Archives for posts with tag: Excerpt

10.29.15.GILDEDAGEBIG

In honor of the Day of the Dead, this is an excerpt of El Dia de Los Muertos, from The Gilded Age, published first by Bantam, a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book, now a print book and an ebook from Bast Books. The novel, a sequel to Summer of Love, is an exploration of San Francisco in 1895 and China of five hundred years in the future through the eyes of Zhu, a time traveler.
We’re catching up with Daniel J. Watkins, a twenty-something year old man who has serious problems in San Francisco, 1895.
El Dia de los Muertos
“To Death,” Daniel toasts Mr. Schultz, “in marvelous Californ’.”
Mira muerta, no seas inhumana, no vuelvas manana dejame vivir,” croons the singer through his grinning papier-mâchè skull mask. Ricardo, the one-eyed guitarist, dreamily strums along.
“To el Dia de los Muertos,” Schultz says, raising his shot glass. “Sehr gut, nicht wahr? Speaking of muertos, Danny, got myself in a bit of a fix.”
“A matter of life or death?”
“You might say.”
Daniel pours two more shots from a dust-furred bottle of mescal, smiling at the drowned worm at the bottom. Authentic, this splendid rotgut with the disconcerting effect of making everything appear as ominous and strange as a nightmare. A more decadent drink than the Green Fairy, if such a thing is possible. And, like absinthe, the taste is vile.
He and Schultz lounge at a table in Luna’s, finishing their fifty-cent Suppers Mexican. Frank Norris’ recommendation amply deserved. The restaurant is quaint. Bright peasant pottery, dried gourds, red-and-white checked tablecloths. The singer’s skull mask is quite a fright, though Daniel’s dyspepsia is mostly caused by the Supper Mexican. Remains of their scorching hot dinner lie scattered in the colorful crockery—spicy pork sausages, tortillas, chiles rellenos, frijoles fritas, tamales, salsa. Daniel could never have dined on such a feast in St. Louis. Or in Paris or London. Only in marvelous Californ’.
Schultz sighs and knocks the shot back, licking salt off the rim of his glass. “I’ve been given the boot.”
“Things crummy in Far East shipping?”
“Things are bang-up in Far East shipping. Not so bang-up for me.” Schultz pours another shot. Just a small one.
Daniel’s tongue has become quite numb. “Why so, old man? You seem to have been doing well. Plum position.”
“Can’t control the drink, and that’s the truth. God knows I’ve tried. You and I, we start in on the brandy at breakfast.”
“Don’t I know, sir,” Daniel says. “Not to mention Miss Malone and her accursed champagne.”
“She’s forever pouring me another and adding it to my bill.”
“Brushes her teeth with the bubbly.”
“At any rate,” Schultz says gloomily, “showed up corned at the office one time too many. Not that the old man doesn’t do it. He just manages to hold his liquor better.”
“Plus he’s the old man.”
“Guess we’ve all got an old man somewhere.”
“By blood or bad luck.”
They laugh unhappily.
“Lousy bit, Schultz.”
Schultz’s mustache stiffens. “Don’t suppose you’ve got any paying work for hire, do you, Danny? Help out a pal? I’m not asking for a handout. I’m no beggar.”
“Wish I did.”
“You just sold that property of your vater, didn’t you?”
“A patch of worthless weeds on Geary Street. Nothing going on in the Western Addition. I daresay that will be the fate of it for some time. The other lot has got no takers, and the rest of the deadbeats are giving me grief. That old fool Ekberg on Stockton Street has stalled me for weeks. As for Mr. Harvey in Sausalito, the good gentleman sent thugs as his answer to my request for payment. They followed me, Schultz, while I was taking my stroll along the Cocktail Route. Worried me up quite a bit.”
Daniel would rather not confess that his mistress, costumed in coolie’s clothes, gave Harvey’s thugs a run for their money while the thugs gave him a goose egg on the noggin, sore kidneys, and a bad scare. He’s spotted suspicious characters lurking around the boardinghouse. He’s taken to sneaking in and out of the tradesmen’s door rather than promenading out the front. It’s an unhappy way to live. He’s been screwing up his courage for weeks to go and confront that damnable Harvey.
“Perhaps you need a manager.”
“A bodyguard is more like it.”
