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About Dan Stout
Dan Stout lives in Columbus, Ohio, where he writes noir mysteries with a twist of magic and a disco chaser.
His prize-winning fiction draws on travels throughout Europe, Asia, and the Pacific Rim as well as an employment history spanning everything from subpoena server to assistant well driller.
Dan's stories have appeared in publications such as The Saturday Evening Post, Nature, and Mad Scientist Journal. His debut novel TITANSHADE is forthcoming from DAW Books. Visit him on the web at www.DanStout.com
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Forbidden magic, murder... and disco. Carter's day keeps getting worse.
With the return of spring, new life floods into Titanshade. The sun climbs higher and stays longer, the economy is ascendant, and ever more newcomers arrive to be part of the city's rebirth. Even pop culture has taken notice, with a high-profile concert only days away. When a band member's murder threatens to delay the show, the diva star performer demands that the famous Detective Carter work the case. But Carter has secrets of his own, and his investigation unearths more victims and dark secrets, triggering a spiral of deceit, paranoia, and nightmarish magical transformations.
As conspiracies are exposed, Carter is sucked even deeper into the machinations of the rich, the powerful, and the venerated. Soon the very foundations of the city threaten to collapse and Carter's own freedom is on the line as he navigates between old enemies and fragile new alliances while racing to learn the true cause of this horrific series of deaths.
"Take a little Mickey Spillane, some Dashiell Hammet, a bit of Raymond Chandler, and mix it with Phillip K. Dick's Blade Runner; add a taste of CJ Box, and Craig Johnson, and you've got a masterpiece of a first novel." —W. Michael Gear, New York Times bestselling author
Carter's a homicide cop in Titanshade, an oil boomtown where 8-tracks are state of the art, disco rules the radio, and all the best sorcerers wear designer labels. It's also a metropolis teetering on the edge of disaster. As its oil reserves run dry, the city's future hangs on a possible investment from the reclusive amphibians known as Squibs.
But now negotiations have been derailed by the horrific murder of a Squib diplomat. The pressure's never been higher to make a quick arrest, even as Carter's investigation leads him into conflict with the city's elite. Undermined by corrupt coworkers and falsified evidence, and with a suspect list that includes power-hungry politicians, oil magnates, and mad scientists, Carter must find the killer before the investigation turns into a witch-hunt and those closest to him pay the ultimate price on the filthy streets of Titanshade.
The city of Titanshade pulses with nervous energy. The discovery of new riches beneath its snowfields has given residents hope for prosperity, but it also means the arrival of federal troops, along with assurances that they are only there to "stabilize the situation".
Newcomers flood the streets, dreaming of finding their fortunes, while in the backrooms and beer halls of the city, a populist resistance gains support, its leaders' true motives hidden behind nativist slogans. And in an alley, a gruesome discovery: the mutilated body of a young woman, a recent immigrant so little-regarded that not even her lovers bothered to learn her name. But in death, she's found a champion.
Detective Carter single-mindedly pursues the killer as he navigates political pressures and resists becoming a pawn in the struggles tipping the city toward anarchy. But when more innocent lives are lost and time runs short, he's forced to decide if justice is worth sparking all-out war in the streets during the biggest celebration of the year: Titan's Day.
Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2015 collects thirteen "essays" from the fictional worlds of mad science. For the discerning mad scientist reader, there are also pieces of fiction from Deborah Walker, Diana Parparita, and MJ Gardner. Readers will also find other resources for the budding mad scientist, including an advice column, horoscopes, and other brief messages from mad scientists.
Authors featured in this volume also include Fred Lubnow, E. B. Fischadler, Jaime Babb, Marla L. Anderson, J. M. Perkins, Dorian Graves, Christopher Vander Kaay, Denzell Cooper, Jeannie Warner, James Fadeley, J. A. Grier, Dan Stout, Russ Bickerstaff, Kate Elizabeth, Sean Frost, Chelsea McClellan, John McColley, Loria Chaddon, Scott Chaddon, Rob Brooks, Julie Bloss Kelsey, Liz Hedgecock, Lorraine Schein, and Sylvia Heike. Illustrations are provided by Bill Richardson, Steve Maschuck, Luke Spooner, Shannon Legler, Katie Nyborg, Dawn Vogel, Justine McGreevy, and Scarlett O'Hairdye.
All the stories in this, the fourth collection of tales from Plan B Magazine, touch on what happens when one person puts their will above that of others. Sometimes it’s amusing, other times heartbreaking, but it no matter what, someone’s day won’t be going according to plan.
Table of Contents
“Old Friends” by Frank Byrns
“Write Your Epitaph” by Laird Long
“An Unexpected Invitation” by Daniel Marshall Wood
“Bad John” by Adam Howe
“Death by Fiction” by J. M. Vogel
“The Chunk” by Michael McGlade
“The Basement” by MJ Gardner
“The Bulldog Ant is Not a Team Player” by Dan Stout
“The Mystery of the Missing Puskat” by Lavie Tidhar
“Other Wishes” by Richard Zwicker
“Afterwards” by Jeff Poole
“The World’s Best Coffee” by C. D. Reimer
“Zero Sum Game” by Doug J. Black
A classic coming-of-age short story about summer crushes, yard work, and demonic home invasions.