Tales from the Goldilocks Zone
Congratulations to the 13 authors who won our short story contest to be published in our short story anthology "Tales from the Goldilocks Zone!" to be released Halloween 2019-- illustrated by Haley Patterson
Step into the space boots, high heels, spurs, or flippers of unconventional travelers, those who disappear in the blink of an eye, who fight environmental disasters, hide secrets, believe in true love; those who are looking for a new home, and those who will never go home again. This collection features new voices in sci-fi and fantasy who bring worlds of wonder and delight, who find the sweet spot for life. And every time, it’s just right. Featuring the following short stories:
Eidetic by Amanda Moon
Memory bottling. better than photographs perfectly preserve every sensation, allowing you to experience moments over and over again. But what if swipe a bottle your ex doesn't want to remember, and what if you go a bit over the dosage recommendations, and what if you still love him.
Water Always Glints in the Sun by Amy Bernstein
What Vera knows, for sure, is that B-Harbor-- the beating heart of the entire Baltimore Watershed (the Atlantic Central Coastline’s undisputed center of power) must be protected at any cost. If her team of enviro allows the titanium-Q infrastructure to fail, a flood of pathogens, chemicals, and algal toxins will invade B-Harbor. Vera won’t let this happen at any cost, now if her team will just stop protecting her and let her do her job!
Alia of the Rock by Clementine Fraser
Rescuing an angelic winged woman from a lonely rock in the ocean, Captain Thomas Asham finds Alia, an albatross shifter, stranded. He clothes her, promises undying loyalty and protection and hopes she will never leave. Alia secretly knows she is wanted. Whatever happens, she must not lose her heart to the Captain or his life will be in grave danger.
One Way Ticket by R.L. Aseret
Single and Czech, Milena meets Vietnamese America, Vuong, when he comes on his tour of her hometown, Olomouc-- where local men, not conscripted, want meaty wives to raise children and vegetables. Vuong, however, makes her laugh and she takes him up on his offer of an arranged marriage. When she arrives in America, she must decide whether to stay and how she will indeed overcome their unusual arrangement.
The Displaced by Greg Moravec
Fleeing an environmental disaster in a refugee starship, Quintas finds solace in his new friend, the lovely Merka. When they meet Bakti, however, he insists that they are not refugees but prisoners, and a ghost army is about to rescue dissenters. Would they join a rebellion—even if it existed, and what or who would they be willing to leave behind?
Unclaimed Goods by Brian Buhl
In the not too distant future, at the Kansas City airport, people travel in style-- plugging their brains into virtual reality while their bodies are the luggage inside small life support chambers. Baggage Handling in the future Robots and humans work seamlessly together moving “cargo” to the correct layover destination. Never lost anyone was Vince’s motto, until his last day on the job, when the new trainee, Tony, finds a body that doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.
Specimen by Mikhail Dreygon
Another day in the far outpost space lab, another specimen to examine then exterminate by the cold and withering Dr. Mae Wong, Dr. Franklin and their superior, the zeno/plant-based humanoid, Dr. Curax. However, something about this mammal changes Mae’s frosty exterior and she begins to sense there is something more than science happening between herself and her specimen. When told to send “Junior” to his death, Mae must decide whether to risk her career to save him—but little does she expect she would risk her life as well.
Time Race by Rebecca Hope
Marcy has experienced quirky correlations all her life, usually, a small incident followed by a parallel larger one. She learns to keep her associations a secret because being able to tell the future in hindsight is just too hard to explain. When she finally confides her unusual insight to her fiancé, he breaks their engagement. Twice burned, she cautiously tries out for a reality TV series on the phenomenon of future sight. At her interview for the program, she seems to truly belong, but one detail about the situation is nagging at the back of her mind. What is it?
The Widowmaker by Alexandra Ames
Trapped in marriage to a venomous man, Yorka finds herself locked in a mysterious house with only one friend, a white spider no one believes exists because the tales surrounding it are too unbelievable to be true. She must decide which poison is worse and who she can trust.
Sir Manifred’s Secret by Rebecca Hope
While on an employee retreat at Castle Albion, a modern-medieval resort with a murder mystery theme, Crystal gets word her divorce is final. She spends the week researching ways to get rid of her wedding ring and trying not to fall for a dashing event coordinator, Eric—handsome and married. Crystal decides to leave her ring inside a suit of armor and simply go back to her life. However, she wins the mystery contest and another week at Albion. She goes home and puts Eric and her ex out of her mind. The gift card reminds her however, that maybe she should return --and what if she decides she wants her rather costly ring back, just for memory’s sake?
Sidewalk Slammer by Sol Jacobs
Louisiana- After taking a birdbath in the Shreveport Library’s bathroom sink, I wipe my hands on my dirty overalls, cross the lobby, push open the double doors, and shield my eyes from the sun. Another day on the road. How many has it been. No one knows my name, but will anyone see past the exterior to who I really am and where I’ve come from?
Pay attention to the Signs by Jerry McCann
It's all fun and games on Kawaii Beach for a vacationing high school student until two girls are pulled away by an undertow of a murderous Hawaiian current. The boy jumps to the rescue and is caught underwater. He knows he has about three minutes to live. Should he go toward the light, or try to get back to the surface?
One Last Goodbye by Ashley Reisinger
It becomes obvious everything isn't always as is it first appears when a young woman retraces the steps of what began as a relationship only to become a nightmare; she discovers she's on her way home for the last time-- and she will get there dead or alive.
The Ketchup by Polly Alice
Speeding home to host her boyfriend's monthly book club, Lane narrowly avoids an accident on the road. She can't seem to piece together her post-college life, and the groceries for the dinner party are non-existent. But maybe that doesn't matter, especially when her reality begins to fracture, and she's not sure she will survive, or if survival is the only option.Congratulations to the winner of our art and illustration Hayley Patterson who will be the featured illustrator in this collection.