I don’t read anthologies often, but this one has made me reconsider that.
I’m currently over halfway through the upcoming anthology, Strange Waters, from Phoenix Fiction Writers and it is SO good. I literally cried reading just the first story! 😮
Yeah, that was unexpected, but every story has been very good and moved me on some personal level. (Choosing a favorite will be hard, guys.)
I was thrilled when all the authors were willing to answer a few questions about each of their stories!
Read on if you’re curious who’s part of each author’s posse and what weapons or tools they have in tow. 😉
About the Book
Nine science fiction and fantasy stories:
Backpack Boy– by Nate Philbrick
Determined to rescue his mum from pirates, Backback Boy must journey across a fearsome island and face his greatest fears. Good thing he is armed with his elephant, a wooden sword, and a ham sandwich.
Finer Things– by C. Scott Frank
Two star-crossed lovers must decide what price they’re willing to pay for a future together.
Roanoke– by J.E. Purrazzi
Raised from birth to fulfill her destiny, Ketera leaves everything familiar behind and sets sail to find a lost colony on a treacherous planet before it can wage war on Earth.
Kamynosa’s Labyrinth– by Beth Wangler
Eager to prove she is capable of ruling alone, Princess Kamynosa enters the dangerous sailing competition known as the Labyrinth in order to win her own hand and her parents’ respect.
Barnaby Brown and the Glass Sea– by. E.B. Dawson
An unorthodox professor of archaeology sets off to find his own answers about an unusual archaeological find, accompanied by an accident-prone student in need of extra credit.
Through the Lens– by K.L.+Pierce
Dion doesn’t mind crossing lines other people seem uncomfortable with. In order to get the perfect gift for his sister, he decides to infiltrate a military facility. But this time his actions will have unforeseen consequences and leave him questioning his beliefs.
Ric Vayne and the Curse of Ghoul Nebula– by Kyle Robert Shultz
Kidnapped by a deranged captain, hotshot pilot Ric Vayne finds his consciousness has been merged with a ship. His only hope of getting his body back is to fly his captor in and out of Ghoul Nebula. There’s only one problem: nobody has ever left Ghoul Nebula alive.
The Underground– by Janelle Garrett
When Hiya is taken captive by the Dragons, her younger brother Kef will risk everything to save her. What he learns in the process will change the Sphere, and his life, forever.
This Pain Inside– by Hannah Heath
In an underwater society under threat from the Poison, Charlie has to fight just to get through the day. But her constant battle with pain may have prepared her for more than she could possibly imagine.
– Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be chatting…hmm looks like those are some “strange waters” ahead of us! Any thoughts on what it is? Where’s it coming from?
E.B. Dawson: Pretty sure Kyle had an accident in his “secret lab” and everything went downhill from there. I’ve only ever been in there once. He tried to get me to choose between two levers (pretty sure one led to crocodiles).
Janelle Garrett: My theory is that it’s from the Rift, but the Dragons haven’t told me yet, sooooo. I blame Brate.
Beth Wangler: Wherever it came from, I’m pretty sure I hear Captain’s Heir Jadairos laughing at us.
Hannah Heath: I have no idea, but I’m sure the Poison is at the center. Or maybe electric squid. Either way, I’m going to go hide until it’s all over.
K.L.+Pierce: Teleported from a lake that may or may not be from another planet.
Kyle Robert Shultz: No doubt an interdimensional portal from an alternate reality of merfolk invaders. It was only a matter of time until that happened.
Nate Philbrick: *Stares suspiciously at you from his trenchcoat of hamsters.*
J.E. Purrazzi: It’s my fault. I read the anthology and it was just so beautiful, I started to cry. Sadly, I was out of tissue to blot my dainty female tears, which then turned into rivers and puddles and finally… well. You see.
C. Scott Frank: Are they strange? I hadn’t noticed. Maybe the establishment just wants us to believe they’re strange because the voice of the individual is a threat to the plutocracy. Have you considered that?
– Well. *laughs nervously* I guess it’s best we prepare for the worst, maybe? Speaking of that water, we’ve been mysteriously given three items from your story to help aid us on our quest to investigate. What have we been given?
Janelle Garrett: Briarroot, a vial of blood, and rope.
Hannah Heath: Synthetic gills, a metallic mermaid tail, and a tech visor that is supposed to be informative but is really just Captain Obvious.
E.B. Dawson: A compass, a lighter with the initials H.B. on it, and a rain jacket! Adventure is out there!!
Beth Wangler: Spare rope, a Champion’s bag, and a strand of red kelp.
Nate Philbrick: A wooden sword, a book about pirate adventures, and a ham sandwich.
K.L.+Pierce: A telescope, a boat, and a power-draining manacle.
Kyle Robert Shultz: Ric’s spellblaster (a gun that fires magic spells), a computer core which may or may not contain a human brain, and a universal translator that’s not as universal as it claims to be.
J.E. Purrazzi: Ahhhh. I’m just taking the Wells. It counts as one item, right? A whole ship… Right?
C. Scott Frank: We’ll need some oxygen masks, a gravclamp, and stun stick. And that’s if things stay pretty tame.
– *visibly relaxes* Oh, this great! I feel 100% more confident with these tools and items! BUT! We need another partner to join us to make a group! Safety in numbers, ya know? Who will be joining us and what do you think the dynamics of our group will be like?
Janelle Garrett: Cowl Coven decides to make a surprise appearance and rescue Hiya. There hasn’t been a fortified facility he’s met that he hasn’t busted someone out of, yet.
E.B. Dawson: Barnaby hates bring “tourists” along on his expeditions, but Oliver Snodgrass is along for the ride for better or for worse. He’s a bit clumsy…and kind of a wet blanket, but he has good intentions!
Beth Wangler: Princess Kamynosa REALLY doesn’t need any more numbers, thank you very much. She can do this on her own. Any partners should go back to their own boats.
Hannah Heath: Aquaman! He has experience with magic and underwater disaster, so he’ll know what to do. Unfortunately, he does tend to have a giant chip on his shoulder, so he and Charlie will make for the most angsty, insecure group on the planet.
Nate Philbrick: The elephant is soft to squeeze when you’re scared, and the girl in the overalls can bring her color pencils along for the ride.
K.L.+Pierce: Dion likes to work alone. Except when he’s on a time crunch. Then he’ll (very reluctantly) call on his friend Mim. There’d be a mix of bantering and debating on what to do. Everyone would get moving as soon as we were in danger.
Kyle Robert Shultz: Ric will drive everyone crazy by repeatedly bragging that he’s the best pilot in the galaxy, but he’s most likely still a useful person to have on our side. Ovo will probably be quite popular in the group, if we can manage to understand what she’s saying.
J.E. Purrazzi: Please, God, don’t let it be a sea monster… Group dynamics? I suppose that depends on the flight-or-flight response, doesn’t it.
C.Scott Frank: Tee and Soren haven’t needed any help yet, and they’re certainly not looking for any help now.
– This is awesome! Such a great group indeed! Thanks so much everyone for sharing! <3
About Phoenix Fiction Writers
We are a collective of indie authors from all over the globe who write science fiction and fantasy. We chose the phoenix as our logo because we believe the phoenix represents the transformative power of story. There is always hope, even in the darkest situations, and new life often springs from ashes.