Michael Canfield writes about monsters, superheroes, couples, babies, astronauts, paranoids, obsessives, and other people. He has published mystery, fantasy, science fiction, horror and just-plain-odd stories on fiction sites including StrangeHorizons, Spinetingler, EscapePod, Daily Science Fiction, in dead-tree magazines including Realms of Fantasy, Talebones, and Black Gate, and other places. "Super-Villains" was also republished in the prestigious Fantasy: The Year's Best series, edited by Rich Horton (Prime Books). Born in Las Vegas, he now lives, works, plays, writes, and watches television in Seattle and Los Angeles.
Where to find Michael Canfield online
9 Dark Tales
From around the block, across dimensions, and beyond, come nine disturbances in the fabric of reality: Stairwell to Hell, The Book of Thomas Welte, Solid House, The Common Knight, Transporter Technology, Nameless Man, Citadel Ninety-Nine, Too Much Information About Joss Kaffee, The Story Boat. Note: This edition combines stories from two short collections: HORROR QUARTET and THE COMMON KNIGHT.
The Daylight Singles Mixer
How could Jessie and Lia, friends since high school, meet anyone cool when, instead of hanging out in clubs, they spend their nights in galoshes and jumpsuits, hosing down the plant floor? At least until one of the pair, despite her friend’s objections, hatches a scheme to break the cycle, and have fun in the bargain.
Includes bonus story: "The Man in the Gorilla Suit”.
Too Much Information About Joss Kaffee
The Check City Police had the facts in the Kaffee case. Somebody just needs to put them all together in order to make an arrest. A man willing to cut through the red tape, a man of action. A man willing to go to the source himself. How does one line cop on the edge close a case of Kafkaesque dimensions?
Includes bonus story: "Stainless".
A mysterious planet at the edge of a dying universe holds the key to an understanding of humanity's place in the cosmos -- or lack of it, in "Stainless."
Includes bonus story: "Too Much Information About Joss Kaffee".
Ship of Salt
Lot, the only good man in Sodom, follows the instructions of God's messengers the implicitly. His wife, to her detriment, does not. Now, alone with his surviving daughters in the wasteland beyond the Cities of the Plain, Lot encounters a remnant of the impossible. A sign of God's presence? Or a threat?
Includes bonus story: "The Whited Child".
Temple City Strange: A Weird Western
Wyatt Quake - gambler, outlaw, lover, rascal - riding one step ahead of the gallows - finds a peculiar silver-mining town run by singular woman with a task that needs performing by such a man as he. Simple task really - steal the bejeweled skull guarding the local gates of Hell. Now devil hordes rise, and demon magic reigns in the desert. And a nice clean noose doesn't sound so bad, after all.
Voyage To The Cloud Planet
Ambitious Kiter Io’s posting to a daring diplomatic mission hosted by the race known as The Understanders represents his chance to join the new enlightenment era. When a suspicious disaster kills the rests of his delegation, Kiter faces an unknown world alone, yet still must fight to bring the vestiges of a once-great civilization spanning thousands of worlds out of darkness at last.
Blue City: A Novel
Recovering from a life-altering tragedy, Greg - bright, formerly-ambitious - has grown to accept life’s little curveballs. Then a mysterious, half-mad, figure crosses his path. The pair become inextricably bound, sending Greg on a nocturnal comic quest to recover something the madman has taken from him, something that truly does still matter - even if it means facing the phantoms of his past.
A happy-go-lucky traveler, a young village wife, a talented maker, and a harried modern family-man, in a quartet of light fantasy stories ranging from the medieval past, to the impossible present, and beyond.
“Daniel of the Roads”, “The Woods Wife”, “Sweet Release”, and “The Way of the Skunk”. Four magical tales of yesterday, today, and of times to come.
Unlike the rest of the world, astrophysicist Rachel Kirby passes on viewing the President's speech. She knows its message, she helped craft it. Instead, she makes a consciously bad decision, heading down to her local bar. What does it matter? Her work, her life, any of it? It doesn’t. Not unless she can make a change - not in her circumstances, but in herself.
