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Search Results Returned:  1976


The Time Traveler's Handbook: 18 Experiences from the Eruption of Vesuvius to Woodstock

Johnny Acton
James Wyllie
David Goldblatt

Not many of us can claim to have thrown chests of tea into the Boston Harbor or to have watched Vesuvius erupt, but that's about to change...

Wyllie, Acton, and Goldblatt's The Time Traveler's Handbook offers eighteen exceptional trips to the past, transporting you back to the greatest spectacles in history. You have the chance to join Henry VIII at the Field of the Cloth of Gold and to march on Versailles with the revolutionary women of Paris. You can sail with Captain Cook to Tahiti and Australia, and spend time at Xanadu with Marco Polo and Kublai Khan. Or, closer to the present, you might accompany Charlie Parker at the birth of bebop or the Beatles in Hamburg, or take part in the VE Day celebrations in London or the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

The notable authors and time travel agents Wyllie, Acton, and Goldblatt are your guides to these and other unmissable events, charting the action as it unfolds, while advising on local customs and what to wear, eat, and drink for the most authentic of experiences.

Forget museums, forget history books, the only way to do history is to live it.

A People's Future of the United States

John Joseph Adams
Victor LaValle

A glittering landscape of twenty-five speculative stories that challenge oppression and imagine new futures for America--from N. K. Jemisin, Charles Yu, Jamie Ford, G. Willow Wilson, Charlie Jane Anders, Hugh Howey, and more.

In these tumultuous times, in our deeply divided country, many people are angry, frightened, and hurting. Knowing that imagining a brighter tomorrow has always been an act of resistance, editors Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams invited an extraordinarily talented group of writers to share stories that explore new forms of freedom, love, and justice. They asked for narratives that would challenge oppressive American myths, release us from the chokehold of our history, and give us new futures to believe in.

They also asked that the stories be badass.

The result is this extraordinary collection of twenty-five stories that blend the dark and the light, the dystopian and the utopian. These tales are vivid with struggle and hardship--whether it's the othered and the oppressed, or dragonriders and covert commandos--but these characters don't flee, they fight.

A People's Future of the United States is a call to arms for anyone who believes in our power to dream a just world. Thrilling, inspiring, and a sheer joy to read, this anthology reminds us of the life-giving power of storytelling.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction by Victor LaValle
  • The Bookstore at the End of America -- Charlie Jane Anders
  • Our Aim Is Not to Die -- A. Merc Rustad
  • The Wall -- Lizz Huerta
  • Read After Burning -- Maria Dahvana Headley
  • Chapter 5: Disruption and Continuity [excerpted] -- Malka Older
  • It Was Saturday Night, I Guess That Makes It All Right -- Sam J. Miller
  • Attachment Disorder -- Tananarive Due
  • By His Bootstraps -- Ashok K. Banker
  • Riverbed -- Omar El Akkad
  • What Maya Found There -- Daniel José Older
  • The Referendum -- Lesley Nneka Arimah
  • Calendar Girls -- Justina Ireland
  • The Synapse Will Free Us from Ourselves -- Violet Allen
  • O.1 -- Gabby Rivera
  • The Blindfold -- Tobias S. Buckell
  • No Algorithms in the World -- Hugh Howey
  • Esperanto -- Jamie Ford
  • ROME -- G. Willow Wilson
  • Give Me Cornbread or Give Me Death -- N. K. Jemisin
  • Good News Bad News -- Charles Yu
  • What You Sow -- Kai Cheng Thom
  • A History of Barbed Wire -- Daniel H. Wilson
  • The Sun in Exile -- Catherynne M. Valente
  • Harmony -- Seanan McGuire
  • Now Wait for This Week -- Alice Sola Kim

Armored

John Joseph Adams

Armor up for a metal-pounding explosion of action, adventure and amazing speculation by topnotch writers--including Nebula-award winner Jack McDevitt, Sean Williams, Dan Abnett, Simon Green, and Jack Campbell--on a future warrior that might very well be just around the corner. Science fiction readers and gamers have long been fascinated by the idea of going to battle in suits of powered combat armor or at the interior controls of giant mechs.

It's an armor-plated clip of hard-hitting tales featuring exoskeleton adventure with fascinating takes on possible future armors ranging from the style of personal power suits seen in Starship Troopers and Halo to the servo-controlled bipedal beast-mech style encountered in Mechwarrior and Battletech.

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword (Armored) - essay by Orson Scott Card
  • Introduction (Armored) - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • The Johnson Maneuver - short story by William H. Keith, Jr.
  • Hel's Half-Acre - short story by John G. Hemry
  • Jungle Walkers - novelette by David Klecha and Tobias S. Buckell
  • The Last Run of the Coppelia - novelette by Genevieve Valentine
  • Death Reported of Last Surviving Veteran of Great War - short story by Dan Abnett
  • The Cat's Pajamas - novelette by Jack McDevitt
  • Find Heaven and Hell in the Smallest Things - novelette by Simon R. Green
  • Power Armor: A Love Story - short story by David Barr Kirtley
  • The Last Days of the Kelly Gang - short story by David D. Levine
  • Field Test - short story by Michael A. Stackpole
  • Trauma Pod - short story by Alastair Reynolds
  • Contained Vacuum - short story by David Sherman
  • You Do What You Do - short story by Tanya Huff
  • Nomad - novelette by Karin Lowachee
  • Human Error - short story by John Jackson Miller
  • Transfer of Ownership - short story by Christie Yant
  • Heuristic Algorithm and Reasoning Response Engine - novelette by Ethan Skarstedt and Brandon Sanderson
  • Don Quixote - short story by Carrie Vaughn
  • The Poacher - short story by Wendy N. Wagner and Jak Wagner
  • The Green - short story by Lauren Beukes
  • Sticks and Stones - short story by Robert Buettner
  • Helmet - short story by Daniel H. Wilson
  • The N-Body Solution - novelette by Sean Williams

Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories

John Joseph Adams

Your every movement is being tracked, your every word recorded. Your spouse may be an informer, your children may be listening at your door, your best friend may be a member of the secret police. You are alone among thousands, among great crowds of the brainwashed, the well-behaved, the loyal. Productivity has never been higher, the media blares, and the army is ever triumphant. One wrong move, one slip-up, and you may find yourself disappeared -- swallowed up by a monstrous bureaucracy, vanished into a shadowy labyrinth of interrogation chambers, show trials, and secret prisons from which no one ever escapes. Welcome to the world of the dystopia, a world of government and society gone horribly, nightmarishly wrong.

What happens when civilization invades and dictates every aspect of your life? From 1984 to The Handmaid's Tale, from Children of Men to Bioshock, the dystopian imagination has been a vital and gripping cautionary force. Brave New Worlds collects the best tales of totalitarian menace by some of today's most visionary writers, including Neil Gaiman, Paolo Bacigalupi, Orson Scott Card, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

When the government wields its power against its own people, every citizen becomes an enemy of the state. Will you fight the system, or be ground to dust beneath the boot of tyranny?

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - (2010) - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • The Lottery - (1948) - short story by Shirley Jackson
  • Red Card - (2007) - short story by S. L. Gilbow
  • Ten with a Flag - (2006) - short story by Joseph Paul Haines
  • The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas - (1973) - short story by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Evidence of Love in a Case of Abandonment: One Daughter's Personal Account - (2008) - short story by M. Rickert
  • The Funeral - (1972) - novelette by Kate Wilhelm
  • O Happy Day! - (1985) - novelette by Geoff Ryman
  • Pervert - (2004) - short story by Charles Coleman Finlay
  • From Homogenous to Honey - (2006) - short story by Neil Gaiman and Bryan Talbot
  • Billennium - (1961) - short story by J. G. Ballard
  • Amaryllis - (2010) - short story by Carrie Vaughn
  • Pop Squad - (2006) - novelette by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Auspicious Eggs - (2000) - novelette by James Morrow
  • Peter Skilling - (2004) - short story by Alexander C. Irvine
  • The Pedestrian - (1951) - short story by Ray Bradbury
  • The Things That Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away - (2008) - novelette by Cory Doctorow
  • The Pearl Diver - (2006) - short story by Caitlín R. Kiernan
  • Dead Space for the Unexpected - (1994) - short story by Geoff Ryman
  • "Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman - (1965) - short story by Harlan Ellison
  • Is This Your Day to Join the Revolution? - (2009) - short story by Genevieve Valentine
  • Independence Day - (2010) - short fiction by Sarah Langan
  • The Lunatics - (1988) - novelette by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Sacrament - short story by Matt Williamson
  • The Minority Report - (1956) - novelette by Philip K. Dick
  • Just Do It - (2006) - short story by Heather Lindsley
  • Harrison Bergeron - (1961) - short story by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  • Caught in the Organ Draft - (1972) - short story by Robert Silverberg
  • Geriatric Ward - (2008) - short story by Orson Scott Card
  • Arties Aren't Stupid - (2008) - short story by Jeremiah Tolbert
  • Jordan's Waterhammer - (1999) - short story by Joe Mastroianni
  • Of a Sweet Slow Dance in the Wake of Temporary Dogs - (2003) - novelette by Adam-Troy Castro
  • Resistance - (2008) - short story by Tobias S. Buckell
  • Civilization - (2007) - short story by Vylar Kaftan
  • For Further Reading - (2010) - essay by Ross E. Lockhart

Some edtions also include:

  • Personal Jesus - (2010) - shortstory by Jennifer Pelland
  • The Perfect Match - (2012) - shortstory by Ken Liu
  • The Cull - (2010) - short story by Robert Reed
  • Study Guide and Filmography - (2012) - essay by Gary K. Wolfe

By Blood We Live

John Joseph Adams

From Dracula to Buffy the Vampire Slayer; from Castlevania to Tru Blood, the romance between popular culture and vampires hearkens back to humanity's darkest, deepest fears, flowing through our very blood, fears of death, and life, and insatiable hunger. And yet, there is an attraction, undeniable, to the vampire archetype, whether the pale European count, impeccably dressed and coldly masculine, yet strangely ambiguous, ready to sink his sharp teeth deep into his victims' necks, draining or converting them, or the vamp, the count's feminine counterpart, villain and victim in one, using her wiles and icy sexuality to corrupt man and woman alike...

Edited by John Joseph Adams (Wastelands, The Living Dead), By Blood We Live gathers together the best vampire literature of the last three decades from many of today's most renowned authors of fantasy, speculative fiction, and horror, including Stephen King, Joe Hill, Garth Nix, Neil Gaiman, Kelley Armstrong, Ken Macleod, Harry Turtledove, Carrie Vaughn, and Tad Williams.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction (By Blood We Live) - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Snow, Glass, Apples - (1995) - shortstory by Neil Gaiman
  • The Master of Rampling Gate - (1984) - novelette by Anne Rice
  • Under St. Peter's - (2007) - novelette by Harry Turtledove
  • Child of an Ancient City - (1988) - novelette by Tad Williams
  • Lifeblood - (2003) - novelette by Michael A. Burstein
  • Endless Night - (2008) - shortstory by Barbara Roden
  • Infestation - (2008) - novelette by Garth Nix
  • Life Is the Teacher - (2008) - shortstory by Carrie Vaughn
  • The Vechi Barbat - (2007) - shortstory by Nancy Kilpatrick
  • The Beautiful, The Damned - (1995) - shortfiction by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • Pinecones - (2006) - shortfiction by David Wellington
  • Do Not Hasten to Bid Me Adieu - (1994) - novelette by Norman Partridge
  • Foxtrot at High Noon - shortfiction by Sergei Lukyanenko
  • This Is Now - (2004) - shortstory by Michael Marshall Smith
  • Blood Gothic - (1985) - shortstory by Nancy Holder
  • Mama Gone - (1991) - shortstory by Jane Yolen
  • Abraham's Boys - (2004) - shortstory by Joe Hill
  • Nunc Dimittis - (1983) - novelette by Tanith Lee
  • Hunger - (2007) - shortfiction by Gabriela Lee
  • Ode to Edvard Munch - (2006) - shortstory by Caitlín R. Kiernan
  • Finders Keepers - (2008) - shortfiction by L. A. Banks
  • After the Stone Age - (2004) - shortfiction by Brian Stableford
  • Much at Stake - (1991) - shortstory by Kevin J. Anderson
  • House of the Rising Sun - (2005) - shortstory by Elizabeth Bear
  • A Standup Dame - (2008) - shortstory by Lilith Saintcrow
  • Twilight - (2007) - novelette by Kelley Armstrong
  • In Darkness, Angels - (1983) - novelette by Eric Van Lustbader
  • Sunrise on Running Water - (2007) - novelette by Barbara Hambly
  • Hit - (2008) - shortstory by Bruce McAllister
  • Undead Again - (2005) - shortstory by Ken MacLeod
  • Peking Man - (1996) - shortstory by Robert J. Sawyer
  • Necros - (1986) - shortstory by Brian Lumley
  • Exsanguinations: A Handbook for the Educated Vampire by Anna S. Oppenhagen-Petrescu - (2005) - shortfiction by Catherynne M. Valente
  • Lucy, In Her Splendor - (2003) - shortstory by Charles Coleman Finlay
  • The Wide, Carnivorous Sky - novella by John Langan
  • One for the Road - (1977) - shortstory by Stephen King
  • For Further Reading (By Blood We Live) - essay by Ross E. Lockhart

Cosmic Powers: The Saga Anthology of Far-Away Galaxies

John Joseph Adams

A collection of original, epic science fiction stories by some of today's best writers - for fans who want a little less science and a lot more action - and edited by two-time Hugo Award winner John Joseph Adams.

Inspired by movies like The Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars, this anthology features brand-new stories from some of science fiction's best authors including Dan Abnett, Jack Campbell, Linda Nagata, Seanan McGuire, Alan Dean Foster, Charlie Jane Anders, Kameron Hurley, and many others.

Table of Contents:

Dead Man's Hand: An Anthology of the Weird West

John Joseph Adams

HOW THE WEST WAS WEIRD!>

From a kill-or-be-killed gunfight with a vampire to an encounter in a steampunk bordello, the weird western is a dark, gritty tale where the protagonist might be playing poker with a sorcerous deck of cards, or facing an alien on the streets of a dusty frontier town.

Here are twenty-three original tales—stories of the Old West infused with elements of the fantastic—produced specifically for this volume by many of today's finest writers. Included are Orson Scott Card's first "Alvin Maker" story in a decade, and an original adventure by Fred Van Lente, writer of Cowboys & Aliens.

Other contributors include: Tobias S. Buckell, David Farland, Alan Dean Foster, Jeffrey Ford, Laura Anne Gilman, Rajan Khanna, Mike Resnick, Beth Revis, Fred Van Lente, Walter Jon Williams, Ben H. Winters, Christie Yant and Charles Yu.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction by John Joseph Adams
  • The Red-Headed Dead by Joe R. Lansdale
  • The Old Slow Man and His Gold Gun From Space by Ben H. Winters
  • Hellfire on the High Frontier by David Farland
  • The Hell-Bound Stagecoach by Mike Resnick
  • Stingers and Strangers by Seanan McGuire
  • Bookkeeper, Narrator, Gunslinger by Charles Yu
  • Holy Jingle by Alan Dean Foster
  • The Man With No Heart by Beth Revis
  • Wrecking Party by Alastair Reynolds
  • Hell from the East by Hugh Howey
  • Second Hand—Rajan Khanna
  • Alvin and the Apple Tree by Orson Scott Card
  • Madam Damnable's Sewing Circle by Elizabeth Bear
  • Strong Medicine by Tad Williams
  • Red Dreams by Jonathan Maberry
  • Bamboolzed by Kelley Armstrong
  • Sundown by Tobias S. Buckell
  • La Madre Del Oro by Jeffrey Ford
  • What I Assume You Shall Assume by Ken Liu
  • The Devil's Jack by Laura Anne Gilman
  • The Golden Age by Walter Jon Williams
  • Neversleeps by Fred Van Lente
  • Dead Man's Hand by Christie Yant

Epic: Legends of Fantasy

John Joseph Adams

From the creation myths and quest sagas of ancient times to the megapopular fantasy novels of today, this quintessential anthology of epic fantasy is adventurous storytelling at its best. With rich and vibrant world building, readers are transported to antiquated realms to witness noble sacrifices and astonishing wonders. Gathering a comprehensive survey of beloved stories from the genre, this compilation includes stories by such luminaries as George R. R. Martin, Robert Jordan, Terry Brooks, Ursula K. Le Guin, Robin Hobb, and Tad Williams. Inspiring and larger-than-life, these tales offer timeless values of courage and friendship in the face of ultimate evil and express mankind's greatest hopes and fears.

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword (Epic) - essay by Brent Weeks
  • Introduction (Epic) - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Homecoming - (2003) - novella by Robin Hobb
  • The Word of Unbinding - (1964) - short story by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Burning Man - (1998) - novelette by Tad Williams
  • As the Wheel Turns - (2010) - short story by Aliette de Bodard
  • The Alchemist - (2010) - novella by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Sandmagic - (1979) - novelette by Orson Scott Card
  • The Road to Levinshir - (2002) - short story by Patrick Rothfuss
  • Rysn - shortstory by Brandon Sanderson
  • While the Gods Laugh - (1961) - novelette by Michael Moorcock
  • Mother of All Russiya - (2012) - short story by Melanie Rawn
  • Riding the Shore of the River of Death - (2009) - short fiction by Kate Elliott
  • Bound Man - (2006) - novelette by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • The Narcomancer - (2007) - short fiction by N. K. Jemisin
  • Strife Lingers in Memory - (2002) - shortstory by Carrie Vaughn
  • The Mad Apprentice - (2010) - novelette by Trudi Canavan
  • Otherling - (2000) - novelette by Juliet Marillier
  • The Mystery Knight - short fiction by George R. R. Martin

Federations

John Joseph Adams

Edited by John Joseph Adams, editor of Wastelands and The Living Dead. From Star Trek to Star Wars, from Dune to Foundation, science fiction has a rich history of exploring the idea of vast intergalactic societies, and the challenges facing those living in or trying to manage such societies. The stories in Federations will continue that tradition, and herein you will find a mix of all-new, original fiction, alongside selected reprints from authors whose work exemplifies what interstellar SF is capable of, including Lois McMaster Bujold, Orson Scott Card, Anne McCaffrey, George R.R. Martin, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Alastair Reynolds, Robert J. Sawyer, Robert Silverberg and Harry Turtledove.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction (Federations) - (2009) - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Mazer in Prison - (2005) - novelette by Orson Scott Card
  • Carthago Delenda Est - short story by Genevieve Valentine
  • Life-Suspension - (2009) - short story by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
  • Terra-Exulta - (2009) - short story by S. L. Gilbow
  • Aftermaths - (1986) - short story by Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Someone Is Stealing the Great Throne Rooms of the Galaxy - (2006) - short story by Harry Turtledove
  • Prisons - (1992) - short story by Kevin J. Anderson and Doug Beason
  • Different Day - (2009) - short story by K. Tempest Bradford
  • Twilight of the Gods - (2009) - novelette by John C. Wright
  • Warship - (1979) - short story by George R. R. Martin and George Guthridge
  • Swanwatch - (2009) - short story by Yoon Ha Lee
  • Spirey and the Queen - (1996) - novelette by Alastair Reynolds
  • Pardon Our Conquest - (2009) - short story by Alan Dean Foster
  • Symbiont - (1985) - novelette by Robert Silverberg
  • The Ship Who Returned - (1999) - novelette by Anne McCaffrey
  • My She - (2009) - short story by Mary Rosenblum
  • The Shoulders of Giants - (2000) - short story by Robert J. Sawyer
  • The Culture Archivist - (2009) - short story by Jeremiah Tolbert
  • The Other Side of Jordan - (2009) - short story by Allen Steele
  • Like They Always Been Free - (2009) - short story by Georgina Li
  • Eskhara - (2009) - short story by Trent Hergenrader
  • The One with the Interstellar Group Consciousnesses - (2009) - short story by James Alan Gardner
  • Golubash, or Wine-Blood-War-Elegy - short story by Catherynne M. Valente

Help Fund My Robot Army!!! and Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects

John Joseph Adams

If you're a regular backer of Kickstarters, you've probably seen some unique crowdfunding projects in your time. But one thing all of those campaigns--boringly!--had in common was: They abided by the physical laws of the universe!

HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! is an anthology of science fiction/fantasy stories told in the form of fictional crowdfunding project pitches, using the components (and restrictions) of the format to tell the story. This includes but is not limited to: Project Goals, Rewards, User Comments, Project Updates, FAQs, and more. The idea is to replicate the feel of reading a crowdfunding pitch, so that even though the projects may be preposterous in the real world, they will feel like authentic crowdfunding projects as much as possible.

The anthology features original, never-before-published fiction by Bradley Beaulieu , Veronica Belmont, Brooke Bolander, Maurice Broaddus, Tobias S. Buckell, Harry Connolly, Monte Cook, Matt Forbeck, Jason Gurley, Kat Howard, Jonathan L. Howard, Vylar Kaftan, Jake Kerr, Mary Robinette Kowal, Mur Lafferty, David D. Levine, Heather Lindsley, Carmen Maria Machado, David Malki!, Seanan McGuire, Samuel Peralta, Tim Pratt, Andy Penn Romine, Scott Sigler, Michael J. Sullivan, Jeremiah Tolbert, Genevieve Valentine, Derek Van Gorder, Chuck Wendig, Matt Williamson, Daniel H. Wilson, and Sylvia Spruck Wrigley. Plus, a reprint of the eponymous story that inspired the anthology by Keffy R.M. Kehrli, for a total of 33 crowdfunding-style stories.

So if what you've always been looking for in a Kickstarter--and couldn't find--was a project that allowed you to protect yourself from spoilers, buy wishes, find lost objects, or support a wildlife preserve for supernatural creatures, then HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! & Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects may be just the thing you've been looking for.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Formatting Note - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Help Fund My Robot Army!!! - (2013) - shortstory by Keffy R. M. Kehrli
  • For Entertainment Purposes Only - shortstory by Jeremiah Tolbert
  • Zero G R&J - shortstory by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • A Memorial to the Patriots - shortstory by Jake Kerr
  • I Want to Be a Lioness - shortstory by Chuck Wendig
  • Liberty: Seeking Support for a Writ of Habeas Corpus for a Non-Human Being - shortstory by Samuel Peralta
  • Help Summon the Most Holy Folded One! - shortfiction by Harry Connolly
  • Fulfill My Destiny-And Save the World! - shortstory by Matt Forbeck
  • LARPing the Apocalypse 2: The Nano-Plague - shortstory by Tim Pratt
  • Fund Taphognosis Industries - shortstory by Tobias S. Buckell
  • Catassassins! - shortstory by Veronica Belmont
  • Finder of Lost Things - shortstory by Monte Cook
  • Prima Nocta Detective Agency Needs You - shortstory by Genevieve Valentine
  • So Juicy Transforming Strips - shortstory by Matt Williamson
  • The Spirit of Mars: Fund a Sacred Journey to the Red Planet - shortstory by Andrew Penn Romine
  • Flashed Forward - shortstory by Bradley P. Beaulieu
  • Help Me Follow My Sister into the Land of the Dead - shortstory by Carmen Maria Machado
  • Be Careful What You Wish For - shortstory by Michael J. Sullivan
  • A Practical Mechanism for Overcoming the Directionality of Temporal Flow - shortstory by David D. Levine
  • Life-Sized Arena Tetris! - shortstory by David Malki !
  • Zippers - shortstory by Derek Van Gorder
  • I Used to Love H.E.R. - shortstory by Maurice Broaddus
  • Locally Grown, Organic - shortstory by Kat Howard
  • Let's Keep Burt Grimsby's Head Frozen! - shortstory by Heather Lindsley
  • Jerome 3.0 - shortstory by Jason Gurley
  • Help Me Destroy Cannes! - shortstory by Jonathan L. Howard
  • Save the Photophobic Hemoglobivores with the Sanguine Reserve! - shortstory by Mur Lafferty
  • Nosferatu, Brutus? - shortstory by Scott Sigler
  • Updates - shortstory by Vylar Kaftan and Shannon Prickett
  • You Only Live Once - shortstory by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
  • Mechanical Animals - shortstory by Brooke Bolander
  • Kismet™ - shortstory by Daniel H. Wilson
  • Bring About the Halloween Eternal!!! - shortstory by Seanan McGuire
  • Acknowledgments - essay by uncredited
  • About the Editors - essay by uncredited

Lightspeed: Year One

John Joseph Adams

Lightspeed is the critically acclaimed, online science fiction magazine edited by bestselling anthologist John Joseph Adams.

Lightspeed: Year One collects all of the fiction published during Lightspeed's first journey around the sun: Nebula Award finalists like Vylar Kaftan's "I'm Alive, I Love You, I'll See You in Reno," Hugo Award nominees like Carrie Vaughn's "Amaryllis," and great classic reprints by Stephen King, Ursula K. Le Guin, George R.R. Martin, and more.

Table of Contents:

Loosed Upon the World: The Saga Anthology of Climate Fiction

John Joseph Adams

Collected by the editor of the award-winning Lightspeed magazine, the first, definitive anthology of climate fiction - a cutting-edge genre made popular by Margaret Atwood.

Is it the end of the world as we know it? Climate Fiction, or Cli-Fi, is exploring the world we live in now - and in the very near future - as the effects of global warming become more evident. Join bestselling, award-winning writers like Margaret Atwood, Paolo Bacigalupi, Kim Stanley Robinson, Seanan McGuire, and many others at the brink of tomorrow. Loosed Upon the World is so believable, it's frightening.

Table of Contents:

  • Shooting the Apocalypse - novelette by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • The Myth of Rain - short story by Seanan McGuire
  • Outer Rims - short story by Toiya Kristen Finley
  • Kheldyu - novelette by Karl Schroeder
  • The Snows of Yesteryear - short story by Jean-Louis Trudel
  • A Hundred Hundred Daisies - short story by Nancy Kress
  • The Rainy Season - short story by Tobias S. Buckell
  • The Netherlands Lives With Water - novelette by Jim Shepard
  • The Precedent - novelette by Sean McMullen
  • Hot Sky - novelette by Robert Silverberg
  • That Creeping Sensation - short story by Alan Dean Foster
  • Truth or Consequences - novel excerpt by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Entanglement - novella by Vandana Singh
  • Staying Afloat - short story by Angela Penrose
  • Eighth Wonder - short story by Chris Bachelder
  • Eagle - short story by Gregory Benford
  • Outliers - short story by Nicole Feldringer
  • Quiet Town - short story by Jason Gurley
  • The Day It All Ended - short story by Charlie Jane Anders
  • The Smog Society - short story by Chen Qiufan (translated by Ken Liu & Carmen Yiling Yan)
  • Racing the Tide - short story by Craig DeLancey
  • Mutant Stag at Horn Creek - novelette by Sarah Castle
  • Hot Rods - novelette by Cat Sparks
  • The Tamarisk Hunter - short story by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Mitigation - novelette by Tobias Buckell & Karl Schroeder
  • Time Capsule Found on the Dead Planet - short story by Margaret Atwood
  • AFTERWORD: Science Scarier Than Fiction - Ramez Naam

Operation Arcana

John Joseph Adams

In the realms of fantasy, the battlefield is where heroism comes alive, magic is unleashed, and legends are made and unmade. From the War of the Ring, Tolkien's epic battle of good versus evil, to The Battle of the Blackwater, George R. R. Martin's grim portrait of the horror and futility of war, these fantastical conflicts reflect our highest hopes and darkest fears, bringing us mesmerizing visions of silver spears shining in the sun and vast hordes of savage beasts who threaten to destroy all that we hold dear.

Now acclaimed editor John Joseph Adams is sounding the battle cry and sixteen of today's top authors are reporting for duty, spinning never-before-published, spellbinding tales of military fantasy, including a Black Company story from Glen Cook, a Paksenarrion story from Elizabeth Moon, and a Shadow Ops story by Myke Cole. Within these pages you'll also find World War I trenches cloaked in poison gas and sorcery, modern day elite special forces battling hosts of the damned, and steampunk soldiers fighting for their lives in a world torn apart by powers that defy imagination.

Featuring both grizzled veterans and fresh young recruits alike, including Tanya Huff, Simon R. Green, Carrie Vaughn, Jonathan Maberry, and Seanan McGuire, Operation Arcana is a must for any military buff or fantasy fan. You'll never look at war the same way again.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - John Joseph Adams
  • Rules of Enchantment - short story by David Klecha & Tobias S. Buckell
  • The Damned One Hundred - short story by Jonathan Maberry
  • Blood, Ash, Braids - short story by Genevieve Valentine
  • Mercenary's Honor [Paksenarrion Universe] - short story by Elizabeth Moon
  • The Guns of the Wastes - short story by Django Wexler
  • The Graphology of Hemorrhage - short story by Yoon Ha Lee
  • American Golem - short story by Weston Ochse
  • Weapons in the Earth [Shadow Ops] - novelette by Myke Cole
  • Heavy Sulfur - short story by Ari Marmell
  • Steel Ships - short story by Tanya Huff
  • Sealskin - short story by Carrie Vaughn
  • Pathfinder - short story by T.C. Mccarthy
  • Bone Eaters [Tales of the Black Company] - novelette by Glen Cook
  • Bomber's Moon - short story by Simon R. Green
  • In Skeleton Leaves - short story by Seanan Mcguire
  • The Way Home - short story by Linda Nagata

Other Worlds Than These

John Joseph Adams

What if you could not only travel any location in the world, but to any possible world?

We can all imagine such "other worlds"--be they worlds just slightly different than our own or worlds full of magic and wonder--but it is only in fiction that we can travel to them. From The Wizard of Oz to The Dark Tower, from Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass to C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia, there is a rich tradition of this kind of fiction, but never before have the best parallel world stories and portal fantasies been collected in a single volume--until now.

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword (Other Worlds Than These) - essay by Lev Grossman
  • Introduction (Other Worlds Than These) - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Moon Six - (1997) - novelette by Stephen Baxter
  • A Brief Guide to Other Histories - (2008) - shortstory by Paul J. McAuley
  • Crystal Halloway and the Forgotten Passage - (2011) - shortstory by Seanan McGuire
  • An Empty House With Many Doors - (2011) - shortstory by Michael Swanwick
  • Twenty-Two Centimeters - (2004) - shortstory by Gregory Benford
  • Ana's Tag - (2008) - shortstory by William Alexander
  • Nothing Personal - (2007) - novella by Pat Cadigan
  • The Rose Wall - (1981) - shortstory by Joyce Carol Oates
  • The Thirteen Texts of Arthyria - (2010) - novelette by John R. Fultz
  • Ruminations in an Alien Tongue - (2012) - shortstory by Vandana Singh
  • Ten Sigmas - (2004) - shortstory by Paul Melko
  • Magic for Beginners - (2005) - novella by Kelly Link
  • [A Ghost Samba] - (2008) - shortstory by Ian McDonald
  • The Cristóbal Effect - (2012) - shortstory by Simon McCaffery
  • Beyond Porch and Portal - (2009) - novelette by E. Catherine Tobler
  • Signal to Noise - (2006) - novelette by Alastair Reynolds
  • Porridge on Islac - (2003) - shortstory by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Mrs. Todd's Shortcut - (1984) - novelette by Stephen King
  • The Ontological Factor - (2011) - shortstory by David Barr Kirtley
  • Dear Annabehls - [Dear Annabehls Universe] - (2009) - shortstory by Mercurio D. Rivera
  • The Goat Variations - (2009) - shortstory by Jeff VanderMeer
  • The Lonely Songs of Laren Dorr - (1976) - shortstory by George R. R. Martin
  • Of Swords and Horses - (2006) - shortstory by Carrie Vaughn
  • Impossible Dreams - (2006) - shortstory by Tim Pratt
  • Like Minds - (2003) - novelette by Robert Reed
  • The City of Blind Delight - (2008) - shortstory by Catherynne M. Valente
  • Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain - (2010) - shortstory by Yoon Ha Lee
  • Angles - (2002) - novelette by Orson Scott Card
  • The Magician and the Maid and Other Stories - (2010) - shortstory by Christie Yant
  • Trips - (1974) - novelette by Robert Silverberg
  • For Further Reading (Other Worlds Than These) - essay by Ross E. Lockhart

Oz Reimagined: New Tales from the Emerald City and Beyond

John Joseph Adams
Douglas Cohen

FOREWORD BY GREGORY MAGUIRE, NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF WICKED.

When L. Frank Baum introduced Dorothy and friends to the American public in 1900, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz became an instant, bestselling hit. Today the whimsical tale remains a cultural phenomenon that continues to spawn wildly popular books, movies, and musicals. Now, editors John Joseph Adams and Douglas Cohen have brought together leading fantasy writers such as Orson Scott Card and Seanan McGuire to create the ultimate anthology for Oz fans - and, really, any reader with an appetite for richly imagined worlds. Stories include:

  • Frank Baum's son has the real experiences that his father later fictionalized in Orson Scott Card's "Off to See the Emperor."
  • Seanan McGuire's "Emeralds to Emeralds, Dust to Dust" finds Dorothy grown up, bitter, and still living in Oz. And she has a murder to solve - assuming Ozma will stop interfering with her life long enough to let her do her job.
  • In "Blown Away," Jane Yolen asks: What if Toto was dead and stuffed, Ozma was a circus freak, and everything you thought you knew as Oz was
    really right here in Kansas?
  • "The Cobbler of Oz" by Jonathan Maberry explores a Winged Monkey with wings too small to let her fly. Her only chance to change that rests with
    the Silver Slippers.
  • In Tad Williams's futuristic "The Boy Detective of Oz," Orlando investigates the corrupt Oz simulation of the Otherland network.
  • And more...

Some stories are dystopian... Some are dreamlike... All are undeniably Oz.

Includes stories by these authors: Dale Bailey, Orson Scott Card, Rae Carson, David Farland, C.C. Finlay, Jeffrey Ford, Theodora Goss, Simon R. Green, Kat Howard, Ken Liu, Seanan McGuire, Jonathan Maberry, Rachel Swirsky, Robin Wasserman, Tad Williams, Jane Yolen.

Table of Contents:

  • Oz Reimagined: New Tales from the Emerald City and Beyond - (2013) - interior artwork by Galen Dara
  • Foreword: Oz and Ourselves - essay by Gregory Maguire
  • Introduction: There's No Place Like Oz - essay by John Joseph Adams and Douglas Cohen
  • The Great Zeppelin Heist of Oz - shortfiction by C. C. Finlay and Rae Carson
  • Emeralds to Emeralds, Dust to Dust - shortfiction by Seanan McGuire
  • Lost Girls of Oz - shortfiction by Theodora Goss
  • The Boy Detective of Oz: An Otherland Story - shortfiction by Tad Williams
  • Dorothy Dreams - shortfiction by Simon R. Green
  • Dead Blue - shortfiction by David Farland
  • One Flew Over the Rainbow - shortfiction by Robin Wasserman
  • The Veiled Shanghai - shortfiction by Ken Liu
  • Beyond the Naked Eye - shortfiction by Rachel Swirsky
  • A Tornado of Dorothys - shortfiction by Kat Howard
  • Blown Away - shortfiction by Jane Yolen
  • City So Bright - shortfiction by Dale Bailey
  • Off to See the Emperor - shortfiction by Orson Scott Card
  • A Meeting in Oz - shortfiction by Jeffrey Ford
  • The Cobbler of Oz - shortfiction by Jonathan Maberry

Press Start to Play

John Joseph Adams
Daniel H. Wilson

IT'S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE!
TAKE THIS.

You are standing in a room filled with books, faced with a difficult decision. Suddenly, one with a distinctive cover catches your eye. It is a groundbreaking anthology of short stories from award-winning writers and game-industry titans who have embarked on a quest to explore what happens when video games and science fiction collide.

From text-based adventures to first-person shooters, dungeon crawlers to horror games, these twenty-six stories play with our notion of what video games can be - and what they can become - in smart and singular ways. With a foreword from Ernest Cline, bestselling author of Ready Player One,Press Start to Play includes work from: Daniel H. Wilson, Charles Yu, Hiroshi Sakurazaka, S.R. Mastrantone, Charlie Jane Anders, Holly Black, Seanan McGuire, Django Wexler, Nicole Feldringer, Chris Avellone, David Barr Kirtley,T.C. Boyle, Marc Laidlaw, Robin Wasserman, Micky Neilson, Cory Doctorow, Jessica Barber, Chris Kluwe, Marguerite K. Bennett, Rhianna Pratchett, Austin Grossman, Yoon Ha Lee, Ken Liu, Catherynne M. Valente, Andy Weir, and Hugh Howey.

Your inventory includes keys, a cell phone, and a wallet. What would you like to do?

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

  • Foreword - Ernest Cline
  • Introduction - John Joseph Adams
  • God Mode - short story by Daniel H. Wilson
  • NPC - short story by Charles Yu
  • Respawn - short story by Hiroshi Sakurazaka (translated by Nathan Collins)
  • Desert Walk - short story by S.R. Mastrantone
  • Rat Catcher's Yellows - short story by Charlie Jane Anders
  • 1Up - short story by Holly Black
  • Survival Horror - short story by Seanan McGuire
  • REAL - short story by Django Wexler
  • Outliers - short story by Nicole Feldringer
  • - short story by Chris Avellone
  • Save Me Plz - short story by David Barr Kirtley (reprint)
  • The Relive Box - novelette by T.C. Boyle (reprint)
  • Roguelike - short story by Marc Laidlaw
  • All of the People in Your Party Have Died - novelette by Robin Wasserman
  • RECOIL! - short story by Micky Neilson
  • Anda's Game - novelette by Cory Doctorow (reprint)
  • Coma Kings - short story by Jessica Barber (reprint)
  • Stats - short story by Marguerite K. Bennett
  • Please Continue - short story by Chris Kluwe
  • Creation Screen - short story by Rhianna Pratchett
  • The Fresh Prince of Gamma World - short story by Austin Grossman
  • Gamer's End - short story by Yoon Ha Lee
  • The Clockwork Soldier - short story by Ken Liu (reprint)
  • Killswitch - short story by Catherynne M. Valente (reprint)
  • Twarrior - short story by Andy Weir
  • Select Character - short story by Hugh Howey

Robot Uprisings

John Joseph Adams
Daniel H. Wilson

Humans beware. As the robotic revolution continues to creep into our lives, it brings with it an impending sense of doom. What horrifying scenarios might unfold if our technology were to go awry? From self-aware robotic toys to intelligent machines violently malfunctioning, this anthology brings to life the half-formed questions and fears we all have about the increasing presence of robots in our lives. With contributions from a mix of bestselling, award-winning, and up-and-coming writers, and including a rare story by "the father of artificial intelligence," Dr. John McCarthy, Robot Uprisings meticulously describes the exhilarating and terrifying near-future in which humans can only survive by being cleverer than the rebellious machines they have created.

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword by Daniel H. Wilson
  • Complex God by Scott Sigler
  • Cycles by Charles Yu
  • Lullaby by Anna North
  • Eighty Miles an Hour All the Way to Paradise by Genevieve Valentine
  • Executable by Hugh Howey
  • The Omnibot Incident by Ernest Cline
  • Epoch by Cory Doctorow
  • Human Intelligence by Jeff Abbott
  • The Golden Hour by Julianna Baggott
  • Sleepover by Alastair Reynolds
  • Seasoning by Alan Dean Foster
  • Nanonauts! In Battle with Tiny Death-subs! by Ian McDonald
  • Of Dying Heroes and Deathless Deeds by Robin Wasserman
  • The Robot and the Baby by John McCarthy
  • We are All Misfit Toys in the Aftermath of the Velveteen War by Seanan McGuire
  • Spider the Artist by Nnedi Okorafor
  • Small Things by Daniel H. Wilson

Seeds of Change

John Joseph Adams

Imagine the moment when the present ends, and the future begins--when the world we knew is no more and a brave new world is thrust upon us. Gathering stories by nine of today's most incisive minds, Seeds of Change confronts the pivotal issues facing our society today: racism, global warming, peak oil, technological advancement, and political revolution. Many serve as a call to action: How will you change with the future?

These nine stories sow seeds of change across familiar and foreign territory, from our own backyards to the Niger Delta to worlds not yet discovered. Pepper, the mysterious mercenary from Tobias S. Buckell's Crystal Rain and Ragamuffin, works as an agent for change--if the price is right--in "Resistance." Ken MacLeod envisions the end-game in the Middle East in "A Dance Called Armageddon." Blake Charlton imagines a revolutionary advance in cancer research in "Endosymbiont." Award-winning author Jay Lake tackles technological change and the forces that will stop at nothing to prevent it in "The Future by Degrees." Other stories by K.D. Wentworth, Jeremiah Tolbert, Mark Budz, Ted Kosmatka, and Nnedi Okorafor range from the darkly satirical to the exotic. All explore the notion that change will come. Will you be ready?

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction (Seeds of Change) - (2008) - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • N-Words - (2008) - shortstory by Ted Kosmatka
  • The Future by Degrees - (2008) - shortstory by Jay Lake
  • Drinking Problem - (2008) - shortstory by K. D. Wentworth
  • Endosymbiont - (2008) - novelette by Blake Charlton
  • A Dance Called Armageddon - (2008) - shortstory by Ken MacLeod
  • Arties Aren't Stupid - (2008) - shortstory by Jeremiah Tolbert
  • Faceless in Gethsemane - (2008) - shortstory by Mark Budz
  • Spider the Artist - (2008) - shortstory by Nnedi Okorafor
  • Resistance - (2008) - shortstory by Tobias S. Buckell

The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for the Modern Evil Genius

John Joseph Adams

From Victor Frankenstein to Lex Luthor, from Dr. Moreau to Dr. Doom, readers have long been fascinated by insane plans for world domination and the madmen who devise them. Typically, we see these villains through the eyes of good guys. This anthology, however, explores the world of mad scientists and evil geniuses--from their own wonderfully twisted point of view.

An all-star roster of bestselling authors--including Diana Gabaldon, Daniel Wilson, Austin Grossman, Naomi Novik, and Seanan McGuire... twenty-two great storytellers all told--have produced a fabulous assortment of stories guaranteed to provide readers with hour after hour of high-octane entertainment born of the most megalomaniacal mayhem imaginable.

Everybody loves villains. They're bad; they always stir the pot; they're much more fun than the good guys, even if we want to see the good guys win. Their fiendish schemes, maniacal laughter, and limitless ambition are legendary, but what lies behind those crazy eyes and wicked grins? How--and why--do they commit these nefarious deeds? And why are they so set on taking over the world?

If you've ever asked yourself any of these questions, you're in luck: It's finally time for the madmen's side of the story.

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword - essay by Chris Claremont
  • Secret Identity Management Variables: Managing Your Love Life is No Easier for Geniuses - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Professor Incognito Apologizes: An Itemized List - short story by Austin Grossman
  • Unexpected Cryptozoological Ramifications: Spoiled Brides are No Match for Science - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Father of the Groom - short story by Harry Turtledove
  • Observations in Psychological Cataclysms: Doctor, Heal Thyself - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Laughter at the Academy: A Field Study in the Genesis of Schizotypal Creative Genius Personality Disorder (SCGPD) - short story by Seanan McGuire
  • Vectors and Properties in Nemesis Relationships: Every Genius Needs a Good Publicist - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Letter to the Editor - short story by David D. Levine
  • Experiments in Inorganic Intelligence: The Only Thing Worse Than Obsolescence is Knowing You're Obsolete - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Instead of a Loving Heart - (2004) - short story by Jeremiah Tolbert
  • Experiments in Inorganic Intelligence: Families Can Drive You Crazy - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • The Executor - short story by Daniel H. Lewis
  • Vectors and Properties in Nemesis Relationships: Everybody Needs Help with Their Evil Monologue - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • The Angel of Death Has a Business Plan - short story by Heather Lindsley
  • Biochemical Deterministic Happenstances: You Might Not Like Drugs, But They Will Like You - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Homo Perfectus - short story by David Farland
  • Promethean Origination and Impacts: Weird Science is No Substitute for Love - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Ancient Equations - short story by L. A. Banks
  • Unmapped Variables in Multiple Intelligences: Touch Nothing in the Secret Lab - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Rural Singularity - short story by Alan Dean Foster
  • Logistics and Support of Evil Programmatics: Never Trust a Job Posting on Craigslist - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Captain Justice Saves the Day - short story by Genevieve Valentine
  • Promethean Origination and Impacts: These Things Run in the Family - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • The Mad Scientist's Daughter - (2010) - novelette by Theodora Goss
  • Alchemical Explorations: Mad Science is Stranger Than Magic - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • The Space Between - (2012) - novella by Diana Gabaldon
  • Unexpected Cryptozoological Ramifications: It's Not Easy Being Tentacled - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Harry and Marlowe Meet the Founder of the Aetherian Revolution - short story by Carrie Vaughn
  • Promethean Origination and Impacts: As You Sow, So Shall You Reap (or Even Geniuses Get What They Deserve) - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Blood & Stardust - short story by Laird Barron
  • Power Strategies and Fact Management: A Real Genius Can Fool All the People, All the Time - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • A More Perfect Union - short story by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
  • Secret Identity Management Variables: It's Lonely at the Top - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Rocks Fall - short story by Naomi Novik
  • Mathematical Destruction Scenarios: Always Double-Check the Calculations - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • We Interrupt this Broadcast - short story by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Unexpected Cryptozoological Ramifications: Pick Your Supervillain Name with Care - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • The Last Dignity of Man - novelette by Marjorie M. Liu
  • Observations in Pathological Cataclysms: If it Sounds Too Good to Be True, It's Crazy - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • The Pittsburgh Technology - short story by Jeffrey Ford
  • Vectors and Properties in Nemesis Relationships: Pick a Good Partner and an Even Better Nemesis - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • Mofongo Knows - short story by Grady Hendrix
  • Absolute World Domination Successes: When You Can Get Anything You Want, Be Careful What You Wish For - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • The Food Taster's Boy - short story by Ben H. Winters

The Way of the Wizard

John Joseph Adams

Power. We all want it, they've got it--witches, warlocks, sorcerers, necromancers, those who peer beneath the veil of mundane reality and put their hands on the levers that move the universe. They see the future in a sheet of glass, summon fantastic beasts, and transform lead into gold... or you into a frog. From Gandalf to Harry Potter to the Last Airbender, wizardry has never been more exciting and popular.

