Vol. 16 / Issue 61 / Winter 2022 

Original Cover Artwork "ARM" (Asteroid Retrieval Mission) Courtesy of NASA   |    < Back to Home Site

“This is a rendering of the ARM spacecraft capturing an asteroid in a bag. We built several prototype bag systems and tested them successfully with a mock asteroid on a rotating fixture. Although extensively evaluated, including astronaut EVA testing in NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Lab, the ARM study never materialized into a flight project." 

                  —Humphrey Price                                   

              Project System Engineer for NASAʼS  


                        Author of "The High Card."                  


Season's Readings!

One of the joys of editing here at NewMyths is finding the stories and poems we believe you'll love to read as much as we do. When that one gem in a thousand of submissions is by a first-time author...Wow, what a privilege! So please join me in welcoming Humphrey Price to our pages. A science fiction writer who "writes what he knows!" A NASA engineer who led the team that developed the Asteroid Retrieval Bag as seen above, and tells a memorable character-driven story about a wheeler-dealer asteroid miner who uses that tech. I believe "The High Card" will be the first of many by a science fiction writer whose name will one day rank among your favorites.

Speaking of favorites, I have more news to shout about! Beth Cato, one of our favorite poets, has won the prestigious 2022 Rhysling Award for long poetry for "The Bookstore," first published here last December. Congratulations, Beth! I love that poem!

Personally, in this time of uncertainty in the world, I find it's becoming harder to know what to believe is true or not. In my own writing I've tried to question how some beliefs can get started (whether as political lies or made-up gods or not), and how conflicting beliefs can form different realities that people live in and fight for. In "Beads of Death and Love," Stephen Curro takes the opposite approach, questioning what happens when your reality, your god, is taken from you. Asking such questions, I've always felt, is what fantasy does best. I hope you enjoy reading it and the other stories, poems, and articles in this issue.

Happy holidays. Happy reading. Happy wondering.

Susan Shell Winston, editor


This Background Image by NASA

Top Header and T of C Section Image by Mickbkk 

Table of Contents


"Beads of Death and Love" by Stephen Curro

My people do not measure time with years. We split the cycle of time into three seasons, and for each season we survive, we are given a bead. Every bead on my necklace tells a chapter of my life.

"Night at the Black Emerald Pub" by Brent Peters

The gems allured  her. No matter how she turned the cup, each jewel glittered. “These can’t be real,”  she said. They were too defined. Their surface was too smooth, too flawless. The black gem in the handle felt warm and comfortable against her skin. 

"The High Card"  by Humphrey Price

From my new vantage point sailing though open space, I could see that the side of the booster was going to hit the rocks soon. The skin on the tanks was thin, and the booster would probably rupture, shooting out liquid hydrogen propellant under pressure, sending us flying god knows where, and leaving us with no propulsion to get back home.

"Cricket Song" by J. Swift

“There’s risk. There always is with brain operations, but for this, it’s tricky. You won’t lose overall cognitive ability.

"But you'll lose the event-specific memories I've walled off. That could be anywhere from 20 to 50 percent of your total memories, spanning your entire lifetime up to this point."

"Cruising" by Lisa Timpf

Which means Minna can't use the tracker. Big deal. There's other ways they can find me. Still, the realization chilled me.

Why had I left? Why had I thought I could do this by myself?

Because I'm a cat, I reminded myself. Independent. Cunning. It's time I acted the part.

"The Blood of Our Children on their Teeth" by Elizabeth Walker

Bylvan's dragon wings fluttered restlessly. "Don't put your faith in a colony father. Males all have the blood of our young on their teeth. That's the only way they can become a father." 


"More than Skin Deep" by Kat Heckenbach

"The Doll" by Christina Sng


"After the Apocalypse" by Colleen Anderson

"A Robot Eats Fruit" by Megan Branning

"Teeth Outlived" by Jason Burnham

"a mermaid's tale" by Sharmon Gazaway

"When the Sleeping Beauty Wakes" by J. D. Harlock

"That night" by Pearl Ketover Prilik

"Ghost Train" by Lisa Timpf


"The Fantastic Worlds of Jack London"  by Peter Jekel

Limited minds can recognize limitations only in others. --Jack London.  

When one thinks of science fiction pioneers, rarely, if ever, will the name of Jack London come up as a pioneer of the genre.

“The Rocky Realm” by Peter Jekel

   Asteroids have us in their sight. --Neil deGrasse Tyson 

Soon after the discovery of asteroids, science fiction writers were not far behind in taking advantage of the new setting for their tales. Naturally one of the first out of the gate was science fiction pioneer, Jules Verne.  

Beneath the Prairie Sea: An Interview with Joshua Philip Johnson by Matthew Rettino

"...a Forever Sea floor littered with strange creatures, strange people, and strange myths; a Mainland above on the precipice of major conflict; a mysterious labyrinth haunted by an enigmatic creature; and all the prairie sea a growing body needs!"