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Hugh Howey launched the idea on Kboards, a forum for Kindle readers, but also the meeting place of an active community of indie writers.
The result is this anthology of 101 very short stories by 101 authors.
To make it more attractive for you, the reader, we set ourselves a limit of a thousand words. You should be able to read each story in under five minutes — on your desktop computer, laptop, or tablet at home or in the office, but also on your smartphone, on the go, while you are commuting or waiting at a coffee shop for your significant other to arrive.
We included as many genres as we could. We hope that maybe, with only five minutes of your time on the line that would otherwise be wasted anyway, you'll be tempted to venture outside your comfort zone and try out some new genres and new authors.
The twenty-eight stories in this collection imaginatively take us far across the universe, into the very core of our beings, to the realm of the gods, and the moment just after now. Included here are the works of masters of the form and of bright new talents, including:
* Cory Doctorow * Robert Charles Wilson * Michael Swanwick * Ian McDonald * Benjamin Rosenbaum * Kage Baker * Bruce McAllister * Alastair Reynolds * Jay Lake * Ruth Nestvold * Gregory Benford * Justin Stanchfield * Walter Jon Williams * Greg Van Eekhout * Robert Reed * David D. Levine * Paul J. McAuley * Mary Rosenblum * Daryl Gregory * Jack Skillingstead * Paolo Bacigalupi * Greg Egan * Elizabeth Bear * Sarah Monette * Ken MacLeod * Stephen Baxter * Carolyn Ives Gilman * John Barnes * A.M. Dellamonica
Supplementing the stories are the editor's insightful summation of the year's events and a list of honorable mentions, making this book a valuable resource in addition to serving as the single best place in the universe to find stories that stir the imagination and the heart.
In the heart of the new millennium, worlds beyond our imagination have opened up, blurring the line between life and art. Embracing the challenges and possibilities of cyberspace, genetics, the universe, and beyond, the world of science fiction has become a porthole into the realities of tomorrow. In The Year's Best Science Fiction Twenty-third Annual Collection, our very best SF authors explore ideas of a new world with such compelling stories as:
"Beyond the Aquila Rift": Critically acclaimed author Alastair Reynolds takes readers to the edge of the universe, where no voyager has dared to travel before---or so we think.
"Comber": Our world is an ever-changing one, and award-winning author Gene Wolfe explores the darker side of our planet's fluidity in his own beautiful and inimitable style.
"Audubon in Atlantis": In a world not quite like our own, bestselling author Harry Turtledove shows us that there are reasons some species have become extinct.
The twenty-nine stories in this collection imaginatively take us far across the universe, into the very core of our beings, to the realm of the gods, and the moment just after now. Included here are the works of masters of the form and of bright new talents, including:Neal Asher, Paolo Bacigalupi, Stephen Baxter, Elizabeth Bear, Chris Beckett, Dominic Green, Daryl Gregory, Joe Haldeman, Gwyneth Jones, James Patrick Kelley, Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold, Ken MacLeod, Ian McDonald, Vonda N. McIntyre, David Moles, Derryl Murphy, Steven Popkes, Hannu Rajaniemi, Alastair Reynolds, Robert Reed, Chris Roberson, Mary Rosenblum, William Sanders, Bruce Sterling, Michael Swanwick, Harry Turtledove, Peter Watts, Liz Williams, and Gene Wolfe.
Supplementing the stories are the editor's insightful summation of the year's events and a lengthy list of honorable mentions, making this book both a valuable resource and the single best place in the universe to find stories that stir the imagination and the heart.
The stories in this collection imaginatively take readers far across the universe, into the very core of their beings, to the realm of the Gods, and to the moment just after now. Included are the works of masters of the form and the bright new talents of tomorrow. This book is a valuable resource in addition to serving as the single best place in the universe to find stories that stir the imagination and the heart.
"Gripping historical fantasy!" "Simply epic!"
For the price of a truce, Yseult is sent to a world where magic is dying - to marry the father of the man she loves.
