Mirror Dance Fantasy Story Reprint

“The Summer of Growing Up” has been reprinted in this quarter’s edition of Mirror Dance Fantasy, a wonderful online fantasy magazine!

The story was originally published in the Columbus Creative Cooperative’s anthology, “For the Road”.

Mirror Dance has several other stories on its beautiful website. Check out the Autumn 2017 issue!

Lorelei Signal

My short story, “Daughter of the Righ”, has been reprinted in the January-March issue of the web-based magazine Lorelei Signal. This online magazine is dedicated to publishing fantasy stories about complex female characters.

“Daughter of the Righ” is set in the same world as my Color Mage novels — but about 20 years earlier, so no spoilers! In the story, young Hira Noh must escape a betrothal to the Collared Lord who killed her best friend — an event in her early life that eventually led to her becoming the strong, unusual character she is in Sword of Jashan.

Here’s a link to Lorelei Signal. Enjoy!

Retirees in Space (part 2)

Here’s Part 2 of Retirees in Space (originally published in Locothology 2013, an anthology about pirates). You can find Part 1 here.

Retirees in Space (part 2)

by Anne Marie Lutz (copyright 2013)

 

Hearing returned first. Familiar voices – Milla’s frightened tones, strained with tears, and Mike’s blustery objections to something. The carpet on the deck – carpet! On a ship’s deck! That was Iker’s conceit – scratched at Grun’s arm. Then awareness returned, and Grun barely stopped herself from rolling and grabbing for her gun.

Still, she must have moved. A foot prodded at her.

“Your pet soldier is awake,” a voice said. It was the same voice she had heard on the comm from the pirate ship. Grun blinked and sat up, coiled and ready. Her eyes searched for her energy gun and found it on the deck across the cabin. There were three strangers in the cabin, and one of them had a blaster aimed directly at Grun’s forehead.

The post-stun headache pounded behind Grun’s eyes. She was surprised they hadn’t just killed her – perhaps they had a use for a pilot.

“Don’t move,” said the voice, lilting with a spark that led Grun to think this was a man who loved what he did for the thrill of it. His dark eyes betrayed an unexpected humor as he stared down at her. His military-style boot rested on her ribs.

“I want up,” she said.

He nodded. “Slowly.” He backed off a little, blaster ready. Grun rose with a slowness born of caution and also of her aching ribs.

Hi, Milla and Iker sat at the table, under guard. Mike lay on the deck, out cold. The pirate leader saw her watching Mike and said: “He’s alive. Old fool tried to jump me. Might have done it thirty years ago, but not today.”

The rest of the cabin was in a shambles. Storage compartments spewed supplies everywhere. A bag of emergency rations had split open, trailing algae meal down the side of the bulkhead. As Grun watched, there was a thump from one of the sleeping cabins and someone inside threw a ball of rolled-up clothing out into the passageway.

“Nothing here, Jay!” yelled a woman’s voice from the sleeping cabin. She put her head out the hatch to glare at Grun’s pirate. “Not so much as a gold bracelet. Waste of time!”

“Not like we were gonna do anything else,” Jay said. He scratched at the stubble on his jaw. “Where’s the cash then, folks? People your age don’t run around between star systems with just cereal and a few extra clothes, do ya now? Where’s the cash? Where’s the prescription drugs? I know ya’ve got ’em.”

Iker said, “I could pay you to leave us alone.”

“Now you’ve got the idea.” Jay waved his blaster at Iker, who seemed unmoved. Grun tensed, but another pirate growled at her: “Be still.”

“You,” Jay said. His eyes narrowed at Iker. “Get up. Show us the safe.”

Iker nodded. “It’s in the sleeping cabin.”

Milla sobbed and clutched at his arm. “He’s just going to kill us and take the ship anyway!”

The woman in Milla’s room said, “Don’t trust us, do you? Sad. Send him in, Jay. You’re a handsome old man, aren’t you? Must’ve been a looker when you were young?” She held a gun steady as Iker and Milla preceded her into the sleeping cabin.

Grun’s mind twisted through scenario after scenario. She wondered if they would really just take the money and go, leaving this expensive little space yacht behind them. She didn’t think so. After the passengers had given away the location of any safes or secret compartments, she thought they would be tossed out the airlock so the pirates could take over.

She saw the exact moment when Jay’s dark gaze fixed on Hi.

“You,” he said. “What’s that around your neck?”

“Nothing.” Hi appeared sharp and alert. Grun recognized that look from combat training. Hi was ready for anything.

