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About Jamie McNabb
After way too many years spent in the information-technology racket, Jamie McNabb moved to the Oregon coast, where he lives within sight of the Pacific Ocean. When not pounding on a computer keyboard, he sails, works on his boat, and takes long walks. He also reads and feeds the gulls. His short fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines and online publications. His novels are independently published.
Jamie McNabb's webpage is http://www.jamiemcnabb.com
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In this third Fiction River Special Edition, award-winning editor Kristine Kathryn Rusch proves a master of intrigue with a wide variety of spy stories. Ranging in tone from satire to serious, from touching to brutal, from light to oh-so-very-dark, these fifteen stories illuminate the secret world of espionage. Despite their different tones, different cultures, even different time periods, these diverse stories form a powerful anthology that reveals the world in all its messiness.
“…high quality throughout.” —Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine on Fiction River Special Edition: Crime
Table of Contents
“Spy in the Sky” by Tonya D. Price
“Meeting at the Rise and Shine” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
“Highpoint” by Michael Kingswood
“Through the Eyes of a Dog” by Angela Penrose
“Cat and Mice” by Jamie McNabb
“Our Man in Basingstoke” by Sabrina Chase
“Night Flight” by Jonathan Kort
“End of the Line” by David H. Hendrickson
“The Florentine Exchange” by Dayle A. Dermatis
“The Message” by C.A. Rowland
“Not What You’d Expect” by Leah Cutter
“Turkish Coffee” by Johanna Rothman
“The Path” by David Stier
“Trafficking Stops” by Lisa Silverthorne
“The Spy Who Walked into the Cold” by Ron Collins
“[Fiction River] is one of the best and most exciting publications in the field today.”
—Keith West, Adventures Fantastic
“Editor Dean Wesley Smith has compiled an outstanding volume of time travel stories, no two alike. I highly recommend it.”
—Adventures Fantastic on Fiction River: Time Streams
“… high quality throughout.”
—Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine on Fiction River Special Edition: Crime
Fiction River is an original fiction anthology series. Modeled on successful anthology series of the past, from Orbit to Universe to Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine, the goal of Fiction River is to provide a forum for “original ground-breaking fiction of all genres.”
Each Fiction River volume comes in ebook and trade paperback format, published by WMG Publishing, and features some of the best new and established fiction writers in publishing.
Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch are award-winning editors, as well as award-winning writers, and act as series editors for the anthologies.
For more information about the authors or Fiction River, go to www.fictionriver.com.
Many decades after his death in 1953, Comrade Stalin finds himself once again in an Orthodox church. He is locked in a furious debate with St. Seraphim of Sarov, one of Russia's more popular saints.
As a former seminarian and dedicated Marxist revolutionary, Comrade Stalin is able to make his case against the Church; however, he is up against a man of limitless spiritual insight, deep religiosity, and unparalleled courage.
It would also seem that being dead for many, many decades has provided both men with unaccustomed experiences and unexpected insights.
If speculative fiction that, well, speculates, intrigues you, if you are willing to dig beneath the surface, then perhaps, just perhaps, "Comrade Stalin Goes to Church" will provide you an enjoyable and insightful read. Get your copy now!
However, now and then, we are able to catch glimpses, or the hints of glimpses, of it. Often these epiphanies go unrecognized. Sometimes they are only suspected to have taken place. Now and then, they are recognized for what they are, if only intuitively.
The Great Mystery of Eternity collects ten short stories that sketch such moments. They are times of great intensity, events of that lead to a revelation.
These tales range from myth to science fiction, from action adventure to stories of faith, from sea adventures to the saga of one very important cup of English tea. The action is both subtle and violent, the characters are complex and layered, and the stakes couldn't be higher.
The window is open and ready. Are you equally prepared to look through it and to catch these ten glimpses of the other.
This epub also contains a sample of Jamie McNabb's new and insightful science fiction novel, UNTO DIRT RETURN.
Table of Contents
“The Four Thirty-Five” by Annie Reed
“Bertie’s Choice” by Jamie McNabb
“Mirror Skillz” by Dave Raines
“Holding the Door” by Elliotte Rusty Harold
“Trees” by Diana Benedict
“The Blood is on the Wall” by Felicia Fredlund
“The Glass Girl” by Leah Cutter
“Breaking Kayfabe” by Kelly Washington
“Lemonade and Larceny” by Lauryn Christopher
“First Day, Every Day” by M. L. Buchman
“Touch” by Michael Kowal
“The Rock of Ages” by Ron Collins
“He Saw” by Dan C. Duval
“Bad Dates Bite” by Kerrie L. Hughes
“No Farther” by Laura Ware
You say you don't like change.
Well, good luck with that one.
"But . . . But . . . But . . . !" I hear you stammer in outrage.
Sorry, but you may as well buckle up.