Includes bonus story: "Camerado."
Kank's Last Breath
Great treasures can lie in the most prosiac of places...which only makes a true find all the more miraculous. When it comes to accquiring the rarest of treasures, this passionate collector will heed no boundries - not of time, nor expense, nor of ethics to get what he wants.
Includes bonus story: "Once Upon A Time...At The Learning Annex."
The ambition and talented maker, Hartpence, labors to deliver his creations into the world - only to find them lost in a miasma of noise. Now, with the help of Rene, his plucky partner, Hartpence hatches a plan that just might turn out crazy enough to work. If he can pull this off, his latest, greatest release might become the sweetest release of all.
Includes bonus story: "The Story Boat."
A Question of Authorship
For Richard, retaining the intellectual property rights of his illustrious ancestor remains of paramount concern. Beset on all sides by forces that want to steal his copyright, only he stands ready to preserve the canon, and repel the barbarians that forever gather at his gates.
Even if it means walling off his garden of masterpieces forever.
Includes bonus story: “Time Flies At Elsinore.”
The Big Book of Lunar Firsts
For Jack - an old space-jock always at odds with the settlement’s ever-expanding bureaucracy - another jaunt across the frontier, baby-sitting tourists, just goes to show how fouled-up the priorities of the Lunar colonies can get. Now against the stark beauty of his world, he makes a final stab at carving out a future worth living for. A Jack Hauser Moon Colonies short story.
A young novice, in an orbiting monastery, holds the secret to his people’s survival.
Three Fantasy Short Novels
An ambitious and noble young queen, a rake lost in a strange seemingly idyllic world, a distance village with a peculiar secret. From a medieval kingdom to a forgotten land, and to secret world next door, come three short fantasy novels of mystery, magic, romance, and suspense: Little Plum, The Ambit, & Welcome to Luan.
Welcome To Luan: A Short Fantasy Novel
For an young surveyor, the Merchant Road merely represented a way to pass through to country. He certainly gave no thought to the denizens of Luan with their baskets of sour fruit. Then disaster strikes, and the surveyor finds himself left to die on the road. Now he will find that to survive, he will have to choose: accept the conditions the mysterious Luan place on him - or betray his own word.
Joy On Mudball
For the crew of a broken-down transport, the adventure of deep space poses one overwhelming challenge: boredom. At least until the crew find an ancient game buried in the ship’s logs. All’s well until the ship must set down on a hostile world. A wet blob aptly named Mudball. A world filled with inhabitants who share the crew’s passion for the game - but with one twist. They play to the death.
Oddball Invaders Special Edition: 5 Quirky Tales of Alien Conquest
An eerie glow in the desert. An aging musician trapped post-cataclysm. A gentleman with offer from another planet. A young scientist on a world in crisis. A traditional, yet deadly, game. 5 tales of rampaging giants, desperate world-saving gambits, Faustian bargains…and little green men: Attack of the 50 Ft. Cosmonaut, Mr. Drayo’s Visit, The Oldies Progression, Send Our Love, and Joy On Mudball.
The young and clever queen has a job to do. She must conceive an heir. But will her husband, the aging king, live long enough to do his part? When a mysterious stranger arrives at court claiming great knowledge and pledging great loyalty, the queen find a possible solution. But can she she trust him? Dare she? A tale of magic, of court intrigue, and of the people it touches.
The Ambit: A Short Novel
Arn Stanhope had a good career and a carefree life of serial monogamy. But once a cataclysmic event thrusts him into a different world from which escape seems impossible, Arn must find new ways to survive. Just as he begins to believe he understands this, a darker threat emerges. One that endangers everyone he knows, forcing him to question his place in this new world - in any world.
