Hello my Earthling! Hello my starling!
Hello my space-time alien gal!

It Came From Outer Space! is a baker’s dozen of tales about creatures from outer space who may or may not have boldly gone where they really shouldn’t have. Tales of aliens who test the creatures of Earth…tales of Earthlings who test the creatures from other planets…aliens who attack…aliens who defend…and aliens who are a little too close for comfort.

Prepare to discover realms at the furthest edges of human imagination.

From the depths of outer space…

To the depths of the sea…

To Portland…and beyond!

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The Stories

Jason Dias brings unusual aliens to the table in “Day of the Raptors,” with a tale of aliens who left Earth millions of years ago…only to return and find that the wrong species had taken over the planet! Evolution has led our planet down some mysterious and ancient pathways that could save or damn us all…

The Mysterious Artifact,” by DeAnna Knippling, is an homage to the early female pulp writer Francis Stevens, a.k.a. Gertrude Barrows Bennett. In this tale, two siblings pick up a mysterious object that whisks them away to a mysterious world that seems all too familiar.

In another pulp-style tale, jetpack flyboy extraordinaire “Daring” Dorian Pace encounters a plot by Nazis to capture an alien and take over the world! “Cape Disillusionment,” by Charles Eugene Anderson and Jim LeMay, is the quintessence of an alien invasion tale, full of glorious adventure.

The Queen’s Captive,” by Debbie Mumford goes into the depths of space to a place where humanity is unknown—or at least misunderstood, by an alien race that would rather take humanity for granted.

Rebecca Hodgkins’s story, “You Are Not Alone,” is a short tale of the unlikeliest of locations in which to find an alien…and the inevitable consequences of that discovery!

Alien tales often make for excellent calculations on where the line between humanity and other is—and whether that’s important, as in Thea Hutcheson’s “Adding Up the Cat Numbers.”

Calculations—and recalculations, due to an unexpected event—take place in Travis Heermann’s deep-space story “Void Song.” What humanity needs as we explore the universe isn’t fail-safe systems that cannot adapt to the unforeseeable…but is it possible to become too adaptable?

Shannon Lawrence’s “Incident at Ben E’s” is set at that most alien of human locations: a children’s birthday party. At a certain place with cheap pizza, lots of very loud games, and animatronic monstrosities that are worse than anything from outer space…or are they?

An engineering/military team is sent to an alien base as a “backup plan” for a vital diplomatic mission—one that may be intended to fail—in Ron Collins’s story, “Building a Bomb.” How far will they go to carry out their mission?

Robert Jeschonek’s tale, “The Greatest Serial Killer in the Universe,” is the kind of story that makes you wonder what the main character, Luther James Paraclete, will get up to next…because you can’t keep someone with that much talent down for long.

War and Marketing,” by Stefon Mears, is set on Earth, where an alien invasion has everyone stumped: just what do the aliens want? It’s up to a man with a talent for finding things to come up with a solution.

Sometimes even the aliens don’t know what they want, as in Jamie Ferguson’s “Time to Play,” a tale of a visit from outer space that has unintended but dire consequences to Earth, and the way that humanity begins to slowly corrupt those who cannot die…but there’s still hope…

Meyari McFarland’s “Old Friends from Out of Town” is a tale of the friends of a human who come to visit during a family reunion—friends that she met when she was the first surviving explorer of a new planet. What new adventures will she encounter among her friends, after all this time has passed?

Artwork

Paul Roman Martinez designed the cover and the Amazing Monster Tales masthead. He also writes and illustrates for The Adventures of the 19XX, including graphic novels, the board game, and more! You can find Paul at his website or on Facebook.

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Shannon Lawrence, Jeff Wood, and Rebecca Hodgkins did a fantastic job at last night’s reading from Monster Road Trip!

Our amazing authors, Shannon, Jeff, and Rebecca!

This was the 13th reading in the Denver Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Series, hosted by J.L. Forrest at BookBar.