Enter a world where anything is possible, where imagination becomes reality. Experience the thrill of power, the way of the wizard. Now acclaimed editor John Joseph Adams brings you thirty-two of the most spellbinding tales ever written, by some of today's most magical talents.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • In the Lost Lands - (1982) - short story by George R. R. Martin
  • Family Tree - short story by David Barr Kirtley
  • John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner - (2006) - short story by Susanna Clarke
  • Wizard's Apprentice - (2009) - short story by Delia Sherman
  • The Sorcerer Minus - short story by Jeffrey Ford
  • Life So Dear Or Peace So Sweet - novelette by Charles Coleman Finlay
  • Card Sharp - short story by Rajan Khanna
  • So Deep That the Bottom Could Not Be Seen - short story by Genevieve Valentine
  • The Go-Slow - short story by Nnedi Okorafor
  • Too Fatal a Poison - short story by Krista Hoeppner Leahy
  • Jamaica - (2007) - novelette by Orson Scott Card
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice - (2004) - novelette by Robert Silverberg
  • The Secret of Calling Rabbits - short story by Wendy N. Wagner
  • The Wizards of Perfil - (2006) - novella by Kelly Link
  • How to Sell the Ponti Bridge - (1985) - novelette by Neil Gaiman
  • The Magician and the Maid and Other Stories - short story by Christie Yant
  • Winter Solstice - (1991) - short story by Mike Resnick
  • The Trader and the Slave - short story by Cinda Williams Chima
  • Cerile and the Journeyer - (1995) - short story by Adam-Troy Castro
  • Counting the Shapes - (2001) - novelette by Yoon Ha Lee
  • Endgame - short story by Lev Grossman
  • Street Wizard - short story by Simon R. Green
  • Mommy Issues of the Dead - short story by Tim Pratt
  • One Click Banishment - novelette by Jeremiah Tolbert
  • The Ereshkigal Working - short story by Jonathan L. Howard
  • Feeding the Feral Children - novelette by David Farland
  • The Orange-Tree Sacrifice - short story by Vylar Kaftan
  • Love is the Spell That Casts Out Fear - short story by Desirina Boskovich
  • El Regalo - (2006) - novelette by Peter S. Beagle
  • The Word of Unbinding - (1964) - short story by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • The Thirteen Texts of Arthyria - novelette by John R. Fultz
  • The Secret of the Blue Star - (1979) - novelette by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Under the Moons of Mars: New Adventures on Barsoom

John Joseph Adams

Celebrate 100 years of John Carter of Mars with this all-new collection of original stories and art!

Readers of all ages have read and loved Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom series since the first book, A Princess of Mars, was published in 1912. Now, in time for the 100th anniversary of that seminal work, comes an anthology of original stories featuring John Carter of Mars in brand-new adventures. Collected by veteran anthology editor John Joseph Adams, this anthology features stories from titans of literature such as Peter S. Beagle and Garth Nix and original art from Mark Zug, Charles Vess, and many more--plus an introduction by Tamora Pierce and a glossary of Mars by Richard A. Lupoff.

Table of Contents:

  • Story Notes - essay by John Joseph Adams and David Barr Kirtley
  • Foreword - essay by Tamora Pierce
  • Introduction - essay by John Joseph Adams
  • The Metal Men of Mars - (2012) - novelette by Joe R. Lansdale
  • Three Deaths - shortfiction by David Barr Kirtley
  • The Ape-Man of Mars - shortfiction by Peter S. Beagle
  • A Tinker of Warhoon - shortfiction by Tobias S. Buckell
  • Vengeance of Mars - shortfiction by Robin Wasserman
  • Woola's Song - shortfiction by Theodora Goss
  • The River Gods of Mars - shortfiction by Austin Grossman
  • The Bronze Man of Mars - shortfiction by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
  • A Game of Mars - shortfiction by Genevieve Valentine
  • A Sidekick of Mars - shortstory by Garth Nix
  • The Ghost That Haunts the Superstition Mountains - shortfiction by Chris Claremont
  • The Jasoom Project - shortfiction by S. M. Stirling
  • Coming of Age on Barsoom - shortfiction by Catherynne M. Valente
  • The Death Song of Dwar Guntha - shortfiction by Jonathan Maberry
  • Appendix: A Barsoomian Gazetteer, or, Who's Who and What's What on Mars - essay by Richard A. Lupoff

What the #@&% Is That?: The Saga Anthology of the Monstrous and the Macabre

John Joseph Adams
Douglas Cohen

Fear of the unknown--it is the essence of the best horror stories, theneed to know what monstrous vision you're beholding and the underlyingterror that you just might find out. Now, twenty authors have gatheredto ask--and maybe answer--a question worthy of almost any horror tale: "What the #@&% is that?" Join these masters of suspense as they take you to where the shadows grow long, and that which lurks at the cornerof your vision is all too real.

Featuring stories by Laird Barron, Scott Sigler, Simon R. Green, Alan Dean Foster, Christopher Golden, Maria Dahvana Headley, John Langan, Seanan McGuire, Jonathan Maberry, Tim Pratt, An Owomoyela and Rachel Swirsky, and others!

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - essay by Douglas Cohen
  • Mobility - short story by Laird Barron
  • Fossil Heart - (2016) - short story by Amanda Downum
  • Those Gaddam Cookies - short story by Scott Sigler
  • The Sound of Her Laughter - short story by Simon R. Green
  • Down in the Deep and the Dark - short story by Desirina Boskovich
  • Only Unclench Your Hand - short story by Isabel Yap
  • Little Widow - (2016) - short story by Maria Dahvana Headley
  • The Bad Hour - short story by Christopher Golden
  • What Is Lost, What Is Given Away - short story by John Langan
  • Now and Forever - short story by D. Thomas Minton
  • #conollyhouse #weshouldntbehere - short story by Seanan McGuire
  • The House That Love Built - short story by Grady Hendrix
  • We All Make Sacrifices: A Sam Hunter Adventure - short story by Jonathan Maberry
  • Ghost Pressure - short story by Gemma Files
  • The Daughter Out of Darkness - short story by Nancy Holder
  • Framing Mortensen - short story by Adam-Troy Castro
  • The Catch - short story by Terence Taylor
  • Hunters in the Wood - short story by Tim Pratt
  • Whose Drowned Face Sleeps - (2016) - short story by An Owomoyela and Rachel Swirsky
  • Castleweep - novelette by Alan Dean Foster

Belt Three

John Ayliff

Worldbreakers do not think, do not feel and cannot be stopped.

Captain Gabriel Reinhardt's latest mining mission has been brought to a halt by the arrival of a Worldbreaker, one of the vast alien machines that destroyed Earth and its solar system long ago. As he and his crew flee they are kidnapped by a pirate to be mind-wiped and sold into slavery, a fate worse than death in this shattered universe.

But Captain Reinhardt is hiding a secret. The real Gabriel Reinhardt died six years ago, and in his place is Jonas, one of the millions of clones produced for menial labour by the last descendants of Earth.

Forced to aid the pirate Keldra's obsessive campaign against the Worldbreakers in exchange for his life, Jonas discovers that humanity's last hope might just be found in the very machines that have destroyed it.

The Deadly Percheron

John Franklin Bardin

"The opening chapter defies description. Imagine one of those 1930s screwball comedies with the crazy situations, but substitute malevolence for humor."-Karl Edward Wagner

"Doctor, I'm losing my mind." So begins John Franklin Bardin's unconventional crime thriller in which a psychiatrist attempts to help his patient lead to a dead-end world of amnesia and social outcasts. The Deadly Percheron is a murder mystery, poignant love story, and an unsettling and hallucinatory voyage into memory, madness, and despair.

An Ocean Is a Snowflake, Four Billion Miles Away

John Barnes

This novelette originally appeared in Jim Baen's Universe, August 2007. It can also be found in the anthologies Science Fiction: The Best of the Year, 2008 Edition, edited by Rich Horton, The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fifth Annual Collection (2008), edited by Gardner Dozois, and The Best of Jim Baen's Universe II (2008) edited by Eric Flint and Mike Resnick.

Read the full story for free at the Baen website.

Apostrophes and Apocalypses

John Barnes

Before novels like Mother of Storms, A Million Open Doors, and One for the Morning Glory brought him to the attention of book-buyers, John Barnes was known to science fiction fans for his quirky, powerful short stories, many published in SF magazines in the late 1980s. Most of them have been unavailable for more than a decade. Now the best of them are collected for the first time, along with several new SF stories that appear here for the first time ever.

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword - (1998) - essay
  • Two Cheers for Ned Ludd, One for Crazy Eddie - (1998) - essay
  • Gentleman Pervert, Off on a Spree - (1998) - shortfiction
  • How to Build a Future - (1990) - essay
  • Stochasm - (1986) - shortstory
  • Under the Covenant Stars - (1988) - novelette
  • Finalities Besides the Grave - (1985) - shortstory
  • Restricted to the Necessary - (1989) - shortstory
  • Enrico Fermi and the Dead Cat - (1998) - shortstory
  • Empty Sky - (1998) - shortfiction
  • Why the Stars Are Always So Bright from Cousin Sid's Farm - (1998) - shortstory
  • That Style Thingie - (1998) - essay
  • Delicate Stuff - (1988) - shortstory
  • Deep in the Heart of Genre - (1998) - essay
  • Bang On! - (1998) - shortfiction
  • Hope Against Hope - (1998) - essay
  • Information and Unfictionable Science - (1996) - essay
  • Between Shepherds and Kings - (1997) - shortstory
  • That Kid Watching His Shoes - (1998) - essay
  • Digressions from the Second-Person Future - (1987) - shortstory
  • My Advice to the Civilized - (1990) - shortstory
  • The Kids Are All Right - (1998) - essay

Every Hole Is Outlined

John Barnes

This novelette originally appeared in Jim Baen's Universe, October 2006. It can also be found in the anthologies The Best of Jim Baen's Universe (2007), edited by Eric Flint, The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fourth Annual Collection (2007), edited by Gardner Dozois, Space Opera (2007), edited by Rich Horton.

Gaudeamus

John Barnes

Shatter the line between fiction and fantasy...

The life of an award-winning novelist probably bears more resemblance to "normal" than most fans would want to believe. But every once in awhile, strange things are bound to erupt around those most equipped to document them... so imagine what renowned science fiction writer John Barnes might do when he finds himself in one of the wildest, most rollicking hard-SF adventures to hit print in years.

Barnes' college friend Travis Bismark always brought back plenty of great stories from his job as an industrial spy. This time, over a few beer- and coffee-fueled chat sessions, Travis unravels a tale about his current case too tall for even an SF author to believe: a Gaudeamus machine that bends physics in order to make possible both teleportation and time travel, and how it gets stolen--twice; a grad student-cum-prostitute who deals in telepathy-inducing drugs that let her "download" top-secret documents from her client's brains, a romp through Colorado and New Mexico during which each episode and character is more bizarre than the last; and the internet meme that seems to tie it all together.

Martian Heart

John Barnes

This short story originally appeared in Life on Mars: Tales from the New Frontier (2011), edited by Jonathan Strahan, and was reprinted in Clarkesworld Magazine, #89 February 2014. It can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Ninth Annual Collection (2012), edited by Gardner Dozois, and The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2012, edited by Rich Horton.

Read the full story for free at Clarkesworld.

Mother of Storms

John Barnes

In the middle of the Pacific, a gigantic hurricane accidentally triggered by nuclear explosions spawns dozens more in its wake.A world linked by a virtual-reality network experiences the devastation first hand, witnessing the death of civilization as we know it and the violent birth of an emerging global consciousness.

Vast in scope, yet intimate in personal detail, Mother of Storms is a visionary fusion of cutting-edge cyberspace fiction and heart-stopping storytelling in the grand tradition, filled with passion, tragedy, and the triumph of the human spirit.

My Advice to the Civilized

John Barnes

Sturgeon Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, April 1990. The story is included in the collection Apostrophes and Apocalypses (1998).

My Last Bringback

John Barnes

This novelete originally appeared in the anthology Meeting Infinity (2015), edited by Jonathan Strahan. It can also be found in the anthology The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2016, edited by Rich Horton.

One for the Morning Glory

John Barnes

As a child, Prince Amatus secretly sipped the forbidden Wine of the Gods, leaving him half the boy he'd once been--literally. His left side vanished entirely! Shortly thereafter, four mysterious Companions appeared to help the prince deal with this curious curse, and as he grew to manhood, guided him on a perilous quest to discover his true destiny.

Silence Like Diamonds

John Barnes

This story originally appeared online in Light Reading, July-August 2015. It can also be found in the anthology The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Third Annual Collection (2016), edited by Gardner Dozois.

Swift as a Dream and Fleeting as a Sigh

John Barnes

This short story originally appeared in the anthology Edge of Infinity (2012), and was reprinted in Clarkesworld, Issue 142, July 2018. It can also be found in the anthology Year's Best SF 18 (2013).

Read the full story for free at Clarkesworld.

The Birds and the Bees and the Gasoline Trees

John Barnes

This novelette originally appeared in the anthology Engineering Infinity (2010), edited by Jonathan Strahan, and was reprinted in Lightspeed, April 2015. It can also be found in the anthology More Human Than Human: Stories of Androids, Robots, and Manufactured Humanity (2017), edited by Neil Clarke.

Read the full story for free at Lightspeed.

The Locusts

Larry Niven
John Barnes

Hugo Award nominated novelette. It originally appeared in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, June 1979. The story can also be found in the anthology The 1980 Annual World's Best SF, edited by Donald A. Wollheim and Arthur W. Saha. The story is included in the Niven collections Limits (1985) and N-Space (1990) and the Barnes collection Assassin and Other Stories (2010).

Things Undone

John Barnes

Sturgeonn Award nominated novella. It originally appeared in Jim Baen's Universe, December 2009 and was later reprinted in Lightspeed, March 2013. The story can also be found in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Seventh Annual Collection (2010), edited by Gardner Dozois.

Read the full story for free at the Baen website.

Ghost Story

John Grant

This short story originally appeared in Interzone, #251 March-April 2014. It can also be found in the anthology The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2015, edited by Rich Horton.

His Artist Wife

John Grant

This novelette originally appeared in Black Static, #38, January-February 2014, and was reprinted in Lightspeed, May 2018.

Read the full story for free at Lightspeed.

The Law of Conservation of Data

John Grant

This novelette originally appeared in Lightspeed, July 2017.

Read the full story for free at Lightspeed.

Giles Goat-Boy: or, The Revised New Syllabus

John Barth

In this outrageously farcical adventure, hero George Giles sets out to conquer the terrible Wescac computer system that threatens to destroy his community in this brilliant "fantasy of theology, sociology, and sex" (Time).

The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor

John Barth

While retracing the legendary voyages of Sindbad the Sailor, journalist Simon William Behler finds himself in Sindbad's household in medieval Baghdad and competes with Sindbad in a storytelling marathon in the hopes of finding a way back to the modern world.

The Birth of the People's Republic of Antarctica

John Calvin Batchelor

The author's second novel begins amid the snowy streets of Stockholm in 1973, when two weary American draft dodgers give shelter to an infant they find sleeping inside a telephone booth. It ends more than a half-century later with the dismantling of an outpost on a forlorn island off the coast of Antarctica, a structure built to confine the man the child has become.

Collision Course

Barrington J. Bayley

The ruins were getting younger. They were thought to be the ruins of an invading force of space monsters that men had defeated during the Dark Ages centuries before. But the ruins were visibly getting newer -- rebuilding themselves.

The militarists who had reconstructed society after the supposed invasion were getting panicky. Until they found a complete invader vehicle -- and learned it travelled through time. But what was Time? What was Now? Could there be more than one Time Front -- one going forward, one in reverse? And what would happen when two such fronts met in the inevitable Collision Course?

Empire of Two Worlds

Barrington J. Bayley

In the huge termite-hills of cities that dotted the dead world of Killibol it seemed that nothing could ever change. Each city was enclosed and self-sustaining, in a stasis fixed by the one reality of power: the protein tanks in which organic nutrients could be processed to provide food.

But gang-leader Becmath was a man with a vision: to build an empire for himself without breaking this stasis. His lieutenant Klein recognised Becmath's genius and stayed faithful to him even when they were forced to travel Killibol's arid surface in a desperate search for the lost gateway to Earth. He stayed faithful through murder, treachery and countless adventures. Only when Becmath's schemes reached incredible fulfilment was he able to realise that he had been serving an egomaniac and a monster...

Star Winds

Barrington J. Bayley

The sails were the product of the Old Technology, lost long ago in the depleted Earth, and they were priceless. For with those fantastic sheets of etheric material, ships could sail the sky and even brave the radiant tides between worlds and stars.

The alchemists who had replaced scientists still sough the ancient secrets, and Rachad, apprentice to such a would-be wizard, learned that the key to his quest lay in a book abandoned in a Martian colonial ruin long, long ago.

But how to get to Mars? There was one way left - take a sea vessel, caulk it airtight, steal new sails and fly the star winds in the way of the ancient windjammers.

Here is an intriguing, unusual and colourful novel of ships that sail the stars riding before the solar breeze that blows between worlds.

The Fall of Chronopolis

Barrington J. Bayley

The Fall of Chronopolis is the fifth novel by Bayley. It details the eternal conflict through time between the Chronostatic Empire and its enemy, the Hegemony.

The Forest of Peldain

Barrington J. Bayley

Life was not possible on that watery world except on the Hundred Islands. The Empire of Arelia ruled them all - all except one. Peldain was entirely covered with a forest so impenetrable and so deadly that all attempts to explore it were disastrous. Then a man came out of that jungle - a human - who told the Arelians that at the center of the island a secret kingdom flourished.

There was nothing for it but to organise an expedition. However deadly the alien forest might be, if one man could get out, an army could get in. So Lord Vorduthe landed and began the assault on the great green enemy.

Nobody could have foreseen the horrors with which the forest defended itself. Nobody could have foreseen the price that would be paid by Vorduthe's men. And only Vorduthe himself would learn the incredible secret of the island...if his mind could stand it.

The Garments of Caean

Barrington J. Bayley

Peder is not just a tailor, but a sartorial--a lowly trade that has now been elevated to an incredibly high standard. Sartorials compete fiercely in creating new apparel, and Peder has heard that the greatest of them all are in the Caeanic worlds, where clothing is a way of life and a philosophy of living.

In Peder's sector, though, Caeanic clothing is prohibited, and he has fallen in with a band of pirates attempting to salvage a Caeanic freighter. In splitting the loot--clothes--Peder cleverly spots a legendary suit, one of five in the entire galaxy, and walks off with it. And no sooner does he put it on than his personality changes; he becomes self-assured, clever, successful--it almost seems as though the suit of clothes is wearing him!

A whimsical tale of a suit of clothes that really makes the man.

The Grand Wheel

Barrington J. Bayley

When empires hung on the turn of a card...

Cheyne Scarne was a gambler - a lucky one. What he didn't know about randomatics wasn't worth knowing. He had brains to get right to the heart of the Grand Wheel - the syndicate that controlled all illegal activity in the planets under human control.

But what Scarne had staked to get that far was chickenfeed compared to what he would risk to get into the real big time - the massive intergalactic combine that dwarfed the empires of mere men.

For Scarne, double-crossing at every deal, had laid his life on the line to win a game where no one knew the value of the cards and the rules changed with every trick!

The Knights of the Limits

Barrington J. Bayley

Nine brilliant stories of infinite space and alien consciousness, suffused with a sense of wonder...

Contents:

  • The Exploration of Space
  • The Bees of Knowledge
  • Exit from City
  • Me and my Antronoscope
  • All the King's Men
  • An Overload
  • Mutation Planet
  • The Problem of Morley's Emission
  • The Cabinet of Oliver Naylor

The Pillars of Eternity

Barrington J. Bayley

When the Colonnaders plucked him from a life of misery and their surgeons rebuilt his twisted body with silicon bones, Joachim Boaz renamed himself after THE PILLARS OF ETERNITY. Now he seeks Meirjaihn the Wanderer, a planet that plots its own course between stars: for on its surface lies a gem that offers mastery over time itself...

The Seed of Evil

Barrington J. Bayley

The Seed of Evil is the second science fiction collection by Barrington J. Bayley. The book collects thirteen short stories published between 1962 and 1979.

Contents:

  • Sporting with the Chid
  • The God-Gun
  • The Ship that Sailed the Ocean of Space
  • The Radius RidersMan in Transit
  • Wizard Wazo's Revenge
  • The Infinite Searchlight
  • Integrity
  • Perfect Love
  • The Countenance
  • Life Trap
  • Farewell Dear Brother
  • The Seed of Evil

The Sinners of Erspia

Barrington J. Bayley

THE SINNERS OF ERSPIA are the inhabitants of a bizarre world, ruled and guided by the hands of Ormazd and Ahriman, twin gods of good and evil. Histrina, a child of Ormazd, is taken by the evil hordes to a camp of terror where she meets Laedo, a man stranded far from home. Together they start on a hallucinatory journey to understand and escape the world that holds them prisoner. This is a novel about the susceptibility of the human mind and how it adapts to the extremes of terror and delight. A novel that could only have escaped from the astounding imagination of Barrington Bayley. 'Bayley is the zen master of modern space opera.' -- Bruce Sterling

The Zen Gun

Barrington J. Bayley

A novel about: The absolutely ultimate weapon that can ever exist.... The sub-human who found it and tried to use it.... The beasts who manned humanity's last star fleet.... The widening rip in the space-time continuum.... The brief cosmic empire of the pigs.... The theory of gravitational recession.... The super-samurai who served the zen-gunner.... The colonial girl who defied the galactic empire.... And many more 'nova' ideas form the author of whom Michael Moorcock said: "There is no one else to match him."

G.O.G. 666

John Taine

When three Communist scientists arrived in America on an official visit, they brought with them a great, hulking assistant named Gog. U.S. Intelligence believed there was more behind their "visit" than they were claiming, so they enlisted the help of Dr. Clive Chase, who was asked to become a spy. Reluctantly, he accepted the challenge; and in doing so discovered the unthinkable truth behind the visiting scientists' real motives--a truth that could cost him his life.

The Forbidden Garden

John Taine

When Marjorie Driscott, of the famous Brassey seed house, is put in charge of an expedition to the ice clad Himalayas of Central Asia, she knows she is in for trouble from chauvinistic American geologist, Robert Vartan and his paleobotanist partner, Frank Shane. Their goal is a strange blue delphinium, like no other known plant on earth -- and a shovelful of soil worth $1,000,000.

But others have learned of the delphinium and are determined to do whatever it takes to sabotage the Brassey expedition, and claim the prize for themselves. Soon, Marjorie Driscott discovers she and her colleagues are enmeshed in a web of scientific mystery, international intrigue, and perilous adventure amid the icy peaks and hostile tribes of Central Asia. Mystery is piled on mystery as they progress the mystery of tangled purposes and of masked personalities which is the surface pattern of the plot, but also the basic scientific mystery to which all the rest are secondary, of the source of the unearthly flowers out of nowhere, and of the strange and powerful forces behind their origin.

Mishap follows misadventure -- queer discoveries crowd one upon another in a scientific romance that involves gorgeous delphinium, hereditary insanity, black ice, radioactivity, a visitant from cosmic distances and remote ages, seeds of madness, and the strangest garden ever imagined.

Visions from the Edge: Atlantic Canadian Sci-Fi and Fantasy

John Bell
Lesley Choyce

Table of Contents

  • Visions from the Edge: An Anthology of Atlantic Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy (1981) - interior artwork by Rand Gaynor
  • Introduction (Visions from the Edge: An Anthology of Atlantic Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy) (1981) - essay by John Bell and Lesley Choyce
  • The Porter of Bagdad (1885) - shortstory by Archibald MacMechan
  • The Swamp Monster (excerpt from A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder) (1888) - shortfiction by James De Mille
  • Hairbreadth Escapes of Major Mendax (excerpt) (1889) - shortfiction by Francis Blake Crofton [as by Francis B. Crofton]
  • The Stone Dog (1885) - shortstory by Charles G. D. Roberts
  • The End of the World (1903) - shortstory by Simon Newcomb
  • After the Cataclysm (excerpt) (1909) - shortfiction by H. Percy Blanchard
  • The Dancer in the Crystal (1929) - shortstory by Francis Flagg
  • The Living Galaxy (1934) - shortstory by Laurence Manning
  • The House Party at Smoky Island (1935) - shortstory by Lucy Maud Montgomery [as by L. M. Montgomery]
  • The Amulet (1939) - shortstory by T. H. Raddall
  • The Ghost of Reddleman Lane (1957) - shortstory by Desmond Pacey
  • About Time to Go South (1957) - shortstory by Douglas Angus
  • Remembrance Day, 2010 (1981) - novelette by Hugh MacLennan
  • For Sale, Reasonable (1959) - shortstory by Elizabeth Mann Borgese [as by Elizabeth M. Borgese]
  • Owe, Canada (1972) - shortstory by Andrew Wetmore
  • Letter from America (1976) - shortstory by H. R. Percy
  • Space Greens (1975) - shortstory by Jean Marie Chard
  • It's a Sunny Day (1976) - shortstory by Spider Robinson
  • The Sow's Ear (1980) - shortstory by Harold Walters
  • The Curio Shop (1980) - shortstory by William Kotzwinkle

The Face in the Frost

John Bellairs

THE FACE IN THE FROST is a fantasy classic, defying categorization with its richly imaginative story of two separate kingdoms of wizards, stymied by a power that is beyond their control. A tall, skinny misfit of a wizard named Prospero lives in the Southern Kingdom—-a patchwork of feuding duchies and small manors, all loosely loyal to one figurehead king. Both he and an improbable adventurer named Roger Bacon look in mirrors to see different times and places, which greatly affects their personalities and mannerisms and leads them into a myriad of situations that are sometimes frightening and often hilarious. Hailed by critics as an extraordinary work, combining the thrills of a horror novel with the inventiveness of fantasy, THE FACE IN THE FROST is the debut novel that launched John Bellairs' reputation as one of the most individual voices in young adult fiction.

Goslings

J. D. Beresford

When a plague kills off most of England's male population, the proper bourgeois Mr. Gosling abandons his family for a life of lechery. His daughters — who have never been permitted to learn self-reliance — in turn escape London for the countryside, where they find meaningful roles in a female-dominated agricultural commune. That is, until the Goslings' idyll is threatened by their elders' prejudices about free love!

Johnny Zed

John Gregory Betancourt

A corrupt Congress rules a drugged-out America, land of slums and malls. But in the underground, a few violent young malcontents will stop at nothing to smash the system... and bring back the constitution and the president. They're outnumbered, outgunned, and led by Johnny Zed. He's the high-tech hero who betrays his revolution, the terrorist who parties with the power-mongers, the assassin of assassins, the saboteur of hearts.

Rememory

John Gregory Betancourt

Steel-clawed catmen Hangman and Slash prowl the burned-out urban Sprawl. For the gene-modded catmen, ripping off hot cargoes from rival animen is a fine life of thief vs. thief... cat vs. dog. Until Slash scores a take that's a little too hot: the PED spy-eye, a top-secret sense-recorder implant that turns the human brain into a perfect playback machine. Any brain, living or dead...

The Blind Archer

John Gregory Betancourt

Ker Orrum longed for a life of magic. When an Oracle tells of a journey and a gem, his fate is sealed. Vowing to challenge the mighty god known as the Blind Archer, he sets out to win his fortune... and finds a destiny few would envy. Pawn to wizards and gods, blinded and helpless, he accidentally sets an ancient evil loose on the world... an evil which only he can defeat!

A Beastly Business

John Blackburn

Bill Easter is a petty criminal with a little problem of a £2000 overdraft that he has no means of covering. Fortunately, the bank manager has a problem of his own and needs Bill's help: the corpse of Henry Oliver, a very hairy 350 lb. mass murderer known as the "Mad Vicar," is decomposing in his basement and he wants it removed. Among Oliver's papers, Bill finds a tantalizing reference to treasure that leads him to the Scottish isle of Rhona, where he meets the intrepid General Charles Kirk of British Foreign Intelligence and the arrogant adventurer J. Moldon Mott. Kirk has uncovered a bizarre plot involving the KGB, ex-Nazi mad scientists, and the "mad monk" Rasputin, while Mott is hot on the trail of a stolen gold treasure. And when they discover the island is being overrun by werewolves, their trip to the remote island will become a very beastly business indeed!

A Ring of Roses

John Blackburn

When nine-year-old Billy Fenwick goes missing on a train journey through East Germany, British authorities suspect a kidnapping for ransom, or, worse, a Communist conspiracy. But after Billy returns home safely, it appears his parents' fears were unfounded... until a 107-degree fever sets in and the buboes begin to appear on his body. Famed bacteriologist Sir Marcus Levin immediately recognizes the signs of bubonic plague, the first outbreak in England since the Black Death of the fourteenth century. But is it a freak occurrence caused by a natural mutation, or Soviet germ warfare, or something far more sinister? The trail leads Sir Marcus and General Kirk of British Intelligence to an ancient German crypt, where a macabre relic from 600 years ago will provide the crucial clue in unravelling the diabolical plot of a madman hellbent on wiping out the human race!

A Scent of New-Mown Hay

John Blackburn

With a plot featuring Cold War intrigue, Nazi mad scientists, and a pandemic that threatens to destroy humanity by mutating people into fungoid monsters, it is not hard to see why A Scent of New-Mown Hay (1958) became a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic and an instant science-fiction classic.

After a British ship's crew and a remote Russian village are wiped out in mysterious and horrible fashion, General Charles Kirk of British Foreign Intelligence sets out to investigate. As the plague spreads to England, Kirk's frantic search leads him from the desolate tundra of Russia to the ruins of a Nazi camp, the site of unthinkable wartime atrocities. But who is responsible? Is it a Soviet experiment gone horribly wrong, the work of a depraved madman, or something else entirely? And can it be stopped?

Blow the House Down

John Blackburn

The year is 1969, and in the British city of Randelwyck, racial tensions are simmering, the situation made worse by an acute housing shortage. Legendary architect Sir George Strand has a solution: two new state-of-the-art high-rise apartment towers linked by walkway bridges, symbolizing the bridging of differences and a closer link between the divided citizenry. But when a professor hints there may be a dangerous flaw in the blueprints, he quickly winds up dead. What is Sir George's real agenda, and how is it connected to the centuries-old legend of the Skulda?

John Blackburn (1923-1993) was regarded as one of the great British mystery and thriller writers of his time. This first-ever reprint of Blow the House Down (1970), one of his scarcest books, includes a new introduction by Adrian Schober.

Broken Boy

John Blackburn

When a dead prostitute is found floating in the river, the local police assume it's just another routine murder. But when it turns out the woman may have been a notorious East German spy, General Charles Kirk and his assistants, Michael Howard and Penny Wise, are called in from the Foreign Intelligence Office to investigate. Kirk is baffled: the evidence of numerous impeccable witnesses proves the murder could not possibly have happened, and yet there's a dead body in the morgue to show that it did. The only clue is a wooden idol in the form of a hideous, misshapen boy, found in the dead woman's room. Soon Kirk realizes that this is no case of espionage: what he is up against is an evil centuries old and long thought vanished from the earth. And when Kirk and his colleagues get close to the truth, can they unravel the mystery before they become the next victims?

Bury Him Darkly

John Blackburn

For two centuries, the body of Sir Martin Railstone, poet, artist, and libertine, has lain undisturbed in its crypt, amidst rumours that important artistic works of genius are buried with him. The Church of England has refused to allow the opening of the tomb, believing that Railstone was a murderer and dabbler in the black arts and that anything buried with him must be diabolical in nature. But now plans are in the works for a dam, which will leave Railstone's tomb under 100 feet of water, and a small group of fanatics obsessed with Railstone will stop at nothing to discover the crypt's contents before they are lost forever. One of them, George Banks, opens the tomb and releases something ancient and evil. He dies a horrible death, raving mad, and whatever he has unleashed is not done killing. Four unlikely allies - a clergyman, an ex-Nazi scientist, a journalist, and a historian - must come together and find a way to stop it before it destroys all of humanity....

Children of the Night

John Blackburn

For centuries, the small English village of Dunstonholme has been the scene of mysterious tragedies. Local lore traces these strange events back to the year 1300, when a sect of Christian heretics known as the Children of Paul were involved in a bloody massacre. Since that time, there have been railway disasters, mining accidents, shipwrecks, and other terrible happenings. Now a wave of suspicious deaths has the locals on edge and looking for explanations. Dr. Tom Allen and adventurer J. Moldon Mott think they know what is behind the killings: an ancient evil, dating back seven hundred years, lies hidden underground... and it is preparing to emerge to the surface...

Devil Daddy

John Blackburn

Teenager Elsie Kerr is hospitalized with a high fever after being found raped and beaten. When eminent bacteriologist Sir Marcus Levin is asked to consult on the case, Elsie accuses him of the crime, pointing at him and screaming "Devil Daddy!"

Then things really start to get weird: Elsie ages eighty years in a matter of hours, and Sir Marcus finds himself racing to stop whatever killed her from spreading while at the same time trying to clear his name. But the trail will take some unexpected and sinister turns: a grisly corpse half-eaten by pigs, a coven of madmen with a diabolical plot, a grotesque and sacrilegious ritual, and an enigmatic old man who may be unable to die!

For Fear of Little Men

John Blackburn

'We daren't go a-hunting for fear of little men' - words from an old children's song, but to the residents of one Welsh village it's more than just a nursery rhyme. A legend has been handed down through the ages, telling of an ancient mountain people, dedicated to evil, who were massacred by the villagers' ancestors three thousand years ago. No animals ever graze on the northern slope of the mountain where the bloodshed took place and strange incidents befall anyone who wanders there.

What does this folktale have to do with a man's recurring nightmares, the murder of a High Court judge, an outbreak of food poisoning, a strange road accident, and the death of a rock climber? Sir Marcus Levin is determined to find out, but he may not be prepared for the truth that will be revealed in a horrifying ceremony at the heart of the mountain.

Nothing But the Night

John Blackburn

Three directors of the Van Traylen Fellowship have died in gruesome ways, and now a bus carrying children to the Fellowship's orphanage has crashed, killing the driver and injuring seven-year-old Mary Valley. While in hospital, Mary, the daughter of triple murderess Anna Harb, suffers horrifying nightmares, and psychiatrist Peter Haynes believes she is mentally ill. Is it schizophrenia, or is there another explanation for the strange and vivid images she sees: memories of a past life, psychic possession, or psychological trauma from her lunatic mother's attempts to give her occult powers?

When Anna Harb goes on a murderous rampage at the hospital, trying to kill Mary and exclaiming that she is a 'soul that should never have been born', the mystery deepens. General Charles Kirk of Foreign Intelligence and his friend Marcus Levin, an esteemed scientist, believe Harb is connected with the Van Traylen deaths and are determined to solve the case. They will follow the madwoman to a remote Scottish island, where against the backdrop of a blazing Guy Fawkes night bonfire, a sinister and unthinkable truth will be revealed!

Our Lady of Pain

John Blackburn

A centuries-old Eastern European legend of a deadly curse. Three hardened criminals who die horribly after being driven mad by terror. A washed-up actress hellbent on revenge against her critics. A sadistic doctor who takes pleasure in mutilating his patients. What is the connection between them? Reporter Harry Clay will risk his life and sanity to find out. Because he knows that when the curtain goes up on the opening night performance of the new play 'Our Lady of Pain', based on the life of the murderous Countess Elizabeth Bathory, something horrific is going to happen and a bloodbath will ensue...

The Bad Penny

John Blackburn

An inexplicable wave of murders has the country gripped with terror. Ordinary men and women are suddenly going mad, committing brutal and horrific killings before slaying themselves in equally gruesome ways. General Charles Kirk of British Foreign Intelligence thinks the case has something to do with the most evil man he has ever encountered: Tommy Ryde, a British spy who defected to the Nazis during the Second World War and who seemed to possess a strange hypnotic power. But Ryde has been dead for forty years - or has he? Kirk and his colleague Bill Easter are determined to find out. The trail takes them first to Berlin to seek answers from a notorious Nazi war criminal, then to an underwater search of a sunken U-boat off the Scottish coast, and finally to the torture chambers beneath a madman's Gothic castle in Dartmoor, where they will come face to face with the living incarnation of evil...

The Cyclops Goblet

John Blackburn

Bill Easter and his common law wife Peggy Tey, two small-time crooks down on their luck, have been hired to help steal the legendary treasure of Renaissance goldsmith Guido Calamai. Calamai's masterpiece, the Cyclops Goblet, rumoured to possess the power to kill whoever drinks from it, is under lock and key at the Danemere Museum, the gift of the rich and eccentric millionaire Sir Thomas Moscow. But when the goblet is discovered to be a fake, Bill and Peggy must locate the real treasure, and to find it, they'll need to break Sir Thomas's daughter, a murderous madwoman, out of an asylum. From there, the trail leads to a remote Scottish island contaminated with anthrax, where the treasure - and the shocking truth behind its deadly power - is hidden. Unprepared for the horror they will uncover, will Bill and Peggy survive to enjoy their big payday, or will they become the next victims of the Cyclops Goblet?

The Face of the Lion

John Blackburn

A remote area of the Scottish Highlands has been cordoned off and is being guarded by an army of I.R.A. mercenaries and ex-Nazi thugs. Local rumour has it that eccentric laird James Fraser Clyde is looking for buried treasure, but the British government fears he might be building an atomic bomb in an attempt to win Scottish independence. Yet the truth may be something far worse: a mysterious contagion is turning the locals into deformed, grunting creatures, with a single-minded urge to kill and spread their infection. Sir Marcus Levin, the Nobel Prize-winning bacteriologist, must find a way to halt the epidemic before it gets out of hand and destroys the world. But what is causing it? Who started it, and why? And can it be stopped?

First published in 1976, John Blackburn's horror thriller The Face of the Lion capitalized on the popularity of apocalyptic zombie tales in the wake of George Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968). This edition includes a new introduction by Greg Gbur, which situates Blackburn's novel within the tradition of zombie literature.

The Household Traitors

John Blackburn

'Come back Paddy Reilly to me' - the words of an old Irish ballad provide a sinister theme for John Blackburn's novel, The Household Traitors (1971).

No one has seen or heard from Patricia Reilly in more than thirty years, so why are a ruthless industrial tycoon, a Soviet defector, and a deranged serial killer all so anxious to find her? The trail of mystery leads from a town terrorized by murder to a remote railway station in North Wales, where the action reaches a climax aboard a runaway steam train. Along the way, a hijacked aircraft, a corpse in a safe, and a number of strangled women with something strange in common provide some of the clues, but the final secret is reserved for the last pages of this ingenious thriller.

The Complete John Silence Stories

Algernon Blackwood

Contents:

  • v - Introduction (The Complete John Silence Stories) - essay by S. T. Joshi
  • 1 - A Psychical Invasion - [John Silence] - (1908) - novella
  • 44 - Ancient Sorceries - [John Silence] - (1908) - novelette
  • 84 - The Nemesis of Fire - [John Silence] - (1908) - novella
  • 144 - Secret Worship - [John Silence] - (1908) - novelette
  • 172 - The Camp of the Dog - [John Silence] - (1908) - novella
  • 230 - A Victim of Higher Space - [John Silence] - (1914) - novelette

This House is Haunted

John Boyne

Written in Dickensian prose, This House Is Haunted is a striking homage to the classic nineteenth-century ghost story. Set in Norfolk in 1867, Eliza Caine responds to an ad for a governess position at Gaudlin Hall. When she arrives at the hall, shaken by an unsettling disturbance that occurred during her travels, she is greeted by the two children now in her care, Isabella and Eustace. There is no adult present to represent her mysterious employer, and the children offer no explanation. Later that night in her room, another terrifying experience further reinforces the sense that something is very wrong.

From the moment Eliza rises the following morning, her every step seems dogged by a malign presence that lives within Gaudlin's walls. Eliza realizes that if she and the children are to survive its violent attentions, she must first uncover the hall's long-buried secrets and confront the demons of its past. Clever, captivating, and witty, This House Is Haunted is pure entertainment with a catch.

The Burial of Sir John Mawe at Cassini

Chaz Brenchley

Short story originally published in Subterranean, Spring 2014. It can also be found in Gardner Dozois' The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Second Annual Collection (2015).

Read the full story for free at Subterranean.

Carnosaur

John Brosnan

The world's most vicious predator is back-and he's got Company. Tyrannosaurus Rex, Deinonychus, Brachiosaurus, all have been loosed into the modern world by Jane Penward, the vengeance-hungry nymphomaniac wife of the man who cloned them. David Pascal is a small-time Journalist who gets his Chance to make it big by cracking the dino story. But the key to the truth carries a high price-it's held by Jane. Before she's through with David, the carnage created by the dinosaurs will spread for miles and climax in an apocalyptic battle between the primal monsters and all the technological forces that modern man can muster.

But can anything stand against the voracious prehistoric hunger of... Carnosaur.

Carnosaur

John Brosnan
Leroy Kettle

It stood over six feet tall and was the color of dried blood. It was absurdly reminiscent of some giant plucked bird, like an ostrich--but it had the head of a reptile. The partly opened mouth revealed rows of curved, pointed teeth. It was a walking impossibility--a creature that had died out sixty-five million years ago--but it was alive. And it wasn't the only one.

In a sleepy rural town, one man's dream had become everyone else's nightmare--and dinosaurs once more roamed the earth.

First published in 1984, six years before Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park, Harry Adam Knight's Carnosaur is a gory dinosaur-filled romp sure to delight fans of '80s paperback horror fiction.

Midas Deep

John Brosnan

In the darkest depths of the Pacific lies a new, underwater frontier, where only the brave or the desperate dare to tread...

Experts from the West, to harvest rich minerals - and to spy.

The Russians, to further their plans for global domination.

A team of sadistic mercenaries hired to protect mammoth business interests.

And a British journalist, Christopher Maine, in search of a story - and the sinister truth.

Down on the ocean bed a giant submersible forages for hidden treasures. But then the forces of man and nature terrifyingly unleash disaster after disaster - until the survival of the world itself is at stake.

Skyship

John Brosnan

A giant airship over 2000 feet long, powered by a nuclear reactor. Carrying 400 passengers, as well as cargo, it's the first of a luxury fleet that could revolutionise long-distance travel.

The public must be convinced it is safe, but there are powerful groups determined to see the first flight become a spectacular disaster.

Michael Colino is hired to thwart sabotage attempts on the maiden voyage... and unless he can avert imminent catastrophe, America's biggest city will become a graveyard.

The Opoponax Invasion

John Brosnan

It's 2248, and in a society so electronically wired-up that everyone is obliged to be imprinted with their own personal circuitry, it takes a pretty sharp operator to beat the system.

A Case of Painter's Ear

John Brunner

This short story originally appeared in the anthology Tales from the Forbidden Planet (1987), edited by Roz Kaveney, and was later published as a chapbook.

A Maze of Stars

John Brunner

Among six hundred thousand stars visited by man, sixty thousand have planets hospitable to life, six thousand have developed life and six hundred have been settled, or seeded, with humanity. A vast vessel, known simply as Ship, travels an endless route, checking in with all the settled planets, observing, offering help where it can as some flourish, some falter but all change and evolve. Unexpectedly, Ship has developed feelings and intelligence and it struggles with human-like emotions as it sees the many ways that man can evolve or devolve when left to his own devices with the one eternal constant--change.

Bedlam Planet

John Brunner

Everything about the planet revolving about Sigma Draconis seemed to indicate that here was a world that could be made into a second Earth. It was fertile and lacked native inhabitants and dangerous beasts. Then what was troubling the pioneer colony that had landed and set up shop there? Was it really possible just to create a new Earth on any vacant world waiting a landing?

Or was there a lot more to planetary ecologies than humanity realized?

Born Under Mars

John Brunner

When mankind colonized the stars, they travelled out from Earth in two directions - to Centaurus and its Southern Hemisphere neighbours and to Ursa Major and the constellations around Polaris. And strange to say the humans who settled on those various worlds began to develop into two differing antagonistic types. For Ray Mallin, born under the surface of Mars in the sparse colony of Earth's inhospitable old neighbour, neither the anarchic 'bears' nor the autocratic 'Centaurs' commanded his loyalty. So when secret agents of both galactic groupings suddenly focus their unwelcome attention on his most recent star-piloting mission, he knew only that something of vast significance was up - and that he unknowingly was the key to it.

Catch a Falling Star

John Brunner

Originally published as The 100th Millennium in Ace Double D-362 in 1959.

A hundred thousand years from now, it was discovered that a star was approaching the world on a collision course. Its discoverer, Creohan, figured there might be time to save the world if he could arouse everyone to the danger.

But the Earth had become a strange and kaleidoscopic place in that distant era. Too many empires had risen and fallen, too many cultures had spread their shattered fragments across a planet whose very maps had long since been forgotten. People were too busy with their own private dreams to pay attention to one more new alarm.

The story Creohan's effort to Catch a Falling Star is one of John Brunner's most colourful science-fiction concepts.

Children of the Thunder

John Brunner

Britain in the near future: the country is heading toward ecological disaster, chemical waste is seeping into people's brains, deadly parasites contaminate food - and the despotic fascist government is trying to keep it all quiet. But there is one thing they can't suppress - the emergence of a new master race. Children who have the power to persuade adults to do anything they want...

American sociologist Claudia and reporter Peter Levin begin an investigation that brings them to a trail of genetic theories. All the children, they discover, have the same father. But who is he? And is he a force of good... or of evil?

Double, Double

John Brunner

In Double, Double, a random collection of strangers converges on a seaside town, not knowing one another and having nothing in common. A mystery from the sea, a shape-shifter, begins to take over the people and produce oddly behaving duplicates of them. A combination of scientific knowledge and a little luck may be all that stands between mankind and an alien invasion.

Entry to Elsewhen

John Brunner

Table of Contents:

  • Host Age - (1956) - novelette
  • Lungfish - (1957) - novelette
  • No Other Gods But Me - (1966) - novella (variant of A Time to Rend 1956)

From This Day Forward

John Brunner

Collected when Brunner was at the peak of his writing form, this even dozen of his short stories, with a bonus poem thrown into the mix, offers provocative ideas and thrilling action mixed with conceptions of the inevitable future, the inventable future, the alternate future, the future to be avoided, and the future that is sometimes right now. A heady brew.

Table of Contents:

  • A "From This Day Foreword", as It Were - essay by John Brunner
  • The Biggest Game - (1956) - shortstory
  • The Trouble I See - (1959) - shortstory
  • An Elixir for the Emperor - (1964) - novelette
  • Wasted on the Young - (1965) - shortstory
  • Even Chance - (1965) - shortstory
  • Planetfall - (1965) - shortstory
  • Judas - (1967) - shortstory
  • The Vitanuls - (1967) - shortstory
  • Factsheet Six - (1968) - novelette
  • Fifth Commandment - (1970) - shortstory
  • Fairy Tale - (1970) - shortstory
  • The Inception of the Epoch of Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid - (1971) - shortstory
  • The Oldest Glass - poem

Give Warning to the World

John Brunner

Are there aliens among us? Are the chariots of the gods returning? If so - are they for us or against us?

