Write Now #9 Out Of This World Books
The year continues and the books continue to be written and published.
My goal in this article is simply to alert you to what you may be reading.
So here are some recently published speculative fictions that caught my attention.
They might be worth reading in full.
In this list you will see
Anthologies of the Lost and Heroic,
Evil Mothers and Wing Walkers
Habitats for Dinos and Kaiju
Flying space monster hunters and nuns
Observe the tranquility of time travel
stories out of this world
Edited by John Joseph Adams and many others
THERE ARE DRAGONS. That’s what the cards said when you reached the end of the known world. 1 It’s a phrase that has fired the imagination of mankind for hundreds of years: what lies beyond the edge of the unknown? One of those things we imagined could be in that far beyond, the so-called lost worlds or mythological realms. Even if you’re not familiar with those exact terms, you’ve probably heard legends of those fantastical places that were once believed to be real: Atlantis, Shambhala, El Dorado, Shangri-La, the Kingdom of Prester John.
These days, of course, there is very little of our world that can be considered unexplored. Discovering a lost world or mythological realm today would be a truly mind-blowing event. And so, is it even possible to tell such stories in the modern age? That was my challenge to the writers in this volume, and their response was a “Yes!” enthusiastic and convincing – just like mine when I read their stories.
Read these stories, and I think you’ll agree. So come with me – your guide if you will – as we journey through these magical, fascinating and immensely perilous journeys of the imagination.
by Taylor Brown
They were somewhere above Georgia, another nameless hamlet whose dusty streets were flocked and quivering with the pink leaflets they had rained down from the sky that morning, the ones announcing the coming of DELLA L’AUDACE DEVILETTE, who would DEFY THE SKY, shining like a DAY STAR, a WING-WALKING MARVEL carried on the wings of CAPTAIN ZENO MARIGOLD, a DOUBLE AS of the GREAT WAR, who won ELEVEN AIR VICTORIES over the TRENCHES OF FRANCE.
Zeno tilted the wing towards the field of the spectators, their faces rounded in the sun, their mouths black with fear, and the devil watched the shadow of the machine tear them apart like something wicked from the sky, a beast to pluck them. bloody and rootless fields. She moved further up the wing, twisting her silver body through the maze of wire mesh and interplane struts that divided the airfoils.
She wore her silver lamé jumpsuit, her show name stitched in blood red between her shoulder blades – DELLA L’AUDACE – and she wore a leather helmet and knee-length riding boots polished with an arrogant luster. She was not wearing a parachute. The wake pressed the metallic fabric of the one-piece suit against her, hugging her breasts and hips, rationalizing her.
by jim butcher and Kerrie Hughes
In this collection of short stories about courage, adventure and magic, heroes, ordinary people who do the right thing, bravely step forward.
But run toward the danger could cost them everything. . . .
In 1 New York Times “Little Things” by bestselling author Jim Butcher, the Toot-Toot Leprechaun discovers an invader unbeknownst to wizard Harry Dresden. . . and to defeat him, he will have to team up with the fearsome cat Mister.
In 1 New York Times “Dating Terrors” by bestselling author Patricia Briggs, werewolf Asil finds an online date just might turn into something more, if she can escape the dark magic that binds her.
In 1 New York Times Best-selling author Charlaine Harris’ “Return of the Mage,” British mercenaries will discover more than they bargained for when they answer the call of a distress beacon on a strange, distant world.
And in #1 New York Times “Comfort Zone” by best-selling author Kelley Armstrong, necromancer Chloe Saunders and werewolf Derek Souza are just trying to get through college. But they can’t refuse a ghost who asks for help.
ALSO INCLUDES STORIES FROM Annie Bellet * Anne Bishop * Jennifer Brozek * Kevin Hearne * Nancy Holder * Kerrie L. Hughes * Chloe Neill * RR Virdi
(The Joseph Bridgeman Series, Book 3)
by Nick Jones
“The Continuum is a privately funded organization of time travelers and technologists. We watch the past for changing events and, when we can, we modify the weather for the better. I know it can be difficult. It can help if you think of time travel as nature’s immune system. If you think of change events as pathogens, as things that need to be fixed, then time travelers are like antibodies, seeking out the damaged parts of time and healing them. It can be complicated, of course, but we are working for the greater good. All we’ve really done at The Continuum is leverage the unique opportunity that time has given us to connect solo travelers, like you, to their purpose.
by Emily St. John Mandel
It’s shocking to wake up in one world and find yourself in another at nightfall, but the situation isn’t actually that unusual. You wake up married, then your spouse dies during the day. You wake up in times of peace and at noon your country is at war; you wake up in ignorance and in the evening it is clear that a pandemic is already here.
