SPSFC 2023 Self-published Science Fiction Competition 2023

A sister competition to the SPFBO, the SPSFC is for sci-fi self-published works. Stories tagged with this mark were entered into the third year of this competition.

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Wistful Ascending by JCM Berne

SPFBO8 SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

A superhero space opera for grownups. For fans of Invincible and Marvel Cinematic Universe films who like a little hard science fiction in their superheroes.
If Thor and Harry Dresden combined in a transporter accident.


Who Built The Humans? by Phillip Carter

SPSFC 2023

Who Built The Humans? is a fragmented novel, a multiverse of 47 stories that combine into 11 interconnected universes. These universes range from soaring science fiction to searing satire, and pose increasingly strange answers to that ancient question, Who Built The Humans? Concepts and theories explored thoughtfully in one story will be relentlessly parodied in the next, and characters and objects will hop between universes to knit the multiverse together in unexpected ways. In this way WBTH is both a short story collection and a novel, and can be read in almost any order. No two stories from the same reality touch across the pages, meaning WBTH can be read front to back as a novel, or universe by universe if you become sucked into one particular reality. If this happens, helpful signs will lead you across time and space into the next story in that universe. This concept is pushed to its limits with the On-Series universe, a darkly satirical universe of poetic short stories that requires reader participation to decide the ridiculous fate of humanity. Will we be destroyed by shame machines, or remembered in the nightmares of some future cyborg? Within the book you will discover shapeshifting televangelists, talking crystals who hate anyone called Susan, the physical manifestation of your inner self, time travel (again), artificial afterlives, intelligent planets, bottleneck spacetimes, collapsing universes, poets that turn into black holes, black holes that turn into poets, shame machines that use those black holes for fuel, time travel, reincarnation cults, parallel universes, deceptive aliens, new Earths, old Earths, sarcastic living metaphors, robots who struggle to learn jokes, intersecting realities and the occasional probing. It's a ridiculous multiverse. You should visit it. (and visit Goodreads for the reviews)


Tomorrow Lives Today by W. O. Torres

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

When a weapon composed of dark matter mysteriously arrives from the future, twenty-four-year-old Brody Rodriguez's chill life gets a super-powered upgrade. A clandestine government agency led by Agent Gonzo and a squad of sinister spies kidnaps Brody and his future tech to save democracy … or at least their version of it. Brody’s only ally is his time-traveling granddaughter, Isabella Rodriguez who wields a future tech of her own. Brody must convince his future wife “Dez” to stick around his chaotic life long enough to fall in love with him or watch him die. As an impending A.I. War inches closer, threatening humanity, Brody will face who he was, who he is, and who he is meant to be.


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.


Time to Play: Apocalypse Parenting #1 by Erin Ampersand

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

A few minutes ago, Meghan Moretti's biggest concern was getting the kids' athletic clothes washed in time for practice this evening. Now, it seems that Earth has been forced into participating in some high-stakes intergalactic reality television. All electrical wiring has been slagged, and most combustibles neutralized. Some kind of evil space rodents are appearing on the front lawn, too. Like any parent, Meghan's first instinct is to keep her young kids safely away from the monsters, but an odd stroke of luck has her coming into some advanced information about this dangerous game. She learns that her kids will have to fight too. What's a mom to do? --- The beginning of an apocalyptic LitRPG saga.


Time Burrito by Aaron Frale

SPSFC SPSFC 2023

With great burrito comes great responsibility. Pete’s food truck at the University of New Mexico isn’t going well. Seniors dare freshman to eat his burritos. Frats use them for pledges and pranks. Rumors fly around campus that they are chupacabra ground up with rat. Pete needs a change, and it comes in the form of a physics experiment gone awry. After being sucked into the past, he stumbles across an ingredient that goes great in one of his creations. First, there was Marty McFly. Then there was Bill and Ted. And now Pete—


The Sphere: A Journey In Time by Michelle McBeth

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

Adelaide loves her job, but who wouldn’t enjoy traveling to the past to unravel the great enigmas of human history? The rules and regulations of her mysterious workplace may seem rather severe, but their need becomes apparent when a coworker returns from a mission decades older and unable to remember his life in the future. Adelaide embarks on a desperate journey through time to save her friend before he becomes trapped in the past. When her own timeline takes an unexpected turn, the fates of everyone she knows are at stake, and the secrets she uncovers put her own life at risk.


The Soldiers' Perspective by Phillip Murrell

SPSFC SPSFC 2023

War doesn’t have good guys. War doesn’t have bad guys. A slight shift in perspective changes everything. The planet Gemma is under attack. For the people of Gemma, this is an unprovoked and murderous raid by bandits unwilling to earn their way. The defenders will protect their culture with their lives. For the attackers, the wealth of Gemma represents the source of their collective anguish. Desperate humans, aliens, and cyborgs unite to fight a system they perceive as callous and corrupt. An invasion is the only way to survive. Soldiers from each army will meet on the battlefield. T'azure leads Shadow Squad, a motley crew comprising elite human, cyborg, and reptilian fighters. They’ll spearhead the invasion. Sare Importa and his wife Neera will defend their home, enhanced by state-of-the-art equipment which turns both into a near unstoppable force. Good and evil are labels history applies. What will be said of this war today?