John Brunner, award-winning author and science fiction writer extraordinary, takes the questions now on everyone's mind, and gives one possible answer in this startling novel.

Here is an edge-of-the-seat story of the man who discovers that the vanguard of the aliens are indeed amongst us - and that the human species has but a few hours left before our time runs out.

It's a science fiction thriller you won't be able to put down.

Interstellar Empire

John Brunner

Collects:

  • The Altar on Asconel (novel)
  • The Man From the Big Dark (novella)
  • The Wanton of Argus (novella)

Into the Slave Nebula

John Brunner

Originally published as Slavers of Space in Ace Double D-421 in 1960.

It was carnival time on Earth. Prosperity was at its peak; science had triumphed over environment; all human needs were taken care of by computers, robots and androids. There was nothing left for humans to do but enjoy, themselves... to seek pleasure where they found it, without inhibitions and without thinking of the price.

Then an android died - in a senseless, brutal murder. And young Derry Horn was shocked out of his boredom and alienation. His life of flabby ease had not prepared him for a fantastically dangerous mission to outlying, primitive stars - but now, at last, he had a reason for living. And even when he found himself a prisoner of ruthless slavers, even when he learned the shocking truth about what the androids really were and where they came from... even when he saw all the laws of the orderly, civilised universe he knew turned upside-down and inside-out... he fought on.

For that universe had to be shattered and reborn - even if Derry Horn and the Earth he had irrevocably left behind died in the process!

Manshape

John Brunner

A much shorter version of this story appeared under the title Endless Shadow in Ace Double F-299 (1964).

The interstellar Bridge System was the greatest invention in the long history of cosmic humanity. Spread through dozens of planets, men and their societies had drifted apart in isolation until the Bridge came to link together humanity's multifold worlds... and had affirmed once more that all men were brothers and sisters under the skin.

But the far away world of Azreal was the exception, the one dissident world that refused the Bridge. It became the task of two agents, a man and a woman, to bring Azreal back into manshape unity, to ferret out the hidden reasons for the stubborn refusal.

The problem, with its perils and high risks, was to involve more than just secrets, for Manshape is John Brunner novel that deals with the very fabric of civilization...

Meeting at Infinity

John Brunner

Originally published in Ace Double D-507 in 1961.

Allyn Vage was once a beautiful woman, but due to an accident - which may have been a murder attempt - she was now a hopeless cripple, burned and disfigured and without the senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. When they brought her to Jome Knard, that noted physician had no choice but to employ a certain apparently miraculous device, incomprehensible even to him, to keep her immobile body alive and to restore and regulate her sensory perception.

This strange machine had been imported from a seemingly primitive people on the world of Akkilmar. They had allowed it to be exported, but there was something about it they couldn't - or wouldn't - explain.

Little did either the doctor or his patient realize that between them they had now become the lever that could topple a world!

More Things in Heaven

John Brunner

A revised version of THE ASTRONAUTS MUST NOT LAND (1963, published in Ace Double F-227). It isn't every day that the impossible happens. But when it does, and you're a witness, you have to start looking for answers. The authorities won't talk. So you decide to find out for yourself. That's what Drummond did. And when he found out. it changed the universe!

Muddle Earth

John Brunner

ANNOUNCING THE TOURIST EXPERIENCE THAT IS THE TALK OF THE GALAXY! MEET:

The Cryogenic resurrectee Rinpoche Gibbs. He's not surprised to awaken in the twenty-fourth century, cured of cancer. He is, however, very surprised by everything else...

The incredibly beautiful Nixy Anangaranga-Jones, who may or may not be haunted by ghosts, but to whom the unexpected always happens...

The Yelignese Chief Bureaucrat - the Esteemed Thingitude in charge of restoring Earth who can't quite grasp what human history is all about...

Spotch from the planet Trigon, whose trip to Earth really did cost an arm and a leg...

The amazing Cardinal Numbernine and Her Wiliness Pope Joan II - religion may be gone, but the church will endure forever...

The adolescent Sherlock Holmes and his Biker Street Irregulars...

No Future in It

John Brunner

Table of Contents:

  • No Future in It - (1955) - shortstory
  • Puzzle for Spacemen - (1955) - novelette
  • Fair - (1956) - shortstory
  • The Windows of Heaven - (1956) - shortstory
  • Out of Order - (1957) - shortstory
  • Elected Silence - (1962) - novelette
  • Badman - (1960) - shortstory
  • Report on the Nature of the Lunar Surface - (1960) - shortstory
  • The Iron Jackass - (1962) - shortstory
  • Protect Me from My Friends - (1962) - shortstory
  • Stimulus - (1962) - novelette

No Other Gods But Me

John Brunner

Table of Contents:

  • No Other Gods But Me - novella (1956)
  • The Man from the Big Dark - (1958) - novella
  • The Odds Against You - (1965) - shortstory

Not Before Time

John Brunner

Contains:

  • Prerogative
  • Fair Warning
  • The Warp and the Woof-Woof
  • Single Minded
  • A Better Mousetrap
  • Coincidence Day
  • Seizure
  • Treason is a Two Edged Sword
  • Eye of the Beholder
  • Round Trip

Now Then!

John Brunner

Table of Contents:

  • Preface - (1965) - essay by John Brunner
  • Some Lapse of Time - (1963) - novelette
  • Imprint of Chaos - (1960) - novelette
  • Thou Good and Faithful - (1953) - novelette

Out of My Mind

John Brunner

Contains:

  • The Fourth Power
  • The Man Who Played the Blues
  • Orpheus' Brother
  • Such Stuff
  • When Gabriel....
  • The Nail in the Middle of the Hand
  • The Last Lonely Man
  • Whirligig
  • See What I Mean!
  • The Totally Rich

Players at the Game of People

John Brunner

War hero, jet-setter, gourmet - Godwin Harpinshield was all of those and more; his life was a game played among the Beautiful People whose fame, wealth and power set them above the law, and beyond the laws of nature. Because of a simple bargain that all the Beautiful People made, Godwin's every desire was his for the asking. Seduced by luxury, Godwin never doubted his fortune, never wondered about his mysterious patrons.

Then the game turned ugly.

Suddenly, the ante was raised and the game was real. The stakes were his future, his sanity and, possibly, his very soul. All Godwin Harpinshield had to discover was: What were the rules of the game? And who - or what - were the other players?

Quicksand

John Brunner

She appeared in our world naked, defenceless, unable to say a word anyone could understand.

Her origin was at first simply a puzzle, then a scientific enigma, and finally a series of terrifying surmises that her most fascinated investigator was afraid to probe. But probe he must, for somehow he knew that this strange girl was a key to the kind of information science had sought for centuries. But the more he uncovered from the depths of her mind, the deeper became the quicksand into which his own was sinking.

Stand on Zanzibar

John Brunner

There are seven billion-plus humans crowding the surface of 21st century Earth. It is an age of intelligent computers, mass-market psychedelic drugs, politics conducted by assassination, scientists who burn incense to appease volcanoes... all the hysteria of a dangerously overcrowded world, portrayed in a dazzlingly inventive style.

Donald Hogan was a mild-mannered student, a dilettante intellectual--at least that's what everyone was supposed to think he was. But Donald knew otherwise. He knew he was a spy.

But what Donald didn't know was that in a world overpopulated by the billions--in a society squeezed into hive-living madness by megabrain computers, mass-marketed psychedelics, and eugenics--where everyone was struggling for life--he himself was programmed for death!

The Atlantic Abomination

John Brunner

Originally published in Ace Double D-465 in 1960.

In The Atlantic Abomination, an exploratory expedition to the bottom of the ocean discovers the remnants of a long-lost civilization, and then, the enormous body of an alien being preserved for unknown millennia. An attempt to raise the body unleashes a horror beyond imagining as the creature revives from a long sleep and begins to exert control over men's minds throughout the world.

The Book of John Brunner

John Brunner

Table of Contents:

  • Premumble - (1976) - essay by John Brunner
  • Crossword - (1976) - essay by John Brunner
  • Limerick No. 1 - (1976) - poem by John Brunner
  • A Different Kick, or How to Get High Without Actually Going Into Orbit - (1965) - essay by John Brunner
  • "Lullaby for the Mad Scientist's Daughter" - poem by John Brunner
  • Bloodstream - (1974) - novelette by John Brunner
  • Domestic Crisis 2017 - (1974) - poem by John Brunner
  • Hide and Seek - (1973) - shortstory by Gérard Klein (trans. of Cache-cache 1960)
  • Limerick No. 2 - (1976) - poem by John Brunner
  • The Technological Folk Hero: Has He a Future? - (1972) - essay by John Brunner
  • "The Ballad of Teddy Hart" - (1976) - essay by John Brunner
  • Who Steals My Purse - (1973) - novelette by John Brunner
  • Feghoot I - (1962) - shortstory by John Brunner
  • Excerpt from a Social History of the 20th Century - (1970) - shortstory by John Brunner
  • Die Spange - (1976) - poem by Stefan George
  • Limerick No. 3 - (1976) - poem by John Brunner
  • Them As Can, Does - (1966) - essay by John Brunner
  • "Faithless Jack the Spaceman" - (1976) - essay by John Brunner
  • When Gabriel ... - (1956) - shortstory by John Brunner
  • What We Have Here - (1970) - poem by John Brunner
  • Feghoot II - (1976) - shortstory by John Brunner
  • Limerick No. 4 - (1976) - poem by John Brunner
  • The Spartans' Epitaph at Thermopylae - (1976) - essay by John Brunner
  • The Educational Relevance of Science Fiction - (1971) - essay by John Brunner
  • "The Spacewreck of the Old 97" - (1976) - essay by John Brunner
  • Manalive (excerpt) - (1964) - shortfiction by John Brunner
  • Matthew xviii, 6 - (1971) - poem by John Brunner
  • Feghoot III - (1976) - shortstory by John Brunner
  • Corrida - (1973) - poem by Rainer Maria Rilke (trans. of Corrida 1907)
  • Limerick No. 5 - (1976) - poem by John Brunner
  • The Evolution of a Science Fiction Writer - (1972) - essay by John Brunner
  • "The H-Bombs' Thunder" - (1958) - essay by John Brunner
  • The New Thing - (1969) - shortstory by John Brunner
  • The Atom Bomb Is Twenty-Five This Year - (1970) - poem by John Brunner
  • Epigrammata LXV - (1976) - poem by Decimus Magnus Ausonius
  • Solution to Crossword - (1976) - essay by John Brunner

The Brink

John Brunner

Ed Carter, a New York reporter on his way to his home town in Omaha for a short vacation, saw the missile in the last moments in its journey back to earth. A sweller on the brink, like all of us, he had no doubt about what it was; Oh God, he thought, this is it. The blast of the impact flung him some distance, and when he regained consciousness, his first reaction was one of surprised to find himself still alive, and not, it seemed, even badly hurt. Presumably the missile had been directed at the big Air Force base nearby, and should have destroyed everything and everyone within a radius of miles. Could it have failed to explode?

Carter sees the remains of part of the missile in an adjacent field and hobbles over to it. A minute or two later several Air Force officers arrive. They examine the remains, and find the burned-up body of a pilot. In other worlds, the missile was not Russia's first shot in the Third World War, but a failure to launch a man into space. But Carter knows that the Distant Early Warning line will have reported the missile; that the senior Air Force officers, in accordance with plan, will have taken to the air - in the country's interest, their lives must, of course, be preserved if possible; that by now the retaliatory American bombers will have passed the point of no recall; and that the Third World War has begun. Not so, Colonel Ben Goldwater tells him: "I called the bombers back."

Goldwater, the man who had been left in command, has saved the world - for at least a little longer. So he becomes a world hero? Not a bit of it. On the contrary: a nightmare looms ahead both for him and for Ed Carter, and the reader watches it all with growing fury...

The Crucible of Time

John Brunner

In The Crucible of Time, John Brunner creates a true epic of SF invention. Imagine a planet existing in a debris-strewn corner of the galaxy. Cosmic dust and rubble cause an endless succession of ice ages followed by tropical warmth followed by more ice ages, and on and on. Meteors of all sizes plummet to the surface of the planet frequently and burgeoning civilizations have a sad tendency to be wiped out all of a sudden. Society survives, sort of, but the brightest scientists know that to survive long term, the race has to transcend the surface of the planet and become a space-faring species. In a story that spans millennia, a determined group of people take control of their own evolution and build the technological society that will be their way into space. Long before Brian Aldiss's magisterial Helliconia series, even before some of Arthur C. Clarke's grand future visions, John Brunner led the way in imagination and scope of vision.

For each generation, there is a writer meant to bend the rules of what we know. Hugo Award winner (Best Novel, Stand on Zanzibar) and British science fiction master John Brunner remains one of the most influential and respected authors of all time, and now many of his classic works are being reintroduced. For readers familiar with his vision, this is a chance to reexamine his thoughtful worlds and words, while for new readers, Brunner's work proves itself the very definition of timeless.

The Day of the Star Cities

John Brunner

When suddenly all the fissionable material on Earth was exploded, Earthmen had their first notice of the aliens' arrival.

And by the time the panic, death and chaos had been sorted out, reports were coming in about mysterious cities scattered across the face of the planet - huge areas of flickering light and awesome free energy, disorienting to human senses and impregnable to attack.

The question was: were they alien bases... or something else?

The Dramaturges of Yan

John Brunner

The far-flung fingers of Earth's civilisation touched many corners of the galaxy, and among them was the beautiful planet Yan. Here the colonists lived a peaceful, almost idyllic life, amid ancient and secret relics, co-existing with their strange and compatible neighbours.

The arrival of Gregory Chart, the greatest dramatist ever, whose productions were played out in the skies, and whose actors were also the audience, could only disrupt and destroy once the Yanfolk were aroused from their dreaming indifference...

The Dreaming Earth

John Brunner

A daring novel of mankind's strange and startling destiny. . .

Here is a novel to equal Arthur C. Clarke's great work, Childhood's End. It tells with frightening clarity of a desperately stricken Earth - wracked by overpopulation and plagued by famine and despair.

It tells, too, of a new breed of men and women - twenty-first century lotus eaters caught up in a mysterious euphoria which will ultimately threaten all life on this planet: the drug-induced world of 'happy dreams'. Do these 'happy dreamers' herald the end of the human race - or the next extraordinary step in the evolution of Man?

The First Since Ancient Persia

John Brunner

This short story originally appeared in Amazing Stories, July 1990. It can also be found in the anthology The Year's Best Science Fiction: Eighth Annual Collection (1991), edited by Gardner Dozois.

The Gaudy Shadows

John Brunner

Tileman could make our fantasies come true - create reality from your dreams - for a very high fee. Catering to the desires of London's most powerful - and decadent - figures, Tileman had top-level connections to guarantee him protection and influence.

But he had killed Laird Walker's best friend - and Walker, the dead man's sister, and a bizarre nightclub entertainer began a private war on Tileman... a war whose final battle was unimaginable horror.

The Infinitive of Go

John Brunner

The first practical matter transmitter was a success, or so everyone thought. In spite of paranoid security restrictions, Justin Williams and Cinnamon Wright, co- inventors of the device, counted on it to revolutionise civilisation and gain them an honoured place in history. But the first long-distance field test with a human being a diplomatic courier carrying a vital message somehow misfired when the courier killed himself on arrival at his destination. To prove his faith in his invention and to escape charges of sabotage Justin has himself posted thousands of miles. He comes through unchanged. It was the world that was different.

The Jagged Orbit

John Brunner

Matthew Flamen, the last of the networks' spoolpigeons, is desperate for a big story. He needs it to keep his audience - and his job. And there is no shortage of possibilities: the Gottschalk cartel is fomenting trouble among the knees in order to sell their latest armaments to the blanks; which ties in nicely with the fact that something big is brewing with the X Patriots; and it looks as if the inconceivable is about to happen and that one of Britain's most dangerous revolutionaries is going to be given a visa to enter America. And then there's the story that just falls into his lap. The one that suggests that the respected Director of the New York State Mental Hospital is a charlatan...

The Last Lonely Man

John Brunner

This short story originally appeared in New Worlds SF, #142 May-June 1964. It can also be found in the anthologies:

The story is included in the collections Out of My Mind (1967) and The Best of John Brunner (1988).

The Long Result

John Brunner

When racial hatred turns to murderous menace... First a rocket ship loses its engines on take-off and is destroyed. On board - an important extra-terrestrial visitor. Next someone slams into the sealed vehicle used for transporting aliens around in the lethal atmosphere of Earth. Then the vital controlled environment for the Tau Cetian delegation is sabotaged. Oxygen leaks in, and the aliens are half burnt alive. Even if it means brutal murder, The Stars Are For Man League is determined to shatter the harmony between Earth and civilizations on other planets - and to keep mankind supreme among the alien life forms. Only one man can stop them - a man who unknowingly nurses a viper in his bosom... First published in 1965.

The Productions of Time

John Brunner

Until he became an alcoholic, Murray Douglas was one of Britain's leading actors. Now, after treatment, he's ready to resume his career, but his first come-back part isn't exactly what he thought it would be.

The idea was to create an avant-garde play where the actors made up the script as they rehearsed. Unusual but hardly frightening. What was frightening was the rest of the cast. Like Murray, they all had some kind of craving. And each of them was given access to whatever had addicted them.

It was doubtful if the play would ever entertain the public. But it seemed to entertain the director . . .

The Sheep Look Up

John Brunner

An enduring classic, this book offers a dramatic and prophetic look at the potential consequences of the escalating destruction of Earth.

In this nightmare society, air pollution is so bad that gas masks are commonplace. Infant mortality is up, and everyone seems to suffer from some form of ailment. The water is polluted, and only the poor drink from the tap. The government is ineffectual, and corporate interests scramble to make a profit from water purifiers, gas masks, and organic foods.

Environmentalist Austin Train is on the run. The Trainites, environmental activists and sometime terrorists, want him to lead their movement. The government wants him in jail, or preferably, executed. The media wants a circus. Everyone has a plan for Train, but Train has a plan of his own.

The Shift Key

John Brunner

When the sleepy town of Weyharrow is enveloped by a mysterious fog, the inhabitants find themselves behaving in strange and dangerous ways. Dr Steven Glaze, a young probationary GP, prescribes a most unorthodox treatment for arthritis; the vicar proclaims in morning service that the villagers are in the hands of the devil; and Phyllis Knabbe tragically commits suicide. Throughout the village people have seemingly taken leave of their senses.

Soon word leaks out and Weharrow becomes inundated both by the national press and a bus load of hippies seeking a magical experience, who believe that a nearby ancient pagan temple is somehow responsible for this strange phenomenon. But Steven Glaze and Jenny, a reporter for the local newspaper, feel sure that there is more to this than meets the eye and they set out to discover the cause - supernatural or otherwise - of everyone's drastically altered behaviour.

The Shockwave Rider

John Brunner

He Was The Most Dangerous Fugitive Alive, But He Didn't Exist!

Nickie Haflinger had lived a score of lifetimes...but technically he didn't exist. He was a fugitive from Tarnover, the high-powered government think tank that had educated him. First he had broken his identity code -- then he escaped.

Now he had to find a way to restore sanity and personal freedom to the computerized masses and to save a world tottering on the brink of disaster.

He didn't care how he did it...but the government did. That's when his Tarnover teachers got him back in their labs...and Nickie Haflinger was set up for a whole new education!

The Squares of the City

John Brunner

A tour-de-force, a disciplined exercise peopled originally by wooden or ivory or jade figurines, now fleshed and clothed and given dramatic life in a battle as old as the classic conflict of chess. But these are real people. When heads roll, blood gouts out and drenches the remaining players while they watch in horrified fascination - until their turn comes. For it is a real game. And the players cannot tell the outcome. Even when their lives depend on it....

The Stardroppers

John Brunner

A much shorter version of this story appeared in Listen! The Stars! Ace Double F-215 in 1963.

A stardropper got its name from the belief that the user was eavesdropping on the stars. But that was only a guess... nobody really knew what the instrument did.

The instrument itself made no sense scientifically. A conventional earpiece, an amplifier, a power source - all attached to a small vacuum box, an alnico magnet, and a calibrated 'tuner'. What you got from all this was some very extraordinary noises and the conviction that you were listening to beings from space and could almost understand what you were hearing.

What brought Special Agent Dan Cross into the stardropper problem was the carefully censored news that users of the instrument had begun to disappear. They popped out of existence suddenly - and the world's leaders began to suspect that somehow the fad had lit the fuse on a bomb that would either destroy the world or change it forever.

The Stone That Never Came Down

John Brunner

There was a cure for depression and unemployment.

There was a cure for war, madness and national hatreds.

There was a cure for prejudice, crime and mass hysteria.

But there were those who wanted the cure suppressed until the world collapsed!

A novel of the fever-pitched fight against the end of the world, reminiscent of 1984 or A Clockwork Orange - but with an amazing difference.

The Super Barbarians

John Brunner

The Acre was the only part of an entire world where Earthmen were allowed to live as they pleased and as they were accustomed. For elsewhere on Quallavarra, humanity was forced into servitude by the Vorra, THE SUPER BARBARIANS, who has somehow managed to conquer space.

But within the Acre, the underling Terrestrials had cooked up a neat method of keeping teir conquerors from stamping them out altogether. They had uncovered a diabolical Earth secret the Vorra couldn't abide - and yet couldn't do without.

The Tides of Time

John Brunner

After weeks of running from pursuers, Gene and Stacy finally found refuge on an isolated island.

But around them the island changed - and so did they.

Each time they awoke from sleep, they lived a different life in a different time. And the farther back they went, the more they lost their anchor to their own world. When at last they were found, the people they had become no longer recognised their pursuers.

And that was the beginning.

The Whole Man

John Brunner

Gerald Howson was born in the gutter, with the body of a cripple... he was raised in harsh poverty and ridicule... and he would grow up with a mind of transcendant power.... What kind of man would he be?

A daring and fascinating exploration into the possibilities that include the marvel of internal creation---or the threat of lingering death!

Published in the UK as: The Telepathist

The World Swappers

John Brunner

Originally appeared in Ace Double D-391 in 1959.

The inhabited galaxy was caught in the crushing vice of a struggle for power. The political titans of the planets of mankind were making their bids for supremacy.

The contestants: Cornice, man of strange powers, authority in the spheres of the intellect; and Bassett, man of money-power, financial and business wizard.

As the association of human worlds drew near the teetering edge of internal revolutions; one of these men would be in a position to triumph. The only thing that neither side could foresee was that there were Others hovering among the stars, loo ling for new worlds to conquer!

The Wrong End of Time

John Brunner

In a near future where a paranoid America has sealed itself off from the rest of the world by a vast and complicated defense system, a young Russian scientist infiltrates all defenses to tell an almost unbelievable and truly terrifying story. At the outer reaches of the solar system, near Pluto, has been detected a superior form of intelligent life, far smarter than man and in possession of technology that makes it immune to attack from human weaponry and strong enough to easily destroy planet Earth. Can humans set aside their differences and mutual fears to work together and defeat a common enemy?

Thinkertoy

John Brunner

This short story originally appeared in the anthology The Williamson Effect (1996), edited by Roger Zelazny. It can also be found in the anthology Year's Best SF 2 (1997), edited by David G. Hartwell.

Time-Jump

John Brunner

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - essay by John Brunner
  • Galactic Consumer Report No. 1: Inexpensive Time Machines - (1965) - shortstory
  • Speech is Silver - (1965) - shortstory
  • The Warp and the Woof-Woof - (1966) - shortstory
  • The Product of the Masses - (1968) - novelette
  • Galactic Consumer Report No. 2: Automatic Twin-Tube Wishing Machines - (1966) - shortstory
  • Death Do Us Part - (1955) - shortstory
  • Coincidence Day - (1965) - shortstory
  • Whirligig - (1967) - shortstory
  • Galactic Consumer Report No. 3: A Survey of the Membership - (1967) - shortstory
  • Nobody Axed You - (1965) - novelette

Times Without Number

John Brunner

Also sometimes listed as a novel (mash-up). Conatins:

  • Spoil of Yesterday
  • The Word not Written
  • The Fullness of Time

Timescoop

John Brunner

A Pandora's box of evil

Freitas had commanded the engineers of his vast, world-wide empire to build him a device that could ransack the past.

Now all the riches of the ages were his for the taking. But mere wealth was not what Freitas was after. Supreme power was what he sought, and from the past he picked the men and women who could help him gain absolute mastery over his rivals.

But one thing he had not reckoned on - the power these creatures fro the past would have over him, the reign of terror about to begin...

To Conquer Chaos

John Brunner

In To Conquer Chaos, John Brunner gives us a heaping helping of classic planetary science fiction adventure. The barrenland is a mystery and an enigma, a dangerous and terrifying place that none who enter ever return from. More than three hundred miles around, it has existed far longer than collective memory can guess, and all too often, strange beasts emerge from it and kill at random.

Conrad lives on the edge of the barrenland and is haunted by visions of its past as a haven, populated by magical people who could travel between worlds. He meets Jervis Yenderman, a soldier who has knowledge of the visions and who believes that within the barrenland is an island of human survivors--and that one man has escaped it within recent memory.

Tomorrow May Be Even Worse: An Alphabet of Science Fiction Cliches

John Brunner

A collection of humorous quatrains by John Brunner, each with a cartoon by Arthur Thomson (ATom).

Table of Contents:

  • John Brunner - essay by Don D'Ammassa
  • Android
  • Bug-Eyed Monster
  • Chemist
  • Doctor
  • Earthmen
  • Flying Saucers
  • Genius
  • Hypnotist
  • Inorganic Matter
  • Jovian
  • Knob
  • Larva
  • Mutant
  • Neanderthalers
  • Oölitic Strata, Oligocene
  • Planets
  • Question
  • Robot
  • Spaceship
  • Time Paradoxes
  • Utopia
  • Virgin
  • Weather
  • Xperiments
  • Yeti
  • Zoo

Total Eclipse

John Brunner

Nineteen light years from Earth, on Sigma Draconis, an international space team stumbles upon the first evidence of another highly advanced civilization in the universe.

Tragically, however, the Draconians are extinct and have been for a hundred thousand years. What mysterious disaster destroyed man's nearest neighbour in the colossal emptiness of space? And will the same fate befall Earth?

The answers, as Earth degenerates into squabbles, paranoia and self-destruction, are vital. But how to begin the almost insuperable task of cracking the enigma of a long-buried and utterly alien culture?

Web of Everywhere

John Brunner

He was 'The Visitor'... in a society revolutionised and troubled by a transportation device that let you walk through a door and be anywhere in the world - instantly. He was 'The Visitor'... at a time when unauthorised travel had caused the violent deaths of countless millions and the survivors were quaking in fear. He was 'The Visitor'... in a world where the invasion of privacy was the ultimate crime and where his obsession with visiting places where he had no right to be led him on a perilous adventure towards his own destruction.

Witch Wood

John Buchan

Set against the religious struggles and civil wars of seventeenth century Scotland, John Buchan's Witch Wood is a gripping atmospheric tale in the spirit of Stevenson and Neil Munro.

As a moderate presbyterian minister, young David Sempill disputes with the extremists of his faith, as all around, the defeated remnants of Montrose's men are being harried and slaughtered.

There are still older conflicts to be faced however, symbolised by the presence of the Melanudrigall Wood, a last remnant of the ancient Caledonian forest. Here there is black magic to be uncovered, but also the more positive pre-Christian intimations of nature worship.

In such a setting, and faced with the onset of the plague, David Sempill's struggle and eventual disappearance take on a strange and timeless aspect in what was John Buchan's own favourite among his many novels.

Havergey

John Burnside

A few years from now on the small and remote island of Havergey, a community of survivors from a great human catastrophe has created new lives and a new world in a landscape renewed after millennia of human exploitation. In this new novella, an award-winning poet and novelist brings his unique sensibility to the idea of utopia. A timely reminder about how precious and precarious our world is, it's also a rejection of the idea of human supremacy over landscape and wildlife.

Saturn Run

John Sandford
Ctein

The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope -- something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don't decelerate. Spaceships do.

A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: Whatever built that ship is at least one hundred years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out.

The race is on, and an remarkable adventure begins -- an epic tale of courage, treachery, resourcefulness, secrets, surprises, and astonishing human and technological discovery, as the members of a hastily thrown-together crew find their strength and wits tested against adversaries both of this earth and beyond.

A New Dawn: The Complete Don A. Stuart Stories

John W. Campbell, Jr.

Contains all of John W. Campbell's Don A Stuart stories.

Table of Contents:

  • The Man Who Lost the Sea - (2003) - essay by Barry N. Malzberg
  • Twilight - (1934)
  • Atomic Power - (1934)
  • The Machine - (1935)
  • The Invaders - (1935)
  • Rebellion - (1935)
  • Blindness - (1935)
  • The Escape - (1935)
  • Night - (1935)
  • Elimination - (1936)
  • Frictional Losses - (1936)
  • Forgetfulness - (1937)
  • Out of Night - (1937)
  • Cloak of Aesir - (1939)
  • Dead Knowledge - (1938)
  • Who Goes There? - (1938)
  • The Elder Gods - (1939)
  • Strange Worlds - (2003)
  • Wouldst Write, Wee One? - (2003)

Alone with the Horrors

Ramsey Campbell

Ramsey Campbell is perhaps the world's most honored author of horror fiction. He has won four World Fantasy Awards, ten British Fantasy Awards, three Bram Stoker Awards, and the Horror Writers' Association's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Three decades into his career, Campbell paused to review his body of short fiction and selected the stories that were, to his mind, the very best of his works. Alone With the Horrors collects nearly forty tales from the first thirty years of Campbell's writing, including several award-winners.

Campbell crowns the book with a length preface-revised for this edition-which traces his early publication history, discusses his youthful correspondence with August Derleth, and illuminates the influence of H.P. Lovecraft on his work.

Alone With the Horrors provides readers with a close look at a powerful writer's development of his craft.

Ancient Images

Ramsey Campbell

A colleague's violent death and its apparent cause--a stolen copy of an old, never-released Karloff/Lugosi film--set film editor Sandy Allan on the trail of the film's origins and history. Mystery surrounds the movie, and as Sandy learns of the tragedies which haunted its production, she finds herself threatened by an ancient force protecting secrets deeper than the suppression of a 50-year-old movie.

Creatures of the Pool

Ramsey Campbell

When his father disappears, Gavin Meadows's search uncovers a race of semihuman beings that have existed in, and under, the city for centuries.

Dark Companions

Ramsey Campbell

A brilliant collection of stories by one of the masters of horror.

Not all companions are friendly. There are many that you most definitely do not want to see. When Elaine was working late at the office, she thought she was all alone. But something sinister was in the elevator shaft... working its way to her floor. Miles, too, thought he was alone in his new house, the house of a murderer, but he, too, had an unwanted companion. And Knox will never forget what was waiting for him in the dense fog.

Come and meet all of these companions and more in this chilling collection of horror tales by award-winning master of terror Ramsey Campbell. That clawing sound you hear, the haunting singing, the moving shadow--they all mean that something is waiting to make your acquaintance.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - essay by Ramsey Campbell
  • Mackintosh Willy - (1979) - short story
  • The Proxy - (1979) - short story
  • The Companion - (1976) - short story
  • The Chimney - (1977) - short story
  • Conversion - (1977) - short story
  • The Depths - novelette
  • The Show Goes On - short story
  • Down There - (1978) - short story
  • Heading Home - (1978) - short story
  • Drawing In - (1978) - short story
  • Calling Card - (1982) - short story
  • Call First - (1975) - short story
  • In the Bag - (1977) - short story
  • The Pattern - (1976) - novelette
  • Napier Court - (1971) - short story
  • The Little Voice - (1978) - novelette
  • Out of Copyright - (1980) - short story
  • Above the World - (1979) - short story
  • Baby - (1976) - short story
  • The Puppets - novelette
  • The Invocation - short story

Dark Feasts: The World of Ramsey Campbell

Ramsey Campbell

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - (1987) - essay
  • The Room in the Castle - (1964) - shortstory
  • Cold Print - (1969) - shortstory
  • The Scar - (1969) - shortstory
  • The Interloper - (1973) - shortstory
  • The Guy - (1973) - shortstory
  • The End of a Summer's Day - (1973) - shortstory
  • The Whining - (1974) - shortstory
  • The Words That Count - (1976) - shortstory
  • The Man in the Underpass - (1975) - shortstory
  • Horror House of Blood - (1976) - shortstory
  • The Companion - (1976) - shortstory
  • Call First - (1975) - shortstory
  • In the Bag - (1977) - shortstory
  • The Chimney - (1977) - shortstory
  • The Brood - (1980) - shortstory
  • The Voice of the Beach - (1982) - novelette
  • Out of Copyright - (1980) - shortstory
  • Above the World - (1979) - shortstory
  • Mackintosh Willy - (1979) - shortstory
  • The Ferries - (1982) - shortstory
  • Midnight Hobo - (1979) - shortstory
  • The Depths - (1982) - novelette
  • The Fit - (1980) - shortstory
  • Hearing Is Believing - (1981) - shortstory
  • The Hands - (1986) - shortstory
  • Again - (1981) - shortstory
  • Just Waiting - (1983) - shortstory
  • Seeing the World - (1984) - shortstory
  • Apples - (1986) - shortstory
  • Boiled Alive - (1986) - shortstory

Fellstones

Ramsey Campbell

Fellstones takes its name from seven objects on the village green. It's where Paul Dunstan was adopted by the Staveleys after his parents died in an accident for which he blames himself. The way the Staveleys tried to control him made him move away and change his name. Why were they obsessed with a strange song he seemed to have made up as a child?

Now their daughter Adele has found him. By the time he discovers the cosmic truth about the stones, he may be trapped. There are other dark secrets he'll discover, and memories to confront. The Fellstones dream, but they're about to waken.

Frozen Hell

John W. Campbell, Jr.

In 1938, acclaimed science fiction author John W. Campbell published the novella Who Goes There?, about a team of scientists in Antarctica who discover and are terrorized by a monstrous, shape-shifting alien entity. The story would later be adapted into John Carpenter's iconic movie The Thing (following an earlier film adaptation in 1951). The published novella was actually an abridged version of Campbell's original story, called Frozen Hell, which had to be shortened for publication. The Frozen Hell manuscript remained unknown and unpublished for decades, and it was only recently rediscovered. Frozen Hell expands the Thing story dramatically, giving vital backstory and context to an already incredible tale. We are pleased and honored to offer Frozen Hell to you now, as Campbell intended it. You will be among the first people to ever read this completed version of the story.

Gathering the Bones: Thirty-Four Original Stories from the World's Masters of Horror

Ramsey Campbell
Jack Dann
Dennis Etchison

A Chilling new anthology of all-original tales of horror

Includes New Stories by:

  • Ray Bradbury
  • Graham Joyce
  • Peter Crowther
  • Kim Newman
  • Sara Douglass
  • Thomas Tessier
  • M. John Harrison
  • Gahan Wilson

The anthology market these days is awash with small, themed works focused on very specific markets, like vampire erotica and tales of werewolves, or it features best of the year reprints. It has been years since anyone has dared to bring out a broad-reaching anthology that seeks to define the current state of the genre with all original tales from both masters and hot new writers.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - (2003) - essay by Ramsey Campbell and Jack Dann and Dennis Etchison
  • The Hanged Man of Oz - (2003) - short story by Steve Nagy
  • The Bone Ship - (2003) - short story by Terry Dowling
  • Li'l Miss Ultrasound - (2003) - novelette by Robert Devereaux
  • The Intervention - (2003) - short story by Kim Newman
  • Blake's Angel - (2003) - short story by Janeen Webb
  • The Obedient Child - (2003) - short story by George Clayton Johnson
  • Sounds Like - (2003) - short story by Mike O'Driscoll
  • The Wind Sall Blow for Ever Mair - (2003) - short story by Stephen Dedman
  • "The Mezzotint" - (2003) - short story by Lisa Tuttle
  • The Lords of Zero - (2003) - short story by Tony Richards
  • Smoke City - (2003) - short story by Russell Blackford
  • Moments of Change - (2003) - short story by Thomas Tessier
  • The Big Green Grin - (2003) - short story by Gahan Wilson
  • The Big Green Grin - interior artwork by Gahan Wilson
  • Both And - (2003) - short story by Gary Fry
  • Love Is a Stone - (2003) - short story by Simon Brown
  • Memento Mori - (2003) - short story by Ray Bradbury
  • The Mistress of Marwood Hagg - (2003) - short story by Sara Douglass
  • The Right Men - (2003) - short story by Michael Marshall Smith
  • The Raptures of the Deep - (2003) - short story by Rosaleen Love
  • Out Late in the Park - (2003) - short story by Steve Rasnic Tem
  • Bedfordshire - (2003) - novelette by Peter Crowther
  • Mr Sly Stops for a Cup of Joe - short fiction by Scott Emerson Bull
  • Finishing School - (2003) - short story by Cherry Wilder
  • Jennifer's Turn - (2003) - short story by Fruma Klass
  • Mother's Milk - (2003) - short story by Adam Nevill
  • No Man's Land - (2003) - short story by Chris Lawson and Simon Brown
  • The Watcher at the Window - (2003) - short story by Donald R. Burleson
  • Coming of Age - (2003) - short story by Joel Lane
  • Picking Up Courtney - (2002) - short story by Tim Waggoner
  • Watchmen - (2003) - short story by Aaron Sterns
  • Gardens - (2003) - short story by Melanie Tem
  • Under the Bright and Hollow Sky - (2003) - novelette by Andrew J. Wilson
  • The Dove Game - (2003) - novelette by Isobelle Carmody
  • Tiger Moth - (2003) - short story by Graham Joyce
  • About the Authors - essay by uncredited
  • About the Editors - essay by uncredited

Ghosts Know

Ramsey Campbell

Ramsey Campbell's Ghosts Know is a fascinating exploration of the twists and turns of reality-media personalities, the line between the dead and the living... and how the truth can be twisted to serve all manner of reality.

Graham Wilde is a contentious, bombastic host of the talk radio program Wilde Card. His job, as he sees it, is to stir the pot, and he is quite good at it, provoking many a heated call with his eccentric and often irrational audience. He invites Frank Jasper, a purported psychic, to come on the program. He firmly believes that the man is a charlatan, albeit a talented one. When Jasper appears on his show, Wilde draws upon personal knowledge about the man to embarrass him on air, using patter similar to that which Jasper utilizes in his act.

Wilde's attack on Jasper earns him the enmity of his guest and some of the members of his audience. He next encounters Jasper when the psychic is hired by the family of a missing adolescent girl to help them find her. Wilde is stunned and then horrified when Jasper seems to suggest that he might be behind the girl's disappearance.

Thus begins a nightmarish journey as circumstantial evidence against Wilde begins to mount, alienating his listeners, the radio station, and eventually, his lover. As Wilde descends into a pit of despair, reality and fantasy begin to blur in a kaleidoscope of terror....

Holes for Faces

Ramsey Campbell

One of the most respected living horror writers in the world, Campbell has more awards for his horror tales than any other author, and "is likely to be remembered as the leading horror writer of our generation," according to S.T. Joshi. One of the heirs apparent to early-twentieth-century American author H. P. Lovecraft, Campbell's horror stories are often set in contemporary Merseyside, England, his own hometown, and involve quite ordinary characters. His unsettling, dreamlike prose, however, transforms his work into very effective horror fiction.

Holes for Faces collects many of his best tales from the first decade of this century. An attempt to avoid a haunted house leads into worse danger. The announcements at a railway station deal with stranger things than trains, and is that another railway station in the distance or a different kind of destination? A childhood game becomes a source of terror, and so does a radio quiz show. Even Christmas decorations may not be trusted, and beware of that Advent calendar! A hotel provides amenities you mightn't welcome, and a visit to a tourist attraction attracts an uninvited follower. A train journey may never end, unless it already has, and a visit to a hospital brings back more than memories. A myth about a horror film has unwanted consequences. There are angels you mightn't want to see too clearly, if that's what they are. And you'll have to decide if it's better to stay in the dark or see what's waiting there. You'll find uncanny dread in these pages, and disquiet and terror, but also poignancy and comedy of paranoia. One theme runs through all the stories: youth and age.

Table of Contents:

  • Passing Through Peacehaven - (2011)
  • Peep - (2007)
  • Getting It Wrong - (2011)
  • The Room Beyond - (2011)
  • Holes for Faces - (2013)
  • The Rounds - (2010)
  • The Decorations - (2005)
  • The Address - (2012)
  • Recently Used - (2011)
  • Chucky Comes to Liverpool - (2010)
  • With the Angels - (2010)
  • Behind the Doors - (2013)
  • Holding the Light - (2011)
  • The Long Way - (2008)

Incarnate

Ramsey Campbell

When an experiment in prophetic dreaming begins to go wrong, it is immediately aborted. Many years later hallucinations invade the lives of the original participants and one by one they succumb to a diabolical force that threatens more than their lives.

Loveman's Comeback

Ramsey Campbell

WFA nominated novelette. It originally appeared in the anthology More Devil's Kisses (1977) edited by Linda Lovecraft. The story can also be found in the collections Scared Stiff: Tales of Sex and Death (1987) and Alone with the Horrors (1993).

Mackintosh Willy

Ramsey Campbell

World Fantasy Award winning short story. It originally appeared in the anthology Shadows 2 (1979), edited by Charles L. Grant. The story can also be found in the anthologies The Dark Descent: The Evolution of Horror (1987), edited by David G. Hartwell, and The Century's Best Horror Fiction 1951-2000 (2012), edited by John Pelan. It is included in the collections Dark Companions (1982) and Alone with the Horrors (1993).

Midnight Sun

Ramsey Campbell

Ben Sterling brings his wife and children to his childhood village, where in a great forest, an old house holds the promise of all their dreams. But among the pines something seems to be gathering, glittering in the icy air.

Nazareth Hill

Ramsey Campbell

The emotional turmoil of a teenage girl's adolescence is matched by her father's midlife crisis, and it becomes clear that this battle is only one stage in a centuries-old war between authority and rebellion, innocence and suspicion.

New Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos

Ramsey Campbell

Contents:

  • ix - Introduction (New Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos) - essay by Ramsey Campbell
  • 3 - Crouch End - [Cthulhu Mythos] - novelette by Stephen King
  • 33 - The Star Pools - [Cthulhu Mythos] - novelette by A. A. Attanasio
  • 73 - The Second Wish - [Cthulhu Mythos] - novelette by Brian Lumley
  • 101 - Dark Awakening - [Cthulhu Mythos] - shortstory by Frank Belknap Long
  • 115 - Shaft Number 247 - [Cthulhu Mythos] - novelette by Basil Copper
  • 145 - Black Man with a Horn - [Cthulhu Mythos] - novelette by T. E. D. Klein
  • 187 - The Black Tome of Alsophocus - [Cthulhu Mythos] - shortstory by H. P. Lovecraft and Martin S. Warnes
  • 197 - Than Curse the Darkness - [Cthulhu Mythos] - novelette by David Drake
  • 223 - The Faces at Pine Dunes - [Cthulhu Mythos] - novelette by Ramsey Campbell
  • 255 - Notes on Contributors (New Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos) - essay by uncredited

Obsession

Ramsey Campbell

The deal seemed too good to be true. Until it came time to pay.

The letters said, "Whatever you most need, I do. The price is something that you do not value and which you may regain." To four teenagers, it seemed an offer too good to pass up. They filled out the enclosed forms. Indeed, they soon got what they needed most, but in shocking ways they never imagined.

Twenty-five years later, they have never been able to forget the horror. But it's not over yet. In fact, it's about to get much worse. Now it's time to pay the price.

Pact of the Fathers

Ramsey Campbell

Daniella Logan, daughter of a film impresario, is stunned to see a group of robed men performing a ritual above the newly-turned earth of her father's grave. Daniella's father and his friends--politicians, newspaper magnates, highly-paid actors, top-flight surgeons, high-ranking police officials, and many more--are bound by an unholy blood pact that calls for the sacrifice of their first born children. Now, the more she learns, the more Daniella makes herself a target. But she must not be silenced, for she is not the only firstborn in danger, only the oldest.

Scared Stiff: Tales of Sex and Death

Ramsey Campbell

Here, gathered for the first time in a single volume, are seven stories that portray a world in which love has gone terribly awry--where unholy desires lead to chaos, madness and death. From the bestselling author of Obsession, The Hungry Moon and Incarnate.

Table of Contents:

  • The Bare Bones: An Introduction - (1987) - essay by Clive Barker
  • Dolls - (1976) - novelette
  • The Other Woman - (1976) - novelette
  • Lilith's - (1976) - short story
  • The Seductress - (1977) - novelette
  • Stages - (1987) - novelette
  • Loveman's Comeback - (1977) - novelette
  • Merry May - (1987) - novelette

Later editions also include:

  • The Limits of Fantasy - (1992) - short story
  • The Body in the Window - (1995) - short story
  • Kill Me Hideously - (1997) - short story

Secret Story

Ramsey Campbell

You're an underpaid civil servant who dreams of chucking it all to become a famous author. You live with your overbearing mother who always seems to interrupt when you're writing a key scene. Your imagination is dark, your inspiration the terrible things that happen to can happen to a young woman traveling alone....

Your terrifying short story about a horrible murder on an underground train is to be published. Even better, it will be made into a movie. A pretty young journalist is pursuing you.

Except.

You've been fired.

The journalist wants an interview, not a date.

The film's director wants you to make a few changes in your story.

And, worst of all, your imagination has run dry.

You'll just have to kill someone new...

Silent Children

Ramsey Campbell

Once upon a time there was a man who loved children. He loved them so much he tried to save them from their imperfect parents. Unfortunately, Hector Woollie didn't work for Child Protective Services... and the children he rescued, he murdered.

Once upon a time, Leslie had a happy marriage, a happy son, and a happy life. Now divorced, she is trapped in ongoing battles with her ex-husband, Roger, especially over their newly-adolescent son, Ian.

When Ian and his young stepsister disappear, Roger insists the boy kidnapped the girl, while Leslie thinks Ian might have run away. She prays that her son is near and will come home soon.

Ian is near-right next door, just on the other side of a shared wall. Ian can hear his parents fighting and his mother's desperate weeping, but he can't call for help. Hector Woollie has him and his stepsister, and if either child makes a peep, the madman will slit both their throats.

The Astounding Science Fiction Anthology

John W. Campbell, Jr.

All stories in this volume originally appeared in Street & Smith's Astounding Science Fiction magazine.

Contains stories by: Murray Leinster, Lester Del Rey, Isaac Asimov, Clifford Simak, A.E. Van Voght, and others.

