Azure ‘Azzy’ Brimvine lives in a world decimated by magic, where humans have retreated underground from the overwhelming dangers of the surface. But Below is no safer than Above.
Magic borne plagues continue to eat away at the remaining human cities, a sickness that doesn’t merely kill, but creates aberrations from the stricken: people twisted by magic into something dark, dangerous, and powerful. It is an existence of fear and constant dread. When Azzy’s brother, Armin, is infected and cast out into the Above, she sets out after him, determined to be there for him no matter what he becomes.
The world Above is full of monsters, both wild and cunning, some more human than Azzy was led to believe. Armin is captured and bound for the Auction block of Avergard, a ruthless city of inhuman lords and twisted creatures. To reach him, Azzy must brave the perils of the Above and the chaotic life forms created by the Gate. To reach him, she must find allies and forge new bonds in this broken world.
And Azzy must reach him, before Armin’s new power is used to open the Gate once more.
Every magic has a taste–from the cold, cloying sweetness of the Winnowrooks to the hinted rot and bitter earth of the Mire witches. To know the flavor of one’s magic is to know the poison that will control it.
Oswin Brixby is a traveling Meister, accompanied by his dearest childhood friend and helpmate, Lia. Trained in the subtle magics mastered by the people of the Hooded Wood, his extensive knowledge of the natural and unnatural world gives him a free pass to the journeyman road–the one and only protected path between the varying territories, Above and Below.
Brixby believes he is content in his wandering trade, though in his heart of hearts, he wonders what his true purpose should be. Despite this nagging doubt, there has never been a reason to change or deviate from the known. That is until Lia stumbles onto two foundlings in the pitch-black depths Below. A boy and a girl whose magic tastes of something far too dangerous to be left alive.
The Children of the Gate wait for the call to Rise.
Azzy Brimvine knows her brother is in the vast city of Avergard. She must find him, but time is not on their side.
In the House of Seven Smiles, Azzy struggles to understand the constraints and limits of her power. She finds the whispering voices that guided her for so long, suddenly silent. The enigmatic Lord Wallach is both a frustrating ally and a dangerous mystery, and a strange entity lurks among the household servants. The haven Azzy sought may not be as safe as she thought… but is anywhere truly safe in the Above?
The city of Avergard is full of monsters and secrets, and a dark history festers at its root. A yawning pit nestles in the house of a scheming lord, who will use Armin’s dangerous gifts to raise history, and raze the city to the ground. As Azzy finds herself and her brother pulled into these machinations, she must navigate the politics and society of Avergard’s brutal ruling class to save her family and friends before the Gate consumes them all.
For her brother, Azzy braved the untold dangers of the Above, both the wild and the civilized. But in the city of Avergard, the siblings were pulled into the machinations of a scheming Lord, and a disaster of world ending proportions.
A city under siege
The slumbering Children of the Gate have risen, and their hunger is insatiable. The foundations of the Avergard quake as the eldritch born creatures of the Gate nip at their borders, held at tenuous bay by the various powers of the Lords and the mentally revived Armin. It will take the cooperation of enemies and allies alike to stall the advancement of the Children, but the House of Lords knows their combined might will not last forever. Armin must pull together the broken strands of his psyche to follow the fading connection to his sister, who may have the solution.
Beyond the Gate
Nothing prepared her for this; the world beyond the Gate is vibrant, beautiful, and deadly. Azzy does not stand on these strange shores alone, followed by Kai, the mettle of their bond tested at every turn as they contend with the denizens of this new realm. Azzy knows she must find a way home, before all she holds dear is consumed but first, she and Kai must survive and outwit the one who followed them through the Gate.
A novice hunter with a mission. A five-hundred-year-old vampire with a strong sense of irony. A town plagued by creatures in need of saving.
When Johnathan Newman arrives in Cress Haven, the last thing he expects is for his life to be irrevocably changed. Sent by a clandestine league of vampire hunters to investigate a string of murders, signs point to a vampire lurking amid the townsfolk. Johnathan’s attempt to enlist the locals leads him to an unlikely partnership with Vic, the town’s most eligible, enigmatic bachelor.
As the pair work to solve the mystery, Vic’s secrets come back to bite him. Revealed, the vampire fights his attraction to a man trained to destroy him, while Johnathan’s emotions land him in the middle of forbidden desires. Even if Vic isn’t the murderer, how can Johnathan yearn for his natural enemy?
As Vic leads Johnathan into encounters with terrifying beings straight from children’s nightmares, Johnathan learns that not only is the world stranger than he knew, but that those he once trusted have far darker intentions that will place hunter and vampire at the center of a conflict between realms.
Cress Haven holds more sinister secrets than its resident vampire, a secret so great, it could unleash Hell itself.