5th Century Britain is a land on the brink of war. Abandoned by the once great Roman Empire, it must see to its own defense. Under the leadership of Arthur, the kings of Britain fight to push back the Saxon hordes and save what is left of civilization.
The Pendragon Chronicles tell the Arthurian legends re-imagined through what little is known of the historical details of the era. Here is no chivalric society of knights and ladies; here, the battles are real and gritty, love is mixed with lust, and it is not a given that the good survive.
This epic retelling of the tragic legend of Yseult and Drystan plays out against the backdrop of a violent world threatening to descend into the Dark Ages. As a member of the Old Race of Ireland, Yseult could act as a bridge between the old age and the new - but will the price be too high?
What readers are saying about The Pendragon Chronicles:
- "This book is simply Epic! Not only for the length of it (came as a shock after reading novellas for a while!) but also for the amount of history, information and detail given." Review of Yseult by Marissa.
- "For those who like a strong historical component in their historical fiction. Yseult is fully realized as an Irish princess, with a component of "powers" totally appropriate to the myths of Ireland and Arthurian tales. This story made even some of the less likely parts of the tale seem not just plausible, but inevitable." Review by Cary.
- "The book is much more than a love story. It is truly an epic, exploring the conflicts between paganism and Christianity, political maneuvering between the various kings of Britain and Ireland, the wars between themselves and with the Saxons, and a lot more. It reminded me a bit of The Mists of Avalon, although Yseult was much more fun to read." Review by Kriti Godey.
A #1 bestseller in Arthurian fantasy and an international success, with translations into German, Italian and Dutch.
From E. E. "Doc" Smith’s Lensman, to George Lucas’ Star Wars, the politics and process of Empire have been a major subject of science fiction’s galaxy-spanning fictions. The idiom of the Galactic Empire allows science fiction writers to ask (and answer) questions that are shorn of contemporary political ideologies and allegiances. This simple narrative slight of hand allows readers and writers to see questions and answers from new and different perspectives.
The stories in this book do just that. What social, political, and economic issues do the organizing structure of “empire” address? Often the size, shape, and fates of empires are determined not only by individuals, but by geography, natural forces, and technology. As the speed of travel and rates of effective communication increase, so too does the size and reach of an Imperial bureaucracy.Sic itur ad astra—“Thus one journeys to the stars.”
At the beginning of the twentieth century, writers such as Kipling and Twain were at the forefront of these kinds of narrative observations, but as the century drew to a close, it was writers like Iain M. Banks who helped make science fiction relevant. That tradition continues today, with award-winning writers like Ann Leckie, whose 2013 debut novel Ancillary Justice hinges upon questions of imperialism and empire.
Here then is a diverse collection of stories that asks the questions that science fiction asks best. Empire: How? Why? And to what effect?
Table of Contents:
- “Winning Peace” by Paul J. McAuley
- “Night’s Slow Poison” by Ann Leckie
- “All the Painted Stars” by Gwendolyn Clare
- “Firstborn” by Brandon Sanderson
- “Riding the Crocodile” by Greg Egan
- “The Lost Princess Man” by John Barnes
- “The Waiting Stars” by Aliette de Bodard
- “Alien Archeology” by Neal Asher
- “The Muse of Empires Lost” by Paul Berger
- “Ghostweight” by Yoon Ha Lee
- “A Cold Heart” by Tobias S. Buckell
- “The Colonel Returns to the Stars” by Robert Silverberg
- “The Impossibles” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
- “Utriusque Cosmi” by Robert Charles Wilson
- “Section Seven” by John G. Hemry
- “The Invisible Empire of Ascending Light” by Ken Scholes
- “The Man with the Golden Balloon” by Robert Reed
- “Looking Through Lace” by Ruth Nestvold
- “A Letter from the Emperor” by Steve Rasnic Tem
- “The Wayfarer’s Advice” by Melinda M. Snodgrass
- “Seven Years from Home” by Naomi Novik
- “Verthandi’s Ring” by Ian McDonald
When young Ygerna first meets Uthyr, Pendragon of Britain, she is dazzled by the handsome and famous warrior. But when Uthyr interprets admiration as consent and takes her by force, Ygerna's hero worship turns to hatred.
