FANTASTIC WORLDS: A FANTASY ANTHOLOGY
What is Fantastic Worlds?
Fantastic Worlds is an anthology of amazing fantasy stories. It features NYT bestselling author of almost 40 books, Christie Golden (Star Wars, Star Trek, World of Warcraft, etc.), fantasy powerhouse & bestseller Paul Genesse and runaway Amazon bestselling sensations, Michaelbrent Collings and Jacob Gowans.
Within the Fantasy Anthology you will also find stories spun from the webs of current Future House bestselling books (Sands, Got Luck, Granted, The Hunger, & The Stone Bearers). Haven’t read any of their books yet? Don’t worry! The Fantasy Anthology is a great place to to get introduced.
Whether you are a fan of genies, snarky paranormal detectives, fairy tale re-tellings, or just straight up magic, this anthology will have something fantastic for you!
Our Authors & Their Stories
Award-winning and seven-time New York Times bestselling author Christie Golden has written over forty novels and several short stories in the fields of science fiction, fantasy and horror. Among her many projects are over a dozen Star Trek novels, nearly a dozen for gaming giant Blizzard’s World of Warcraft and StarCraft novels, and three books in the nine-books Star Wars series, Fate of the Jedi, which she co-wrote with authors Aaron Allston and Troy Denning. Golden launched the TSR Ravenloft line in 1991 with her first novel, the highly successful Vampire of the Mists, which introduced elven vampire Jander Sunstar. To the best of her knowledge, she is the creator of the elven vampire archetype in fantasy fiction. Several original fantasy novels include On Fire’s Wings, In Stone’s Clasp and Under Sea’s Shadow, the first three in her multi-book fantasy series The Final Dance. She is delighted to see her first original novels, Instrument of Fate and In Stone’s Clasp, available in an entirely new format as online books nearly fifteen years after their original publication. Born in Georgia with stints in Michigan, Virginia and Colorado, Golden has returned South for a spell and currently resides in Tennessee. Learn more about Christie at http://www.christiegolden.com/.
Christie Golden’s short story “Little Magicks” is included in our fantasy
Paul Genesse is the author of The Golden Cord, which is the bestselling fantasy novel Five Star Books has ever had. He is also the author of The Dragon Hunters, and The Secret Empire in his Iron Dragon Series. He loves writing short fiction and has sold over a dozen, which appear in various DAW anthologies, and elsewhere. He is also the editor of the five volumes in the demon-themed Crimson Pact shared multiverse anthology series. He lives in the western U.S., in the state of Utah, with his very supportive wife, Tammy, and a large collection of fantasy art, which Paul keeps in his basement art gallery. He worked full time as a cardiac nurse for 17 years, and as of October 2014 works as a clinical analyst for a large healthcare company. He has also worked as a copy editor, computer game consultant, and naturally he enjoys speaking at conventions, and doing school visits. He is a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books, and loves The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies. He wants to become the nerd Jimmy Fallon and enjoys interviewing movie and TV stars at large media conventions like Salt Lake Comic Con. Please friend him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @Paul_Genesse, explore paulgenesse.com and send him pictures of dragons.
“The Thornclaw Forest” by Paul Genesse is from his bestselling Iron Dragon series and is about the main character in the novels, Drake of Cliffton. The story shows the most important event in his life, when a big hunt turns deadly, and puts him on the path to become a cross between Bard the Bowman and Daryl from the Walking Dead.
Michaelbrent Collings is an internationally-bestselling novelist, multiple Bram Stoker Award nominee, produced screenwriter, and one of the top indie horror authors in the United States. Find him at michaelbrentcollings.com. You can also find out more about the fabulous world of Zo in the RPG Tales of Zo.
“The Taler’s Truth” by Michaelbrent Collings is his contribution to Fantastic Worlds. Once upon a time, in the Zantabulous Land of Zo, Weatheringfallhaffinstaff (or Joe, for short) is a simple cleaner at a simple inn that has simply been destroyed by a recent Hurinado, a Twisty of the Highest Order. Joe’s master, the innkeeper, gives him the simple task of cleaning the inn by nightfall, or else. The fact that Joe first has to rebuild the inn doesn’t bother the innkeeper at all. And Joe sets to work, knowing his task is impossible, knowing he will try his best anyway… and not knowing at all what strange things will happen as he works. For today is the day the Taler will visit. And the Taler’s Tale, like all things in Zo, is not at all what it seems.
