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A great collection of short speculative fiction.
Twenty-three authors selected by co-editors Rhonda Parrish and Greg Bechtel
Nevertheless (Tesseracts Twenty-one) is a collection of optimistic speculative fiction stories, each optimistic in a slightly different way. These stories explore the optimism that drives us to seek out new worlds, that inspires us to sacrifice for others or fuels us to just keep going when everything seems lost.
Edited by Rhonda Parrish and Greg BechtelRhonda Parrish is driven by a desire to do All The Things. She founded and ran Niteblade Magazine, is an Assistant Editor at World Weaver Press and is the editor of several anthologies including, most recently, Mrs. Claus and Equus. In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been in publications such as Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast and Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing (2012 & 2015). Her most recent book is Haunted Hospitals, which she co-wrote with Mark Leslie.
Greg Bechtel's occasionally prize-winning stories and essays have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies, including Avenue Edmonton, The Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, two previous Tesseracts anthologies, and Imaginarium 4: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing. His first story collection, Boundary Problems, won the Alberta Book of the Year Award for trade fiction and was a finalist for the ReLit Award, the William L. Crawford Fantasy Award, and the City of Edmonton Robert Kroetsch Book Prize.
Greg currently lives in Edmonton, Alberta where, as of this writing, he is serving for his second year as Writer in Residence for the Alberta Branch of the Canadian Authors Association. He also teaches English Literature, Writing Studies, and Creative Writing at the University of Alberta, where he completed his PhD on Canadian syncretic fantasy.
Add this anthology to your Tesseracts collection now.
Behind the Mask is a multi-author collection with stories by award-winning authors Kelly Link, Cat Rambo, Carrie Vaughn, Seanan McGuire, Lavie Tidhar, Sarah Pinsker, Keith Rosson, Kate Marshall, Chris Large and others. It is partially a prose nod to the comic world - the bombast, the larger-than-life, the save-the-worlds and the calls-to-adventure. But it’s also a spotlight on the more intimate side of the genre. The hopes and dreams of our cape-clad heroes. The regrets and longings of our cowled villains. That poignant, solitary view of the world that can only be experienced from behind the mask.
The authors in this collection, both established and new, are all dexterous and wonderfully imaginative, each deserving of their own form-fitting uniforms and capes. Some of the stories pulse with social commentary, like Cat Rambo’s whimsical and deft “Ms. Liberty Gets a Haircut” and Keith Rosson’s haunting “Torch Songs.” Others twist the genre into strange and new territories, like Stuart Suffel’s atmospheric “Birthright,” Kate Marhsall’s moving “Destroy the City with Me Tonight,” and Adam Shannon’s reality-bending “Over an Embattled City.” Some punch with heart and humor, like Matt Mikalatos’s satisfying “The Beard of Truth” and Chris Large’s adventurous “Salt City Blue,” while others punch with bite and grit, such as Michael Milne’s evocative “Inheritance,” Aimee Ogden’s poignant “As I Fall Asleep,” and Jennifer Pullen’s heartfelt “Meeting Someone in the 22nd Century.” Some of the stories feature characters who might not be superheroes in the traditional sense, yet are heroic nonetheless, such as Sarah Pinsker’s imaginative “The Smoke Means It’s Working” and Stephanie Lai’s majestic “The Fall of the Jade Sword.” Some shine a unique, captivating spotlight on supervillains, like Keith Frady’s dramatic “Fool” and Carrie Vaughn’s romantic “Origin Story.” Some are somber, ponderous works, where our heroes consider their impact on the world, like Lavie Tidhar’s regret-tinged “Heroes” and Nathan Crowder’s resonant “Madjack.” Others tread more light-hearted waters, with heroes adjusting to the sometimes-comical, sometimes-stressful life in the public eye, like Seanan McGuire’s entertaining “Pedestal” and Patrick Flanagan’s lively “Quintessential Justice.” And then there are the softer, quieter moments between heroes, as they navigate their extraordinary lives in their own unique ways, such as Ziggy Schutz’s tender “Eggshells” and, of course, Kelly Link’s captivating “Origin Story.”
Publisher’s Weekly - "Reeks and Richardson have pulled together a treasure trove of 20 stories . . . exploring the lives of superheroes when they’re not saving the world. . . . There is nary a miss in this diverse and thoughtful collection, which will have readers considering what it means to be human."
Kirkus Reviews - (starred review) "A momentous, readable collection, its sole downside being that there are only 20 superhero stories."
All the stories from the month, plus author biographies, interviews, and story origins.
Table of Contents
Graven Image - B. Morris Allen
The Yarnball Woman - Michael Milne
Familiar in Her Angles - E.A. Brenner
Combustion - Kai Hudson
Cover art by Carol Wellart
"For fans of weird and beautifully written genre fiction, LOVE HURTS is a work that delivers 26 distinct emotional roller coaster rides, each as different from one another as they are from any other story you’ve probably ever read. As full of creativity as it is of heartbreak, it’s a book that truly is full of surprises." -- IndieReader (4.5 Stars)
Twenty-six brilliant speculative fiction stories about love, and the pain that so often accompanies it. Enjoy a cornucopia of imaginative tales, wondrous settings, and unforgettable characters—such as the disillusioned time traveler who visits ancient Japan to experience a “Moment of Zen,” the young woman from planet Kiruna who can only communicate in song when the moonlet Saarakka is up, and the sorcerer who loses their happiness in a bet with a demon.
Rich and wonderfully diverse, this collection spans many speculative fiction genres: from SciFi to Dystopian, from Fantasy to Magical Realism, from Steampunk to Superhero, from Horror to Weird. Sometimes funny, occasionally happy, frequently gut-wrenching—these stories will take your heart on a wild emotional ride.
Stories by Jeff VanderMeer, Hugh Howey, Karin Tidbeck, Charlie Jane Anders, Holly Phillips, Aliette de Bodard, A. Merc Rustad, Steve Simpson, Mel Paisley, J. D. Brink, Matt Leivers, Michael Milne, Michal Wojcik, Carla Dash, Terry Durbin, Michelle Ann King, Kyle Richardson, Leah Brown, G. Scott Huggins, Dan Micklethwaite, Victoria Zelvin, Shannon Phillips, Keith Frady, Jody Sollazzo, David Stevens, and Morgen Knight.