“Can’t help you there. No good with a pistol or fisticuffs, I fear.” An ugly look of envy curdles Schultz’s large, puglike features. “You’ve got some scratch. Me, I haven’t got one thin dime. And I can’t quit the drink.” He knocks back the shot, toys with the bottle. “I’m weary to my bones. What I need is a cure.”
A cure.
They both contemplate that possibility as the singer launches into another melancholy ballad, “Esta alegre calavera hoy invita a los mortales para ir a visitar las regions infernales.
Daniel knows no Spanish, but the meaning leaps out—We invite you mortals to visit hell. Mescal, by God. Now he is comprehending Spanish. He doesn’t know Schultz well enough to confide his darkest secrets, but Daniel is no fool. He knows exactly what Schultz is talking about. A cure. He behaves like an ass when he’s stinking. Look at how he treats his mistress—his ugly words, his uglier actions. Shoving her about. Having his way with her whenever they’re alone without asking her if she wants it. He hasn’t struck her—not yet—but he cannot promise himself that will never happen. Not when he’s stinking.
He’s not sure where his cruelty comes from. Even less sure why she allows him to get away with it when she has amply demonstrated she’s no whore or dimwit. He would venture to say—only to himself, of course—that Zhu possesses more intelligence than ten gentlemen strolling along the Cocktail Route. Oh, she has her peculiarities. She claims she’s from the far future like a creature out of Mr. Wells’ novel, which only makes him angrier with her when he’s stinking. She goes temperance on him. Drinking’s going to kill you, she says, tears lingering on her lashes. Lunatic, he shouts at her. Off to the loony bin with you.
He awakens after every binge feeling soiled, stupid, and contrite.
He’s been binging every day. Brandy with breakfast, sir, to start.
Those are his scruples. What about his physical constitution? His health, which he’s always taken for granted, is no longer so vibrant. He suffers frequent nosebleeds, a sore throat. Paunch has started thickening his middle. His gut is frequently on the blink. His hands tremble. And the headaches. His head aches something fierce when he awakens. Relief only comes when he’s got his morning brandy under his belt.
And it isn’t only his scruples and his physical constitution. He is plagued by odd feelings. Melancholy and guilt. Memories of his father and mother intrude on his peace of mind. And so on and et cetera until he cannot abide this anymore. There must be something he can do.
“Know of a cure?” Daniel says cautiously.
“Heard a fellow talking about it at the Bank Exchange. Dr. Mortimer’s Miraculous Cure for dipsomania. Guaranteed, money back and all. There’s the trick for me—money. The cure costs an arm and a leg, but is well worth it. Or so the fellow said.”
Daniel tries to overlook the unfortunate fact that this hot tip was imparted in one of the busiest bars along the Cocktail Route. “This Dr. Mortimer, he’s in San Francisco?” He apportions the last finger in the bottle between himself and the worm. “To the handmaiden of Death,” he toasts the worm.
Ja, Dr. Mortimer’s got his clinic in the Monkey Block,” says Schultz, succumbing after a short struggle to the last drops of mescal. He seizes the bottle and empties the remnants, worm and all, into his mouth. Suddenly he looks green and dashes out of Luna’s to the gutter where he noisily airs his paunch. The scowling maitre d’ and a scullery maid dash outside with buckets of hot salt water and vigorously splash the pavement clean. Mr. Schultz’s antics are a terrible reflection on their establishment.
Daniel picks up the tab—a dollar for two splendid Suppers Mexican. A dollar fifty for the terrific rotgut. A penny each for the maitre d’, the waitress, the singer, the guitarist. He reluctantly counts out coins. He’s not exactly flush, himself. He strides out past Schultz on his hands and knees, heaving. What won’t a drunk do, Daniel wonders, to stiff his pal for the bill?
*   *   *
To read the rest of this excerpt and find out how Daniel fares at Dr. Mortimer’s marvelously dubious clinic and what the miraculous cure is, exactly, please join my Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=23011206 and support me while I recover from the Attack. I’ve got lots of goodies for you there—book excerpts, previously published stories and brand-new stories, recipes, movie reviews—with more on the way.
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SHAKEN
by Lisa Mason
1

