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Tales from the Canyons of the Damned: Omnibus No. 7 Kindle Edition
Tales from the Canyons of the Damned (canyonsofthedamned.com) is a dark science fiction, horror, & slipstream magazine we've been working on since 2015. What is Dark Science Fiction and Horror? Think of it as a literary Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, or Outer Limits, it's Netflix's Black Mirror and Amazon's Electric Dreams in the short story format. And it's a bargain. Each monthly issue has three-to-five sharp, suspenseful, satirical tales from today's top speculative fiction writers.
These are Dark Sci Fi Slipstream Tales like you've never read before.
- ASIN : B07FK847Q2
- Publisher : Holt Smith Limited (July 11, 2018)
- Publication date : July 11, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 1401 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 184 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1946777668
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,695,265 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Take a look at the wide variety of stories, starting with:
Will Swardstrom’s “A Brief Survey of Intergalactic Sports and Other Competitive Events” – Told in the form of a news article, this story fulfills its title with thoughtful explorations of humans & aliens, their sports and the meaningfulness behind each of them. From the Apeck, who sacrifice themselves when they win, to the Typpians, whose game ball has an unusual and unexpected origin, to Warexegon, where participants must cross the debris-filled rings orbiting a planet… on foot! All this and more is a feast for the imagination that engaged my interest, stirred my heart with their compelling histories and made me wish this was a longer story. Bonus points for connections to several of the author’s other short stories as well.
Nathan M. Beauchamp’s “Murder Bowl XIII” – Endrick goes to the titular game, a bloodsport filled with murder in all sorts of grim ways. Armed with a plan to change things forever, why is he there and what is he going to do? Endrick’s motivations and plan kept me riveted to the page, even as everything he saw during this sporting event disgusted me with the barbaric levels of humanity on display here. As a result, this tale immersed me so deeply, I felt like I was right there. It found new and ingenious ways to demonstrate how devolved society had become, as well as so repugnant, while also causing me to wonder how much worse this sport could get.
Bob William’s “Echo Dome” – Diamond is showing Ranger around his sector for a good time, as part of making a business deal. But when Diamond introduces him to the Echo Dome, a ferocious sport like no other, what will happen? The mystery of this sport is compelling and the more I read, the more I was entranced with the innovation and ingenuity behind it. It’s a sport that has painful and psychological ramifications when a powerful attack succeeds. The results made me wince in pain but not in the way you would think. This intriguing concept suspensefully told its tale that enveloped me in its bold storytelling.
S. Elliot Brandis’ “Peach of a Delivery, That!” – Ned is playing a game of cricket and is having the most unusual and most lucky game of his life. As the tale unspools, it’s clear something strange is going on, but what is it? That crucial question is what lies at the heart of this tale. It’s imbued with cultural resonance, local slang and good-natured ribbing between players that made me smile at the fun of it all. It’s also told with a sparkle and a sense of something magical happening here, culminating in a surprising ending.
Daniel Arthur Smith’s “Veloxity” – A mob fixer threatens Pascal’s sister if he doesn’t do what he is told. Since Pascal is a racer, he must get surgical enhancements to get an edge while riding the most dangerous racetrack in the universe and win the big money. This is an adrenaline-fueled rush where I could feel the speed through the obstacle-laden track and how Pascal managed to zoom through it with split-second timing. The hairs on my arms stood up as I raced with Pascal through the Death Spiral, the Tunnel of Light, the Cyclone and more. This story takes place in the author’s rapidly expanding Spectral Shift (Spectral Worlds Book 1) universe, a meld of cyberpunk and science into a dystopian future that I continue to enjoy reading about.
Some of these sports were so invigorating and fleshed out so well, I wished they were real and could witness them myself. Others were so brutal and vicious, I glad that they remain only in the realm of my imagination. All five of them made me want to know more and presented captivating reasons to keep reading to see what would happen next. Sports have never been this crazy or this much fun to read before!
Switching themes from sports into something darker and more sinister, read about:
Hunter C. Eden’s “Mephisto” – Mephisto is the titular cat who was a stray before being taken in by the Daltons, a devil-worshipping family. When things change and their son is born, Mephisto discovers his purpose in life. Will his mission be understood by the humans who own him and will he succeed in it? This rich and disturbing tale is deftly told from the cat’s point of view and how he views the world. And what a world it is that he lives in! It delightfully and unexpectedly veers off into supernatural territory but yet, stays completely grounded in the emotions of the tale. Just when you thought you knew which way the story was going to go, it veers off into some unusual and surprising directions, being both uplifting and sad at the same time.