And she will do anything to get revenge on the man who got her with child and ruined her life.
"Thought provoking"; "Great, classic sci-fi novella...I want more!" "Very enjoyable read!"- Reader reviews.
As the only woman on the first contact team, xenolinguist Toni Donato expected her assignment on Christmas would be to analyze the secret women's language -- but then the chief linguist begins to sabotage her work. What is behind it? Why do the men and women have separate languages in the first place? What Toni learns turns everything she thought they knew on its head.
Originally published in Asimov's in 2003, "Looking Through Lace" was a finalist for the Tiptree and Sturgeon awards. The Italian translation won the Premio Italia for best work of speculative fiction in translation in 2007.
"'Looking Through Lace' by Ruth Nestvold is terrific science fiction. I want to read more of this writer's stories."
- Andi Shechter in January Magazine
"... 'Looking Through Lace' by Ruth Nestvold [is] an intelligent, complex story illustrating the difficulties of learning and understanding the nuances and intricacies of an alien language and culture, particularly one so similar to our own that we persist in viewing it (wrongly) on our terms.... The reason ... why there are so many differences between the languages of both men and women are logical and well thought out, and the final revelation about the true nature of the relationship between the women and the men comes as a nice twist."
- Phil Friel in Tangent Online
"Two strong stories stand out from the rest of the fiction. Ruth Nestvold’s 'Looking Through Lace' rests on a relatively simple reversal or secret, but the rest of it is solidly written and convincing. The main character is a young female xenolinguist named Toni -- she is called to a planet named Christmas to study the Mejan culture. Nestvold presents a neat puzzle, and she takes the time to present it just-so."
- James Schellenberg in Challenging Destiny
About the author:
Ruth Nestvold’s short stories have appeared in numerous markets, including Asimov’s, F&SF, Baen’s Universe, Strange Horizons, Realms of Fantasy, and Gardner Dozois’s Year’s Best Science Fiction. Her fiction has been nominated for the Nebula, Tiptree, and Sturgeon Awards. In 2007, the Italian translation of her novella “Looking Through Lace” won the “Premio Italia” award for best international work. Her novel Flamme und Harfe appeared in translation with the German imprint of Random House, Penhaligon, in 2009 and has since been translated into Dutch and Italian. She maintains a web site at www.ruthnestvold.com.
It’s funny how second chances usually wind up being just another opportunity to make the same mistakes, though.
The authors represented in the collection you now hold were tasked to create grim and gritty tales of time travel gone horribly wrong.
They have done so, in some wildly varied ways.
There are stories of rare and exceptional beauty; stories of dark, otherworldly horror; stories of white-knuckle thrills and even some that will make you laugh out loud.
In fact, if you pay close attention, in at least one of these adventures, you’ll realize that no time travel at all ever takes place.
All of them will take you places--and times--you’ve yet to be, and make you think about the experience.
FEATURING STORIES FROM:
Peter Clines – Craig DiLouie – Brian P. Easton – Stan Timons – Jason S. Hornsby – Thom Brannon and Rob Pegler – Matthew Baugh – Lane Adamson - Stephen Gaskell - David Gullen - Michael C. Lea - Jeff Drake - Rakie Kieg - Aaron Polson - Wayne Helge - Frank Farrar - Mark Harding - Joshua Reynolds - Timothy Martinez - Ruth Nestvold - Gregory L. Norris - Frank Summers
STARTING OUT AS AN INDIE AUTHOR was written for beginning self-publishers and covers the basics on where to sell your books, formatting for eBook and print, and developing marketing strategies. It includes a number of step-by-step instructions for everything from cover design, to setting up eBooks for various distributors, to creating ads with Facebook and Amazon Marketing Services. In addition, there is advice on any number of topics: eBook pricing, using distributors, how much to spend on self-publishing, and writing blurbs for your books.
With this sanity-saving book as a guide, you will have a much better grasp on what is involved in self-publishing and will be able to approach the task realistically and with eyes wide open.