Jacob Gowans is a dentist currently working in Texas. He is husband to a beautiful wife, and father to five cute children. He shuns all pets. When not working or writing, he enjoys watching sports, reading, running, acting, listening to a variety of music, kissing his wife, internet shopping, and chasing his kids around the house. He is passionate about board games, both old and new.
Psion Beta was his first novel, followed by Psion Gamma, Psion Delta, Psion Alpha, and ending with Psion Omega. He is currently working on Super Six, a new series. His favorite bands are Angels and Airwaves and The Killers. His favorite book is Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, and thinks the greatest film ever made is Dead Poets Society. He reads comics, mainly Spider-man, Batman, The Far Side, and Calvin and Hobbes.
He was raised in Papillion, Nebraska, graduated from Brigham Young University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in theater studies, and moved to Cleveland shortly thereafter. In 2011, he graduated from dental school at Case Western Reserve University. Learn more about Jacob at http://www.jacobgowans.com/.
In Jacob Gowan’s “We Called the Dragon,” a desperate, hunted woman crosses a wasteland alone in search of signs of life. As she recalls her role in the ruin of her civilization, she learns the cost of war and death.
Kevin L. Nielsen’s journey into writing began in the 6th grade when an oft-frustrated school librarian told him there simply wasn’t enough money in the budget to buy any more books. He’d read them all. She politely suggested he write his own. He owes his publishing debut to the LTUE Symposium, a purple shirt, and a passing editor who didn’t mind some mild sarcasm. Kevin writes epic, young adult, and urban fantasy. His writing group, Team Unleashed, keeps him grounded and away from purple prose about falcons, dragons, and world-building. Kevin currently resides in Utah with his amazing wife and two wonderful children. He’s still writing and continuing a lifelong quest to become a dragon rider. You can find Kevin at kevinlnielsen.com
In Kevin’s short story “Twins,” Tieran and Sarial are about to risk their lives in a ceremony as old as the Sharani Desert itself. To become true aevian warriors they must participate in a hunt for the genesauri monsters which rove the desert in massive packs. When the hunt goes awry, Tieran’s loyalty to his twin sister will be tested and his life placed in the balance. “Twins” is from the world of Sands and Storms by Kevin L. Nielsen.
Michael Darling has worked as a butcher, a librarian, and a magician. Not all at the same time. He nests in the exquisitely beautiful Rocky Mountains with his equally breathtaking wife and six guinea pigs, one of whom thinks she’s a dog and three of whom claim to be children. Michael’s award-winning short fiction is frequently featured in anthologies. Michael graduated from Weber State University with a degree in English Literature and loves to blend the classic with the contemporary in his writing. His early work included several plays that were professionally produced, along with a number of radio programs that aired in 80 markets around the world. Besides writing, Michael also loves to travel, dabble in languages, and cook tasty gluten-free dinners.
Follow Michael on Amazon & Goodreads. Follow Michael on Facebook & Twitter. Visit Michael’s website at http://michaelcdarling.com/wordpress/author/michael .
Michael Darling’s short story “Lucky Day” is from the world of Got Luck.
Michelle Merrill loves kissing her hubby, snuggling her kids, eating candy, reading books, and writing first drafts. She names her computers after favorite fictional characters and fictional characters after favorite names. To learn more about her, visit www.authormichellemerrill.com.
In Michelle’s short story “Trapped,” Brielle has felt nothing but trapped since her lamp got stuck in a human storage unit. As if her world is not suffocating enough, a poaching incident in her genie town turns up and they pin the blame on her. She has to find the real culprit before she’s banished without ever getting a taste of magic.
“Trapped” is from the world of Granted by Michelle Merrill.