Emma “J” for Joy Pearce is on the twenty-second floor of Three Embarcadero when the birds begin to twitter. She is sipping her first cup of coffee and watching the rush-hour traffic crawl across the Bay Bridge into downtown San Francisco. A five-car pileup has blocked the Fremont off-ramp for ages, and she shakes her head, savoring her breakfast blend and feeling just a little bit smug. She doesn’t have to deal with that commute, thank her lucky stars. Living on Telegraph Hill and hiking ten blocks to the office is the way to go. She wouldn’t live anyplace else on the planet.

The birds, a flock of lively sparrows, swarm outside her window. Which is sort of odd. Emma just doesn’t see the tiny birds flying so high. Sparrows tend to be ground-bound, pecking at cookie crumbs outside a café on the mezzanine level. Odder still, they are diving and swooping, forming strange frantic patterns against the pink light of the rising sun. They begin to twitter in earnest now, almost screeching, in a weird frenzy. Sounding not like birds anymore, but some other feral creature, weasels or rats.

The birds rouse Emma out of her morning grogginess into mild surprise.

She had spent the night with Timothy and, half smiling, half frowning, has been mulling over what he’d said. She loves him, of course, but she just isn’t sure. No, wait. That isn’t right. It’s insane, what he’s asking. When they’re both so set in their ways. Things going so well, for the both of them, just the way they are.

She’d bounced out of bed with the completely genuine plea of a very hairy deadline. Buzzed into the office an hour early before the first of the flex-timers. Timothy. Dear sweet wonderful Timothy, but after five years, who would have thought? She sets her cup down, stands and stretches. She isn’t quite ready to start tearing apart the manuscript for Genes: Why I’m Me and Not You, Thank Goodness. The first chapter is a mess with lapidary moments, like the rest of the manuscripts Nigel Fontaine has turned in over the years.

More mess than brilliance in his projects these days. She must have a heart-to-heart huddle with the old coot sometime soon. She checks her calendar. Maybe lunch next week?

What’s with the birds?

A hollow booming rises out of the westward fog. Her windows begin rattling. Suddenly, flagpoles are tossing to and fro on the tops of high-rises.

The earthquake strikes.

It starts with a long, rolling shudder, just like the five-point-five in the spring of last year. Emma had been in this very same office, except then she’d been a senior staff writer, and now she’s the managing editor. Someone in the corridor outside her office now yells, “Whoo-eee! Shake-n-quake!” In the cubicles, the copy editors scream, half in fright, half in fun, and giddy laughter peals out.

Just like last year.

Emma doesn’t laugh. Her Blackfeet Indian pencils roll across her desk and spill off the edge, and sharp panic sets her heart pounding. The hand-thrown pottery on her windowsill clinks and totters, and a vase–the most expensive one, of course–tumbles to the floor, splitting in two like a cleaved melon. Her PC monitor flickers, then blanks out.

“Shit! I just lost an hour’s worth of work,” wails the new staff writer.

Emma doesn’t think twice. She grabs her handbag, her cell phone, her trench coat, the first aid kit she keeps in the bottom left-hand drawer of her desk, and she scrambles the hell out of there.

She flees the southeast corner offices of Ridley Publishing for the architectural heart of Three Embarcadero. There, where the elevators and lavatories are located, she finds the very same coat closet she fled to last year. She flings herself inside, secures the door behind her. Burrowing past winter wools and leather jackets, she finds the very same sturdy corner, where she crouches in a quivering fetal ball.

