stories in and

Silver Helix by Xan van Rooyen

On the surface, the city of HelsInc appears to have recovered from the war waged between humans and Ethereals, but beneath the scars, the city seethes. The remains of magic festers, causing mutations in human DNA which could give humans Ethereal power—not that the HelsInc government would ever let that happen. The Legion resists, ripping out their neurochips and protesting the mandatory gene therapy for humans with cryptomine in their DNA. At only 19 years old, Omyn Talvinen isn’t ready to play parent to her kid brother, but with her mom in prison on trumped up charges and her deadbeat dad AWOL, she’s left with little choice. Forced to risk her freedom to pay the rent, Omyn finds herself at the mercy of a pair of cyborg soldiers when they catch her red-handed stealing nanites from a cyberware Salon. But the synths’ powers don’t work on Omyn, and they discover they all share a common memory that they must get to the root of. Wanted dead by the government, Omyn and the renegade soldiers turn to a rebel Legion group with dreams of resuscitating dead magic for help. With the clock-ticking for the synths, Zee-Five and Omyn are forced to confront the secrets of their past and a dark conspiracy that’ll shake the blood-soaked foundations of the city.


Serenissima by Orazia Moritmer

SFINCS

Would you risk knowing the future? Venice, 1470. The city is filled with rumours of a Turkish fleet sailing the Mediterranean. Isabetta Zorzi, who walks the fine line of being a respectable courtesan, worries about the for-now distant threat. That threat seems even more distant to her twin, Catarina, living a quiet scholar's life in a convent. But a chance encounter with a sailor changes that. They now possess a magic glass gem that Catarina can use to see the future. It's a future no one wants to see: a future where Venice's colonies fall to Ottoman armies, while the Venetian fleet does nothing. The women can't tell anyone what they know, though, because they would be denounce for witchcraft. They need a man, but the only one who knows about the glass gem is a runaway slave from an enemy city. Can a courtesan, a nun, and a (former?) slave save Venice?


Beyond The Falling Snow by Qualia Reed

Wizards of the multiverse unite! Across the 100 worlds of the grand multiversal empire, magic and steampunk technology exist in a fragile balance maintained by a brutal and powerful emperor. In an isolated, northern village, young Sigir's life takes an unexpected turn when a thief steals his late father’s pocket watch. Fueled by determination to recover his precious family heirloom, Sigir is aided by an enigmatic fugitive and his father’s magical robot. Together, the trio embark on a journey across the multiverse to recover what was stolen from them. As the mystery surrounding the thief deepens, Sigir finds himself drawn into events that threaten the safety of the entire empire. Beyond the Falling Snow is a tale of chosen family, and the journey of all who grow up in a rapidly changing world.


Envoy by Andr Moș

SFINCS

When two descendants of a formerly lost people suddenly reappear in Sol System, Kep, an inexperienced guide with few aspirations, is handed the task of showing them around… and figuring out their true motives. But convoluted bureaucracies, hungry corporations and corrupt guilds conspire to acquire any advantage in a technologically stagnant system. So when a secret is revealed, it’s up to Kep to make sure that it doesn’t land in the wrong hands.


