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The title, Existence is Elsewhen, paraphrases the last sentence of André Breton’s 1924 Manifesto of Surrealism, perfectly summing up the intent behind this anthology of stories from a wonderful collection of authors. Different worlds… different times. It’s what Elsewhen Press has been about since we launched our first title in 2011. 

  Here, we present twenty science fiction stories for you to enjoy. We are delighted that headlining this collection is the fantastic John Gribbin, with a worrying vision of medical research in the near future.  Future global healthcare is the theme of J A Christy’s story; while the ultimate in spare part surgery is where Dave Weaver takes us.  Edwin Hayward’s search for a renewable protein source turns out to be digital; and Tanya Reimer’s story with characters we think we know, gives us pause for thought about another food we take for granted.  Evolution is examined too, with Andy McKell’s chilling tale of what states could become if genetics are used to drive policy. Similarly, Robin Moran’s story explores the societal impact of an undesirable evolutionary trend; while Douglas Thompson provides a truly surreal warning of an impending disaster that will reverse evolution, with dire consequences.

  On a lighter note, we have satire from Steve Harrison discovering who really owns the Earth (and why); and Ira Nayman, who uses the surreal alternative realities of his Transdimensional Authority series as the setting for a detective story mash-up of Agatha Christie and Dashiel Hammett.  Pursuing the crime-solving theme, Peter Wolfe explores life, and death, on a space station; while Stefan Jackson follows a police investigation into some bizarre cold-blooded murders in a cyberpunk future. Going into the past, albeit an 1831 set in the alternate Britain of his Royal Sorceress series, Christopher Nuttall reports on an investigation into a girl with strange powers.

  Strange powers in the present-day is the theme for Tej Turner, who tells a poignant tale of how extra-sensory perception makes it easier for a husband to bear his dying wife’s last few days. Difficult decisions are the theme of Chloe Skye’s heart-rending story exploring personal sacrifice.  Relationships aren’t always so close, as Susan Oke’s tale demonstrates, when sibling rivalry is taken to the limit.  Relationships are the backdrop to Peter R. Ellis’s story where a spectacular mid-winter event on a newly-colonised distant planet involves a Madonna and Child.  Coming right back to Earth and in what feels like an almost imminent future, Siobhan McVeigh tells a cautionary tale for anyone thinking of using technology to deflect the blame for their actions.  Building on the remarkable setting of Pera from her LiGa series, and developing Pera’s legendary Book of Shadow, Sanem Ozdural spins the creation myth of the first light tree in a lyrical and poetic song. Also exploring language, the master of fantastika and absurdism, Rhys Hughes, extrapolates the way in which language changes over time, with an entertaining result.

Legends say that, tens of thousands of years ago, Whisperers were banished from the heavens, torn in half, and dumped on a mortal realm they didn’t understand. Longing for their other half, they went from being powerful immortals to lonely leeches relying on humans to survive. Over the years, they earnt magic from demons, they left themselves Notebooks with hints, and by pairing up with human souls, they eventually found their other halves. Humbled by their experiences, they discovered the true purpose of life and many were worthy of returning to the heavens. But many were not.

The Dark Chronicles are stories that share the heartache of select unworthy Whisperers on their journey to immortality after The War of 2019. Can’t Dream Without You is one of those stories, in which we meet Steve and Julia, two such heroes.

Steve isn’t a normal boy. He plays with demons, his soul travels to a dream realm at night using mystical butterflies, and soon he’ll earn the power to raise the dead. Al thinks that destroying him would do the world a favour, yet he just can’t kill his own son. Wanting to acquire the power that raises the dead before Steve does, Al performs a ritual on Steve’s sixteenth birthday. He transfers Steve’s dark magic to Julia, an innocent girl he plans to kill. But Steve is determined to save Julia and sucks her soul to Dreamland. From the dream world, he invokes the help of her brother to keep her safe.

Five years later, Steve can’t tell what’s real or what’s a nightmare. Julia’s brother wants to kill him, a strange bald eagle is erasing memories, and Steve’s caught in some bizarre bullfight on another realm with a cop hot on his trail looking to be Julia’s hero. All the while, Steve and Julia must fight the desperate need to make their steamy dreams a reality.

 The culmination of the Sacred Land Stories

Alternate history meets magical realism on the prairies of Saskatchewan

 

Always go for more.

 

Russ doesn’t want more. He has the perfect life planned. Even though he’s called a dummy most days, he knows he’ll go to college, marry Isabelle, and farm with his father and brothers. Yup, perfect.

   All that changes in June 1928, the night his brother is kicked out of the house and Isabelle is snatched by a bunch of men dressed like ghosts.

   Russ swore to protect Sacred Land but promises made to his pa when life was great are not so easy to keep after he finds himself plagued by a curse. Who are the men terrorising the Cursed Lands and trying to burn his gal for being a witch? His father thinks they’re acting out to scare them off the land, a hate group perhaps? His brother wonders if they’re wanting a sacred plant that grows in the tunnels. His ma knows of other secrets haunting them… While those things might be true, his ghostly grandpa, Silver, shows Russ something he can’t ignore; a curse summoned years ago that will suck them all into the earth.

 

With lingering spirits, a troubled girl shadowing his destiny, dark rituals, a love potion, cursed men plaguing their lands, a prison break that takes him away from home when his wife needs him the most, and the earth itself trying to suck them in, Cursed on the Prairies is a Sacred Land Story that shows that the prairies are a place full of secrets that even a ghost can’t bury.

   An emotional journey into an alternate history with paranormal and romantic elements that proves we can’t escape our destinies, Cursed on the Prairies is the third of Tanya’s Sacred Land Stories, the culmination of a trans-generational timeline that started in Legends on the Prairies and continued in Ghosts on the Prairies.

 

Visit bit.ly/CursedPrairies


Review comments for Sacred Land Stories:

 

“captures the reader’s attention from the first page”

“a fascinating and harsh vision of life and death on both sides of the [US-Canadian] border.”

“everything feels authentic and believable.” – Risingshadow

What if someone believed that you were a hero from a legend?

“Don’t you believe in legends?”

Such a simple question, yet what Sacri really wants Alex to believe is that he is the hero from her legends. A hero meant to save land sacred to her tribe.

Alex is a lot of things. He’s a painter, a sculptor, and a dreamer. He was just fired from a good job, grieves for a woman he hoped to marry, and is known as the local drunk. He’s terrified of fire, of losing his friend, and of being alone. He is a lot of things, but hero isn’t one of them.

Travelling across the country in 1892 to settle land on an unexplored part of the prairies, he hopes to find himself, to find a reason for his pitiful existence, and to have one last adventure with his dying friend. What he actually finds in the heart of the lonesome prairies is Sacri, defending land with her very soul. She believes he is the Man of Legends sent to save Sacred Land. Her determination entrances him. Despite everything, Alex finds himself praying to a God that he thought had abandoned him, in the hope that, just maybe, there is some truth to Sacri’s stories.

To add to Alex’s unease is the certainty that Sacri’s brother, often merely glimpsed as a silver shadow riding his horse across the horizon, will happily kill Alex if he turns out not to be the man that Sacri thinks he is.

Legends on the Prairies, a Sacred Land Story is the prequel to Ghosts on the Prairies. Alternate history with paranormal and romantic elements, it is a story about growth, friendship, love, and the importance of believing in ourselves.

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