“Nothing, hell. You’ve got something good there. What is it, a special necklace? Hand it over.” The pirate stalked over to the table and put a hand at Hi’s silk collar and pulled it aside. “Shit!”

The alien rippled from Hi’s neck, lightning fast. It flowed up onto Jay’s wrist before the pirate could let go of Hi’s collar. It stretched, elongated, encased Jay’s hand, wrist, forearm.

The pirate leaped back. “Holy hell, what is it? Get it off!” He dropped his energy gun, trying to peel the alien off with his other hand. In just seconds, it glistened in a mucous mass up Jay’s neck to his mouth.

Everyone was watching Jay. Grun scrambled across the deck, grabbed her energy gun and got off one blast at one of the pirates. The man dropped dead before he sprawled to the deck. The other pirate swore and fired. Fire seared the edge of Grun’s arm, burning up her shoulder. The arm fell limp, but she was still alive. She squeezed the trigger one more time and the other shooter screamed and crashed to the deck.

Blackness tinged Grun’s vision, but she could still see that Jay had collapsed. He was enveloped in a sleeve of clear-and-rose alien, which had somehow grown and thinned to cover his entire body. Jay thrashed. His face through the distorting film of the alien’s body was purpling with hypoxia and grotesque as he fought uselessly against something that gave with his every blow.

Iker walked out of his cabin. There was no sign of the pirate he had gone in with. “This one’s dead,” he said. His voice seemed just as calm as usual. “I have her gun. Shall I – ?”

“Shoot,” Grun forced out. She could no longer see clearly enough to shoot. In fact, she was not sure she was even holding her weapon. “Kill it.”

Iker raised the weapon.

Hi sprung to her feet and leapt between Iker and the fallen pirate. “No, no! Leave it alone!”

Milla emerged from the sleeping cabin and sank to her knees at Grun’s side. Through the haze of faintness that cushioned her perception, Grun noticed that Milla was smeared with blood. The older woman held one of the emergency med kits. After a moment’s fumbling with wrappers and seals, Milla administered an injection of the pain medication. Then she wrapped a cool gel bandage around Grun’s forearm.

After a moment of almost indescribable relief, Grun’s thoughts sharpened. “Why not kill it, while it’s uh, otherwise occupied?” she gritted out to Hi.

“Because that’s not part of the deal! It won’t hurt us now. It has what it wants.”

“Holy God,” Mike grumbled as he sat up, holding his head. “What in hell can it want, Hi? And I never thought about divorce before, I swear I didn’t, but after this day – ”

“I love you, too,” Hi said. She bent over the twisting form of the alien-encased pirate. The man’s face had turned almost black.

Grun spared a moment’s hazy regret for the loss – he had been a beauty – but then wrenched herself back to reality.

“What does it want, Hi,” Milla pleaded. “Tell us for God’s sake!”

“Genetic material,” Hi said. “Human DNA. And not ours, it agreed, and not from the humans on Forst or the tourists it depends on.”

“What in hell is it going to do with human DNA?”

Hi stood up and took a deep breath, as if she were letting go of stress. She rubbed the skin of her neck and shoulder. When her hand came away, Grun saw her skin speckled with little dots, each one a clotted tiny wound where the alien had clung.

“It took your blood,” Iker said. “It had your DNA. Why go to this extreme?” he gestured at Jay, who had fallen still.

“The alien swore to the ambassador it would not hurt me, but it has to have some means of staying alive.” Hi drew her silk collar over the abraded skin. “I am fine. It took nothing but a little blood.”

“But what does it need to consume that pirate for?”

“DNA,” Hi said. She sounded impatient, and finally a little shell-shocked. “Its species needs the DNA. It will take it back to Forst, to the containment zone.”

Mike put a beefy arm around her shoulders. “Leave her alone now. Can’t you see, she’s exhausted?”

“We’re stranded.” Iker looked at Grun. “Is there anything you can do about the navigation or communications back to Forst?”

Grun nodded. “Now that I have time.” The gel bandage and the shot had dulled the pain. She felt lightheaded from the drug, but there was no choice. She accepted Iker’s help back to the helm. The first thing she did was scan for the pirate craft, but sensors showed nothing nearby.

“Huh,” Grun said. “I think they left someone aboard, and they scrammed as soon as they realized there were problems.”

“Just as well,” Iker said. “Here, Milla has brought some hot tea for you.”

Grun sipped it and winced. It was loaded with sugar, cloying on her tongue. “I don’t like – ”

“I know. But you need it right now. Where will we be if you faint, and we’re left here with no comm or propulsion in the middle of nothing?”