The Rivener by Garrett Godsey

Step through a gateway hidden inside your dreaming mind. From the gritty streets of San Francisco to labyrinthine dream worlds conjured from humanity's collective psyche, this is a philosophical, page-turning, dark-fantasy odyssey. Meet Kid, an American foster system survivor turned clandestine courier for an underground syndicate, The White Lotus. With the disappearance of their previous runner, Kid must navigate through a harrowing night filled with deranged stalkers and nightmarish creatures born of his darkest fears. Then there's Alice, a teen prodigy from The Young School — an enigmatic institute for violent psychics, also known as travelers. These travelers have the power to traverse The Dream, a parallel universe birthed from humanity's collective consciousness, capable of manipulating society, acquiring superhuman abilities, and even discovering immortality. Alice yearns to harness these mystical forces to gain her freedom. When an assignment goes dead wrong in Chinatown, Kid and Alice's paths intersect. This streetwise runner and covert operative of parallel worlds find themselves in a reality-defying struggle for the survival of humanity. Can they channel their abilities, love, and determination to mend the very fabric of existence, defeat an ancient evil, and safeguard both realms—The Dream and The Real? This visionary dark-fantasy novel, woven with elements of thriller, horror, science-fiction, and the supernatural, resonates with readers who appreciate intricate world-building, in-depth characterization, and an engaging, fast-paced narrative. Praise for The Rivener “The Rivener' offers a profound, immersive experience resonating with wisdom and truth. With endearing characters and a formidable villain, it's a soulful, thrilling narrative akin to The Sandman and The Matrix." - A Page of Words and Wishes "Littered with feeling and philosophy, violence, and mythology. This had me gripped from start to finish.” - Christopher Badcock, Those You Killed "Absolutely brilliant. An epic mix between Gaiman’s ‘The Sandman’ and everything I wanted but never got from King’s ‘Dark Tower’.” - The Misfit Bookshelf "The Rivener pulls you in from the very first page and doesn’t let go. You emerge completely invested in the world and its characters and are left questioning the nature of reality.” - Book Naked


Silent Sounds by Annait LJ

AFTER HER PARENTS GO MISSING, SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD Zillayah Andrews wants nothing more than to finish her last year of school. She’s almost out the door. Almost able to find the truth about Ameslan’s dirty little secret. This new world may look perfect with its fae creatures, two suns, and ecological advancements. It may be exactly what the human ancestors hoped for when they found this planet so many centuries ago. It might just be the utopia to beat all utopias… Until you speak. One sentence. One word. One mistake. That's all it takes to shatter the balance between everyday life and a never-ending hunt. Zillayah knows this better than anyone. It’s the one thing her parents engrained in her head before they disappeared. Sooner than later, Zillayah falls into the custody of her eccentric aunt, Emriah Cohn, a teacher that doesn’t realize she’s on a short leash. How will they navigate the annual tests to find people of the Old Tongue? People like Zillayah? Speaking is already a death sentence for anyone caught. What will they do when Zillayah’s skills extend far beyond the imagination?


The Key to Reality by F. Ted Atchley

SPSFC 2023

A desperate father holds the key to victory in an alien civil war. If he chooses well, he'll reunite his family. If he chooses wrong, they all die. An Elite Cybersecurity Analyst. A Desperate Rebellion’s Best Hope. Brandon thought the assignment was just another standard security assessment. Wrong. As he peels back the layers of a deepening conspiracy, he discovers everything he thought he knew about his reality is a lie. And he’s the only one who can save it. Exiles from another reality see Brandon’s new knowledge as the key to victory over their tyrannical king and his immortal army. Pursued by both loyalists and rebels as he crosses the borders between realities, Brandon must protect his family, while figuring out who to trust. Choosing well means rescuing his family, and saving both worlds, but choosing poorly will empower a malevolent evil to wipe out humanity.


At the Manor House by E A Stoy

As a secret agent in a war between supernatural societies, Brand has made himself into an expert in social engineering and information gathering -- or, as some might put it, sexpionage. His world is upturned when a new handler back at the office takes an interest in him and pulls out all the stops to save him from a trivial lapse in intelligence. Intrigued, he resolves to learn more about what turns out to be a shy and withdrawn man in the Extraction department, whose blisteringly competent work persona is at odds with his awkwardness and inability to control his own elemental powers. Feeling that he owes this handler a favor, and with growing interest in this strange and quiet man, Brand takes him under his wing and swiftly develops a reason to come home at the end of a mission. Meanwhile, he's being sent back into the fray to seduce a dangerously skilled mage bred by an opposing society. It certainly appears that he'd prefer a clean break from his own organization, but will that be enough to flip him as an asset to Headquarters? A queer romance based on mutual respect and admiration.


