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About Patrick O'Sullivan
Patrick O’Sullivan is a writer living and working in the United States and Ireland. Patrick’s fantasy and science fiction works have won awards in the Writers of the Future Contest as well as the James Patrick Baen Memorial Writing Contest sponsored by Baen Books and the National Space Society.
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Titles By Patrick O'Sullivan
Associate Engineer Macer Gant doesn’t want much from life. A brew or two, pretty girls, three square meals and an honest job working the big iron, pushing a big load, in a big sky. There’s no in-system tug bigger than Truxton’s Tractor Four Squared, and no better gig than propulsion engineer. Life isn’t just good. It’s great.
Great, until a plague ship tears into Trinity space, a dead hull arrowing straight for the nic Cartaí shipyard and the thousands living and working there. Only Four Squared can stop it. But the captain won’t, not just because he hates nic Cartaí, but because doing so would reveal what Four Squared can really do.
Macer must choose between hanging for failing to render aid or hanging for mutiny. Which has to be the easiest choice in the world. No way is he dangling before lighting up Four Squared’s hidden monster, and without at least whispering the ageless war cry of his wrench-wielding tribe.
Hold my beer. I got this.
Ciarán mac Diarmuid, Wisp, and the crew of Quite Possibly Alien continue their quest, blazing a trail to Contract space and the mysterious customer anticipating their arrival. New wonders and terrors await after each heart-stopping stardive.
And when Aoife nic Cartaí plunges into Trinity space aboard the battered prize vessel Golden Parachute she’ll discover her enemies have outraced her. They now threaten not only the League, and the Freeman Federation, but her own family and the family and friends of the merchant apprentice she’s sworn to protect.
Ciarán and Aoife know they will need powerful allies to complete the mission and save the world.
Macer Gant disagrees. They don’t need all that. All they need is a big tug.
And Macer Gant.
One human. Six legs. All hero.
Merchant Academy grad Ciarán mac Diarmuid wants to do well by doing good. But when he rescues a mysterious stranger from foreign assassins no respectable merchant captain will hire him.
On a superluminal mission of epic proportions.
Now Ciarán must apprentice himself to the black sheep of the powerful nic Cartaí clan, a young woman who is almost certainly a pirate, aboard a sentient starship that is almost certainly insane, on a mission that will almost certainly get both him and his cat killed.
Across a galaxy more dangerous than anyone imagines.
Ciarán has no idea he has been chosen. Any competent human may win a merchant’s license. And any interstellar vessel will do. But it will take more than two legs and a pair of opposable thumbs to liberate the galaxy and see justice done.
It will take the heart of a tiger. And of the champion who walks beside her.
Your destiny awaits.
Book 1 of an exciting new space adventure is just one click away.
Get started today.
Raised a merchant prince and heir to the family business, Seamus mac Donnacha expects to follow in his crime lord father’s footsteps, profiting from the indiscretions of saints and sinners alike. But when Seamus returns from his apprentice cruise maimed, disgraced, and branded a slaver he discovers he’s no longer needed. Disowned and tossed down the Trinity system gravity well, Seamus wants to do as his father demands.
Crawl away and die.
Maybe he will, once he’s kept his word, and helped his friends defeat the evil spreading from star to star. He knows more about that evil than any man alive. It’s been inside him.
Seamus doesn’t want to defy his father. And he doesn’t want to war with his family. Only a dead man would dare to cross them. Only a man who deserved to pay for his sins. Crawl away and die. Seamus doesn’t know what to think about that. But he knows exactly what to say.
Ciarán mac Diarmuid, Wisp and the crew of Quite Possibly Alien come face to face with the enemy in a confrontation that will change the course of history and alter forever the landscape of the wider world. Ancient alliances are shattered as civil war tears through both the League and the Ojinate, and a new player, the Eight Banners Empire arises to threaten a delicate balance of power four centuries in the making.
Macer Gant isn’t idle either, and when he isn’t stealing starships and mediating the love/hate relationship between headstrong Merchant Captain Aoife nic Cartaí and Max Violent, footie maniac and captain of the superluminal tug Tractor Four Squared, he’s taking on the most powerful navy in space. Not all at once, mind you. That would be stupid.