Shannon opened by reading from her story “Tailgating,” which is about two women driving north on the Pacific Coast Highway. One of the women spots a strange animal following them in the trees on the side of the road—and if that wasn’t alarming enough, whoever is in the car behind them will not stop tailgaiting them no matter how fast or slow they drive. Inspiration for this story came from road trips Shannon took in the past where the gas stations were few and far between, and anything unusual seemed ominous on the long, isolated stretches of road on the Pacific coast.

Next up was Jeff, reading from “Exit Ramp.” Part of the inspiration for this story came from a hotel he stayed at last year in a very industrial area, where no matter what he did he couldn’t avoid the odd, cloying smells which reminded him of when he melted plastic army men as a child. No one asked Jeff why he melted his toys as a child, so perhaps that will be answered in a future story…

Rebecca’s “Wiggle-Wiggle, Shake-Shake” came next, and as usual she did a phenomenal job of reading. Rebecca and Jeff collaborated to set their stories in the same world, about 15-20 years apart, and it’s a very intriguing world. Is the refinery pumping things into or out of the ground? Why do some people in this part of the country have haint blue eyes? And what exactly is that flying in the night sky? Jeff says there are more stories coming, so maybe we’ll find out—and whatever is going on in this world, we’ve been assured there are lots and lots of tentacles.

Thanks to Shannon, Jeff, and Rebecca for participating in the reading, to our wonderful host J.L. Forrest for making the night extra fun, and to BookBar for hosting this reading series!

Authors, editors, and our host J.L. Forrest at the Monster Road Trip reading.

Monsters start growling…
…head out on the highway!

Monster Road Trip features ten tales of road trips, vacations, tourist destinations, and pits stops that go horribly, horribly wrong. These monsters are out for adventure! But they may not have filled up the gas tank first.
Put on your shades, slather on your sunscreen—
(Especially if you’re a vampire!)
—and load your swimsuit and your best beach bod in to the car, because it’s time to roll out for the summer—scales, tentacles, and all!

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The Stories

In Shannon Lawrence’s “Tailgating,” Sarah and her friend Layla are driving north on the Pacific Coast Highway when Sarah sees an animal leaping through the trees on the side of the road…and it’s clearly following them. To make matters worse, whoever is driving the car behind them also appears to be following them, the car driving so close that its headlights shine into their rear window. And on top of all that, they’re running out of gas…

Sibling werewolves Mimi, Cece, and their adopted baby brother—a runt of a dragon—sneak out and take the family convertible for an evening spin along I-5 in Meyari McFarland’s “Dandelion Rider.” Mimi is still trying to recover from a horrible, and false, accusation that everyone—even their parents—believe. Who else shows up at the party, but her accuser?

Jeff Wood’s “Exit Ramp” takes us to a world that used to be happy and fun, until Jimmy’s dad lost his job. Now the family is on their way to Mesa, Arizona, where—if all goes well—Jimmy’s dad will once again be gainfully employed. But when their car’s tire blows out, they pull off on an exit ramp and find themselves stuck for the night in a place full of small, oddly shaped factories, where the mechanics at the garage have weird, underwater-blue eyes…

A trucker driving through the Nevada desert picks up a hitchhiker in “Wiggle-Wiggle, Shake-Shake,” by Rebecca Hodgkins. Something about the kid seems a bit off, so the trucker stops at a diner he knows, thinking at least the kid would be safe if left there. But there’s a lot more going on out in the desert than he ever could have imagined.

In Mark Leslie’s “Stowe Away,” Michael needs to get to Stowe, Vermont, to help his dearest friend—and it’s imperative that he arrive before sunset, when the full moon will turn him into a wolf. He boards a train and meets someone else who desperately needs his help as well. But the day is growing long, and Michael is running out of time…

Ron Collins takes us on a winding path of destruction by a wonderfully vile beast in “Trail of Fears.” A beast born from the foulness created by humanity, the beast would say, if it could. And some things, once birthed, cannot be killed.