“Hi knows how to work the comm,” Grun said. “Mike knows something about the drive.” A few minutes later, she had figured out what the accomplice at Forst Control had done to their ship. She entered code to free the comm. As soon as she began sending their location and a mayday, the comm spat a stream of gibberish that resolved into a frantic voice. It did not sound like the voice of Forst Control.

“Forst Control to Ramblin’ Days – ”

“This is Ramblin’ Days.” Grun winced again at the name Mike had saddled the little yacht with.

“Forst Control to Milla. Where’s Milla?”

Grun laughed. “Must be the ambassador. The old boyfriend,” she said to Iker. Then: “This is Captain Grun. We are fine, need a little medical attention but all are well. We need assistance in debugging our nav computer and yeah, also in transporting some dead pirates.”

There was a babble of confused voices and Forst Control came back online, cool and professional. “Pinpointing your location and sending rescue. What is the status of the pirate vessel?”

“Gone, but we have four of them here, three deceased and one – on storage,” Grun said. She raised her eyebrows at Iker, who shrugged. He didn’t know what to say about Jay either.

“Warning to Forst Control,” Grun added. “The pirates had planetside assistance. Someone capable of uploading course changes and weapons programming from Forst Control.” More than likely they’d done it themselves in order to appease the alien parasites and to kill a few pirates, but the diplomatic approach seemed prudent, now that Grun needed their help.

After the flurry of acknowledgments, Grun locked down the helm and went back to the main cabin. The pirate leader lay like some grotesque biology experiment on the deck, but someone had pushed him off to the side. Hi and Mike sat close together on the couch, and Milla’s voice contributed a jittery background as she ran through her feelings about the pirate attack, trying to relieve her stress.

“Milla, come here,” Iker said. “Enough now, you can tell the officers later.”

“They damn well better honor Hi as a hero of Forst,” Mike blustered, a drink in his hand. “She saved the alien species!”

“By helping them evolve, yes, dear,” Hi said.

“And they could fund a day at the casinos. That would be a nice mark of appreciation as well, don’t you think?” Iker said. “Milla rather likes the slots.”

Hi yawned behind one delicate hand. “Now I think I am very tired, and Grun needs to sit down. Would someone get my origami kit? Will you, Iker? I find it calms my nerves, to focus on detail.”

Iker bowed. “At your service.”

Grun settled with her feet up and the voices of her passengers droning in her ears – about origami, Iker thinking out what this would do to the tourist industry on Forst and the price of stock, and Mike looking for a vid of a football game in the locker under the couch, which had somehow escaped being looted. Grun smiled. Heroes of Forst, indeed. All ready for a nice meal, after the rescue ship came, and perhaps a nip of something before bed.

END

This was originally published in Locothology 2013, a pirate-themed anthology. A link to the Kindle version of the anthology is here.

Retirees in Space (part 1)

(This short story was originally published in the pirate-themed anthology, Locothology 2013. I’ll be re-publishing it here in two parts.)

Retirees in Space (Part 1) 

by Anne Marie Lutz (copyright 2013)

When Grun heard the shout from the main cabin, at first she thought Mike was watching another ball game. The man tended to get loud when he watched football, no matter that the games were old ones, long decided, transmitted to them after they had exited hyperspace. The man would turn on the vid in the main cabin and bellow at the teams as if he were still on Earth and the players could actually hear him.

Then she heard it again, and it was definitely a scream.

Grun leaped up from the pilot’s chair. She caught herself before she snapped the order to transfer command to a junior officer. Old habits died hard, and it was easy to forget this was a luxury yacht, in port on Forst, not the hard metal deck of the Defender.

She slammed through the hatch into the passenger cabins, her hand on the grip of her energy weapon.

Mike was backed up against the bulkhead, his usually-florid face drained of color. His wife, Hi, stood before him, wearing her silk pajamas. An odd lump bulged under the neck of her pajama top.

Grun squinted at it, unsure what was going on.

Mike saw her. “Kill it!” His voice rose, broke.

“No!” Hi shouted. She held up her hands, palms out, toward Grun. “Put it away, put the gun away!”

The odd lump wiggled, shifting the collar of Hi’s robe in a shimmering pattern. Something almost transparent moved, tinged with tendrils of pink, like blood dissipating in clear water.