Michael Young is a graduate of Brigham Young University and Western Governor’s University with degrees in German Teaching, Music, and Instructional Design. Though he grew up traveling the world with his military father, he now lives in Utah with his wife, Jen, and his two sons. Michael enjoys acting in community theater, playing and writing music and spending time with his family. He played for several years with the handbell choir Bells on Temple Square and is now a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He is the author of the novels in The Canticle Kingdom Series, The Last Archangel Series, and the Chess Quest Series. His also authors several web serials through BigWorldNetwork.com. He publishes anthologies for charity in his Advent Anthologies series. He has also had work featured in various online and print magazines such as Bards and Sages Quarterly, Mind-flights, Meridian, The New Era, Allegory, and Ensign. He has also won honorable mention three times in the Writers of the Future contest. Learn more about Michael at http://www.futurehousepublishing.com/authors/michael-d-young/.
From the world of The Hunger, “Crude Magic” is a short story about a mage nobleman who needs to be the first to harvest a magical fossil from deep in the earth to prevent a war, but can’t figure out how to do it in time. He has built his empire on harvesting the remains of ancient creatures, which his companies then process to create the materials needed for people everywhere to use magic, but times are changing and his failure could mean death to his entire industry. To complicate matters, he is being blackmailed by a shadowy third party, who leaves cryptic notes affixed by daggers to his desk, causing him to push up his timetable even further.
Jacque Stevens wrote her first book as a stress relief activity during nursing school that was never meant to be shown to anyone. It had elves and it was beautiful. Then her mother showed it to a published author in a critique group. They killed it with their red pens and sent those poor elves back to the forest crying. But out of the ashes appeared a djinni and even more elves. As a full-time nurse working mostly in mental health, she continued writing similar books in the shadows until the people at Future House decided enough was enough. It was time for one of those books to be published. Jacque is a fourth generation Arizonan currently living in Utah, so yes, she has a huge extended family and sporadically eats green jello, but does not yet own a minivan. She is sometimes seen walking the neighborhood with a very cute young man who loves everything about her. You can learn more about Jacque at http://www.futurehousepublishing.com/authors/jacque-stevens-2/.
In Jacque’s short story “The Frog’s Princess,” the gods are leaving. In their absence, they agree to loan their powers to certain humans—the bearers. As these new bearers struggle to master their powers, they are also given guardian animals to guide and protect them. Among the animals who volunteer for this task are wolves, drakes, and other enchanted creatures of awesome strength and magic. But with the newly formed bearer council on the verge of chaos, it falls to one small frog to rein in a reluctant princess-turned-bearer and provide balance to the universe.
“The Frog’s Princess” is from the world of The Stone Bearers by Jacque Stevens.
A billion years ago, Zachary was very disappointed he wasn’t yet born. Thankfully, things were rectified some time later, and he has been trying to make up for lost time ever since. Zachary James is the very creative pen name of Zachary James Strickland. Thanks to his interest in animated blockbusters, Zachary aspired to be an animator long into his youth before he realized he would much rather write stories than draw the same thing over and over again. Now a master at filing rejection letters, Zachary continues to forge ahead with his love of storytelling. An indie writer by hobby, Zachary wrote Ama’s Watch and updates his opinion blog three times a week. In addition, his writings have appeared in PeaceHealth’s The Caregiver, as well as several of their magazine publications. You can find Zachary at his website, zacjam.com, or at his blog, changeandcherish.blogspot.com.
In Zachary’s short story Reflexio, the assassins extraordinaire Livens and Rubeus would be very good at their job if they ever remembered to shut up. When they botch what was supposed to be a simple robbery, the assassins’ flight through the small village of Reflexio reveals the true nature of the people they swore to protect and gives them the fortitude to fight the corruption at the heart of their government.
“Reflexio” is from the world of Ama’s Watch by Zachary James.
Added Illustrations: $5,000
We’ll include a black and white illustration for each story in the book, depicting a scene from the story itself and created by the extraordinary Jeff Harvey. Jeff has professionally illustrated a number of published books. He’s an incredible character designer, and his work will fit in very well with the Science Fiction stories in Future Worlds. Jeff designed the cover for Future Worlds. Unlock this stretch goal, and your book will get fancy!
Author Bonus Upgrade: $6,000
Increase the authors’ royalties! Our authors are talented. They work hard. Hit this level and we’ll be able to unlock an extra percentage point for the authors’ royalties on e-books.
Bonus Stories: $7,000
Hit this goal and we’ll add two additional stories to the book!