The Psychic's Memoirs by Ryan Hyatt

SPSFC 2022

Ted Kaza, a hot-tempered Los Angeles detective, and Lydia Jackson, his distracted partner, are assigned to find Alice Walker, an alleged teenage psychic whose capture might determine the outcome of a looming civil war and humanity’s relationship with a misleading alien force.


Echoes of Another Earth by J Daniel Layfield

SPSFC 2022

A scientist in hiding. An admiral on the brink of treason. A man who has lived hundreds of versions of his life across the same number of dimensions. Three paths converge in one dimension. Their actions will affect them all. Josh hasn't really felt like himself since the first time he died. It's funny what you can get used to though. With his next jump into another Josh's life, he may finally get some answers, but does he want to hear them? Better question: can he trust the scientist being hunted by his past? Whatever Josh chooses, his actions will either aid in saving this dimension from destruction, or add it to a long list of ones destined to end.


The Unpleasantness at Baskerville Hall by Chris Dolley

SPSFC 2022

Wodehouse steampunk version of The Hound of the Baskervilles! “Jeeves and Wooster meet Holmes and Watson with a touch of steampunk in the hilarious first full-length Reeves and Worcester tale ... This laugh-out-loud parody works on several levels ... With razor-sharp wit and fast pacing that plays fair with the reader, this is an excellent genre mash-up that fires on all cylinders.” - Publishers Weekly An escaped cannibal, a family curse ... and Reginald Worcester turning up on the doorstep. Could things get any worse for the Baskerville-Smythe family? As the bodies pile up, only a detective with a rare brain – and Reggie’s is so rare it’s positively endangered – can even hope to solve the case. But... there is the small matter that most of the guests aren’t who they say they are, the main suspect has cloven feet, and a strange mist hangs over great Grimdark Mire. Luckily the young master has Reeves, his automaton valet, and Emmeline, his suffragette fiancée, on hand to assist. This stand alone novel is the fifth Reeves & Worcester Steampunk mystery


Unparalleled by Whitney Ivey

Love often grows from the most unimaginable of places, and Unparalleled by Whitney Ivey captures a unique and alternative perspective on imaginary friends and the ways in which children have been known to interact with the spirit realm. Unparalleled is a riveting fantasy love story, following a young boy, Derek, and his vivid imagination into adulthood as he journeys through life with his best friend, Essi. She is anything but imaginary, despite his parents' and society's highly skeptical thoughts. As Derek realizes Essi is his one true love, he also comes to the heartbreaking realization that their worlds cannot continue to collide because their friendship comes with a strict expiration date. Will Derek get the chance to tell her before it's too late? Can Derek hold on to the hope that he will find Essi once again, or will life without Essi be the forever he never wanted?


Of All Possibilities by Joe Butler

SPSFC 2022

What does someone who can slip between universes do for a living? They help shape the fate of this reality. When his grandfather dies, a young Eli Clarke takes over as the Key: an individual with the power to traverse the multiverse. Raised inside a cult that works with the government, he erases targets from the timeline. Then he meets Jess, a fellow outsider who shows him what it is to question everything. Set in the 80s, 90s, and now, OF ALL POSSIBILITIES is a universe-hopping, punk rock love story about loss, identity, and obsession that explores the repercussions of the choices we make and what makes us who we are.


Pink Apocalypse by Carpenter Gibson

SPSFC 2022

Forget diamonds, in the Post Apocalypse, Bullets are a girl’s best friend! Pink is a mysterious woman who walked out of the wastes. She is an up and coming member of the Patrol. They are the sheriffs of the wild wastes, taking on zombies, mutants, bandits and robots left over in the ruins. Pink is now freshly promoted and set out on a seemly mundane mission with three other wasteland warrior women at her side. However, she is haunted by a failed expedition to find her mentor in more ways than one. Pink must now lead this team of bad ass bullet babes into the wastes for answers. The End of the World was just the beginning of Action and Adventure!" The world ended in the weird future of an alternate earth. Zombies stalk the wasteland! Mutants lurk in the ruins! Forgotten robotic soldiers still patrol the devastation. Raiders and rival tribes war over scraps. But there is hope. Braves souls still seek the tame the wasteland and ensure humanity's survival. Intrepid settlers and traders struggle to make a slightly better future. In such strange times tales of adventure abound. Pink's story is but one. Come see the wild west of the post apocalypse with us!


