has typified the magazines in the speculative fiction genre. Publishing online carries far less risk, and a far higher percentage of earnings can go to the writers.

That’s why I launched
Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show
a few years ago, at
http://www.oscIGMS.com
.

From the start, I determined that even though it’s expensive, our stories would all be illustrated. For me, that’s one of the hallmarks of magazine publication. The story begins with a splash of evocative art to set the tone.

At first I edited the magazine myself, but quickly discovered that editing a magazine takes more time than I could devote to the task—not if I wanted to do it well. I was doing a bad job of keeping up with submissions and getting issues out on time. So I fired me.

That’s when I invited Ed Schubert to take the helm. He is doing a superb job, except, of course, for the problem of working with me. I have promised an
Ender’s Game
story in every issue, in the hopes that we can draw some of the readers of that series of books to this magazine. Sometimes Ed has to wring my ear a little to squeeze the story out anywhere near the due date. But that’s why he gets the big bucks.

Oh, wait. He doesn’t get big bucks. He gets paid with bags of dirt. But it’s
good
dirt. Magical dirt. Dirt just right for growing magic beans. If you know where to get magic beans.

Even with the low overhead of an online magazine, there are few ways to get the word out that the website even exists. That’s why I proposed to my publisher, Tom Doherty of Tor, that we bring out an anthology of stories that will show the variety and quality of what our magazine offers.

So please, don’t just sample our wares here in this book. Come to our website and see the latest issues and read the latest stories. We think you’ll find that
our
kind of patent medicine really does deliver.

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