Archives for posts with tag: Philip K Dick Award Finalist

Now that the Story Collection Storybundle is over, you can still acquire my collection, Strange Ladies: 7 Stories.

As I was mulling over my published short fiction, I found seven wildly different stories with one thing in common–a heroine totally unlike me. I’m the girl next door from Ohio. I have no idea where these Strange Ladies came from.

In The Oniomancer (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine), a Chinese-American punk bicycle messenger finds an artifact on the street. In Guardian (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine), an African-American gallerist resorts to voodoo to confront a criminal. In Felicitas (Desire Burn: Women Writing from the Dark Side of Passion [Carroll and Graf]), an illegal Mexican immigrant faces life as a cat shapeshifter. In Stripper (Unique Magazine), an exotic dancer battles the Mob. In Triad (Universe 2 [Bantam]), Dana Anad lives half the time as a woman, half as a man, and falls in love with a very strange lady. In Destination (Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction), a driver takes three strangers from a ride board on a cross-country trip as the radio reports that a serial killer is on the loose. In Transformation and the Postmodern Identity Crisis (Fantastic Alice [Ace]), Alice considers life after Wonderland.

“One of the joys of reading collections is getting a better sense of an author’s range. In this instance, Strange Ladies offers everything you could possibly want, from more traditional science fiction and fantasy tropes to thought-provoking explorations of gender issues and pleasing postmodern humor. In each of the stories, we meet a very different woman….This is a must-read collection.” San Francisco Review of Books

Reviewed by David Marshall

http://anotheruniverse.com/strange-ladies-7-stories/

“I’m quite impressed, not only by the writing, which gleams and sparkles, but also by [Lisa Mason’s] versatility. I also really like her Afterwords to each story, which tell something of the genesis of each one. The book starts with “The Oniomancer,” previously published in Asimov’s; a tale about a bicycle messenger with a pink Mohawk and sticky fingers. (No, she’s not a thief, but one of her mantras is “finders, keepers,” and she finds a lot of stuff. Oniomancy is . . . well, read the story and you’ll know.) I loved this one; it’s SF with just a hint of fantasy. Mason follows that one with a little tale about a woman who has worked her butt off to be able to move up to a swanky condo, but there’s a sneak thief in the area, one with a taste for willful destruction. Vaughn Kennedy discovers that a veve is good for more than just decoration. “Felicitas” is a horror/fantasy about a shapechanger; what ends well for the protagonist may not end well for other people! All the previous stories are somewhat standard SF/F, but with the fourth story, Mason starts really stretching her writing muscles; she is a wordsmith, and “Stripper” is where she starts strutting her stuff in this collection. And the next story, “Triad,” goes off into full-on fireworks—both in the writing and the science-fictional bending of gender roles (inspired, she says in her afterword, by Ursula K. LeGuin’s Left Hand of Darkness)… it sparkles, whirls and fizzes. Mason is clearly a writer to follow! And one more: her modern take on Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland is a hilarious gem! Along with all the SF/F, I grew up reading those two books (Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass), so I got every single reference. And I laughed all the way through this story; if you know the books I practically guarantee you’ll laugh too! (I won’t describe every story in this anthology, for the same reason I don’t like to give spoilers; I think there should be a few surprises and a little mystery left once you’ve read a review.)
Steve Fahnestalk, Amazing Stories Magazine Online
http://amazingstoriesmag.com/2016/05/times-running-get-storybundle-review/

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.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in Australia
, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India
, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India
, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India
, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

 

3.23.14SOLATTCVRMED

It’s the first day of Summer Of Love, a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book.

Twenty five-star Amazon reader reviews
“This book was so true to life that I felt like I was there. I recommend it to anyone.”
“More than a great science-fiction, a great novel as well.”
“My favourite SF book of all time, beautiful, cynical and completely involving….Unmissable!”

The year is 1967 and something new is sweeping across America: good vibes, bad vibes, psychedelic music, psychedelic drugs, anti-war protests, racial tension, free love, bikers, dropouts, flower children. An age of innocence, a time of danger. The Summer of Love.

San Francisco is the Summer of Love, where runaway flower children flock to join the hip elite and squares cruise the streets to view the human zoo.

Lost in these strange and wondrous days, teenager Susan Bell, alias Starbright, has run away from the straight suburbs of Cleveland to find her troubled best friend. Her path will cross with Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco, a strange and beautiful young man who has journeyed farther than she could ever imagine.