It all comes together as the three former Academy roommates and the war cat Wisp combine their strengths and battle evil in a galaxy-spanning brawl that will make them or break them, and either save humanity or wipe it from the stars.
It could turn out either way and Seamus would still call it a win. It isn’t the idea of dying that Seamus objects to. It’s the crawling away. So prop him up and face him toward the enemy. Because this ends here and now.
To save the living he must wake the dead.
Seanscéal means ‘old story.’ Like a parable, or a fable, but generally more long-winded. It’s like… entertainment, but often with something meant to be learned hidden inside. Not only is it good fun, but sharing a seanscéal is also a way of getting around the not-waking-the-dead custom.
And that’s exactly what Ciarán does, three times, skirting custom to explain:
How he won a posting to the Freeman Merchant Academy.
How he and his cat, the mong hu Wisp, first met.
How he learned the Iron Rule and the enduring cost of that lesson.
It’s no small thing, breaking with custom. But when the price of ignorance is measured in lives?
Someone has to speak up.
Note: The events of this story take place between books one and two of the Freeman Universe series. (There are spoilers.)
Your passage to unforgettable worlds of imagination and escapism. From the farthest reaches of the universe to the innermost workings of the human heart and mind... Let tomorrow's masters of science fiction and fantasy books take you on a journey that will capture your imagination.
A peaceful warrior tries to impose peace on warring alien races, even if that means destroying the world to save it.
From survivors on a sky city to salvage specialists hunted by space pirates...biological warfare to an immortal woman cursed for eternity, this is a non-stop look into the Science Fiction & Fantasy greats of tomorrow.
“Keep the Writers of the Future going. It's what keeps sci-fi alive.” —Orson Scott Card
Writers of the Future has become the most respected and significant forum for new talent in all aspects of speculative fiction. Never before published first-rate science fiction and fantasy stories selected by top names in the field. Authors and artists discovered by Writers of the Future have gone to publish more works than other Writing Contest. It is a leading showcase of creative writing.
Writing Contest Judges: Kevin J. Anderson, Doug Beason, Gregory Benford, Orson Scott Card, Eric Flint, Brian Herbert, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Dr. Yoji Kondo, Anne McCaffrey, Rebecca Moesta, Larry Niven, Frederik Pohl, Jerry Pournelle, Tim Powers, Mike Resnick, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Robert J. Sawyer, Robert Silverberg, Dean Wesley Smith, K.D. Wentworth, Sean Williams and Dave Wolverton (AKA David Farland).
Illustrating Contest Judges: Robert Castillo, Vincent Di Fate, Diane Dillon, Leo Dillon, Dave Dorman, Bob Eggleton, Laura Brodian Freas, Ron Lindahn, Val Lakey Lindahn, Stephan Martiniere, Judith Miller, Cliff Nielsen, Sergey Poyarkov, Shaun Tan, H.R. Van Dongen and Stephen Youll.
Now the magical and unpredictable Folk are whispering of prophecy and plotting rebellion. Changelings grown from stolen hair and fingernails are turning up on her doorstep. Undead sorcerers are turning up everywhere.
And Its Royal Tanist, her new best friend and heir to the throne has disappeared.
The Department of Criminal Magic is clueless.
Her adoptive parents are hopeless.
Her only allies are her adoptive brother Rookhaven, a birdlike emissary created by the murderous kylochs of Ghula, and Madame Aubergine, her adoptive father's fantastically clever clockwork cat.
Maddy has to search for Tan. She has to. But she can't.
Not until she discovers exactly what the mysterious Spelling Bee trophy is.
Not until she understands what the trophy's strange magic is doing to her.
Since 2007, Baen Books and The National Space Society have sponsored The Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award, to honor the legacy of Jim Baen and to promote the ideals of forward-thinking, positive science fiction. Here gathered together for the first time are the best of the best of the first decade of the Jim Baen Memorial Award. Winners and runners-up whose stories dared imagine a bright future in which humankind has shaken off the shackles of gravity and moved into that limitless realm known as “outer space.” Each tale is set in a plausible, near-future setting, and yet the variations are as limitless as the imaginations of the array of authors represented. Stories that ask, “What if?” Stories that dare to say, “Why not?” Stories that continue the grand science fiction tradition, looking to the future with a positive outlook on humanity's place in the universe.
At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).
