Stars in the Darkness is a collection of stories about why being just matters, and what the ramifications are for individuals, groups, towns, countries, or even worlds if justice is not expected, encouraged, or enforced.
The stories cover a wide range, from historical fiction to fantasy to alternate realities. Every tale, whether set in ancient Egypt, in a future where only the rich can afford to increase their children’s intelligence through genetic engineering, or about a man turned into a zombie by accident, sends a message about what matters. These stories show bravery, compassion, courage—and consequences.
Former Hollywood party girl Nikki Ashburne sees ghosts—in fact, many of them are her friends. Okay, they’re kind of her only friends. Most ghosts stick around because they’re happy here and have no desire to move on…but sometimes, they need help.
Like when a decades-dead Marilyn Monroe impersonator wants Nikki to find her granddaughter. In Los Angeles.
Yeah. That’ll be easy.
Another story in the Ghosted urban fantasy series featuring Nikki Ashburne.
“Living With the Past” originally appeared in Fantastic Detectives (Fiction River, 2014).
Called “one of the best writers working today” by bestselling author Dean Wesley Smith, Dayle A. Dermatis is the author or coauthor of seven novels and more than a hundred short stories in multiple genres, including the first seven Uncollected Anthology anthologies and the forthcoming urban fantasy novel Ghosted. She is a founding member of the Uncollected Anthology project.
A recent transplant to the wild greenscapes of the Pacific Northwest, in her spare time she follows Styx around the country and travels the world, which inspires her writing.
Lori recently moved into an old Victorian which, as is often the case with old houses, makes creaks and hisses and all kinds of noises. Occasionally she hears three knocks in a row, as if someone were knocking on a door, and every time that happens she swears she can smell the scent of roses.
One windy night Lori’s brother, who had spent the day helping her work on the house, decides to tease her about the knocking sound – so she calls his bluff and tells whatever is knocking to come in.
Jamie focuses on getting into the minds and hearts of her characters, whether she’s writing about a saloon girl in the American West, a man who discovers the barista he’s in love with is a naiad, or a ghost who haunts the house she was killed in—even though that house no longer exists. Jamie lives in Colorado, and spends her free time in a futile quest to wear out her two border collies since she hasn’t given in and gotten them their own herd of sheep.
As a half-Wyndling, Sky Patel already carefully stands with one foot in her beloved Edinburgh and one in the magical Wynd, a realm just on the other side of any Old Town alley (if you know how to get there).
But now Sky must also protect the doorways between those two worlds. And when past mistakes come back to haunt her, she begins to question the one man she thought she could always trust. The very man who gave her the role of Protector of Old Town in the first place.
All this with new, vulnerable charges to guard against the grasp of the Wynd.
Can Sky even protect herself…let alone anyone else?
Alexandra Brandt spent most of her childhood dressing up in fairy wings and parading in front of the mirror telling stories to herself. Not much has changed — she still loves a good costume, and tells herself stories every day. Her stories appear in Fiction River and other anthologies. “We, the Ocean,” her story in Fiction River No Humans Allowed (Vol. 22) was described as “inventive, heartbreaking, and wholly original” by Hugo award-winning writer and editor Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
When not spinning tales, reading, or debating worldbuilding details with her writer husband, Alex writes marketing copy for a medical practice and does graphic design work, including freelance book cover design. She also sketches, sings, watches too many Sci-Fi and superhero shows, and welcomes any excuse to sit down and play tabletop games — from D&D to board games to cards.
In the ancient world of Gwyndor, the mysterious legends of the hutsu hunters are passed down by oral tradition. They are the centenarians of the Northern Peaks, the witch hunters who protect the land from practitioners of the darkest arts—man, woman, or otherworldly.
Wynd is a hutsu, and she wears the battle scars to prove it. But when a powerful enemy from the past lures her to a wayward tavern in a remote village, will Wynd have the skills she needs to survive?
When Valerie was a little girl her parent’s television blew out one night just as the news broadcast ended. For some mysterious and fateful reason, they never fixed it. Not for five years. And during those five years her mother read to her nearly every night; filling her head with distant lands, magical creatures and heroic courage. This seeded Valerie’s childhood dream to be a writer. Now, she lives in Portland, Oregon, with her family and well-loved pets. When she’s not writing she can be found painting, riding motorcycles, or dreaming about living on an old-fashioned farm.