With the help of Ruby A. Maverick, a wise and feisty half-black, half-white hip entrepreneur, Susan and Chi discover a love that spans five centuries. But can they save the world from demons threatening to destroy all space and time?

A harrowing coming of age. A friendship ending in tragedy. A terrifying far future. A love spanning five centuries. And a gritty portrait of a unique time in American history.

What the professional book reviewers have to say:

“Captures the moment perfectly and offers a tantalizing glimpse of its wonderful and terrible consequences.” San Francisco Chronicle

“A fine novel packed with vivid detail, colorful characters, and genuine insight.” Washington Post Book World

“Remarkable. . . .the intellect on display within these psychedelically packaged pages is clear-sighted, witty, and wise.” Locus Magazine

“Mason has an astonishing gift. Her chief characters almost walk off the page. And the story is as significant as anyone could wish. This book will surely be on the prize ballots.” Analog

“A priority purchase.” Library Journal

5 stars From the Readers

Calling All Fans
Amazon Verified Purchase
‘Summer of Love is an important American literary contribution that may very well have a strong and viable fan base. Where are you? Join us!
This novel is loads of fun to read. The majority of the characters are hippies from the 1960s who meet a stranger from the future who’s looking to save his world. This fellow, Chiron, needs to find a troubled adolescent teen named Susan (a.k.a. Starbright) for a very compelling reason. The book has a great deal to offer: swift action, lovable characters, spiritual insight, and well-chosen primary documents such as essays, poems, and news articles which round out the reader’s understanding of the worldview of the novel.
I think Summer of Love has excellent potential for a wider audience. I hope it continues to enjoy a healthy amount of sales in the used books market on this site. I wish even more for it to be in wider circulation. Some books talk about the sixties. This novel IS the sixties, thanks to the spirit and scholarship of its author. And, as one reader aptly put it, ‘the sci-fi stuff is just plain off the hook.’ Get a copy. Most people who have read it seem to respect it and enjoy it every bit as much as I do.’

New Reader Review! “Just checked to see if this book was on Kindle. It has been many years since I’ve read it but I remember it as one of my very favorite books. Time to go back and re-read it!”

So there you have it, my friends. After two and half years of research and writing, I published Summer of Love with Bantam Books in 1994. It was my second novel and well received, as you can see above.

After the first edition, Bantam went on to publish two, count ‘em two, mass market paperback editions. I was up to 26,000 books in print when Bantam abruptly yanked the book out of print.

It was Bantam’s unilateral call to make. I had no voice in the decision, no means of protest, no recourse. I was heartbroken. This is the kind of book that grows over time, finding new readers and new generations.

I looked into independent publishing back then. The cost was prohibitive. I didn’t have the expertise to produce a print edition or the resources to distribute print books.

Then, in 2010, the ebook revolution took the publishing business by storm, and I was finally able to get Summer of Love before new and long-time readers alike. I hope you enjoy this classic! The cover is hand-drawn by Tom Robinson.

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.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

AllCoversLarge

The Story Collection Storybundle
Curated by Lisa Mason

I love short stories. There’s nothing like a good story to satisfy your fiction fix in the course of a busy day, a tiny universe savored over a lunch hour, on a train commute, with a glass of wine at the end of the day.

Because of its compression, its fewer moving parts, a story may be more highly crafted than a novel. A famous story may represent an author’s style and vision more succinctly than any one of his or her books. Think of “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” by Ernest Hemingway, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, “The Pit and the Pendulum” by Edgar Allen Poe. Or how about “What I Didn’t See” by Karen Joy Fowler, “The War At Home” by Lewis Shiner, “Love and Sex Among the Invertebrates” by Pat Murphy . . .

But wait a minute! We’ve got those last three stories in the Story Collection Storybundle. And we’ve got more than stories, we’ve got multi-award-winning and award-nominated story collections.

The authors have assembled their short fiction written over a decade—sometimes over two or three decades—of their careers. Stories published in wide-ranging and diverse magazines and anthologies, many which may be difficult to find now, some of which may have gone out of print. The authors have done the hard work of gathering up these amazing stories and all you, the reader, need to do is enjoy!

But never mind the authors’ accolades and accomplishments. The collections are a feast for the mind—amazing, far-ranging, tragic, disturbing, thought-provoking, witty, and—dare I say it?—just a damn good read.

