This collection features vampires from ancient Sumer and Crete, modern tales set in airports and circuses, and dark futures with post-apocalyptic world-ending viruses. You'll find some stories by well-known authors such as Andrea Dale, Michael M. Jones, Jessica Amanda Salmonson, and Elizabeth Schechter, as well as a host of new writers.
Some stories are outright hilarious, others bittersweet. Some stories are super-explicit, others moderately erotic. We've included a wide range of pairings and even a couple of ménage á trois. As befits a well-explored archetype, our vampires range from soulless to tortured self-loathing creatures. Some die in sunlight, others not so much.
Childhood's Dread, by Taye Carrol
The Other Neighbors, by Daniel Davis
Rare Air, by Mark Slade
The Children, by J.E. Álamo
The Radiant Boy, by Kevin Wetmore
The Whisperer in the Woods, by Peter Schranz
Sweet Oblivion, by Andrew Darlington
An Unsolicited Lucidity, by Lee Clark Zumpe
Black Carnival, by Bobby Cranestone
The Howard Family Tradition, by P. R. O'Leary
Hell in a Boxcar, by Scott A. Cupp
Jorōgumo, by Kelda Crich
Clay Baby, by Jack Lee Taylor
The Corpse and the Rat: A Story of Friendship, by Joshua L. Hood
Getting Thin, by DJ Tyrer
Maybe Next Door, by Richard LaPore
Containment Protocol, by Leeman Kessler
Under a Rock, by Lori R. Lopez
The Children Must Be Hungry, by L.F. Falconer
The Road to Hell, by Kevin L. O'Brien
Maggot Coffee, by Roy C. Booth and Axel Kohagenv
Baby Mine, by Marilyn "Mattie" Brahen
In Blackwalk Wood, by Adrian Cole
My Longing to See Tamar, by Jessica Amanda Salmonson
Gust of Wind Made by Swinging a Blade, by Molly N. Moss
Necromancer's Lair, by Chad Hensley
The Helm, by Chad Hensley
Ex Arca Sepulcrali, by Wade German
The Laughter of Ghouls, by K.A. Opperman
Ode to Ashtoreth, by K.A. Opperman
The Necro-Conjuring Sorceress, by Ashley Dioses
What Dark Gods Are Friends to Me? by Chad Hensley
Scarlet Succubus Shrine, by Frederick J. Mayer
Penelope, Sleepless, by Darrell Schweitzer
OTHERS, WHO ARE NOT MEN
I AM HUMAN
THE VAULT OF KARNUNNA
THE GREAT HERO
IN THE TEMPLE OF PHTHATHNEE
FORERUNNERS OF DOOM
THE CUBE OF XANXES: Part One—The Finger of Xanxes
THE CUBE OF XANXES: Part Two—The City of Joy
Features an introduction by Darrell Schweitzer
Chivaine, by John R. Fultz
Give Me the Daggers, by Adrian Cole
The Music of Bleak Entrainment, by Gary A. Braunbeck
Into The Mountains with Mother Old Growth, by Christian Riley
The Grimlorn Under the Mountain, by James Aquilone
Dolls, by Paul Dale Anderson
Gut Punch, by Jason A. Wyckoff
Educational Upgrade, by Bret McCormick
Boxes of Dead Children, by Darrell Schweitzer
The Forgotten, by D.C. Lozar
Coffee with Dad’s Ghost, Jessica Amanda Salmonson
Missed It By That Much, by Gregg Chamberlain
A Clockwork Muse, by Erica Ruppert
The Rookery, by Kurt Newton
Wolf of Hunger, Wolf of Shame, by J. T. Glover
Zucchini Season, by Janet Harriett
The Jewels That Were Their Eyes, by Llanwyre Laish
The Twins, by Kevin Strange
Princess or Warrior?, by S.W. Lauden
In the fabled land of Naipon, there is no warrior more feared, no samurai more respected than the legendary Tomoe Gozen, whose twin blades can change the course of any battle. After years of service to Lord Shigeno, she is about to renew her oath of loyalty when the sky darkens and a cry of rebellion comes from the hills. Possessed by an evil wizard, the peasants are marching against their master. Tomoe holds off the wave of pitchfork-wielding farmers for as long as she can. Finally, the battle overwhelms her, and the greatest samurai in Naipon falls dead.