What I mean is that there is always something. I think as a species we have a desire to believe that we are living at the pinnacle of history. It’s a kind of narcissism. We want to believe that we are uniquely important, that we live at the end of history, that nowafter all these millennia of false alarms, now is finally the worst it has ever been, that finally we have reached the end of the world.
by Jennifer McMahon
So I was Lizzy Shelley now. I was fifty-three years old, my hair was turning gray. And I made my living hunting monsters. I had a blog and now a popular podcast, named after my childhood project from a long time ago: The Monster Book. I had been a crew member for last season’s Monsters Among Us series and featured in the Shadow People documentary. I had given lectures in colleges on the role of the monster in contemporary society. I’ve scoured the country hunting Sasquatches, shapeshifters, lake monsters, cave goblins, vampires, werewolves – all manner of cryptids and bogeymen. Every day people were posting to my website forums giving me leads, sending photos, telling their own close encounter stories, begging me to come and investigate. Between advertising, sponsors, affiliate links, TV concerts, royalties on books and branded products I sold, I earned more than enough to cover my expenses and hit the road too as often as I wanted, moving on to the next city, the next monster. My mission was to do everything possible to get the message across loud and clear:
Monsters are real and live among us.
But the Honey Island monster had so far provided no evidence.
Mother Lucia knelt before the crucifix, her hands resting on her knees, her eyes closed and her mouth motionless. They had purchased it at a small station near a dusty, superstitious moon just after launching their newly mature ship from the yard where it had sprung. The crucifix wasn’t exactly a work of art. Jesus’ legs were more like a single fin, and the trembling-handed sculptor had given him one larger eye and one smaller one. But their original had been destroyed along with their old ship, and they couldn’t very well send word to the Church for another.
“Are you one of the sisters of Our Lady of the Impossible Constellations?”
Sister Varvara stopped short. She could deny it. She could also keep walking. She certainly didn’t have Sister Faustina’s talent for careful politics or Mother Lucia’s talent for gentle conversation. She looked around the corridor at blank-faced, oblivious passers-by, but she knew they wouldn’t have landed if there were known ECG agents on board. And, as far as she knew, there was no public price on their heads yet. Somewhere on Old Earth, an entire ministry of government officers was surely debating what to do about them. For now, however, it seemed the risk of exposing their plan to spread the deadly plague through the rebellious Outer Systems outweighed their desire to track down the nuns who had stopped it.
“Why do you ask?”
by John Scalzi
“First of all, understand that when we say KPS is an animal rights organization, we are actively engaged with these animals – very big, very wild and very dangerous animals. We will train you on how to interact with them and we maintain strict safety protocols at all times. But you can be seriously injured and if you are not careful, you can actually die. If you have any doubts about this, or if you have the If you have any problem following directions and instructions given to you, then this is not the job for you.I need you to verbally acknowledge that you understand this.
(Sparkless Book 1)
I put on my ammo belt and check the pockets. Three magazines full, but since we’re going to be traveling without SPARKS…I’ll add the fourth pouch. I put my hand over the scanner to open the ammo box and take out a handful of HiPiRs, or Hide Piercing Rounds. Penetrate any skin down to the T. rex, these will do it. Although for T. rex I would really prefer a bigger gun. Much bigger.
“HARRY! Dad roars, then walks over to me. “Whoa, girl, wait. Come on, put the gun away.
“What?” I look at him in disbelief. “We travel SPARKLESS, dad.”
“Carol is pretty nervous about the trip as it is, let alone living here. If we’re anything like the Rambo family, she’ll freak out. I’ll have my gun. Leave yours here. Just this once.”
“But why have one gun when you can have three?” I ask.
“Most people don’t take guns when they travel, Darryl.”
“People from the city. And sometimes when they break down or crash, they get eaten.
“Come on, Darryl, just this once. It will make Carol feel so much better. Dad’s pleading tone is too much. I unhook my rifle from my shoulder and put it back in its place.
“Alright. But we better not end up with Raptor Food.
“Of course we won’t.” He looks downright joyful with relief.