Crime may be personal, but it occurs within the context of social or cultural frictions that give each criminal act its particular character. Several of this month’s stories arise from the stresses of such cultural frictions.
In our cover story, Martin Limón introduces a new series character, Il Yong, an American soldier turned freelance security specialist who operates in the highly contested cultural zone where North Korea and China operate. Two stories are set amidst the ideological frictions of the Cold War: Terrie Farley Moran’s “On Target” and John C. Boland’s “Marley’s Lover.” And the generational frictions of the sixties drive “A Crown of Thorns” by David Edgerley Gates, set on the campus of the University of New Mexico. In this issue we also welcome the return of some favorite characters: Madame Selina and her young assistant Nip confront a
menacing apparition in Janice Law’s “The Ghostly Fireman,” Eureka Kilburn as a teen has a sense for what’s really going down in a hot environment in Jay Carey’s “We Are All Accomplices,” and those big-hearted fixers Akin and Jones zero in on scam artists in Dan Warthman’s “Mr. Smartphone.”
This month’s friction fiction will warm you in the cold season.