The Sequence by Lucien Telford

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

"The Sequence" is a science fiction thriller that weaves together the stories of a world-leading genetic editor, a pilot/smuggler who hauls contraband for the mob in a ground effect stealth jet, and a pair of Hong Kong Police detectives investigating a series of genetically modified dead bodies they find in curious locations around the city, only during typhoons.


The Rave (The Aelfraver Trilogy Book 1) by J.R. Traas

SPFBO7 SPSFC 2023

Time, it stretched before her, every second crawling by, lengthening like an uncurling worm. Alina absorbed it all in painful detail: the twinkles of firelight caught in the breastplates and gauntlets of the Chimaera Guard, the panic in Cho’s eyes, the spittle glistening on Mezami’s fangs, every growl and sputter of all their raised voices. The Aelfraver Trilogy, set in J.R. Traas's futuristic fantasy world of El, is a story about teenage rebellion—against the ruling elite and their gods. GO HOME, ALINA When Alina K’vich lost her parents, her grandfather Dimas gave her a home and a purpose. At The School, he trained her to become an Aelfraver—a hunter of arcane beasts, demons, and other anti-human entities. For ten years, they built a life together. Then, one night, in the middle of preparing dinner, Dimas vanished. Now seventeen, and stuck with her grandfather’s debts, Alina resorts to illegal Raves in her rundown hometown. But these small-time contracts simply aren’t enough: The School lies in disrepair, the power’s shut off, and the bills remain insurmountable. In a last-ditch gamble, she signs up for a Rave whose massive reward could rewrite her entire future. However, she’s far from the only Aelfraver to answer the call of such an alluring bounty… Out of options, Alina sinks the last of her money into a forged Raver’s license and a one-way ticket to New El, the floating Capital. There, an unnamable horror—her target—busies itself slaughtering the nobility in the dead of night, leaving no survivors and no witnesses. Protected only by her wits and spells, Alina must find a way to save New El, her School, and herself.


The Other by Marilyn Peake

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

Gold Award, Fantasy / Science Fiction category, eLit Book Awards. Fear can blind you to the truth. The news is ominous and terrifying. People are seeing UFOs and strange, alien-looking creatures with humanoid shapes, green skin and large black eyes. In places where this occurs, doctors report the spread of a mysterious virus that scrambles people’s thoughts and causes hallucinations. Many experts believe the virus came from the aliens. The pathogen has not yet been identified; there is no cure. Psychology professor Dr. Cora Frost has a different theory: the bizarre symptoms are nothing more than mass hysteria, not unlike the hysteria that caused people in our not too distant past to see witches flying through the sky, which justified hanging them or burning them at the stake. Intense stress within societies gives rise to scapegoats. Doing field research within the compound of a cult in Roswell, New Mexico that reveres the exact same kinds of aliens being reported on the news, her entire worldview is shaken and upended. In a shocking series of events, her past and future collide, forever changing her life.


The Name of the Shadow by Mars G. Everson

SPSFC 2023

Fear is a double-edged weapon. When a Shadow spreads over the utopian Colony, the only human enclave in a lonely planet, the young will be the first to understand the danger that hovers above them. What they find about themselves in that struggle will lead them to greatness... or to the destruction of their idyllic way of living. Who will rise a hero, and who will become a monster? In the tradition of Ursula K. Le Guin and Isaac Asimov, this is the story of a people that do not know fear... and what happens when they discover it. Of what is left when paranoia becomes all-encompassing, and men find the evil within each of them.


The Mambo Wizard: Breakfast is Served! by Giordano J. Lahaderne

SPFBO9 SPSFC 2023

Meet Jeremy Fletcher, boy wizard and orphan extraordinaire. After years of study, Jeremy finds himself expelled from Pigpimples Academie of Magick. He only ever mastered the single spell of transforming everyday objects into breakfast food items (a novice trick at best, and one not found in any of the Headmage’s textbooks). But perhaps Jeremy's luck is due for a change. Moe and Zippo crash-land their starship on his family's property. They're space pirates on a quest to fish radio broadcasts out of black holes and build the ultimate night club. They also appear to be famished. Is this Jeremy’s chance to provide a complete and balanced breakfast? In the spirit of J.K. Rowling meets The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, enter an alternate history where humans made contact with alien races, and where magicians are still embarrassing! Featuring a cast of wizard school dropouts, small furry animals, and other various weirdos! Come join the gang in a swashbuckling adventure through dysfunctional magic academies, dwarven convenience stores, and night clubs on the moons of Jupiter!

The Mambo Wizard: Breakfast is Served! Truly a gem of the orphaned wizard genre!


The Immortality Game by Ted Cross

SPSFC SPSFC 2023

Moscow, 2138. With the world only beginning to recover from the complete societal collapse of the late 21st Century, Zoya scrapes by prepping corpses for funerals and dreams of saving enough money to have a child. When her brother forces her to bring him a mysterious package, she witnesses his murder and finds herself on the run from ruthless mobsters. Frantically trying to stay alive and save her loved ones, Zoya opens the package and discovers two unusual data cards, one that allows her to fight back against the mafia and another which may hold the key to everlasting life.


