Future Worlds: A Sci-Fi Anthology is a collection of short stories that are set in the same worlds as each author’s novels. This was a quick and easy read, with interesting stories that made me want to explore the worlds of their full-length novels.
One Man Falls by Mark Healy set in the world of Dawn of Procyon
I was especially drawn into One Man Falls by Mark Healy. This is the story of Jani, a sixteen year old, who must take on the leadership role that her Grandpa carried, after the aliens first attack, killed off her parents.
She has been training for this role, without even realizing it, over the last several years. Ever since the frog-like aliens have been trying (and failing) to invade and take over earth. Jani must keep her younger siblings and the few scattered residents in her vicinity safe and organized to hold off these frequent attacks.
This story is the first in the anthology, and in my opinion, was an excellent choice, as it immediately drew me in. I found myself rooting for Jani and her family and friends as they rush to safety.
About Mark R. Healy
From Brisbane, Australia, Mark has been writing stories for as long as he can remember. In the early days he assembled his own illustrated books with accompanying stories and forced his parents to buy them. Unfortunately this model was not scalable, so in later years he has sought to promote his works to a wider audience. He loves nothing more than to surprise readers, and, as a result, there are always twists and turns in each of his novels. He also endeavors to reach readers on an emotional level, by crafting complex characters that have real and believable relationships with each other. All of this is set against immersive, fully-realized sci-fi worlds that lend authenticity to the experience. It is Mark’s goal to write stories that stay with the reader long after they have turned the last page. Follow on Amazon & Goodreads | Facebook & Twitter | Visit Mark’s website
Stasis Dreams by Josi Russell set in the world of her Caretakers series
A man wakes in his stasis chamber early, only to find the caretaker has been experimenting with him and all the “passengers” during their stasis sleep. This story was really creepy and made me want to crawl out of my skin, literally. I am not claustrophobic, but while reading this little story, I had to throw the sheets and blankets off of me, as I felt trapped, just like the passenger in the stasis chamber. Great story that’ll make you feel what the early waker feels.
About Josi Russell
Josi Russell’s science fiction novels explore familiar human relationships in unfamiliar contexts. She currently teaches creative writing and fiction courses as an Associate Professor of English for Utah State University Eastern. She lives in the alien landscape of the high desert American Southwest with her family and a giant tortoise named Caesar. Josi is captivated by the fields of linguistics, mathematics, and medicine, by the vast unknown beyond our atmosphere, and by the whole adventure of being human. Follow on Amazon & Goodreads | Facebook & Twitter | Visit Josi’s Website
Keepers by Jared Garrett set in the world of Beat
Everyone wears “personal assistants” that track their heart rate. When their heart rate rises above 140 they are given the “knockout” that is meant to protect them from the deadly virus killing off the population. But, is this really the truth?
I enjoyed this little group of enforcers working to subdue a terrorist attack by one of the residents of the city. It was especially intriguing to see them band together and realize the truth of the deadly virus. Great cast of characters that made me want to know more about them and their world.
About Jared Garrett
Jared Garrett is a family man raising six kids with his best friend and wife of two decades. He’s been telling lies in story form since he was thirteen. Recently relocated from Utah to Seattle, he has worked in education and corporate training for a long time and is happy to say he enjoys his day job, even though it keeps him from writing more stories. He had an odd childhood in a nomadic cult, which he left at seventeen. He’s worked as a firefighter, a BBQ restaurant manager, a bellman, and as a rubber vulcanizing engineer, among many others. He won several writing contests while attending Brigham Young University and received Honorable Mention in the Writer’s of the Future contest. His favorite authors are Terry Pratchett, Robert Ludlum, Stephen King, Katherine Paterson, Douglas Adams, Patricia McKillip, and a lot more. If you ask him where his story ideas come from, be prepared for a lengthy discussion about inspiration dust, hauling a towel wherever you go, and dogs. Lots and lots of dogs. No, seriously. Dogs. Follow on Amazon & Goodreads | Facebook & Twitter | Visit Jared’s website
High Wire by DW Vogel set in the world of Horizon Alpha – Predators of Eden
This is the story of a group of humans, the last surviving group of humans that are landing on a planet. As they are securing their landing site, they learn of the life forms currently inhabiting this planet: dinosaurs. This was a fast-paced, chilling story, that I found truly terrifying.
Imagine a small group of humans trying to survive and defend themselves against unfathomably giant creatures with totally alien intelligence. An alien intelligence that is meant for survival, eat to survive.
About D.W. Vogel
Wendy Vogel is a veterinarian, marathon runner, cancer survivor, SCUBA diver, and current president of Cincinnati Fiction Writers. Her adult fiction is represented by Carly Watters of P.S. Literary. Her first fantasy novel,Flamewalker, was published in 2015 by Word Branch Publishing and several of her short stories make an appearance in anthologies published by Word Branch and Fuse Literary. Follow on Amazon & Goodreads | Twitter | Visit Wendy‘s website
Spera Angelorum by Michael Darling set in the world of a novel he is currently writing.
A 19th century writer and a magician meet on a world in the future and perform for the inhuman inhabitants of this world. I found the premise of this story interesting. How would you perform for a group of angelic seeming beings? This story shows exactly how two entertainers do it.
The concept for this story is really interesting. I liked the mix of historical figures in a future, alien world. I can’t wait to see what the novel is like.
Michael Darling has worked as a butcher, a librarian, and a magician. Not all at the same time. He nests in the exquisitely beautiful Rocky Mountains with his equally breathtaking wife and six guinea pigs, one of whom thinks she’s a dog and three of whom claim to be children. Michael’s award-winning short fiction is frequently featured in anthologies. Michael graduated from Weber State University with a degree in English Literature and loves to blend the classic with the contemporary in his writing. His early work included several plays that were professionally produced, along with a number of radio programs that aired in 80 markets around the world. Besides writing, Michael also loves to travel, dabble in languages, and cook tasty gluten-free dinners. Follow on Amazon & Goodreads | Facebook & Twitter | Visit Michael’s website
If you enjoy discovering great new sci-fi authors through short readings, then this book is perfect for you. It took me maybe an hour to read the entire thing, from cover to cover, because I became so engrossed in each story. The publishers currently have a Kickstarter campaign going for this book. Check it out, fund them if you feel led, they have some really cool funding levels.