The Thirteenth Key by Cara Nox

The chaotic crew of heisting misfits in Leigh Bardugo's SIX OF CROWS meets the familiar yet fantastical, modern landscape found in Robert Jackson Bennett's CITY OF STAIRS. “The thirteen emblems given to the original rulers weren’t just symbols. They’re keys to the Vault—one that no one’s ever opened.” Noa has lived her life as an unsuspecting, ID-burning, face in the crowd that disposes of “problems” for her miscellaneous, secretive employers. So, when Noa’s surrogate father—a Seer—hands her a long-lost emblem, telling her with his dying breath that it's her responsibility to reignite magic, she laughs at the idea that the fate of their world rests on the shoulders of a killer. Instead, she uses his words and the key he gave her as an excuse to go on one final suicide mission to seek out the power supposedly waiting for her to annihilate his murderer. Prince Glacier Caelius has lived his life trapped inside a gilded cage, pushed down by the ever-present threat of death as the bastard son of Amarais’s late king. But when the rebels attack during a nationalist party, Glacier’s rescued by none other than Noa and her merry band of thieves, who are scrambling to salvage a failed attempt at stealing his country’s emblem: the Soul of Amarais. When the dust settles, he’s the only person left alive to unlock the palace vault and give the Soul to Noa in exchange for saving his life. Well, once they’re able to formulate a plan to take the palace back. Struggling with their tentative, newfound freedom, Noa and Glacier must learn to work together to survive the urban landscape of Avaria’s greatest cities fortified by technology in the wake of dwindling magic. The goal: steal as many keys as they can before their pasts catch up. But the further they go, the more they realize that something worse may be lurking on the horizon, and they may very well be the only ones able to stop it.


Dream Frequency by S.J. Lomas

Gabriel and Christine are prepped and ready for entrance into a top secret government agency. It should be a cinch for Gabriel to ace his final test while Christine prepares to enter training and say goodbye to her friends. But on the eve of Gabriel’s test, at a time when Christine’s friends need her most, a disturbing development threatens everything. An anonymous enemy sets them in a race against time to rid the agency of deep seated corruption and sabotage before the unthinkable happens. Who can they trust? To save themselves and everyone who matters to them, they must choose their allegiances wisely, and risk it all, friends, future, their very lives. Will they succeed or die trying? This thrilling conclusion to Dream Girl can also be read on its own as a complete novel.


Dream Girl by S.J. Lomas

From the day Gabriel starts working with Christine at the library, he turns her life upside-down with sizzling chemistry, bizarre stories, and incredible dreams. Dreams so vivid they feel like real life. Christine’s friends think she’s falling for Gabriel fast but they don’t know about the secret life Gabriel and Christine are living at night. Who would believe her if she told? As the dreams become more dangerous, it’s clear they’re being orchestrated by someone. But who? And more importantly, why? As Christine struggles to help Gabriel unravel the secrets of the dreamworld, she risks her closest friendships, her college plans, and maybe even her life.