The Hand of God by Yuval Kordov

SPFBO9 SPSFC 2023

The world ended—twice. Once at humanity’s hand and a second time at God’s, according to legend. Only Esther, the Eternal One, saw it all happen. Chosen by the Messiah to redeem humanity, she heads a holy sisterhood that rules Cathedral, the Last City. Except Cathedral isn’t the last city, and the source of the Revenant Sisterhood’s supernatural power is far from holy. It’s the year 2500, give or take. The passage of time has become as blurry as the gray wastes that cover most of North America. No moon or stars light the night, and demonic hordes smash against the last outposts of civilization. Two reborn nations vie for humanity’s future. In the west, Cathedral unleashes its God-engines—ancient walking war machines—in a final bid to cleanse the earth. In the east, the struggling city-state of Bastion turns to the last living AI for salvation. Between them, a tribe of technological scavengers known as the Union unwittingly holds the balance of power. Hell is on the horizon. Who will survive?

-- For fans of Dan Simmons’ Hyperion Cantos, Iain Banks’ Culture novels, A Canticle for Leibowitz and other classic metaphysical science fiction. This compelling new series explores questions of family, faith, and the human condition on the backdrop of a dark post-apocalyptic future.


The Great Migration: Book One of the S'orne Saga by Steve Ramirez

SPSFC 2023

What are the s'orne? The bringers of death and destruction, they spread a fever that drives human beings insane. Now, after a century of peace and prosperity, horrific evidence of the s'orne's return has been discovered in the Kingdom's capital. Bellona knows none of this. For the last eight months, she's been following the Great Migration through the Kingdom's most brutal wilderness. With a new appreciation for life, she’s returned to the Crystal City with her guide Luta, a member of the ancient Zuni tribe, to enjoy its massive summer festival. But just as their time together begins, rumors of a deadly s'orne invasion begin to spread throughout the crowds. While the capital's streets swell in blind celebration, fate brings Bellona to a new understanding of the s'orne and their connection to the Zuni people. As an attack bears down on them all, she must choose between protecting the city and its citizens or Luta and his homeland. And time is running out.


The Gottingen Accident by James Mordechai

SPSFC 2023

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.


The Fractured God by Gerard Howard

SPFBO9 SPSFC 2023

Jaded mercenaries Aelred and Xyla have come across the most clichéd of contracts: rescue a missing princess to end a series of brutal wars waged in her name. Much to everyone's surprise, the rescue does not pan out too well. A god gets involved and hurls the three of them into another universe where technology rules in lieu of magic. It's not too bad, though. Saving the multiverse from the destruction of a bored god who wants to experience nonexistence is an additional responsibility that could've fallen on anyone. Despite their social skills, they'll find a decent set of companions to help ease their burden: a speechless outcast from a species of arachnoids living inside a giant space worm, a disgruntled soldier living on a deserted prison planet, and a chirpy salvager with a horrific past and a droid that has a difficult time ignoring its primary torture functions. Take a trip through the multiverse in this humorously dark adventure where bad things definitely don't happen to good people and everything is always fine!


The First Run by Eli Freysson

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

Gaylen finally has it made. If he can just survive the next few days. On his heels are the scum of the galaxy. In front of him is the wild frontier. And on board his ship is a mysterious cargo people will kill for. What’s the worst that could happen? He just might be on a collision course with the answer. He’ll have to rely on his untested crew, hard-earned wits, steady aim, and two clenched fists to survive.


The Fall Is All There Is by C.M. Caplan

SPFBO9 SPSFC 2023

All Petre Mercy wanted was a good old-fashioned dramatic exit from his life as a prince. But it’s been five years since he fled home on a cyborg horse. Now the King—his Dad—is dead—and Petre has to decide which heir to pledge his thyroid-powered sword to. As the youngest in a set of quadruplets, he’s all too aware that the line of succession is murky. His siblings are on the precipice of power grabs, and each of them want him to pick their side. If Petre has any hope of preventing civil war, he'll have to avoid one sibling who wants to take him hostage, win back another’s trust after years of rivalry and resentment, and get an audience with a sister he's been avoiding for five years. Before he knows it, he's plunged himself into a web of intrigue and a world of strange, unnatural inventions just to get to her doorstep. Family reunions can be a special form of torture.


the Earthen Pioneer: Part 1 by N.R.B. Marcum

SPSFC 2023

What would you do, if Earth fell to invasion? For Omid, the question never seemed to come up. He was always too busy fighting, thieving, and causing mayhem to think on it; until the aliens that had taken Earth looked to take him too. Cast adrift and on the run, Omid finds himself swept far from the planet. There, in the world of aliens, he meets with an unexpected hope, and is soon the center of a mounting plan to free Earth of its captors, once and for all. But the world of the aliens, the world of Mooi, is not so simple as it seems, and while he enters into it with the intent of helping Earth, he soon finds that few things he sees and learns are as they appear. To get back to Earth, and to find a way to help his people, he will have to navigate a world intent on sucking him into its depths and entombing him there.


