Fiction

The Light in the Labyrinth

Wendy J. Dunn


Paperback, Kindle.

In the winter of 1535, fourteen-year-old Kate Carey wants to escape her family home. She thinks her life will be so much better with Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife and the aunt she idolises. Little does Kate know that by going to attend Anne Boleyn she will discover love and a secret that will shake the very foundations of her identity.  As an attendant to Anne Boleyn, Kate is swept up in events that see her witness her aunt’s darkest days. By the time winter ends, Kate will be changed forever. 

“…a terrific read not just for young adults, but for all ages. Wendy has done a fantastic job bringing to life a young Katherine Carey that anyone who has ever been a teenager can identify with. It was refreshing to see Anne through the eyes of an innocent who had not yet been jaded by the intrigues at Henry’s Court…” – Reader review

Berthezene

David Major


Short story

Some of the more attractive incidents described in the following story — the stuffing of windows and doorways with the bodies of the dead, the scientists engaged in research while fighting rages around them, the officer attending to his wig — these all did happen during Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow, according to contemporary accounts.

It is also certainly true that the entire complement of the First Division of the Young Guard (General Berthezene’s command) were lost during the campaign in Russia. Of his six battalions (approx. 8,000 men), not a single soldier was left to answer in roll call.

Of the 50,000 that were the total of the Guard (the Young, Middle and Old combined), 1,100 survived.

As for Napoleon’s death on the roof of a burning library outside Borodino — I’m absolutely sure that that happened. – D.M.

The Serpent and the Horse

David Major


Short story

There was only one entrance to Tritonis. It was a large gate, set into the wall which surrounded the city.

So tall was the gate that it was five times higher than the tallest horse on the island; taller even than the shadow made when the guardsman whose mount it was sat high on the great beast in his ceremonial armour with its feathers and fur all flying up around him and across his blue skin, so that he would look like a sunset — even this guardsman and his mighty horse were dwarfed in their height by the city gate.

No one in the city could remember a time, or had even heard of a time, when the gate had been closed, and the drawbridge across the moat drawn up. The moat had never been breached. This is no surprise, because it was so full of dark fears; things that crawled and slithered and stung, or things that were the dark shadows of themselves — but about these things and the moat and its awful depths we are not going to concern ourselves, because they are another story altogether, and one much more difficult than this.

‘The Day of the Nefilim’ – Excerpt

David Major


Excerpt: The Day of the Nefilim

The sun darkens. At first imperceptibly, and then with greater speed, it casts an unfamiliar veil over itself. It is the first eclipse in years.

The people look up at the sky, where some of them notice to the east a star falling to its death, and others watch the hulking disk of the moon that obscures the sun. It was all there in the sky that day, above Barker’s Mill.

After a few minutes, the eclipse is over. The planets creak slowly along their orbits, and soon everything is as it was.

On the ground far below, life teeters on the edge of changing forever, but for today at least, it changes its mind and proceeds as it always has, grinding along the rusting tracks of its normality. It forgets quickly the strange orange dusk that had descended from the middle of the day.

On the edge of a tree-lined bay, with water the same deep green that you find in the glass of old bottles, stands Barker’s Mill. The town has been laid out with the same care that a child gives to the arrangement of a new set of blocks. Its houses sit solidly, arranged in neat rows, portly squires gathered around a dinner table on their foundation seats of brick and bluestone. It is a most respectable gathering; everyone is well behaved.

The Day of the Nefilim

David Major


Paperback, Kindle, epub.

The premise of The Day of the Nefilim is simple: take a good-sized sampling of the most popular conspiracy theories and new age thought forms that the culture has to offer, put them in a blender, and hit the switch.

From the resulting goo, create a sequence of events which begins with the arrival on earth of a time-travelling, aether-surfing ship crewed by a collection of ingrates and leeches (not literal leeches, metaphorical ones), while at the same time, in a coincidence of astronomical proportions, the Nefilim home planet, Marduk, is reentering the solar system after its 3,000 year orbit around the sun. How this plays out, and what a few of the locals have to do with it, only time can tell.

It seems that the New World Order might not be so orderly after all…

Reader review

“THE DAY OF THE NEFILIM is an impressively written science fiction saga that involves culture clashes between humans, underground mutant races who yearn for the surface, an alien civilization chasing after their lost home planet in Earth’s solar system, and much, much more. The Day Of The Nefilim is highly recommended to science fiction enthusiasts as an engaging, mixed-up adventure of conflict, negotiation, back-stabbing, conspiracy, — and a small-town girl who unknowingly impacts upon it all.” — MidWest Book Review

Dear Heart, How Like You This?

Wendy J. Dunn


Paperback, Kindle.