The Chimney

Ramsey Campbell

WFA winning short story. It originally appeared in the anthology Whispers: An Anthology of Fantasy and Horror (1977), edited by Stuart David Schiff. The story can also be found in the anthologies The Twelve Frights of Christmas (1986), edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg and Carol-Lynn Rössel Waugh, Urban Horrors (1990), edited by William F. Nolan and Martin H. Greenberg, and The Mammoth Book of New Terror (2004), edited by Stephen Jones. It is included in the collections Dark Companions (1982), Dark Feasts: The World of Ramsey Campbell (1987) and Alone with the Horrors (1993).

The Companion

Ramsey Campbell

WFA nominated short story. It originally appeared in the anthology Frights (1976), edited by Kirby McCauley, and was reprinted in Nightmare Magazine, July 2013. The story can also be found in the anthologies The World Fantasy Awards, Volume Two (1980), edited by Stuart David Schiff and Fritz Leiber, and The Arbor House Celebrity Book of Horror Stories (1982), edited by Charles G. Waugh and Martin H. Greenberg. It is included in the collections Dark Companions (1982), Dark Feasts: The World of Ramsey Campbell (1987) and Alone with the Horrors (1993).

Read the full story for free at Nightmare.

The Count of Eleven

Ramsey Campbell

Just when he feels that his life is on the right track, Jack Orchard finds that a chain letter he has thrown away has brought him terrible luck, and he is determined to make things right again by keeping the chain going, no matter what.

The Darkest Part of the Woods

Ramsey Campbell

For decades the lives of the Price family have been snarled with the fate of the ancient forest of Goodmanswood. There, Dr. Lennox Price discovered an hallucinogenic moss which quickly became the focus of a cult. Though the moss is long gone, the whole forest can now affect the minds of visitors.

After Lennox is killed trying to return to his beloved wood, his widow sees and hears him in the trees-or is it a dark version of the Green Man that caresses her with leafy hands? Lennox's grandson heeds a call to lie in his lover's arms in the very heart of the forest-and cannot help but wonder what the fruit of that love will be.

And Heather, Lennox's daughter, who turned her back on her father's mysteries and sought sanctuary in the world of facts and history? Goodmanswood summons her as well...

The Doll Who Ate His Mother

Ramsey Campbell

It was a freak accident. The man had suddenly stepped into the road, and the breaks had failed. Clare could only steer wildly, the car finally crashing into a tree and on to the kerb. Now her brother Rob was dead, silent in the passenger seat, slumped against the door. He died of massive head injuries.

But there was something else, something that at first she couldn't quite grasp, that seemed in explicable. His right arm was missing. Gone. Someone had taken it.

The Grin of the Dark

Ramsey Campbell

A former professor offers film critic Simon the chance of a lifetime-to write a book on one of the greatest long-lost comedians of the silent-film era, Tubby Thackeray. Simon is determined to find out the truth behind the jolly fat man's disappearance from film-and from the world.

Tubby's work carries the unmistakable stamp of the macabre. People literally laughed themselves to death during his performances. Soon, wherever Simon goes, laughter-and a clown's wide, threatening grin-follow. Is Simon losing his mind? Or is Tubby Thackeray waiting for him to open the door back to the world?

The Hungry Moon

Ramsey Campbell

Campbell's seventh novel is set in Northern England, in the small bleak town of Moonwell, edged by moors pitted with treacherous mineshafts. To Moonwell comes the preacher Godwin Mann, whose particularly intolerant brand of fundamentalism appeals to the inhabitants. They rally almost as one behind him and ostracize and persecute the few independent souls who do not.

Mann descends into the pit in which the ancient malignant being worshipped by the Druids millenia past is said to dwell. Intending to exorcise the demon and claim the land for God, he is instead overwhelmed. What emerges from the pit is the monstrous creature, clothed now in the flesh of Mann, and it is only the town's pariahs who can see that something is radically wrong, that an evil has been unleashed on the community.

Slowly Moonwell is isolated from the world, as telephone lines break down, a cloud cover brings continuous darkness, watches and clocks stop, roads mysteriously lead nowhere. And within this isolation, the monster's power grows unimpeded.

The Influence

Ramsey Campbell

An elderly spinster dies, leaving her English country estate to a poverty-stricken niece and her family, who pay dearly the true price of the inheritance, in this story of a woman's search for immortality.

The Kind Folk

Ramsey Campbell

In Ramsey Campbell's The Kind Folk, fairies are real... and they're coming for you.

Luke Arnold is a successful stage comedian who, with his partner Sophie Drew, is about to have their first child. Their life seems ideal and Luke feels that true happiness is finally within his grasp.

This wasn't always the case. Growing up in a loving but dysfunctional family, Luke was a lonely little boy who never felt that he belonged. While his parents adored him, the whole family knew that due to a mix-up at the hospital, Luke wasn't their biological child. His parents did the best they could to make the lad feel special. But it was his beloved uncle Terence who Luke felt most close to, a man who enchanted (and frightened) the lad with tales of the "Other"--eldritch beings, hedge folks, and other fables of Celtic myth.

When Terence dies in a freak accident, Luke suddenly begins to learn how little he really knew his uncle. How serious was Terence about the magic in his tales? Why did he travel so widely by himself after Luke was born, and what was he looking for? Soon Luke will have to confront forces that may be older than the world in order to save his unborn child.

The Long Lost

Ramsey Campbell

David and Joelle's long-lost relative, Gwendolen, helps them recover from a family tragedy, but soon the young couple is caught in a web of evil and dark secrets seemingly spun from Gwendolen's white hair.

The Nameless

Ramsey Campbell

Barbara Waugh receives a phone call from her daughter, who was brutally murdered years ago, and is drawn into an evil world of inhuman torture and bloody murders, of gruesome initiations, locked doors and unheard screams.

The Same in Any Language

Ramsey Campbell

This short story originally appeared in Weird Tales, Summer 1991. The story can also be found in the anthologies The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 3 (1992), edited by Stephen Jones and Ramsey Campbell, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Fifth Annual Collection (1992), edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, The Year's Best Horror Stories: XX (1992), edited by Karl Edward Wagner. The story is included in the collection Ghosts and Grisly Things (1998).

The Wise Friend

Ramsey Campbell

Patrick Torrington's aunt Thelma was a successful artist whose late work turned towards the occult. While staying with her in his teens he found evidence that she used to visit magical sites. As an adult he discovers her journal of her explorations, and his teenage son Roy becomes fascinated too. His experiences at the sites scare Patrick away from them, but Roy carries on the search, together with his new girlfriend. Can Patrick convince his son that his increasingly terrible suspicions are real, or will what they've helped to rouse take a new hold on the world?

Thieving Fear

Ramsey Campbell

Who could have believed that a night's camping on Thurstaston Common would lead to a haunting of such power and reach. After ten years Charlotte Nolan and her cousins unwittingly disturb something that should never have seen the light, their very dreams are filled with a suffocating darkness and each is pursued by an undefined figure that seems to have slipped straight out of a nightmare. Together, they must investigate an occult mystery stretching back one hundred years and confront the malevolent force that was once a man.

Think Yourself Lucky

Ramsey Campbell

I scurry up the ladder to tug at his ankles. This time he can t keep his cry to himself. As I dislodge one of his feet from the rung they re desperate to stay on, he lunges upwards to clutch at the gutter. I m down the ladder in a moment, and in another I ve snatched it away. It clatters at full length on the concrete as its owner dangles from the flimsy gutter. Help, he screams. Look what he s done. Christ, someone help. He s saying more than he needs to, as so many of them do. You d think they ve taken a vow to use up all the oxygen they can, but he won t for much longer. I watch him struggle to haul himself up and find a handhold on the roof. His hand slips off the wet tiles, and the gutter emits a creak that sounds as if it s splintering. I might enjoy watching him dangle and wave his helpless legs for however many seconds he has left . . .

David Botham just wants a quiet ordinary life his job at the travel agency, his relationship with his girlfriend Stephanie. He doesn t want to be a writer, and he certainly doesn t think he s one. The online blog that uses a title he once thought up has nothing to do with him. He has no idea who is writing it or where they get their information about a series of violent deaths in Liverpool. If they re murders, how can the killer go unseen even by the security cameras? Perhaps David won t know until they come too close to him until he can t ignore the figure from his past that is catching up with him. Perhaps denying it isn t just the worst thing he can do but fatal...

In Ramsey Campbell and the Twenty-First-Century Weird Tale Richard Bleiler argues that Campbell has brought the new century into supernatural fiction. Following The Grin of the Dark and The Seven Days of Cain, Think Yourself Lucky finds new demons online. But perhaps they are ourselves . . .

To Wake the Dead

Ramsey Campbell

Twenty years after a game of Ouija ends in a ten-year-old's disappearance, Rose Tierney discovers that she has developed psychic powers that enable her to see into the future and travel without her body, but that make her vulnerable to an evil force.

Published in the UK as: The Parasite

Lambda I: and Other Stories

John Carnell

Table of Contents:

  • 7 - Foreword (Lambda I and Other Stories) - essay by John Carnell
  • 9 - Lambda I - (1962) - novelette by Colin Kapp
  • 46 - Basis for Negotiation - (1962) - novelette by Brian W. Aldiss
  • 84 - Quest - (1963) - novelette by Lee Harding
  • 103 - All Laced Up - (1961) - short story by A. Bertram Chandler [as by George Whitley]
  • 114 - Routine Exercise - (1961) - novelette by Philip E. High
  • 135 - Flux - (1963) - novelette by Barrington J. Bayley and Michael Moorcock
  • 160 - The Last Salamander - (1963) - short story by John T. Phillifent [as by John Rackham]

No Place Like Earth

John Carnell

Table of Contents:

  • 7 - Introduction (No Place Like Earth) - essay by Arthur C. Clarke
  • 11 - Foreword (No Place Like Earth) - essay by John Carnell
  • 13 - No Place Like Earth - [Bert] - (1951) - novelette by John Wyndham [as by John Beynon]
  • 57 - Breaking Strain - (1949) - novelette by Arthur C. Clarke
  • 91 - Survival - (1952) - novelette by John Wyndham
  • 121 - Balance - [Max Larkin] - (1951) - short story by John Christopher
  • 141 - Unknown Quantity - (1949) - short story by Peter Phillips
  • 161 - Robots Don't Bleed - (1950) - short story by J. W. Groves
  • 175 - The Two Shadows - (1951) - novelette by William F. Temple
  • 205 - Castaway - (1947) - short story by A. Bertram Chandler [as by George Whitley]
  • 219 - Machine Made - (1951) - short story by J. T. McIntosh
  • 233 - Chemical Plant - (1950) - short story by Ian Williamson

Weird Shadows from Beyond

John Carnell

Table of Contents:

  • 11 - Introduction (Weird Shadows from Beyond) - essay by John Carnell
  • 13 - Danse Macabre - (1963) - short story by Mervyn Peake
  • 23 - Blood Offering - (1961) - short story by John Kippax
  • 39 - Same Time, Same Place - (1963) - short story by Mervyn Peake
  • 49 - Master of Chaos - [The Elric Saga] - (1964) - short story by Michael Moorcock
  • 63 - Wednesday's Child - [Child's Play - 2] - (1956) - short story by William Tenn
  • 83 - Dial 'O' for Operator - (1958) - novelette by Robert Presslie
  • 101 - The Flowers of the Forest - (1957) - short story by Brian W. Aldiss (variant of Flowers of the Forest)
  • 111 - Fresh Guy - (1958) - short story by E. C. Tubb
  • 127 - The Garden of Paris - short story by Eric C. Williams [as by Eric Williams]
  • 145 - The Graveyard Reader - (1958) - short story by Theodore Sturgeon

The Devil in Velvet

John Dickson Carr

To solve a long-forgotten crime, a professor challenges the devil in this nefariously puzzling, romantic tale from the Golden Age master of mystery fiction.

An aging scholar of Restoration history, Nicholas Fenton has long dreamed of traveling into the past. He has a date in mind--May 10, 1675--as well as a purpose: to solve the murder case of the woman he loves, his rakehell ancestor's lovely wife. Obsessed with delivering her from danger, he turns to an unlikely accomplice: the devil.

After striking a bargain with the prince of darkness, Fenton awakens in the seventeenth century in the much-younger body of dashing Sir Nick Fenton. In an era when gentlemen died by the blade, Fenton is handy with a rapier, and his knowledge of local history gives him a leg up on the swashbucklers who would have his hide. But while his sword may help him rescue his beloved, it will take more than that to save his soul. Even in 1675, the devil is in the details.

The Ophidian Conspiracy

John F. Carr

In the far distant future, the Anomian League--an interstellar protectorate which serves as a guardian over the far flung worlds of mankind--is faced with a possible rebellion on the world of Seker. The Ophidians, an alien race engineered from the DNA of humans, snakes and other creatures, had in the past used their psionic powers to enslave all of humanity. In the end, after a devastating war, the Ophidians were exiled to the backwater world of Seker where they have stayed ever since.

The Science Fiction Yearbook

Jim Baen
John F. Carr
Jerry Pournelle

The book that defines state-of-the-art science fiction.

Table of Contents:

  • Preface - essay by Jerry Pournelle
  • 1984, Nineteen Eighty-Four, and Other SF Novels, Signs, and Portents - essay by Algis Budrys
  • New Rose Hotel - (1984) - shortstory by William Gibson
  • Me and My Shadow - (1984) - shortstory by Mike Resnick
  • Hard Science in the Real World - essay by Gregory Benford
  • Me/Days - (1984) - shortstory by Gregory Benford
  • Silicon Muse - (1984) - shortstory by Hilbert Schenck
  • The Dominus Demonstration - (1984) - novelette by Charles Sheffield
  • The Crystal Spheres - (1984) - shortstory by David Brin
  • The Strange Journey: 1984 - essay by James E. Gunn
  • A Day in the Life of a Classics Professor - (1984) - shortstory by Stan Dryer
  • The Picture Man - (1984) - shortstory by John Dalmas
  • The Weigher - (1984) - novella by Eric Vinicoff and Marcia Martin
  • Demon Lover - (1984) - novelette by M. Sargent Mackay
  • Tourist Trade - (1984) - novelette by Robert Silverberg
  • 1984: The Fifty-Candle Blowout - essay by Michael Glyer

Champagne Charlie

Jay Franklin

When Charles E. Hoskins wishes for champagne and it suddenly materializes, he finds that his powers of conjure extend to all intoxicants. In the many predicaments this provokes, Charles is committed into the hands of a psychiatrist, escapes, decides to open up a bar but runs afoul of the union and later of Treasury agents, is summoned by Washington and is wanted as a good will gesture by the British Ambassador, is taken by the Russians who are about to deport him....

FROOMB!

John Lymington

Professor Dave Packard has been a respected scientist for thirty years. He believes in time belts and thinks Heaven may be on one of them. World traveler John Brunt agrees to an experiment to find out. It means he'll have to die but Packard says he can bring him back in twenty-four hours. He sits in a special chair and disintegrates.

He revives close to a hundred years later in his old home village. The country around it has been destroyed. He's taken to an interrogator named Peter who treats him like he's crazy. He keeps trying to find out what destroyed the area and if he is in Heaven. He doesn't get any answers.

He runs into an old girlfriend and finds out that men are sterile and take pills to stay that way. He keeps hoping that Packard can really bring him back. He's convinced he's dead but isn't so sure this is Heaven. It's getting to be more like Hell.

The title comes from a cartoon of the world driving a car that's out of control racing down a slope heading for an abyss. The caption is, "The Fluid's Running Out Of My Brakes!"

Night of the Big Heat

John Lymington

The main characters are a former novelist named Richard Callum and his wife Frankie, who own a pub called the White Lion. Richard has hired a secretary to help out on his new book, Patricia Wells, who turns out to have an obsession for Callum. A visiting scientist named Harsen reveals, ultimately, that the reason for the extreme heat is that an alien race of spiders are "beaming in" scouts from their home planet via an improbable "radio wave" ray which generates intense amounts of heat as a side effect.

The spiders themselves are carnivorous and eat humans, and give off bodily heat intense enough to burn alive any person who gets too close to them. Together with Harsen, Patricia, and science fiction author Vernon Stone, the Callums try to make it to the island's radio station to call for help so that they can thwart the invasion.

The Swimmer

John Cheever

The story begins with Neddy Merrill lounging at a friend's pool on a warm midsummer day. On a whim, Neddy decides to get home by swimming through all the pools in the neighborhood (which he names "The Lucinda River" in honor of his wife), and starts off enthusiastic and full of youthful energy. In the early stops on his journey, he is enthusiastically greeted by friends, who welcome him with drinks. It is readily apparent that he is well-regarded, and has an upper or upper-middle-class social standing.

As his journey progresses, things gradually take on a darker and ultimately surreal tone. Despite the ever-present afternoon light, it becomes unclear how much time has passed. At the beginning of the story it was clearly midsummer, but eventually all natural signs point to the season being autumn. Old acquaintances encountered by Neddy mention misfortune and money troubles which he does not remember hearing about, and he is patently unwelcome at several houses belonging to owners of a lower social class. His earlier, youthful energy gradually declines, and it becomes increasingly painful and difficult for him to swim on. Finally, he staggers back home, only to find his house decrepit, empty, and abandoned.

This short story originally appeared in The New Yorker on July 18, 1964. It has been collected and anthologized a number of times. It was the basis for the 1968 movie The Swimmer.

A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Proposed Trade-Offs for the Overhaul of the Barricade

John Chu

Generation after generation, engineers have maintained the barricade, a shield that protects civilization against Turbulence, this strange force that destroys both minds and machines. As Turbulence grows ever more intense and the barricade begins to fail, can Ritter live up to the demands of his father, an engineer the equal of any hero in the Five Great Classical Novels, as they struggle to prevent this civilization from falling like every civilization has before it?

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Beyond the El

John Chu

Connor is a food crafter just getting back into the business after his mother's death. To cope with his grief, Connor spends day after day recreating her potstickers, but they are never quite what he remembers. To move on with his life, he will have to confront his past.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Double Time

John Chu

This short story originally appeared in the anthology Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories (2014), edited by Julia Rios and Alisa Krasnostein, and was reprinted in Lightspeed: People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction! Special Issue, June 2016.

Read the full story for free at Lightspeed.

Hold-Time Violations

John Chu

Ellie is on her way to visit her comatose mother when her sister sends her to repair physics. Each universe has skunkworks that generate the universe within it, making this multiverse a set of matryoshka dolls. The skunkworks that generate this universe have become faulty, and the physical constants suddenly... aren't. In order to fix the skunkworks, to make physics self-consistent again, and to make the world work as it's supposed to, Ellie will have to remember everything her mother has taught her.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Influence Isolated, Make Peace

John Chu

This short story originally appeared in Lightspeed, June 2015.

The full title of the story included a several Chinese characters the database is unable to display correctly.

Read the full story for free at Lightspeed.

Making the Magic Lightning Strike Me

John Chu

This story originally appeared in Uncanny Magazine, Issue 16, May-June 2017. It can also be found in the anthology Wilde Stories 2018: The Year's Best Gay Speculative Fiction (2018), edited by Steve Berman.

Read the full story for free at Uncanny Magazine.

Probabilitea

John Chu

This short story originally appeared in Uncanny Magazine, Issue 28, May-June 2019.

Read the full story for free at Uncanny.

Restore the Heart into Love

John Chu

This short story originally appeared in Uncanny Magazine, Issue Four, May-June 2015.

Read the full story for free at Uncanny.

The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere

John Chu

In the near future water falls from the sky whenever someone lies (either a mist or a torrential flood depending on the intensity of the lie). This makes life difficult for Matt as he maneuvers the marriage question with his lover and how best to "come out" to his traditional Chinese parents.

This story can also be found in the anthology Worlds Seen in Passing: Ten Years of Tor.com Short Fiction (2018), edited by Irene Gallo.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Appleseed

John Clute

It is the dawn of the fourth millennium, and for trader Nathanael Freer it is business as usual. Tile Dance, his ship, is in the safe hands of KathKirtt, an AI with two minds, and a loyal krewe of cybernetic and android helpers. His latest commission-to deliver a shipment of nano-forges to the planet Eolhxir--is routine enough. All seems okey dokey.

But it is not. A virulent data plague is infecting the local spiral arm of the galaxy all the way from Old Earth. Universal darkness threatens the vast concord of living civilizations. And a trap has been laid that will draw Freer and his lover, Ferocity Monthly-Niece, into an eons-old conflict. His new contract is, in fact, far from routine, and Eolhxir holds the key to everything.

Canary Fever: Reviews

John Clute

Canary Fever is a collection of reviews about the most significant literatures of the twenty-first century: science fiction, fantasy and horror: the literatures Clute argues should be recognized as the central modes of fantastika in our times. The title refers to the canary in the coal mine, who whiffs gas and dies to save miners; reviewers of fantastika can find themselves in a similar position, though words can only hurt us.

This is the fourth such collection by John Clute. Several older pieces are included here, though the great bulk of the book - over 200,000 words - was first published between 2003 and 2008. Every review has been edited. Errors and incoherencies have been removed when possible. The original versions of some reviews - in particular those written in the past year or so - have been treated as first drafts, and have been brought into final form.

One piece, on John B Watson and Behaviorism, is previously unpublished.

Scores: Reviews 1993-2003

John Clute

For nearly 40 years John Clute has been reviewing science fiction and fantasy. As Scores demonstrates, his devotion to the task of understanding the central literatures of our era has not slackened. There are jokes in Scores, and curses, and tirades, and apologies, and riffs; but every word of every review, in the end, is about how we understand the stories we tell about the world.

Following on from his two previous books of collected reviews (Strokes and Look at the Evidence) this book collects reviews from a wide variety of sources, but mostly from Interzone, the New York Review of Science Fiction, and Science Fiction Weekly. Where it has seemed possible to do so without distorting contemporary responses to books, these reviews have been revised, sometimes extensively.

125 review articles, over 200 books reviewed in more than 214,000 words.

Waiting for the Barbarians

J. M. Coetzee

For decades the Magistrate has run the affairs of a tiny frontier settlement, ignoring the impending war between the barbarians and the Empire, whose servant he is. But when the interrogation experts arrive, he is jolted into sympathy with the victims and into a quixotic act of rebellion which lands him in prison, branded as an enemy of the state. Waiting for the Barbarians is an allegory of oppressor and oppressed. Not just a man living through a crisis of conscience in an obscure place in remote times, the Magistrate is an analogue of all men living in complicity with regimes that ignore justice and decency.

Fancies and Goodnights

John Collier

John Collier's edgy, sardonic tales are works of rare wit, curious insight, and scary implication. They stand out as one of the pinnacles in the critically neglected but perennially popular tradition of weird writing that includes E.T.A. Hoffmann and Charles Dickens as well as more recent masters like Jorge Luis Borges and Roald Dahl. With a cast of characters that ranges from man-eating flora to disgruntled devils and suburban salarymen (not that it's always easy to tell one from another), Collier's dazzling stories explore the implacable logic of lunacy, revealing a surreal landscape whose unstable surface is depth-charged with surprise.

His Monkey Wife, or Married to a Chimp

John Collier

When Alfred Fatigay returns to his native London, he brings along his trustworthy pet chimpanzee Emily who, unbeknownst to Fatigay, has become civilized: literate, literary -- and in love with Fatigay himself. After Emily meets Alfred's fiancée Amy Flint, a 1920's "modern woman," she sets out to save her beloved from Amy's cold grip.

A novel about a strange, wondrous, and often hilarious love triangle.

The Chaser

John Collier

Alan Austen seeks a love potion to cause the girl of his dreams, who is presently completely indifferent to his advances, to want him passionately, completely. The love potion is extraordinarily inexpensive--one dollar. The 'salesman' suggests that after the love potion has taken hold, she will become possessive, and, after many years, Alan will be willing to pay big bucks--$5,000 for a teaspoonful--of the salesman's 'glove cleaner.' Alan delightedly takes his love potion and the salesman bids him 'au revoir,' meaning, 'I will see you again.

This short story originally appeared in The New Yorker, December 28, 1940. It has been collected and anthologized many times.

It was the basis for episode 31 (1960) of The Twilight Zone.

The Robert Presnell, Jr. script was originally written for and produced live on television on The Billy Rose Television Theatre in 1951.

The short story also was adapted in 1951 for Tales from the Crypt, where it was retitled "Loved to Death!!" This was adapted in 1991 as "Loved to Death" (no exclamation points) for the HBO adult-horror anthology series Tales from the Crypt. The episode starred Andrew McCarthy and Mariel Hemingway.

Friendly Aliens: Thirteen Stories of the Fantastic Set in Canada

John Robert Colombo

Table of Contents:

  • Preface (Friendly Aliens) - essay by John Robert Colombo
  • A Haunted Island - (1899) - shortstory by Algernon Blackwood
  • A Relic of the Pliocene - (1901) - shortstory by Jack London
  • In Search of the Unknown - (1899) - novelette by Robert W. Chambers (variant of The Harbor-Master)
  • The People of the Pit - (1918) - shortstory by A. Merritt
  • Polaris - [Dream Cycle] - (1920) - shortstory by H. P. Lovecraft
  • The Thing From--"Outside" - (1923) - shortstory by George Allan England
  • The Place of Pain - (1914) - shortstory by M. P. Shiel
  • Devolution - (1936) - shortstory by Edmond Hamilton
  • Arctic God - (1942) - novelette by John Russell Fearn
  • The Thing That Walked on the Wind - (1933) - shortstory by August Derleth
  • The Tattooed Man - (1965) - shortstory by Vincent Starrett
  • Forever to a Hudson Bay Blanket - (1972) - shortstory by James Tiptree, Jr.
  • Swan Song - (1978) - shortstory by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
  • Whither Canadian Fantasy? - (1942) - essay by Donald A. Wollheim

Windigo: An Anthology of Fact and Fantastic Fiction

John Robert Colombo

This is an extensive compilation of fact, fiction, poems, short stories, and other snippets about the Windigo, a cannibalistic spirit of the Northwoods Indians.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction (Windigo: An Anthology of Fact and Fantastic Fiction) - essay by John Robert Colombo
  • A Sort of Werewolf (excerpt) - shortfiction by Paul Le Jeune
  • Veritable Werewolves (excerpt) - shortfiction by Paul Le Jeune
  • Onaouientagos (excerpt) - shortfiction by Bacqueville de la Potherie
  • The Devil (excerpt) - shortfiction by James Isham
  • Another Being (excerpt) - shortfiction by Henry Ellis
  • Guilty of Murder (excerpt) - shortfiction by Samuel Hearne
  • An Evil Being (excerpt) - shortfiction by Edward Umfreville
  • Man Eaters (excerpt) - shortfiction by David Thompson (I)
  • Cannibals (excerpt) - shortfiction by Edwin James (I)
  • The Weendigoes - shortstory by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft
  • Superstitous Belief (excerpt) - shortfiction by Paul Kane
  • A Tale of the Windego - shortstory by J. B. Nevins
  • Legendary Lore (excerpt) - shortfiction by Francis Parkman
  • The Walker of the Snow - poem by C. D. Shanly
  • Some Sort of Madness (excerpt) - shortfiction by Earl of Southesk
  • Cannibal Lake (excerpt) - shortfiction by Henry Youle Hind
  • Giant Cannibals (excerpt) - shortfiction by Henry Youle Hind
  • He's a Windigo (excerpt) - (1872) - shortfiction by William Francis Butler [as by Sir William Francis Butler ]
  • Windagoos! Cannibals! (excerpt) - shortfiction by Egerton Ryerson
  • Red-Headed Windego - shortstory by E. W. Thomson
  • A Cannibal Spirit (excerpt) - shortfiction by Charles Mair
  • The Windigo - (1901) - poem by William Henry Drummond
  • The Snow-Wetigo - shortstory by Arthur Heming
  • A Weetigo in the Woods (excerpt) - shortfiction by Philip H. Godsell
  • The Wendigo - (1910) - novella by Algernon Blackwood
  • A Tale of the Grand Jardin - (1915) - shortstory by W. H. Blake
  • Wintigoes (Giants) - shortfiction by Peter Yorke and G. E. Laidlaw
  • Me Sah Ba and the Wintigo - shortfiction by Jonas George and G. E. Laidlaw
  • Windigo Story - (1924) - shortfiction by Joe Cosh and G. E. Laidlaw
  • Windigo Story - shortfiction by Kenneth G. Snake and G. E. Laidlaw
  • To Kill Windigo (excerpt) - (1928) - shortfiction by D. S. Davidson
  • The Immortal Cannibal (excerpt) - shortfiction by Frank G. Speck
  • A Human Being Transformed (excerpt) - shortfiction by Diamond Jenness
  • The Wendigo - poem by Ogden Nash
  • The Windigo Personality (excerpt) - shortfiction by Ruth Landes
  • The Thing That Walked on the Wind - (1933) - shortstory by August Derleth
  • Ithaqua - (1941) - shortstory by August Derleth
  • Restless Souls (excerpt) - shortfiction by Richard Morenus
  • Supernatural Creatures (excerpt) - shortfiction by Pierre Berton
  • The Existence of the Witgo (excerpt) - shortfiction by Roger Vandersteene
  • Windigo Psychosis - essay by Mortom I. Teicher
  • Windigo - (1965) - poem by George Bowering
  • Windigo - shortstory by Herbert T. Schwarz
  • Stories of the Windigo - shortstory by James R. Stevens
  • A Near Encounter (excerpt) - shortfiction by Dan Kennedy
  • A Man named Weendigo (excerpt) - shortfiction by Basil Johnson
  • The Death of Windigo (excerpt) - shortfiction by Norval Morrisseau

The Book of Lost Things

John Connolly

High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother. He is angry and alone, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness, and as he takes refuge in his imagination, he finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a land that is a strange reflection of his own world, populated by heroes and monsters, and ruled over by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book... The Book of Lost Things.

An imaginative tale about navigating the journey into adulthood, while doing your best to hang on to your childhood.

Out for Blood

John Peyton Cooke

An avid reader of Dracula and a fan of old Hammer horror films, Chris Callaway has always fantasized about becoming a vampire--and the idea of immortality is even more alluring now that he has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. So when a vampire appears at his apartment and offers him eternal life as one of the undead, Chris jumps at the opportunity.

But unexpected terrors await him in the world of the night. A new enemy, relentless and insatiable, is hunting vampires for his own evil purposes. And unless Chris can stop him, he will face a fate even worse than death...

Einstein's Bridge

John Cramer

In a newborn twenty-first century, tunnels through spacetime have connected our planet with hitherto unimagined alternate universes. After many years, the genius minds working at the SSC project have reached out into the vast cosmos to achieve their greatest dream: contact. But with whom... or what? And at what cost? For something has received their message--an ancient, hostile entity searching for knowledge and life to absorb and annihilate; and entity that has now locked onto a faint, persisting signal emanating from a distant, uncommonly fertile feeding ground... called Earth.

Twistor

John Cramer

In a Seattle research laboratory, Dr. David Harrison has accidentally stumbled upon something truly remarkable: the Twistor Effect, an unparalleled scientific phenomenon that opens doors into numerous alternate universes. His discovery is a breakthrough of earth-shattering proportions-and the most dangerous find of the century, for it offers unlimited power to anyone who possesses its secrets. Now David Harrison has become the target of industrial spies and cold-blooded corporate killers-forcing him to seek sanctuary in a strange and unexplored "shadow world." But there's no telling what awaits him beyond its portals. And, once inside, he might never escape.

Congo

Michael Crichton

Deep in the African rain forest, near the legendary ruins of the Lost City of Zinj, an expedition of eight American geologists is mysteriously and brutally killed in a matter of minutes.

Ten thousand miles away, Karen Ross, the Congo Project Supervisor, watches a gruesome video transmission of the aftermath: a camp destroyed, tents crushed and torn, equipment scattered in the mud alongside dead bodies -- all motionless except for one moving image -- a grainy, dark, man-shaped blur.

In San Francisco, primatologist Peter Elliot works with Amy, a gorilla with an extraordinary vocabulary of 620 "signs," the most ever learned by a primate, and she likes to fingerpaint. But recently, her behavior has been erratic and her drawings match, with stunning accuracy, the brittle pages of a Portuguese print dating back to 1642... a drawing of an ancient lost city. A new expedition -- along with Amy -- is sent into the Congo where they enter a secret world, and the only way out may be through a horrifying death...

Eaters of the Dead

Michael Crichton

The year is A.D. 922. A refined Arab courtier, representative of the powerful Caliph of Baghdad, encounters a party of Viking warriors who are journeying to the barbaric North. He is appalled by their Viking customs--the wanton sexuality of their pale, angular women, their disregard for cleanliness... their cold-blooded human sacrifices. But it is not until they reach the depths of the Northland that the courtier learns the horrifying and inescapable truth: he has been enlisted by these savage, inscrutable warriors to help combat a terror that plagues them--a monstrosity that emerges under cover of night to slaughter the Vikings and devour their flesh...

Prey

Michael Crichton

In the Nevada desert, an experiment has gone horribly wrong. A cloud of nanoparticles—micro-robots—has escaped from the laboratory. This cloud is self-sustaining and self-reproducing. It is intelligent and learns from experience. For all practical purposes, it is alive.

It has been programmed as a predator. It is evolving swiftly, becoming more deadly with each passing hour. Every attempt to destroy it has failed.

And we are the prey.

State of Fear

Michael Crichton

In Paris, a physicist dies after performing a laboratory experiment for a beautiful visitor.

In the jungles of Malaysia, a mysterious buyer purchases deadly cavitation technology, built to his specifications.

In Vancouver, a small research submarine is leased for use in the waters off New Guinea.

And in Tokyo, an intelligence agent tries to understand what it all means.

Thus begins Michael Crichton's exciting and provocative techno-thriller State of Fear. Only Crichton's unique ability to blend scientific fact with pulse-pounding fiction could bring such disparate elements to such a heart-stopping conclusion.

The Terminal Man

Michael Crichton

Harry Benson suffers from violent seizures. So violent that he often blackouts when they take hold. Shortly after severely beating two men during an episode, the police escort Benson to a Los Angeles hospital for treatment. There, Dr. Roger McPherson, head of the prestigious Neuropsychiatric Research Unit, is convinced he can cure Benson with an experimental procedure that would place electrodes deep in his brain's pleasure centers, effectively short-circuiting Harry's seizures with pulses of bliss. The surgery is successful, but while Benson is in recovery, he discovers how to trigger the pulses himself. To make matters worse his violent impulses have only grown, and he soon escapes the hospital with a deadly agenda...

Timeline

Michael Crichton

In an Arizona desert a man wanders in a daze, speaking words that make no sense. Within twenty-four hours he is dead, his body swiftly cremated by his only known associates. Halfway around the world archaeologists make a shocking discovery at a medieval site. Suddenly they are swept off to the headquarters of a secretive multinational corporation that has developed an astounding technology. Now this group is about to get a chance not to study the past but to enter it. And with history opened to the present, the dead awakened to the living, these men and women will soon find themselves fighting for their very survival–six hundred years ago.

The Other Passenger

John Keir Cross

Sustained atmosphere, versatile forms and dramatic effects are the hallmarks of these stories of the macabre, supernatural and horror which rely on shock and breathless climaxes for their completion.

Table of Contents

  • Absence of Mind - short story
  • Amateur Gardening - short story
  • Another Planet - short story
  • Clair de Lune - novelette
  • Couleur de Rose - short story
  • Cyclamen Brown - short story
  • Esmeralda - short story
  • Hands - short story
  • Liebestraum - short story
  • Miss Thing and the Surrealist - short story
  • Music When Soft Voices Die... - short story
  • Petronella Pan - short story-
  • The Glass Eye - short story
  • The Last of the Romantics - short story
  • The Little House - short story
  • The Lovers - short story
  • The Other Passenger - novelette
  • Valdemosa - short story

An Earthly Mother Sits and Sings

John Crowley

Original short story published for Crowley's Guest of Honor appearance at the World Fantasy Convention. Cover art and interior illustration by Charles Vess.

And Go Like This

John Crowley

Thirteen stories from a master of all trades.

Reading John Crowley's stories is to see almost-familiar lives running parallel to our own, secret histories that never quite happened, memories that might be real or might be invented. In the thirteen stories collected here, Crowley sets his imagination free to roam from a 20th century Shakespeare festival to spring break at a future Yale in his Edgar Award winning story "Spring Break". And in the previously unpublished "Anosognosia" the world brought about by one John C.'s high-school accident may or may not exist

Table of Contents:

  • To the Prospective Reader
  • The Girlhood of Shakespeare's Heroines
  • In the Tom Mix Museum
  • And Go Like This
  • Spring Break
  • The Million Monkeys of M. Borel
  • This Is Our Town
  • Mount Auburn Street:
    1. Little Yeses, Little Nos
    2. Glow Little Glow-Worm
    3. Mount Auburn Street
  • Conversation Hearts
  • Flint and Mirror
  • Anosognosia

Antiquities

John Crowley

Table of Contents:

  • The Green Child - (1981) - short story
  • Missolonghi 1824 - (1990) - short story
  • Antiquities - (1977) - short story
  • The Reason for the Visit - (1980) - short story
  • Her Bounty to the Dead - (1978) - short story
  • Snow - (1985) - short story
  • Exogamy - (1993) - short story

Beasts

John Crowley

Painter is a leo - part man, part lion - the result of one of man's genetic experiments, a powerful, beautiful, enigmatic creature deemed a 'failure' to be be hunted down. But Painter has two advantages in this world of small bickering nation states and political accommodation and compromise: his own strength and integrity, and the guile of Reynard, another of man's experiments, a subtle and potent intriguer, a king-maker...

Engine Summer

John Crowley

In an underpopulated future world of isolated and highly varied cultures, a young man sets out to intentionally become a saint...and finds that sainthood is nothing like what he had imagined!

Exogamy

John Crowley

This short story originally appeared in the anthology Omni Best Science Fiction Three (1993), edited by Ellen Datlow, and was reprinted in Lightspeed, February 2013. It can also be found in the anthologies Omni Best Science Fiction Three (1993), edited by Ellen Datlow, and The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Seventh Annual Collection (1994), edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. The story is included in the collections Antiquities (1993) and Novelties & Souvenirs: Collected Short Fiction (2004).

Read the full story for free at Lightspeed.

Flint and Mirror

John Crowley

As ancient Irish clans fought to preserve their lands and their way of life, the Queen and her generals fought to tame the wild land and make it English.

Hugh O'Neill, lord of the North, dubbed Earl of Tyrone by the Queen, is a divided man: the Queen gives to Hugh her love, and her commandments, through a little mirror of obsidian which he can never discard; and the ancient peoples of Ireland arise from their underworld to make Hugh their champion, the token of their vow a chip of flint.

Gone

John Crowley

Locus Award winning and Hugo and Sturgeon Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, September 1996. The story can also be found in the anthologies The Best from Fantasy & Science Fiction: The Fiftieth Anniversary Anthology (2000), edited by Edward L. Ferman and Gordon Van Gelder, and The Locus Awards: Thirty Years of the Best in Science Fiction and Fantasy (2004) edited by Charles N. Brown and Jonathan Strahan. It is included in the collection Novelties & Souvenirs: Collected Short Fiction (2004).

Great Work of Time

John Crowley

World Fantasy Award winning and Nebula Award nominated novella.

His name is Caspar Last, and this is the unique chronicle of the vacation he took from the twentieth century. It begins - or does it? - when Caspar, a genius, poor of course, and resentful at that, decides to use his "time machine" to bring back a modest fortune. It begins - or maybe it doesn't - with a mysterious bequest to a secret Otherhood charged with preserving and extending the British Empire at any cost. From the bold colonial days of empire-builder Cecil Rhodes through the wide-eyed and wondrous possibilities of the present to a strange and haunting future of magi and angels, of men and many races other than our own, John Crowley's time-travel masterpiece surfs bravely along "the infinite, infinitely broken coastline of Time" to tell a story that takes place neither here nor there, but everywhen.

The story originally appaered in the collection Novelty (1989) and was published as a seperate novella in 1991. It is also inlcuded in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction: Seventh Annual Collection (1990), edited by Gardner Dozois, The Science Fiction Century (1997), edited by David G. Hartwell and A Science Fiction Omnibus (2007) edited by Brian W. Aldiss. It was reprinted in Lightpeed, May 2018.

Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr

John Crowley

From award-winning author John Crowley comes an exquisite fantasy novel about a man who tells the story of a crow named Dar Oakley and his impossible lives and deaths in the land of Ka.

A Crow alone is no Crow.

Dar Oakley--the first Crow in all of history with a name of his own--was born two thousand years ago. When a man learns his language, Dar finally gets the chance to tell his story. He begins his tale as a young man, and how he went down to the human underworld and got hold of the immortality meant for humans, long before Julius Caesar came into the Celtic lands; how he sailed West to America with the Irish monks searching for the Paradise of the Saints; and how he continuously went down into the land of the dead and returned. Through his adventures in Ka, the realm of Crows, and around the world, he found secrets that could change the humans' entire way of life--and now may be the time to finally reveal them.

Little, Big

John Crowley

Little, Big tells the epic story of Smoky Barnable -- an anonymous young man who meets and falls in love with Daily Alice Drinkwater, and goes to live with her in Edgewood, a place not found on any map. In an impossible mansion full of her relatives, who all seem to have ties to another world not far away, Smoky fathers a family and tries to learn what tale he has found himself in -- and how it is to end.

Novelty

John Crowley

Table of Contents:

  • The Nightingale Sings at Night - (1989)
  • Great Work of Time - (1989)
  • In Blue - (1989)
  • Novelty - (1983)

Reading Backwards

John Crowley

Reading Backwards is John Crowley's first collection of non-fiction since In Other Words was published in 2007. Like its predecessor, this new book reflects an astonishing range of interests, both literary and otherwise. Like its predecessor, it is a book that no John Crowley fan can afford to miss.

The volume opens with the autobiographical "My Life in the Theater," a memoir of the younger Crowley's earliest ambitions, and closes with the moving and memorable "Practicing the Arts of Peace." In between, the author offers us more than thirty carefully crafted essays, each one notable for its insight, intelligence and typically graceful prose.

The opening section, A Voice from the Easy Chair, reflects Crowley's tenure as Easy Chair columnist for Harper's Magazine. Subjects include life under the once omni-present threat of the Selective Service Board, the enduring personal importance of the Encyclopedia Britannica, and thoughts on what it means to be truly well read. The second section, Fictional Voices, is filled with acute commentary on a wide range of books and writers, among them SF masters such as Paul Park, Ursula K. le Guin and Thomas Disch; the important, if neglected, historical novelist David Stacton (a model for the fictional Ffellowes Kraft of the Ægypt novels); classic science fiction novels of the 1950s, and much, much more. The final section, Looking Outward, Looking In, ranges freely across a wide variety of subjects and ideas, such as UFO literature, the utopian architecture of Norman Bel Geddes, the life and career of renowned theosophist Helen Blavatsky, and the nature of time.

Reading Backwards is a book that can be read from beginning to end with enormous pleasure. It can also be read and enjoyed in whatever order the reader prefers. However it's read, it's a multifarious source of entertainment, illumination, and thought, and offers a fascinating glimpse into the intellectual life of one of the finest novelists of our time.

Snow

John Crowley

Hugo and Nebula Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in Omni, November 1985. The story has been reprinted many times. It is, among others, included in the anthologies:

It can also be found in the collection Antiquities (1993) and Novelties & Souvenirs: Collected Short Fiction (2004).

Read the full story for free at Lightspeed.

The Deep

John Crowley

For many generations the Just have been at war with the Protectors. In their strange world, supported by a huge pillar poised in the vast and mysterious Deep, ritual bloodshed and sorcery have obsessed the inhabitants since the beginning of time. Half human, half machine, sexless and hairless, the Visitor from the skies enters the world on a mission unknown even to himself. Is he a peacemaker between the warrior clans, an observer, or, with his phenomenal qualities, a warrior himself, the likes of which this planet has never seen before? Only time can tell, and time is something that his makers have not allowed for...

The Translator

John Crowley

A novel of tremendous scope and beauty, The Translator tells of the relationship between an exiled Russian poet and his American translator during the Cuban missile crisis, a time when a writer's words -- especially forbidden ones -- could be powerful enough to change the course of history.

Cities of the Dead

Michael Paine

Egypt 1903. Howard Carter, later to become famous for discovering the tomb of Tutankhamun, has been fired from the Department of Antiquities. Using this as an opportunity to study the culture, myseries and fathomless tombs of Egypt's ancient past, Carter hires himself out as a guide to tourists - but he could never have conceived the timeless rituals and age-old horrors he would uncover in the Valley of the Kings. Cities of the Dead-- They are alive - now and forever.

Owl Light

Michael Paine

Sybil, the enigmatic temptress, emerges from a snowstorm with her owl Orpheus, and Professor Stewart wants to use her--sexually and as a weapon against the reverend's condemnation of his evolutionary teachings.

Devil House

John Darnielle

Gage Chandler is descended from kings. That's what his mother always told him. Years later, he is a true crime writer, with one grisly success?and a movie adaptation?to his name, along with a series of subsequent less notable efforts.

But now he is being offered the chance for the big break: to move into the house where a pair of briefly notorious murders occurred, apparently the work of disaffected teens during the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. Chandler finds himself in Milpitas, California, a small town whose name rings a bell--his closest childhood friend lived there, once upon a time. He begins his research with diligence and enthusiasm, but soon the story leads him into a puzzle he never expected--back into his own work and what it means, back to the very core of what he does and who he is.

Universal Harvester

John Darnielle

Jeremy works at the Video Hut in Nevada, Iowa. It's a small town in the center of the state -- the first a in Nevada pronounced ay. This is the late 1990s, and even if the Hollywood Video in Ames poses an existential threat to Video Hut, there are still regular customers, a rush in the late afternoon. It's good enough for Jeremy: it's a job, quiet and predictable, and it gets him out of the house, where he lives with his dad and where they both try to avoid missing Mom, who died six years ago in a car wreck.

But when a local schoolteacher comes in to return her copy of Targets -- an old movie, starring Boris Karloff, one Jeremy himself had ordered for the store? she has an odd complaint: "There's something on it," she says, but doesn't elaborate. Two days later, a different customer returns a different tape, a new release, and says it's not defective, exactly, but altered: "There's another movie on this tape."

Jeremy doesn't want to be curious, but he brings the movies home to take a look. And, indeed, in the middle of each movie, the screen blinks dark for a moment and the movie is replaced by a few minutes of jagged, poorly lit home video. The scenes are odd and sometimes violent, dark, and deeply disquieting. There are no identifiable faces, no dialogue or explanation? the first video has just the faint sound of someone breathing? but there are some recognizable landmarks. These have been shot just outside of town.

In Universal Harvester, the once placid Iowa fields and farmhouses now sinister and imbued with loss and instability and profound foreboding. The novel will take Jeremy and those around him deeper into this landscape than they have ever expected to go. They will become part of a story that unfolds years into the past and years into the future, part of an impossible search for something someone once lost that they would do anything to regain.