The Dent in the Universe by E.W. Doc Parris

SPSFC 2023

It turns out "Move fast and break things" is terrible advice when developing a time machine. To resuscitate his fading celebrity, tech CEO Stephen Lucas would sell his soul for one more hit. When the subspace network for his holographic gaming empire crashes, his hardware guru makes a discovery proving that Einstein was right once again— information can be sent backward in time. Lucas sees a dream product for procrastinators. Want a pizza now? Send your order back in time 30 minutes. Forgot to make reservations at that chichi french restaurant two weeks ago? No worries. Buy that PowerBall ticket. Invest in that stock. Make a FaceTime call to a loved one that passed away a month ago. It’s the time machine for the rest of us. In a culture built on instant gratification, Lucas knows he has a hit that will seem like a dream come true on Wall Street. But when he rushes into beta testing before fully understanding the power he's unleashing, he learns that the stuff dreams are made of can quickly become the stuff of nightmares. The road to Hell is paved with cool inventions.


The Darkness Calling by Joe Coates

SPFBO9 SPSFC 2023

The Darkness Calling is a gritty, stylish, action-packed novel from start to finish. Populated with vividly portrayed characters, thrilling moments and plenty of dark humour, it is brilliantly written, and will keep you turning the pages far into the night. Perfect for fans of Lee Child, J.J Connelly, Ben Aaronovitch, Iain Banks and Warren Ellis. When a contract goes out on the head of a human-trafficker living in one of London's most exclusive suburbs, romantically deprived hitman, Archie Nyx, assumes it's just another day at the office. In a profession that usually comes with minimal moral high ground, being paid a hefty sum to expunge an excrescence like Andras Janos is as close to a good day at work as Archie gets. It's a nice thought, but when the hit goes south and the unexpected elements rear their heads, Archie must track down the mysterious client who seems to want more than just Janos dead. Beautiful but hard-boiled Detective Inspector Valentina Galanti is back at work at the Met after an accident that tore her life apart. Her old friend and boss, Detective Superintendent Jack McNeill, assigns Val to a brutal multiple homicide by way of a welcome back. Val embraces the carnage as a pleasing escape from the grief and fury that are threatening to overwhelm her. By chance, or so it seems, Archie and Val meet one afternoon. Lies and deceptions breed more lies and deceptions, with the assassin and copper having no idea that they are both working towards the middle of the same problem from opposite sides. Set in a near-future London not too dissimilar to the one we know, The Darkness Calling is a soft sci-fi novel that explores whether any silver lining can be found in the midst of a son's hatred for his father, a mother's heart-crushing grief, and the place where the bullets fly.


The Crossing by Laurie Janey

SPFBO9 SPSFC 2023

Those who cross into Rheta from other worlds don’t usually arrive alive. Berro collects the crosser bodies for a prestigious secret project headed by his academic mentor, and he’s proud of his role, but when a living, breathing woman arrives in the forest through a crack in reality, the project and Berro’s ordered life are thrown into disarray. On Rheta, nature is thriving and conflict is a distant memory. Chaos and cruelty are things belonging to other worlds, other times, and most Rhetari have lapsed into blissful complacency. But Berro is at the epicentre of an event that calls the delicate balance into question. As the crossing project unravels, he confronts the ugly truths about the civilisation he lives in, the work he’s committed to, and the broken parts of himself.


The Ceph - Reborn by Matthew Poehler

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

The Ceph Civilization seeded the galaxy's planets with life throughout history. Most of the results were good, some were exceptional. After a billion years of careful tending, one world's ecosystem grew to rival even that of Home. A blue-green jewel in the deeps of the galactic ocean. The Call went out "This world is ready." Two of the great World-Ships arrived from the Civilization sixty-five million years ago to deliver the Ceph to their new Colony. Tens of thousands disembarked to start the serious business of taming monsters and starting families. They were gone a thousand years when the asteroid struck. The surface of the planet was seared and shattered. Survivors of the Colony adapted to any safety the broken planet’s oceans would offer. They lost the ability to walk the land and breathe the air. Nothing sleeps forever. The Ceph on Earth are Reborn, and they have called for help.


The Castle of 1,000 Doors by Kenny Gould

SPFBO9 SPSFC 2023

Looking for a place to die? Try the Castle of 1,000 Doors!

King Crow isn’t having a very good day. The Empire’s most famous athlete suddenly finds himself convicted of treason and sentenced to the Hunt, an annual event where the city’s most undesirable prisoners are sent into a dungeon filled with treasure, magic, and… bloodthirsty monsters. Crow didn’t commit the crime, so why is he in the dungeon? Who set him up? And why—for the love of god—is his only weapon a fast-talking, sapient, electromagnetically charged potato named Spud? Join King Crow and Spud in the first book of a new progression fantasy series as they attempt to survive the dungeon of Toroth-Gol.


The Beckoning Void by Patrick LeClerc

SPFBO8 SPSFC 2023

Emelia DuMond is an actress, her skill at adopting and changing her identity lifting her from her humble beginnings to success on the stage of Victorian London. And to the attention of the Ghost Society, a secret organization who work to defend the world from threats of the paranormal. After centuries of seeking, the sinister Disciples of the Void have obtained an arcane book of great power. A power that could tear the veil between dimensions and plunge the world into a dark, unspeakable future. Now she has recruited an aging soldier of fortune burdened by a conscience, the sword wielding daughter of an Afghan brigand and an airship whose captain escaped slavery during the Civil War by stealing a Confederate vessel. Can Emelia and her band of plucky outcasts save the world from a cult of fanatics intent on unleashing an ancient horror? “The Beckoning Void” is a tale of cunning plots, flashing swords, skillful piloting, witty repartee and eldritch dread.