Adamant by Emma L. Adams

Ever since a devastating magical war tore apart Ada Fletcher's homeworld, she and her family have lived undercover on the low-magic Earth. Stuck in a dead-end job in London, Ada has spent her life hiding both her true identity and her forbidden magic from the Inter-World Alliance: the organisation that polices the Passages between Earth and its magical neighbours. At least until a high-ranking Alliance official is murdered, and Ada is arrested as the main suspect. Kay Walker, grandson of the Inter-World Alliance's late founder, expects to spend his first week as an Alliance employee hunting rogue monsters in the Passages, not solving his supervisor's murder. However, the main suspect is a fierce young woman with dangerous magic from a world that should no longer exist… and the closer Kay gets to uncovering the truth, the higher the body count rises. The last thing Ada wants to do is help the infuriating Alliance guard who arrested her, but it soon becomes clear that the Alliance knows too much about Ada's homeworld -- and her magic. More, in fact, than she knows herself. One thing's certain: she's not the only one keeping secrets, and trusting the wrong person might cost more than her life.​


Quantum Curators and the Fabergé Egg by Eva St. John

Death or Glory – just another day in the office. When a priceless Fabergé egg comes to light everyone is after it. Neith Salah is a quantum curator. It's her mission to get the egg; she doesn’t know what it looks like, or where it is, but she knows it’s not on her earth. Julius Strathclyde lives on a parallel earth. He's a Cambridge professor and an archivist; he loves tea, research and a quiet life. It's a pity then, that he's the only person alive who knows where the egg is. She has guns and attitude, he has a fountain pen. Together they are going to have to race against time to save the egg, before a hidden enemy gets there first.


To Climates Unknown by Arturo Serrano

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

On September 11, the United States were destroyed. That is, September 11 of the Year of Our Lord 1620. In this alternate history, the Mayflower was lost at sea, and the English Separatists were disheartened from further colonization of North America. The United States were never born. The centuries that follow will see the emergence of rival empires that will split up the world between them. One will become the terror of the seas. One will rampage with carriages of steam. One will take to the skies. And the people caught in the middle will fight against the colonial system to bring an end to all empires.


The FATOFF Conspiracy by Olga Werby

Transdimensional Industries gave the world a technical solution to the obesity epidemic—eat more than you want, and store all that you want in their fat storage tanks conveniently located outside of our set of dimensions. Complete gluttony without sacrificing beauty or health...for a price. You can be rich and buy a thin body. You can be poor and lucky enough to get government assistance with your personal fat storage—Federal Assistance with Transdimensional Offloading of Fat and Flab. Or you can win the tits lottery—a lifetime of free blubber storage in the Transdimensional Industries' tanks where all the humanity’s fat is stored. Thin people live well, have high paying jobs, and wield all of the social and political power and prestige while consuming unlimited quantities of food as mandated by the government. Fat people? They don't do so well. Cindy Rella is a low-level bureaucrat at the Civil Office of Fat Excision. And while her job is to tell people "no" when they apply for government assistance, Cindy has been secretly saving for a set of gray-market papers that would guarantee her a zero dress size and a healthy lifespan of over 30 years. Because being fat is not only a life-time of being a second-class citizen in a society that worships physical beauty, it is also a death sentence. Cindy's plan doesn't work spectacularly and her life spins out of control into a dangerous world of revolutionary fat freedom fighters. Sucking off fat into another dimension is not the only way to get thin. Cindy Rella is a coming of age story in the world that is a cross between dystopian Brazil and Fast Food Nation with a sprinkling of sci fi.


The Gottingen Accident by James Mordechai

SPSFC 2023 SFINCS

What if three famous scientists with superhero powers do team up to fight a villain that wants to subvert the very fabric of the Universe by using non-Euclidean geometry? What if the Germans won the Great War and the 1917 Bolshevik revolution never took place? Time is not always a straight line and sometimes it can expand and contract. Then, Charles Darwin could change the evolutionary destiny of any living being and be coeval with Marie Curie that in turn could see through walls thanks to her X-Ray vision. A terrible accident, the Gottingen Accident, made them all. It made them like this. Superhumans. Or maybe just monsters.


