A collection of twenty science fiction & fantasy short stories and novellas about experiencing the Unknown.
The Keeper and the Rulership: In a world where both magic and mathematics are forbidden, Raneh is growing magic and she can't seem to stop. She'll face the death penalty if anybody catches her, so she hides it in the weeds of her family's land, pretending to be a typical eighteen-year-old heir. And it works.
Until the Ruler comes to visit.
Underneath: An injured merman is found washed up on a beach in Maine. After being brought to a special facility, doctors are at a loss for how to help him. Worse, how are they to keep him away from the eager hands of the military?
One reporter is hot on the trail of what she believes is an elaborate hoax—or the story of a lifetime. A story that has her tracking elusive clues into an ever-growing house of secrets surrounding one of the richest families in New York City.
For merfolk have been hiding in plain sight for centuries, and are now torn between sacrificing one of their own—or telling humanity the truth.
Graveyard of Empires: Argus Wade was born into the Ministry, an archaic and barbaric religion that's taken ahold of the Republic. He knew from an early age that he was different from the other students who learned there: the threat of death - or worse - loomed over him because of his special gifts.
When he tries to protect his daughter from this fate by hiding her from the Ministry, he finds out that all he's managed to do is make things worse. He's running out of options and growing more desperate by the day.
Meanwhile, the galaxy is facing a new conflict in the outer reaches: a rebellion is forming to tear down the Republic, led by a charismatic upstart named Darius Gray. Battle lines are being drawn and everyone is choosing sides. But, they are all going to find out that the cost of war is higher than anyone could have anticipated...
Living with our Past Selves: Many teenagers struggle to find their identity, but for Taliesin Weaver, that struggle has become life or death--and not just for him. Tal, as he prefers to be called, believes in reincarnation, and with good reason. When he turned twelve, his mind was nearly shattered by a flood of memories, memories of his past lives, hundreds of them. Somehow, Tal managed to pull himself together and even to make good use of the lessons learned and skills developed in those previous lives. He even had the ability to work magic--literally--and there was no denying that was cool. No, his life wasn't perfect, but he was managing.
Now, four years later, his best friend, Stan, has begun to suspect his secret, and Stan isn't the only one. Suddenly, Tal is under attack from a mysterious enemy and under the protection of an equally mysterious friend whose agenda Tal can't quite figure out. An apparition predicts his death. A shapeshifter disguised as Stan attacks him. An old adversary starts acting like a friend. He and some other students get hurled into Annwn (the Otherworld), face Morgan Le Fay, and only just barely get back alive--and that’s just during the first month of school!
By now Tal knows he is not the only one who can work magic and certainly not the only one who can remember the past. He realizes there is something that he is not remembering, something that could save his life or end it, some reason for the attacks on him that, as they escalate, threaten not only him but everyone he loves as well. In an effort to save them, he will have to risk not only his life, but even his soul.
It has been eight years since the Nutcracker has defeated the Mouse King, and he is still a cursed doll. The Nutcracker’s one desire is to break the curse, allowing him to take his rightful place as King and make Marie his queen. But nothing has worked.
The Nutcracker grows more and more desperate as time runs out and Marie begins to move away from him. One day, he uncovers a dark secret about his kingdom and decides to use the knowledge to reverse the curse and claim his destiny. The Nutcracker will do anything to reach his goal and have Marie rule by his side. This will be his happily ever after.
But will it be Marie’s?
NLI-10: A standalone cyberpunk thriller channelling the spirit of William Gibson and Black Mirror
Sarah wants a revolution in her life.
Ever since her parents were murdered, she's been directionless, and finds herself joining a clinical trial. But this trial isn't going to win any ethics awards...
Paranoia flows as experiments are carried out on their waking and sleeping bodies.
The trial is changing them. Programming them. Installing false memories, removing emotions.
If they don't do something before their tenure ends, they might not be human when they leave...
Assuming they survive that long.
Ground Private Parvel: As a recruit in the United Reclamation Commission Army, Parc Parvel's got thirty days before his first mission hunting lost colonies for the Galactic Authority. Thirty days to master an arsenal of weapons as likely to kill him as the enemy. . .