Including an interview with Kate Sparkes, author of the bestselling Bound series!
Part I: Is Self-Publishing for You?
Chapter 1: Advantages and Disadvantages of Self-Publishing
Chapter 2: Potential Self-Publishing Mudholes
Chapter 3: The Costs of Publishing as an Indie Author
Part II: Getting Ready to Publish
Chapter 4: Why Editing is Important - and Who can Probably Skip the Expense After All.
Chapter 5: Preparing Your Manuscript for eBook Retailers
Chapter 6: Cover Options for Indie Authors
Chapter 7: Writing Blurbs and Descriptions for your Books
Chapter 8: Amazon Delivery Fees and Reducing the File Size of Your EBook
Part III: Publishing Your Book
Chapter 9: EBook Pricing
Chapter 10: To KDP Select or not to KDP Select
Chapter 11: Using Distributors for Getting into Online Bookstores
Chapter 12: The Importance of Keywords
Chapter 13: Formatting the Interior of your Book for Print
Chapter 14: Creating a Wraparound Cover for your Print Book
Part IV: Marketing
Chapter 15: The Big Challenge: Becoming Visible
Chapter 16: How to Develop a Strategy for eBook Promotions
Chapter 17: Alexa Rankings for eBook Ad Sites
Chapter 18: Advertising Sites
Chapter 19: Social Media and Cross Promotion
Chapter 20: Newsletter Basics
Part V: Final Thoughts
Chapter 21: Why "Write the Next Book" isn't Enough; Or: What to do if your Books aren't Selling
Chapter 22: Rolling with the Changes
Now, a year later, he is running away from his disappointment, traveling north to fight against a mysterious warrior who has taken the hill-fort of the lady Ragnell.
But there is a mystery to Ragnell too, the beauty with the ravaged face. And Gawain learns he must solve both mysteries, that of the warrior and that of the lady ...
Publisher's note: Gawain and Ragnell is an expanded version of an episode in Shadow of Stone, the second book in the best-selling Arthurian fantasy series, "The Pendragon Chronicles." It is a stand-alone story. Readers who have read Shadow of Stone will already be familiar with the tale. The ebook includes an excerpt from the first book in the series, YSEULT.
"Gawain and Ragnell" is a short story of approximately 17,000 words, or 65 pages.
What readers are saying about The Pendragon Chronicles:
- "This book is simply Epic! Not only for the length of it (came as a shock after reading novellas for a while!) but also for the amount of history, information and detail given." Review of "Yseult" by Marissa.
- "For those who like a strong historical component in their historical fiction. Yseult is fully realized as an Irish princess, with a component of "powers" totally appropriate to the myths of Ireland and Arthurian tales. This story made even some of the less likely parts of the tale seem not just plausible, but inevitable." Review of "Yseult" by Cary.
- "The book is much more than a love story. It is truly an epic, exploring the conflicts between paganism and Christianity, political maneuvering between the various kings of Britain and Ireland, the wars between themselves and with the Saxons, and a lot more. It reminded me a bit of The Mists of Avalon, although Yseult was much more fun to read." Review of "Yseult" by Kriti Godey.
Meeting Aphra Behn is Billie's wish come true -- and now she's trapped in the 17th century!
Billie Armstrong has long wanted to give Aphra Behn, the first professional woman writer in English, the prominence she deserves. But when Billie accidentally activates the magical properties of a baroque mirror, propelling herself into the seventeenth century, she gets more than she bargained for. What develops is an unwilling masquerade, a tale of license, love and literature, as Billie does her best to survive in a strange era and ensure Aphra’s literary survival in the future.
What readers are saying:
"There is nothing better than when a time travel story is paired with real characters from the past and an excellent writer." Review by LA Howell
"Ruth Nestvold colors these pages with some of the more irresistible word painting now being written. The manner in which she weaves this terrific tale will hold the readers' attention from page one. She entertains, pokes our imagination, challenges our intellect, and in all - provides a first class novel." Review by Grady Harp, Top 100 Amazon reviewer.