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In this issue

Our lead story for September/October is “Empress of Starlight” by G. David Nordley. When stars begin “disappearing,” a crew takes the long trip out to the Dyson spheres they suspect are causing it, but what they find is even bigger and more astounding than they imagined. Then our fact article examines the nitty-gritty realities of non-carbon-based life, in “Alien Biochemistry: Embracing the Carbon Chauvinist,” by Jay Werkheiser. We follow that with a historical romp in “Harry and the Lewises,” from Edward M. Lerner; a comedy of tesseract errors in “And He Built a Crooked Hub,” from Christopher L. Bennett; some suitable bits of Halloween feeling in “The Unimportant Parts of the Story” from Adam-Troy Castro, “Black Shores” by Darren Speegle, and “It Came From the Coffeemaker,” by Martin L. Shoemaker; a look at the ways an AI’s programming might lead it down unexpected paths in “Optimizing the Unverified Good,” by Effie Sieberg; and many more, from the likes of Greg Benford, Sean McMullen, Ron Collins, Tony Ballantyne, and others.

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