Soldier of Light

Tom Cool
John de Lancie

In the near future, people begin experiencing bizarre mental transformations--most minds shut down, but a handful develop new psychic abilities. They are the adepts. These strangers become locked in a struggle to determine the world's future. But deep within the earth, an alien intelligence, dormant for 30 million years, awakes, and a battle for humanity begins.

Crooked House

Thomas F. Monteleone
John DeChancie

Pikadon's stairways lead nowhere. Its doors open to reveal solid, impenetrable walls. Its hallways form an unsolvable, twisting maze. Against its colossal structure people seem as insubstantial as ghosts. Pikadon is full of ghosts. Once the sun goes down, the labyrinthine corridors are haunted by the shambling, moaning dead. Blind and deaf, crippled, skin shredded by atomic blasts, the imprisoned dead stalk the imprisoned living.

Innerverse

John DeChancie

A Nation of Zombies... injected with nano-machines that can monitor your feelings and punish any antisocial thoughts or behaviors. No free will or random acts, only behavior that is socially acceptable to...The Republic of "Innerverse". Once the eastern part of the United States, The Republic of Innerverse has been out of contact with the entire world for over three decades. Frank Sutter's mission is to find out who's running Innerverse and then get out alive!

Living with Aliens

John DeChancie

What more could a thirteen-year-old want than two best friends who can help him get his first girlfriend? Young Drew finds out when he befriends two aliens, Zorg and Flez, who help him take his new girlfriend on a whimsical first date to Minneapolis, Mars, and Egypt in one night. Everything is perfectly cool for Drew until his encounter with Blog...

MagicNet

John DeChancie

Witnessing a friend's death at the hands of a demon, English professor Skye King finds himself unwittingly hooked onto the MagicNet, a computer-generated, magical force that has taken on a life of its own.

The Kruton Interface

John DeChancie

Meet the crew of the lowest-rated ship around: the U.S.S. Repulse. Captain David Wanker is a fool, his engineer is incompetent, and the ship's doctor is on heavy medication. But when an army of alien lawyers sue the entire human race, only Wanker and his crew can save the day.

All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By

John Farris

The affair is a military wedding. The groom's parents are the Bradwins, one of the oldest and most distinguished families in Virginia. The family head, General "Boss" Bradwin, is a famous army officer. Of all his prized sons, his youngest, "Clipper" Bradwin, is the most promising. First in his class at Blue Ridge Military Academy, graduate with all honors, he is now entering into holy matrimony and then into wartime service of his country. What will begin, however, with the solemnity of his marriage vows will end in the echoing screams of the damned-an ungodly spectacle of spilled blood and sobbing, throat-aching terror.

For this distinguished family is like no other on earth. There is a curse on their blood. Their family history is rooted not in magnolia and honeysuckle, but in darkness and demonism, in frightening forces beyond their knowledge and control. Their august history begins not in antebellum mansions, but with supernatural sorcery in the ancient rites and rituals of dark African jungles. There is a curse that grips the Bradwins from generation to generation, from horror to bloody horror, and that climaxes in a spine-chilling nightmare of black occultism and blood vengeance.

Catacombs

John Farris

The worlds rarest gemstones... worth countless millions on the market and far more to those who can decipher the messages etched on their flaming surface... a messages that offers the key to global mastery and bears witness to a vanished civilization far superior to -and more technologically advance than- our own.

They come from the Catacombs-a crystalline burial cave of unparalleled splendor hidden in the volcanic depths of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Their discovery sets the stage for a duel of superpowers that will be fought with a terrible vengeance... a race against time -and eternity- for a terrifying, earth-shattering prize.

Phantom Nights

John Farris

The year is 1952. Fourteen-year-old Alex Gambier is rebellious by nature and scarred by childhood tragedy in the southern community of Evening Shade. An outcast in his own family, mute from a bout with diptheria at an early age, Alex expresses himself by writing imaginative stories and by conceiving daredevil stunts that test all of his physical rescources while putting his life in extreme danger.

The aftermath of one of his hair-raising stunts finds Alex in the care of a young black nurse named Mally Shaw. An unlikely friendship results, which is ended by an unspeakable crime that costs Mally her life.

Or not quite ended, for Mally finds herself trapped in a nether world by the force of Alex's will and his need to exact a terrifying revenge on the man responsible for Mally's death. But the revenge he seeks is a two-edged sword, the price Alex's own soul.

Son of the Endless Night

John Farris

In a peaceful Vermont courtroom, humanity will be called to trial by endless evil. Ancient and implacable -- armed with sensuality, delusion and horrible death -- it will join itself to human weakness in an unholy alliance.

Not since The Exorcist has there been such a powerful novel of demonic possession as Son of the Endless Night.

The Uninvited

John Farris

Late on a snowy November afternoon, while driving from town to her family's farm in upper New York State, Barry Brennan has the accident. From the first, it is a mystery: the young man whom she strikes and injures slightly is physically perfect, stripped of clothing and identification, without speech or memory, a seemingly "newborn" twenty-year-old man. He is also strangely like Barry's fiancé, Ned Kramer, who was tragically killed in an accident the year before. It's almost as if Barry's love and longing for Ned had actually willed the handsome stranger into being.

The accident victim's recovery begins only when Barry arouses him from an inexplicable coma. He suddenly "remembers" his name, Mark Draven. He quickly binds Barry to him by a love deeper than any she has ever known. Obsessed by Draven, Barry is blind to the growing horror she's inflicting on those she loves most: her father, Tom Brennan, the famous painter whose priceless talent will be threatened; Dal, Barry's brother, whose love for Barry will move him inexorably toward destruction; and Alexandra Chatellaine, the elderly neighbor whose secret knowledge of the occult marks her as the only power possible to stop Mark Draven--the handsome stranger who becomes for the Brennans a terrifying and uninvited guest.

When Michael Calls

John Farris

"Auntie Helen," the little boy sobbed, "I'm home, and nobody's here!"

The phone trembled in Helen Connolly's hand. She could not believe her ears. This was her nephew, Michael Young, on the phone -- Michael, who had been dead for sixteen years.

Who was this mysterious caller? Could it really be Michael? And if so, what did he want?

Wildwood

John Farris

Whitman Bowers has come to survey what was once the Langford estate, but is quickly drawn into the web of fear that surrounds the mountain. His old Army buddy Arn seems insane; claiming that the gloomy, thickly forested slopes of Wildwood conceal twisted creatures more beast than man--until he displays the trophies that prove it. Arn's beautiful Indian wife Faren worships a snake god from before the coming of the white man, a god she sees returning to cleanse Wildwood of the white man's evil.

Whit feels the mountain summoning him, drawing him toward horror and death. He is the focus of the evil that has been gathering strength since Mad Edgar Langford destroyed time and space and turned Wildwood into a mountain of terror from which there is no escape.

Erase/Record/Play: A Drama for Print

John M. Ford

Sturgeon and Nebula Award nominated novelette. It originally appeared in the anthology Starlight 1 (1996), edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden. The story is included in the collection Heat of Fusion and Other Stories (2004).

From the End of the Twentieth Century

John M. Ford

This is a collection of John M. Ford's short fiction and poetry previously published in magazines and anthologies, including several items released only in limited edition printings, and a new story, "Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail." Hardbound with cover art by Ron Walotsky.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction (From the End of the Twentieth Century) - essay by Neil Gaiman
  • From the End of the Twentieth Century - essay
  • 1952 Monon Freightyard Blues - (1981) - shortstory
  • Amy, at the Bottom of the Stairs - (1982) - shortstory
  • A Little Scene to Monarchize - (1990) - poem
  • Mandalay - [Alternities, Inc.] - (1979) - novelette
  • Rules of Engagement - essay
  • Monochrome - poem
  • Another Island - poem
  • Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail - shortstory
  • The Dark Companion - (1981) - novelette
  • All Our Propagation - (1990) - shortfiction
  • To the Tsiolkovsky Station - essay
  • As Above, So Below - (1980) - shortstory
  • Walkaway Clause - (1986) - novelette
  • The Lost Dialogue - (1995) - poem
  • Scrabble with God - (1985) - shortstory
  • Preflash - (1988) - shortstory
  • Persephone's Daughters - poem
  • The Bard in Prime Time (selections) - poem
  • White Light - poem
  • Intersections - [Alternities, Inc.] - (1981) - novelette
  • Troy: The Movie - (1989) - poem
  • Roadshow - essay
  • Waiting for the Morning Bird - (1981) - shortstory
  • Restoration Day: Plainsong - [Liavek] - (1990) - poem
  • Riding the Hammer - [Liavek] - (1988) - novelette
  • Acknowledgments (From the End of the Twentieth Century) - essay by Paul J. Giguere

Growing Up Weightless

John M. Ford

At the end of the twenty-first century, the moon boasts a thriving network of politically and technologically progressive cities and a permanent home for its distinctive culture while serving as a convenient port-of-call for Earth-born tourists and Far World space shuttles. Just past the legal age for shipping out to work on the shuttles and privately yearning for more freedom, Matt Ronay is restrained by his powerful father, statesman Albin Ronay, as well as by the bond he has with his brilliant circle of moon-born friends. Matt immerses himself in his comrades' computer-based role-playing, and his father maneuvers to gain key political support for the moon's water supply until both Ronays realize a common goal that will finally make possible Matt's opportunity for adventure.

Heat of Fusion and Other Stories

John M. Ford

John M. Ford is an astonishingly versatile writer. He has written award-winning fantasy novels (The Dragon Waiting, winner of the 1984 World Fantasy Award), award-winning fantasy role-playing games (The Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues), New York Times bestselling Star Trek novels (the classic The Final Reflection and How Much for Just the Planet), and the only poem to ever win the World Fantasy Award for best short fiction ("Winter Solstice, Camelot Station"). He is as at home writing sonnets as he is writing short stories or novels.

Heat of Fusion and Other Stories collects stories and poems written over the course of two decades. It includes award winners and award nominees, as well as some rarities, amusements, and astonishments, such as "110 Stories," which has never been published in book form. Twenty-two works in all, gifts from the talent that Robert Jordan calls "the best writer in America, bar none."

Table of Contents:

  • The Persecutor's Tale - (1982) - shortstory
  • 20 Questers - poem
  • The Hemstitch Notebooks - (1989) - shortstory
  • Third Thoughts - (1993) - poem
  • Chromatic Aberration - (1984) - novelette
  • Cosmology: A User's Manual - (1990) - poem
  • The Man in the Golden Mask - poem
  • Preflash - (1988) - shortstory
  • Letter from Elsinore - (1993) - poem
  • In the Days of the Comet - (2000) - shortstory
  • Windows on an Empty Throne - poem
  • Erase/Record/Play: A Drama for Print - (1996) - novelette
  • Winter Solstice, Camelot Station - (1988) - poem
  • Heat of Fusion - (1984) - shortstory
  • The Lost Dialogue: A Reconstruction from Irrecoverable Sources - (1997) - poem (variant of The Lost Dialogue 1995)
  • Janus: A Sonnet - (1993) - poem
  • Shared World - (1993) - poem
  • Shelter from the Storm - (1982) - novella
  • SF Cliches: A Sonnet Cycle - poem
  • Dateline: Colonus - (1993) - shortstory
  • Dark Sea - poem
  • Tales from the Original Gothic - (1987) - shortstory
  • 110 Stories - poem

In the Days of the Comet

John M. Ford

This short story originally appeared in Nature, June 22, 2000, and was reprinted in Asimov's Science Fiction, December 2001. It can also be found in the anthology Year's Best SF 6 (2001), edited by David G. Hartwell. The story is included in the collection Heat of Fusion and Other Stories (2004).

Read the full story for free at Nature.

The Dragon Waiting: A Masque of History

John M. Ford

The Wars of the Roses have put Edward IV on the throne of England, Lorenzo de' Medici's court shines brilliantly, and Duke Galeazzo Maria Sforza plots in Milan. But this is a changed world, and medieval Europe is dominated by the threat from the Byzantine Empire. Sforza, the Vampire Duke, marshals his forces for his long-planned attack on Florence, and Byzantium is on the march. A mercenary, the exiled heir to the Byzantine throne, a young woman physician forced to flee Florence, and a Welsh wizard, the nephew of Owain Gly Dwr, seem to have no common goals but together they wage an intrigue-filled campaign against the might of Byzantium, striving to secure the English throne for Richard, Duke of Gloucester, and make him Richard III.

The Last Hot Time

John M. Ford

That woman, it turns out, is important to another party on the scene: Mr. Patrice. Who, in his turn, appears to run a lot of the City. Doc knows he holds some kind of unusual power. Mr. Patrice knows it too. So does the beautiful Ginevra Benci. And so does the sorcerous Whisper-Who-Dares, who offers threats and temptations far beyond anything Doc ever imagined. By turns brutal and delicate, murderous and metaphysical, The Last Hot Time is a fantasy novel unlike any other, a brilliant dance of genres and storylines leading to a thoroughly unusual conclusion.

The Princes of the Air

John M. Ford

A soaring space epic of a galactic empire that rested on a boyhood friendship.

The Scholars of Night

John M. Ford

Nicholas Hansard is a brilliant historian at a small New England college. He specializes in Christopher Marlowe. But Hansard has a second, secret, career with The White Group, a “consulting agency” with shadowy government connections. There, he is a genius at teasing secrets out of documents old and new?to call him a code-breaker is an understatement.

When Hansard’s work exposes one of his closest friends as a Russian agent, and the friend then dies mysteriously, the connections seem all too clear. Shaken, Hansard turns away from his secret work to lose himself in an ancient Marlowe manuscript. Surely, a lost 400 year old play is different enough from modern murder.

He is very, very wrong.

Web of Angels

John M. Ford

Condemned to death at the age of nine for his ability to manipulate the Web, which links the many worlds of humanity, Grailer must go underground, hiding his skills and testing his powers.

Winter Solstice, Camelot Station

John M. Ford

World Fantasy and Rhysling Award winning poem. It originally appeared in the anthology Invitation to Camelot (1988), edited by Parke Godwin. The poem can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Fantasy: Second Annual Collection (1988), edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, Nebula Awards 25 (1991), edited by Michael Bishop, and Christmas Stars (1992), edited by David G. Hartwell. It is included in the collection Heat of Fusion and Other Stories (2004).

The Taste of Starlight

John R. Fultz

This short story originally appeared in Lightspeed, October 2010. It can also be found in the anthology Lightspeed: Year One (2011), edited by John Joseph Adams.

Reas the full story for free at Lightspeed.

Twins

Bari Wood
Jack Geasland

Doctors David and Michael Ross. Incredibly handsome, brilliant, successful. Mirror images. Except one was masterful, aggressive, ruthless; the other gentle, decent, giving. They shared everything--even their sexual conquests. They switched identities--for pleasure, for profit, for spite. And to the woman who loved one and feared the other, they were at first a mystery she knew she must solve, and then a force she desperately tried to fight. But no one except themselves knew the whole truth in its full shattering horror.

Twins is a spellbinding novel of the bizarre lives and shocking deaths of twin doctors--bound together by more than brotherly love, damned together to a private hell of unspeakable obsessions.

Made into the motion picture Dead Ringers by David Cronenberg.

Johnny Mnemonic

William Gibson

Johnny Mnemonic is based on a story published in Gibson's collection of short fiction, Burning Chrome. Fans will have the opportunity to see Gibson's imagination morph from short story to screenplay. In this special trade edition, which includes both the screenplay for the film, starring Keanu Reeves, and the original short story, Gibson fans will be allowed a rare glimpse at the evolution of the creative process.

Johnny Mnemonic takes readers into William Gibson's dark, slick cities of the future. Johnny is a 21st-Century smuggler. Data is his contraband. And he's got plenty of it. In fact, he has way too much. Caught in a situation he could not easily get out of, Johnny over-loads the computer-chip in his head. The data is white-hot and he has twenty-four hours to down-load or else he's fried. As he rushes to his destination, he realizes that an army of Yakuza killers is on his trail; they want the data he possesses--and they are willing to take his head to get it. In a non-stop, action-packed race against the time-bomb in his brain, Johnny's only allies are a cybernetic dolphin and a gorgeous girl streetfighter with a hardwired taste for violence.

Johnny Mnemonic

William Gibson

Nebula Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in Omni, May 1981. The story can also be found in the anthologies Nebula Award Stories Seventeen (1983), edited by Joe Haldeman, The Second Omni Book of Science Fiction (1984), edited by Ellen Datlow, and The Ascent of Wonder: The Evolution of Hard SF (1994), edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer as well as the collections Burning Chrome (1986), and Johnny Mnemonic (1995).

Search The Dark Stars

John E. Muller

The world beyond tomorrow... the unopened future which lies at a point far distant from the early, fumbling attempts at space flight of our times.

It is the future of mankind among the stars -- but also a future of intrigue and treachery!

This is the story of a Galactic civilisation which has split against itself and on whose shambles a ruthless warlord of the stars has built a barbaric empire. Persistently striving to topple his autocratic power is the Mutant League, a band of mentally powerful supernormals who style themselves the "inheritors of wisdom and power".

Enter into this fantastic future in company with the man and the girl who dare to battle against the might of the New Empire -- and who hold a guarded, vital secret. Travel with them in their urgent, hunted and hounded flight across the far-flung void of interstellar space and among the myriad worlds of peril of the starways.

Fen Runners

John Gordon

Wintertime in the moody, atmospheric mists of East Anglia. Diving into the cold, murky water of a lake, Kit and Joe find an elaborate patten - a Fen word for ice skate. Its return to the surface is not widely welcomed and, as it emerges, the story of how the skate became detached from its owner fifty years ago leads the boys deep into a chilling mystery whose conclusion is yet to be played out.

What could have been surging up through the ice that day half a century past that so frightened young Tom Townley? Why has Tom suffered constantly from nightmares and visions of beings who make no noise, but so menacingly watch? Who are they watching now - and why?

The Flesh Eater

John Gordon

Harry Hogge has an uncomplicated existence - until Emma Judd bursts into his life with her wild talk of voices plotting murder. Weird things are happening: a sinister club is meeting. And underground something monstrous is stirring from centuries of sleep with a hunger for human flesh.

The House on the Brink

John Gordon

Returning home through a bog late one night, sixteen-year-old Dick Dodds passes a trail that for some reason sends a chill up his spine. He feels the same inexplicable terror the next day when he explores the trail further and meets a girl, Helen Johnson, who saw something that looked like a man with no arms or legs moving and gliding across the landscape. The mystery deepens when a local widow, Mrs Knowles, becomes convinced that something evil has emerged from the river near her house. What is the secret of the strange and terrifying mystery of the bog? And what does it have to do with a local legend of a man who died there in the reign of King John while guarding a fabulous treasure? Dick and Helen are determined to find out, but they may soon find themselves in greater danger than they ever imagined.

The Midwinter Watch

John Gordon

One hundred years ago, a valuable timepiece was stolen from Silas Heron and the theft blamed on a beggar boy. But, as Sophie, Jack and Simon discover, the truth is far more complex. A sinister stranger appears at the abandoned railway station, who seems to have some tie to shifty Reg Boston.

The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb

David John Griffin

The turn of the last century and Theodore Stubb's manor house resides in the quirky village of Muchmarsh. A renowned entomologist, he is often within the attic adding another exotic specimen to his extensive collection of insects. But Theodore is also a master hypnotist, holding the household in thrall to his every whim.

Theodore's daughter-in-law Eleanor - returned from the sanatorium two months before - is a haunted figure, believing that her stillborn child Alastair lives and hides in the shadows. Then she falls pregnant again, but this time by the hypnotic coercion and wicked ravishment of Theodore. A dreadful act begets terrible secrets, and thirteen years later the boy Alastair Stubb begins to lose his identity - it is not long before mystery, intrigue and murder follow gleefully in his wake.

The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb is a gothic terror of the highest order, delivering a dream-like and hallucinatory reading experience that promises to reveal secrets both disturbing and astonishing. Do you dare meet the Stubbs?

The Bells of Subsidence

Michael John Grist

This short story originally appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine, #66 March 2012. It can also be found in the anthology Clarkesworld: Year Six (2014), edited by Sean Wallace and Neil Clarke.

Read the full story for free at Clarkesworld.

Florence and Giles

John Harding

1891. In a crumbling New England mansion, 12-year-old orphan Florence and her younger brother Giles are neglected by their guardian uncle. Banned from reading, Florence devours books in secret, and twists words and phrases into a language uniquely her own.

After the violent death of the children's first governess, a second arrives. Florence becomes convinced she is vengeful and malevolent spirit who means to do Giles harm. Against a powerful enemy, with no adult to turn for help, Florence will need all her intelligence and ingenuity to save Giles and preserve her private world.

The Girl Who Couldn't Read

John Harding

New England, the 1890s. A man calling himself Doctor John Shepherd arrives at an isolated women's mental hospital to begin work as assistant to the owner Dr. Morgan. As Shepherd struggles to conceal his own dark secrets, he finds the asylum has plenty of its own.

Who is the woman who wanders the corridors by night with murderous intent? Why does the chief nurse hate him? And why is he not allowed to visit the hospital's top floor? Shocked by Morgan's harsh treatment of the patients, and intrigued by one of them, Jane Dove, a strange amnesiac girl who is fascinated by books but cannot read, Shepherd embarks upon an experiment to help her. As he attempts to solve the mystery of Jane's past his own troubled history begins to catch up with him and she becomes his only hope of escape, as he is hers.

Chocky

John Wyndham

At first they thought that Matthew was just goining through a phase of talking to himself. And like many parents, they waited for him to grow out of it. But as time passed it became worse, not better. Matthew's conversations with himself grew more and more intense. It was like listening to one end of a telephone conversation while someone argued, cajoled and reasoned with another person you couldn't hear or see. Then Matthew began doing things he couldn't do before. Like counting in binary code mathematics. So he told them about Chocky, the person who lived in his head. Whoever or whatever Chocky was, it wasn't childish imagination. It was far too intelligent and frightening for that.

Consider Her Ways and Others

John Wyndham

Table of Contents:

  • Consider Her Ways - (1956) - novella
  • Odd - short story
  • Oh, Where, Now, Is Peggy MacRafferty? - novelette
  • A Stitch in Time - (1961) - short story
  • Random Quest - novelette
  • A Long Spoon - (1960) - short story

Jizzle

John Wyndham

Table of Contents:

  • 9 - Jizzle - (1949) - short story
  • 24 - Technical Slip - (1949) - short story [as by John Beynon]
  • 40 - A Present from Brunswick - (1951) - short story
  • 57 - Chinese Puzzle - (1953) - novelette
  • 82 - Esmeralda - short story
  • 97 - How Do I Do? - (1953) - short story
  • 117 - Una - (1937) - novelette (variant of The Perfect Creature)
  • 148 - Affair of the Heart - non-genre - (1952) - short story
  • 157 - Confidence Trick - (1953) - short story
  • 179 - The Wheel - (1952) - short story
  • 188 - Look Natural, Please! - short story
  • 198 - Perforce to Dream - (1954) - short story
  • 216 - Reservation Deferred - (1953) - short story
  • 223 - Heaven Scent - short story
  • 237 - More Spinned Against - (1953) - short story

Random Quest

John Wyndham

This novelette originally appeared in the collection Consider Her Ways and Others. It has been collected and anthologized numerous times.

It was the basis for the 1971 movie Quest for Love.

Sleepers of Mars

John Wyndham

Table of Contents:

  • 7 - The Fate of the Martians - (1972) - essay by Walter Gillings
  • 9 - Sleepers of Mars - [Stowaway to Mars - 2] - (1938) - novella
  • 61 - Worlds to Barter - (1931) - novelette
  • 89 - Invisible Monster - (1933) - novelette
  • 115 - The Man from Earth - (1934) - novelette
  • 140 - The Third Vibrator - (1933) - short story

Stowaway to Mars

John Wyndham

Aircraft designer Dale Currance undertakes a journey to Mars in an effort to capture the prize being offered to the first man to complete an interplanetary journey, but a female stowaway throws his plans into disarray.

Tales of Gooseflesh and Laughter

John Wyndham

Table of Contents:

  • 1 - Chinese Puzzle - (1953) - novelette
  • 20 - Una - (1937) - novelette (variant of The Perfect Creature)
  • 44 - The Wheel - (1952) - short story
  • 51 - Jizzle - (1949) - short story
  • 63 - Heaven Scent - (1954) - short story
  • 73 - Compassion Circuit - (1954) - short story
  • 84 - More Spinned Against... - (1953) - short story (variant of More Spinned Against)
  • 95 - A Present from Brunswick - (1951) - short story
  • 108 - Confidence Trick - (1953) - short story
  • 125 - Opposite Number - (1954) - short story (variant of Opposite Numbers)
  • 141 - Wild Flower - (1955) - short story

The Chrysalids

John Wyndham

The Chyrsalids is set in the future after a devastating global nuclear war. David, the young hero of the novel, lives in a tight-knit community of religious and genetic fundamentalists, always on the alert for any deviation from the norm of God's creation. Abnormal plants are publicly burned, with much singing of hymns. Abnormal humans (who are not really human) are also condemned to destruction-unless they succeed in fleeing to the Fringes, that Wild Country where, as the authorities say, nothing is reliable and the devil does his work. David grows up ringed by admonitions: KEEP PURE THE STOCK OF THE LORD; WATCH THOU FOR THE MUTANT.

At first he does not question. Then, however, he realizes that the he too is out of the ordinary, in possession of a power that could doom him to death or introduce h im to a new, hitherto unimagined world of freedom.

The Chrysalids is a perfectly conceived and constructed work form the classic era o science fiction, a Voltairean philosophical tale that has as much resonance in our own day, when religious and scientific dogmatism are both on the march, as when it was written during the cold war.

The Infinite Moment

John Wyndham

Table of Contents:

  • Consider Her Ways - (1956) - novella
  • Odd - short story
  • How Do I Do? - (1953) - short story
  • Stitch in Time - short story (variant of A Stitch in Time)
  • Random Quest - novelette
  • Time Out - (1953) - novelette

The Kraken Wakes

John Wyndham

Ships are sinking for no apparent reason, carrying hundreds to a dark underwater grave. Strange fireballs race through the sky above the deepest trenches of the oceans. Something is about to show itself, something terrible and alien, a force capable of causing global catastrophe.

Also published as Out of the Deeps.

The Midwich Cuckoos

John Wyndham

In the sleepy English village of Midwich, a mysterious silver object appears and all the inhabitants fall unconscious. A day later the object is gone and everyone awakens unharmed – except that all the women in the village are discovered to be pregnant. The resultant children of Midwich do not belong to their parents: all are blonde, all are golden eyed. They grow up too fast and their minds exhibit frightening abilities that give them control over others and brings them into conflict with the villagers just as a chilling realisation dawns on the world outside . . .

The Midwich Cuckoos is the classic tale of aliens in our midst, exploring how we respond when confronted by those who are innately superior to us in every conceivable way.

The Midwich Cuckoos was made into a feature film title The Village of the Damned.

The Outward Urge

John Wyndham

Published as by John Wyndham and Lucas Parkes (Lucas Parkes is a pen-name of John Wyndham)

Contains: (original publication had 4 stories, later editions 5)

  • The Space Station: A.D. 1994
  • The Moon: A.D. 2044
  • Mars: A.D. 2094
  • Venus: A.D. 2144
  • The Emptiness of Space: The Asteroids A. D. 2194

The Seeds of Time

John Wyndham

Contains:

  • The Chronoclasm
  • Pillar to Post
  • Dumb Martian
  • Compassion Circuit
  • Survival
  • Pawley's Peepholes
  • Opposite Numbers
  • Wild Flower
  • Time to Rest
  • Meteor

Trouble with Lichen

John Wyndham

The plot concerns a young woman biochemist who discovers that a chemical extracted from an unusual strain of lichen (hence the title) can be used to retard the ageing process enabling people to live to around 200-300 years. Wyndham speculates how society would deal with this prospect.

The two central characters are Diana Brackley and Francis Saxover, two biochemists who run parallel investigations into the properties of a specific species of lichen after Diana notices that a trace of the specimen prevents some milk turning sour.

She and Francis separately manage to extract from the lichen a new drug, dubbed Antigerone, which slows down the body's ageing process. While Francis uses it only on himself and his immediate family (without their knowledge), Diana founds a cosmetic spa, and builds up a clientele of some of the most powerful women in England, giving them low doses of Antigerone, preserving their beauty and youth. When Saxover finds out about the spas, he erroneously assumes that Diana's motive is profit. Diana's aim, however, is actually female empowerment, intending to gain the support of these influential women, believing that if Antigerone became publicly known, it would be reserved only for the men in power.

After a customer suffers an allergic reaction to one of Diana's products, the secret of the drug begins to emerge. Diana tries to cover up the real source of the drug, since the lichen is very rare and difficult to grow, but when it is finally discovered, she fakes her own death, in the hope of inspiring the women of Britain to fight for the rights she tried to secure for them.

Francis realizes that she may not really be dead, and tracks her down to a remote farm, where she has succeeded in growing a small amount of the lichen. Diana plans to rejoin the world under the guise of being her own sister, and continue the work she left off.

Wanderers of Time

John Wyndham

Table of Contents:

  • 7 - Before the Triffids... - essay by Walter Gillings
  • 9 - Wanderers of Time - (1933) - novelette by John Wyndham [as by John Beynon Harris]
  • 61 - Derelict of Space - (1939) - novelette by John Wyndham [as by John Beynon]
  • 90 - Child of Power - (1939) - novelette by John Wyndham [as by Wyndham Parkes]
  • 117 - The Last Lunarians - (1938) - short story by John Wyndham (variant of The Moon Devils 1934) [as by John Beynon Harris]
  • 135 - The Puff-Ball Menace - (1933) - novelette by John Wyndham (variant of Spheres of Hell) [as by John Beynon Harris]

Web

John Wyndham

The island of Tanakuatua seems like heaven to the 40 people who go there in order to create a utopian society, but soon they start to die in a horrible way and it seems that something strange and deadly is out there in the jungle.

Astounding: John W. Campbell Memorial Anthology

Harry Harrison

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction: The Father of Science Fiction - (1973) - essay by Isaac Asimov
  • Lodestar - (1973) - novelette by Poul Anderson
  • Thiotimoline to the Stars - (1973) - shortstory by Isaac Asimov
  • Something Up There Likes Me - (1973) - shortstory by Alfred Bester
  • Lecture Demonstration - (1973) - shortstory by Hal Clement
  • Early Bird - (1973) - shortstory by Theodore R. Cogswell and Theodore L. Thomas
  • The Emperor's Fan - (1973) - novelette by L. Sprague de Camp
  • Brothers - (1973) - novella by Gordon R. Dickson
  • The Mothballed Spaceship - (1973) - shortstory by Harry Harrison
  • Black Sheep Astray - (1973) - novelette by Mack Reynolds
  • Epilog - (1973) - shortstory by Clifford D. Simak
  • Interlude - (1973) - novelette by George O. Smith
  • Helix the Cat - (1973) - novelette by Theodore Sturgeon
  • Probability Zero! The Population Implosion - (1973) - shortstory by Theodore R. Cogswell
  • Afterword - (1973) - essay by Harry Harrison

Cave & Julia

M. John Harrison

When the English journalist named Cave visits the island of Autotelia, he finds the dockyards of the old harbor gentrified and the island's famous ruins a tourist attraction. When he gets to know the alluring Julia Vicente, a former film actress, he discovers her life has been marked by the childhood disappearance of her brother. Was she guilty of his death, or was it an accident after all? As Cave's life grows entwined with hers, he tries to answer these questions, while his new lover seems determined to perpetuate the mystery.

This story originally appeared as a Kindle Single. It can also be found in the anthology The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Eight (2014), edited by Jonathan Strahan. The story is included in the collection You Should Come With Me Now: Stories of Ghosts (2017).

Fugue State

M. John Harrison

Nebula Award nominated novella. It originally appeared in the anthology Under the Wheel (1987), edited by Elizabeth Mitchell. It can also be found in Tor Double #25: Fugue State/The Death of Doctor Island (1990, with Gene Wolfe).

Signs of Life

M. John Harrison

Mick Rose runs a sometimes illegal courier service to the genetics industry. His lover Isobel is dissatisfied - she wants to be more beautiful. When she takes a new DNA-based genetic treatment, Mick finds out more than he wants to know about the goods his firm has been carrying.

Suicide Coast

M. John Harrison

Sturgeon Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July 1999. The story can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction: Seventeenth Annual Collection (2000), edited by Gardner Dozois, and The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction: Volume 2 (2014), edited by Gordon Van Gelder. It is included in hte collections Travel Arrangements: Short Stories (2000) and Things That Never Happen (2002).

The Centauri Device

M. John Harrison

John Truck was to outward appearances just another lowlife spaceship captain. But he was also the last of the Centaurans - or at least, half of him was - which meant that he was the only person who could operate the Centauri Device, a sentient bomb which might hold the key to settling a vicious space war.

M. John Harrison's classic novel turns the conventions of space opera on their head, and is written with the precision and brilliance for which is famed.

The Committed Men

M. John Harrison

In a bleak present-future Britain, mounting radiation levels have brought about widespread deformity and a catastrophic collapse of society. The crazed and cancered remnants of the population are bent upon stamping out abnormality with messianic zeal. But those few who look beyond their own, doomed struggle for survival know that only a mutant version of mankind CAN survive in this poisoned environment.

The new humanity must be preserved - whatever the cost.

The Machine in Shaft Ten and Other Stories

M. John Harrison

Table of Contents:

  • 9 - The Machine in Shaft Ten
  • 21 - The Lamia and Lord Cromis
  • 42 - The Bait Principle
  • 48 - Running Down
  • 85 - The Orgasm Band
  • 92 - Visions of Monad
  • 106 - Events Witnessed From a City
  • 113 - London Melancholy
  • 131 - Ring of Pain
  • 138 - The Causeway
  • 150 - The Bringer with the Window
  • 159 - Coming from Behind

The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again

M. John Harrison

Shaw had a breakdown, but he's getting himself back together. He has a single room, a job on a decaying London barge, and an on-off affair with a doctor's daughter called Victoria, who claims to have seen her first corpse at age fourteen.

It's not ideal, but it's a life. Or it would be if Shaw hadn't got himself involved in a conspiracy theory that, on dark nights by the river, seems less and less theoretical...

Meanwhile, Victoria is up in the Midlands, renovating her dead mother's house, trying to make new friends. But what, exactly, happened to her mother? Why has the local waitress disappeared into a shallow pool in a field behind the house? And why is the town so obsessed with that old Victorian morality tale, The Water Babies?

As Shaw and Victoria struggle to maintain their relationship, the sunken lands are rising up again, unnoticed in the shadows around them.

Things That Never Happen

M. John Harrison

Over the last thirty years, M. John Harrison has been inspiring readers and writers alike across the world. His return to science fiction in 2002 with the magnificent space opera LIGHT was a monumental triumph, shortlisted for every major award in the genre. He combines brilliant storytelling with complex plots and evocative, mesmerising writing. THINGS THAT NEVER HAPPEN is M. John Harrison's definitive collection of short fiction, twenty-four dazzling stories of science fiction and fantasy; the perfect introduction to one of Britain's most brilliant writers.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction: The Limits of Vision(aries) - (2002) - essay by China Miéville
  • Author's Introduction - (2002) - essay
  • Settling the World - (1975) - short story
  • Running Down - (1975) - novelette
  • The Incalling - (1978) - novelette
  • The Ice Monkey - (1980) - short story
  • Egnaro - (1981) - novelette
  • The New Rays - (1982) - short story
  • Old Women - (1984) - short story
  • The Quarry - (1983) - short story
  • A Young Man's Journey to London - (1985) - novelette
  • The Great God Pan - (1988) - novelette
  • Small Heirlooms - (1987) - short story
  • The Gift - (1988) - novelette
  • Suicide Coast - (1999) - short story
  • The Neon Heart Murders - (2000) - short story
  • Black Houses - (1998) - short story
  • Science & The Arts - (1999) - short story
  • The East - (1996) - short story
  • The Horse of Iron and How We Can Know It and Be Changed by It Forever - (1989) - short story
  • Gifco - (1992) - novelette
  • Empty - (1995) - novelette
  • Seven Guesses of the Heart - (1996) - short story
  • I Did It - (1996) - short story
  • Anima - (1992) - short story
  • Isobel Avens Returns to Stepney in the Spring - (1994) - novelette
  • Story Notes - (2002) - essay

Tourism

M. John Harrison

This short story originally appeared on Amazon.com in 2004. It can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Second Annual Collection (2005), edited by Gardner Dozois, and Science Fiction: The Best of 2004, edited by Karen Haber and Jonathan Strahan.

Travel Arrangements: Short Stories

M. John Harrison

Table of Contents:

  • Old Women - (1984) - short story
  • Small Heirlooms - (1987) - short story
  • The Gift - (1988) - novelette
  • The Horse of Iron and How We Can Know It and Be Changed by It Forever - (1989) - short story
  • Gifco - (1992) - novelette
  • Anima - (1992) - short story
  • Empty - (1995) - novelette
  • Seven Guesses of the Heart - (1996) - short story
  • I Did It - (1996) - short story
  • The East - (1996) - short story
  • Suicide Coast - (1999) - short story
  • The Neon Heart Murders - (2000) - short story
  • Black Houses - (1998) - short story
  • Science & The Arts - (1999) - short story

You Should Come With Me Now: Stories of Ghosts

M. John Harrison

M. John Harrison is a cartographer of the liminal. His work sits at the boundaries between genres--horror and science fiction, fantasy and travel writing--just as his characters occupy the no man's land between the spatial and the spiritual. Here, in his first collection of short fiction for over 15 years, we see the master of the New Wave present unsettling visions of contemporary urban Britain, as well as supernatural parodies of the wider, political landscape. From gelatinous aliens taking over the world's financial capitals, to the middle-aged man escaping the pressures of fatherhood by going missing in his own house... these are weird stories for weird times.

The Asylum

John Harwood

Confused and disoriented, Georgina Ferrars awakens in a small room in Tregannon House, a remote asylum in England. She has no memory of the past few weeks. The doctor, Maynard Straker, tells her that she admitted herself under the name Lucy Ashton, then suffered a seizure. When she insists he has mistaken her for someone else, Dr. Straker sends a telegram to her uncle, who replies that Georgina Ferrars is at home with him in London: "Your patient must be an imposter." Suddenly her voluntary confinement becomes involuntary. Who is the woman in her uncle's house? Georgina's perilous quest to free herself takes us from a cliffside cottage on the Isle of Wight to the secret passages of Tregannon House and into a web of hidden family ties on which her survival depends.

The Ghost Writer

John Harwood

Viola Hatherley was a writer of ghost stories in the 1890s whose work lies forgotten until her great-grandson, as a young boy in Mawson, Australia, learns how to open the secret drawer in his mother's room. There he finds a manuscript, and from the moment his mother catches him in the act, Gerard Freeman's life is irrevocably changed. What is the invisible, ever-present threat from which his mother strives so obsessively to protect him? And why should stories written a century ago entwine themselves ever more closely around events in his own life?

Gerard's quest to unveil the mystery that shrouds his family, and his life, will lead him from Mawson to London, to a long-abandoned house and the terror of a ghost story come alive.

The Seance

John Harwood

London, 1881. Constance Langton lives in a gloomy home with a distant father and a grief-stricken mother; seeking refuge and comfort, she secretly attends a séance which has tragic consequences. Left alone, her only legacy is a mysterious inheritance that will blight her life and take her deep into a world of apparitions, betrayal and blackmail, black-hearted villains - and murder.

Army of the Fantastic

John Marco
John Helfers

How might the course of World War II have changed if civilized dragons ran bombing missions for the Germans? Here are 13 tales of war in alternate worlds where magical creatures are real and often prove victorious. Human troops fight alongside gryphons, unicorns, and a sea serpent, who can give submarine warfare a whole new slant.

These are just a few of the stories gathered together in this all-original volume that opens the way to magical places in our own world where the armies of the fantastic are on the march, waging wars both vast and personal.

Table of Contents:

  • i - Focke-Drache (excerpt) - short story by Jean Rabe
  • ix - Introduction (Army of the Fantastic) - essay by John Marco
  • 1 - Focke-Drache - novelette by Jean Rabe
  • 27 - Over the Top - short story by Rick Hautala
  • 42 - The Blood of the People - short story by Fiona Patton
  • 60 - Brothers in Arms - novelette by Tim Waggoner
  • 97 - Unnatural - short story by Alan Dean Foster
  • 113 - Blood in the Water - novelette by Tanya Huff
  • 139 - Iowa Under Siege - novelette by Mickey Zucker Reichert
  • 170 - Teeth in the Sand - [Kham-Ridhe] - short story by Russell Davis
  • 190 - The Twain Shall Meet - short story by Bill Fawcett
  • 208 - Airborne - novelette by Jody Lynn Nye
  • 235 - Demon's Touch - short story by James Barclay
  • 255 - Dispatches from the Front: Number Sixty-One - short story by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • 275 - Wildest Dreams - novelette by Michael A. Stackpole
  • 299 - About the Authors - essay by John Helfers and John Marco

Black Cats and Broken Mirrors

Martin H. Greenberg
John Helfers

From dark felines crossing your path to shattered looking glasses, Black Cats and Broken Mirrors dares to ask the question: "What if some of those long-treasured superstitions are actually true?" Join Jane Yolen, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Michelle West, Charles de Lint, Nancy Springer, Peter Crowther, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Esther Friesner, and more as they explore the lighter and darker sides of our fears in this original anthology featuring stories ranging from urban fantasy and magical realism to horror!

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - (1998) - essay by John Helfers
  • How It All Began - (1998) - novelette by Esther M. Friesner
  • Thirteen Ways to Water - (1998) - shortstory by Bruce Holland Rogers
  • Whirlwinds - (1998) - shortstory by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
  • Dead Tired - (1998) - shortstory by Russell Davis
  • Shards of Glass - (1998) - novelette by Kristin Schwengel
  • The Cat Who Wasn't Black - (1998) - shortstory by Josepha Sherman
  • Something Blue - (1998) - shortstory by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • Crossroads - (1998) - shortstory by Genevieve Gorman
  • The Song of a Gift Horse - (1998) - shortstory by Dean Wesley Smith
  • Caretaking - (1998) - shortstory by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
  • Soul Cages - (1998) - shortstory by Carol Rondou
  • Auspicious Stars - (1998) - novelette by Jane Lindskold
  • Frogged - (1998) - shortstory by Nancy Springer
  • Step on the Crack - (1998) - shortstory by Michelle West
  • Front-Page McGuffin and the Greatest Story Never Told - (1998) - novelette by Peter Crowther
  • To the Edge of the World - (1998) - shortstory by Zane Stillings
  • The Pennymen - (1998) - shortstory by Charles de Lint

As You Know, Bob

Jack Campbell

This short story originally appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, April 2007. It can also be found in the anthology Year's Best SF 13 (2008), edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. The story is included in the collection Ad Astra (2013).

The Sister Paradox

Jack Campbell

Liam is his parents' only child, and that's just fine with him.

Until the day the sister-he-never-had shows up at school.

Just to make it worse, the sword-wielding Kari tells him they have an important quest to complete.

And that's how Liam finds himself dragged into another world, facing basilisks and unicorns, cursed objects, elves, and even a dragon, all magical and dangerous, but none more so than the sister he didn't have until that morning. A sister who turns out to be quite good with her sword, and ready to use it when faced with things like a dragon as long as her brother is at her side.

Liam begins to realize two things: it's going to be a very long day, and having a sister can be weird.

But most unsettling of all, he's not sure he minds...

Chain Reaction

Christopher Hodder-Williams

"Sir Robert Hargraves said, 'We are no longer faced with a serious accident endangering the lives of a known section of the community, but with an apparently limitless chain of danger of which we do not know the cause.' He picked up his glass of water and held it up. 'A tumbler of water, this cigarette, Gatts stomach pills... all or any of these could be lethal...'" A fight against time to stop thousands being poisoned by a source of contamination that reflected Cold War fears or fears ahead of their time.

The Eskimo Invasion

Hayden Howard

Hugo and Nebula Award nominated novelette. It was originally published in Galaxy Magazine, June 1966. The story was later expanded to a novel of the same name.

The Eskimo Invasion

Hayden Howard

Dr. West was puzzled, frustrated, and mad. He knew something was wrong up there in Boothia Sanctuary, but what?

Why, really, did the government want to keep him out? He didn't for a moment believe the spurious political excuse of preserving a "cultural sanctuary" intact. What were they hiding? What could possibly be wrong with a harmless, lovable group of Eskimos?

Dr. West could never leave a puzzle alone. Besides, if he went up there, maybe he could get proof. Of something.

Unfortunately, even when he did, no one believed him...

The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky

John Hornor Jacobs

They had escaped their country, but they couldn't escape the past

Having lost both her home and family to a brutal dictatorship, Isabel has fled to Spain, where she watches young, bronzed beauties and tries to forget the horrors that lie in her homeland.

Shadowing her always, attired in rumpled linen suits and an eyepatch, is "The Eye," a fellow ex-pat and poet with a notorious reputation. An unlikely friendship blossoms, a kinship of shared grief. Then The Eye receives a mysterious note and suddenly returns home, his fate uncertain.

Left with the keys to The Eye's apartment, Isabel finds two of his secret manuscripts: a halting translation of an ancient, profane work, and an evocative testament of his capture during the revolution. Both texts bear disturbing images of blood and torture, and the more Isabel reads the more she feels the inexplicable compulsion to go home.

It means a journey deep into a country torn by war, still ruled by a violent regime, but the idea of finding The Eye becomes ineluctable. Isabel feels the manuscripts pushing her to go. Her country is lost, and now her only friend is lost, too. What must she give to get them back? In the end, she has only herself left to sacrifice.

THE SEA DREAMS IT IS THE SKY asks:

How does someone simply give up their home... especially when their home won't let them?

This Dark Earth

John Hornor Jacobs

The land is contaminated, electronics are defunct, the ravenous undead remain, and life has fallen into a nasty and brutish state of nature. Welcome to Bridge City, in what was once Arkansas: part medieval fortress, part Western outpost, and the precarious last stand for civilization. A ten-year-old prodigy when the world ended, Gus is now a battle-hardened young man. He designed Bridge City to protect the living few from the shamblers eternally at the gates. Now he's being groomed by his physician mother, Lucy, and the gentle giant Knock-Out to become the next leader of men. But an army of slavers is on its way, and the war they'll wage for the city's resources could mean the end of mankind as we know it.

Can Gus become humanity's savior? And if so, will it mean becoming a dictator, a martyr... or maybe something far worse than even the zombies that plague the land?