Unicorn Farmhand by Samuel Yaw Jian Fong

Every horse has a talent or two. Some can sit, some can jump over obstacles, and some can select a button for a treat. For one particular draft horse, Dok Saau, his talent is in writing. He does not just scribble letters in the ground as a trick, but he also uses his talent to express his own thoughts to his bemused owners. Surprised by his strange talent, his owner Chang Gao brings him to the Horse Fair, where he beats the other horses by writing proper answers to several questions. After a DNA scan, he is revealed to be a unicorn: even though he was supposed to be released into the wild, the authorities let Chang Gao keep him so that he might become a local attraction. Yet even as he tries to adjust to his new life as an animal celebrity, every now and then he faces recurring nightmares from his troubled past. As he seeks Chang Gao's help, will he be there to help him defeat his fears? Or would they instead attract something much worse: something that could threaten his comforts or even his own life?


The Necromancer's Prison by Alec Whitesell and Craig Bonacorsi

She wanted to find her place in the universe. She never imagined it might not be on Earth. When Emily Murphy over slept the morning of her college entrance exam, she thought missing her test was the worst thing that could happen. She never expected she would wind up lost halfway across the galaxy, battling aliens with laser guns and mages hurling lightning. Like most seventeen year olds, Emily’s main concern had been navigating the perils of high school, not surviving shootouts and sorcery. That changed when her school was attacked and a student was kidnapped. While everyone else smartly fled from danger, she recklessly ran toward it mounting an impossible rescue that would lead her on a journey unlike anything she could have imagined. Dropped into a strange world teeming with merciless criminals and ruthless aristocrats, surrounded by violence and betrayal, Emily must untangle a web of intrigue and deceit to solve the mystery behind the abduction, save her classmate, and discover the destiny which awaits her. It is either that, or die trying…


Michael McGillicuddy and the Most Amazing Race by Trevor A. Dutcher

Puzzling Intrigue. Epic Adventure. Cut-throat competition. When a quiet introvert and gifted tinkerer, Michael McGillicuddy, is invited to participate in the annual race organized by a secret society called the Order of the Blue Cloak, he forces himself to take a chance. Participation in this year’s race represents a dual opportunity: To honor his father’s legacy, and to win a prize sufficient to pay taxes on his mother’s land to avoid foreclosure. The action-packed adventure that follows features a vibrant cast of characters, and includes some of the brightest minds and most unscrupulous characters 1895 Europe has to offer, including a Luxembourgish railroad baron, a middle-eastern mystic, a lone-wolf bounty hunter, a British female spy and a Dutch female alchemist. A devious circus ringmaster, and his equally devious crew, including a strong-man with a mechanical arm and a ruthless female enforcer with a chip on her shoulder and a penchant for poison, provide the main antagonistic forces.Follow the racers over land, sea and air, from London’s outskirts all the way to Paris, as they risk life and limb to embark on a scavenger hunt-style race with few, but important, rules. The winner of this year’s race will be the first to solve all the milestone puzzles and arrive at the finish with a complete and matching set of milestone tokens. Along the way, Michael will encounter intellectual challenges, fantastical creatures, games you’ve never heard of, physical peril, sabotage, betrayal, love, heartbreak, and even a touch of magic, all while discovering himself and a newfound taste for adventure. But as a novice among experts, and with the odds so strongly stacked against him, how will Michael survive, let alone compete?


Courage (The Legacy Chronicles #1) by Lauren H. Salisbury

Can one woman evade an alien empire to save her son's life? Gilla and Elias have the perfect life—or as perfect as life can be for slaves living deep in the Esarelian Empire. Elias wants freedom for his precious wife and daughter, and the rest of their people, and he is willing to fight to get it. Pregnant with her second child, Gilla only wants a happy, healthy family who share a strong faith in the God of Old Earth and to get through her workload each day. When the Esarelians decide to teach their rebellious slaves a lesson they will never forget, Gilla’s entire life is turned upside down. She must trust that God has a plan to protect her new-born son, and have the courage to follow it, choosing the strangest of allies in an effort to ensure his survival.


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