Haul of Books 2.0: Books Received Vol. 5

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I’m late as heck at getting to all the books I’ve received recently.  Just wait until I decide to crack open the books I bought at the local book sale (for research purposes, primarily — no, I’m not joking).

What I want to know is:

  1. What have you purchased recently?
  2. Which books below most interest you?

Here’s the list:

After the Apocalypse by Maureen F. McHugh (Small Beer Press)

The apocalypse was yesterday. These stories are today.  

In her new collection, Story Prize finalist Maureen F. McHugh delves into the dark heart of contemporary life and life five minutes from now and how easy it is to mix up one with the other. Her stories are post-bird flu, in the middle of medical trials, wondering if our computers are smarter than us, wondering when our jobs are going to be outsourced overseas, wondering if we are who we say we are, and not sure what we’d do to survive the coming zombie plague.

Antiquitas Lost:  The Last of the Shamalans by Robert Louis Smith (Medlock Publishing)

Move over Harry Potter. From American cardiologist Robert Louis Smith comes the unique fantasy novel Antiquitas Lost, peppered with more than seventy eye-popping illustrations by Marvel Comics legend Geof Isherwood. This epic fantasy tale tells the story of a boy named Elliott, a lonesome kid with deformities on his hands and feet, who is uprooted from his home after his mother falls gravely ill. When they move to New Orleans so his grandfather can help care for her, Elliott learns that the old man’s eighteenth century mansion hides an ancient secret. While checking out some strange relics in the basement, Elliott strays through an ancient doorway into a tumultuous parallel world, full of bizarre creatures and warring races. He has stumbled into Pangrelor, the most ancient of all worlds and “mother to all the stars in the sky.” As he learns to navigate his new surroundings, he discovers wondrous abilities he never dreamed he possessed, and an abiding connection to the primitive, alien world that will forever change him.

To Sleep Gently by Trent Zelazny (Crossroads Press)

When career criminal Jack Dempster gets caught and put away for five years in prison, he finds time to seriously reconsider his chosen line of work. Before he can make any serious decision, some old acquaintances track him down with a proposal. They want him to go to Santa Fe, New Mexico. With the help of an inside man, he’s to lead a small group of professionals on a daring robbery of the El Dorado Hotel, one of the finest, and most secure establishments in the Southwest.  

Double-crosses, love triangles, and immersion in his own self-destructive past conspire to lead him to ruin. It’s not easy to sleep when searching for normalcy in the heart of a brutal past.

 The Crimson Pact (Vol. 1) edited by Paul Genesse (Alliteration Ink)

The moment of the demons’ defeat became their greatest victory. 

In the carnage after the last great battle against the demons, a doomed general discovers their hidden victory. Instead of being annihilated, unspeakable evil escaped into many unsuspecting worlds. To fight them, the men and women of the Crimson Pact must sacrifice everything—including their own lives. 

Explore 26 stories based on the world created in “The Failed Crusade,” by Patrick M. Tracy and included in The Crimson Pact Volume 1, about the valiant men and women who refuse to let the demons win, and those unfortunate souls caught in the epic struggle raging across the multiverse. 

New York Times Bestselling author and Campbell award nominee, Larry Correia, and many urban fantasy, steampunk, sci-fi, horror, and fantasy writers tell the tales in this diverse collection of short stories, flash fiction, and novellas. 

With stories by Patrick M. Tracy, Richard Lee Byers, Jess Hartley, Donald J. Bingle, Chris Pierson, Barbara J. Webb, Kelly Swails, Sarah Hans, Patrick S. Tomlinson, Sarah Kanning, Isaac Bell, Elaine Blose, Kathy Watness, Daniel Myers, Justin Swapp, Rebecca L. Brown, Gloria Weber, Garrett Piglia, T.S. Rhodes, Lester Smith, Chanté McCoy, Suzzane Myers, EA Younker, Craig Nybo, and Larry Correia. 

Join the pact. Fight the demons now.* 

* Note: The proceeds from the sale of this book go to the continued eradication of every red-eyed, soul-stealing, shadow-lurking, flesh-eating, baby-stealing demon in the entire multiverse.

The Crimson Pact (Vol. 2) edited by Paul Genesse (Alliteration Ink)

The Pact is back and demons are as devious as ever in The Crimson Pact Volume 2. 

