January 2019

In the Shade of the Slowboat Man,” by Dean Wesley Smith, is a touching tale about a vampire saying goodbye to her dying human lover.

This story, which was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, was nominated for a Nebula Award.

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About the Author

Considered one of the most prolific writers working in modern fiction, USA Today bestselling writer, Dean Wesley Smith has published almost two hundred novels in forty years, and hundreds and hundreds of short stories across many genres.

At the moment he produces novels in four major series, including the time travel Thunder Mountain novels set in the old west, the galaxy-spanning Seeders Universe series, the urban fantasy Ghost of a Chance series, and the superhero series starring Poker Boy.

His monthly magazine called Smith’s Monthly, consisting of only his own fiction, premiered in October 2013 and is at issue #44, with over 70,000 words per issue, including a new and original novel every month.

During his career, Dean also wrote a couple dozen Star Trek novels, the only two original Men in Black novels, Spider-Man and X-Men novels, plus novels set in gaming and television worlds. Writing with his wife Kristine Kathryn Rusch under the name Kathryn Wesley, they wrote the novel for the NBC miniseries The Tenth Kingdom and other books for Hallmark Hall of Fame movies.

He wrote novels under dozens of pen names in the worlds of comic books and movies, including novelizations of almost a dozen films, from The Final Fantasy to Steel to Rundown.

Dean also worked as a fiction editor off and on, starting at Pulphouse Publishing, then at VB Tech Journal, then Pocket Books, and now at WMG Publishing where he and Kristine Kathryn Rusch serve as executive editors for the acclaimed Fiction River anthology series.

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Ten-year-old Isidora finds a pair of odd-looking eggs on the beach in Sèphera Girón’s “Beach Comber.”

She takes them home to her mother, not realizing the creature who laid the eggs will soon come looking for them…

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About the Author

Sèphera Girón  is the award-winning author of over twenty published horror novels and dozens of short stories. She has stories in Dark Rainbow, Group Hex 1, Group Hex 2, Abandon, Creatures in Canada – A Darkling Around the World Anthology, The Pulp Horror Book of Phobias and more. She is working on the next book in her Witch Upon a Star erotic horror series from Riverdale Avenue Books. Sèphera is also the in-house astrologer for Romance Daily News and writes the weekly horoscope column. When Sèphera isn’t writing, she loves to act and can be spotted as a background performer in over twenty television shows and movies. Sèphera has roles in the horror movies Killer Rack and Slime City Massacre.

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Mark Leslie’s “The Ritual of the Drawing” is set in the small town of Birks Falls, where tradition is sacred, and the unwanted dregs of society are not a threat as long as the town has Mr. McNeal and the ritual of the drawing.

After all, under the proper circumstances, a vampire is a wonderful thing for a town to have.

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About the Author

Mark Leslie would be the first person to admit he’s still afraid of the monster under his bed, and he continues to channel that fear into most of his fiction. Mark’s dark fiction is often compared to “Twilight Zone” or “Black Mirror” in terms of style, but he usually just adopts the term “horror” when describing the types of tales that he writes. He also writes non-fiction true ghost story tales.

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Lester, a research scientist with an egotistical, micro-managing boss, heads in to the office on a Saturday to look for his lost phone in Jamie Ferguson’s “Transmogrification.”

Not only does he find his phone, he also discovers the mysterious door in his laboratory that’s always locked is slightly ajar.

Scientists are curious, so of course Lester has to investigate…

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About the Author

Jamie focuses on getting into the minds and hearts of her characters, whether she’s writing about a saloon girl in the American West, a man who discovers the barista he’s in love with is a naïad, or a ghost who haunts the house she was killed in—even though that house no longer exists. Jamie lives in Colorado, and spends her free time in a futile quest to wear out her two border collies, since she hasn’t given in and gotten them their own herd of sheep.

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Monsters are very, very real in Steve Vernon’s “Neck Bolt Lynch Pin.”

They are, however, often misunderstood. Well-meaning people misinterpret behavior, misunderstand situations, and forget that as long as people believe in monsters, they will continue to exist.

Because a story, if told well and often enough, in time can grow a life of its own.

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About the Author

Steve is a writer and an oral tradition storyteller; he learned the storytelling tradition from his grandfather, and regularly tells stories to in-person audiences ranging from 5 to 5,000 spectators. He writes horror, paranormal, dark fantasy, and ghost stories, and specializes in the fine old art of booga-booga.

Think of Steve as that old dude at the campfire spinning out ghost stories and weird adventures and the grand epic saga of how Thud the Second stepped out of his cave with nothing more than a rock in his fist and slew the saber-tooth tiger.

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