Through the eloquent prose and imaginings of eighteen tellers of tales, we are pleased to present to you a collection of stories-on-a-train that will transport you to tantalizing worlds that you simply cannot imagine.
Perhaps no other anthology in-living-memory encapsulates such wholehearted, ill fated, poignant, and even hallucinogenic stories with such grace and balance as those contained in this volume.
These stories span the genres of literary fiction, steampunk, space opera, futurism, tragedy, magical realism, slipstream, horror, comedy, urban fantasy and more.
In all, a sizzling collection, curated by Neil Enock (who is a train aficionado, podcaster, screenwriter and filmmaker), presenting high-voltage, off-the-rail entertainments that are feature rich with characters who are: schemers, dreamers, adventurers, lovers, detectives, rogues, and more; and whose human weaknesses always seem to get the better of them.
Showcased in this single collection are eighteen trail blazers tasked to escort you on your inimitable journey:
Jason Lane, David Worsick, Liam Hogan, Christine Hanolsy, Gavin Bradley, Michael Johnstone, Dwain Campbell, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Peter Hargraves, Melodie Leclerc, Rachel Leidenfrost , Nick Svolos, Maurice Forrester, Kendall Eifler, Samuel Marzioli, Neil Enock, Laurie Stewart, Kim Solem.
The stories offered will delight you with such surprising humor and stinging tragedy, you will be compelled to read them all in one sitting.
DO NOT DELAY. DO NOT BE LEFT BEHIND. THIS TRAIN LEAVES PROMPTLY ON TIME.
*Note: These stories are also suitable to read while waiting for a train.
Neil Enock has been called a modern day renaissance man. He is an author, actor, director, artist, singer, songwriter, screenwriter, filmmaker, inventor, and media presenter. He created and hosts "Train Talk TV" on iTunes, which has over a million viewers / listeners, and just completed his first television pilot, SomeWhen – which Neil both wrote and produced. He is the author of Doc Christmas and the Magic of Trains, and Mayan: Atlantis Returns.
That story is found in this book's foreword, but the key line from the story became the title of this anthology. The authors seized upon that line, much like an out-of-control bovine seizing its own halter, and stampeded into the volume you see before you.
This is not just a comedy anthology. Nor is it horror, or romance, or literary, or…well, any one thing. Rather, it is all those things. Each story starts exactly in the same place. But each author immediately leaps from there into their own world. This anthology celebrates the creativity of these authors, because it does not shackle them to a theme. The starting line is the same—the finish line is on other planets, in other times, and in alternate realities.
You’re not going to feel cohesiveness reading this thing. It’s not going to be several stories hitting the same note. But you are going to experience a wider panoply of stories than you would in other anthologies.
And as to what you make of them, or what stories they may inspire in you? Well…that’s your cow.
Shanghai Steam is a unique mash up of Steampunk and the Chinese literary genre known as Wuxia (loosely translated as martial hero).
Shanghai Steam includes works by:
Camille Alexa, Shen Braun, Amanda Clark, Ray Dean, Tim Ford, Laurel Anne Hill, Minsoo Kang, William H. Keith, Crystal Koo, Frank Larnerd, Emily Mah, Derwin Mak, Brent Nichols, Frances Pauli, Jennifer Rahn, Tim Reynolds, Julia A. Rosenthal, Nick Tramdack, K. H. Vaughan.
In this alternate reality, Pope John Paul (I) does not die a month after his accession in 1978; instead he lives on for over 30 years to become the most reforming pope of all time. In addition to relaxing the rules on birth control and priestly celibacy he also opens up the most secret parts of the Vatican Library to scholars . . .
In the Vatican's deepest vaults, documents are discovered which shed new light on world history, containing information which, if true, would cause many parts of accepted history to have to be rewritten. These include not just the undercover involvement of the Catholic Church in world affairs, but documented accounts of what really happened in historical conundrums, the real lives of saints and popes, miracles, magic, angels and even alien encounters.
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.