Come sail away, come sail away…
…on a quest to find sea monsters!
Into the Briny Deep contains ten tales about mysterious watery creatures, gods of the sea, aquatic aliens, and a couple of mermaids you do not want to meet. Under the water, in a boat, or just hanging out on the shore, these monsters are playing with all tentacles.
Grab your scuba gear, start the motor, or sling on your jetpack. Whether you’re flying far above the water (and hopefully aren’t low on fuel!), catching a wave on your surfboard, or diving down, down, to the dark, cold depths of the ocean, we’ve got the monster for you!
So strap on your water wings and jump in—the water’s f-i-i-i-ne!
Jeff Wood’s “Clickbait” starts this issue off with a slew of people heading to the California coast, drawn by dreams that fill them with longing and pull them to the sea. At the edge of the waves, after the Pleiades fall below the thin line of the horizon to the west, the travelers must each make one final decision in order to make their dreams come true. But which decision is the right one?
Lara is part of a dive team exploring the sunken city of Thonis-Heraklion in “The Dark Queen” by J. F. Penn. She’s determined to find the Dark Queen, a fierce and savage ruler who legends say was magically trapped inside a statue after she went on a murderous rampage to prevent her from causing more damage. Lara faces an even bigger danger, though: one of the other archaeologists.
Zip back in time to World War II and rejoin “Daring” Dorian Pace, a character we met in our last issue, It Came From Outer Space! In this episode, the Nazis have come up with a nefarious plan to turn a sea monster into a secret weapon. Dorian slings on his jetpack to save the day. Maybe this time he’ll get the girl! “Sea Monster Of Monterey vs. The Nazis,” by Charles Eugene Anderson and Jim LeMay, captures the spirit of the pulp era in this exciting tale of adventure.
In Lee Allred’s “Murmuration of a Darkening Sea,” a soldier horribly burned during the Great War takes a job as a research assistant in a remote mansion on the Pacific coast. Oddly, the interview focused more on his family genealogy than on his qualifications. But a job is a job. Or is it?
A cultured British gentleman meets a crass American stranger on a voyage south to the most remote—and secretive—island on the planet in DeAnna Knippling’s historical tale, “The Man Who Would Sell Fear.”
In “The Road Beneath Indianapolis,” by Brigid Collins, Gordie is a US sailor in the middle of the Pacific Ocean after Japanese torpedoes hit the USS Indianapolis. Without food or fresh water, can he cling to survival? Not to mention the sharks feeding off the other men…or are they really sharks?
Travis Heermann’s “An Idol for Emiko” takes us to a 17th-century fishing village in Japan. When jewels and golden coins begin washing up on the shore, the villagers revel in their new prosperity. Low-status Emiko refuses to take part, retreating with her fatherless son and taking comfort in an idol of a sea-god revered by women. But sea gods pass judgment based on their own rules.
In P. D. Cacek’s “And the Sea Shall Give Up Its Dead,” Mac, a retired professor, spends his time watching the Weather Channel and talking to the “ghost” he made up so he wouldn’t have to talk to himself. Then bodies start washing up on beaches around the world, the ghost begins to answer!
In Grayson Towler’s “Crotar,” a 19th-century British naval vessel is chasing a French frigate when they encounter a shipwreck in the South Pacific. The man they pull from the wreckage tells them the French frigate was pursuing the British whaling fleet. The naval vessel changes course to save the fleet but finds more than they expected.
A mermaid leaves the sea behind to find her true love in “Blood and Water” by Alethea Kontis. Her journey extracts an unexpected price from her—and others.
The family in Jamie Ferguson’s “The Late Bloomer” is normal enough: they have a station wagon, they like disco music, and a couple of times a year they take family vacations that are always, always, near water.
Paul Roman Martinez designed the cover and the Amazing Monster Tales masthead. Paul Roman Martinez created the fantastic cover. You can find more of Paul’s art at PaulRomanMartinez.tumblr.com, his board game and graphic novels at Adventures of the 19XX, and lots of cool illustrations and photos on Instagram at @19xxadventures.