“Am I a person?” Borne asks Rachel, in extremis.
“Yes, you are a person,” Rachel tells him. “But like a person, you can be a weapon, too.”
In a ruined, nameless city of the future, Rachel makes her living as a scavenger. She finds a creature she names Borne entangled in the fur of Mord, a gigantic despotic bear that once prowled the corridors of a biotech firm, the Company, until he was experimented on, grew large, learned to fly, and broke free. Made insane by the company’s torture of him, Mord terrorizes the city even as he provides sustenance for scavengers.
At first, Borne looks like nothing at all ― just a green lump that might be a discard from the Company, which, although severely damaged, is rumored to still make creatures and send them to far-distant places that have not yet suffered collapse.
Borne reminds Rachel of the island nation of her birth, now long lost to rising seas. She feels an attachment that she resents: attachments are traps, and in this world any weakness can kill you. Yet when she takes Borne to her subterranean sanctuary, Rachel convinces her lover, Wick ― a special kind of dealer ― not to render down Borne as raw genetic material for the drugs he sells.
But nothing is quite the way it seems: not the past, not the present, not the future. If Wick is hiding secrets, so is Rachel ― and Borne most of all. What Rachel finds hidden deep within the Company will change everything and everyone. There, lost and forgotten things have lingered and grown. What they have grown into is mighty indeed.
Oliver Langmead's Metronome will be published by Unsung Stories in January 2017.
Information about Oliver Langmead:
Oliver Langmead was born in Edinburgh and lives in Glasgow. He has an LLB in Law, and an MLitt in Writing Practice and Study with a distinction, and is currently working towards an MLitt in Fantasy. His first book, Dark Star, featured in the Guardian's Best Books of 2015.
Click here to visit his official website.
Information about Metronome:
It is for the entities known as Sleepwalkers to cross the doors between dreams, and hunt the nightmares that haunt sleeping minds. Theirs is a world of impossible vistas, where reason is banished and only the imagination holds sway: the connected worlds that all sleeping minds inhabit, and the doors that lead between.
But tonight, one Sleepwalker has gone rogue. Abandoning her sworn oath to protect the dreamscapes for sleepers, she has devoted herself to another cause, threatening to unleash a nightmare older than man. The only chance of stopping her lies with a man named Manderlay.
Once a feted musician, William Manderlay is living his twilight years in an Edinburgh care home, riddled with arthritis and filled with a longing for his youth, for the open seas, and for the lost use of his hands and the violin he has always treasured.
For too long now, Manderlay's nights have been coloured by dark, corrupted dreams: dreams of leprous men in landscapes plucked from his memory, of dark figures seeking him on city streets. His comrades in the retirement home believe Manderlay is giving in to age and senility - but the truth is much worse. For in dreams, maps are made out of music - and it just might be that one of William Manderlay's forgotten compositions holds the key to unleashing the nightmare that holds the world of dreams in balance. The Sleepwalkers are zoning in on him. He might be their saviour, or his music might be their damnation...
From the author of Dark Star comes a literary fantasy like no other.
A REVIEW OF OLIVER LANGMEAD'S METRONOME
Marc Joan's The Speckled God will be published by Unsung Stories in February 2017.
Information about Marc Joan:
Marc Joan spent the early part of his life in Asia and Europe, and the early part of his career in biomedical research. His short stories have been published in Hypnos, Madcap Review, Danse Macabre, The Apeiron Review, STORGY, Bohemyth, Literary Orphans, Smokelong Quarterly, Bookends Review, Sein und Werden and Structo. He lives in England with his family.
Click here to visit his official website.
Information about The Speckled God:
Forty years ago, auditor Joki de Souza disappeared in the sweltering jungles of southern India, during the Hindu festival of Nag Panchami. Whilst pursuing accounting irregularities in the Mansholi estate of the Sarpal Tea Corporation, it is as though he heard a whisper in the dark - enough to raise his suspicions, but not his guard...
In a profession that thrives on precision and complete records, there are curious gaps and irregularities that can’t be resolved. Joki de Souza disappeared, that much is known, but exactly when and how is hidden. Now decades have passed, and time is no friend of the truth.
Joki’s story is pieced together through interviews, scraps of diary-entries, faded sketches in old notebooks and the half-remembered whispers of old men. The Speckled God is a story of deified snakes and dark idols, of the cult of Mother Jakkamma and the dangers of misunderstanding the world’s isolated places.
