A haunted Ferris wheel...enchanted dice...the accidental end of the world...a doomed wartime love affair...the last tree on Earth...
Five authors conjure imaginative tales to tickle your fancy and haunt your dreams. The fifteen stories in this collection will amuse, challenge, frighten, and always surprise. Open the book. Turn the page. You'll never know what's coming.
Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn't earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and his published books include 28 poetry collections, 11 novels, 3 short story collections, 1 collection of essays and 2 books of plays. Published poetry books include: Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations, Rude Awakenings, The Remission of Order, Contusions and Desperate Seeker (Winter Goose Publishing. Forthcoming: Learning Curve and Ignition Point). Earth Links, Too Harsh For Pastels, Severance, Redemption Value, Fractional Disorder and Disruptions (Cyberwit Publishing). His novels include Extreme Change (Winter Goose Publishing). and Wavelength (Cyberwit Publishing). His short story collections include: A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories (Winter Goose Publishing) and Dogs Don’t Send Flowers and other stories (Wordcatcher Publishing). Collected Essays of Gary Beck (Cyberwit Publishing). The Big Match and other one act plays (Wordcatcher Publishing). Collected Plays of Gary Beck Volume 1 and Plays of Aristophanes translated, then directed by Gary Beck (Cyberwit Publishing). Gary lives in New York City.
Carnival by Paul Freeman, when a certain carnival comes to town a part of the population forgets the missing people taken from their lives...and it will happen again sometime soon.
RNA by Gary Beck, when a ballplayer gets hurt he finds himself shuffled though a medical system that more mechanical than human, including his nurse, Felicity, a A.I.
There at the End by Mark Roman, as humans are dying off, the robots stand to inherit the Earth- as they planned it.
Ixchal's Tear by Paul Freeman, Olafson's Sea Serpent comes to the shores of the land of Ixchal's people to conquer as vikings do, she leads them to their doom. Seems to be historical.
The Hall of Dreams by Gary Beck, it is life and death for those who come of age and seek to become citizens, all in the Hall of Dreams under Uriel's eye.
Swarming Disenchantments by Bruce Hesselbach, Squire Gloigin Ffargameg of Kennaquhair and the Abbess Elliville Dnalland of Mummelsee fight over the finalizing of the last area of the planet Yxongo, in a epic game of enchanting gwithslog...and poetry.
The Stowaway by Jennifer Eifrig/Evelyn Grimwood, the airship TYPHON carries a cross-dressing Kincaid and the strange stowaway, a neamh-mairbh whom the sister of Jonathan Connor finds herself falling for, she's wanted by both the Americans and the Irish Clan Na Gael, but dare she want for herself?
The Last Glance by Gary Beck, it seems a stupid waste of time to go to the surface and see the last tree, but his Mom and Dad demand it, although he knows his future is in building the underground.
Clam Chowder by Bruce Hesselbach, Prince Uthred Gellethin, is the unlikely hero of the sinking islands of Photenvre, and must leads his people to sail north, though all know to sail north is death.
America by Paul Freeman, a inheritance is wasted on the son of 'gentry' of a small inhabitable region, until they are rid of him by a traveling show from the USA, he sells his lands and follows her to America, where she leaves him no better off when his money runs out.
Despair by Paul Freeman, Malone falls deep into despair when his wife and children leave him, once a bank manager, despair had made him a homeless drunk who seeks to forget the pain.
An Diabhal Sa Fear Ciúin by Paul Freeman, when Flanagan (a Yankee) comes to the Mountains of Mourne, who might be Mary Flanagan and the Devil's son, for vengeance comes after seventy years in a card game for four souls...
From Here to Where by Jennifer Eifrig, in 1862, Chaplain Roger Matthews finds love and heartbreak in the discovery that he is a Son of Anubis.
Over The Black Hills by Paul Freeman, kidnapped into the Royal Navy a run away becomes master of the vessel that took him long ago, something of a pirate's life.
A Disastrous Decision by Mark Roman, Tim could have saved the human race if he had chosen Earth's six other survives of a alien 'accident' instead of turning to his mother - now the survival of the species rests with him, his mum, his dad, granddad Alf, Great Aunt Agatha, Bert from the pub and last, but not least, Rosie Scroggins from the Bingo Club...poor Tim.
This is a mixed bag. I really liked some of the stories, and others felt laboured and didn't flow quite right. Mind you, this is often the way with compilations- not every item is going to appeal, and overall the good outweighs the bad. I will definitely look up these authors in the future and check out their other works.