Oh, the places you’ll go! Trek to Africa in search of gorillas in Karen Joy Fowler’s “What I Didn’t See.” Journey to Paris in search of an antique spool of recording wire in Lewis Shiner’s “Perfidia.” Explore the mysteries of a little boy’s life in Walter Jon Williams’ “Daddy’s World.” Search for the Folding Man in Elizabeth Hand’s “Errantry.” Embark on a cross-country car trip with three mysterious strangers in Lisa Mason’s “Destination.” Defy conventional society in Pat Murphy’s “A Flock of Lawn Flamingos.” Learn the dark powers of a voodoo doll in Kathe Koja’s “Baby.” Search for resources on asteroids in C.C. Finlay’s “The Frontier Archipelago.”

As always at Storybundle.com, you the reader name your price—whatever you feel the books are worth. You may designate a portion of the proceeds to go to a charity. For the Story Collection Storybundle, that’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (“SFWA”). SFWA champions writers’ rights, sponsors the Nebula Award for excellence in fantasy and science fiction, and promotes numerous literacy groups.

The basic bundle (minimum $5 to purchase, more if you feel the books are worth more) includes:

  • Collected Stories by Lewis Shiner

This extensive and multi-genre collection was prepared as an ebook for Storybundle, includes forty-one stories, and has an Introduction by Karen Joy Fowler. Shiner was a finalist for the Philip K Dick Award, the Hugo Award, and the Nebula Award.

  • Errantry: Strange Stories by Elizabeth Hand

Hand won the World Fantasy Award four times, the Nebula Award twice, the Shirley Jackson Award twice, the Mythopoetic Award, and was a New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book Author.

  • The Green Leopard Plague and Other Stories by Walter Jon Williams

Two stories in this collection won the Nebula Award. Williams was a New York Times Bestseller, placed as a Philip K Dick Award Finalist and numerous times for the Nebula and Hugo Awards.

To complete your bundle, beat the bonus price of $12 and you’ll receive another five amazing, award-winning books:

  • What I Didn’t See: Stories by Karen Joy Fowler

The collection won the World Fantasy Award and the title story won the Nebula. Fowler wrote The Jane Austen Book Club, a New York Times Bestseller made into a film, and won the 2013 PEN/Faulkner for We are all completely beside ourselves.

  • 6 Stories by Kathe Koja

The collection was created by the author exclusively for Storybundle. Koja won the Bram Stoker Award, won the io9.com award for one of the ten best first novels that shook the world, and was a Philip K Dick Award Finalist.

  • Strange Ladies: 7 Stories by Lisa Mason

The collection received five stars from the San Francisco Review of Books. Mason was a Philip K Dick Award Finalist, a San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book Author, and a New York Times Notable Book Author.

  • Women Up to No Good by Pat Murphy

Two stories in the collection were nominated for the Nebula Award. Murphy won the Nebula Award twice, the World Fantasy Award, and the Philip K Dick Award.

  • Wild Things by C. C. Finlay

The collection was prepared exclusively as an ebook for Storybundle and has a brand-new Afterword. A multi-award-nominated author translated in over two dozen languages, Finlay is the editor of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

So there you have it! A super-collection from some of the most talented storywriters in any genre. Devour an author’s entire offering or browse stories from collection to collection. The choice is yours with the Story Collection Storybundle!

Stock up your ereader with award-winning fiction that’s perfect for your summer vacation. The Story Collection Storybundle is both historic and unique, an excellent addition to your elibrary providing world-class, award-winning reading right now, through the summer, and beyond.

–Lisa Mason, Curator

The Story Collection Storybundle ends June 2, 2016 at Storybundle. The bundle is easy to read on computers, smartphones, and tablets, as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books.

When the bundle is gone, it’s gone. So act now and download yours today!

It’s super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.

Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.

  • Get quality reads: We’ve chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
  • Pay what you want (minimum $5): You decide how much these fantastic books are worth to you. If you can only spare a little, that’s fine! You’ll still get access to a batch of thrilling titles.
  • Support authors who support DRM-free books: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their list. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there’s nothing wrong with ditching DRM.
  • Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to charity. The Story Collection Storybundle forwards your donations to Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
  • Receive bonus books to complete your bundle. When you beat our bonus price of $12, you’re not just getting three books, you’re getting eight!

StoryBundle was created to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price. Before starting StoryBundle, Founder Jason Chen covered technology and software as an editor for Gizmodo.com and Lifehacker.com.