Read 28 original stories (over 500 pages in print!), including many sequels to stories in volume one. Suzzanne Myers’s powerful flash fiction piece, “Withered Tree” continues with the exceptional short story, “Seven Dogs.” Chanté McCoy’s “Inside Monastic Walls” is followed by the literally gut-wrenching follow-up short story, “Body and Soul.” Urban fantasy mayhem is off the charts with rising star Patrick Tomlinson’s “Monsters in the Closet” and D. Robert Hamm’s “Karma.” Steampunk your thing? EA Younker’s steampunk apocalypse tale “Stand,” Sarah Hans’ sequel about professor Campion, “A More Ideal Vessel,” and Elaine Blose’s steampunk Western “Wayward Brother” will whet your appetite. The dark fantasy and adventure continues in “Dark Archive,” Sarah Kanning writes how Danielle from “Hidden Collection” must deal with the lingering effects of being possessed by a demon. Volume two mixes sequels from Gloria Weber, Justin Swapp, and Isaac Bell with new stories from Lester Smith, K.E. McGee, Adam Israel, Valerie Dircks, T.S. Rhodes, Elizabeth Shack, Daniel Alonso, and Nayad Monroe. 

New York Times Bestselling author and Campbell award nominee Larry Correia presents an exclusive short story, “Son of Fire, Son of Thunder” co-authored by Steven Diamond, about an FBI paranormal investigator and a bad ass marine who knows the exact moment of his own death. Travel to the alternate history Earth of the “Red Bandanna Boys” by Patrick M. Tracy and find out how ruthless you have to be to survive the slums of St. Nikolayev. Follow “The Trail of Blood” by Alex Haig, a horrifying Western about a bounty hunter who wants vengeance, not money. Hunt for Nazis in a disturbing 1950’s America in “Hunters Incorporated” by Kelly Swails. Patrol the steaming jungles of Vietnam with a squad of soldiers in Lon Prater’s “Last Rites in the Big Green Empty.” Then enter the mind of a godlike demon in Donald J. Bingle’s ambitions tale, “Dark Garden,” or visit the creepy shadow world created by Richard Lee Byers in “Light and Dark.” 

Watch your back, the demons are coming. 

This digital special edition of volume 2 includes eleven bonus behind-the-scene “about the stories” essays from the authors.

Cassandra’s Time Yarns:  A Shared World Short Story Anthology edited by Erin Lale

Stories accepted for publication in Cassandra’s Time Yarns so far: “The End of History” by Gordon Yaswen. “Noble Northern Spirit” by Erin Lale. “Testing Time” by Tony Thorne MBE. “Choice” by Ralph Ewig. “The Beginning” by J.L. Toscano.

Art accepted for Cassandra’s Time Yarns so far: “Paradise Lost” by Maria Arango. “Mandalas” by Lisa Yount.

This anthology will be published in 2012. The submission deadline in Dec. 31, 2011. 

Anarchy Zone Time Yarns:  A Shared World Short Story Anthology edited by Erin Lale

Stories accepted for publication in Anarchy Zone Time Yarns so far: “The Anarchy Zone” by Erin Lale. Poetry by Gordon Yaswen. “An Etonean Dilemma” by Humberto Sachs. “1400 Hrs” by Ian Miller. “Host” by Giampietro Stocco.

Art accepted for publication in Anarchy Zone Time Yarns so far: “Hope” by Alex Storer. “It All Goes Away” by Lisa Yount.

This anthology will be published in 2012. Submission deadline is Dec. 31, 2011.

Daphne and the Silver Ash by Joss Llewelyn

For fans of The Last Unicorn, Labyrinth, Legend, and other fine stories that begin with “L”:  

In the weary old city of Trevell, young Daphne happily divides her time between caring for her family and crafting the finest shoes in town. But when she is summoned to sing for a panicking phoenix afraid of its fiery rebirth, Daphne is swept up in a thousand-year-old struggle for survival between immortal spirits.  

Endowed with the phoenix’s powers of air and fire, as well as the creature’s beautiful golden skin and ruby feathers, Daphne has only a few hours to save a dying tree, restore a crumbling city, and stop an invading army before the phoenix’s fire consumes her mortal heart.

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

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