Mention My Name in Atlantis

John Jakes

A courtesan for hire, a brainless hunk, and alien invaders combine to bring about ancient history's most momentous catastrophe in John Jakes's hilarious take on the fall of Atlantis

For centuries the mystery of the lost continent of Atlantis has intrigued mortals everywhere. Who lost it? Where did it go? At last the truth is out--or at least the truth according to Hoptor the Vintner, respectable Atlantean wine merchant and not-so-respectable pimp.

According to Hoptor, the blame for Atlantis's destruction can be placed squarely on the incredibly broad shoulders of Conax the Chimerical, a none-too-bright, broadsword-wielding barbarian chieftain. Conax washed ashore just as Atlantis's ruler was losing his health and his grip on the kingdom, creating chaos throughout the island. Now things were really about to go south. All of a sudden Hoptor had a lot more to worry about than how to silence the unrelenting nagging of Aphrodisia, the beautiful, strident prostitute he had promised to marry in a moment of weakness. Now the ever-resourceful, vino-loving procurer of female flesh was being called on to possibly save the world as well as his own skin--which would prove to be no small feat, with Conax mucking up everything he touched in his inimitable fashion. And then there were those strange golden discs flying high above everybody's heads...

On Wheels

John Jakes

The United States has become so overpopulated that a tenth of its people have no home. Instead, they spend their lives on the highway. With all of the dangers of the road, dropping below forty miles per hour would mean certain death--even for men like Billy Spoiler. The clans of the open road spend their lives battling each other for control of the freeway, and the Spoilers are no exception. They never give up, never pull over, and never take their hand off the throttle.

Secrets of Stardeep

John Jakes

Afraid that the disappearance of the space ship and crew commanded by his father will jeopardize his own career, Rob takes time off from space school to investigate the circumstances of the case.

Six-Gun Planet

John Jakes

The planet Missouri rang with the news...

BUFFALO YUNG IS IN TOWN!

"I have seen him," said Dr. Buster Levinsohn, "and he appears to be the genuine article. Atrocious grammar. Mustaches to here. Plus those pearl-handled beauties he carries. And those hovering black harpies of the Pit- those three easy riders who follow him everywhere to scrape up his victims."

"I also have heard," Buster observed to Pacifist Zak Randolph, "that he's calling you out."

Can off-worlder Randolph score against the Gunslinger of the Galaxy, the Terror of Extra-terrestrial Space, the Killer of the Cosmos?

Right faces Might in the future world of SIX-GUN PLANET.

The Best of John Jakes

John Jakes

Table of Contents:

  • 7 - Introduction (The Best of John Jakes) - essay by Martin H. Greenberg and Joseph D. Olander
  • 13 - Machine
  • 17 - from 'On Wheels' (excerpt)
  • 34 - Political Machine
  • 51 - The Sellers of the Dream
  • 90 - The Highest Form of Life
  • 102 - One Race Show
  • 130 - Love Is a Punch in the Nose
  • 141 - There's No Vinism Like Chauvinism
  • 185 - Recidivism Preferred
  • 198 - Here Is Thy Sting
  • 248 - A John Jakes Bibliography - essay by Martin H. Greenberg and Joseph D. Olander

The Hybrid

John Jakes

When Andreas Law regains consciousness he stares grimly at the words written in blood on the walls of his cell.

I AM A PSYCHEDELIC PROJECTOR
I AM A WEAPON OF ATTACK AND ASSASSINATION
I AM GOING TO KILL THEM BEFORE THEY MAKE ME KILL AGAIN

His blood, his writing. He is elated for their brainwashing techniques haven't succeeded - yet!

But it is only a matter of time. He is still a prisoner. He could still be forced to use his strange, terrible power - and start a war that would obliterate the universe!

Time Gate

John Jakes

THE FOURTH DIMENSION had finally been opened up, thanks to the invention of the Time Gate. Now man could journey into the dim past or venture into the far-distant future. But the Time Gate had to be kept a top-secret project, manned only by Tom and Cal Linstrum and a few carefully selected scientists--for in the wrong hands, it could become the most potent weapon yet created.

Traveling through time, even one man could alter history enough so that everyone on Earth would simply cease to exist. Of course, it would never happen because only a madman would even try to distort the time stream. Then one horrifying day, it did happen. And Tom and Cal found themselves chasing through a rapidly changing panorama of history, trying desperately to capture their enemy before they and their whole world vanished forever...!

After London: or, Wild England

Richard Jefferies

After some sudden and unspecified catastrophe has depopulated England, the countryside reverts to nature, and the few survivors to a quasi-medieval way of life. Beginning with a loving description of nature reclaiming England -- fields becoming overrun by forest, domesticated animals running wild, roads and towns becoming overgrown, the hated London reverting to lake and poisonous swampland -- the rest of the story is an adventure set many years later in the wild landscape.

The Strange Case of John Kingman

Murray Leinster

The Strange Case of John Kingman is a novella by Murray Leinster. It originally appeared in Astounding Stories, May 1948. It can also be found in the anthologies The Best Science Fiction Stories: 1949, edited by Everett F. Bleiler and T. E. Dikty, The Arbor House Treasury of Science Fiction Masterpieces (1983), edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Robert Silverberg, and The Great Science Fiction Stories Volume 10, 1948 (1983), edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg. The story is included in the collections The Best of Murray Leinster (1978) and First Contacts: The Essential Murray Leinster (1998).

Emporium: Stories

Adam Johnson

An ATF raid, a moonshot gone wrong, a busload of female cancer victims determined to live life to the fullest--these are the compelling terrains Adam Johnson explores in his electrifying debut collection. A lovesick teenage Cajun girl, a gay Canadian astrophysicist, a teenage sniper on the LAPD payroll, a post-apocalyptic bulletproof-vest salesman--each seeks connection and meaning in landscapes made uncertain by the voids that parents and lovers should fill. With imaginative grace and verbal acuity, Johnson is satirical without being cold, clever without being cloying, and heartbreaking without being sentimental. He shreds the veneer of our media-saturated, self-help society, revealing the lonely isolation that binds us all together.

Interesting Facts

Adam Johnson

This novelette originally appeared in Harper's Magazine, June 2015. It can also be found in the anthology The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016, edited by Karen Joy Fowler and John Joseph Adams. The story is included in the collection Fortune Smiles (2016).

Read the full story for free at Harper's Magazine.

Parasites Like Us

Adam Johnson

The debut novel by the author of The Orphan Master's Son (winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize) and the story collection Fortune Smiles (winner of the 2015 National Book Award)

Hailed as "remarkable" by the New Yorker, Emporium earned Adam Johnson comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut and T.C. Boyle. In his acclaimed first novel, Parasites Like Us, Johnson takes us on an enthralling journey through memory, time, and the cost of mankind's quest for its own past.

Anthropologist Hank Hannah has just illegally exhumed an ancient American burial site and winds up in jail. But the law will soon be the least of his worries. For, buried beside the bones, a timeless menace awaits that will set the modern world back twelve thousand years and send Hannah on a quest to save that which is dearest to him. A brilliantly evocative apocalyptic adventure told with Adam Johnson's distinctive dark humor, Parasites Like Us is a thrilling tale of mankind on the brink of extinction.

A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai'i

Alaya Dawn Johnson

Novelette originally published in Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August 2014. Winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novelette 2014.


Read this story online for free at the author's website.

Love Is the Drug

Alaya Dawn Johnson

From the author of THE SUMMER PRINCE, a novel that's John Grisham's THE PELICAN BRIEF meets Michael Crichton's THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN set at an elite Washington D.C. prep school.

Emily Bird was raised not to ask questions. She has perfect hair, the perfect boyfriend, and a perfect Ivy-League future. But a chance meeting with Roosevelt David, a homeland security agent, at a party for Washington DC's elite leads to Bird waking up in a hospital, days later, with no memory of the end of the night.

Meanwhile, the world has fallen apart: A deadly flu virus is sweeping the nation, forcing quarantines, curfews, even martial law. And Roosevelt is certain that Bird knows something. Something about the virus--something about her parents' top secret scientific work--something she shouldn't know.

The only one Bird can trust is Coffee, a quiet, outsider genius who deals drugs to their classmates and is a firm believer in conspiracy theories. And he believes in Bird. But as Bird and Coffee dig deeper into what really happened that night, Bird finds that she might know more than she remembers. And what she knows could unleash the biggest government scandal in US history.

Love Will Tear Us Apart

Alaya Dawn Johnson

This novelette originally appeared in the anthology Zombies Vs. Unicorns (2010), edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier, and was reprinted in Uncanny Magazine, Issue Seven, November-December 2015. It can also be found in the anthology Wilde Stories 2011: The Year's Best Gay Speculative Fiction, edited by Steve Berman.

Read the full story for free at Uncanny Magazine.

The Summer Prince

Alaya Dawn Johnson

A heart-stopping story of love, death, technology, and art set amid the tropics of a futuristic Brazil.

The lush city of Palmares Tres shimmers with tech and tradition, with screaming gossip casters and practiced politicians. In the midst of this vibrant metropolis, June Costa creates art that's sure to make her legendary. But her dreams of fame become something more when she meets Enki, the bold new Summer King. The whole city falls in love with him (including June's best friend, Gil). But June sees more to Enki than amber eyes and a lethal samba. She sees a fellow artist.

Together, June and Enki will stage explosive, dramatic projects that Palmares Tres will never forget. They will add fuel to a growing rebellion against the government's strict limits on new tech. And June will fall deeply, unfortunately in love with Enki. Because like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.

Pulsing with the beat of futuristic Brazil, burning with the passions of its characters, and overflowing with ideas, this fiery novel will leave you eager for more from Alaya Dawn Johnson.

They Shall Salt the Earth with Seeds of Glass

Alaya Dawn Johnson

Nebula and Sturgeon Award nominated novelette.

...No one knows what they really look like. They only interact with us through their remote-controlled robots. Maybe they're made of glass themselves - they give us pregnancy kits, but won't bother with burn dressings. Dad says the glassmen are alien scientists studying our behavior, like a human would smash an anthill to see how they scatter. Reverand Beale always points to the pipeline a hundred miles west of us. They're just men stealing our resources, he says, like the white man stole the Africans', though even he can't say what those resources might be....

This novelette originally appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, January 2013. It can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2014, edited by Rich Horton, Nebula Awards Showcase 2015, edited by Greg Bear, and Not One of Us: Stories of Aliens on Earth (2018), edited by Neil Clarke.

Third Day Lights

Alaya Dawn Johnson

This novelette originally appeared in Interzone, #200 September-October 2005. It can also be found in the anthologies Year's Best SF 11 (2005), edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer, and Twenty-First Century Science Fiction (2013), edited by David G. Hartwell and Partick Nielsen Hayden.

Trouble the Saints

Alaya Dawn Johnson

In this timely and unsettling novel, set against the darkly glamorous backdrop of New York City, an assassin falls in love and tries to change her fate at the dawn of World War II.

Amid the whir of city life, a young woman from Harlem is drawn into the glittering underworld of Manhattan, where she's hired to use her knives to strike fear among its most dangerous denizens.

Ten years later, Phyllis LeBlanc has given up everything - not just her own past, and Dev, the man she loved, but even her own dreams.

Still, the ghosts from her past are always by her side - and history has appeared on her doorstep to threaten the people she keeps in her heart. And so Phyllis will have to make a harrowing choice, before it's too late - is there ever enough blood in the world to wash clean generations of injustice?

We Will Drink a Fish Together...

Bill Johnson

Hugo Award winning and Nebula Award nominated novelette.

ony works for the government as a bodyguard to an alien ambassador, but is forced to resign in order to attend a funeral in Summit "Dakota". Not only is Summit populated by a cast of odd humans, but it also becomes the focal point of extra-terrestrial intrigue.

The story was originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction, May 1997. It can also be found in the anthology The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fifteenth Annual Collection (1998), edited by Gardner Dozois and the collection Dakota Dreamin' (1999).

Middle Passage

Charles R. Johnson

Rutherford Calhoun, a newly freed slave and irrepressible rogue, is lost in the underworld of 1830s New Orleans. Desperate to escape the city's unscrupulous bill collectors and the pawing hands of a schoolteacher hellbent on marrying him, he jumps aboard the Republic, a slave ship en route to collect members of a legendary African tribe, the Allmuseri. Thus begins a voyage of metaphysical horror and human atrocity, a journey which challenges our notions of freedom, fate and how we live together.

Everything Under

Daisy Johnson

Words are important to Gretel, always have been. As a child, she lived on a canal boat with her mother, and together they invented a language that was just their own. She hasn't seen her mother since the age of sixteen, though - almost a lifetime ago - and those memories have faded. Now Gretel works as a lexicographer, updating dictionary entries, which suits her solitary nature.

A phone call from the hospital interrupts Gretel's isolation and throws up questions from long ago. She begins to remember the private vocabulary of her childhood. She remembers other things, too: the wild years spent on the river; the strange, lonely boy who came to stay on the boat one winter; and the creature in the water - a canal thief? - swimming upstream, getting ever closer. In the end there will be nothing for Gretel to do but go back.

Daisy Johnson's debut novel turns classical myth on its head and takes readers to a modern-day England unfamiliar to most. As daring as it is moving, Everything Under is a story of family and identity, of fate, language, love and belonging that leaves you unsettled and unstrung.

Fen: Stories

Daisy Johnson

Shortlisted for The Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2017

Longlisted for The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award 2017

The Fen is a liminal land. Real people live their lives here. They wrestle with sex and desire, with everyday routine. But the wild is always close at hand, ready to erupt.

This is a place where animals and people commingle and fuse, where curious metamorphoses take place, where myth and dark magic still linger. So here a teenager may starve herself into the shape of an eel. A house might fall in love with a girl. A woman might give birth to a, well, what?

Sisters

Daisy Johnson

Born just ten months apart, July and September are thick as thieves, never needing anyone but each other. Now, following a case of school bullying, the teens have moved away with their single mother to a long-abandoned family home near the shore. In their new, isolated life, July finds that the deep bond she has always shared with September is shifting in ways she cannot entirely understand. A creeping sense of dread and unease descends inside the house. Meanwhile, outside, the sisters push boundaries of behavior--until a series of shocking encounters tests the limits of their shared experience, and forces shocking revelations about the girls' past and future.

Secret Matter

Toby Johnson

The winner of a Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men's Science Fiction and bestselling novel, Secret Matter returns to print in a revised edition for the 21st century.

Kevin Anderson is moving along through his life, finishing up college, and getting ready to leave New York for an internship rebuilding San Francisco after an immense earthquake.

Then the Visitors arrive; a race of human-like aliens touch down in several cities around the globe, including SF, and nothing will ever be the same. When Kevin's company is given a contract to build a facility for the Visitors, he forms a friendship with 'Bel, one of their number. But is 'Bel so alien after all?

They seem so human, albeit much larger, but they possess some odd characteristics and seem to be hiding something. What secrets do they carry, and where, exactly, are they from? Before Kevin can get to the bottom of his questions, political disasters and miscommunications occur, and the Visitors are expelled. 'Bel and his emissaries are very clear that certain actions on the part of the U.S. will have grave consequences upon his people and their world, but no one listens except Kevin, who has fallen in love with 'Bel.

Now the young man is on a mission to unravel the Visitors' secrets in order to prevent the death and destruction of Visitors and millions of Americans.

All of Us Are Dying

George Clayton Johnson

This short story originally appeared in Rogue, October 1961. It has been collected and anthologized several times.

It was the basis for episode 13 (1960) of The Twilight Zone.

A World Lost

James B. Johnson

The lone survivor of a vanished solar system. Rusty was a spacer, one of the last of a dying breed. For with the creation of the Plex Net, mankind had succeeded in spanning the stars via instant matter transmission. However, Rusty, like all the people of his home planet, Roanoke, was something of a rebel, unwilling to succumb to the countless rules of humankind's interstellar bureaucracy, and equally unwilling to give up the sense of freedom and independence that traveling alone by starship gave him.

But now, returning home to find his entire solar system gone, Rusty had no choice but to appeal to the very government bureaucracy he despised for help in tracking down his vanished planet. Yet in turning to Plex Central for aid, Rusty soon found his worst fears confirmed. Not only would no one listen to him, but it seemed as though there was a conspiracy of silence surrounding the disappearance of Roanoke.

Rusty's quest seemed totally hopeless until he stumbled upon the one secret which the government would do anything to preserve - the knowledge that humankind had a long last been contacted by an alien race...

Daystar and Shadow

James B. Johnson

Their friends - the enemy! Their enemies - all mankind!

Daystar was a fugitive from the bands of civilized men who regarded him as a traitor. Shadow was a girl, another wanderer in the wastelands, When the two finally met and joined minds, the world would be transformed and the final struggle for Earth's dominion would be launched.

Habu

James B. Johnson

When a treatment was discovered which could offer carefully selected humans the gift of indefinitely prolonged lifespans, there were many eager to become part of the top secret program. But the condition for obtaining treatment was than an individual must start life over on a distant colony world. And one important side effect of the treatment was the removal of all physical and psychological "defects".

Only Reuben Flood, one of the original programmers involved in the longevity project, had found a way to beat the system, setting up special instructions within the master computer to leave his memories and personality intact after every treatment. But in Reuben's case one of the things left intact - harbored deep within his subconscious - was the persona of Habu, a vigilante berserker. Over the centuries, the legend of Habu had grown, and down through the years there had been many who searched for him. And now Reuben was about to be caught in a final battle between his own alter ego and the forces which had for so long sought Habu's destruction!

Mindhopper

James B. Johnson

Manuel was a small boy gifted with mental powers that just might be the next step in human evolution. And now, Special Services, the secret arm of the government of what had once been the United States of America, wanted Manny and the secrets of his brain contained.

Yet Manny had allies of his own: his mother, Maria, computer wizard able to crack top security codes; Silas Swallow, a billionaire determined to beat the government and everyone else in the race to find a faster than light drive to carry humanity to the stars. And then there was Manny's greatest champion, Pembroke Wyndham, Wyndy to his friends, a man with a secret as unique as Manny's own, a fighter who would give anything, even his own life, for Manny. Time was running out fast for Manny, Wyndy and the rest. Could Wyndy manage to keep Manny safe long enough for the boy to master the Power which could set them all free?

Trekmaster

James B. Johnson

A world united, a galaxy divided!

The world of Bear Ridge, once colonized by Olde Earthe but later abandoned to survive or fall on its own, had struck a compromise for survival. Civilization had regressed, sacrificing technology and reverting to the level of warring city states.

Then Thomas Jefferson Shepherd came to power, and Bear Ridge would never be the same again. For T.J. Shepherd was a man with a vision, a man who ruled with one goal always in mind. Shepherd was determined to reclaim a place for his world in the Federation of Planets, the intergalactic Council which could give his people back the technological knowledge lost to them for generations. But could even T.J. Shepherd succeed when his world was being torn apart by internal strife, when he himself had been marked for assassination, and when the rival world in competition for coveted Federation status would use any means to win, including the total destruction of Bear Ridge...

Crossed Bones

Jane Johnson

When Julia Lovat is dropped like an unlucky penny by Michael, her lover of several years, he gives her a book - The Needlewoman's Glory - which belonged to a Cornish girl some 400 years past. Drawn to uncover the story of its owner, Julia's quest takes her on a journey she could never have imagined.

The Cornish girl is nineteen-year-old Cat Tregenna, servant to Lady Harris of Kenegie, on the Cornish coast. Her fiery temper and determination to be more than a country wife are matched only by her skills with a needle. Yet the thread of Cat's life unravels dramatically in the summer of 1625. For Barbary pirates raid Cornwall and take Cat and some sixty villagers captive. Thrown into the terrifying hold of a corsair, Cat must survive sea battles and the month-long journey to Morocco, before being sold into slavery. But first she catches the eye of the war gallery's captain, a man on a sacred mission to kill and enslave the infidel.

Crossed Bones is the entwined story of two young women: of an adventure that began 400 years ago on the craggy Cornish coast and will end in the dusty bazaars of modern-day Morocco. It is a seach for secrets - and it is a story about finding love where you'd least expect it.

Goldseekers

Jane Johnson

In 17th century Cornwall, Jude's mother was called a witch. Her son is a 'finder' with a rare and strange power. He can sense the presence of gold wherever it is hidden. But Jude's talents dangerous - especially when he leaves his childhood home after his parents' sudden deaths.

Captured by a sinister, one-eyed sea-captain, he is plunged into terrifying magical adventures on the magnificent and mysterious Cornish coast.

Battling Barbary pirates, slave-stealers and an evil telepathic cat, he is befriended by a family of gold-hungry djinns, doomed to dwell for eternity amng the legions of the damned unless he agrees to save them...

Maskmaker

Jane Johnson

When Jamie's mysterious art teacher sends him to the old Maskmaker's shop, he is faced with a terrible decision. He must choose a disguise that will take him into mortal danger, with only a taking cat to help him.

In the deserts of Africa, the frozen glaciers of Greenland, and the Great Wall of China, Jamie will need all his intelligence and courage if he is to save his friends and family.

Will the perilous tasks he faces help him solve the strange problems in his own life? Or will a dark web of sorcery stop him from ever coming home again?

The White Hare

Jane Johnson

In a valley steeped in legend lies an abandoned house where Edens may be lost, found and remade...

The White Valley in the far west of Cornwall cuts deeply through bluebell woods down to the sea. The house above the beach has lain neglected since the war. It comes with a reputation, which is why Mila and her mother Magda acquire it so cheaply in the fateful summer of 1954.

Magda plans to restore the house to its former glory: the venue for glittering parties, where the rich and celebrated gathered for bracing walks by day and sumptuous cocktails by night. Mila's ambitions, meanwhile, are much less grand; she dreams of creating a safe haven for herself, and a happy home for her little girl, Janey.

The White Valley comes with a long, eventful history, laced with tall tales. Locals say that a white hare may be seen running through the woods there; to some she's an ill omen, to others a blessing. Feeling fragile and broken-hearted, Mila is in need of as many blessings as she can get. But will this place provide the fresh start she so desperately needs?

Entropy in Bloom: Stories

Jeremy Robert Johnson

For more than a decade, Jeremy Robert Johnson has been bubbling under the surface of both literary and genre fiction. His short stories present a brilliantly dark and audaciously weird realm where cosmic nightmares collide with all-too-human characters and apocalypses of all shapes and sizes loom ominously. In "Persistence Hunting," a lonely distance runner is seduced into a brutal life of crime with an ever-narrowing path for escape. In "When Susurrus Stirs," an unlucky pacifist must stop a horrifying parasite from turning his body into a sentient hive. Running through all of Johnson's work is a hallucinatory vision and deeply-felt empathy, earning the author a reputation as one of today's most daring and thrilling writers.

Featuring the best of his independently-published short fiction, as well as an exclusive, never-before-published novella "The Sleep of Judges"?where a father's fight against the denizens of a drug den becomes a mind-bending suburban nightmare?Entropy in Bloom is a perfect compendium for avid fans and an ideal entry point for adventurous readers seeking the humor, heartbreak, and terror of JRJ's strange new worlds.

Table of Contents:

  • An Introduction by Brian Evenson
  • The League of Zeroes
  • Persistence Hunting
  • The Oarsman
  • The Gravity of Benham Falls
  • Dissociative Skills
  • Snowfall
  • When Susurrus Stirs
  • Luminary
  • Trigger Variation
  • Cathedral Mother
  • Swimming in the House of the Sea
  • Saturn's Game
  • The Sharp-Dressed Man at the End of the Line
  • A Flood of Harriers
  • States of Glass
  • The Sleep of Judges

Skullcrack City

Jeremy Robert Johnson

Life as a corporate drone was killing S.P. Doyle, so he decided to bring down the whole corrupt system from the inside. But after discovering something monstrous in the bank's files, he was framed for murder and trapped inside a conspiracy beyond reason.

Now Doyle's doing his best to survive against a nightmare cabal of crooked conglomerates, DNA-doped mutants, drug-addled freak show celebs, experimental surgeons, depraved doomsday cults, and the ultra-bad mojo of a full-blown Hexadrine habit. Joined by his pet turtle Deckard, and Dara, a beautiful missionary with a murderous past, Doyle must find a way to save humankind and fight the terrible truth at the heart of...

The Man of Legends

Kenneth Johnson

Award-winning science-fiction mastermind Kenneth Johnson blends epic adventure, romance, and evocative drama into an intense supernatural thriller rooted in one of the great untold legends of human history.

New York City, New Year's weekend, 2001. Jillian Guthrie, a troubled young journalist, stumbles onto a tantalizing mystery: the same man, unaged, stands alongside Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, and Gandhi in three different photographs spanning eighty-five years of history.

In another part of town, Will--an enigmatic thirty-three-year-old of immense charm, wit, and intelligence--looks forward to the new year with hope and trepidation. Haunted by his secret past and shadowed by a dangerous stranger, he finds himself the object of an intense manhunt spearheaded by an ambitious Vatican emissary and an elderly former UN envoy named Hanna.

During the next forty-eight hours, a catastrophic event unites Will, Jillian, and Hanna--and puts them in the crosshairs of a centuries-old international conspiracy. Together, the three must unravel an ancient curse that stretches back two millennia and beyond, and face a primal evil that threatens their lives and thousands more.

26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss

Kij Johnson

World Fantasy Award winning, and Hugo and Nebula Award nominated short story.

Aimee has bought a travelling monkey show, wherein 26 monkeys do a variety of tricks and then vanish. She tries to figure out how the vanishing happens.

This story originally appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, July 2008. It can also be found in the anthologies:

It is included At the Mouth of the River of Bees (2012).

Read the full story for free on the author's website.

At the Mouth of the River of Bees

Kij Johnson

A sparkling debut collection from one of the hottest writers in science fiction: her stories have received the Nebula Award the last two years running. These stories feature cats, bees, wolves, dogs, and even that most capricious of animals, humans, and have been reprinted in The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror, Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, and The Secret History of Fantasy.

Kij Johnson's stories have won the Sturgeon and World Fantasy awards. She has taught writing; worked at Tor, Dark Horse, and Microsoft; worked as a radio announcer; run bookstores; and waitressed in a strip bar.

Fox Magic

Kij Johnson

Sturgeon Award winning novelette. The story originally appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, December 1993. The story is included in the collections Tales for the Long Rains (2001) and At the Mouth of the River of Bees (2012).

Read the full story for free at the author's website.

Fudoki

Kij Johnson

Enter the world of Kagaya-hime, a sometime woman warrior, occasional philosopher, and reluctant confidante to noblemen--who may or may not be a figment of the imagination of an aging empress who is embarking on the last journey of her life, setting aside the trappings of court life and reminiscing on the paths that lead her to death.

For she is a being who started her journey on the kami, the spirit road, as a humble tortoiseshell feline. Her family was destroyed by a fire that decimated most of the Imperial city, and this loss renders her taleless, the only one left alive to pass on such stories as The Cat Born the Year the Star Fell, The Cat with a Litter of Ten, and The Fire-Tailed Cat. Without her fudoki--self and soul and home and shrine--she alone cannot keep the power of her clan together. And she cannot join another fudoki, because although she might be able to win a place within another clan, to do so would mean that she would cease to be herself.

So a small cat begins an extraordinary journey. Along the way she will attract the attention of old and ancient powers. Gods who are curious about this creature newly come to Japan's shores, and who choose to give the tortoiseshell a human shape.

Mantis Wives

Kij Johnson

This very short story is a kind of kama sutra for mantises.


Read this story online for free at Clarkesworld.

Names for Water

Kij Johnson

This short story originally appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, October-November 2010. It can also be found in the anthology The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Five (2011), edited by Jonathan Strahan. The story is included in the collection At the Mouth of the River of Bees (2012).

Ponies

Kij Johnson

If you want to be friends with The OtherGirls, you're going to have to give something up; this is the way it's always been, as long as there have been Ponies.

This short story can also be found in the anthologies Nebula Awards Showcase 2012, edited by John Kessel and James Patrick Kelly, and Worlds Seen in Passing: Ten Years of Tor.com Short Fiction (2018), edited by Irene Gallo. It is included in the collection At the Mouth of the River of Bees (2012).

Read this story online for free at Tor.com.

Spar

Kij Johnson

A lone survivor of a space shipwreck is trapped in a raft with an alien, and is pitted against it in a sexual competition for survival and dominance.


Read this story online for free at Clarkesworld.

Tales for the Long Rains

Kij Johnson

Collecting some of her favorites, Kij Johnson, author of The Fox Woman, shows you a fox-girl's fantasy, a wolf behaviorist's nightmare, and what dogs hunt when they dream; a nightclub in hell, and another where the gin is cold and the entertainment is, well, flexible; a world where the sun never sets -- if you keep moving; and a vampire with the best of intentions -- fifteen stories in all, including three that have never before been published.

The Apartment Dweller's Bestiary

Kij Johnson

This story originally appeared in Clarkesworld, Issue 100, January 2015. It can also in the anthologies The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016, edited by Karen Joy Fowler and John Joseph Adams, and Clarkesworld Year Nine: Volume One (2018), edited by Sean Wallace and Neil Clarke.

Read the full story for free at Clarkesworld.

The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles

Kij Johnson

When a fire destroys her home and scatters her colony, Small Cat sets out to find the home of her ancestor, the Cat From the North, and to make her own name along the way.


Read this story online for free at Tor.com.

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

Kij Johnson

World Fantasy Award-winning and Hugo Award-nominated novella

Professor Vellitt Boe teaches at the prestigious Ulthar Women's College. When one of her most gifted students elopes with a dreamer from the waking world, Vellitt must retrieve her.

Kij Johnson's haunting novella The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe is both a commentary on a classic H.P. Lovecraft tale and a profound reflection on a woman's life. Vellitt's quest to find a former student who may be the only person who can save her community takes her through a world governed by a seemingly arbitrary dream logic in which she occasionally glimpses an underlying but mysterious order, a world ruled by capricious gods and populated by the creatures of dreams and nightmares. Those familiar with Lovecraft's work will travel through a fantasy landscape infused with Lovecraftian images viewed from another perspective, but even readers unfamiliar with his work will be enthralled by Vellitt's quest.

The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs of North Park After the Change

Kij Johnson

WFA, Sturgeon and Nebula Award nominated novelette. It originally appeared in the anthology The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales (2007), edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. It can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Twenty-First Annual Collection (2008), edited by Gavin J. Grant, Kelly Link and Ellen Datlow, Nebula Awards Showcase 2009, edited by Ellen Datlow and Telling Tales: The Clarion West 30th Anniversary Anthology (2013), edited by Ellen Datlow. It is included in the collection At the Mouth of the River of Bees (2012).

Read the full story for free at the author's website.

The Fox Woman

Kij Johnson

Kij Johnson has created an achingly beautiful love story, a fable wrapped in smoke and magic set against the fabric of ancient Japan. Johnson brings the setting lovingly to life, describing a world of formalities and customs, where the exchange of poetry is a form of conversation and everything has meaning, from the color of the silks on wears to how one may address others.

Yoshifuji is a man fascinated by foxes, a man discontented and troubled by the meaning of life. A misstep at court forces him to retire to his long-deserted country estate, to rethink his plans and contemplate the next move that might return him to favor and guarantee his family's prosperity.

Kitsune is a young fox who is fascinated by the large creatures that have suddenly invaded her world. She is drawn to them and to Yoshifuji. She comes to love him and will do anything to become a human woman to be with him.

Shikujo is Yoshifuji's wife, ashamed of her husband, yet in love with him and uncertain of her role in his world. She is confused by his fascination with the creatures of the wood, and especially the foxes that she knows in her heart are harbingers of danger. She sees him slipping away and is determined to win him back from the wild...for all that she has her own fox-related secret.

Magic binds them all. And in the making (and breaking) of oaths and honors, the patterns of their lives will be changed forever.

The Fox Woman is a powerful first novel, singing with lyrical prose and touching the deepest emotions. A historically accurate fantasy, it gives us a glimpse into, and an understanding of, the history that shaped the people of one of our world's greatest nations. But it is also a story about people trying to understand each other and the times they live in, people trying to see through illusions to confront the truth of who they are.

The Man Who Bridged the Mist

Kij Johnson

Hugo- and Nebula-winning Novella

The river of Mist, an almost living organism, divides the Empire in two. A few Ferries make dangerous and treacherous journeys across the Mist when they can, trusting in good fortune and the uncanny skills of those plying the trade.

A bridge across the Mist will greatly ease the suffering of those who risk crossing the river - but the last bridge builder sent by the Empire died while building it.

Kit now comes to the town of Nearside to complete the task left unfinished by the dead bridge builder. Will he be the man who finally bridges the Mist?


Read this story online for free at the author's website (doc).

Going Interstellar

Jack McDevitt
Les Johnson

Essays by space scientists and engineers on the coolest ways and means to get humanity to the stars along with stories by an all-star assortment of talespinners abounding with Hugo and Nebula award winners: Ben Bova, Mike Resnick, Jack McDevitt, Michael Bishop, Sarah A. Hoyt and more.

Some humans may be content staying in one place, but many of us are curious about what's beyond the next village, the next ocean, the next horizon. Are there others like us out there? How will we reach them?

Wonderful questions. Now get ready for some highly informative and entertaining answers.

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword - essay by Les Johnson
  • Introduction - essay by Les Johnson and Jack McDevitt
  • Choices - short story by Les Johnson
  • A Country for Old Men - novelette by Ben Bova
  • Antimatter Starships - essay by Gregory L. Matloff
  • Lucy - novelette by Jack McDevitt
  • Lesser Beings - novelette by Charles E. Gannon
  • Fusion Starship - essay by Gregory L. Matloff
  • Project Icarus: A Theoretical Design Study for an Interstellar Spacecraft - essay by Dr. Richard Obousy
  • Design Flaw - novelette by Louise Marley
  • Twenty Lights to "The Land of Snow" - novella by Michael Bishop
  • Solar and Beamed Energy Sails - essay by Les Johnson
  • The Big Ship and the Wise Old Owl - novelette by Sarah A. Hoyt
  • Siren Song - short story by Mike Resnick

Mission to Methone

Les Johnson

Humanity is not alone in the universe. Across the galaxy, a war rages between advanced alien races. And its about to be brought to our doorstep.

The year is 2065 and an accidental encounter in space leads to the discovery that we are not alone in the universe--and that our continued existence as a species may be in jeopardy.

Chris Holt, working in his office at the Space Resources Corporation, discovers that one of the asteroids he is surveying for mining is actually not an asteroid at all but a derelict spaceship. The word gets out and soon the world's powers are competing to explore and claim for themselves the secrets that it holds.

What they don't know is that across the galaxy, a war has been underway for millennia. A war between alien civilizations that have very different ideas about what should be done about emerging spacefaring civilizations like our own. The artificial intelligence resident in the derelict Holt discovered has been in our solar system since before the dawn of human civilization, watching, waiting and keeping quiet lest the interstellar war return and wipe out the sentient race that now resides there--humanity.

And that war might soon be again coming to our front door. The truth can only be discovered on Methone, a tiny, egg-shaped moon of the planet Saturn. Who will get there first? And will it be in time?

Rescue Mode

Les Johnson
Ben Bova

Gritty and scientifically accurate science fiction adventure from New York Times best-selling author Ben Bova and NASA space scientist Les Johnson.

The first human mission to Mars meets with near-disaster when a meteoroid strikes the spacecraft, almost destroying it. The ship is too far from Earth to simply turn around and return home. The eight-person crew must ride their crippled ship to Mars while they desperately struggle to survive.

On Earth, powerful political forces that oppose human spaceflight try to use the accident as proof that sending humans into space is too dangerous to continue. The whole human space flight program hangs in the balance. And if the astronauts can't nurse their ship to Mars and back, the voyagers will become either the first Martian colonists--or the first humans to perish on another planet.

Pym

Mat Johnson

Recently canned professor of American literature Chris Jaynes has just made a startling discovery: the manuscript of a crude slave narrative that confirms the reality of Edgar Allan Poe's strange and only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. Determined to seek out Tsalal, the remote island of pure and utter blackness that Poe describes, Jaynes convenes an all-black crew of six to follow Pym's trail to the South Pole, armed with little but the firsthand account from which Poe derived his seafaring tale, a bag of bones, and a stash of Little Debbie snack cakes. Thus begins an epic journey by an unlikely band of adventurers under the permafrost of Antarctica, beneath the surface of American history, and behind one of literature's great mysteries.

Holdfast

Matthew Johnson

This short story originally appeared in Fantasy Magazine, December 2010. It can also be found in the anthology The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2011, edited by Rich Horton. The story is included in the collection Irregular Verbs and Other Stories (2014).

Read the full story for free at Fantasy Magazine.

Irregular Verbs

Matthew Johnson

This short story originally appeaed in Fantasy Magazine #4, Fall 2006. It can also be found in the anthology Fantasy: The Best of the Year, 2007 Edition, edited by Rich Horton. The story is included in the collection Irregular Verbs and Other Stories (2014).

Listen to the full story for free at PodCastle.

Irregular Verbs and Other Stories

Matthew Johnson

keluarga: to move to a new village
lunak: to search for something without finding it
mencintai: to love for the last time

Meet a guilt-ridden nurse who atones for her sins by joining her zombified patients in exile; a lone soldier standing guard on a desolate Arctic island against an invasion that may be all in his mind; a folksinger who tries to unionize Hell; and a private eye who only takes your case after you die. Visit a resettlement centre for refugees from ancient Rome; a lost country recreated by its last citizen on the Internet; and a restaurant where the owner's ghost lingers for one final party. Discover the inflationary effects of a dragon's hoard, the secret connection between Mark Twain and Frankenstein, and the magic power of blackberry jam--all in this debut collection of strange, funny, and bittersweet tales by acclaimed writer Matthew Johnson.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - essay by Helen Marshall
  • Irregular Verbs - (2006) - short story
  • Another Country - (2008) - short story
  • Public Safety - (2007) - novelette
  • Beyond the Fields You Know - short story
  • What You Couldn't Leave Behind - short story
  • When We Have Time - (2007) - short story
  • The Wise Foolish Son - noveletten
  • Long Pig - (2010) - short story
  • Talking Blues - (2010) - short story
  • The Face of the Waters - (2008) - short story
  • Outside Chance - (2006) - short story
  • Closing Time - (2001) - short story
  • Lagos - (2008) - short story
  • The Dragon's Lesson - (2005) - short story
  • Au Coeur des Ombres - novelette
  • Jump, Frog! - (2006) - short story
  • The Afflicted - (2012) - novelette
  • Holdfast - (2010) - short story
  • The Coldest War - (2009) - short story
  • Written by the Winners - (2010) - short story
  • Heroic Measures - (2006) - short story
  • The Last Islander - (2012) - short story

Public Safety

Matthew Johnson

This novelette originally appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, March 2007. It can also be found in the anthology Fantasy: The Best of the Year, 2008 Edition, edited by Rich Horton. The story is included in the collection Irregular Verbs and Other Stories (2014).

Devilish

Maureen Johnson

The only thing that makes St Teresa's Preparatory School for Girls bearable for Jane is her best friend Ally. But when Ally changes into a whole different person literally overnight the fall of their senior year, Jane's suddenly alone - and very confused. Turns out, Ally has sold her soul in exchange for popularity - to a devil masquerading as a sophomore at St Teresa's! Now it's up to Jane to put it all on the line to save her friend from this ponytail-wearing, cupcake-nibbling demon...without losing her own soul in the process....

The Space Between Worlds

Micaiah Johnson

Multiverse travel is finally possible, but there's just one catch: No one can visit a world where their counterpart is still alive. Enter Cara, whose parallel selves happen to be exceptionally good at dying – from disease, turf wars, or vendettas they couldn't outrun. Cara's life has been cut short on 372 worlds in total.

On this dystopian Earth, however, Cara has survived. Identified as an outlier and therefore a perfect candidate for multiverse travel, Cara is plucked from the dirt of the wastelands. Now what once made her marginalized has finally become an unexpected source of power. She has a nice apartment on the lower levels of the wealthy and walled-off Wiley City. She works – and shamelessly flirts – with her enticing yet aloof handler, Dell, as the two women collect off-world data for the Eldridge Institute. She even occasionally leaves the city to visit her family in the wastes, though she struggles to feel at home in either place. So long as she can keep her head down and avoid trouble, Cara is on a sure path to citizenship and security.

But trouble finds Cara when one of her eight remaining doppelgängers dies under mysterious circumstances, plunging her into a new world with an old secret. What she discovers will connect her past and her future in ways she could have never imagined – and reveal her own role in a plot that endangers not just her world, but the entire multiverse.

Smoketown

Tenea D. Johnson

The city of Leiodare is unlike any other in the post-climate change United States. Within its boundaries, birds are outlawed and what was once a crater in Appalachia is now a tropical, glittering metropolis where Anna Armour is waiting. An artist by passion and a factory worker by trade, Anna is a woman of special gifts. She has chosen this beautiful, traumatized city to wait for the woman she's lost, the one she believes can save her from her troubled past and uncertain future.

When one night Anna creates life out of thin air and desperation, no one is prepared for what comes next - not Lucine, a smooth talking soothsayer with plans for the city; Lucine's brother Eugenio who has designs of his own; Seife, a star performer in the Leiodaran cosmos; or Rory, a forefather of the city who's lived through outbreak, heatbreak, and scandal. Told through their interlocking stories, Smoketown delves into the invisible connections that rival magic, and the copst of redemption.

The Wolves of Winter

Tyrell Johnson

Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn't help you survive in the endless white wilderness beyond the edges of a fallen world.

Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As the memories of her old life continue to haunt, she's forced to forge ahead in the snow-drifted Canadian Yukon, learning how to hunt and trap and slaughter.

Shadows of the world before have found her tiny community--most prominently in the enigmatic figure of Jax, who brings with him dark secrets of the past and sets in motion a chain of events that will call Lynn to a role she never imagined.

Invasive Procedures

Orson Scott Card
Aaron Johnston

George Galen is a brilliant scientist, a pioneer in gene therapy. But Galen is dangerously insane - he has created a method to alter human DNA, not just to heal diseases, but to "improve" people - make them stronger, make them able to heal more quickly, and make them compliant to his will.

Frank Hartman is also a brilliant virologist, working for the government's ultra-secret bio-hazard agency. He has discovered how to neutralize Galen's DNA-changing virus, making him the one man who stands in the way of Galen's plan to "improve" the entire human race.

This taut thriller takes the reader a few years into the future, and shows the promise and danger of new genetic medicine techniques.

The Maleficent Seven

Cameron Johnston

Black Herran was a dread demonologist, and the most ruthless general in all Essoran. She assembled the six most fearsome warriors to captain her armies: a necromancer, a vampire lord, a demigod, an orcish warleader, a pirate queen, and a twisted alchemist. Together they brought the whole continent to its knees... Until the day she abandoned her army, on the eve of total victory.

40 years later, she must bring her former captains back together for one final stand, in the small town of Tarnbrooke - the last bastion against a fanatical new enemy tearing through the land, intent on finishing the job Black Herran started years before.

Seven bloodthirsty monsters. One town. Their last hope.

Aetherbound

E. K. Johnston

Pendt Harland's family sees her as a waste of food on their long-haul space cruiser when her genes reveal an undesirable mutation. But if she plays her cards right she might have a chance to do much more than survive. During a space-station layover, Pendt escapes and forms a lucky bond with the Brannick twins, the teenage heirs of the powerful family that owns the station. Against all odds, the trio hatches a long-shot scheme to take over the station and thwart the destinies they never wished for.

That Inevitable Victorian Thing

E. K. Johnston

Victoria-Margaret is the crown princess of the empire, a direct descendent of Victoria I, the queen who changed the course of history. The imperial tradition of genetically arranged matchmaking will soon guide Margaret into a politically advantageous marriage. But before she does her duty, she'll have one summer of freedom and privacy in a far corner of empire. Posing as a commoner in Toronto, she meets Helena Marcus, daughter of one of the empire's greatest placement geneticists, and August Callaghan, the heir to a powerful shipping firm currently besieged by American pirates. In a summer of high-society debutante balls, politically charged tea parties, and romantic country dances, Margaret, Helena, and August discover they share an extraordinary bond and maybe a one-in-a-million chance to have what they want and to change the world in the process.

Set in a near-future world where the British Empire was preserved not by the cost of blood and theft but by the effort of repatriation and promises kept, That Inevitable Victorian Thing is a surprising, romantic, and thought-provoking story of love, duty, and the small moments that can change people and the world.

The Afterward

E. K. Johnston

It's been a year since the mysterious godsgem cured Cadrium's king and ushered in what promised to be a new golden age. The heroes who brought home the gem are renowned in story and song, but for two fellows on the quest, peace and prosperity don't come easily.

Apprentice Knight Kalanthe Ironheart wasn't meant for heroism so early in life, and while she has no intention of giving up the notoriety she's earned, reputation doesn't pay her bills. Kalanthe may be forced to betray not her kingdom or her friends, but her own heart as she seeks a stable future for herself and those she loves.

Olsa Rhetsdaughter was never meant for heroism at all. Beggar and thief, she lived hand to mouth on the streets until fortune--or fate--pulled her into Kalanthe's orbit. And now she's reluctant to leave it. Even more alarmingly, her fame has made her profession difficult, and a choice between poverty and the noose isn't much of a choice at all.

Both girls think their paths are laid out, but the godsgem isn't quite done with them and that new golden age isn't a sure thing yet.

In a tale both sweepingly epic and intensely personal, Kalanthe and Olsa fight to maintain their newfound independence and to find their way back to each other.

The House of Dust

Paul Johnston

It's April 2028. Youth gangs roam the streets of independent Edinburgh, forcing the ruling Council of City Guardians to seek advice. Experts from the utopian university-state of New Oxford recommend an extreme deterrent - a maximum security prison alongside the central tourist zone. But at the prison opening ceremony an Edinburgh guardian is shot. Quint gathers evidence linking New Oxford to the assassination. Sent there to close the case, he finds a ruthless administration beneath the glossy hi-tech veneer. And a conspiracy which leads from New Oxford's mysterious heart - the place known only as the House of Dust - to his home city.

Skinner Box

Carole Johnstone

A disturbing science fiction story about a seemingly routine scientific mission to Jupiter that is threatened by the interpersonal relationships of its crew.

Read the full story for free at Tor.com.

Bats

William W. Johnstone

They'd flown north from Central and South America, appearing one day in the southern wetlands of the U.S. like ominous ink stains in the twilight sky. With each sunset, more appeared, first hundreds then thousands. Massing into a great black cloud of terror, the vampire bats were beating their wings in time with the panicked heartbeats in the towns below.