A REVIEW OF MARC JOAN'S THE SPECKLED GOD
Tanya Reimer's Legends on the Prairies was published by Elsewhen Press in August 2016 (digital edition) and November 2016 (paperback).
Information about Tanya Reimer:
Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Tanya enjoys using the tranquil prairies as a setting to her not-so-peaceful speculative fiction.
She is married with two children which means among her accomplishments are the necessary magical abilities to find a lost tooth in a park of sand and whisper away monsters from under the bed.
As director of a non-profit Francophone community center, Tanya offers programming and services in French for all ages to ensure the lasting imprint and growth of the Francophone community in which she was raised. What she enjoys the most about her job is teaching social media safety for teens and offering one-on-one technology classes for seniors.
Tanya was fifteen when she wrote her first column. She has a diploma in Journalism/Short Story Writing. Today, she actively submits to various newspapers, writes and publishes the local Francophone newsletter for her community, and maintains a blog at Life’s Like That.
Click here to visit her official website.
Information about Legends on the Prairies:
What if someone believed that you were a hero from a legend?
“Don’t you believe in legends?” Such a simple question, yet what Sacri really wants Alex to believe is that he is the hero from her legends. A hero meant to save land sacred to her tribe.
Alex is a lot of things. He’s a painter, a sculptor, and a dreamer. He was just fired from a good job, grieves for a woman he hoped to marry, and is known as the local drunk. He’s terrified of fire, of losing his friend, and of being alone. He is a lot of things, but hero isn’t one of them.
Travelling across the country in 1892 to settle land on an unexplored part of the prairies, he hopes to find himself, to find a reason for his pitiful existence, and to have one last adventure with his dying friend. What he actually finds in the heart of the lonesome prairies is Sacri, defending land with her very soul. She believes he is the Man of Legends sent to save Sacred Land. Her determination entrances him. Despite everything, Alex finds himself praying to a God that he thought had abandoned him, in the hope that just maybe there is some truth to Sacri’s stories.
To add to Alex’s unease is the certainty that Sacri’s brother, often merely seen as a silver shadow riding his horse across the horizon, will happily kill him if he turns out not to be the man that Sacri thinks he is.
Legends on the Prairies, is the second of Tanya’s Sacred Land Stories, and is the prequel to Ghosts on the Prairies. Alternate history with paranormal and romantic elements, it is a story about growth, friendship, love, and the importance of believing in ourselves.
A REVIEW OF TANYA REIMER'S LEGENDS ON THE PRAIRIES
M. Rhys Bail's Necromancer will be published by Stupid Stupid Games Ltd in December 2016.
Information about Necromancer:
For Joe Cooper, Hell's only professional necromancer on earth, business is about to get even worse. When his dead father calls him long-distance and warns him of the coming storm, he knows he is facing trouble of the worst kind. And then his employer comes knocking...
Necromancer is the first novel set in the Agents of Armageddon RPG universe, created by Stupid Stupid Games.
It is also the firstborn of M. Rhys Bail, who began a steady diet of speculative fiction when he demanded to see The Dark Crystal as a preschooler. He’s had a voracious appetite for the genre ever since.
A REVIEW OF M. RHYS BAIL'S NECROMANCER
Rab Ferguson's The Dancer was published by Unsung Stories in December 2016.
Information about Rab Ferguson:
Rab Ferguson is a York based writer of fiction and poetry. He's been published in several journals including Litro Magazine, Storgy, Voice-In Journal, Under the Fable and The City Fox. He's also a performing storyteller, and has been known to wear a woollen cape.
Click here to visit his official website.
Information about The Dancer:
Penelope D’Silva is a dancer, loved worldwide for her innovative interpretations of classic theatre. She is a perfectionist, content only with being the best. Performing to packed theatres live every night, the recordings syndicated globally - she is incomparable.
But her new live show, The Lady, is faltering, with empty seats and dwindling audiences marring each performance. The advent of 3D projection technology is changing the nature of theatre. Performance is evolving, as audiences flock to the CineTheatres.
As every artist must, D’Silva must innovate, raise her standards, or lose her audience - to herself.
A story of doubles, the territory between progress and work that has endured for centuries, and the nature of live experience, Rab Ferguson’s The Dancer looks at how technology changes our art, and artists. In the age of the perfect simulation, what is an authentic experience?
A REVIEW OF RAB FERGUSON'S THE DANCER