Tasmanian Gothic by Mikhaeyla Kopievsky

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

A modern gothic thriller set in a decaying urban environment and lush mutant wilderness. Solari wasn’t alive when the ozone layer split above Tasmania and spilled radiation over the edge of the stratosphere, but she’s living with the consequences—the mutations, the gangland war, and the border wall that divides the affluent North from the contaminated South. Orphaned and alone in the southern reaches, Solari survives the chaos the only way she knows how: cooking the wildly addictive snowrock for local crime lord, Worcsulakz, and avoiding the mutants that skulk in the lush, untamed wilderness of the Fringes. But, when her junkie ex-boyfriend puts Solari more firmly in Worcsulakz’s debt, she runs—escaping the promise of violent retribution with a stolen van and a pair of giant wings cleaved from a mutant moth. Grafting the wings to her body disguises Solari as one of Tasmania’s most reviled and hunted, but grants her refuge in the one place Worcsulakz won’t look for her—a mutant enclave. There, Solari will form an unlikely alliance and commence the dangerous journey through gangland strongholds and carnival towns to get to the Border Wall in the north. Hunted by Worcsulakz, the hidden terrors of the Fringes, the secrets in her family’s past, and the deception at the core of her fragile alliance, Solari will need to confront them all or stay condemned to a life of loneliness and brutality. -- This dark biopunk adventure set in a post-apocalyptic world of danger and decay is perfect for readers of dystopian, gothic, and new weird science fiction, and fans of China Mieville, Jeff VanderMeer, Kameron Hurley, and Tamsyn Muir.


Synthesis:Weave by Rexx Deane

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

A tsunami on a space station. An explosion with no trace of the bomber. Cyber-security expert Sebastian knows evidence doesn’t magically disappear, yet when he and his colleague Aryx, a disabled ex-marine, travel the galaxy to find the cause, there seems to be no other explanation. Can they unravel the mystery before his family, home, and an entire race succumbs to an ancient foe?


Stargun Messenger by Darby Harn

SPSFC 2023

Astra Idari must keep the last living star alive in a galaxy lost to shadows. Astra Idari is a mess. She drinks too much, remembers too little, and barely pays for it all as a Stargun Messenger. She hunts down thieves who steal filamentium, the fuel that allows for faster-than-light travel. When Idari meets Gen Emera, she meets the girl of her dreams and the last living star. There's just one problem. Filamentium is only found in the blood of living stars. Everyone wields knives and justifications for butchering the living stars, but once Idari knows the truth, she faces a stark choice. Either she turns Emera over to her employers who control the filamentium monopoly, or risks everything to help Emera fulfill her quest to save her people. The choice should be simple, but it's not losing her life that terrifies Idari. It's finally living. Idari knows she's human despite outwardly appearing to be an android with a failing memory stitched together by her ship's irascible AI, CR-UX. She's been just getting by for longer than she remembers, assured in her humanity, but not enough to risk it. Idari has lived her entire life in darkness. The dark comforts and shields. The dark preserves in its cold, and Idari may not be able to keep her star out of her shadow.


Star Nations by James Michael Minard

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

“Duty is heavier than a mountain. Death is lighter than the morning air. My loyalty belongs forever to the one I love.”
—Commander Leera en Tasrah. Five superior star nations struggled for dominance over their galaxy, unaware a more significant threat punctured the fabric of space and entered from a parallel universe. This new threat had a name: the Cepha. They conquered entire galaxies, consumed and exploited worlds, and enslaved sentient beings.
Humans, Kazarians, Zorlons, and the other minor star nations' only chance of survival against the Cepha was to forget their differences and stand together. But was that possible? How do you put aside three hundred years of hate and endless wars, which cost billions of lives? Where does loyalty belong? Is their honor in fighting alongside your enemy? What does duty require? STAR NATIONS is book one of the Loyalty And Honor Series.


Samurai Barber Versus Ninja Hairstylist by Zed Dee

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

Change is in the hair. Ninjas are wreaking havoc by cutting people’s hair without their permission. Behind this follicular terrorism is a master ninja, the Ninja Hairstylist, whose chaotic hairstyle embodies the anarchy that is about to tear the city apart. The Samurai Barber must step up and cut down the evil strands on the Ninja Hairstylist’s head. It is not just keratin that is at stake. The Samurai Barber must fight for one of the cornerstones of modern civilization; the freedom and self-determination to choose your own hairstyle.