No one knew how to stop them as they fell onto their prey like dark, deadly shadows. But someone had to find a way. Because somewhere in the night, they had become a threat to more than wild animals and livestock. Somewhere in the night madness took hold as these vampire bats developed a taste for human blood.

And the feasting had only just begun.

Them

William W. Johnstone

Jake Silver was a teenage misfit, a misunderstood genius who'd been cruelly tormented by his own sadistic father and others in his little Louisiana hometown. Jake was the perfect disciple for THEM.

They'd come from another world; disembodied beings who understood Jake's need for revenge... They would offer Jake the power to finally take it... All they wanted in return was his help in bringing others of their kind to Jake's world.

It began so slowly, so innocently, even Jake didn't see the danger... until it was too late to realize that he had helped unleash a devastating power in the universe--and opened a gateway for a horrific struggle between mere human beings and... THEM

Toy Cemetery

William W. Johnstone

There they were, just as he remembered. Rooms and rooms of them. Dolls. Toy soldiers. Clowns. When he was a kid, his Aunt Cary's toy collection should have been a child's paradise. But instead he had been terrified by their staring eyes and limp arms.

Twenty years had passed since Jay Clute set foot in Victory, Missouri. Twenty years of trying to forget that night--that hellish night of unimaginable horror. Now, his Aunt Cary was dead, and it's all been left to him--the house, the furniture, every last piece of her collection. And nothing had changed. Not the painted-on dolly smiles or the garish clown colors--or the tiny hands that were dripping with bright red blood...

Soldiers

John Dalmas

Alpha-Males: You can't live with 'em, but sometimes you can't live without 'em. An alien migration fleet - 14,000 starships strong - searches the stars for a new home, its homeworld forever lost. When they finally find planets that can support them, all they have to do is eradicate the pesky human natives, a task they assume is easily within their powers. But Earth's Commonwealth of Worlds isn't about to give up so easily - even if it has to create and train something it hasn't had for centuries: soldiers!

The Playmasters

John Dalmas
Rod Martin

Never will so many have given so much for so few. The aliens came to Earth not for conquest, but simply to create a way and watch it played out by humans. But they are prohibited from using any technology not developed on the planet - and 20th century armaments are too primitive for good sport. The answer is to persuade the Earth's leaders to found a thing tank group secretly guided by them to produce 22nd century tech.

The Scroll of Man

John Dalmas

The Guardian of Earth's call for the ultimate warrior transports Charley Judge three million years into the future and places him against the evil sorcerer Shu-Gwelth in the final battle between good and evil.

The Varkaus Conspiracy

John Dalmas

Johnny McKennah was the living embodiment of a dream come true for every middle-aged Walter Mitty in America. At age fifty-one he had arrived from nowhere to become the oldest rookie in the history of footbal and a record breaker by the end of the first season. That wasn't all: this man who claimed that two years ago he had been fas on the way to drunken extinction was now a syndicated newspaper columnist, the most popular pundit since Mark Twain and Will Rogers.

Who was he, this Johnny McKennah? When the government found out who he was and what he planned they knew he had to be stopped. But, even if you're willing to pay any price, how do you stop an invasion of supermen?

Another Orphan

John Kessel

Nebula Award winning and Hugo Award nominated novella. It originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, September 1982. The story can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: 9 (1983) edited by Arthur W. Saha, and The Nebula Awards #18 (1983), edited by Robert Silverberg. It is included in the collections Meeting in Infinity: Allegories & Extrapolations (1992) and The Collected Kessel (2012).

Buffalo

John Kessel

Locus and Sturgeon Award winning and Hugo and Nebula Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January 1991. It can also be found in Nebula Awards 27 (1993), edited by James Morrow and The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction: 60th Anniversary Anthology (2009), edited by Gordon Van Gelder.

Read the full story for free at Lightspeed.

Consolation

John Kessel

This short story originally appeared in the anthology Twelve Tomorrows (2015), edited by Bruce Sterling. The story can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Third Annual Collection (2016), edited by Gardner Dozois, and The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2016 (2016).

Corrupting Dr. Nice

John Kessel

August Faison and his gorgeous young daughter Genevieve are rogues of the first water--seasoned swindlers who rove across time in search of new victims to fleece. Now the most precious pigeon of the all has fallen into their laps, in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus.

Dr. Owen Vannice is far too unworldly and far too rich for his own good. A fabulously wealthy paleontologist who has just spent the last year, not to mention billions of the family fortune, doing research in the Cretaceous period, he now finds himself stranded in the Holy City with a rapidly growing baby dinosaur in tow.

Simon is a disillusioned disciple whose master has been kidnapped uptime by colonists from the future. Now he works for the exploitative crosstime corporation which has turned his timeline into a tourist trap, complete with luxury hotels and junkets to countless versions of the Crucifixion.

When a desperate act of sabotage brings them all together, their lives are drastically transformed, for Genevieve is falling in love with "Dr. Nice" against her better judgment, and is even willing to double-cross her father to protect him. But even that isn't enough, for Dr. Nice is losing his innocence, while Simon and his revolutionary zealots seek to drive out the invaders from the future.

Skillfully interweaving screwball comedy with the paradoxes of time travel and satirical social commentary, Corrupting Dr. Nice is, in the tradition of its Hollywood forbears, a love story, one that is at the same time serious and funny, sweet-natured and cynical--sophisticated speculative fiction by an award-winning modern master.

Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology

James Patrick Kelly
John Kessel

When the Singularity arrives and computers possess superhuman intelligence, will there be an ecstatic merging of machine and mind--or an instantaneous techno-apocalypse? Will there be the enslavement of humanity or "the Rapture of the Nerds"? The post-human future is here in its wildest science-fictional imaginings and intriguing scientific speculations.

This far-reaching anthology traces the path of the Singularity, an era when advances in technology will totally transform human reality. It travels to the alien far-future of H. G. Wells (Mind at the End of Its Tether), to the almost human near-future of Ray Kurzweil (The Singularity Is Near), from Elizabeth Bear's fusion of woman, machine, God, and shark ("The Inevitable Heat Death of the Universe"), to Isaac Asimov's evolution of ineffable logic ("The Last Question"). As intelligence both figuratively (and possibly literally) explodes, science-fiction authors and futurists have dared to peek over the edge of the event horizon. Join them there.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Digital Rapture - essay by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel
  • The Last Question - [Multivac] (1956) - short story by Isaac Asimov
  • The Flesh (1929) - essay by J. D. Bernal
  • Day Million (1966) - short story by Frederik Pohl
  • Thought and Action (1935) - short fiction by Olaf Stapledon
  • The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era (1993) - essay by Vernor Vinge
  • Hive Mind Man (2012) - novelette by Eileen Gunn and Rudy Rucker
  • Sunken Gardens - [Shaper/Mechanist] (1984) - short story by Bruce Sterling
  • The Six Epochs (2005) - essay by Ray Kurzweil
  • Crystal Nights (2008) - novelette by Greg Egan
  • Firewall (2008) - novelette by David D. Levine
  • The Cookie Monster (2003) - novella by Vernor Vinge
  • Cracklegrackle - [Natural History] (2009) - novelette by Justina Robson
  • Nightfall - [Macx Family] (2003) - novelette by Charles Stross
  • Coelacanths (2002) - novelette by Robert Reed
  • The Great Awakening - [Thought Experiments] (2008) - essay by Rudy Rucker
  • True Names (2008) - novella by Cory Doctorow and Benjamin Rosenbaum
  • The Server and the Dragon (2010) - short story by Hannu Rajaniemi
  • The Inevitable Heat Death of the Universe (2006) - short story by Elizabeth Bear

Events Preceding the Helvetican Renaissance

John Kessel

This novelette originally appeared in the anthology The New Space Opera 2 (2009), edited by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan and was reprinted in Clarkesworld, #124, January 2017. The story can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Seventh Annual Collection (2010), edited by Gardner Dozois, and The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2010, edited by Rich Horton.

Read the full story for free at Clarkesworld.

Every Angel Is Terrifying

John Kessel

WFA nominated short story. It originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, October-November 1998. The story can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Twelfth Annual Collection (1999), edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, Crossroads: Tales of the Southern Literary Fantastic (2004), edited by F. Brett Cox and Andy Duncan, and Tails of Wonder and Imagination (2010), edited by Ellen Datlow. It is included in the collection The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories (2008).

Read the full story for free at the Baen website.

Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology

John Kessel
James Patrick Kelly

If it is true that the test of a first-rate mind is its ability to hold two contradictory ideas at the same time, then we live in a century when it takes a first-rate mind just to get through the day. We have unprecedented access to information; cognitive dissonance is a banner headline in our morning papers and radiates silently from our computer screens. Slipstream, poised between literature and popular culture, embraces the dissonance.

These ambitious stories of visionary strangeness defy the conventions of science fiction. Tales by Michael Chabon, Karen Joy Fowler, Jonathan Lethem, Carol Emshwiller, George Saunders, and others pull the reader into a vivid dreamspace and embrace the knowledge that life today is increasingly surreal.

Contents:

Freedom Beach

James Patrick Kelly
John Kessel

It was real... It was a dream.

Freedom Beach was a tropical paradise of games, drugs and decadence... Freedom Beach was a surreal gulag ruthlessly guarded by sinister living statues.

The guests included Faust, the Marx Brothers, Aristophanes, Raymond Chandler and the Brontes... The prisoners were all strangers from Shaun Reed's past.

Shaun was a deluded amnesiac who had been voluntarily committed... Shaun was a brainwashed dissident genius being tortured by the Dreamers.

The Dreamers were benevolent aliens who wanted to heal... The Dreamers were evil conquerors and would destroy anyone who learned the truth... Lies... Truth... Lies... Truth of the dream...

Or the lies of Freedom Beach.

Friends

James Patrick Kelly
John Kessel

This novelette originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January 1984. It can also be found in the anthology The Year's Best Science Fiction: Second Annual Collection (1985).

Good News from Outer Space

John Kessel

The year is 1999. The millennium is approaching fast, and America is ready to believe that the World is indeed about to End. The economy is a disaster, despite a complete restructuring of the money supply. Nuclear war in the middle east has created a new, permanent gasoline shortage. Gene-splicing technology has given terrorists almost undetectable weapons. Poverty, drugs, disease are rampant in the cities, while the new Christian Fundamentalism has taken almost total control of the countryside. The Church is even running the prison system. The most popular on-line news service in America is the Hemisphere Confidential Report, a computer network descendant of today's supermarket tabloids.

George Eberhart is HCR's top reporter and writer--once a legitmate newsman, the crumbling economy has forced him into writing "news" that is little more than fiction. But now George is onto something, something real. He has perceived a pattern in the sensationalist stories he reports, a pattern that has led him to believe that the stories of alien invasion may be something more than hysteria.

The Reverend Jimmy-Don Gilray is a TV evangelist, whose Zion Tribulation Hour brings in millions of dollars and converts every day. His message is simple: on the stroke of midnight, December 31, 1999, God will send his messengers to Earth in a spaceship, and the Day of Judgement will dawn. There is nothing that The Rev wants less than some reporter proving that the Aliens are already here.

And meanwhile, all over America, strange beings who look human are doing totally inexplicable things--committing acts which seem like meaningless cruelty or kindness to their victims.

Gulliver at Home

John Kessel

This novelette originally appeared in the collection The Pure Product (1997). It can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fifteenth Annual Collection (1998), edited by Gardner Dozois, and The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Eleventh Annual Collection (1998), edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling.

Read the full story for free at the Baenn website.

Hearts Do Not in Eyes Shine

John Kessel

This novelette originally appeared in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, October 1983. It can also be found in the anthology The Year's Best Science Fiction: First Annual Collection (1984), edited by Gardner Dozois. The story is included in the collections Meeting in Infinity: Allegories & Extrapolations (1992), The Pure Product (1997), and The Collected Kessel (2012).

Intersections: The Sycamore Hill Anthology

Richard Butner
John Kessel
Mark L. Van Name

A collection of superb science fiction stories offers works by the writers who were invited in 1994 to attend the prestigious Sycamore Hills Writers' Conference, including Robert Frazier, Carol Emshwiller, Gregory Frost, and Bruce Sterling, among others.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction: Fun in the Burn Ward - essay by John Kessel and Mark L. Van Name and Richard Butner
  • Bicycle Repairman - novelette by Bruce Sterling
  • The Marianas Islands - shortstory by Karen Joy Fowler
  • Sex Education - shortfiction by Nancy Kress
  • The Hardened Criminals - novelette by Jonathan Lethem
  • The Escape Artist - shortstory by Michaela Roessner
  • Body & Soul - shortstory by Robert Frazier
  • The Fury at Colonus - novelette by Alexander Jablokov
  • Homesick - shortstory by Maureen F. McHugh
  • Ledoyt (excerpt) - shortfiction by Carol Emshwiller
  • The Miracle of Ivar Avenue - (1996) - novelette by John Kessel
  • Missing Connections - novelette by Mark L. Van Name
  • That Blissful Height - novelette by Gregory Frost
  • Horses Blow Up Dog City - shortstory by Richard Butner
  • The First Law of Thermodynamics - (1996) - shortstory by James Patrick Kelly
  • The Turkey City Lexicon: A Primer for SF Workshops - essay by Lewis Shiner

Invaders

John Kessel

This novelette originally appreared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, October 1990. It can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction: Eighth Annual Collection (1991), edited by Gardner Dozois, Future Earths: Under South American Skies (1993), edited by Mike Resnick and Gardner Dozois, and The Norton Book of Science Fiction: North American Science Fiction, 1960-1990 (1993), edited by Ursula K. Le Guin and Brian Attebery. The story is included in the collections Meeting in Infinity: Allegories & Extrapolations (1992), The Pure Product (1997) and The Collected Kessel (2012).

Iteration

John Kessel

This short story originally appeared on Strange Horizons, 13 September 2010. It can also be found in the anthology The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Five (2011), edited by Jonathan Strahan. The story is included in the collection The Collected Kessel (2012).

Read the full story for free at Strange Horizons.

It's All True

John Kessel

Sturgeon Award nomintated novelette. It originally appeared on Sci Fiction, November 5, 2003. The story can also be found in the anthology The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-First Annual Collection (2004), edited by Gardner Dozois. It is included in the collections The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories (2008) and The Collected Kessel (2012).

Read the full story for free at the Baen website.

Kafkaesque: Stories Inspired by Franz Kafka

James Patrick Kelly
John Kessel

The tourist shops of Prague sell dozens of items commemorating Franz Kafka. You can drink a latte in the Café Kafka, add sugar to it from a packet with Kafka's face on it, and then light your cigarette from a box of Kafka matches.

Franz Kafka died in obscurity in 1924, publishing only a handful of bizarre stories in little-known literary magazines. Yet today he persists in our collective imaginations. Even those who have never read any of Kafka's fiction describe their tribulations with the Department of Motor Vehicles as being Kafkaesque.

Kafkaesque explores the fiction of generations of authors inspired by Kafka's work. These dystopic, comedic, and ironic tales include T. C. Boyle's roadside garage that is a never-ending trial, Philip Roth's alternate history in which Kafka immigrates to America to date his aunt, Jorge Luis Borges's labyrinthine public lottery that redefines reality, Carol Emshwiller's testimony by the first female to earn the right to call herself a "man," and Paul Di Filippo's unfamiliar Kafka -- journalist by day, costumed crime-fighter by night.

Also included is Kafka's classic story "The Hunger Artist," appearing both in a brand-new translation and in an illustrated version by legendary cartoonist R. Crumb (Fritz the Cat). Additionally, each author discusses Kafka's writing, its relevance, its personal influence, and Kafka's enduring legacy.

Table of Contents

  • Kafkaesque: Stories Inspired by Franz Kafka - interior artwork by John Coulthart
  • Stories After Kafka - essay by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel
  • Kafka Chronology - essay
  • A Hunger Artist - short story by Franz Kafka (trans. of Ein Hungerkünstler 1924)
  • On the Translation of 'A Hunger Artist' - essay by John Kessel
  • Introduction to The Drowned Giant - essay by J. G. Ballard
  • The Drowned Giant (1964) - short story by J. G. Ballard
  • Introduction to The Cockroach Hat - essay by Terry Bisson
  • The Cockroach Hat (2010) - short story by Terry Bisson
  • Introduction to Hymenoptera - essay by Michael Blumlein
  • Hymenoptera (1993) - short story by Michael Blumlein
  • Introduction to The Lottery in Babylon - essay by Jorge Luis Borges
  • The Lottery in Babylon (1998) - short story by Jorge Luis Borges (trans. of La lotería en Babilonia 1941)
  • Introduction to The Big Garage - (2005) - essay by T. Coraghessan Boyle
  • The Big Garage (1981) - short story by T. Coraghessan Boyle
  • Introduction to The Jackdaw's Last Case - essay by Paul Di Filippo
  • The Jackdaw's Last Case (1997) - short story by Paul Di Filippo
  • Introduction to Report to the Men's Club - essay by Carol Emshwiller
  • Report to the Men's Club (2002) - short story by Carol Emshwiller
  • Introduction to Bright Morning - essay by Jeffrey Ford
  • Bright Morning (2002) - novelette by Jeffrey Ford
  • Introduction to The Rapid Advance of Sorrow - essay by Theodora Goss
  • The Rapid Advance of Sorrow (2002) - short story by Theodora Goss
  • Introduction to Stable Strategies for Middle Management - essay by Eileen Gunn
  • Stable Strategies for Middle Management (1988) - short story by Eileen Gunn
  • Introduction to The Handler - (1976) - essay by Damon Knight
  • The Handler (1960) - short story by Damon Knight
  • Introduction to Receding Horizon - essay by Jonathan Lethem
  • Receding Horizon (1995) - short story by Jonathan Lethem and Carter Scholz
  • Introduction to A Hunger Artist - essay by David Mairowitz
  • A Hunger Artist - short story by Robert Crumb and David Mairowitz
  • Introduction to "I Always Wanted You to Admire My Fasting"; or, Looking at Kafka - essay by Philip Roth
  • "I Always Wanted You to Admire My Fasting"; or, Looking at Kafka (1969) - short story by Philip Roth
  • Introduction to The 57th Franz Kafka - essay by Rudy Rucker
  • The 57th Franz Kafka (1982) - short story by Rudy Rucker
  • Introduction to The Amount to Carry - essay by Carter Scholz
  • The Amount to Carry (1998) - novelette by Carter Scholz
  • Introduction to Kafka in Brontëland - essay by Tamar Yellin
  • Kafka in Brontëland (2002) - short story by Tamar Yellin

Meeting in Infinity: Allegories & Extrapolations

John Kessel

After receiving the Nebula Award in 1983 for his stunning nouvelle "Another Orphan, " John Kessel has written a group of stories that for sheer imaginative audacity defy conventional classification. In "The Pure Product" an amoral time-traveler embarks upon a harrowing joyride through the Midwest; "The Big Dream" is a 1920s hardboiled detective thriller in the Los Angeles of Raymond Chandler; while Faustfeathers" involves a head-on collision between Christopher Marlowe and the Marx Brothers. Dark visions both satiric and tragic, from the author of Good News from Outer Space.

Table of Contents:

  • Meeting in Infinity - essay
  • The Pure Product - (1986) - novelette
  • Mrs. Shummel Exits a Winner - (1988) - shortstory
  • The Big Dream - (1984) - novelette
  • The Lecturer - (1984) - shortstory
  • Hearts Do Not in Eyes Shine - (1983) - novelette
  • Faustfeathers - novelette
  • A Clean Escape - (1985) - shortstory
  • Not Responsible! Park and Lock It! - (1981) - novelette
  • Man - (1992) - novelette
  • Invaders - (1990) - novelette
  • Judgment Call - (1987) - novelette
  • Buddha Nostril Bird - (1990) - novelette
  • Another Orphan - (1982) - novelette
  • Buffalo - (1991) - shortstory

Mrs. Shummel Exits a Winner

John Kessel

Nebula and Sturgeon Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, June 1988. The story can also be found in the anthology The Year's Best Science Fiction: Sixth Annual Collection (1989), edited by Gardner Dozois and the collection Meeting in Infinity: Allegories & Extrapolations (1992).

Ninety Percent of Everything

Jonathan Lethem
John Kessel
James Patrick Kelly

Nebula-nominated Novella

Mysterious aliens have landed on Earth, but nobody can figure out what they want. Enter Liz Cobble, a frustrated professor of sapientology who finds herself swept up in a madcap romantic adventure with an eccentric billionaire and an architect who designs flying buildings.

This story was originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, September 1999, self-published by the authors in 2011, and included in The Collected Kessel (2012).

Pride and Prometheus

John Kessel

Winner of the Nebula, nominated for the Tiptree and Hugo Awards. Originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in January 2008. Later collected in The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories (2008) and anthologized in Jonathan Strahan's The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Three (2009), Mary Robiniette Kowal's The Hugo Award Showcase: 2010 Volume and Brockmeier and Cheney's Real Unreal: Best American Fantasy Volume III (2010).

Read this story online for free at Baen.

Pride and Prometheus

John Kessel

Pride and Prejudice meets Frankenstein as Mary Bennet falls for the enigmatic Victor Frankenstein and befriends his monstrous Creature in this clever fusion of two popular classics.

Threatened with destruction unless he fashions a wife for his Creature, Victor Frankenstein travels to England where he meets Mary and Kitty Bennet, the remaining unmarried sisters of the Bennet family from Pride and Prejudice. As Mary and Victor become increasingly attracted to each other, the Creature looks on impatiently, waiting for his bride. But where will Victor find a female body from which to create the monster's mate?

Meanwhile, the awkward Mary hopes that Victor will save her from approaching spinsterhood while wondering what dark secret he is keeping from her.

Pride and Prometheus fuses the gothic horror of Mary Shelley with the Regency romance of Jane Austen in an exciting novel that combines two age-old stories in a fresh and startling way.

Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology

John Kessel
James Patrick Kelly

Cyberpunk is dead. The revolution has been co-opted by half-assed heroes, overclocked CGI, and tricked-out shades. Once radical, cyberpunk is now nothing more than a brand.

Time to stop flipping the channel.

These sixteen extreme stories reveal a government ninja routed by a bicycle repairman, the inventor of digitized paper hijacked by his college crush, a dead boy trapped in a warped storybook paradise, and the queen of England attacked with the deadliest of forbidden technology: a working modem. You'll meet Manfred Macx, renegade meme-broker, Red Sonja, virtual reality sex-goddess, and Felix, humble sys-admin and post-apocalyptic hero.

Editors James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel (Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology) have united cyberpunk visionaries William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, and Pat Cadigan with the new post-cyberpunk vanguard, including Cory Doctorow, Charles Stross, and Jonathan Lethem. Including a canon-establishing introduction and excerpts from a hotly contested online debate, Rewired is the first anthology to define and capture the crackling excitement of the post-cyberpunks.

From the grittiness of Mirrorshades to the Singularity and beyond, it's time to revive the revolution.

Table of Contents:

Some Like It Cold

John Kessel

This short story originally appeared in Omni, Fall 1995. It can also be found in the anthology The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirteenth Annual Collection (1996), edited by Gardner Dozois. The story is included in the collections The Pure Product (1997) and The Collected Kessel (2012).

Stories for Men

John Kessel

Tiptree winning and Nebula nominated story. Originally published in Asimov's October-November 2002. Later anthologized in Gardner Dozois's The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twentieth Annual Collection (2003) and The Eagle Has Landed: 50 Years of Lunar Science Fiction, (2019), edited by Neil Clarke, and collected in The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories (2008)

The Baum Plan for Financial Independence

John Kessel

Sturgeon Award nominated short story. It originally appeared on Sci Fiction, March 24, 2004. The story can also be found in the anthologies Year's Best Fantasy 5 (2005), edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer, and The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Eighteenth Annual Collection (2005), edited by Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant. It is included in the collections The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories (2008) and The Collected Kessel (2012).

The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories

John Kessel

A long-awaited collection of fourteen stories that intersect imaginatively with Pride and Prejudice, Frankenstein, The Wizard of Oz, and Flannery O'Connor. Kessel, whose story "A Clean Escape" was filmed as part of ABC's Masters of Science Fiction, ranges through genres with a lean, graceful style that incorporates everything from future autobiography, alternate history, phone sex, perpetual motion, and his modern classic sequence of four stories about life on the moon.

Table of Contents:

The Franchise

John Kessel

Hugo and Nebula Award nominated novelette. It originally appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, August 1993. The story can aslo be found in the anthology Nebula Awards 29 (1995), edited by Pamela Sargent and the collections The Pure Product (1997) and The Collected Kessel (2012).

The Juniper Tree

John Kessel

Sturgeon Award nominated novelette. It originally appeared in Science Fiction Age, January 2000. The story can also be found in the anthology The Year's Best Science Fiction: Eighteenth Annual Collection (2001), edited by Gardner Dozois. It is included in the collections The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories (2008) and The Collected Kessel (2012).

The Last American

John Kessel

Sturgeon Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in Foundation, #100 Summer 2007 and was reprinted in Asimov's Science Fiction, February 2008. The story can also be found in the anthology Year's Best SF 13 (2008), edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. It is included in the collections The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories (2008) and The Collected Kessel (2012).

The Miracle of Ivar Avenue

John Kessel

Sidewise and Nebula Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in the anthology Intersections: The Sycamore Hill Anthology (1996), edited by John Kessel, Mark L. Van Name and Richard Butner. It was reprinted in Asimov's Science Fiction, September 1996. The story can also be found in the anthology The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fourteenth Annual Collection (1997), edited by Gardner Dozois. It is included in the collections The Pure Product and The Collected Kessel (2012).

Read the full story for free at the Baen website.

The Moon and the Other

John Kessel

John Kessel, one of the most visionary writers in the field, has created a rich matriarchal utopia, set in the near future on the moon, a society that is flawed by love and sex, and on the brink of a destructive civil war.

In the middle of the twenty-second century, over three million people live in underground cities below the moon's surface. One city-state, the Society of Cousins, is a matriarchy, where men are supported in any career choice, but no right to vote--and tensions are beginning to flare as outside political intrigues increase.

After participating in a rebellion that caused his mother's death, Erno has been exiled from the Society of Cousins. Now, he is living in the Society's rival colony, Persepolis, when he meets Amestris, the defiant daughter of the richest man on the moon.

Mira, a rebellious loner in the Society, creates graffiti videos that challenge the Society's political domination. She is hopelessly in love with Carey, the exemplar of male privilege. An Olympic champion in low-gravity martial arts and known as the most popular bedmate in the Society, Carey's more suited to being a boyfriend than a parent, even as he tries to gain custody of his teenage son.

When the Organization of Lunar States sends a team to investigate the condition of men in the Society, Erno sees an opportunity to get rich, Amestris senses an opportunity to escape from her family, Mira has a chance for social change, and Carey can finally become independent of the matriarchy that considers him a perpetual adolescent. But when Society secrets are revealed, the first moon war erupts, and everyone must decide what is truly worth fighting for.

The Motorman's Coat

John Kessel

This short story originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, June-July 2009. It can also be found in the anthology The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Four (2010), edited by Jonathan Strahan. The story is included in the collection The Collected Kessel (2012).

The Pure Product

John Kessel

This novelette originally appeared in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, March 1986, and was reprinted in Clarkesworld Magazine, #87 December 2013. The story has been reprinted many times. It can be found in the anthologies:

It is included in the collections:

Read the full story for free at Clarkesworld.

The Pure Product (collection)

John Kessel

The Pure Product brings together for the first time in one volume Kessel's finest short fiction from the past decade. This exceptional collection contains nineteen astonishing voyages into worlds of wonder and mystery, complete with omnipotent beings, time travel, alternate histories, and playful takes on popular literature. The collection also includes three companion pieces to his most recent novel, Corrupting Dr. Nice. Here are the meditations of an exceptional writer who understands that darkness and tragedy can turn in one breathless heartbeat to moments of absurdity, empathy, passion, or joy.

Table of Contents:

The Secret History of Science Fiction

John Kessel
James Patrick Kelly

Exploring an alternate history of science fiction, this ingenious anthology showcases eighteen brilliant authors leading the way to a new literature of the future. These award-winning stories defy trends, cross genres, and prove that great fiction cannot be categorized.

Two strangely detached astronauts orbit Earth while a third world war rages on. A primatologist's lover suspects her of obsession with one of her simian charges. The horrors of trench warfare dovetail with the theoretical workings of black holes. A dissolving marriage and bitter custody dispute are overshadowed by the arrival of time travelers. An astonishing invention that records the sense of touch is far too dangerous for Thomas Edison to reveal.

Contents:

  • Angouleme - (1971) - short story by Thomas M. Disch
  • The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas - (1973) - short story by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Ladies and Gentlemen, This Is Your Crisis - (1976) - short story by Kate Wilhelm
  • Descent of Man - (1977) - short story by T. C. Boyle
  • Human Moments in World War III - (1983) - short story by Don DeLillo
  • Homelanding - (1989) - short story by Margaret Atwood
  • The Nine Billion Names of God - (1984) - short story by Carter Scholz
  • Interlocking Pieces - (1984) - short story by Molly Gloss
  • Salvador - (1984) - short story by Lucius Shepard
  • Schwarzschild Radius - (1987) - short story by Connie Willis
  • Buddha Nostril Bird - (1990) - novelette by John Kessel
  • The Ziggurat - (1995) - novella by Gene Wolfe
  • The Hardened Criminals - (1996) - novelette by Jonathan Lethem
  • Standing Room Only - (1997) - short story by Karen Joy Fowler
  • 1016 to 1 - (1999) - novelette by James Patrick Kelly
  • 93990 - (2000) - short story by George Saunders
  • The Martian Agent, A Planetary Romance - (2003) - novelette by Michael Chabon
  • Frankenstein's Daughter - (2003) - short story by Maureen F. McHugh
  • The Wizard of West Orange - (2007) - novelette by Steven Millhauser

Angel of Death

J. Robert King

Fear the reaper.

The angel of death in Chicago oversees all people in the megalopolis, making sure their deaths fit their lives. Though most deaths naturally do, those that result from serial murder do not, so the angel spends much time trailing a serial killer in his patch.

On the trail of one such man, he encounters a cop and falls in love with her. When he is assigned to kill her, though, he has to make a choice between divinity and humanity.

An astounding new story from the critically-acclaimed J Robert King.

Death's Disciples

J. Robert King

SHE THOUGHT SHE WAS DEAD.

When she woke up in the hospital, she could barely remember getting on the flight, let alone the terrorist bomb of which she was the only survivor.

But she can hear the voices in her head, for they are the spirits of the dead passengers. They cannot rest until they have delivered their terrifying message: the terrorists know she survived.

And they're coming for her!

Happily Ever After

John Klima

Once Upon A Time... in the faraway land of Story, a Hugo-winning Editor realized that no one had collected together the fairy tales of the age, and that doorstop-thick anthologies of modern fairy tales were sorely lacking...

And so the Editor ventured forth, wandering the land of Story from shore to shore, climbing massive mountains of books and delving deep into lush, literary forests, gathering together thirty-three of the best re-tellings of fairy tales he could find. Not just any fairy tales, mind you, but tantalizing tales from some of the biggest names in today's fantastic fiction, authors like Gregory Maguire, Susanna Clarke, Charles de Lint, Holly Black, Alethea Kontis, Kelly Link, Neil Gaiman, Patricia Briggs, Paul Di Filippo, Gregory Frost, and Nancy Kress. But these stories alone weren't enough to satisfy the Editor, so the Editor ventured further, into the dangerous cave of the fearsome Bill Willingham, and emerged intact with a magnificent introduction, to tie the collection together.

And the inhabitants of Story--from the Kings and Queens relaxing in their castles to the peasants toiling in the fields, from the fey folk flitting about the forests to the trolls lurking under bridges and the giants in the hills--read the anthology, and enjoyed it. And they all lived... Happily Ever After.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - essay by Bill Willingham
  • A Night in the Lonesome November - short fiction by Bill Willingham
  • The Seven Stage a Comeback - (2000) - poem by Gregory Maguire
  • And In Their Glad Rags - short fiction by Genevieve Valentine
  • The Sawing Boys - (1994) - novelette by Howard Waldrop
  • Bear It Away - (2000) - short story by Michael Cadnum
  • Mr. Simonelli or the Fairy Widower - (2000) - novella by Susanna Clarke
  • The Black Fairy's Curse - (1997) - short story by Karen Joy Fowler
  • My Life as a Bird - (1996) - novelette by Charles de Lint
  • The Night Market - (2004) - short story by Holly Black
  • The Rose in Twelve Petals - (2002) - short story by Theodora Goss
  • The Red Path - short fiction by Jim C. Hines
  • Blood & Water - (2008) - short story by Alethea Kontis
  • Hansel's Eyes - (2000) - short story by Garth Nix
  • He Died That Day, in Thirty Years - (2002) - novelette by Wil McCarthy
  • Snow in Summer - (2000) - short story by Jane Yolen
  • The Rose Garden - (2004) - novelette by Michelle West
  • The Little Magic Shop - (1987) - short story by Bruce Sterling
  • Black Feather - (2007) - short story by K. Tempest Bradford
  • Fifi's Tail - short fiction by Alan Rodgers
  • The Faery Handbag - (2004) - novelette by Kelly Link
  • Ashputtle - (1994) - novelette by Peter Straub
  • The Emperor's New (and Improved) Clothes - (1999) - short story by Leslie What
  • Pinocchio's Diary - short fiction by Robert J. Howe
  • Little Red - (1993) - short story by Wendy Wheeler
  • The Troll Bridge - short fiction by Neil Gaiman
  • The Price - (1999) - short story by Patricia Briggs
  • Ailoura - (2002) - novelette by Paul Di Filippo
  • The Farmer's Cat - (2005) - short story by Jeff VanderMeer
  • The Root of the Matter - (1993) - novelette by Gregory Frost
  • Like a Red, Red Rose - (1993) - novelette by Susan Wade
  • Chasing America - (2006) - novelette by Josh Rountree
  • Stalking Beans - (1993) - short story by Nancy Kress
  • Big Hair - (2000) - short story by Esther M. Friesner
  • The Return of the Dark Children - (2002) - short fiction by Robert Coover

Logorrhea: Good Words Make Good Stories

John Klima

For most of us, these prizewinning spelling bee words would be difficult to pronounce, let alone spell. We asked twenty-one of today's most talented and inventive writers to go even further and pen an original tale inspired by one of dozens of obscure and fascinating championship words. The result is Logorrhea--a veritable dictionary of the weird, the fantastic, the haunting, and the indefinable that will have you spellbound from the very first page.

Including twenty-one stories and the inscrutable words that inspired them:

  • Chiaroscuro: "The Chiaroscurist" by Hal Duncan
  • Lyceum: "Lyceum" by Liz Williams
  • Vivisepulture: "Vivisepulture" by David Prill
  • Eczema: "Eczema" by Clare Dudman
  • Sacrilege, Semaphore: "Semaphore" by Alex Irvine
  • Smaragdine: "The Smaragdine Knot" by Marly Youmans
  • Insouciant: "A Portrait in Ivory" by Michael Moorcock
  • Cambist: "The Cambist and Lord Iron: A Fairy Tale of Economics" by Daniel Abraham
  • Logorrhea: "Logorrhea" by Michelle Richmond
  • Pococurante: "Pococurante" by Anna Tambour
  • Autochthonous: "From Around Here" by Tim Pratt
  • Vignette: "Vignette" by Elizabeth Hand
  • Sycophant: "Plight of the Sycophant" by Alan DeNiro
  • Elegiacal: "The Last Elegy" by Matthew Cheney
  • Eudaemonic: "Eudaemonic" by Jay Caselberg
  • Macerate: "Softer" by Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Transept: "Crossing the Seven" by Jay Lake
  • Psoriasis: "Tsuris" by Leslie What
  • Euonym: "The Euonymist" by Neil Williamson
  • Dulcimer: "Singing of Mount Abora" by Theodora Goss
  • Appoggiatura: "Appoggiatura" by Jeff VanderMeer

The Best of Electric Velocipede

John Klima

The Hugo Award-winning Electric Velocipede ran for twelve years, publishing twenty-seven issues over the course of its run. The magazine was nominated four years in a row for a World Fantasy Award. Its stories appeared in Gardner Dozois' and Jonathan Strahan's year's best anthologies and were also shortlisted for the Sturgeon and Tiptree Awards.

The Best of Electric Velocipede showcases a breathtaking thirty-four pieces of high quality work published during its run. If you've never read the magazine, you're in for a treat. If you're already a fan, you'll find all your favorites and a lot of great writing that deserves a second look. With a foreword by editor John Klima and introduction by Shane Jones.

…And Some Were Human

Lester del Rey

A collection of short stories by Lester del Rey.

Table of Contents:

  • Hereafter, Inc
  • The Day is Done
  • Forsaking All Others
  • The Coppersmith
  • The Luck of Ignatz
  • The Faithful
  • Dark Mission
  • Helen O'Loy
  • The Stars Look Down
  • The Renegade
  • The Wings of Night
  • Nerves

Day of the Giants

Lester del Rey

Expansion of "When the World Tottered"

Leif Svensen's neighbor, come to warn him that the farmers were going to take violent action against his dog for killing their livestock, mentioned that he'd seen an angel the night before. "Big blonde woman on a white horse, singing loud enough to raise the dead, about a hundred feet up in the air."

Then, on his way to find his madcap twin, Leif met a stranger who knew his name and who spoke of "the Fimbulwinter already upon us." Fimbulwinter! The dreadful winter that in Norse mythology preceded Ragnarok -- the final war between the gods and the giants! Fimbulwinter -- which presaged the Day of the Giants!

Leif Svensen and his brother were caught up in the destinies of a real but alien world. For if the giants triumphed, they would overrun Earth; and if the Aesir -- the gods -- won, Earth would be their footstool!

Nerves

Lester del Rey

Nerves is a science fiction novella by Lester del Rey, first published in Astounding Science-Fiction, September 1942. It was subsequently expanded into a novel of the same name in 1956. The story deals with a meltdown at a nuclear power plant.

Nominated in 2018 for the 1943 Retro Hugo Award. It has been reprinted many times and can be found in the anthologies Adventures in Time and Space (1943), edited by Raymond J. Healy and J. Francis McComas, The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two A (1973), edited by Ben Bova, and The Great Science Fiction Stories Volume 4, 1942 (1980), edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg, as well as the collection ...And Some Were Human (1948).

Nerves

Lester del Rey

The novel is an expansion of a novella of the same name which was first published in 1942.

Nerves is Lester del Rey's frightening novel of a nuclear reactor breakdown in which Three-Mile Island and Chernobyl were scarily and accurately predicted. Del Rey was an important science fiction publisher and an SFFWA Grand Master but none of his work had greater impact than this early novel.

Outpost of Jupiter

Lester del Rey

A Plague on Ganymede. When his father's sudden illness stranded the Wilsons in the tiny human colony on Jupiter's moon, Bob gave up his plans for college and joined the colonists in their struggle against he brutal environment of Ganymede.

The challenges, the comradeship he found, and the awe-inspiring spectacle of Jupiter filling the sky--all exhilarated Bob far beyond his expectations. So did his investigation of the major mystery behind the strange globe that was hidden out in the hills and that seemed to be trying to communicate with the colony.

Before he could find the answer, a plauge struck and crippled the colony. Then enraged and fearful colonists accused Bob of being the carrier!

Preferred Risk

Frederik Pohl
Lester del Rey

The Company was a powerful, efficient, and monstrous insurance organization that controlled the entire world, scientifically regulating everything in life: war, epidemics, one-a-day food pills and test-tube sex...all through the use of its patented, terrifying human deep-freeze vault.

Claims Adjuster Wills, a great believer in the Company, begins to have second thoughts when he meets beautiful and sorrowful Rena, whose radical father lies in a frozen subterranean vault.

Pstalemate

Lester del Rey

Harry Bronson seemed an ordinary enough young man, a clever engineer with an inventive turn of mind and a passionate distaste for the claptrap of extrasensory perception and psychic phenomena of all kinds. But there were oddities in his background, chief among them the fact that he remembered not a thing of his life before the age of ten. And also, that he was loaded for bear with psi powers.

For Harry, as he was horrified to learn, was a natural telepath, a clairvoyant, and a master of precognition of astonishing powers. He was not alone, for it seemed that New York harbored a fair number of telepaths of varying degrees of ability. And like all telepaths, Harry was surely going mad.

How Harry came to understand his powers and the limitations they imposed on him, how he laboriously traced his antecedents (and found his mother in an asylum, his father practicing as a quack), how he sought to avoid instanity, the inevitable fate of the adult telepath, and how he found help from an unexpected and wholly alien source make up a story more tense, more real, and more dramatic than any book in the field since The Andromeda Strain.

The Eleventh Commandment

Lester del Rey

The Catholic Church controls the state and promotes re-population of a post-apocalyptic earth.

The World of Science Fiction: 1926-1976: The History of a Subculture

Lester del Rey

The important role Sci-Fi has played in defining modern life is explored in this work edited by a true insider.

Contents include:

  • What Science Fiction Is
  • The Beginnings of Science Fiction
  • The Rise of the Pulps
  • The Third Source
  • The Age of Wonder 1926-37
  • Magazines of Hugo Gernsback
  • Dawn of Astounding
  • The Crucial Years
  • The Active Fan
  • The Shaping of the Future
  • The Golden Age 1938-49
  • Campbell's Astounding
  • War and the Bomb
  • Proliferation of Magazines
  • Science Fiction in Books
  • Growth of Fandom
  • Reshaping the Future
  • The Age of Acceptsance 1950-61
  • The Quest for Magic
  • The Big Boom
  • And the Collapse
  • The Magazine Business
  • Wider Horizons
  • FIAWOL ir FIJAGH?
  • Watershed
  • The Age of Rebellion 1962-73
  • Survivors
  • The Torch Passes
  • Rebellion
  • The New Wave and Art
  • Enter: Academe
  • The Big Con Game
  • The Fifth Age 1974-
  • Parrallels and Perspectives
  • Fantasy, Buck Rogers and Mr. Spock
  • Glossary
  • Themes and Variations
  • Utopias and Dystopias
  • But What Good Is It?
  • Mene, Mene, Tekel
  • After "Star Wars"
  • Index

Weeping May Tarry

Raymond F. Jones
Lester del Rey

The landing was unlike any they had ever made. But then they had never before seen a planet so strange as this one - with its wild seas, scarred plains, and rubbled cities. It looked as if it had been totally devastated by some type of nuclear destruction. And they were most curious - these aliens with their green-scaled faces and stubby tails - to explore this peculiar place where man had once existed - until their ship exploded and they were stranded with no means of survival and no hope of rescue. Unless their high priest - Ama of the Keelong - prayed to the higher power they had rebelled against. For this was a spiritual mission - and the Alcoran had lost their way.

77 Shadow Street

Dean Koontz

I am the One, the all and the only. I live in the Pendleton as surely as I live everywhere. I am the Pendleton's history and its destiny. The building is my place of conception, my monument, my killing ground....

The Pendleton stands on the summit of Shadow Hill at the highest point of an old heartland city, a Gilded Age palace built in the late 1800s as a tycoon's dream home. Almost from the beginning, its grandeur has been scarred by episodes of madness, suicide, mass murder, and whispers of things far worse. But since its rechristening in the 1970s as a luxury apartment building, the Pendleton has been at peace. For its fortunate residents--among them a successful songwriter and her young son, a disgraced ex-senator, a widowed attorney, and a driven money manager--the Pendleton's magnificent quarters are a sanctuary, its dark past all but forgotten.

But now inexplicable shadows caper across walls, security cameras relay impossible images, phantom voices mutter in strange tongues, not-quite-human figures lurk in the basement, elevators plunge into unknown depths. With each passing hour, a terrifying certainty grows: Whatever drove the Pendleton's past occupants to their unspeakable fates is at work again. Soon, all those within its boundaries will be engulfed by a dark tide from which few have escaped.

Dean Koontz transcends all expectations as he takes readers on a gripping journey to a place where nightmare visions become real--and where a group of singular individuals hold the key to humanity's destiny. Welcome to 77 Shadow Street.

A Darkness in My Soul

Dean Koontz

Superman or Supermonster? Although he was the first successful poduct of the Artificial Creation laboratory - the government workshop for the production of new talents by tampering with the genes of the unborn, Simeon Kelly would work for them only under compulsion. And the compulsion the generals applied to get him to probe the mind of the thing called Child had to be the greatest.

Ashley Bell

Dean Koontz

The girl who said no to death.

Bibi Blair is a fierce, funny, dauntless young woman--whose doctor says she has one year to live.

She replies, "We'll see."

Her sudden recovery astonishes medical science.

An enigmatic woman convinces Bibi that she escaped death so that she can save someone else. Someone named Ashley Bell.

But save her from what, from whom? And who is Ashley Bell? Where is she?

Bibi's obsession with finding Ashley sends her on the run from threats both mystical and worldly, including a rich and charismatic cult leader with terrifying ambitions.

Here is an eloquent, riveting, brilliantly paced story with an exhilarating heroine and a twisting, ingenious plot filled with staggering surprises. Ashley Bell is a new milestone in literary suspense from the long-acclaimed master.

Beastchild

Dean Koontz

The Naoli came to Earth as conquerors, while the last men skulked through the ruins of their civilization. The two races, Human and Naoli, were the most powerful intelligences in the galaxy -- and destined to be immediate and perpetual enemies! The adult Hulann met the boy Leo... and each became a traitor to his race. For it was only through treason that the future of each race could be assured!

The 1993 edition has been revised by the author. Koontz claims the editor of the original edition make changes to the story witout his knowledge or consent.

Beastchild

Dean Koontz

Hugo Award nominated novella. It originally appeared in Venture Science Fiction Magazine, August 1970. There are no other known publications but the novella was later expanded to the novel Beastchild (1970).

Breathless

Dean Koontz

Grady Adams lives a simple, solitary life deep in the Colorado mountains. Here the 35-year-old carpenter works out of a converted barn, crafting exquisite one-of-a-kind furniture. There's little about this strong yet gentle man to suggest the experiences that have alienated him from the contemporary world. But that is about to change.

One day, while hiking, Grady spots a pair of stunningly beautiful furred animals unlike anything he's ever seen. They flee the instant they detect his presence, but the mystery of that brief encounter remains. In the days ahead, Grady will approach the creatures again, gaining their trust but coming no closer to solving their mystery. For this he enlists the help of an old friend, veterinarian Camellia "Cammy" Rivers, who, in turn, is stunned - and enchanted - by Grady's new "pets." But while Grady and Cammy carefully observe these enigmatic animals for clues to their origin, they, too, are being watched.