This collection contains seven tales of change and transformation. They explore magic and mysticism, loyalty and betrayal, rebellion and liberation, hate and love.
THE BOTTLING: Danger fills the life of Jahnu, apprentice to Kazhaymir the Magnificent, court magician to His Imperial Majesty Fahim the Inscrutable. Under normal circumstances, Jahnu would bask in a life of reflected privilege; however, his master has fallen out of favor. Indeed, when a command performance falls flat, Kazhaymir and Jahnu quickly discover the price of failing to wow the Palace.
THE RABBI, THE VAMPIRE, AND THE MITZVOT: Simeon Black has an undeath or dead-death problem. A few nights ago, the ugliest woman imaginable attacked him on his way home. She sank her teeth into his neck. To make a long story short, he woke up in the morning a vampire. Better than a cockroach, but still.... Now Simeon must drink blood to live, well, to undie, but he is an observant Jew. The mitzvot forbid ingesting blood. They also forbid suicide, so that's no way out, either. In desperation, Simeon turns to Rabbi Michael Rosenbaum for help. Why Rabbi Rosenbaum? Because the good rabbi often works until after dark at his synagogue.
CROSSING THE ACHERON: Between death and Eternity stands the ferryman. For the newly dead, bliss awaits on the other side of the river Acheron. No bridges span it. No one can swim across it. A dilapidated ferry makes the only connection. The ferryman demands cash. Basil Wainwright, however, has arrived without a dime to his name. Now he must figure out a way to earn his passage or face eternal annihilation.
WHEN ELVES GO BAD: An old proverb among Oreques states, "Anything can happen when Elves go bad." When the Dark Elves appeared, the Oreques figured their mission had just turned rancid. They had the right of it. For their part, the Dark Elves, hired assassins, thought drinking Oreque blood would give them an edge. However, Oreques don't care about edges. They're more interested in victory, honor, and adding prestige to their names.
BEATRICE FIND HER WAY: In every way that counts, Beatrice died years ago. She pushed her life away. She refused to embrace any of it. Now she has contracted acute ambulatory death. The condition has rendered her a walking corpse, destined to rot. Thus confronted by her mortality, she sets out to find a quiet place in which to embrace her impending oblivion. Life, however, has other plans for Beatrice.
THE SEDAN CRUISER: Crushed rock for water. Empty fuel and water tanks. Rust and malignant rot. Her final owner's splendid ideas, overwhelmed by his exhausting work schedule. Memories of sunny anchorages, of fresh paint, and of laughter. This is a 570-word short short in which a "project boat" contemplates her past, her present, and what lays ahead.
THE MAN WITH THE SILVER MATCHBOX: Nothing beats the smell of a burning witch. When a local witch-burner-in-chief decides to rid his town of its new high priestess, he organizes a raid on her coven's next Sabbat. However, the high priestess has laid plans of her own. In a twinkling, a run-of-the-mill witch-burning turns into a hot time in the moonlight, complete with gunfire and marshmallows.
So if this looks like the kind of ride you'd like to take, snag of copy of this collection right away.
The River Dragon’s Lair blends elements of family saga and magical realism. In other words, this novel presents an exciting family saga with a strong fantasy element.
The tugboat business on the Columbia and Willamette rivers eats fools for breakfast.
Unfortunately for the Winston family and their business, Winston Tug and Barge, there are plenty of fools to go around, at least according to Chauncey Winston, the company’s current CEO.
The fools don’t actually control the company, but they do have enough power to prevent Chauncey Winston from buying several new tugs and expanding beyond the Columbia River basin.
However, just like that other substance, change happens, and as a result, time is running out for comfy, poky regional businesses like Winston Tug and Barge.
On the other hand, modernization may be all well and good, but expansion? Isn’t expansion one of the major all-time company killers? Wouldn’t it be better to stick with the fundamentals?
Of course it would. Isn’t there an old saying about birds and a hand and a bush?
So there you have it: a deadlock with the clock running out.
Well, the tugboat business may snack on the complacent and the starry-eyed, but river dragons prefer cows, cattle, herons, and fish.
According to Mack McNaughton, his uncle Chauncey Winston may indeed qualify as a predatory megalomaniac suffering from hubris, but he is definitely not a cow, a steer, or a carp. Therefore, Chauncey ought to be safe enough from the family’s local resident river dragon, the one living at Elk Jaw Landing, the Winstons’ once-upon-a-time company town.
The resident river dragon, however, may beg to differ. He and the Winstons have a history, not all of it pleasant. Elk Jaw Landing stands abandoned for a whole host of very good reasons.
But it’s Mack who holds the key to breaking the deadlock and saving the company.
The key in question?
It boils down to nothing less than the fate of a dilapidated houseboat, currently moored at Elk Jaw Landing.