It soon becomes clear the URCA doesn't care if recruits live or die.
In fact, imminent death might be the real training plan. . .
Autumn Dark: When Alan Decker returns to the small town he and his sister grew up in, he realizes that the parts people play haven't changed, only the players. A new preacher arrives in town just as crazy events begin to occur and no one is sure whether or not he is to blame.
Alan tries to steer clear of the happenings, but is forced to get involved when his sister goes missing. He isn't afraid of any occult superstitions where his sister in concerned, but he is afraid she may have fallen off the wagon and returned to old bad habits.
Nothing is quite as it seems, and Alan is about to fall deeper into a world he isn't sure he even believes in.
The City Below: The Great Blue Above… The White Nothingness… The Sky People… These only exist as whispered stories for those who live in the City Below, humanity’s final habitat located far beneath the snowy surface. Ruled by the ruthless Jonas family for generations, its citizens are fed lies by King Edmond, who controls the largest section of city and its army of guards. But the leaders of other sections begin to question the city’s history and King Edmond's divinity, and their children dream about escaping through the guarded tunnels to find out the truth...
SmartYellow™ is the story of a young girl, Katrina Williams, who finds herself on the wrong side of social services. After becoming pregnant with only a slight notion of the father’s identity, she is disowned by her parents and goes to live on a social housing estate. Before long she is being bullied by a gang involved in criminal activity and anti-social behaviour. Seeking help from the authorities she is persuaded to return to the estate to work as part of Operation Schrödinger, alongside a surveillance specialist. But she soon realises that Operation Schrödinger is not what it seems.
Exploring themes of social inequity and scientific responsibility, J.A. Christy’s first speculative fiction novel leads her heroine Katrina to understand how probability, hope and empathy play a huge part in the flow of life and are absent in the stagnation of mere survival. As readers we also start to question how we would know if the power of the State to support and care for the weak had become corrupted into the oppression of all those who do not fit society’s norms.
Dragons' Egg: Rose didn't count on becoming a mother to a brand new baby dragon egg.
She's always wanted to be a paleontologist, and is now in college studying to become one. But a chance meeting at the American Musuem of Natural History turns her world upside down. Because, millions of years after dragons have gone extinct, there's an egg that seems to be unexpectedly . . . alive.
The egg knows what he wants. He wants Rose and a stranger, Henry, to be his new parents. But can three strangers of two different species become a family?
Feast of the Epiphany: Immortal and a member of the Sinistra Dei, a secret order designed to eliminate threats to the Vatican, Giovanna was created to do the dirty work of the Church. Her missions require creative thinking and the ability to tap dance on the line between right and wrong. Her loyalty is tested as her commander, and former lover, sinks into insanity. No longer able to conceal his madness, Gia struggles to protect her friends from the man she once loved.
Torben has served as second in command since before the discovery of the new world. His need to remain close to Gia outweighed any desire to lead a clutch of his own. As his commander’s power fades, old compulsions are lifted, allowing Torben to confess his sins and his love for Gia.
Escape: Zachary sits across a table from a reporter on the eve of his execution. The reporter has a simple question: “Tell me your story.”
The question resonates. How did he get here? Religious persecution is what he told himself, but how does he explain his actions? Actions that still haunt him years later…
Beauty's Daughter: Queen Beauty and King Charming lived happily ever after. At least, until the birth of their daughter. Despite their invitations, none of the fairies show up to give the princess a name-blessing, something Beauty is determined her daughter should receive. Rashly, she decrees that her daughter will either have a name-blessing or no name at all. With that one decision, she unwittingly casts a dark shadow over the land.
Growing up, the princess shared her mother's dream of getting a name-blessing, but that's the only thing that they have in common. For everything else, there's the Lady in the Mirror. The Lady listens to her, and unlike her father, isn't afraid to criticise her mother, Beauty.
After many years of waiting, the fairies are finally coming, and the princess will do anything to get her name-blessing.