Bean, a goblin who’s spent most of his life below ground, agrees to drive his brilliant but transportationally-challenged cousin Heinrich across the country in Jamie Ferguson’s “Goblin Road Trip.” Heinrich plans to propose to his estranged girlfriend, who moved to Colorado after she got frustrated with his inability to remember, well, anything. Will she say yes to Heinrich’s proposal? Will he remember where the ring is? Will the cousins even make it to their destination at all?

This collection wouldn’t be complete without people searching for Bigfoot! Or is that bigfeet? “The Squatchers,” by Jason Dias, takes us to the mountains with a team of YouTubers who make their living searching for sasquatch—in spite of the fact that they never seem to actually find any.

The Plague Comet,” by DeAnna Knippling, is set in 1957, when a comet carrying a zombie plague struck, and everything went to hell. But worse things can happen to you in the Nevada desert than getting infected by zombie plague rays…

Roland Eckstein, a couple of his friends, and a group of ancient monsters embark on a road trip across Europe in Sharon Kae Reamer’s “Alexander’s Gate.” Their goal: a mythical, monster-populated secret hideaway, somewhere east of Turkey and north of Iran. Even Grendel agrees not to eat any humans on the trip, not even humans who happen to be Danish. Things are going well until they make a small detour to pick up Medusa and her companion—and everything gets much more complicated than Roland could have possibly imagined.

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Monster Road Trip, the second issue in the Amazing Monster Tales anthology series, is on its way! The fantastic cover art was designed by the super awesome Paul Roman Martinez.

This issue contains stories by: Shannon Lawrence, Meyari McFarland, Jeff Wood, Rebecca Hodgkins, Mark Leslie, Ron Collins, Jamie Ferguson, Jason Dias, DeAnna Knippling, and Sharon Kae Reamer.

Just a few more days until the road trip begins!

It Came Out of the Swamp,” by Ron Collins, takes us deep into the swamp. A young man heads to southern Georgia, determined to write a book about a supposed swamp monster that left a swath of destruction before being burned to a crisp by a flamethrower.

Was the monster real, or a legend? Had it really gone on a rampage and killed people, or was the whole story part of a corporate cover-up about bio-engineering, or dumping of radioactive waste?

One thing’s for sure—you can’t kill the swamp…

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About the Author

Ron Collins is an Amazon best-selling Dark Fantasy author who writes across the spectrum of speculative fiction.

His latest science fiction series, Stealing the Sun is available from Skyfox Publishing.

His fantasy series Saga of the God-Touched Mage reached #1 on Amazon’s bestselling dark fantasy list in the UK and #2 in the US. His short fiction has received a Writers of the Future prize and a CompuServe HOMer Award. His short story “The White Game” was nominated for the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s 2016 Derringer Award.

He has contributed a hundred or so short stories to professional publications such as Analog, Asimov’s, and several other magazines and anthologies (including several editions of the Fiction River Anthology Series).

He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and has worked to develop avionics systems, electronics, and information technology before chucking it all to write full-time–which he now does from his home in the shadows of the Santa Catalina Mountains.

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Marcella, the queen of the bargain hunters, is surprised when she’s kicked out of a new thrift store in Rebecca M. Senese’s “Bargain Hunter.”

Not only is she annoyed, the store’s prices aren’t really bargains—and shoppers are beginning to disappear.

Marcella sneaks back in to the store for their special, after-hours sale, and finds out what’s really going on. To stop it, she has to strike the bargain of a lifetime.

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About the Author

Based in Toronto, Canada, Rebecca M. Senese survives the frigid blasts of winter and boiling steams of summer by weaving words of horror, mystery, science fiction and contemporary fantasy.

Garnering an Honorable Mention in “The Year’s Best Science Fiction” and nominated for numerous Aurora Awards, her work has appeared in Fiction River: Superpowers, Fiction River: Visions of the Apocalypse, Fiction River: Sparks, Fiction River: Recycled Pulp, Tesseracts 16: Parnassus Unbound, Imaginarium 2012, Tesseracts 15: A Case of Quite Curious Tales, TransVersions, Future Syndicate, and Storyteller, amongst others.

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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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