Gods and Monsters (Summer 2017)

With the goal of discovering the best voices in speculative fiction from across the world, Book Smugglers Publishing publishes original short fiction featuring subversive, feminist, and diverse perspectives.

Book Smugglers Publishing’s Summer 2017 theme is Gods and Monsters, comprising six original short stories for team Monster and team Gods readers.

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Beauty, Glory, Thrift
Written by Alison Tam
Cover art by Melanie Cook
Available June 2017

Beauty, Glory, Thrift

I am Thrift and I want to leave this place, and see the far ends of the universe, and never spend another moment in stasis ever again. Take my hand and bring me with you…

On a lost planet in the depths of space, goddess-sisters Beauty, Glory and Thrift split their time between stasis and bickering, forever waiting for new visitors to their forgotten temple. Enter a thief, who comes searching for treasure but instead finds Thrift—the least of the goddesses—who offers powers of frugality in exchange for her escape.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

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Alison Tam is trying to make the quintile-life crisis into a thing. She likes weird genre mashups, girls kissing and telling things from the alien point of view. Currently a Californian, Alison can only really live somewhere that has at least one boba place. You can find her at storytam.tumblr.com or on Twitter as @TheTamSlam.

Read Beauty, Glory, Thrift for free online.

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The Waters and Wild of Winter Street
Written by Jessi Cole Jackson
Cover art by Sparrows
Available June 2017

The Waters and Wild of Winter Street

Welcome to 222 Winter Street, home to loving parents Matt and Geoffrey, and their two adopted daughters. Moira and Mystique Brighton-Briggs may identical be twins, but the girls couldn’t be more different. One is all softness and light, the other sharp corners and magic.

Yet despite their fights, and despite their differences, Matt, Geoffrey, Moira, and Mystique are family. And family stays together. No matter what the cost.

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Jessi Cole Jackson lives in the prettiest part of New Jersey (but she’s not from there). By day she builds costumes for a Tony Award-winning theatre, by night she works toward an MFA in Children’s Literature at Hollins University. Somewhere in between, she writes. Her previous work can be found in Hidden Youth: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and Cast of Wonders, among others. You can read more about her sometimes exciting (but mostly just normal) life at jessicolejackson.com.

Read The Waters and Wild of Winter Street for free online.

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A Question of Faith
Written by Tonya Liburd
Cover art by Jennifer Johnson
Available July 2017

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“Man, know thyself, and you are going to know the gods” – Inscription from the Luxor Temple

In the Temple of Ra, Ceke works on cutting edge research investigating the connection between music, identity, and the realm of the gods. Though devoted to her service at the temple, of late her heart has been divided between work and and her pregnant co-wife, Ngware.

When the most promising subject of the temple’s tonal experiments, Wahibra, mysteriously disappears and rumors of a god awakened follow his path, Ceke finds herself leading a dangerous mission to bring him back to safety.

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Tonya Liburd shares a birthday with Simeon Daniel and Ray Bradbury, which may tell you a little something about her; and while she has an enviable collection of vintage dust bunnies to her credit, her passions are music (someday!) and of course, words. Her poetry has been nominated for the Rhsling award, and her fiction has been longlisted in the 2015 Carter V. Cooper(Vanderbilt)/Exile Short Fiction Competition. Her story “The Ace of Knives” is in the anthology Postscripts to Darkness 6, and is used in Nisi Shawl’s workshops as an example of ‘code switching’. She is the Associate Editor of Abyss & Apex magazine. You can find her blogging at http://Spiderlilly.com or on Twitter at @somesillywowzer.

Read A Question of Faith for free online.

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It Came Back
Written by Samantha Lienhard
Cover art by Tomislav Jagnjic
Available July 2017

It Came Back

“Luna Anderson…” He stared at me with an intensity that made me fidget. “The lost sheep has returned at last.”

After five years of avoiding her past, Luna finally returns to her childhood home. Her imposing grandfather may be long gone, but his specter hangs over the estate like a curse–Luna is eager to sell everything and leave the Anderson House behind her for good.

But when she stumbles across a sheath of letters, Luna discovers her grandfather’s past is darker and more twisted than she ever could have imagined. A secret is uncovered, and a monster awakens…

Curses don’t stay buried forever.

samantha-lienhard

Samantha has an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University and is an affiliate member of the Horror Writers Association. Her other publications include a horror/comedy novella called The Zombie Mishap, a Lovecraftian serial called The Book at Dernier, and a short horror story inspired by Japanese mythology called “Rokurokubi.” When she isn’t working on her stories, she can usually be found playing video games—and writing video game scripts.

Read It Came Back for free online.

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Duck Duck God
Written by José Iriarte
Cover art by Emma Glaze
Available August 2017

Duck Duck God

“This boy is of my line, and on this day I recognize him and grant him his inheritance.”

For kindergarten teacher Monica Quintana, it seemed like any other day right up until the point when little Nicky Swanson became a god. (It might not sound like a big deal, but a five-year-old possessing the power to turn people into literal pests is a challenge even for the most seasoned educator.)

Between handling school bureaucracy, all the other mortal students in her class, and perpetually complaining parents, now Monica also needs to control the growing powers of an impetuous (if adorable) child-god.

Piece of proverbial cake, right?

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José Iriarte is a Cuban-American writer, high school math teacher, and father of two. He lives in EPCOT with his spouse Lisa. His fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Fireside Fiction, Terraform, and other venues. Learn more at his website: http://www.labyrinthrat.com.

Read Duck, Duck, God for free online.

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Avi Cantor has Six Months to Live
Written by Sacha Lamb
Cover art by Ira Gladkova
Available August 2017

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Avi Cantor Has Six Months To Live

Avi comes across these foreboding words scrawled on the bathroom mirror, but what do they mean? Is this a curse, a prediction, or a threat from Avi’s emboldened bullies? And how to they know his real name when he hasn’t even told his mother yet?

Then there is Ian—the cool new guy at school, who is suddenly paying attention to Avi. Ian is just like Avi, but he is also all sunshine, optimism, and magic. All the things that Avi doesn’t know how to deal with…yet.

A romantic, #ownvoices fairy tale for trans boys.

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Sacha Lamb is a part-time librarian, part-time goat-herder, and part-time writer of queer Jewish magic realism for teens. As a teenager, Sacha loved YA fantasy, but never felt represented in it as a gay, transgender reader. Now a graduate student in library science, Sacha is dedicated to creating stories for other kids who need to know that they are magic. Sacha can be found online @mosslamb on Twitter.

Read Avi Cantor Has Six Months to Live for free online.

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All stories are available for free in their entirety on The Book Smugglers and available as ebooks for sale via several online retailers and directly from The Book Smugglers. Each ebook contains the full story and a Q&A, as well as an essay from the author on writing the retelling, elaborating on the themes explored in their tale.

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