They said the five-point-five last year lasted all of fifty-seven seconds. But in the dark, in the isolation, the sensation of a twenty-eight-story, steel-girded, million-ton high-rise tossing back and forth as casually as the wicker rocking chair in her living room had seemed to last forever. Crying quietly into someone’s raincoat, Emma had felt dizzy then, disoriented. Paralyzed for the entire hour it had taken Jack and Eddie to find her. Led by the beeping of her cell phone as they’d called her and she couldn’t even answer, they’d stumbled into her coat closet at last, calling, “Hee-re chick chick chick! Chick chick chickie?”, and pried her out. After that, they’d ribbed her unmercifully for weeks, often seizing her by the shoulder and shaking her around.

She was vexed. Emma “J” for Joy Pearce was no crybaby or scaredy-cat. She’d relocated on her own from Philadelphia to San Francisco for the position at Ridley Publishing, and has regretted not one single moment in the seven years since. She adores the Bay area. She backpacks in the Marin Headlands or Tilden Park, rides horses on Stinson Beach, plays a decent game of racquetball at her health club downtown. She bungee-jumped–just once–on a hundred-dollar dare. She used to make every Friday night happy hour and get to know every available guy on the scene. Or at least his astrological sign. That was in the days before Timothy, of course.

But earthquakes?

Earthquakes have turned out to be Emma’s one and only phobia. For some people, it’s spiders or heights or the number thirteen. For Emma, hands down, it’s earthquakes. The ground suddenly giving way beneath your feet, the helpless plunge into darkness and chaos. It is her recurring anxiety nightmare, a chasm gaping open, and she runs and runs, unable to escape that plunge except into heart-pounding wakefulness.

It started with a little quake right after she moved here, a tremor that struck while she was at home, causing her aging apartment building to groan and sway, filling her for the first time with that sharp panic. She took charge, made changes. She moved to a Victorian flat on the solid bedrock of Telegraph Hill. Yet she just can’t shake the knee-jerk. Every rattle of wind in the windows, every erratic creak in the timbers, every tremor from a passing bus, sends her blood pressure shooting through the roof. Some nights, she’s had trouble sleeping. And then, ever since the five-point-five, there have been the nightmares.

Terrific. She’s got a job she loves and will never willingly leave, perched high in a skyscraper above one of the most infamous fault lines in the world. What a time to find out she’s got an actual phobia.

Holed up in her coat closet once again, now Emma stifles a moan. She presses the back of her hand to her mouth, gnaws at her knuckles. Come on, woman. Pull yourself together. She will stand right up and she will march right out, back to her office. She will tell the copy editors to stop farting around and get to work. She’s got that deadline and she will meet it. She’ll be tarred and feathered before Jack and Eddie will come chick-chick-chicking after her again. She will. She will get hold of herself, just as soon as the long, rolling shudder stops.

But it doesn’t stop.

The shudder deepens into violent shaking. Empty coat hangers bang with an explosive metallic clang. A chemical odor fills her senses, and the strangest sensation, hot and cold at the same time, and the awful prickle of a powerful electrical field. Images of doom from her dreams leap before her eyes.

“Stop it!” Emma mutters. “Stop it, stop it.”

But it doesn’t stop.

It doesn’t stop.

A BOOM! rises up from inside the building. She can hear the thud of heavy objects slamming against the walls, and screaming, panicked screaming, and a massive shatter of glass. The coat closet pitches, the walls tipping at impossible inclines, flinging her against one sheet of pressboard, then the other. She grabs at an alpaca shawl hanging above her, pulls it down. Seizes half a dozen jackets and pulls them down too, cocooning herself in coats.