Revolution (The Sol Saga Book 1) by James Fox

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

War is good for business... And business is about to boom.
General Keith Brennan would rather face an army with his trusty rifle than attend another state dinner. When the President of the solar system is assassinated on Mars, Brennan is the obvious choice to investigate. If he comes up with the wrong answer, though, his career will be over. However, duty is never so simple. Brennan's career is the least of his worries when the investigation uncovers a trail of corruption and a conspiracy on a system-wide scale. With Earth and Mars on the brink of a shooting war and forces behind the scenes determined to push them over the edge, only Marine General Keith Brennan can stop the slaughter before it’s too late. Unless, of course, it already is…


Red Darkling by L. A. Guettler

SPSFC 2023

Red Darkling’s ship is a weevil-infested piece of junk. Her smuggling business barely brings in enough credits to buy cheap beer. Alien creeps think a blaster can get them favors when their charm fails. Her only company is a glitchy cat and the occasional hook-up. Her life is dirty, dangerous, and lonely: just how she likes it. It all takes a turn for the worse when things start going well. A little too well. Partying with movie stars, weekends in paradise, troublesome people turning up dead—it’s maddening. Who is this anonymous benefactor, and why does he think she needs protecting?


Psycho Hose Beast From Outer Space by C.D. Gallant-King

SPFBO7 SPSFC SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

Newfoundland, Canada, 1992. Gale Harbour hasn’t seen any excitement since the military abandoned the base there thirty years ago, unless you count the Tuesday night 2-for-1 video rentals at Jerry's Video Shack. So when a dead body turns up floating in the town water supply, all evidence seems to point to a boring accident. Niall, Pius and Harper are dealing with pre-teen awkwardness in the last days of summer before the start of high school. The same night the body is found, the three of them witness unusual lights in the sky over the bay. Is it a coincidence? Are the lights connected to the rapidly-increasing string of mysterious deaths? And what does the creepy old lady at the nursing home have to do with it? There is an evil older than time hidden deep beneath the waters of the North Atlantic. It is hungry, and vengeful, and it has its sights set on Gale Harbour to begin its path of destruction. All that stands in its way are a group of kids who would rather be playing Street Fighter II...


Panacea Genesis by L. Ana Ellils

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

Mariela Stafford’s life just hit rock bottom. Her boss, the CEO of Panacea Corp, created a digital clone of himself, demoted Mariela, gave the clone her job, and told Mariela to train it. Now the clone wants her to help it kill the CEO. In 2115, embedded chips, virtual reality, and the threat of extreme weather have led to a market for businesses that keep a person’s body alive in a habitation pod while the person lives entirely in the metaverse. But not everyone embraces technological advances– a group of people have adopted the tech of 2005 while isolating themselves from the temptation of advanced technology. Panacea Corp – the world’s most powerful corporation – connects both worlds through providing the metaverse, the pod warehouses, and the land to the technology resisters. Mariela Stafford, a vice president for Panacea Corp, is demoted after her new boss assigns his digital clone to take over her job. Assisted by Amoco, an eccentric polymath who also works for the corporation, she schemes a way to get rid of the clone. To delete it, they’ll need to recruit a team to access an eighty-year-old server farm in a remote location—which would be a lot easier to do if the records on the location of the server farm hadn’t been lost. This ‘earth’ opera—a tale with all the drama, expansiveness, and varied cast of a space opera, but set on earth—will appeal to anyone who’s ever felt out-of-control of the technology in their lives. Panacea Genesis is book one in the Panacea Trilogy.


Pallas Lost by Jake Morrison

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

When Ensign Vasyli Nikonov’s ship happened upon a drifting derelict, he had no idea how drastically his life was about to change. Not only had the crew been killed in an impossible manner, the Captain of the ship left a reference to the child’s tale of the lost colony of Pallas. Elsewhere in the Fifteen Systems, scholar Eliot Charter gamely starts his own fool’s quest to prove that Pallas is real. Armed with nothing but naivety and knowledge, he hires mercenary Captain Skadi Ulfsdöttir to help him on his journey. Things quickly spiral out of hand, leaving them all wondering if Pallas was truly Lost...


Pale Boundaries by Scott Cleveland

SPSFC SPSFC 2023

Where do you go after you're torn from the only planet you've ever called home? What do you do when your new home despises foreigners? Who do you blame when they kill someone you care about....and how do you take revenge? Terson Reilly knew things would be different on Nivia. But he wasn't prepared for the draconian environmental laws, harsh population control measures or the prejudice against outsiders-and they didn't expect what he was willing to do to defend himself. Terson finds love when he meets Virene, an independent young woman chafing under the strict social controls herself. The couple do their best to conform, but their rebellious streak leads them beyond the colony's boundaries where their attempt to rescue the crew of a crashed spacecraft unwittingly sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to expose not only Nivia's dark secret, but that of a powerful criminal organization as well.


Our Lady of the Artilects by Andrew Gillsmith

SPSFC 2023

World leaders are on edge when reports start coming in of next generation androids having strange, apocalyptic visions of a lady in white. But when an Artilect belonging to the wealthiest man in Africa shows up at Our Lady of Nigeria basilica claiming to be possessed, the stakes are raised. The Vatican sends Father Gabriel Serafian, an exorcist who left behind a brilliant career as a neuroscientist, to Benin City to investigate...and to figure out who is behind what must surely be a hack. The timing couldn't be worse. Rome is on the verge of reconciliation with the Chinese Economic Interest Zone after a 50 year cold war, and the Chinese are particularly sensitive about the so-called Apparition. Serafian quickly finds himself caught up in a conspiracy of global--and possibly supernatural--dimensions. To discover the truth and save not only humanity but the artilects themselves, Serafian enlists the aid of a tough-as-nails Imperial Praetor named Namono Mbambu. Serafian and Mbambu are helped by a guilt-wracked Filipino Emperor, a taciturn Caliph, and a Uyghur Sufi named Ilham Tiliwadi as they race against time to stop a centuries-old plot that could end humanity as we know it. Our Lady of the Artilects is a mind-bending supernatural science fiction novel where "The Exorcist" meets "Westworld,” with a light dusting of Snow Crash!