Dear Heart is a heart-rending tale of love and loss. Narrated by the poet Thomas Wyatt, the reader embarks on a fascinating journey that takes us from the yews of Hever Castle in Kent to the intrigue-laden courts of England, France, and Rome, as Wyatt recalls his desperate, and often helpless, desire for a woman whom he cannot save – the ill-fated Anne Boleyn.

“I love this book and couldn’t get enough of it. Wendy Dunn does a good job of describing the sequence of events that led to Anne Boleyn’s rise and downfall. This book was so well written that one feels as if they were Thomas Wyatt, feeling every emotion he was going through, and the depth of his love for Anne Boleyn. A lot of detail is also given about Thomas Wyatt’s political/court career on the continent. Overall, a very enjoyable and historically accurate read.” – Amazon review.

Tritcheon Hash

Sue Lange


Paperback.

Sue Lange’s novel is a mercy-free satire of pretty much everything to do with the relationships between women and men. No one escapes unscathed… this witty and often hard-hitting story is set in a weird dystopic future which also manages to seem oddly familiar…

In the year 3011, humanity has gone through a collective divorce, with the male and female halves taking to different planets to live.

“This is inventive feminist sci-fi that goes for laughs, not lectures, while still supplying the jolt and provocation good speculative work requires. Perhaps the most illuminating of its many running jokes — and I do mean running; our heroine here is a natural-born speed demon — are the many nightmare exaggerations of how males can seem to the so-called fairer sex. Those chuckles, too, are all the richer because they’re placed in the context of an potential intergalatic rapprochement. The question zooms across the stars: Can this marriage be saved?”

The Climbing Boy

Mark Lichterman


Paperback, Kindle.

Illegally sold as a ‘climbing boy’ – a chimney sweep’s apprentice – for the pittance of back rent owed on the shack he and his mother had lived in before she died, Zachariah is now nothing more than a slave to his owner, an abusive drunk. His mother dead these past five years, the image of her face fading from his memory, the boy struggles to remember… but now she appears only in deep shadow, even in his dreams.

She is gone. Then, on the day before Christmas in 1843 – the very same mystical Christmas Eve that Scrooge received his three ghostly visitors – the familiar face of a kind woman strikes a deep chord in Zachariah, one that rekindles the memory of his mother, and gives the boy hope for a new and different future.

“A magical Christmas tale – deserves to become a classic. A dark, but hopeful, riveting look at London society in the 1800s.”

Air for Fire

David Major


Paperback, Kindle, epub.

This is a collection of nine short stories and 23 poems by David Major, author of The Day of the Nefilim. While the Nefilim was a meandering trip through some of the world’s great conspiracy theories, Air for Fire is a collection of short tales that happen in every timeline but this one. Shameless historical revisionism, a chronic disregard for physics, all in orbit around a thoroughly judgmental and conservative core, mean there is something here for steampunks, mythpunks, clockpunks, and all lovers of history, true or otherwise.

Contents

• Air for Fire • The Princess Aslauga • The Tower • Berthezene • The One a Dog Runs To • All That The Thunderer Wrung From Thee • Rhakotis • Feeding the Beast • The Serpent, the Horse •

Excerpt: Chapter 1 of ‘Dear Heart, How Like You This?’

// Wendy J. Dunn


// Excerpt from Dear Heart, How Like You This?

// My Anna was dark and lovely—full of life’s burning light. How strongly my love’s fire did blaze. Too strong, yea, too strong for this world. For her bright, burning light has forever been put out; aye, put out, and my life is eternally dark. Too dark tout de suite for me to ever see the end of my despair…

Excerpt: Chapter 1 of ‘The Light in the Labyrinth’

// Wendy J. Dunn


// Excerpt from The Light in the Labyrinth

// “You were foolish to marry him,” Kate said, perched on the edge of her mother’s unmade bed. Her family had more troubles than most. They were of noble blood, yet poor. Kate balled her hands in anger, thinking, ’Tis my mother’s fault. She’s the one who has brought shame on us. A sister of the Queen of England should know better than to wed a commoner…

Excerpt: Chapters 1 & 2 of ‘Tritcheon Hash’

// Sue Lange


// Excerpt from Tritcheon Hash


// “Disengage please, Sylvant Hash.”

“Disengaged,” Slvt. Tritcheon Hash answered. “And fucked!” she added.

“I’m sorry?” The reply through the voice feeder was pretending it had missed that last thing.

“Nothing,” Tritch said, switching off the vox. “Nothing. Nothing.”

Blame her impatience on the fact that she’d been sitting in a one-size-fits-all seat for the past six hours. She had spent most of that time trying to revive parts of her body that had fallen asleep. It was an impossible task, since the hemp straps held her securely in place just like the procedural manuals liked it. S