“Holy hell!” Grun recognized it from the tour of the planet. The things were supposed to be contained, locked up behind a force field in a sanctuary where they could do no harm. Now here was an actual alien parasite on little Hi’s neck. Grun looked around for something to use, to pry the obscene thing from Hi’s body.

“Grun, stop. I’m all right.” Hi did not appear to be wounded or dying.

Grun blinked.

If anything, Hi appeared exasperated. “Would you quit your shrieking, Michael? We’ll have the others in here.”

Grun hesitated. She kept the gun trained on the alien. She could never risk killing Hi, but if the creature moved Grun would be ready. Voices came from behind her as the remaining occupants of the yacht filed into the cabin.

“Before you send it into defense mode, don’t panic!” Hi said.

“My God, you’ve done it again, woman,” Mike growled. His voice had descended to its usual register. He slid along the bulkhead, reaching for the drink he’d left on the table. “I need a drink. What have you done now?”

Iker’s dignified head peered around the corner. He blanched and dropped the Interplanetary Markets he had been reading. “Jesus, Hi. What have you gone and done? Does the ambassador know? Milla, look what Hi has gone and liberated from the planet.”

Milla shrieked. “Hi, get it off you!”

Iker held his wife’s arm close. “She did it on purpose, Mill. I don’t know why.”

Milla’s voice shook. “I don’t approve, Hi. There’s a reason those things have been kept isolated for the last fifty years. Remember that awful infestation, behind the containment walls? What do they say about Earthers barging into other worlds’ affairs, as if we think we always know best?”

“Oh, Milla, don’t worry. I’ll explain. I promise I didn’t steal it to make a point.”

“I hope not, Hi.” Grun had gotten the idea there was no immediate danger and put her gun away. Her nerves still thrummed with battle-readiness. She was hired to be a pilot for Mama’s retired friends, earning some money while she recovered from her wounds. But it was perfectly clear, if unspoken, that Grun would be the last line of defense for these civilians should it be needed. She wished she knew if it were needed.

The alien still pulsed on Hi’s neck. It didn’t seem to be growing any redder, and Hi was behaving just as Hi usually did – just now earnestly describing to Milla how unfairly the aliens had been treated.

“Imprisoned on their own planet, Milla!” Hi argued. “They’re on a reservation, kept from communicating outside the walls, and kept from their only decent source of nutrients – ”

“Us!” roared Mike. “Go on all you like about unfairness. What were we supposed to do, let them eat us?”

Hi frowned at him. “They can eat any warm-blooded creature, Mike. They simply prefer more evolved life.” One hand went up to touch the alien’s skin. It dimpled slightly with the pressure of her fingers, like soft plastic filled with gel.

Grun shuddered.

“She means it isn’t our planet, Mike,” Iker said. He drew closer to Hi, his feet in rich slippers scuffing a little on the carpeted deck. “I assume the thing has eaten recently?”

“Seems so,” Grun said. “It’s apparently not hungry.”

“I’m perfectly safe,” Hi said. “The ambassador promised. And this creature is going to help us get the drop on the pirates.”

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Grun snapped a final acknowledgement to Forst Control and slammed a hand down on the communications console. “They’re refusing us clearance to return. Hi set us up!” she said to Iker.

“No surprise there.” Iker sat beside her with his slippered feet stretched out before him, lounging in the copilot’s seat as if he were in his den on Earth. “Hi is a force to be reckoned with.”

“I thought she was timid.” Grun turned her head, listening. There was no sound from the main cabin, where Mike was standing guard over Hi with Grun’s energy gun in one hand and a stiff drink in the other.

Iker sat looking at the vastness of space.

“Well, we can’t return to Forst and offload this thing,” Grun said. “I wonder if we can pry it off her and fling it out the main lock?”

“I think Hi would resist us. And who knows what the creature would do in such a case?”

Grun shuddered. “What do we know about these aliens, anyway?” She scanned the displays. Everything was green for departure. The yacht’s expensive drive hummed. Grun tapped in a code and stood.

“Oh, don’t go without me.” Iker rose with measured grace. He drew a hand through his silver hair and smiled, as if nothing that happened here disturbed him very much. “I want to be there for this.”

Hi sat at the table in the main cabin, drinking hot chocolate. The alien curled around her neck gleamed clear-and-pink.

Mike wavered in front of her. He brandished the energy weapon at Hi. “I don’t wanna have to do this,” he said. “But I will. Because I love you, that’s why.”

Grun grabbed the weapon and put it back in the holster at her belt. “Enough of that. Sit down. Where’s Milla?”

