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About L.K. Pinaire
L. K. Pinaire is an Indiana University graduate and a retired quality assurance manager who substitute teaches in the local high schools. He lives in Southern Indiana with Peggy, his wife of thirty-six years. His short stories have appeared in several publications including Andromeda Spaceways Magazine, Beyond Science Fiction, the Hero and Heroine Anthology, Corner Bar Magazine, Aphelion, and will appear in Shelter of Daylight, and If I Die Before I Wake II. He is a longtime member of the Online Writer's Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, and he has received three Writers of The Future honorable mentions.
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Be afraid. Be very afraid.
That noise in the dead of night. The shadow that slips by almost unnoticed. The fear that pulverizes your sense of reasoning and pushes you deep down under seven layers of covers. There is no escaping it, and when the dark forces of the universe come after you, the world will know exactly what you are made of. Will you run? Will you fight? Maybe you’ll join forces with the darkness that rips through your quiet little life. Everyone’s dying to find out.
The Better Off Dead series delves into the farthest corners of your mind, where your deepest, darkest fears lurk. These masters of horror will haunt your dreams and stalk your nightmares, taking you to the edge of sanity before pushing you to the brink of madness!
With stories by R.E. Sargent, Steven Pajak, Jane Alvey Harris, Red Lagoe, Kayla Krantz, RJ Roles, Peter Rocha, Mike Duke, Cassandra Angler, Matthew A Clarke, Gerald Dean Rice, Alan Derosby and L.K. Pinaire.
The sampler provides complete short stories, novella and novel excerpts, links to the various author’s works, personal interviews, and further information on author’s e-books.
Featuring stories by: Brad R. Torgersen, Jeffrey Thomas, Martin L. Shoemaker, Larry K. Pinaire, Konstantine Paradias, Geoff Nelder, M.O. Muriel, Roderick MacDonald, David Kernot, Patty Jansen, Guy Immega, Kevin Ikenberry, Mark Iles, Stephen Gaskell, Kary English, David Conyers, Gustavo Bondoni. Cover art from Paul Drummond and internals by M.O. Muriel.
Step inside, and discover the wonder and adventure that the big rocket-fuelled universe has to offer…
Magic & Science.
You’ll find four novelettes, four short stories, and one novella, across the spectrum of speculative fiction. You’ll find everything from Hard Science Fiction to Steamy Paranormal Romance, from Steampunk to Time Travel, from High Fantasy to Urban Fantasy. All the stories, whatever the subgenre, have Happy Endings, or at least Happy For Now endings… and although not all the stories include a love story, any that do end Happily Ever After.
* A Lady of Many Charms by Heidi Kneale
Lady Daphne Collister is unimpressed with the other young ladies in Society. These marriage-minded misses have no qualms over using magic to trap eligible bachelors into marriage. She knows their methods are a recipe for disaster. But will her approach of honesty lead her to a successful marriage?
Genre: Fantasy Romance
* A Taste of Earth by Justin Tyme
NASA’s Near Earth Asteroid team is tracking asteroid 2027 UX25, which the press has nick-named ‘ Hachiman’, after the Shinto god of war. Hachiman does not behave like a meteorite should. It fragments and impacts across the globe. A team of scientists must discover its composition … and its intentions.
Genre: Hard Science Fiction
* Scylla and the Pepper Pirates by Rayne Hall
Scylla will do anything to rescue her True Love from slavery on a distant isle—duel for her right to passage on a ship, outwit a deadly siren, and even put up with the ridiculously vain, yet admittedly handsome, ship’s Captain. But when pirates attack the ship, she may have to choose between the man she’s set her heart on and the man who has set his heart on her.
Genre: Comic Fantasy / Fantasy Adventure
* Noah 17 by L.K. Pinaire
To err is human. But in space, there’s no room for mistakes. The last of the human race live on space stations in orbit around devastated Earth.But When Noah 17 experiences a catastrophic collision, technician Pete might need to choose between saving them all…or saving the woman he loves and the secret she’s protecting.
Genre: Hard Science Fiction / Post-Apocalypse
* Electric Hatsuyume by Deborah Walker
An android helps her mistress prepare for the Japanese New Year. And perhaps prepares for something more…
Genre: Science Fiction / Flash Fiction
* The Wooden Dragon by Martin Bueno
A young talented sculptor of large wooden carvings is hampered by an Autism disorder but finds an outlet for outstanding creativity.
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy / Science Fantasy
* Woods Beyond The Wall by Alex Binkley
Jake celebrates his 13th birthday by venturing alone into the outside world. He discovers there is a serious side to the magical tricks he thinks he has been carrying out in secrecy…
Genre: Science Fantasy
* Blightslayer by Vashti Valant & Tara Maya
In a Post-Apocalyptic world, the last Remnant of healthy human beings lives hidden in bunkers. Humanoids, beasts, and plants—all mutated—live in the Wastelands. Vryn is one of the Remnant, and she has the power to connect with the magical machines of the Ancients. On a mission to the ruins to look for Ancient magics, she was captured by mutants.