For more information, visit our website at storybundle.com, Twitter us at @storybundle, Like us on Facebook, and Plus us on Google Plus. For press inquiries, please email press@storybundle.com.

Strange Ladies Cover Final

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories by Lisa Mason
People in publishing today—editors and agents—are screaming for diversity in science fiction and fantasy. I find that a little odd. Science fiction and fantasy writers, especially women writers, have been writing diverse stories for two or three decades! That includes me, and this collection is proof. As I mulled over my published short fiction, I found seven wildly different stories with one thing in common—diverse heroines totally unlike me. I’m the girl next door from Ohio. I have no idea where these Strange Ladies came from. Enjoy their worlds in The Story Collection Storybundle.
–Lisa Mason

Lisa Mason has published eight novels, including Summer of Love, a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and a San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book, The Gilded Age, a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book, a collection of previously published science fiction and fantasy, Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, and two dozen stories and novellas in magazines and anthologies worldwide. Mason’s Omni story, “Tomorrow’s Child,” sold outright as a feature film to Universal Studios and is presently in development.

Visit Lisa Mason at Lisa Mason’s Website http://www.lisamason.com, Lisa Mason’s Blog https://lisamasontheauthor.wordpress.com/, Lisa Mason’s Personal Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/lisa.mason.7393264, Lisa Mason’s Author’s Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/LisaMasonFantasyAndScienceFictionAuthor, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/lisaSmason

“Offers everything you could possibly want, from more traditional science fiction and fantasy tropes to thought-provoking explorations of gender issues and pleasing postmodern humor…This is a must-read collection.”
—The San Francisco Review of Books

“Lisa Mason might just be the female Phillip K. Dick. Like Dick, Mason’s stories are far more than just sci-fi tales, they are brimming with insight into human consciousness and the social condition….a sci-fi collection of excellent quality….you won’t want to miss it.”
—The Book Brothers Review Blog

“Fantastic book of short stories….Recommended.”
—Amazon.com Reader Review

“Sparkles, whirls and fizzes.”
—Amazing Stories Online

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 Philip K. Dick Award Finalist Lewis Shiner, Errantry by four-time World Fantasy Award-winning Elizabeth Hand, The Green Leopard Plague by two-time Nebula Award-winning Walter Jon Williams, Women Up to No Good by multi-award-winning Pat Murphy, Strange Ladies: 7 Stories by New York Times Notable Book Author Lisa Mason, Wild Things by C. C. Finlay, the editor of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and 6 Stories by Bram Stoker Award-winning Kathe Koja.

Thirty-three hours left and then it’s gone. The Story Collection Storybundle lasts only until Thursday, June 2, 2016 at https://storybundle.com/storycollection. Grab this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity while it lasts, and enjoy world-class reading over the summer and beyond.

Six Stories Cover Final

6 Stories by Kathe Koja
When I discovered that Kathe has a beautiful trade paper story collection but the publisher didn’t offer an ebook, I asked her if she could prepare a mini-collection for the Story Collection Storybundle. She cherry-picked these stories from diverse anthologies. Her acclaimed visceral style is intimately grounded in her characters so that a reader may easily empathize with people on the edge of society, sometimes on the edge of sanity, and experience their revelations. Enjoy Kathe’s exclusive 6 Stories in the Story Collection Storybundle.
–Lisa Mason

Praise for Kathe Koja’s short fiction:

“Daring . . . reminiscent of Poe and Calvino . . . In these stories, Koja uses her considerable gift for sensory description to real purpose.” – Publishers Weekly

“Koja’s provocative storylines and evocative prose combine reality with invention, the supernatural with the everyday.” – New York Times Book Review

For more about Kathe and her books, stories, and performance art, visit her at http://www.kathekoja.com/blog/. On Twitter, visit her @KatheKoja.

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 Philip K. Dick Award Finalist Lewis Shiner, Errantry by four-time World Fantasy Award-winning Elizabeth Hand, The Green Leopard Plague by two-time Nebula Award-winning Walter Jon Williams, Women Up to No Good by multi-award-winning Pat Murphy, Strange Ladies: 7 Stories by New York Times Notable Book Author Lisa Mason, Wild Things by C. C. Finlay, the editor of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and 6 Stories by Bram Stoker Award-winning Kathe Koja.