The other woman walked back into the cabin. “What’s happening?” She took hold of Iker’s arm and clung. Iker patted her ringed fingers and looked at Grun, for all the world as if he expected her to entertain him.

Grun sighed. “We can’t return to Forst. They’ve refused permission.”

“What if we return anyway?” Milla asked. “What do you think they would do? We’re just a group of old people on vacation. Can Forst afford to antagonize Earth by taking action against us?”

“There’s always Surra,” Hi said.

“They say those pirates use Surra. It’s off the itinerary as of last week. They’ve even played havoc with Forst’s routes,” Iker said.

“Someone needs to do something about it. Did you notice how empty everything was down there?” Hi asked. “The temples, the alien catacombs, even the gambling halls? Forst is a rich planet, but only because of people like us.”

“Tourists, young rich people on wanderjahr, retired people with money,” Iker said.

“No one was there. The pirates are preying on Forst’s lifeblood. They want them caught.” Hi stroked the alien with her forefinger. Grun wondered if there was more pink in its gut than there had been before. But Hi seemed perfectly all right.

“So send out a warship!” Mike blustered. “Who does that ambassador think we are?”

“Warships have done no good,” Iker said. “I was speaking with an old business acquaintance who retired here. The pirates don’t bother the warships, or even the smaller ships sent out to chase them down. Somehow they know what ships to hit. Stock in Forst’s pleasure industry is down by half since we left Merrose III.”

“Damn their money, this is my wife!” Mike said. Grun had been despising him, but at that she felt her expression soften.

Hi reached out a hand to Mike. “My dear, all will be well if we simply do as I have agreed.”

“And what’s that?” Grun said. “If you’ll pardon me, we have to choose a course. Forst is forbidding us docking privileges. We have to go. I could set a course back to Earth, but – ”

“No, no!” Hi said. “It takes too long. The alien will have to eat by then.”

Even Iker went pale at that.

“All right,” Grun said slowly. “I suppose that means we head to Merrose III, where the authorities can – ”

“No, no!” Hi protested. “We’ll go where we intended to go, to see the rainbow cliffs of Surra before they fall into the chasm.”

“Honey, we aren’t exactly on vacation anymore,” Milla said. She reached out to pat Hi’s hand. The creature around Hi’s neck stirred for the first time, a pulsing motion stilled in the blink of an eye. Milla pulled her hand back fast.

“I said we would.”

“Without consulting anyone?” Grun shook her head. “I know I’m just the pilot.”

“It is just like her, dear,” Iker said. “I am sorry we’ve put you in this position. Best go set a course for Surra.”

“We’re going to take down the space pirates, with one alien parasite?” Mike asked. His eyes showed white around the irises. Grun wondered how he had been married to Hi for so long and not expected something like this. But then, they had never been retired in space before, with no obligations to anyone but themselves. Perhaps Hi was different here than she had been at home, with her tech job in the city and her children.

“I don’t think it’ll come to that,” Grun said. “I’ll get us as close to Surra as possible on the jump. They can’t interfere with us in hyperspace, you know, and the jump coordinates are closely patrolled to protect against just this sort of thing. Unless Surra is actively involved with the pirates, we’ll be safe there. Then we can figure out what to do with the alien without hurting Hi.”

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Somehow, Grun was not surprised when the ship’s sensors blared a warning and dropped them out of hyperspace into the vastness between the stars. She hit the intraship comm. “We’re in normal space. Verifying our location. I’d prepare for problems if I were all of you.”

“Forced out of hyperspace? I thought that was impossible.” Milla’s voice shook.

Grun didn’t blame her at all. “I don’t see how. The route is well mapped. The drive was just maintained. There are no anomalies that would – ” A readout blinked red on the console, and Grun’s mouth twisted. “Unless, of course, Forst uploaded something to drop us out. The computer is saying it received programming while we were docked.”

“Those sneaky bastards!” Milla’s voice shook. “The pirates have an ally in Forst Control! Wait until I tell the ambassador. He’s never really gotten over me; he’ll nail that spy to the wall for me!” She twisted one carefully curled strand of hair in nervous fingers.

Grun told the ship’s computer to fire on the attacking vessel. There was no response but a series of flashing yellow lights. “Guns are unavailable,” Grun said. “Guess they disabled those, too.”

A red light flashed. “Proximity warning.” Grun hit the comm again. “Here they come!” She locked down the helm, put the hailing channel on comm and stood up, loosening her energy gun in its holster.

Milla vanished into the living quarters.