For fans of Gail Carriger’s Supernatural Society, The Charm of Magpies series by KJ Charles, Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh, and The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee.
Prophecies don’t untangle themselves. Just ask Ikepela Ives, whose estranged mother left her with the power to unravel the binding threads of fate. Stuck with immortal power in a mortal body, Ives has turned her back on the duty she never wanted.
But it turns out she can’t run from her fate forever, not now that Ragnarök has been set in motion and the god at the center of that tangled mess has gone missing. With a ragtag group of companions—including a brownie, a Valkyrie, and the goddess of death herself—Ives embarks on her first official mission as Fate Cipher—to save the world from doomsday.
Nothing she can’t handle. Right?
A bio-punk space thriller, Vitae Primus follows the story of Asa, a bio-enhanced human thrust into a plot to sabotage her home, the colony space station currently terraforming a planet. Time traveling corpses, invisible saboteurs, and slow burn mutiny comprise this space twister.
Updates Weekly on Crunchy Serial: Bite sized fiction determined by YOU. Read. Contribute. Vote.
After an epic fall out at her last job, and a bad breakup with the Jerk, Kay moves in with an old college buddy. The job search is tough in this economy, so when Kay gets a call back from the mysterious Fantasy Land INC, she’s hard pressed to say anything but yes. The company skill assessment test lands her in the basement with the Care & Handling department, where Kay meets her charges. Fairy tale creatures are real. From dragons, to unicorns, to pixies, and Kay is now a card carrying member of their upkeep team. Magical beings aren’t so great when you’re knee deep in pixie poop, but there is another occupant in Kay’s corner of the Grid, who takes her tea with 10 sugars and talks to birds like she understands them. This prisoner might be a real Fairy Tale Princess, and Kay might be falling in love with her.
The zombie apocalypse has come and gone, the world has ended, and humanity has crumbled.
But nobody told the aliens.
And it seems that alien brains have some interesting side effects on the ravenous undead. Just ask zombie Li, who “wakes up” after a quick bite. The world is a wasteland, she’s a walking corpse, and her “snack” has just melted into a noxious puddle of goo.
She’s had better days.
But she won’t go through the rest of her undead life alone. As Li hits the road to figure out what happened, the end of the world brings her strange company, and even stranger enemies. The aliens are coming back, and it’s going to take more than a handful of quirky zombies to stop them. She’s going to need some serious fire power—like the remnants of the human race.
If she can find them.
“‘I wear the chain I forged in life,’ replied the Ghost. ‘I made it link by link…’”
-Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Link by Link is a collection of 9 stories of ghosts, spirits, and creatures unnamed, all come to teach lessons we won’t soon forget. From sweet Christmas tales to terrifying holiday hauntings, these stories take a dive into the past in the hopes of creating a better—or at least different—future.
In the first nine days of the ninth month of 1999, the Devil begat nine daughters. To each he gave a power to wreck havoc upon the earth, and to each he gave a home where they could see the wickedness of humankind; where their hearts could nurture dark desires for vengeance and destruction.
But kids don’t always turn out the way you plan and they don’t always follow in their parents’ footsteps. Even if one of those parents is the infamous Lucifer. Some of those children, despite being doomed, still seek the path back to light.
With shady characters, magic, LGBTQ+ antiheroes to love, and a very likeable demon historian, DEMONIC DEBUTANTES promises to give you the chills and remind you that even the Devil was once an Angel.
Have you ever met a necromancer with dreams of being a mariachi player?
Have you ever mixed a potion with dragonfly tears, or made a deadly wish on a cake and had it come true?
Did you ever visit a voodoo shop that only opens after midnight or kissed a corpse to life?
Come and join ten specially selected authors for a sweet combination of paranormal and horror stories–tales which have both the undead and chocolate as their special ingredients.
All stories in this anthology revolved around the themes of undead and chocolate.
Moll’s street rat family is betrayed by one of their own and slain by the unyielding enforcers of law. Left for dead, Moll’s pleas for vengeance are answered by a forgotten goddess.
All of the science fiction stories included in this anthology were inspired by the prompt ‘nemesis’.
The best speculative fiction stories end in surprising ways.
Here are 17 that not only end well, but began in ways as wide ranging and surprising as the best twist endings.
The Outliers are 17 authors who view the fantastic through very different lenses of personal experience and imagination.
They are well known and unpublished, they are men and women, they are straight and LGBTQ, they come from seven different nations and several races and distinct cultures.
They all bring you stories from outside speculative fiction’s mainstream with voices as compelling as any and visions daring and unique.
From forgotten gods to downtrodden superheroes, from visions of imperfect futures to new mythologies for the modern age, these are The Outliers of Speculative Fiction.