Then, incredibly, the floor begins to sink, in short, choppy drops at first, then faster, deeper, like an elevator plunging out of control. Moving out of sheer instinct, Emma struggles free of the coats and scrambles on top of them. She clutches the clothes pole, tucks her tongue out of the way of her teeth. When the bone-crushing bottom finally comes, the ceiling crashes in within a handspan of the clothes pole, and a beam in the floor pops out of the carpet with a ripping noise.

Emma loses her grip–which way should she go, anyway?–and slams herself into the mound of clothing.

She lies there panting, stunned with disbelief, pulse pounding in her ears.

She hears the wail of the emergency warning sirens and, somewhere beyond the closet walls, people screaming and screaming. There is a piercing scream, too, that in a moment Emma identifies as her own voice, and it seems as if the whole city cries out from one throat.

So there you have the beginning, my friends, of a twisty story. Shaken is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

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From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Time Travels to San Francisco (boxed set of Summer of Love and The Gilded Age). On US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, India, and Japan.

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Hummers On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Daughter of the Tao On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in AustraliaFrance, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Every Mystery Unexplained On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tomorrow’s Child On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

U F uh-O On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tesla, A Screenplay On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story On Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, and Mexico.

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Errantry Cover Final

ERRANTRY

By Elizabeth Hand

I WAS HANGING OUT IN Angus’s apartment above the print shop, scoring some of his ADHD medication, when Tommy Devaraux ran upstairs to tell us he’d just seen the Folding Man over at the Old Court Grill. This was some years after the new century had cracked open and left me and my friends scrambled, even more feckless than we’d been thirty years earlier when we met as teenagers in Kamensic Village. The three of us had been romantically involved off and on during high school and for a few years afterward, held together by the wobbly gravitational pull exerted by adolescence and the strange, malign beauty of Kamensic, a once-rural town that had since been ravaged by gentrification and whose name had recently been trademarked by a domestic housewares tycoon.

Angus had never left Kamensic; he’d spent the last three decades nurturing a musical career that never quite took off, despite a minor 1977 hit that continued to generate residuals and a ringtone that now echoed eerily across the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. His most recent job had been with a brokerage firm absorbed by MortNet. The three kids from his first marriage were grown, but the younger ones, twins, had just started school, and child support and legal bills from the second divorce had stripped him of almost everything.

His ex-wife Sheila and the twins remained in the MacMansion out by Kamensic Meadows, but Angus lived in a third-floor flat he rented from another old friend who owned the struggling printing company below. The entire rickety wood-frame building smelled of dust and ink, the faintly resinous odor of paper mingled with acrid chemical pigments and the reek of melted plastic. In bed at night in Angus’s room, with the old presses rumbling on the floor below, it felt as though we were on board a train. Walls and floors vibrated around us and a sallow streetlamp coated the window with a syrupy greenish light. A few yards away, real trains racketed between the city and the outer exurbs.

I lived sixty miles north of Kamensic, in the next county, but spent more time in my old stomping grounds than reason or propriety allowed. Angus was my half-brother, the result of what Shakespearean scholars term a bed-trick. We didn’t know of our complicated parentage when we first slept together, but once we learned about it we figured it was too late and what the hell. Few people besides us ever knew, and most of them are now dead. My own career, as assistant professor of Arthurian studies at a small college upstate, had flamed out due to accusations of sexual harassment (dropped when a student recanted his story) and drug and alcohol abuse (upheld). Despite my dismissal, I found work as a private tutor, coaching rich kids on their college admissions essays.

“Vivian,” Tommy said breathlessly when I opened the door. “Angus here?”

I brushed my cheek against Tommy’s as he swept inside and crossed to where Angus sat hunched over his computer. Tommy peered at the monitor and frowned. “Where’s Estelle?”

Tommy had a little obsessive thing that dovetailed neatly with Angus’s frenetic energy, as in their latest collaboration, a thirty-seven-song cycle Angus was writing about Estelle, an imaginary woman based on a real woman, a stockbroker Tommy had dated once. He became obsessed with her, and she eventually hit him with a restraining order and moved to Vermont.

Angus scowled. “I’m taking a break from freaking Estelle.”