The time has come, the end is near. The Story Collection Storybundle lasts only until this Thursday, June 2, 2016 at https://storybundle.com/storycollection. Grab this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity while it lasts, and enjoy world-class reading over the summer and beyond.

Strange Ladies Cover Final

Here’s an excerpt from Lisa Mason’s “Destination,” in The Story Collection Storybundle:

Destination
By Lisa Mason

Sal is running low on gas, cash, and inner peace ninety miles west of Provo, so on a whim she swings off the freeway and guns it through Boulder, aiming to pick up riders as soon as day breaks. Now Sal, Frankie’d say, if I told you once, honey, I told you a thousand times. Just ‘cause you get a whim don’t mean you got to go do it.

But Frankie ain’t here to honey this and honey that and the radio has been railing all night about the trail of blood from Los Angeles to New York and back again. Sal herself is eastbound from L.A. Small chance she’d run into the Slash ‘N’ Basher, who they think is heading west.

But between eastbound and west, there’s just a thin white line and the speed in her wheels. Deep night before dawn, the scrub plains of Nevada, mountains stark as a moonscape, make her lonely and a little bit scared.

*   *   *

Dawn stabs her eyes as she finds her way to the college in Boulder, a collection of retro-futuristic towers that look like the set of a Woody Allen movie from the Sixties. In fact, the campus was a set of that silly movie, or so Sal has it on good authority.

What a grin! Her journey is touched—yet again—by the magic of movies.

In the slightly shabby student union, she finds a ride board. A serious expanse of cork thumb-tacked with printouts and hand-lettered signs, everything fringed with phone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses.

Her 1978 sea-green Olds Delta Royale Eighty-eight is a big old boat from a used car lot. She could take five skinny Goths, a married couple with a kid, or four freshmen with a week’s change of clothes.

Sal is no mood for complications. She decides three eastbound one-ways, with two hundred bucks each for gas and a backpack to stow, will do the trick. She tears off a handful of fringe, heads down the hall to the old-fashioned phone booth. She dials up a bunch of old-fashioned phone numbers.

Three sleepy voices answer on the first try. Is this luck? She tells each of them to pack it up, bring coin of the realm, and get on over to the student union. She’s heading out on the highway at eight A.M. sharp, come hell or nuclear winter.

So that’s that. She wanders over to a franchise café in the student union, orders coffee, stirs in three packets of pure cane sugar and a splash of curdled cream from an aluminum pitcher on the counter. Caffeine, sugar, fat—a bit of protein if you count the flies dive-bombing the cream. She needs nourishment after another grueling all-nighter.

The first rider is a tough old guy, shorter than Sal. She can tell right away that doesn’t sit well with him. That a punk-ass slip of a girl has got two inches on him, not counting the heels of her cowboy boots. Curse his mama, curse her mama before her, curse all mamas for breeding gnarly runts like him. That’s what he’s thinking.

But he politely removes his Stetson to introduce himself, and she gets a good glimpse of his boar-bristle butch, wind-scoured skin, whittled cheeks of the poor who eat lean ‘cause they’ve got to. Beneath the unbuttoned collar of his shirt, Sal sees the bridge of a spaceship silk-screened on his T-shirt.

“Call me Wingy,” he says, picking tobacco-stained teeth with a sooty fingernail. Only then does she notice the stump just below his right elbow where the rest of his arm ought to be, the sleeve of his flannel shirt pinned up.

“Them oil rigs off Loozeeanna,” Wingy says, catching her glance, “they a bitch.”

He dares her to look away.

She does.

The second rider hitches up cheap leather jeans beneath his ample gnome belly, along with a boar’s-head brass belt buckle. He goes goat-bearded, sunglassed courtesy of Taiwan, compulsively finger-combing spider-webby brown hair hanging longer down his back than Sal’s. Paisley scarves braided with suede thongs bind his forehead, wrists, and knees. Other little odd things dangle off him here and there: a silver-tone skull and crossbones, black plastic spiders, tiny brass Tibetan bells. Pinned across his chest are buttons that say Eat Me and Crack Heads Today or exhibit miniature pictures, including the face of the Queen of England and a spaceship poised above a red planet.

The toes curling out of his Birkenstocks are cleaner than Wingy’s fingernails, but the ice in his eyes and the sneer on his lips hint he hasn’t worked an honest day in decades. “Folks call me Jive,” he says, “and so can you.’

She does.

