Starts with a bang.
Ends with a bang.
And a lot of bang in between.
Pulse Pounders. Ranging from straight thriller to science fiction, fantasy to pulp adventure, these stories make your heart race. Share the excitement as a woman held hostage in a chair has only a few minutes to escape, and a man trapped in a time loop revisits a crisis point in the past. Including an original never-before-published Frank Herbert story, these page-turners show why Adventures Fantastic says Fiction River "is one of the best and most exciting publications in the field today."
Table of Contents
"The Chair" by JC Andrijeski
"Change of Mind" by Kevin J. Anderson & Peter J. Wacks
"A Man of His Times" by Patrick O'Sullivan
"Tower One" by Thomas K. Carpenter
"Big and Shady" by David Farland
"Daisy Wong: The Hell of the Unprepared Sinners" by Jamie McNabb
"The Yellow Coat" by Frank Herbert
"Fraternization" by Ron Collins
"Frostburnt" by Brigid Collins
"The Scent of Amber and Vanilla" by Dayle A. Dermatis
"The Mer" by Phaedra Weldon
"Sole Survivor" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
"Three Strikes" by Chuck Heintzelman
"[Fiction River] is one of the best and most exciting publications in the field today. Check out an issue and see why I say that."– Keith West, Adventures Fantastic
"… fans of the unconventional will be well satisfied."– Publishers Weekly on Fiction River: Pulse Pounders
"Fiction River: Fantastic Detectives is a great choice for anyone who loves it when genres are swirled together. It's nominally more heavily influenced by mystery conventions and tropes, but the science fiction and fantasy elements in it are almost as strong."– Long and Short Reviews on Fiction River: Fantastic Detectives
Starts with a Bang
Dean Wesley Smith
The editor of this great volume in the ongoing Fiction River anthology series, Kevin J. Anderson, told writers he wanted the stories he would buy to start with a bang, have a lot of bangs in the middle, and then end with an even bigger bang.
And these stories do just that, and even more. Much more in many cases.
When it comes to writing, Kevin knows what he's talking about, and knows how to create pulse-pounding stories himself. As a writer, he's been on the New York Times bestsellers list more than most writers could ever dream about. And he has been the lead writer, the main person in many ongoing major worlds at one point or another in his career.
For example, he was the go-to writer for Star Wars books and comics for numbers of years. That's a series that certainly packs a punch. Then he ended up writing with Brian Herbert, continuing one of the great science fiction universes of all time in Dune.
In fact, he managed to convince the Frank Herbert estate to let him publish an unpublished Frank Herbert story in this volume. And the story fits and is wonderful. What a fantastic treat.
Even though Kevin is a bestselling writer, he's also a great editor, a skill most people don't realize he has because his writing overshadows his editing in so many ways. Over the years he's edited dozens of books, including three Star Wars anthologies, the bestselling science fiction anthologies of all time.
These wonderful stories in this anthology came together in a rather unique fashion. About fifty major professional writers met in a large banquet room on the Oregon Coast. They had all written stories ahead for different Fiction River projects, one of which was this project.
Then, as everyone watched, the six editors doing projects talked about each story for each project, with the volume editor, in this case, Kevin, having the final say. At the end of the day he had far, far too many stories he loved and wanted to buy, so we all got to watch him weed his list of stories down, matching stories with other stories, fitting together the puzzle you hold in your hand.
A unique and amazing way to find fantastic stories.
Fiction River set out from its start to be a series of anthologies that had no borders or genre restrictions. Our only requirement was good stories, told well. Kevin had the same goal with this volume. He wanted great stories told well, that started with a bang and ended with a bang. He didn't care if they were in a certain genre or not. The key for Kevin was the experience of reading the story.
That's the key for all readers as well. The experience of reading these stories.
One of the major things that gives Fiction River a unique voice is the guest editors. Kristine Kathryn Rusch and I watch over the quality, but we always let the editors have free reign to create the best volume they can create.
And that uniqueness of Fiction River, the various editorial voices, is what will keep Fiction River fresh and different off into even more years.
And with this volume, we are over halfway through with our full second year and looking into the future. More guest editors, more quality unique fiction.
So I hope you enjoy this fantastic new edition in the Fiction River anthology series. You hold a book full of great, pulse-pounding stories (including an original Frank Herbert) put together by one of the best writers and editors of our time.
—Dean Wesley Smith
Lincoln City, Oregon
May 20, 2014