“Well, sacrifice that Voidwalker and log off,” said Tommy. “I just saw the Folding Man.”

To find out more about the Folding Man, you must read Errantry by Elizabeth Hand in The Story Collection Storybundle.

For more about Liz and her stories and books, visit www.elizabethhand.com.

So there you have it, my friends. The Story Collection Storybundle is live! You the reader name your price—whatever you feel the books are worth. You may even designate a portion to go to a charity. Savor traditionally published, multi-award-winning stories from diverse and varied publications which the authors have collected for you.

The Bundle includes What I Didn’t See (a World Fantasy Award Winner) by Karen Joy Fowler (the New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club), Collected Stories by Lewis Shiner, Errantry by Elizabeth Hand, The Green Leopard Plague by Walter Jon Williams, Women Up to No Good by Pat Murphy, Strange Ladies: 7 Stories by Lisa Mason, Wild Things by C. C. Finlay, and 6 Stories by Kathe Koja.

But you must act now. The Story Collection Storybundle lasts only until June 2, 2016 at https://storybundle.com/storycollection. Relax over the summer with these great story collections!

Collected Stories Cover Final

PERFIDIA

By Lewis Shiner

“’That’s Glenn Miller,” my father said.  “But it can’t be.”

He had the back of the hospital bed cranked upright, the lower lid of his left eye creeping up in a warning signal I’d learned to recognize as a child.  My older sister Ann had settled deep in the recliner, and she glared at me too, blaming me for winding him up.  The jam box sat on the rolling tray table and my father was working the remote as he talked, backing up my newly burned CD and letting it spin forward to play a few seconds of low fidelity trombone solo.

“You know the tune, of course,” he said.

“’King Porter Stomp.’”  Those childhood years of listening to him play Glenn Miller on the console phonograph were finally paying off.

“He muffed the notes the same way on the Victor version.”

“So why can’t it be Miller?” I asked.

“He wouldn’t have played with a rabble like that.”  The backup musicians teetered on the edge of chaos, playing with an abandon somewhere between Dixieland and bebop.  “They sound drunk.”

My father had a major emotional investment in Miller.  He and my mother had danced to the Miller band at Glen Island Casino on Long Island Sound in the summer of 1942, when they were both sixteen.  That signature sound of clarinet and four saxes was forever tied up for him with first love and the early, idealistic months of the war.

But there was a better reason why it couldn’t have been Miller playing that solo.  If the date on the original recording was correct, he was supposed to have died three days earlier.”

We’ve got a mystery on our hands! And all sorts of revelations to unfold. Lew’s love of swing music and his expertise shine (so to speak) in this fine story. Learn about the mystery of Glenn Miller’s death during World War II and much more in The Story Collection Storybundle.

Lewis Shiner is the author of BLACK & WHITE, FRONTERA, and the World Fantasy Award-winning GLIMPSES, among other novels. He’s also published four short story collections, journalism, and comics. Virtually all of his work is available for free download at www.fictionliberationfront.net.

Visit Lew and learn more about his books and stories at lewisshiner.com.

So there you have it, my friends. The Story Collection Storybundle is live but time is running out! You the reader name your price—whatever you feel the books are worth. You may even designate a portion to go to a charity. Savor traditionally published, multi-award-winning stories from diverse and varied publications which the authors have collected for you.

The Bundle includes What I Didn’t See (a World Fantasy Award Winner) by Karen Joy Fowler (the New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club), Collected Stories by Lewis Shiner, Errantry by Elizabeth Hand, The Green Leopard Plague by Walter Jon Williams, Women Up to No Good by Pat Murphy, Strange Ladies: 7 Stories by Lisa Mason, Wild Things by C. C. Finlay, and 6 Stories by Kathe Koja.

But you must act now. The Story Collection Storybundle lasts only until June 2, 2016 at https://storybundle.com/storycollection. Enjoy world-class stories for your summer vacation and beyond!