On Lavender Tides by Travis M. Riddle

SPFBO8 SPSFC 2023

Ever since he was a kid, all Balt Vana wanted was to be a world-renowned Jekua Summoner like his grandmother, battling other Summoners in front of audiences of thousands. But from where he stands now, living up to the Vana name feels impossible. When his best friend Alani, an initiate at the local Church, is sent on a pilgrimage to find her path in life and the god she will follow, Balt sees the perfect opportunity to launch his career by escorting her across the archipelago and its purple seas. The islands are filled with monsters to imprint and Summoners to battle, with every victory bringing him one step closer to his dream. It will take more than just his family name to reach the same heights as his grandmother, but Balt won't stop until he does.


Of Mycelium and Men by William C. Tracy

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

The generational fleet planned to make landfall after eighty years, but eleven planets and four centuries later, they still had not found a home. Finally, they landed on Lida, but something already lives there, and it's big. Agetha and her husband have spent their whole lives in the fleet’s zero-G. Now all is turmoil as the fleet lands, discovering they are surrounded by a single fungal biomass spanning the entire planet. To build a new home, the fleet must confront a dangerous organism, and Agetha must decide if she can raise a family in this inhospitable landscape. Jane Brighton holds tenuous command over the colony and its administrators. She and the other gene-modded leaders emerged from their four-hundred-year suspended animation to find a crew much different to the one that departed Old Earth. Jane must direct the colony’s fragile growth, and defend it against being overrun by the fast-growing biomass. But there is something none of the colonists know. The massive organism that spans the planet is not simply a fungal mass, nor even a chimerical combination of species that once roamed the planet. The biomass has desires and goals, and one is to know these strange beings carving out a home in its midst.


Insiders by Shannon Knight

SPSFC 2023

In a universe of long-haul truckers, parasite-bearing megalomaniacs, asteroid rustlers, and homicidal peace keepers, some people just want to stay alive. Deep within Kerberos Station, pipe crawler Sachi Inside is dying of the planet-killing Hibravian virus. In a state of delirium, the agoraphobic girl agrees that in exchange for life, she will not only leave her pipes, but even the station. A sentient plant wraps around her, guides her to an exiting ship, and adheres to the hull. Captain Karasi Kwei is not pleased to discover a stowaway, but the crew thinks there’s money to be made on the plant, and the fact that both the Eastern Star Corporation and the Elysium Empire are tracking it confirms its value. However, none of that matters when the entire crew falls sick with the incurable Hibravian. But Sachi’s plant is more than it seems. All they have to do is fight the mercenaries, survive the virus, evade the Elysium Empire, and navigate a fluctuating microwave wall, and they just might save the universe.


Icebreaker by Steven William Hannah 

SPSFC 2023

Inside their walls, the people are safe from exposure to the unnamed horror that broke the world long ago; but now Bear, the last scientist in Forgehead, takes a case that threatens to throw that safety into question. Someone has been terminally exposed to the phenomenon, despite never having ventured outside the walls. This has only happened once before - to Bear's father. With the safety of Forgehead in question, and an opportunity to finally discover what happened to his father, Bear must leave the safety of the walls to unravel the mysteries left behind by the pre-cataclysm world; a task that will require him to join the Interloper Initiative, the team who crew the gigantic Crawler landships, the only vehicles that can roam the world outside the walls in relative safety. "Icebreaker" is the first entry in the Interloper Trilogy, a tale of horror and science charting the last days of a dying world, and humanity's endeavour to survive.


H2LiftShips - Beyond Luna by Bob Freeman

SPSFC 2023

H2LiftShips - Beyond Luna (Volume 1 in the Series) "A Tech Manual for a Future" Imagine a world, exactly like ours, but different A series taking you on the ride of your life: part road trip, part solar sailing. Into a world almost parallel to our own (but not quite.) Soaring through the heliosphere through the asteroid belt on Solar Sail ships, the unlikely crew of the LunaCola finds themselves foraging supplies from Earth and sea and hitting up the casinos around Sol to gamble their bounty hoping to their pot. Their adventures cross paths with everything from pirates, anarchy, poker games to jail time. This is a space adventure unique to its own with characters who are just as out of this realm of reality, entertaining and unforgettable. And after your cruise through the Asteroid belt, Mars, and Luna, settle down on Earth for a party in the desert. They'll bring the Carne Asada burritos and count on you to bring the fun.


