Fifteen-year-old Jackson is different from the other children at the foundling hospital. Scales sometimes cover his arms. Tentacles coil just below his skin. Despite this Jackson tries to fit in with the other children. He tries to be normal for Sister Jerome Grace and the priests. But when a woman asks for a boy like him, all that changes. His name is pinned to his jacket and an orphan train whisks him across the country to Macquarie’s.
At Macquarie’s, Jackson finds a home unlike any he could have imagined. The bronze lions outside the doors eat whomever they deem unfit to enter, the hallways and rooms shift and change at will, and Cressida — the woman who adopted him — assures him he no longer has to hide what he is. But new freedoms hide dark secrets. There are territories, allegiances, and a kraken in the basement that eats shadows.
As Jackson learns more about the new world he’s living in and about who he is, he has to decide who he will stand with: Cressida, the woman who gave him a home and a purpose, or Mae, the black-eyed lion tamer with a past as enigmatic as his own. The Kraken Sea is a fast paced adventure full of mystery, Fates, and writhing tentacles just below the surface, and in the middle of it all is a boy searching for himself.
E. Catherine Tobler has never run away to join the circus — but she thinks about doing so every day. Among others, her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and on the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award ballot. Her first novel, Rings of Anubis, launched the Folley & Mallory Adventures. Senior editor of Shimmer Magazine, you can find her online at www.ecatherine.com and @ecthetwit.
"No shit, there I was..."?
If you hear that phrase, perk up, because you know you're in for a heck of a tale. That's how all the craziest - and most interesting - stories start.
And then we told a bunch of authors to make sure their stories started with that very phrase.
Edited by Alex Acks, and featuring stories by Matt Dovey,Stewart Baker, William Ledbetter, James Beamon, Rachael K Jones, Wren Wallis, Heather Morris, E. Catherine Tobler, Tyler Hayes, Darcie Little Badger, Jo Robson, Premee Mohamed, R. K. Duncan, Sarah Tchernev, Linda Tyler, Anne M. Gibson, Andrew Barton, Sunil Patel, David Jón Fuller, William Wood, Devyani Borade, Adrian Simmons, Frances Rowat, Lou J Berger, and Alanna McFall with interior illustrations by Shannon Legler, Hannah Spiegleman, Emma St. John. Jane Baker, Jenna Fowler, and Amy Baker and a cover by Brandon Chng, this volume is sure to have something to satisfy you.
Grab a pint of your favorite beverage and gather round. We've got two dozen stories here to horrify, amuse, and mystify, each with their own illustration.
Hard to believe, but no shit... there I was.