William Ledbetter is a Nebula Award winning writer with more than fifty speculative fiction stories and non-fiction articles published in markets such as Fantasy & Science Fiction, Jim Baen's Universe, Writers of the Future, Escape Pod, Daily SF, the SFWA blog, and Ad Astra. He's been a space and technology geek since childhood and spent most of his non-writing career in the aerospace and defense industry. He administers the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award contest for Baen Books and the National Space Society, is a member of SFWA, the National Space Society of North Texas, a Launch Pad Astronomy workshop graduate, is the Science Track coordinator for the Fencon convention and is a consulting editor at Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. He lives near Dallas with his wife and three spoiled cats.
“… fans of the unconventional will be well satisfied.”
—Publishers Weekly on Fiction River: Pulse Pounders
Table of Contents
“The Wrong Side of the Tracks” by Kelly Washington
“The Ex” by Michael Kowal
“The Demon from Hell Walks into a Speakeasy” by Ron Collins
“Blood Storm” by Bob Sojka
“So Many Ways to Die” by Dayle A. Dermatis
“Egg Thief” by Debbie Mumford
“Dust to Dust” by Annie Reed
“O’Casey’s War” by Patrick O’Sullivan
“Looting Dirt” by David Stier
“The Mark of Blackfriar Street” by Scott T. Barnes
“Death in the Serengeti” by David H. Hendrickson
“Rude Awakening” by Kevin J. Anderson
“Cleaning up the Neighborhood” by Dæmon Crowe
“Redline” by Travis Heermann
“L.I.V.E.” by Eric Kent Edstrom
The undead sorcerer Ilse January stalks the fogbound streets of Arduvulin City, hunting victims to power her death magic.
The crypto-naturalist pirate Captain James Malachy has returned from his watery grave, determined to shatter the delicate truce between humans and their reluctant neighbors, the magical and unpredictable Folk.
The fate of the Fogbound Realm hangs in the balance. The very future of the Aos Sí teeters on a knife’s edge. Not even the Director of Its Royal Highness’s relentless Department of Criminal Magic can be trusted. Not this time. Quille’s only hope lies closer to home. Closer to heart.
Detective Inspector Nadine Oortsgarten has no use for Quille’s unsubstantiated claims and absurdly fantastic theories. She already has her suspect. A disreputable enchanter with a shadowy past, known criminal associates, and an extremely short life expectancy.
Professor of Enchantment Eusebius Quille.
Table of Contents
“The Color of Guilt” by Annie Reed
“Hiro’s Welcome” by Patrick O'Sullivan
“The American Flag of Sergeant Hale Schofield” by Kelly Washington
“Combat Medic” by Kris Nelscott
“Night of the Healer” by Tonya D. Price
“The Quality of Mercy” by Michele Lang
“Daughter of Joy” by Cindie Geddes
“Democracy” by Mario Milosevic
“Sisters in Suffrage” by Debbie Mumford
“Knocked Up” by Elliotte Rusty Harold
“O Best Beloved” by Angela Penrose
“Sunshine” by Michael Kowal
“The Harper’s Escape” by Anthea Sharp
“As the Berimbau Begins to Play” by Paul Eckheart
“Death of the Turban” by Bill Beatty
“On the Edge of the Nations” by Dan C. Duval
“Window Frame, Handprint, Bloodstain” by M. Elizabeth Castle
“The White Game” by Ron Collins
“Readers will find many impressive voices, both familiar and new.”
—Publishers Weekly on Past Crime
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.
Blood from a Stone
Getting a straight answer from the mysterious Hector Poole is like getting blood from a stone. But once the blood starts flowing there’s no stopping it, not without revealing further secrets best kept hidden.
Senior Captain Maris Solon knows better than to trust Poole twice. But trust him she must, when she’s lured to the planet Sampson by the Queen’s Merlin and forced to choose between darkness and light.
There is more at stake than anyone has imagined and Maris isn’t sure she wants to know.
Will the truth set her free or shackle her to a destiny only a martyr, or a madman, would embrace?
Note: The events of this story take place between books two and three of the Freeman Universe series. (There are spoilers.)
READER WARNING: If you’re the sort of reader that likes to discover the world along with the main characters then don’t read this story. But if you abhor a mystery? Read on.
Fair warning, you will not be able to unlearn what Maris learns.