ResAliens Press is an independent publishing house specializing in releasing collections of spiritually infused speculative fiction. The latest anthology, "While the Morning Stars Sing," is available from CreateSpace.
Recent titles include T.M. Hunter's anthology of space opera stories, "Dead or Alive - An Aston West Collection" and Stoney M. Setzer's Twilight Zone-like anthology, "Zero Hour - Stories of Spiritual Suspense."
A free monthly magazine is available online at ResAliens.com. RA Press also publishes a magazine of spiritual horror and suspense at FearandTremblingMag.com.
This issue of Residential Aliens Magazine brings together 5 stories of speculative fiction. From 'sword and planet' fantasy and science fiction to magical realism and zombie exterminators, we have a great issue in store for you.
This is a solid novelette set in the same world as the author's epic fantasy trilogies known collectively as The Ursian Chronicles. The setting of this story is vivid and the pacing is steady, and like a novel it takes awhile to warm to the plot. But by a third of the way in I was hooked. Johnston is a deliberate writer, choosing words and images with care. His characters are soundly developed with just enough ambiguity to keep you guessing as to their drives and motives.
As for the suspense, it definitely simmers but doesn't quite boil over, in my opinion, and ultimately the mystery surrounding the Castle of Endless Woe isn't fully explained. Not all loose ends need to be tied up, but I was expecting a bit more revelation as to the evil residing in the haunted manor. However, if you enjoy storylines with an episodic feel to them, this long short story will provide some engaging entertainment while leaving you wanting more.
(Note: I downloaded a free promotional version of this story. It's now 99 cents, which is not a bad deal for an afternoon of reading pleasure.)
I had the privilege of publishing this story at Fear and Trembling - but that should say something, right? I enjoyed "The Siege of Peter Marak" when I first read it and now that it's available here, I'm glad it originally appeared in F&T. "Siege" is the right word! A man in fear of his life from those nasty microbes called germs, Peter Marak must face his attackers - and the mad scientist behind them - if he's ever going to break free of the phobia that has kept him a prisoner for oh so many years. Does he succumb or overcome? Read it and find out!
Creepy and suspenseful. Sort of a cross between a "cozy mystery and a cozy thriller" - although the spiritual warfare and doppelganger horror occurring behind the scenes is anything but cozy. (I think I'm using that term correctly - it signifies to me an adult themed, but clean, non-offensive writing style that ultimately ends on a hopeful note, but not before it takes you on a thrill ride of a story.) Recommended for its Christian values and Twilight Zone-like storytelling.
I'm glad this story is online - I had the privilege of publishing both of Stoney's "Kirk Ransom" stories via ResAliens Press and really enjoy this new "secret agent" series. In this episode, Ransom uncovers a mysterious phenomena - and the dangerous perpetrator behind it. In the tradition of pulp mysteries and thrillers, Stoney's writing is picturesque and imaginative, transporting you to the days of radio theater or classic television. If you like that genre, you'll like this story.
Fun bit of mystery develops when an old girlfriend pops back into a young man's life and tries to disrupt his engagement to his current love. The thing is, the guy's current love has been his only love - he never had an old girlfriend! But the evidence she provides as to their romantic past simply piles up leaving him confused and his fiance with doubts. Is she a demon in disguise testing his resolve? Has he been living a lie? The answer isn't what you might expect and the gentle twist at the end makes this an enjoyable and agreeable read.
I (via ResAliens Press) had the privilege of publishing this story in an anthology of spiritual suspense, so of course I'll give it 5 Stars! :) But the reason I included it and recommend it now is because Stoney has that ability to take an interesting plot idea, add a bit of humor, witty dialog, and that campy/pulp mystery style of writing into a fun "cozy thriller" that gives off the Twilight Zone vibe without going over the top. This is a fun read with a gentle lesson that will make for an enjoyable lunch break.
I have to admit up front that I'm not a huge fan of angel stories. I find many of them formulaic and although this story does have a bit of a twist on the trope as the story reaches its climax, it didn't strike me as particularly unique. That being said, Setzer is a competent writer and can tell a solid story. If you enjoy speculative cautionary tales with strong moral sensibilities, then this is a good representation of this author's worldview and early writing style.
Dead Man Running is Stoney M. Setzer's first novel, which I had the privilege to 'beta read' this summer. I found a lot about it that I liked. It's a mystery/thriller and, while adult-themed, is a clean read which is a plus for those who don't want to always be on their guard against vulgar language. At times the plotting and characters get a bit predictable, but the premise had me intrigued (read the blurb) and kept me guessing early in the story. There are some twists and turns, but by and large this is a straight up suspense which wraps up nicely. A pretty fair debut novel.
Setzer's typical output has been short stories, "spiritual/cozy thrillers" (a few of which I've published at ResAliens) that have an old time pulpy feel to them. This novel is more in the vein of a "traditional" mystery/suspense and, as Setzer puts it, "perhaps closer to Hitchcock than Twilight Zone." If you enjoy straightforward storytelling that balances a few quirky characters and fast plotting, give Dead Man Running a try.
Writer Jeff Chapman's fractured fairy tales and nursery rhymes might just be his current hallmark. At least when I read his work I've come to expect an always surprising, always interesting take on the age-old themes and tropes we loved as children and are now revisiting as adults (think television's 'Grimm' but more literary). So in this, 'Sixpence' doesn't disappoint. Chapman's short tale is a solid example of his fluid voice, confident style, and moral compass. The lessons learned, as in any classic children's tale, are not just for children nor are they simplistic. In fact, with a surprising ending, this story can prompt enjoyment as well as self-reflection. That's my kind of storytelling.
With this free ebook Chapman is also at the forefront of a trend by writers to release 'permafree' works online via various e-retailers (at least currently, there is no cost) in order for readers to sample one's writing style and storytelling before they invest in a longer work. So if you liked this story (try it without risk! and works for a quick lunch break), you'd likely enjoy his collection of similarly envisioned stories, "Tales of Woe and Wonder."
A straightforward (and biblically traditional) passion play but one that dramatizes a fictional back-story of Barabbas, a 'revolutionary' who was released by Pontius Pilate to the crowd instead of Jesus that fateful day some 2000 years ago. Setzer is a solid storyteller and this drama (which can be adapted for use during a worship service or special Easter event) is safely well-scripted. Great for conservative evangelical congregations familiar with the central message of Christianity, yet accessible to those who only know the story circumstantially.