Meanwhile, the river dragon has his own agenda. He wants nothing more than to be left alone in peace and quiet. The only broken beer bottle in his stretch of mud is that his lair is right under the houseboat.
Blending the disparate traditions of John Jakes, Terry Pratchett, Godzilla, and the Loch Ness Monster, The River Dragon’s Lair brews up a mix of family saga and magical realism, with a dose of satire thrown in for good measure. The result is an unforgettable tapestry of ambition, the paranormal, violence, and love.
These stories are set either a few years from now or a few centuries from now.
Their heroes are people who find themselves in perilous circumstances and who must, in one way or another, overcome their own limitations. That, it could be argued, is the essence of courage.
If there is one thing that history teaches, it is that such courageous individuals are all that stands between humanity and the dark and enduring chaos that lurks beyond the light of our campfires.
Enjoy the ride!
Cathcart runs toward YUKON, determined to defend the ship. However, he soon adopts a more direct course of action. He takes control of an antiaircraft gun and shoots back!
This ebook includes two novel samples.
UNTO DIRT RETURN (Science Fiction)
An apparent revenge murder holds the key to the fate of the nearly two million souls aboard NEW MAYFLOWER, a generation ship nearing the end of her voyage and the end of her tether. Disaster looms ahead as surely as does the ship's destination.
Isham Ellis's charismatic grandfather gives up flying for farming only to turn up dead. Why murder an old man? A farm worker who taught people about topsoil? Out of revenge? Out of fear?
Or did the murderer have a much larger target in mind? Can Isham find the answers? Does he even want to?
A generation ship at the end of her twelve-century voyage. The fate of the ship and the colonists aboard. The debts owed to the cherished dead.UNTO DIRT RETURN reduces it all to the ability of one man to speak truth to power and to take charge of his own life.
THE VIEW THAT DISAPPEARED (Contemporary Mystery)
Octogenarians Jack and Betty Luckner have an iron-willed sense of justice and a street-smart fearlessness.
When one too many of their friends dies unexpectedly, Jack and Betty confront the possibility that a serial killer is stalking their jolly retirement community. Armed only with old newsletters and a willingness to bend the law, they set out to stop the killings, but what's to stop the killer from adding Jack and Betty to the body count?
With the deck stacked against them, Jack and Betty work through the deadly but fascinating business of bringing a killer to justice in THE VIEW THAT DISAPPEARED.
Ends with a bang.
And a lot of bang in between.
Pulse Pounders. Ranging from straight thriller to science fiction, fantasy to pulp adventure, these stories make your heart race. Share the excitement as a woman held hostage in a chair has only a few minutes to escape, and a man trapped in a time loop revisits a crisis point in the past. Including an original never-before-published Frank Herbert story, these page-turners show why Adventures Fantastic says Fiction River “is one of the best and most exciting publications in the field today.”
“… fans of the unconventional will be well satisfied.”
—Publishers Weekly on Fiction River: Pulse Pounders
“Fiction River: Crime edited by Kristine Kathryn Rusch leads off with strong new tales by three familiar EQMM contributors: Doug Allyn with a gangster whodunnit, Steve Hockensmith with a con game story, and Brendan DuBois with a fresh variation on the old brothers-who-took-different-paths ploy. A sampling of other contents, including experimental short-shorts by Melissa Yi and M. Elizabeth Castle and a clever turn on the greedy-relatives-want-inheritance by Kate Wilhelm, suggest high quality throughout."
—Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine on Fiction River Special Edition: Crime
“Among the volume’s better entries are Doug Allyn’s “Hitler’s Dogs,” in which narrator Doc Bannan seeks the truth about his gang mentor’s death, and Steve Hockensmith’s “Wheel of Fortune,” which relates the schemes of a pair of con artists.”
—Publishers Weekly on Fiction River Special Edition: Crime
About the Editor
Kevin J. Anderson is known as a bestselling novelist with over 125 novels published, but he has also spent time in the editing trenches. His three Star Wars anthologies (Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, Tales from Jabba’s Palace, and Tales of the Bounty Hunters) are the three bestselling science fiction anthologies of all time. He also created and edited War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches (alternate stories of H.G. Wells’s Martian invasion), and the humorous horror Blood Lite series for the Horror Writers of America, as well as the Five by Five military SF series and the Fantastic Holiday Season series for WordFire Press, the first of which just won a Silver Award from the Independent Publishers Group.
As an author, Kevin has 54 national or international bestsellers and 23 million copies of his books in print. He wrote the new Dune series and the Hellhole trilogy with Brian Herbert, as well as numerous novels in the Star Wars, X-Files, Batman, and Superman universes. His original works include the SF epics The Saga of Seven Suns and The Saga of Shadows, the Terra Incognita fantasy trilogy, and his popular series featuring Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I.
He and his wife Rebecca Moesta are the publishers of WordFire Press.