Carrie used to clean houses for a living. Mostly it was hard work but it was all right. But there was one house that was bad. Not the cleaning, although it was. But the house itself, from the creepy pictures to the barred and tinfoil-covered windows to the KEEP OUT signs all over the doors to the thing breathing down the back of Carrie’s neck…
DeAnna Knippling is a freelance writer, editor, and book designer living in Colorado. She started out as a farm girl in the middle of South Dakota, went to school in Vermillion, SD, then gravitated through Iowa to Colorado, where she lives with her husband and daughter. Some of her fondest childhood memories are of putting together haunted houses in the basement of her grandparents’ house with her cousins, and taking flying leaps off haystacks and silage piles in the middle of winter with her brother. She was in charge of coming up with the “let’s pretend” ideas when they were kids, at least in theory. But then no plan survives contact with the enemy. She now writes science fiction, fantasy, horror, crime, and mystery for adults under her own name; adventurous and weird fiction for middle-grade (8-12 year old) kids under the pseudonym De Kenyon; and various thriller and suspense fiction for her ghostwriting clients under various and non-disclosable names. Her latest book, Alice’s Adventures in Underland: The Queen of Stilled Hearts, combines two of her favorite topics–zombies and Lewis Carroll. It’s the story of a tame zombie who told a little girl named Alice a story that got them both in more trouble than they could handle. Her short fiction has appeared in Black Static, Penumbra, Crossed Genres, Three-Lobed Burning Eye, and more.
When Greta arrives at Grayson Place with her ballet company, her memories haunt her. Karl Grayson died there twenty years earlier, but she returns to the mansion for the company’s fiftieth-anniversary gala anyway, just as he wished.
New York Times bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch writes in almost every genre. Generally, she uses her real name (Rusch) for most of her writing. Under that name, she publishes bestselling science fiction and fantasy, award-winning mysteries, acclaimed mainstream fiction, controversial nonfiction, and the occasional romance. Her novels have made bestseller lists around the world and her short fiction has appeared in eighteen best of the year collections. She has won more than twenty-five awards for her fiction, including the Hugo, Le Prix Imaginales, the Asimov’s Readers Choice award, and the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Readers Choice Award.
Silver had it all—eternal life, long-term memory, and a real sweet princess gig as the heir to the Faery King’s throne. But then the Faery realm caught a terrible disease, and she tried to save her people by taking the sickness into herself. She ended up banished with a price on her head and only days to live. The cure cost her memory and left her in hiding, a stranger to herself.
When her one friend in all the worlds disappears while trying to help her find a way home, Silver must come out of the shadows to save him. She must face the danger and the unknown lurking in the Human and Faery realms—and in her own strange heart and soul.
A deadly curse and its terrible cure. A faery princess with a price on her head. A chance to save her world. Silver Dust is a standalone story in The Faery Chronicles series and a companion to its prequel, Phoenix.
Enter the treacherous world of Silver Dust, and the magic of The Faery Chronicles.
Leslie Claire Walker grew up among the lush bayous of southeast Texas. She lives in the spectacularly green Pacific Northwest with cats, harps, and too many fantasy novels to count. She takes her inspiration from the dark beauty of the city, the power of myth, and music ranging from Celtic harp to heavy metal. Her short fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies.
Leslie is the author of The Faery Chronicles series, including the young adult urban fantasy novels Hunt, Demon, and Faery. The first book in her Soul Forge urban fantasy series, Night Awakens, debuted in 2016.
Celia Briggs. Daughter, assistant,and apprentice to San Francisco’s most successful personage, the venerable Dr. Joseph Briggs, physician and warlock extraordinaire.
Celia detests the new constable in town, but when an unusual corpse shows up on the autopsy table, she tries to set aside her dislike and help track down the killer, a task that would be much easier if she could actually work a little magic.
While “discovering” herself as a writer, Louisa experimented with a variety of day jobs, including slush reader, editor, and managing editor, gaining insider information on the world of writing and publishing. At the same time, she built her writing skills by not only writing, but taking classes, attending conferences, chatting with other writers, and … writing some more.
Louisa is the chaotic imagination behind a wide variety of writings, from Star Trek short stories to quirky fantasy, from humor-laden tales to dark, shadowy noir, the kind of imagination that resulted in nightmares when she was small, “stage plays” when she was a teeny bopper (do they even use that term anymore?), angst-filled poetry in her teens, and short stories and novels when she finally realized that same imagination could actually prove useful. Modern “country/western” comes to life under the pen name Jonesey Carlson and dark fantasy/noir under the pen name Lisa Gaines — everything else is Louisa’s “game.”
Everyone recognizes Claire Krane’s artistic gift when she’s working with paper. Everyone except her parents, that is, who are too busy with work to have time for her. Her nanny is the only one who knows the true extent of Claire’s ability to bring her paper creations to life, and she’s stressed the importance of keeping the magic a secret.
But with the school play coming up, and her parents hinting they might actually have time to come see it, Claire is willing to pull out all the stops to impress them. The only problem is how little control she has over her mischievous paper tricks, and when they go rogue on her, they might ruin more than just the climax of the school play.
Brigid Collins is a fantasy and science fiction writer living in Michigan. Her short stories have appeared in Fiction River, The Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide, and The MCB Quarterly. Her fantasy series, Songbird River Chronicles, are available in print and electronic versions on Amazon and Kobo.