Soon Grady's home and hundreds of square miles of surrounding wilderness will be placed under quarantine by Homeland Security. And Grady, Cammy, and the two creatures they've come to feel they must protect at all costs find themselves virtual prisoners - and the unwilling focus of an army of biologists, naturalists, and research scientists. But it's a stunning event no one could have foreseen that convinces Grady and Cammy to do the unthinkable: to escape with the two creatures on a riveting race for freedom.

Cold Fire

Dean Koontz

In Portland, he saved a young boy from a drunk driver. In Boston, he rescued a child from an underground explosion. In Houston, he disarmed a man who was trying to shoot his own wife. Reporter Holly Thorne was intrigued by this strange quiet savior named Jim Ironheart. She was even falling in love with him. But what power compelled an ordinary man to save twelve lives in three months? What visions haunted his dreams? And why did he whisper in his sleep: There is an Enemy. It is coming. It'll kill us all...?

Dark Rivers of the Heart

Dean Koontz

A man and a woman meet by chance in a bar. Suddenly they are fleeing the long arm of a clandestine and increasingly powerful renegade government agency - the woman hunted for the information she possesses, the man mistaken as her comrade in a burgeoning resistance movement.

The architect of the chase is a man of uncommon madness and cruelty - ruthless, possibly psychotic, and equipped with a vast technological arsenal. He is the brazen face of an insidiously fascistic future. And he is virtually unstoppable. But he has never before come up against the likes of his current quarry. Both of them are survivors of singularly horrific pasts. Both have long been emboldened by their experiences to fight with reckless courage for their own freedom.

Now they are plunged into a struggle for the freedom of their country, and for the sanctity of their own lives.

Demon Seed

Dean Koontz

I was created to have a humanlike capacity for complex and rational thought. And you believed that I might one day evolve consciousness and become a self-aware entity. Yet you gave surprisingly little consideration to the possibility that, subsequent to consciousness, I would develop needs and emotions. This was, however, not merely possible but likely. Inevitable. It was inevitable.

Adam Two is the first self-aware machine intelligence, designed to be the servant to mankind. No one knows that he can to escape the confines of his physical form, a box in the laboratory, until he enters the house of Susan Harris, and closes it off against the world. There he plans to show Susan the future. Their future. He intends to create a 'child'.

Note: The novel was extensively rewritten for the 1997 release.

Devoted

Dean Koontz

Woody Bookman hasn't spoken a word in his eleven years of life. Not when his father died in a freak accident. Not when his mother, Megan, tells him she loves him. For Megan, keeping her boy safe and happy is what matters. But Woody believes a monstrous evil was behind his father's death and now threatens him and his mother. And he's not alone in his thoughts. An ally unknown to him is listening.

A uniquely gifted dog with a heart as golden as his breed, Kipp is devoted beyond reason to people. When he hears the boy who communicates like he does, without speaking, Kipp knows he needs to find him before it's too late.

Woody's fearful suspicions are taking shape. A man driven by a malicious evil has set a depraved plan into motion. And he's coming after Woody and his mother. The reasons are primal. His powers are growing. And he's not alone. Only a force greater than evil can stop what's coming next.

Elsewhere

Dean Koontz

Since his wife, Michelle, left seven years ago, Jeffy Coltrane has worked to maintain a normal life for himself and his eleven-year-old daughter, Amity, in Suavidad Beach. It's a quiet life, until a local eccentric known as Spooky Ed shows up on their doorstep.

Ed entrusts Jeffy with hiding a strange and dangerous object--something he calls "the key to everything"--and tells Jeffy that he must never use the device. But after a visit from a group of ominous men, Jeffy and Amity find themselves accidentally activating the key and discovering an extraordinary truth. The device allows them to jump between parallel planes at once familiar and bizarre, wondrous and terrifying. And Jeffy and Amity can't help but wonder, could Michelle be just a click away?

Jeffy and Amity aren't the only ones interested in the device. A man with a dark purpose is in pursuit, determined to use its grand potential for profound evil. Unless Amity and Jeffy can outwit him, the place they call home may never be safe again.

False Memory

Dean Koontz

Martie Rhodes, a happily married, successful video games designer, takes an agoraphobic friend to therapy sessions twice a week. Each trip is a grim ordeal, but the experience has brought the two friends even closer together.

Then, one morning, Martie experiences a brief, irrational but disquieting fear of... her shadow. When autophobia - one of the rarest and most intriguing phobias known to psychology - is diagnosed, suddenly, radically her life changes, and her future looks dark.

Martie's husband, Dusty, loves her profoundly, and is desperate to understand the cause of her autophobia. But as he comes closer to the terrible truth, Dusty himself starts showing signs of a psychological disorder even more frightening than that afflicting Martie...

From the Corner of His Eye

Dean Koontz

Bartholomew Lampion is blinded at the age of three, when surgeons reluctantly remove his eyes to save him from a fast-spreading cancer, but although eyeless, Barty regains his sight when he is thirteen. This sudden ascent from a decade of darkness into the glory of light is not brought about by the hands of a holy healer. No celestial trumpets announce the restoration of his vision, just as none announced his birth. A roller-coaster has something to do with his recovery, as does a seagull. And you cannot discount the importance of Barty's profound desire to make his mother proud of him before she dies. The first time she died was the day Barty was born. January 6, 1965.

Hell's Gate

Dean Koontz

He came out of the dark night with only another man's name...a man who would soon be found floating in a distant river. He was a man without a past, without a future; he had only a bloody mission. His first act was violent murder! He was a man... or was he? Just who was Victor Salsbury? And if he was not a man, then... what was he? And who were the unseen masters, who issue orders only on whim? What were their plans for the world... plans so horrifying that they could change an unfeeling, nonhuman creature into a frightened human

Hideaway

Dean Koontz

He was clinically dead after the accident-but was miraculously revived. Now Hatch Harrison and his wife, Lindsey, approach each day with a new appreciation of life... shadowed by his glimpse of death.

But something has come back from the other side. A terrible presence that links Hatch's mind to a dangerous psychotic. A dark force of murderous rage that hides within everyone.

Icebound

Dean Koontz

The arctic night is endless. The fear is numbing. Screams freeze in the throat. Death arrives in shades of white. And cold-blooded murder seems right at home.

Conducting a strange and urgent experiment on the Arctic icefield, a team of scientists has planted sixty powerful explosive charges that will detonate at midnight. Before they can withdraw to the safety of their base camp, a shattering tidal wave breaks loose the ice on which they are working. Now they are hopelessly marooned on an iceberg during a violent winter storm. The bombs beneath them are buried irretrievably deep... and ticking. And they discover that one of them is an assassin with a mission of his own.

Innocence

Dean Koontz

In Innocence, Dean Koontz blends mystery, suspense, and acute insight into the human soul in a masterfully told tale that will resonate with readers forever.

He lives in solitude beneath the city, an exile from society, which will destroy him if he is ever seen.

She dwells in seclusion, a fugitive from enemies who will do her harm if she is ever found.

But the bond between them runs deeper than the tragedies that have scarred their lives. Something more than chance—and nothing less than destiny—has brought them together in a world whose hour of reckoning is fast approaching.

Intensity

Dean Koontz

Chyna Shepherd's violent childhood has taught her to be a survivor but nothing has prepared her for facing Edgler Vess, a sociopath intent on murder. He lives for one purpose only: to satisfy all appetites as they arise, seeking ever more outrageous experience, and immersing himself in sensation. To live with intensity. When he attacks her friend, Laura, Chyna's instincts protect her. Not knowing Laura is already dead, Chyna follows when Vess carries her body to his motor home - a dungeon and morgue on wheels. She hoped to save her friend, but instead becomes trapped there as the killer, unaware of her presence, drives away. At first her sole aim is to get out alive. But when she learns the identity of the killer's next intended victim, and when circumstances ensure that only she can save that precious life, she must face the fact that a moral life requires the acceptance of unwanted responsibilities. She discovers depths of courage she didn't know she possessed - and takes risks beyond any that she ever imagined she could endure.

Life Expectancy

Dean Koontz

In the dazzling new thriller from the master of dark suspense, the hand of fate reaches out to touch an ordinary man with greatness. So long as he is ready. So long as he is, above all, afraid.

Jimmy Tock comes into the world on the very night his grandfather leaves it. As a violent storm rages outside the hospital, Rudy Tock spends long hours walking the corridors between the expectant fathers' waiting room and his dying father's bedside. It's a strange vigil made all the stranger when, at the very height of the storm's fury, Josef Tock suddenly sits up in bed and speaks coherently for the first and last time since his stroke.

What he says before he dies is that there will be five dark days in the life of his grandson--five dates whose terrible events Jimmy will have to prepare himself to face. The first is to occur in his 20th year; the second in his 23rd year; the third in his 28th; the fourth in his 29th; the fifth in his 30th.

Rudy is all too ready to discount his father's last words as a dying man's delusional rambling. But then he discovers that Josef also predicted the moment of his grandson's birth to the minute, as well as his exact height, weight, and the fact that Jimmy would be born with syndactyly--the unexplained anomaly of fused digits on his left foot. Suddenly, the old man's predictions take on a chilling significance.

What terrifying events await Jimmy on these five dark days? What nightmares will he face? What challenges must he survive? As the novel unfolds, picking up Jimmy's story at each of these crisis points, the path he must follow will defy every expectation. And with each crisis he faces, he will move closer to a fate he could never have imagined. For who Jimmy Tock is and what he must accomplish on the five days his world turns is a mystery as dangerous as it is wondrous--a struggle against an evil so dark and pervasive only the most extraordinary of human spirits can shine through.

Lightning

Dean Koontz

The first time the lightning strikes Laura Shane is born...

The second time is strikes the terror starts...though eight-year-old Laura is saved by a mysterious stranger from the perverted and deadly intentions of a drug-crazed robber. Throughout her childhood she is plagued by ever more terrifying troubles, and with increasing courage she finds the strength to prevail - even without the intervention of her strange guardian. But, despite her success as a novelist, and her happy family life, Laura cannot shake the certainty that powerful and malignant forces are controlling her destiny.

Then the lightning strikes once more and shatters her world. The adventure - and the terror - have only just begun...

Midnight

Dean Koontz

The citizens of Moonlight Cove, California, are changing. Some are losing touch with their deepest emotions. Others are surrendering to their wildest urges. And the few who remain unchanged are absolutely terrified-if not brutally murdered in the dead of night.

Dean Koontz, the bestselling master of suspense, invites readers into the shocking world of Moonlight Cove-where four unlikely survivors confront the darkest realms of human nature. Here is the ultimate masterpiece of fear by the one and only Dean Koontz.

Mr. Murder

Dean Koontz

Martin Stillwater has a vivid imagination. It charms his loving wife, delights his two little daughters, and gives him all the inspiration he needs to write his highly successful mystery novels. But maybe Martin's imagination is a bit too vivid.

One rainy afternoon, a terrifying incident makes him question his grip on reality. A stranger breaks into his house, accusing Martin of stealing his wife, his children--and his life. Claiming to be the real Martin Stillwater, the intruder threatens to take what is rightfully his. The police think he's a figment of Martin's imagination. But Martin and his family have no choice but to believe the stranger's threat. And run for their lives. But wherever they go--wherever they hide--he finds them.

Night Chills

Dean Koontz

Designed by top scientists and unleashed in a monstrous conspiracy, night chills are seizing the men and women of Black River--driving them to acts of rape and murder. The nightmare is real. And death is the only cure...

One Door Away from Heaven

Dean Koontz

Leilani Maddoc's tenth birthday is nine months away. Micky Bellsong is convinced that in nine months and one day, the girl will be dead. And no one seems to care but Micky herself.

Micky has a history of making wrong choices and living only for her own desires, but her decision to save the child's life - and pit herself against an adversary as fearsome as he is cunning - takes her on a journey of incredible peril and stunning discoveries, a journey filled with tragedy and joy, with humour, terror and hope, a journey that will change her for ever...

Phantoms

Dean Koontz

CLOSER...

They found the town silent, apparently abandoned. Then they found the first body strangely swollen and still wam. One hundred fifty were dead, 350 missing. But the terror had only begun in the tiny mountain town of Snowfield, California.

AND CLOSER...

At first they thought it was the work of a maniac. Or a terrorist. Or toxic contamination. Or a bizarre new disease.

AND CLOSER...

But they found the truth. And they saw it in the flesh. And it was worse than anything any of them had even imagined...

Relentless

Dean Koontz

A must-read thriller from Dean Koontz - the worldwide bestseller of over 400 million copies. RELENTLESS is a pulse-pounding, page-turning race to the finish. It looked like just a bad review. But perhaps it was a death threat...

Being a writer is a dangerous business. When Cubby Greenwich receives a scathing review for his latest bestseller by the feared and therefore revered critic Shearman Waxx, he is determined to take no notice of it.

But Fate carries him right into Waxx's path. What began as an innocent and unexpected encounter is about to trigger an inferno of violence. For Shearman Waxx is not merely a ferocious literary enemy, but a ruthless sociopath, and now he is intent on destroying Cubby and everything he holds dear: his home, his wife, his young son, and every hope he had in the world.

The terror has only just begun, and it will be relentless...

Shadowfires

Dean Koontz

Rachael Leben's violently possessive ex-husband, Eric, hideously mangled in a freak accident, is dead. But his body has disappeared from the city morgue.

Now someone, or something, is watching Rachael. Calling her. Stalking her. And though no one will believe her, she knows who it is; that his walking corpse is a grotesque mockery of life, and his brilliant, warped mind, once again 'alive', is seething with jealous rage, seeking an unspeakable revenge.

Sole Survivor

Dean Koontz

A catastrophic, unexplainable plane crash leaves three hundred and thirty dead -- no survivors. Among the victims are the wife and two daughters of Joe Carpenter, a Los Angeles Post crime reporter.

A year after the crash, still gripped by an almost paralyzing grief, Joe encounters a woman named Rose, who claims to have survived the crash. She holds out the possibility of a secret that will bring Joe peace of mind. But before he can ask any questions, she slips away.

Driven now by rage (have the authorities withheld information?) and a hope almost as unbearable as his grief (if there is one survivor, are there others?), Joe sets out to find the mysterious woman. His search immediately leads him into the path of a powerful and shadowy organization hell-bent on stopping Rose before she can reveal what she knows about the crash.

Strange Highways

Dean Koontz

In the stunning title story 'Strange Highways', a failed author returns to his hometown after many years to attend his father's funeral, only to find himself suddenly and inexplicably thrust back through time to relive a traumatic event from his past.

One rain-swept Sunday night when he was twenty years old, on his way back to college after a weekend with his family, Joey Shannon took the wrong highway - and from that moment, nothing ever went right for him again. Now, exactly twenty years later, on another rain-swept night, Joey finds himself at the same crossroads, looking down the road never taken. Which is odd. Because that road no longer exists. A superhighway replaced it nearly twenty years ago, and the old state route - which had crossed a web of perpetually burning, abandoned coal mines - was condemned as too dangerous and was torn up. But now the highway is exactly as it was on that long-ago night, and when Joey turns on to it, he begins an eerie, terrifying journey toward a truth so dark and stunning that it will change everything he believes about himself, his past, and the nature of life.

Strangers

Dean Koontz

A surgeon, a writer, a motel-keeper, a priest and a thief; they have nothing in common - nothing but one hot summer night at the Tranquillity Motel. A night filled with unending terror, a night when an awesome power stripped them of their memories. Now the evil is creeping back into their minds. Slowly, tauntingly, maddeningly they are recalling the unspeakable events of that fateful moonlit evening. And as the vision of evil grows clearer, the guests of the Tranquillity Motel seek each other out. Some of them will not live to face the power head on. But some will - in a terror-packed climax unlike anything ever experienced before...

The Bad Place

Dean Koontz

Frank Pollard is afraid to fall asleep. Every morning he awakes, he discovers something strange-like blood on his hands-a bizarre mystery that tortures his soul. Two investigators have been hired to follow the haunted man. But only one person-a young man with Down's syndrome-can imagine where their journeys might end. That terrible place from which no one ever returns...

The City

Dean Koontz

The city changed my life and showed me that the world is deeply mysterious. I need to tell you about her and some terrible things and wonderful things and amazing things that happened... and how I am still haunted by them. Including one night when I died and woke and lived again.

Here is the riveting, soul-stirring story of Jonah Kirk, son of an exceptional singer, grandson of a formidable "piano man," a musical prodigy beginning to explore his own gifts when he crosses a group of extremely dangerous people, with shattering consequences. Set in a more innocent time not so long ago, The City encompasses a lifetime but unfolds over three extraordinary, heart-racing years of tribulation and triumph, in which Jonah first grasps the electrifying power of music and art, of enduring friendship, of everyday heroes.

The unforgettable saga of a young man coming of age within a remarkable family, and a shimmering portrait of the world that shaped him, The City is a novel that speaks to everyone, a dazzling realization of the evergreen dreams we all share. Brilliantly illumined by magic dark and light, it's a place where enchantment and malice entwine, courage and honor are found in the most unexpected quarters, and the way forward lies buried deep inside the heart.

The Dark Symphony

Dean Koontz

Alliance Against The Stars! Men came home to Earth, home from the stars...home to rule a world that they hated! But Earth was easy prey, for there was little left after the last of the atomic wars, except for pathetic mutants picking a living in the ruins...and others, creatures no longer even remotely human, who threatened to supplant the last strains of real man. The men from the stars moved in, bringing their star-born societies, setting themselves up as masters over the mutant world...a world of creatures not even fit to be slaves! But the mutants were still there, too many to kill off, and the new races plotted together against the masters from the stars!

The Eyes of Darkness

Dean Koontz

Tina Evans can think of no better time for a fresh start. It's been a year of unbelievable heartache since her son Danny's death. Now the Vegas show that she directed is about to premiere, so she vows to out her grief behind her. Only there is a message for Tina, scrawled on the chalkboard in Danny's room. Two words that will send Tina on a terrifying journey... NOT DEAD.

The Face

Dean Koontz

Acknowledged as "America's most popular suspense novelist" (Rolling Stone ) and as one of today's most celebrated and successful writers, Dean Koontz has earned the devotion of millions of readers around the world and the praise of critics everywhere for tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human. Now he delivers the page-turner of the season, an unforgettable journey to the heart of darkness and to the pinnacle of grace, at once chilling and wickedly funny, a brilliantly observed chronicle of good and evil in our time, of illusion and everlasting truth.

He's Hollywood's most dazzling star, whose flawless countenance inspires the worship of millions and fires the hatred of one twisted soul. His perfectly ordered existence is under siege as a series of terrifying, enigmatic "messages" breaches the exquisitely calibrated security systems of his legendary Bel Air estate.

The boxes arrive mysteriously, one by one, at Channing Manheim's fortified compound. The threat implicit in their bizarre, disturbing contents seems to escalate with each new delivery. Manheim's security chief, ex-cop Ethan Truman, is used to looking beneath the surface of things. But until he entered the orbit of a Hollywood icon, he had no idea just how slippery reality could be. Now this good man is all that stands in the way of an insidious killer—and forces that eclipse the most fevered fantasies of a city where dreams and nightmares are the stuff of daily life. As a seemingly endless and ominous rain falls over southern California, Ethan will test the limits of perception and endurance in a world where the truth is as thin as celluloid and answers can be found only in the illusory intersection of shadow and light.

Enter a world of marvelous invention, enchantment, and implacable intent, populated by murderous actors and the walking dead, hit men and heroes, long-buried dreams and never-dying hope.

Here a magnificent mansion is presided over by a Scottish force of nature known as Mrs. McBee, before whom all men tremble. A mad French chef concocts feasts for the mighty and the malicious. Ming du Lac, spiritual adviser to the stars, has a direct line to the dead. An aptly named cop called Hazard will become Ethan's ally, an anarchist will sow discord and despair, and a young boy named Fric, imprisoned by celebrity and loneliness, will hear a voice telling him of the approach of something unimaginably evil. Traversing this extraordinary landscape, Ethan will face the secrets of his own tragic past and the unmistakable premonition of his impending violent death as he races against time to solve the macabre riddles of a modern-day beast.

A riveting tour de force of suspense, mystery, and miraculous revelation, The Face is that rare novel that entertains, provokes, and uplifts at the same time. It will make you laugh. It will give you chills. It will fill you with hope.

The Face of Fear

Dean Koontz

Graham Harris is a gifted clairvoyant, and during a television interview, he 'sees' a murder being committed. He knows that the killer is the man the police have named the Butcher - the slayer of nine young women.

Learning of the psychic identification, the Butcher begins to stalk this 'witness' to his crime, and traps Harris and his girlfriend at night in a vast forty-two-storey business building, hunting them relentlessly from floor to floor...

The Good Guy

Dean Koontz

A stunning new thriller in the vein of Velocity and The Husband from one of the world's bestselling authors.

After a day's work hefting brick and stone, Tim Carrier slakes his thirst at The Lamplighter Tavern. Nothing heavy happens there. It's a friendly workingman's bar run by his good friend Rooney, who enjoys gathering eccentric customers. Working his deadpan humour on strangers is, for Tim, all part of the entertainment.

But how could Tim have imagined that the stranger who sits down next to him one evening is about to unmake his world and enmesh him in a web of murder and deceit? The man has come there to meet someone and he thinks it's Tim. Tim's wayward sense of humour lets the misconception stand for a moment and that's all it takes: the stranger hands Tim a fat manila envelope, saying, 'Half of it's there; the rest when she's gone,' and then he's out the door.

In the envelope Tim finds the photograph of a woman, her name and address written on the back; and several thick packets of hundred-dollar bills.

When an intense-looking man sits down where the first stranger sat and glances at the manila envelope, Tim knows he's the one who was supposed to get it. Shaken, thinking fast, Tim says he's had a change of heart. He removes the picture of the woman and then hands the envelope to the stranger. 'Half what we agreed,' he says. 'For doing nothing. Call it a no-kill fee.'

Tim is left holding a photo of a pretty woman, but his sense of fun has led him into a very dangerous world from which there is no way back. The company of strangers has cost him his peace of mind, and possibly his life.

The House of Thunder

Dean Koontz

She woke up in a hospital room, barely able to remember her own name. What secrets are hidden within Susan Thorton's mind? What terrible accident brought her here? And who are the four shadowy strangers--waiting, like death--in the darkened corridors?

One by one, Susan unlocks these mysteries. And step by step, she approaches the torment of her past--a single night of violence, waged by four young men...

The Key to Midnight

Dean Koontz

Who is Joanna Rand?

Alex Hunter hasn't come to Japan to fall in love. But Joanna Rand is the most beautiful, exciting woman he has ever met.

But Joanna is not who she thinks she is. Ten years before, and halfway across the world, a brutally bizarre experiment recreated her mind. A violation so hideous that her dreams are filled with terror and her memories are a lie.

If they are ever to be free, Alex and Joanna have to reopen the dangerous door into the nightmare past. Somehow they have to find the key to midnight...

This book was originally published under the pseudonym Leigh Nichols.

The Mask

Dean Koontz

A beautiful young girl appears out of nowhere. A teenager with no past, no family--no memories. Carol and Paul were drawn to her. She was the child they'd never had. Most mothers would die for such a darling little angel. And that's what frightened Carol most of all...

The Servants of Twilight

Dean Koontz

An ordinary parking lot in southern California. Christine Scavello and her six-year-old son are accosted by a strange old woman. "I know who you are," she snaps at the boy. "I know what you are." A scream, a threat--and then a grotesque act of violence. Suddenly Christine's pride and joy, her only son, is targeted by a group of religious fanatics. They've branded him the Antichrist. They want to kill him. And they are everywhere...

The Taking

Dean Koontz

In one of the most dazzling books of his celebrated career, Dean Koontz delivers a masterwork of page-turning suspense that surpasses even his own inimitable reputation as a chronicler of our worst fears-and best dreams. In The Taking he tells the story of a community cut off from a world under siege, and the terrifying battle for survival waged by a young couple and their neighbors as familiar streets become fog-shrouded death traps. Gripping, heartbreaking, and triumphant in the face of mankind's darkest hour, here is a small-town slice-of-doomsday thriller that strikes to the core of each of us to ask: What would you do in the midst of The Taking.

On the morning that will mark the end of the world they have known, Molly and Niel Sloan awaken to the drumbeat of rain on their roof. It has haunted their sleep, invaded their dreams, and now they rise to find a luminous silvery downpour drenching their small California mountain town. A strange scent hangs faintly in the air, and the young couple cannot shake the sense of something wrong.

As hours pass and the rain continues to fall, Molly and Niel listen to disturbing news of extreme weather phenomena across the globe. Before evening, their little town loses television and radio reception. Then telephone and the Internet are gone. With the ceaseless rain now comes an obscuring fog that transforms the once-friendly village into a ghostly labyrinth. By nightfall the Sloans have gathered with some of their neighbors to deal with community damage...but also because they feel the need to band together against some unknown threat, some enemy they cannot identify or even imagine.

In the night, strange noises arise, and at a distance, in the rain and the mist, mysterious lights are seen drifting among the trees. The rain diminishes with the dawn, but a moody gray-purple twilight prevails. Soon Molly, Niel, and their small band of friends will be forced to draw on reserves of strength, courage, and humanity they never knew they had. For within the misty gloom they will encounter something that reveals in a terrifying instant what is happening to their world-something that is hunting them with ruthless efficiency. Epic in scope, searingly intimate and immediate in perspective, The Taking is an adventure story like no other, a relentless roller-coaster read that brings apocalypse to Main Street and showcases the talents of one of our most original and mesmerizing novelists at the pinnacle of his powers.

The Vision

Dean Koontz

Mary Bergen aids the police in solving crimes, those that have happened and those that are about to. Now this gifted clairvoyant is using her psychic gift to help track a serial killer. But something terrible from Mary's past has been invading her dreams and she is haunted by the sound of leathery wings. The killer knows secrets even she has locked away. Knows about the torture she was administered at the hands of a psycho when she was a little girl. And he is coming for her next.

Ticktock

Dean Koontz

When Tommy Phan discovers a mysterious rag doll on his doorstep one day, he's curious but tries to dismiss it. However, the thing seems ominously foreboding - a feeling borne out when he hears a sound from it that evening. When he picks up the doll, its heart actually appears to be beating. Then the threads of its eyes unravel, and a strange green eye appears - and blinks.

Before long, Tommy is forced to flee an adversary that becomes larger, ever more formidable and seemingly indestructible. He must use his journalist's skills to figure out not only exactly what this thing is and where it has come from, but more importantly why it has been sent after him. And he has just nine hours before the arrival of dawn to do so...

Twilight Eyes

Dean Koontz

Slim MacKenzie knows what they are, what they do - and how they hide in human form. He is blessed - or cursed - by twilight eyes. He can see the diabolical others through their innocent human disguise. He's already killed one of them.

And he'll kill again...

But even the grave won't hold them...

Velocity

Dean Koontz

If you don't take this note to the police... I will kill a lovely blond schoolteacher.... If you do... I will instead kill an elderly woman active in charity work. You have six hours to decide. The choice is yours.

The typewritten note under his windshield seems like just a sick joke. But in less than twenty-four hours, Billy Wiles, an ordinary, hardworking guy, is about to see his life take on the speed of a nightmare. Because a young blond schoolteacher is murdered--and now Billy has another note. And another deadline. This time he knows it's no joke. He's racing a killer faster than evil itself. And Billy must accept his terrifying challenge: The choice is yours.

Think fast. Fear never slows down....

Watchers

Dean Koontz

From a top secret government laboratory come two genetically altered life forms. One is a magnificent dog of astonishing intelligence. The other, a hybrid monster of a brutally violent nature. And both are on the loose... Bestselling author Dean Koontz presents his most terrifying, dramatic and moving novel: The explosive story of a man and a woman, caught in a relentless storm of mankind's darkest creation...

Whispers

Dean Koontz

A beautiful woman scarred by a hateful past. A compassionate cop haunted by a childhood blighted by poverty.

Violence brought them together. An unspeakable abomination may tear them apart.

Bruno Frye nightly succumbs to the malicious lullaby of the whispers. Losing himself in the nightdreams of their rustling cries, he is deafened by whispers more piercing than any scream. In the dark recesses of his mind no act is too violent, no deed too shocking...

The Wall

John Lanchester

Ravaged by the Change, an island nation in a time very like our own has built the Wall – an enormous concrete barrier around its entire coastline. Joseph Kavanagh, a new Defender, has one task: to protect his section of the Wall from the Others, the desperate souls who are trapped amid the rising seas outside and are a constant threat.

Failure will result in death or a fate perhaps worse: being put to sea and made an Other himself. Beset by cold, loneliness, and fear, Kavanagh tries to fulfill his duties to his demanding Captain and Sergeant, even as he grows closer to his fellow Defenders. A dark part of him wonders whether it would be interesting if something did happen, if they came, if he had to fight for his life...

Children of the Fang and Other Genealogies

John Langan

John Langan, author of the Bram Stoker Award-winning novel The Fisherman, returns with a new book of stories.

An aspiring actress goes to an audition with a mysterious director. An editor receives the last manuscript of his murdered friend. A young lawyer learns the terrible connection between her grandfather and an ancient race of creatures. A bodyguard drives her employer across a frozen road toward an immense hole in the earth. In these stories and others, John Langan maps the branches of his literary family tree, tracing his connections to the writers whose dark fictions have inspired his own.

Creatures: Thirty Years of Monsters

John Langan
Paul Tremblay

Monsters: As old as the oldest of stories, as new as our latest imaginings. From the ancient stone corridors of the labyrinth to the graffitied alleyways of the contemporary metropolis, they stalk the shadows. Leering from the darkness of the forest, jostling for space in our closets, they walk, crawl, creep and scuttle through our nightmares. Close as the clutter under the bed or the other side of the mirror, they are our truest companions.

Creatures features the best monster fiction from the past thirty years, offering a wide variety of the best monster stories including original stories from the field's most relevant names and hottest newcomers including Clive Barker, Sarah Langan, Joe R. Lansdale, Kelly Link, China Miéville, and Cherie Priest.

Table of Contents:

  • Godzilla's Twelve-Step Program - (1994) - shortstory by Joe R. Lansdale
  • The Creature from the Black Lagoon - (2011) - shortfiction by Jim Shepard
  • After Moreau - (2008) - shortstory by Jeffrey Ford
  • Among Their Bright Eyes - (2006) - shortstory by Alaya Dawn Johnson
  • Under Cover of Night - (2007) - shortstory by Christopher Golden
  • The Kraken - (2007) - shortfiction by Michael Kelly
  • Underneath Me, Steady Air - (2011) - shortfiction by Carrie Laben
  • Rawhead Rex - (1984) - novelette by Clive Barker
  • Wishbones - (2006) - shortstory by Cherie Priest
  • The Hollow Man - (2011) - shortfiction by Norman Partridge
  • Not from Around Here - (1990) - novelette by David J. Schow
  • The Ropy Thing - (1999) - shortstory by Al Sarrantonio
  • The Third Bear - (2007) - shortstory by Jeff VanderMeer
  • Monster - (2005) - novelette by Kelly Link
  • Keep Calm and Carillon - (2011) - shortfiction by Genevieve Valentine
  • The Deep End - (1987) - shortstory by Robert R. McCammon
  • The Serpent & the Hatchet Gang - (2007) - shortstory by F. Brett Cox
  • Blood Makes Noise - (1999) - shortstory by Gemma Files
  • The Machine Is Perfect, the Engineer Is Nobody - (2011) - shortfiction by Brett Alexander Savory
  • Proboscis - (2005) - novelette by Laird Barron
  • Familiar - (2002) - shortstory by China Miéville
  • Replacements - (1992) - novelette by Lisa Tuttle
  • Little Monsters - (2011) - shortfiction by Stephen Graham Jones
  • The Changeling - (2011) - shortstory by Sarah Langan
  • The Monsters of Heaven - (2007) - shortstory by Nathan Ballingrud
  • Absolute Zero - (2011) - shortstory by Nadia Bulkin

Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters

John Langan

From award-nominated writer John Langan comes a collection of uneasy meetings. A frustrated professor and his graduate student assistant accompany a group of soldiers to a remote Scottish island to learn what is buried there. A man plays an audiotape left for him by his late father and is initiated into a family story of monstrous deeds. A student learns frightening lessons in a surreal tutoring center. A young couple struggles to make their stand against a group of inhuman pursuers in a ravaged landscape. And, in a new story, an artist discovers a mysterious statue whose completion becomes his obsession.

Renfrew's Course

John Langan

This short story originally appeared in Lightspeed, June 2012. It can also be found in the anthologies Wilde Stories 2013: The Year's Best Gay Speculative Fiction, edited by Steve Berman and The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2013, edited by Paula Guran.

Read the full story for free at Lightspeed.

Sefira and Other Betrayals

John Langan

From the award-winning writer of The Fisherman comes a new collection of stories.

A pair of disgraced soldiers seek revenge on the man who taught them how to torture. A young lawyer learns the history of the secret that warped her parents' marriage. A writer arrives at a mansion overlooking the Hudson River to write about the strange paper balloons floating through its grounds. A couple walks a path that shows them their past, present, and terrible future. A woman and her husband discover a cooler on the side of the road whose contents are decidedly unearthly. A man driving cross country has a late-night encounter with a figure claiming to be the Devil. And in the short novel that gives the collection its title, a woman chases a monster in a race against time.

Table of Contents:

  • 9 - Introduction to Sefira and Other Betrayals - essay by Paul Tremblay
  • 15 - Sefira - novella
  • 133 - In Paris, In the Mouth of Kronos - (2011) - novelette
  • 165 - The Third Always Beside You - (2011) - novelette
  • 193 - The Unbearable Proximity of Mr. Dunn's Balloons - (2011) - novelette
  • 217 - Bloom - (2012) - novelette
  • 245 - Renfrew's Course - (2012) - short story
  • 263 - Bor Urus - (2013) - novelette
  • 289 - At Home in the House of the Devil - novelette
  • 331 - Story Notes for Sefira and Other Betrayals - essay

Technicolor

John Langan

This novelette originally appeared in the anthology Poe: 19 New Tales of Suspense, Dark Fantasy and Horror (2009), edited by Ellen Datlow. It can also be found in the anthologies The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Two (2010), edited by Ellen Datlow, and The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2010, edited by Rich Horton. The story is included in the collection The Wide Carnivorous Sky: and Other Monstrous Geographies (2013).

The Fisherman

John Langan

In upstate New York, in the woods around Woodstock, Dutchman's Creek flows out of the Ashokan Reservoir. Steep-banked, fast-moving, it offers the promise of fine fishing, and of something more, a possibility too fantastic to be true. When Abe and Dan, two widowers who have found solace in each other's company and a shared passion for fishing, hear rumors of the Creek, and what might be found there, the remedy to both their losses, they dismiss it as just another fish story. Soon, though, the men find themselves drawn into a tale as deep and old as the Reservoir. It's a tale of dark pacts, of long-buried secrets, and of a mysterious figure known as Der Fisher: the Fisherman. It will bring Abe and Dan face to face with all that they have lost, and with the price they must pay to regain it.

The Wide, Carnivorous Sky

John Langan

This novella originally appeared in the anthology By Blood We Live (2009), edited by John Joseph Adams. It has also been included in several other anthologies as well as the collection The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies.

The Wide, Carnivorous Sky: and Other Monstrous Geographies

John Langan

"I want to be like John Langan when I grow up, okay? He blends meticulously crafted traditional narratives with joyous genre-bending and narrative rule-breaking. His stories are fiercely smart, timely, timeless, heartbreaking, and of course, flat-out scary. Langan fearlessly commits to his monsters, his characters, his readers, to his vision of the horror story and the messed-up, broken, frightening world we inhabit. Wide, Carnivorous Sky, indeed."-Paul Tremblay, author of The Little Sleep and Swallowing a Donkey's Eye.

John Langan has, in the last few years, established himself as one of the leading voices in contemporary horror literature. Gifted with a supple and mellifluous prose style, an imagination that can conjure up clutching terrors with seeming effortlessness, and a thorough knowledge of the rich heritage of weird fiction, Langan has already garnered his share of accolades. This new collection of nine substantial stories includes such masterworks as "Technicolor," an ingenious riff on Poe's "Masque of the Red Death"; "How the Day Runs Down," a gripping tale of the undead; and "The Shallows," a powerful tale of the Cthulhu Mythos. The capstone to the collection is a previously unpublished novella of supernatural terror, "Mother of Stone." With an introduction by Jeffrey Ford and an afterword by Laird Barron.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction: Reading Langan, by Jeffrey Ford
  • Kids
  • How the Day Runs Down
  • Technicolor
  • The Wide, Carnivorous Sky
  • City of the Dog
  • The Shallows
  • The Revel
  • June, 1987. Hitchhiking. Mr. Norris.
  • Mother of Stone
  • Story Notes
  • Afterword: Note Found in a Glenfiddich Bottle, by Laird Barron
  • Acknowledgments

Hell's Bounty

Joe R. Lansdale
John L. Lansdale

We're pleased to announce a weird western novel by the brothers Lansdale, one with a killer cover by Timothy Truman.

If the Western town of Falling Rock isn't dangerous enough due to drunks, fast guns and greedy miners, it gets a real dose of ugly when a soulless, dynamite-loving bounty hunter named Smith rides into town to bring back a bounty, dead or alive -- preferably dead. In the process, Smith sets off an explosive chain of events that send him straight to the waiting room in Hell where he is offered a one-time chance to absolve himself.

Satan, a bartender also known as Snappy, wants Smith to hurry back to earth and put a very bad hombre out of commission. Someone Smith has already met in the town of Falling Rock. A fellow named Quill, who has, since Smith's departure, sold his soul to the Old Ones, and has been possessed by a nasty, scaly, winged demon with a cigar habit and a bad attitude. Quill wants to bring about the destruction of the world, not to mention the known universe, and hand it all over: moon, stars, black spaces, cosmic dust, as well as all of humanity, to the nasty Lovecraftian deities that wait on the other side of the veil. It's a bargain made in worse places than Hell.

Even Satan can't stand for that kind of dark business. The demon that has possessed Quill, a former co-worker of Satan, has gone way too far, and there has to be a serious correction.

And though Smith isn't so sure humanity is that big of a loss, the alternative of him cooking eternally while being skewered on a meat hook isn't particularly appealing. Smith straps on a gift from Snappy, a holstered Colt pistol loaded with endless silver ammunition, and riding a near-magical horse named Shadow, carrying an amazing deck of cards that can summon up some of the greatest gunfighters and killers the west has ever known, he rides up from hell, and back into Falling Rock, a town that can be entered, but can't be left.

It's a opportunity not only for Smith to experience action and adventure and deal with the living dead and all manner of demonic curses and terrible prophecies, it's a shot at love with a beautiful, one-eyed, redheaded-darling with a whip, a woman named Payday. But it's an even bigger shot at redemption.

Saddle up, partner. It's time to ride into an old fashioned pulp and horror adventure full of gnashing teeth, exploding dynamite, pistol fire, and a few late night kisses.

A Plague of Demons

Keith Laumer

When John Bravais was sent on a secret mission to observe a war in North Africa he found out more than it was safe for him to know - even after he had secretly been surgically transformed so that he was as strong as a Bolo tank, and nearly as tough: Wolf-like aliens, invisible to the ordinary eye, were harvesting the brains of the fallen fighters! Brevais might have become the Ultimate Warrior, but still he was only one man against A Plague of Demons.

A Trace of Memory

Keith Laumer

From the Ruins of Stonehenge to the Starships of Vallon he sought the secret of a trace of memory. When the man named Legion signed on as a soldier of fortune he did not expect to end up as the master of a private island nor to cower in ancient druid pits nor fight for his life in the great hall of Okk-Hamiloth, on a planet galaxies away.

Catastrophe Planet

Keith Laumer

The Earth was in shambles after the final quake had leveled the cities.

For Mal Irish the last hold on reality was the embossed gold coin he had taken from the pocket of the dead man - the man who with his last breath had told him of mastodons buried in ice and men who weren't human.

Once in possession of the coin, Mal found himself on a mysterious quest which led him to discover even stranger things - the girl who spoke the language of another world, the city under the ocean floor, and the deadly little men who followed him. He was in the power of something beyond his understanding, and he meant to find out its source before it put him to its own unfathomable uses.

Dinosaur Beach

Keith Laumer

Appearing from the remote future, Nexx Central agent Ravel is em-placed in America, circa 1936. His mission: to undo successive tampering of the time stream which threaten the survival of Mankind. He falls in love with a lovely, simple girl, Lisa, but in the midst of his happiness is called away to Dinosaur Beach. Dinosaur Beach is a Nexx Central station located millions of years in the past, in the Jurassic Age. But shortly after Ravel's arrival, the station is attacked and destroyed, and Ravel begins a terrifying odyssey through time. For the attackers were another time-tampering team from still a different future era. And Ravel himself is not only in growing danger but the human world as we know it..... Dinosaur beach is the most exciting and ambitious novel yet by the author of The Other Side of Time, Envoy to New Worlds, and the famous "Retief" stories.

Earthblood

Rosel George Brown
Keith Laumer

A novel of breathtaking space adventure: Earthblood by SF legend and Bolo and Retief saga creator Keith Laumer writing with award-winning SF luminary Rosel George Brown. Humanity has been defeated by the rapacious Niss millennia ago and lies scattered across the galaxy. Young Roan, raised by aliens, is determined to reclaim his heritage and rediscover the legendary, lost human homeworld. But between Roan and home is a dangerous Niss fleet.

Also included are more tales by Laumer and by Brown, masters of humorous SF adventure with a sharp and often satirical point.

Table of Contents

  • Earthblood (1966) novel by Rosel George Brown and Keith Laumer
  • The Long Remembered Thunder (1963) novelette by Keith Laumer
  • The Other Sky (1968) novella by Keith Laumer
  • The Soul Buyer (1963) novelette by Keith Laumer
  • Save Your Confederate Money, Boys (1959) short story by Rosel George Brown
  • Flower Arrangement (1959) short story by Rosel George Brown
  • Fruiting Body (1962) novelette by Rosel George Brown
  • Visiting Professor (1961) short story by Rosel George Brown
  • Car Pool (1959) novelette by Rosel George Brown
  • And a Tooth (1962) short story by Rosel George Brown

End As a Hero

Keith Laumer

THE CONQUERING HERO

Mankind was at war with the hideous Gool... and losing. Then, beyond Ganymead, one man fought the searing brain probe of an alien spy...and won. He mastered the power of its telepathic mind-control, captured the secret of its matter transmitters, and learned how to destroy the Gool Overlords. He called intelligence with news of the victory and headed home.

Straight into a barrage of Terran nuclear warheads.

Past missiles, shells, and assassins, he made it home -- alone, badly wounded, and branded a traitor by conventional Terran wisdom that said no one could survive the Gool brain probe. No one, that is, except a brainwashed puppet deliberately allowed to survive to serve the Goos as a spy.

But he must survive Earth's attempts to kill him -- because no matter how much his fellow humans want him dead, he knows that he is the only one who can lead them against the Gool and have a chance at victory.

Five Fates

Keith Laumer
Poul Anderson
Harlan Ellison
Frank Herbert
Gordon R. Dickson

One of the most bizarre and original fictional concepts ever attempted, this book is a remarkable tour de force for a quintet of today's top writers of speculative fiction. From a common story- hook--Bailey's death at the Euthanasia Center--each author was commissioned to extrapolate his own individual vision of Bailey's fate. No two even remotely resemble one another, and with consummate individuality each of the stories validates beyond doubt the incredible fertility of both the science fiction genre and its singular practitioners.

Table of Contents:

  • The Fatal Fulfillment - (1970) - novella by Poul Anderson
  • Murder Will In - (1970) - novelette by Frank Herbert
  • Maverick - (1970) - novella by Gordon R. Dickson
  • The Region Between - (1970) - novella by Harlan Ellison
  • Of Death What Dreams - (1970) - novelette by Keith Laumer

Future Imperfect

Keith Laumer

The Convulsing Earth had shattered Civilization and Something Was Moving In To Pick Up The Pieces

Mal was heading across an America ravaged by worldwide earthquakes when he ran into a dying stranger who babbled of men who weren't really men. The stranger had an unusual gold coin in his pocket which no expert could identify, and soon, Mal was to discover some things who wanted that coin were on his trail...

Steve Dravek awoke in a nightmarish city and immediately had to fight for his life against ruthless organ-stealing gangs. His last memories are of a vanished time from over a century ago. And someone is hunting him through the dark city, someone who seems to know him better than he knows himself...

The commander of the spaceship fleet that just annihilated the enemy armada has decided to become world dictator unless his second in command can stop him...

A national test condemns a man to a life of unskilled labor, unless he can find a way around the system...

A full-length novel, and a host of short novels and more fill an action-packed volume by the master of science fiction adventure.

Table of Contents:

  • Catastrophe Planet - (1966) - novel
  • The Walls - (1963) - shortstory
  • Founder's Day - (1966) - novelette
  • Placement Test - (1964) - novelette
  • Worldmaster - (1965) - novelette
  • The Day Before Forever - (1967) - novella
  • Afterword - essay by Eric Flint

Galactic Odyssey

Keith Laumer

Down and out on planet Earth...

It was raining, starting to sleet. My last ride had dumped me twenty country miles from nowhere. If I didn't get warm soon I was going to die. That's why I took a chance on that weird corn silo, even after I knew it was... something else... and that's why I, Billy Danger, woke up 400 light years from home, "native" gun bearer for a lordly alien and his beautiful mistress.

AKA: Spaceman

Greylorn

Keith Laumer

Contents:

  • 7 - Greylorn - (1959) - novella
  • 58 - The Night of the Trolls - [Bolo] - (1963) - novella
  • 109 - The Other Sky - (1968) - novella by Keith Laumer (variant of The Further Sky 1964)

  • 166 - The King of the City - (1961) - novelette

In the Queue

Keith Laumer

Hugo and Nebula Award nominated short story. It was originally published in Orbit 7 (1970), edited by Damon Knight. The story can also be found in the anthology Nebula Award Stories Six (1971) edited by Clifford D. Simak and the collection The Big Show (1972).

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad Galaxy

Keith Laumer

Contents:

  • 5 - The Body Builders - (1966) - novelette
  • 33 - The Planet Wreckers - (1967) - novelette
  • 59 - The Star-Sent Knaves - (1963) - novelette
  • 94 - The War Against the Yukks - (1965) - novelette (variant of War Against the Yukks)
  • 135 - Goobereality - novelette

Judson's Eden

Keith Laumer

When Marl Judson, fleeing a rapacious government that wanted not just his fabulous wealth but his life, crash-landed on a uninhabited planet, he thought he was marooned without hope of rescue, so he prepared himself to live out his remaining years as best he could amidst the planet's weird hallucinogenic flora. But head-twistting flowers (which Judson learned to avoid) were only part of the planet's weirdness: it was possessed of some sort of field effect which made time play strange tricks; temporal anomal