Three’s lucky, they say, and the third, thank the Lord, is a dead-ringer for Prince Charming. Six two, if he’s an inch, and solid as a rock. Blond locks kiss his suntanned forehead, nibble at his noble neck. Some say ordinary faces with perfect symmetry are the most beautiful. If that’s true, Sal’s got to hand this boy the prize. He’s got eyes as true-blue as the Colorado sky, a ski slope of a nose, a mouth that ought to know how to eat a peach.

Sal can’t help but smile, but he doesn’t return the courtesy. His baby blues dart down, dart away. A shy one, she sighs.

He pulls off his lambskin bomber jacket. Beneath the jacket, he wears a crisp white shirt and new jeans. He slings an orange nylon backpack over his shoulder, carries a paperback book, the cover an airbrushed illustration of a spaceship warping through galaxies.

“You can put the backpack in the trunk,” he says.

When they walk out to the Olds in the parking lot, she does.

But his snooty manner rubs her the wrong way. Maybe the others look low-class to him, Sal thinks, popping open the trunk, dropping his backpack in. Make him nervous, nice kid like this. Maybe she looks like that to him. Low-class and crusty, her boots needing a shine.

Well, lah-dee-dah. Two straight days on the road will muss the hair of the Queen of England. Don’t even think about her fingernails. Now Sal, Frankie’d say, take it easy, honey, don’t get your blood boiling over no damn thing.

She doesn’t take it easy. Two straight days on the road have turned her nerves into frayed wire, sparking with indignation. She whirls around. If you’re too good for us, pal, she starts to say, shove off.

But the boys, they are shooting the breeze. Oh, they are having themselves a time.

“And how about you, buddy?” Wingy is saying, clapping Prince Charming on the shoulder. “What’s your handle?”

“It’s the eyes,” he says. Dang, if he doesn’t blush, a fine pink misting his perfect cheekbones.

“Don’t tell me. Blue?” Jive says with a grin that does little to recommend his dentist.

“Baby Blue,” Prince Charming confesses.

“Babe,” Jive announces. “We’ll call this good ol’ boy Babe.”

Babe grins as if he’s just been handed the Medal of Honor. Glances at Sal, sweet and furtive. Her knees go weak. Babe.

“Listen up, guys,” she says, slamming the trunk. “Frankie needs me in Detroit in three days. So we’re gonna do nonstop. No drugs, no drinking, no funny stuff. We share the wheel, the gas, and that’s about it. You got it?”

They get it. They pile in. The first stakes out an armrest, the second some leg room, the third cranks down a window in the back.

If any of them has got a secret to hide, he doesn’t let on.

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

“I’m quite impressed, not only by the writing, which gleams and sparkles, but also by [Lisa Mason’s] versatility. I also really like her afterwords to each story, which tell something of the genesis of each one. The book starts with “The Oniomancer,” previously published in Asimov’s; a tale about a bicycle messenger with a pink mohawk and sticky fingers. (No, she’s not a thief, but one of her mantras is “finders, keepers,” and she finds a lot of stuff. Oniomancy is . . . well, read the story and you’ll know.) I loved this one; it’s SF with just a hint of fantasy. Mason follows that one with a little tale about a woman who has worked her butt off to be able to move up to a swanky condo, but there’s a sneak thief in the area, one with a taste for willful destruction. Vaughn Kennedy discovers that a veve is good for more than just decoration. “Felicitas” is a horror/fantasy about a shapechanger; what ends well for the protagonist may not end well for other people! All the previous stories are somewhat standard SF/F, but with the fourth story, Mason starts really stretching her writing muscles; she is a wordsmith, and “Stripper” is where she starts strutting her stuff in this collection. And the next story, “Triad,” goes off into full-on fireworks—both in the writing and the science-fictional bending of gender roles (inspired, she says in her afterword, by Ursula K. LeGuin’s Left Hand of Darkness)… it sparkles, whirls and fizzes. Mason is clearly a writer to follow! And one more: her modern take on Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland is a hilarious gem! Along with all the SF/F, I grew up reading those two books (Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass), so I got every single reference. And I laughed all the way through this story; if you know the books I practically guarantee you’ll laugh too! (I won’t describe every story in this anthology, for the same reason I don’t like to give spoilers; I think there should be a few surprises and a little mystery left once you’ve read a review.)
Steve Fahnestalk, Amazing Stories Magazine Online
http://amazingstoriesmag.com/2016/05/times-running-get-storybundle-review/

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