Grey Enigmas by Gareth Lewis

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

Alex is a detective in a world that considers them unnecessary. When everyone is a telepath, with their own inner policeman, crimes cannot escape notice. So a murder with no obvious culprit leaves the authorities at a loss. Woken from a virtual sentence, still unrepentantly anti-social, Alex is given the opportunity to finally investigate a mystery. One which puts him in danger, and leads to mysteries of a more personal nature. Exactly how long has he been asleep? And is this really the first mystery he's been awakened to investigate?


God of Small Affairs by Olga Werby

SPFBO6 SPSFC 2023

Time is made out of threads. Pull one and someplace somewhere things unravel. We know how to pull on the right thread because we see the whole tapestry of life’s possibilities. That’s why we are so good at finding a good path into a future. I say a future because there is no such thing as the future. We are made of time threads—thick bundles of knots that can pull and twist and change the course of history. It’s all about connections—pull one strand, and the others twist with it. Like Newton’s second law, for every action there is an equal an opposite reaction. But we are small in relation to civilized time, planetary time, cosmological time. To make a big change requires a course correction many many years prior. Like if you want to deflect a meteor hurtling toward Earth, you need to change its course far out in space where just a nudge would do it. To make a course correction close to the impact event, a lot of energy is required. Same with history… So we are great at little things, at manipulating tiny threads of life. We are the gods of small affairs…until we are not. “God of Small Affairs” is a creepy and slightly twisted mystery tale of a small mid-Western town, struggling to survive, told from the perspective of man who is culturally a stranger there and yet learns to find comfort and gives back love to people in need…his and those that reside in the town of Wilkins. It’s a bit of a horror story, a bit of fantastical science fiction, and a take on what the world would be if one could talk directly to a god…even a god who is only interested in micro-management of human species. Jon Uolan is the grandson of First Nation tribe elder. His assignment is to bring home a god. Not the omnipresent god or the god that set the weight of the proton and the rate of universal expansion, but rather an everyday kind of god, the god that lives among her people, the god of small affairs, Ay-Tal Blue. An easy assignment turns into a nightmare when Ay-Tal gets accidentally shot and Jon becomes a suspect in a murder investigation. And while Jon is in prison, a huge earthquake and tsunami wipe out his home village. His grandfather dies in the disaster. With his people scattered and living apart, the whole tribe might cease to exist. The new generation just is not interested in the old tribal ways. Ay-Tal is no longer there to help and guide them. What is Jon to do? How will a new path into the future shape the people who got mixed up with a god of small affairs?


Galaxy of Thorns: Rise of the Empress by Bogdan Tăbușcă

SPSFC 2023

Divided between great wicked minds and cruel beings of unnatural power, the world of Artia has long been under the cycle of war and suffering. A child is born, conceived in an unholy union. A mighty empress to bring the world within her grasp, through mercy and kindness, through sword and fire. But will she be any better than the horrors that came before her? Or will she succumb to the vices of power and rule this world as its new dark master?


From the Grave of the Gods by Alan K. Dell

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

Strange lights in the sky.
A Red Planet.
A catalyst to change the course of human history. Commander James Fowler is an astronaut and the first officer of the Magnum Opus, the largest spacecraft ever built, on the first crewed expedition to Mars. The mission: to investigate the mysterious extrasolar object that went down on the Red Planet five years ago. James is living the dream: he gets to go to space and be one of the first to set foot on another world, with his girlfriend, Angela, cheering him on at home. Maybe after the mission, when he's returned a hero, he'll find the perfect moment to finally propose. But his dreams shatter as the mission ends in disaster. Returning to a world reeling from the revelation of what they found out there, James works to piece his life back together and come to terms with what happened. But the mission left him changed, and now he must fight to protect everything he holds dear from those who seek advancement at any cost; a process that makes him question his identity, his place in the world, and what it means to be human.


Fid's Crusade by David H Reiss

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

Even supervillains have lines they dare not cross. If only the same could be said of heroes... For more than two decades, the sight of Doctor Fid's powered armor has struck terror into the hearts of hero and civilian alike. But when a personal tragedy motivates the notorious supervillain to investigate a crime, a plot is uncovered so horrific that even he is taken aback. Haunted by painful memories and profound guilt, Doctor Fid must race against time if he is to have any hope of confronting the approaching threat. Every battle takes its toll...but the stakes are too high for retreat to be an option. In the end, it may take a villain to save the world from those entrusted with the world's protection.


Felan's Rescue by Mark Raines

SPSFC 2022 SPSFC 2023

What if the video game Civilization was real? Bestlethrone is attacked and doomed to fall. Now Prince Felan must flee, leaving his family behind in a desperate attempt to save his father’s kingdom against known forces and the influence of the gods who may be moving against them. All his family built over centuries hangs in the balance, as Felan fights against invaders, betrayal and the 'gods' who are really humans, now a galaxy spanning civilization, interfering with Felan's species as a game. Unbeknownst to Felan his fate is intertwined with Sandra Ferrara, a 13-year-old girl growing up in the space colony located above his planet and retired General Dash Cricken, a veteran of the Galaxy Wars. Though Felan is oblivious to their existence, what they do could change Felan’s fate and the fate of everyone on his planet. Felan’s Rescue blends medieval fantasy into a sprawling space opera set immediately after years of intergalactic war, taking the reader to a galaxy spanning civilization, populated by alien races, trying to recover from the devastation of the last thousand years of war.


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