Michael Warren Lucas
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With her father’s death, mercenary thief Beaks returns to the place she hates most—her childhood home, to both pay her respects and make certain he’s gone.
She finds only lies.
Determined to rip the truth out of the shadows, Beaks ricochets around the world, defying killers and government agents alike. With the man she loves and the secretive hacker Sister Silence, she targets a nightmare that turns suffering into profit and slaughter into joy.
Family. It’s worse than murder.
He just hasn’t saved her yet.
He invented new kinds of math, new engineering, new science. His colleagues and friends failed to stop him. He surrendered everything for last one chance to rescue his love.
The chances of a new Big Bang? Acceptable.
Murder, mayhem, and all manner of crimes set during the holiday season give this anthology a bite that serves as a delightful change from the sweetness that often dominates this time of the year.
This volume contains an abundance of thieves, a few murderers, a wannabe murderer, and one or two stories in which the crime lurks on the periphery. With a host of unreliable narrators, a few psychopaths, and one acrobat, who could resist?
From a search for the perfect Christmas tree that turns deadly to a reformed thief who wrestles with the better angels of his nature when temptation arises during the holidays, these marvelous mysteries prove the perfect distraction for even the stormiest winter evening.
“Christmas Chase” by Tonya D. Price
“For The Win” by Stephannie Tallent
“Into the Good Night” by Rob Vagle
“A Different, Better Red” by Michael Warren Lucas
“The Art of Waiting” by Kelly Washington
“Christmas in the Ruins” by Mary Jo Rabe
“The Magi of St. Michael’s” by Annie Reed
“Pungent Justice” by Kari Kilgore
“Targets of Opportunity” by Stefon Mears
“All The Bells and Whistles” by B.A. Paul
“Not A Cozy” by Steven Mohan, Jr.
After accidentally solving two murders, Dale Whitehead hungers to stay in his apartment, hack virtual memory stacks, and forget the whole thing. Instead, his boss sends him to a technology/sci-fi convention in Detroit. He plans to endure his stint at the vendor table, stumble through his presentation, and escape anonymously.
A dead body ruins everything.
Dale finds himself battling liquid nitrogen ice cream, balky network addressing schemes, the Chaos Machine, and his own reputation, while the corpses pile up.
"Wait to see if it happens again:" Great for troubleshooting IPv6 multicast over wireless. Not so much for murder.
The stories in this volume tug at the heartstrings and tease the brain. In each of them, two fascinating people throw themselves against the whims of fate in order to find a way to live happily ever after.
Change it. Then watch it try to kill you.
Solve a murder in a universe without ground to stand on. Investigate inexplicable deaths a few million years after the Big Bang. Take too many breaths and never go home again. Let the antimatter trickle between your fingers, and visit five alien universes in this first Montague Portal omnibus.
Shaman Azok-Snaka defends his orcish tenement against the subtler dangers of 1927 Detroit. He teaches the Sagas and battles the grasping landlord, hoping to speak no language but Orcish all the rest of his days.
But when a human shaman invades the tenement, Azok must use his every trick to repel the incursion.
Even if it means invoking the fiercest of his own gods…
Aidan Redding’s entire goal for her time in this universe: behave. For once. Discovering seafaring aliens trashes that plan.
The aliens raise questions. Her co-workers raise more.
The answers explain it all. And ruin everything.
On a world where gravity changes every second, Redding finds herself involuntarily allied with a mathematician from Soviet Texas as she races to save not just herself but civilization.
Forget aliens. Nothing threatens Earth’s golden age so much as ordinary human beings.
Officers of the unjust human law.
Bullet-spewing Great Lakes pirates.
And now, his greatest challenge:
Take stories detailing all the nastiest parts of human behavior, from theft to murder to mayhem, throw in some of the “lesser” darkness that humans can provide during the holidays, and assemble them into one volume—welcome to Bloody Christmas.
These stories, dark and vicious, form the perfect antidote to the holiday season’s sugary sweetness. So, consider this the savory part of the holidays for those whose reading tastes get darker in the darkest part of the year.
As Alfred Hitchcock used to say, read these stories with the lights on—and the doors locked, curtains drawn, and protective gear at hand. One never knows what lurks in the darkness.
“Asking For It” by C.H. Hung
“Some Folks Just Need Killin’” by Lauryn Christopher
“A Crafty Affair” by Bonnie Elizabeth
“A Hidden Gift” by Meyari McFarland
“The Perfect Gift” by Robert Cutchin
“Why Don’t You Make Gingerbread?” by Dayle A. Dermatis
“A Killer Party” by Annie Reed
“Wild Nights and New Roads” by Lisa Silverthorne
“Sister Silence Night” by Michael Warren Lucas
“Bobo” by Ron Collins
“Christmas Dessert” by Juliet Nordeen
When strangers from vastly different backgrounds collide, the potential fallouts are infinite.
Within these pages you’ll find stories of man vs. man, sapient vs. sapient, and culture vs. culture. These tales span the entire spectrum from political strife among the far-flung stars to the mundane horror of Earthly paperwork. But whether the stories take place in the stars, or in worlds touched by elemental magic, or even in the brother-vs-brother milieu of the American Civil War, you can be sure the characters involved will be as strange to one another as they can imagine.
As civilization staggers, hardened veteran Frances Young plays euchre with her team and slashes throats. The new kid can’t play cards worth a damn, and he’s probably no better at cutting throats.
The Choreomania Response Squad. It’s a living.
(Originally appeared in “Boundary Shock Quarterly: Apocalypse Descending”)