Lara Frater’s “Food Police” – Emma needs to lose weight. The government tells her so every chance it gets, denying her the sweets she so desperately craves but cannot get because she hasn’t earned enough food points. Losing weight is hard enough for her. So, how will she handle this crisis as it continues to evolve? This is an ominous tale about a police state trampling on an individual’s rights to conserve scarce food supplies and one person’s reaction to it. The degrading robots monitoring her weight and their insults just add to the frustration and you feel for Emma and her dilemma. The little bits of humor was welcomed amidst this distressing tale. And the ending was startling, devious and… ahem… delicious.
C.C. Ameel’s “The Three Ds” – This poem is about approaching death, how one person imagines it will be and what happens when it arrives. A powerful and insightful series of verses that slowly consumes your soul with its encroaching darkness.
Ian Garner’s “Ash” – Bobby is fresh off his first year of college and is spending time with his girlfriend when a fireball changes their lives forever. As Bobby tries to survive, what will happen next? Told from Bobby’s point of view, the reader feels the horror as he watches his world transform as the apocalypse devours it. This is a harrowing tale that firmly placed me in Bobby’s shoes and made me feel the terror that he experiences with each problem he faces, one after another. The ending was so unexpectedly sinister, it made me uneasily check my window to see if a mushroom cloud had appeared there when I wasn’t looking and made me thankful that it hadn’t.
Daniel Arthur Smith’s “The Lost Tapes – Audrey Blackburne” – Special agents Muldoon and Meyer are investigating a case where two children are missing, and they interview a professor who claims to know what happened to them. The insight that she shares with the agents astounded me with its unlikely implications. How it impacted the case was also a revelation, as it astutely explores its subject matter and well as set up a spookily atmospheric mood.
From here, travel into space to see what the future holds in some out-of-this-world tales:
P.K. Tyler’s “Exodus Sol” – Castor is stationed in deep space when disaster strikes and terrorists attack. Believing that the government is trying to control Earth’s expansion efforts, Castor is a part of the Emergency Response Team caught up in this fracas and pulled in both directions. What will he choose when confronted with two opposing points of view? Castor struggles through the action in a series of harrowing encounters that challenge him morally. Also, the twists and turns of this tale gave me whiplash because of how surprising they were. It’s a powerful and riveting tale with a shocking ending.
Terry R. Hill’s “Deep Throw 1” – Tethered to an asteroid traveling to the outer edges of the solar system, a crew of three women are on a risky mission inside their tiny spacecraft. Facing calamity and unforeseen obstacles at every turn, will they even survive? All three women, Asha, a doctor, Maria the pilot and Yolanda the engineer, are fleshed out well and their intelligence is demonstrated in how they handle their unprecedented situation. But it’s the science and the details of space exploration that really immersed me deeper into this story. Using authentic NASA expertise and modern day technology made this tale come alive, causing the suspense to become that much more palpable in my imagination. The unexpected ending was the cherry on top of this well-crafted tale.
Kevin G. Summers’ “Brethren” – In 2599, Ensign Everett is a space marine who’s caught in a surprise attack on the starship Naronic! Shocked, she discovers that religious zealots have an audacious plan with implications for the entire universe. But can they even be stopped? The fighting is fast, the stakes are high, the reveals are astonishing, the characters are well-rounded and the world building is magnificent. It also has an ending that just begs for more. Fortunately, this standalone short story is a prelude to a full-length novel coming out soon showcasing more of the Starship Gilead and this universe.
Daniel Arthur Smith’s “Off-World Kick Murder Squad V” – Having found what they came for, the squad tries to escape with a reptilian being called Cerulean Blue, who has some strange abilities. Stymied at every turn by the forces guarding Cerulean, they have to escape by any means possible, but how? This action-packed chapter continues to exude the pulpy fun of the previous ones while also presenting some intrigue about Cerulean and why the squad was tasked to capture him. More, please!
All of these tales were mesmerizing, sweeping me up in the stories they had to tell. They also stimulated my imagination in such a way that I imagined myself in the story and was experiencing each of them firsthand. That kind of storytelling is always welcomed by me, as I get to live multiple lives within the pages of this omnibus collection.
Finding science fiction that is fresh, exciting and unpredictable can sometimes be hard to find. But with the Canyons of the Damned series, I know when I crack open the page, I will be greeted with absorbing and compelling short stories that completely draw me into their universes. I’m never disappointed with what I find. I always experience a little thrill when I see a new one is published, as I know the quality is excellent and the stories will entrance me.
The cover asks if I am feeling lucky but there is no luck involved here – it is just pure strong storytelling skills with authors who know how to spin a good yarn.