Reclusive chef Heinrich Schauer has invited six guests to a blind twelve-course tasting menu.
What You Eat
While snow blankets the isolated Swiss valley surrounding his estate, the guests feast eagerly, challenging one another to guess at the secret tastes plated before them.
This Meat Is Murder
As they eat, each guest is overtaken by carnal appetites, unaware of their host’s savage plans...or of the creature lurking below.
One thing is clear: There is more on the menu than any of them have bargained for.
Consumption is a 12,000 word (approx.) short story. It contains graphic depictions of sex and violence, and is intended for mature audiences.
Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence.
His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer.
In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.
Something virulent. Something evil. Something new. And it is infecting the town of Falls Breath.
Carried to Earth in a freak meteor shower, an alien virus has infected the animals. Pets and wildlife have turned rabid, attacking without warning. Dogs and cats terrorize their owners, while deer and wolves from the neighboring woods hunt in packs, stalking and killing their human prey without mercy.
As the town comes under siege, Lauren searches for her boyfriend, while her policeman father fights to restore some semblance of order against a threat unlike anything he has seen before. The Natural Order has been upended completely, and nowhere is safe.
...and it is spreading.
Soon, the city will find itself in the grips of mass hysteria.
To survive, humanity will have to fight tooth and nail.
This edition includes a bonus short story, Consumption!
Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide; the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.
The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.
They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it's the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.
Kari Akagi is ex-British Special Forces, augmented by her government to be the prime soldier. In the wake of a devastating attack that cost her her legs, she has a new mission – protecting South Africa’s endangered species as a ranger for the Kruger National Park game reserve.
The number of animals within the reserve is rapidly dwindling as poachers mercilessly slaughter them for black market trade. Somebody is paying and equipping the poachers, and after her unit comes under assault, Akagi is determined to end this impossible war.
All she needs to do is capture one of the poachers alive, hack into his brain, and find out who hired him. A lifetime of fighting, though, has taught Akagi that things are rarely ever that simple…
Preservation is a stand-alone short story set in the world of the DRMR series.
Human cloning.Technology evolves faster than we do.
Similar is not necessarily the same.
The world has fallen beneath the rule of alien invaders. The remnants of humanity are divided into two camps: those who resist, and those serve.
Darrel Fines serves. He is a traitor, a turncoat who has betrayed his people, his wife, and most of all, himself. In this new world order, in which humanity is at the very bottom, Fines is a lawman for the violent and grotesque conquerors.
When the offspring of the Marque goes missing, Fines is charged with locating and recovering the alien. Caught in the crosshairs of a subdued worker’s camp and the resistance cell that he was once allied with, Fines is forced to choose between a life of servility and a life of honor.
Inside an abandoned mining station, in the depths of space, a team of scientists are seeking to unravel the secrets of humanity’s origin. Using cutting-edge genetic cloning experiments, their discoveries take them down an unimaginable and frightening path as their latest creation proves to be far more than they had bargained for.
Black Site is a short story of approximately 10,000 words.