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"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.

So You Want to Reach the Witch at the Edge of the Void

1. No, you don't.
2. Trust us on this.
3. Personal experience.
4. You're really going to insist on this?
5. Well, first, prepare to spend a lot of credits. And we do mean a lot of credits. "Enough money to buy a medium rank planet," was what we heard, and that turned out to be an underestimate.
6. Of course you can buy your own ship, but one capable of getting you there will probably cost you enough money to buy a low rank planet.
7. Consider just buying your own planet instead.
8. Because--and we can't stress this too strongly--she's out on the edge of the void. Which is off the major passenger routes for a reason. Oh, sure, you can find the occasional inhabited planet out there in the far, far ends of the spiral arms--but almost all of them, including the one she supposedly comes from, are small, or violent, or miserable, or some combination of the lot--and you'll almost certainly have to stop at one, at least, to avoid space madness.
9. And yes, this includes her own planet. The red light that bathes its surface is deceptive: the planet is cold. And dusty. And cold. We're not big fans of calling planets after a single feature, but in this case, we're willing to call it Misery.
10. Security, probably. A good half of the galaxy probably wants her dead at this point.
11. Or maybe she just likes looking out into the void, thinking of all the galaxies she'll never visit.
12. We did call the place Misery.
13. Oh, yes, she is the most beautiful creature of your species that you have ever seen. Of any species. It's all a trick, of course, but it's a good one.
14. And oh, yes, she's said to have an insatiable appetite for attractive persons of all genders and species, both sexually and gustatorily. That's not a trick, of course, just a rumor--and one we can't confirm from personal experience.
15. But we do know that fortunes and planets have been thrown at her feet, for the pleasure of spending a single night with her, despite the dust and the cold.
16. Her spells cost even more.
17. Trust us.
18. A near shipload of items--jewels, rare elements, even two small kittens that we thought she might enjoy, associated as they are with her profession.
19. Yes, a grey one and an orange one. How did you--
20. You don't really need us to answer these questions.
21. You just wanted to know if we'd been there.
22. If you'd identified the right targets.
22. And now, you've let us identify the right targets.
23. No, we can't put our weapons down, or stop the incoming robots.
24. Neither can you.
25. She is, after all, a witch. And very good at her job.
26. We did tell you that you didn't really want to reach her.
The End
This story was first published on Monday, July 26th, 2021
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