Conmergence: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction
“Tara Maya is definitely a talented writer and that was clear from the first story in this anthology.”
"When she says 'speculative' fiction, Tara really means it. She has some very interesting and thought-provoking speculations on future (and past and fictional) tech and society in this anthology. The fun thing is that she explains how she developed the stories in the notes after each story." More
Tara Maya’s previously published short stories, most of them no longer available in print, are gathered together here for the first time. A number of the tales are short shorts or flash fiction, including the poignant, "Ghosts on Red Strings, " and the biting alternate history, "Best of All Possible Worlds. " Longer stories and two novelettes round out the collection. The emotional timbre ranges across a wide gamut. "Tomorrow We Dance" is a bleak retelling of the fairy-tales Pied Piper and the Emperor's New Clothes. In the more heroic and romantic Painted World stories (two are here), artists are able to bring their paintings to life. For fans of hard sf, there is "A Thousand Blossoms With The Day," which starts from the premise there might have been life in the first fractions of a second after the Big Bang. An Author's Note, and author Comments on the story behind each story, enliven the volume with the author’s own strange journey from homeless street person to published author.
"Ghosts on Red Strings" - Only through forgiveness can she free her ghosts.... But some crimes cannot be forgiven.
"Conmergence" - In a non-Euclidean multiverse, parallel universes can meet.
"Portrait of a Pretender" - A murdered king, an heir in danger and a usurper... but is he as black as they paint? (a Painted World story)
"Refractions from the Neglected Side" - A brain damaged woman suffers from hemi-neglect, the inability to see anything on the left. The cure may be even more bizarre.
"Burn" - In that kingdom, witches burned. (8 of Swords of Tarot Tales)
"The Best of All Possible Worlds" - Money can buy anything, even a universe where you can be happy. Right?
"Public Eye" - To hide from the grid, you have to give up everything. Especially friends.
"Walker" - And yet there are those the grid refuses to see.
"A Thousand Blossoms With The Day" - The universe is less than a second old, and already life struggles to survive.
"You Have Not Forgotten How To Fly" - A faery once defeated an evil war lord, but can she handle a toddler?
"Delivery Status, Failure" - Note to self: don't try to call mom and work on the computer at the same time.
"Grace" - God promised her a great destiny. God lied.
"Tomorrow We Dance" - When the Bone Whistler plays his flute, the whole tribe dances and a new day is just over the horizon...
"The Virgin's Choice" - A princess tests her three suitors and discovers something surprising. (4 of Cups in Tarot Tales)
"Drawn to the Brink" - Her job is to hunt a monster escaped from a painting. She didn't expect him to be so handsome... or to need his help.
(Total wordcount: 47,000 words)