“Let us in, little piggy,” said a voice through the comm. “Give us what we want, and there’ll be no one hurt.”

Hi stood before the table in the main cabin, Mike flushed with tension and drink at her side. Iker and Milla were nowhere to be seen.

“Yes, let them in!” Mike said. “We’ll give them our money, and they’ll let us go on to Surra. My company can send us cash there.”

Milla poked her head out of her sleeping quarters. “Don’t listen. They’ll kill us and take the ship. Didn’t you pay any attention to the news while we were on Forst?”

The ship rocked to an impact off the bow. An alarm beeped on the bridge, transmitted over the ship’s comm. Grun winced.

“Let us in, sweet little yacht,” said the voice from the hailing frequency. “I won’t hesitate to blow a hole in you if you don’t let us dock. No loss for us, after all.” The voice hardened. “Let us in. Five minutes.”

Grun looked at Hi. She appeared as calm as ever. Hi had drawn her collar up to cover the alien. If you didn’t know what you were looking for, you would never know the horror she kept around her neck.

“I don’t know what the plan is,” Grun said to Hi. “But get ready. Our weapons are unavailable, and we have no choice.”

Hi nodded.

“Holy God,” Mike said.

“Go in the cabin, dear,” Hi told Mike.

The red-faced man shook his head. “Not leavin’ you, Hi.”

Hi’s face softened. Then she nodded at Grun. “Open the lock.”

Grun ordered systems to open the outer lock. The computer warned they were in deep space – “Confirmation requested” – and Grun overrode the safety.

“That’s more like it,” said the voice from the pirate vessel. “I’ll see you in just a moment. I’m warning you, we have plenty of weapons, and we’ll take out any of you who lifts a gun to us. Be smart now.” The channel closed.

It seemed forever while the lock cycled through. Grun flattened her back against the inner hull next to the airlock, sighting along her outstretched arm to her drawn energy gun. Still, she was undecided. Should she shoot and kill as many of the bastards as she could before they killed her? What good would that do the others? Tactics streaked through her mind as she waited. Then she shrugged to herself and squinted along the gunsight. She would not let Mama’s retired friends be taken without a fight.

The readout showed the lock was occupied. The pressure crept upward. Grun heard a sob from the direction of Iker and Milla’s cabin. The muscles in her side twinged where she had been wounded in her last action. Then the airlock hushed open.

Grun sighted, but no one came through the lock. Instead, a round metal thing rolled, fast, out on the deck. Grenade, Grun thought, then No … not in a pressurized cabin. As she stared after it, someone rounded the corner of the airlock, crouched to waist level, and fired at Grun. Bright light flashed in Grun’s eyes. Massive sound breached her eardrums. Blackness folded over her eyes, and she fell before she could fire at the boarding party.

Part 2 here

“For the Road” Goodreads Giveaway

Columbus Creative Cooperative is giving away 5 copies of For the Road — an anthology of stories about the American road, including my own story “The Summer of Growing Up”.

These stories explore what awaits once we are out the door of our comfortable homes, and facing the empty road. The anthology offers a wide range of genre for the adult reader — from literary fiction to ghost stories and science fiction.

Here’s a link to the giveaway on Goodreads. It ends February 9, so don’t delay!

“For the Road” Anthology — More Information

For the Road anthology, Fall 2014, from Columbus Creative Cooperative
For the Road anthology, from Columbus Creative Cooperative

Columbus Creative Cooperative released its new anthology in December. My story “The Summer of Growing Up” is included, along with stories by several other authors. Stories range from literary fiction to speculative fiction, all centered on the mystery of the American road.

The anthology is available in print version or ebook from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com. Print copies are available from the Columbus Creative Cooperative site.

If you live in the Columbus area, you can find the physical book at these retailers:

Cup O’ Joe, Lennox Town Center
Kafe Kerouac
Stauf’s, Grandview
Stauf’s, German Village (formerly Cup O’ Joe)
Cup O’ Joe, Downtown Columbus
Cherbourg Bakery, Bexley
Wholly Craft, Clintonville
Cup O’ Joe, Clintonville

Also: Happy New Year to all of you, and happy reading!

“For the Road” Anthology

Columbus Creative Cooperative is releasing its “For the Road” anthology today — stories about the American road from ten authors, including me! This book represents stories in several genres, all about the promise and mystery that is the American road.

Here’s a link to the press release at the Columbus Creative Cooperative website.

“For the Road” will be available in paperback and ebook formats on Dec 10. It’s available through the CCC’s store at the above link, or at amazon.com.