She awakes in hell, on a slope lined with bloody corpses. After an eternity of fighting, she reaches the summit and finds herself in the chamber of a wizard who restores her to life. She is alive—but now she must do his bidding. Her honor has been shattered, but Tomoe Gozen will do whatever it takes to win it back.
The young girl crashes through the underbrush, desperate to escape the cackling soldiers at her back. After catching her in a tryst with a local farm boy, they intend to execute her for her sin. She runs for as long as she can, finally collapsing outside a shrine where a traveling nun sits with her flute. When the soldiers arrive, the nun sets her flute aside, drawing a legendary sword. She kills the men easily and sets the young girl free. Though she tried to avoid it, Tomoe Gozen has shed blood once again.
After countless battles and endless wandering, this legendary samurai has renounced Bushido and taken the oaths of a wandering nun. But though she disguises herself as a mendicant, trouble will find her still. Tomoe must engage in one last fight—this time for the sake of her soul.
In all of Naipon, there is no samurai more famous than Tomoe Gozen. Her skill with the blade is legendary, her honor unquestioned, and evil men everywhere fear her name.
No challenge is too great for Tomoe, but she is not ready for marriage. When her father announces that he has arranged a match for her—one that will mean laying aside her sword—Tomoe responds as she always does when her life is threatened: she draws her twin blades.
After fighting her way out of her father’s house, Tomoe meets Azo Hono-o, a female samurai who plans to make a name for herself by killing Tomoe Gozen. Tomoe convinces Azo to join forces with her, and together they set out across Naipon in search of a golden sword, which they will use to carve a place for themselves in a man’s world.
THE COPPERSMITH, by Lester del Rey
DOGS QUESTING, by John Gregory Betancourt
OF WITHERED APPLES, by Philip K. Dick
YELLOW EYES, by Marylois Dunn
SEA TIGER, by Henry S. Whitehead
THE BLACK TOWER, by R. H. Barlow
THE SHADOW FROM ABOVE, by R.H. Barlow
THE FLAGON OF BEAUTY, by R.H. Barlow
THE SACRED BIRD, by R.H. Barlow
THE TOMB OF THE GOD, by R.H. Barlow
GIVE THE DEVIL HIS DUE, by Mack Reynolds
DREAMTIME IN ADJAPHON, by John Gregory Betancourt
A LEGEND OF LANTH, by Robert W. Lowndes
THE SIREN, by F. Anstey
MORRIEN'S BITCH, by Janet Fox
ALLIANCES, by Janet Fox
GATHER ROUND THE FLOWING BOWLER, by Robert Bloch
AFRAID OF HIS SHADOW, by Dorothy Donnell Calhoun
THE DAUGHTER OF THOR, by Edmond Hamilton
THE WALTZ, by Morris W. Gowen
WHITE LADY, by Sophie Wenzel Ellis
CARILLON OF SKULLS by Lester del Rey and James H. Beard
THE LAST GUARDIAN OF RU ISHTL, by John Gregory Betancourt
SKULLS IN THE STARS, by Robert E. Howard
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This is an astounding collection of female fighters, from heads of state and goddesses to pirates and gladiators. Each entry is drawn from historical, fictional, or mythical narratives of many eras and lands. With over one thousand entries detailing the lives and influence of these heroic female figures in battle, politics, and daily life, Salmonson provides a unique chronicle of female fortitude, focusing not just on physical strength but on the courage to fight against patriarchal structures and redefine women’s roles during time periods when doing so was nearly impossible.
The use of historical information and fictional traditions from Japan, Europe, Asia, and Africa gives this work a cross-cultural perspective that contextualizes the image of these unconventional depictions of might, valor, and greatness.