Sarah M. Chen
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About Sarah M. Chen
Sarah has worked a variety of odd jobs, from script reader to private investigator assistant. She’s published numerous short stories and a children’s chapter book. Her noir novella, CLEANING UP FINN, with All Due Respect Books, was an Anthony finalist and IPPY Award winner. She’s the co-editor of THE SWAMP KILLERS and THE NIGHT OF THE FLOOD with E.A. Aymar and has written for the Los Angeles Review of Books, Hapa Mag, and P.S. I Love You, among others. Visit her at https://sarahmchen.com.
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This charity anthology includes 22 stories of crime and suspense by 22 authors: many award-winners, some publishing for the first time in a short story anthology. The publisher donates 100% of the proceeds to Democracy Docket, an organization that is successfully fighting against voter suppression in the United States.
Authors from the US, India, Germany, and the UK have crafted visions of the past, present, and future of democracy with tales that range from comic to tragic and from cozy to noir. You'll also find a few stories blended with science fiction, horror, and fantasy.
Each author shares their take on the theme: the color of my vote. We know it shouldn't matter, but somehow it still does.
Full Author List:
David Corbett, Faye Snowden, Eric Beetner, Sarah M. Chen, Gabriel Valjan, Jackie Ross Flaum, David Hagerty, Thomas Pluck, Katharina Gerlach, Stephen Buehler, Ember Randall, Camille Minichino, Patricia (Pat) E. Canterbury, James McCrone, Ann Parker, Miguel Alfonso Ramos, Misty Sol, DJ Tyrer, Anshritha, Bev Vincent, Barb Goffman, Travis Richardson
Cover by Devyn McConachie
The third volume in this ballot-minded crime anthology series once again finds democracy at stake, both in its diverse, hair-raising fictions and in the real world, enough so that its publication is again pegged to a fundraiser for voting rights causes, this time with proceeds going to Democracy Docket. Editor Berry, who conceived and has overseen all three installments, notes in her introduction two distinguishing characteristics of the latest crop of crime tales crafted around the subject of voting: First, this time, many of the stories pulse with fresh anger, which Berry persuasively links to the zeitgeist. Second: They increasingly edge toward speculative fiction, which makes sense—so does American life.
From page one, this volume stirs chills of recognition as David Corbett’s “An Incident at the Cultural Frontier” opens with a trucker’s convoy of “inspectors” rolling up on a polling place, and Faye Snowden’s electric “The Obsession of Abel Tangier” turns on the line “Ethel started bringing a loaded Smith & Wesson .45 to every school board meeting after the death threats started.” Other stories center persistent American anxieties, like the possibility that an organized crime syndicate will do whatever it takes to rig a Newark mayoral race in Thomas Pluck’s “Joey Cucuzza Loses His Election,” or the radio host whose racist invective reveals the ugly truth of a beach town’s secession campaign in Sarah M. Chen’s jolting “Riviera Red.”
The speculative tales prove both playful and upsetting. Babies seize the power of the ballot from indifferent parents in Camille Minichino’s inspired and inspiring “Vote Early,” while Ember Randall’s “How to (Actually) Change the World” imagines the fate of the first A.I. candidate for president. History and political violence (the murder of a Chicago alderman in 1963; the assassination of Austria-Hungary’s presumptive Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914) loom over the collection, but what’s scariest is most familiar: men with power intimidating everyone else to give up their own.
Enjoy these tales of Femme Fatales, bad dames and the gentle touch of power, sex and corruption in this edition of Hardboiled by these authors:
Craig Faustus Buck
Sarah M. Chen
Max DeVoe Talley
Windward: The Best New England Crime Stories 2016 Authors
V. R. Barkowski
P. Jo Anne Burgh
Sarah M. Chen
Stephen J. Doyle
Kathy Lynn Emerson
Sanford M. Emerson
Connie Johnson Hambley
Cyndy Edwards Lively
Peter E. Murray
Dale T. Phillips
Shawn Reilly Simmons
Level Best Books' fourteenth anthology features P. Jo Anne Burgh's "Bagatelle," winner of the 2016 Al Blanchard Short Crime Fiction Award.
LADIES’ NIGHT, an anthology by Sisters in Crime Los Angeles, includes stories by Julie G. Beers, Julie Brayton, Sarah M. Chen, Arthur Coburn, L.H. Dillman, Bengte Evenson, Cyndra Gernet, Andrew Jetarski, Micheal Kelly, Susan Kosar-Beery, Jude McGee, Gigi Pandian and Wendall Thomas.
The anthology is edited by Naomi Hirahara, Kate Thornton and Jeri Westerson. Award winning L.A. crime novelist Denise Hamilton wrote the introduction.
Life is a constant party for restaurant manager, Finn Roose. When he seduces an underage woman on one of his booze cruises and loses her—literally, it sets off a massive search involving the police, her parents, and a private investigator. Finn is an expert manipulator but his endless lies only tighten the screws on himself and his unsuspecting best friend. Finn scrambles to make things right which may be too much to ask from a guy who can’t resist a hot babe and a stiff drink.
“Chen creates a compelling character with restaurant manager Finn Roose. Readers with certain taste (like me) will enjoy watching this self-deluded ladies man bumble from one mistake to another, trying to hide his involvement with a missing teenage girl. Sarah M. Chen creates a hybrid West Coast restaurant noir novella. A great read.” —Travis Richardson, author Lost in Clover
“A speedboat ride along the Southern California coastline where the sun shines a light on the lecherous locals. Finn Roose is an opportunistic restaurant manager who finally gets in over his head when he meets an underage femme fatale. Lives are shattered and bullets fly through the salty ocean air in this fast-paced debut from Sarah M. Chen.” —S.W. Lauden, author of Bad Citizen Corporation and Crossed Bones
“If you like your crime fiction the way Finn Roose likes his women, hard and fast, you’ll love Sarah M. Chen’s debut novella. A challenging, unsentimental look at a man who may be beyond redemption. Chen is a writer to watch.” —Matt Coyle, author of the Anthony Award-winning Rick Cahill crime series
“Cleaning Up Finn is a complex morality tale of debauchery, selfishness, sacrifice, and guilt. This romp of a noir through Southern California’s South Bay will stay with you, challenging your ideas of poetic justice and leaving you wanting more from Sarah M. Chen.” —James W. Ziskin, author of the Anthony, Barry, Macavity and Lefty Award nominated Ellie Stone mysteries
“A gritty and compelling journey, Chen navigates the intricate labyrinth of great modern storytelling with believable style. I’ll be tapping my foot waiting for more from this incredible author and more of her character Finn.” —Darrell James, author of the award-winning Del Shannon series
In addition to the authors listed, the volume includes stories by Gabriel Valjan, Stephen Buehler, Jackie Ross Flaum, Stormy White, M. J. Holt, Frank Rankin, Bev Vincent, Puja Guha, James McCrone, Jim Doherty, Terry Sanville, Robert Lopresti, Madeline McEwen, and Ben Harshman.
But beyond the Go-Go’s effervescent sound and cheerful pop stylings, a darkness underlies many of their lyrics and melodies, hinting at the heartache and frustration inherent in growing up. In other words, plenty to inspire murder and mayhem.
Net proceeds from Murder-a-Go-Go’s benefit Planned Parenthood, a crucial provider of women’s affordable reproductive healthcare.
With a foreword by Go-Go’s co-founder Jane Wiedlin and original stories by 25 kick-ass authors, editor Holly West has put together an all-star crime fiction anthology inspired by one of the most iconic bands of the eighties and beyond.
Praise for MURDER-A-GO-GO’S:
“I always suspected that twinkle in the Go-Gos’ eyes was a coded invitation to a darker world. In the hands of these 25 stellar crime fiction writers, ‘We Got the Beat’ and ‘Our Lips Are Sealed’ become evil little gems. A totally rad read.” —Alan Hunter, Original MTV VJ, SiriusXM Host
“Shock and awe, that sums up my reaction to Murder-A-Go-Go’s. Shock to live in times when ‘The Whole World Lost Its Head’ and awe at the response of these gifted writers. Buckle up for a ride that will leave ‘Skidmarks on Your Heart.’” —Sara Paretsky, bestselling author of the V.I. Warshawski crime series
“Who knew those happy songs by one of all-time favorite bands, the Go-Go’s could inspire such dark, noir, spine-tingling stories?!! It’s a collection of tales of distinctly female rage—the murderous kind and otherwise—to keep you up at night!” —Alison Arngrim, TV’s Nellie Oleson and author of Confessions of a Prairie Bitch
“This is the music-driven anthology you didn’t know you needed, but after you read it, you’ll realize your bookshelf was lacking without it. This is a killer line-up of writers, and they don’t play a single false note. Murder-A-Go-Go’s has got the beat.” —Rob Hart, author of The Warehouse
“Like the songs these writers used for muses, each story contains the energy of a pop group and the rawness of a punk band, with some of the darkness and vulnerability that underscores the Go-Go’s themselves thrown in for good measure.” —Steph Post, author of Miraculum
“The Go-Go’s spun some of the brightest, catchiest all-girl pop back in the day. But they always carried more weight than your average pop band: the burden of trailblazing and pioneering; the bad kids in the back of the class breaking all the rules and looking damn cool doing it. This collection commandingly captures that sweet subversion.” —Joe Clifford, author of The One That Got Away
“Beneath the pop stylings and sensibilities of the Go-Go’s pulsed the heart of a punk band.
• “Tell the Man About Love” by Rusty Barnes
• “The Ghost Road” by Susan Benson
• “Hotelin’“ by Sarah M. Chen
• “The Wrong Affair” by Kristie Claxton
• “Victory in the Spring, 1987” by Jen Conley
• “Avenues” by Brandon Daily
• “Noise” by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett
• “After the Bombs” by Hector Duarte Jr.
• “Missing Persons Day” by Danny Gardner
• “The Art of Negotiation” by Tia Ja’nae
• “Dirty Devil Dance” by Carmen Jaramillo
• “Beer Run” by Nick Kolakowski
• “Turner’s Bar” by JJ Landry
• “Johnny Still Goes to Atlantic City” by Bethany Maines
• “Jericho” by Tess Makovesky
• “Detour” by Alexander Nachaj
• “Toothpaste” by David Nemeth
• “The Thing I found Along a Dirt Patch Road” by Cindy O’Quinn
• “Three Fingers” by Brandon Sears
• “Too Many Mullets” by Johnny Shaw
• “The Last Mistake” by Kieran Shea
• “The Walk Home at Night” by Gigi Vernon
• “Kerouac’s Second Scroll” by Patrick Whitehurst
It is through William E. Wallace’s career and his stories that the contributors to this anthology take inspiration. These stories are presented with appreciation to his unselfish contribution to our community and our publications.
All proceeds of this publication will be donated to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in the name of William E. Wallace.
Learn more about the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund at cbldf.org.
And read William E. Wallace’s blog at PulpHackConfessions.com.
Thank you to those who contributed their time and stories: Preston Lang, Jen Conley, Joe Clifford, Will Viharo, Paul D. Brazill, Patricia Abbott, Rob Pierce, Sean Craven, Eric Beetner, Sarah M. Chen, Nick Kolakowski, S.W. Lauden, Scott Adlerberg, Gary Phillips, Renee Asher Pickup, Eryk Pruitt, Todd Morr, Travis Richardson, Anonymous-9, Sean Lynch, Alec Cizak, Greg Barth, C. Mack Lewis.
The line-up of award-winning authors includes Eric Beetner, Peter Carlaftes, Sarah M. Chen, Angel Luis Colón, S. A. Cosby, Nikki Dolson, Mary Anna Evans, Adam Lance Garcia, Danny Gardner, Alison Gaylin, Christopher Chambers, Kate Flora, Greg Herren, Gary Phillips, Alex Segura, Travis Richardson, S. J. Rozan, Abby Vandiver, and Erica Wright.
In an era where the bar for what is acceptable has shifted beyond what the founding fathers ever imagined, THE FAKING OF THE PRESIDENT is a highly recommended unique creative act of resistance, and a must-have for fans of politics, noir, and speculative fiction.
The sun-kissed city of high hopes and second chances, where everyone seems to be from somewhere else. A siren’s call to dreamers, misfits, mystics and freaks, lost souls and purveyors of sin. They roll in on their last tank of gas, their suitcases bulging with secrets of pasts better forgotten. They stay for a few days, a month, a year, a lifetime. The determined and the desperate, careening and colliding toward trouble, and their last resort.
LAst Resort, a Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles anthology, includes stories by Avril Adams, Paula Bernstein, Lynne Bronstein, Stephen Buehler, Sarah M. Chen, Anne David, Gay Degani, L.H. Dillman, Wrona Gall, Cyndra Gernet, Georgia Jeffries, Melinda Loomis, GB Pool, Laurie Stevens, Wendall Thomas, and Mae Woods.
Edited by Matt Coyle, Mary Marks, and Patricia Smiley, with a special thank you to Michael Connelly for the introduction.