Aliens: 5 Science Fiction Stories
From inner to outer space, from the day-after-tomorrow to the end of time and beyond, come five possible futures: An Alien Zoo Story, Stainless, Ki'f, Devoted, Camerado, and The Soft Invasions. NOTE: These stories are also included in the longer collection: US AND...THEM.
Future People: 5 Science Fiction Stories
Here are five possible futures dealing with the fears - and the hopes - of the human race: Whatever Happened to NinjaBaby?, Joe A. Clone, The Van Winkle Attempt, Eleven Years, The Big Book of Lunar Firsts. These stories are also included in the longer collection: US AND...THEM.
Us and Them: 10 Science Fiction Stories
From inner to outer space, from the day-after-tomorrow to the singularity, and beyond, come ten possible futures: Whatever Happened to NinjaBaby?, Joe A. Clone, The Van Winkle Attempt, Eleven Years, The Big Book of Lunar Firsts, An Alien Zoo Story, Stainless, Ki'f, Devoted, Camerado, and The Soft Invasions. This edition combines stories from two shorter collections: ALIENS and FUTURE PEOPLE.
Daniel of the Roads
Everyone knew Daniel, and everyone helped him. But. as shunned as Daniel is accepted, Helen finds travel on the roads that run between the ten towns quite a harrowing journey indeed.
Hated, reviled, spat on, left to starve, she has no future beyond isolation and oblivion, unless Daniel can make the people of the ten towns show mercy toward her. But can he?
The Common Knight & Other Dark Fantasies
Four tales (three stories and a short novel) set on the dark side of the fantastic.
The Common Knight.
The Story Boat.
The Whited Child.
Includes bonus story: Transportation Technology.
Send Our Love
On a dying world, one woman has the courage to risk her reputation–and her life–in a last desperate attempt to save it. To succeed she will challenge religious and scientific orthodoxy and do what no one has dared : go to the surface. There, before she can begin to solve her world's crisis, she'll face a challenge never imagined: other people. Includes bonus sci-fi story: "The Oldies Progression."
Mr. Drayo's Visit
Folk considered Andy a hero–not to mention the luckiest man alive–after he survives a terrible ordeal. At least that's the way that the TV people choose to describe him. Andy won’t argue, especially when they pay cash for interviews. But when a mysterious visitor arrives at Andy’s trailer with a last…rather peculiar…offer, who will make out better in this once-in-a-lifetime deal? With bonus story.
An Alien Zoo Story
Matt Cady, Mercury astronaut, lives his life expecting the unexpected. But finding himself on display in an alien zoo strains even his ability to adapt to circumstances. At least he has another Earthling for companionship: a retriever named Golden Boy. Now the aliens want more from Cady than to study him under glass–they want his help. And by helping them, Major Cady might even help himself.
Oddball Invaders: 4 Quirky Tales of Alien Conquest
A mysterious green glow in the desert. An aging musician trapped after a cataclysmic event. A gentleman, and an offer, from another planet. A young scientist on a alien world in crisis. Four stories of rampaging giants, desperate attempts to save the world, Faustian bargains…and little green men: Attack of the 50 Ft. Cosmonaut, Mr. Drayo's Visit, The Oldies Progression, and Send Our Love.
Pain Thieves: A Novel of Horror
For Henry, who flushes success away at each turn, the Hotel Stephen Crane–shambling Gothic edifice in an aging city–means a chance to get clean.
For damaged young artist, Bryn, it offers a first start.
Yet, after death takes an innocent, a curse seems to envelop their world.
A malevolence rises–one more irresistible than an addiction, one unlike anything Henry or Bryn has ever faced before.
The Oldies Progression
Papa Cranberry sits in the attic listening to jazz and the blues, wondering if the family’s up and left him behind. But if the family has moved out, who has moved in? Somebody’s messing around din the kitchen downstairs, that’s for sure. And what about the laser lights shooting across the sky? Bonus: This edition also includes a complete bonus sci-fi story: "Send Our Love."
Eleven: Science Fiction Stories
This edition combines all the stories in the two shorter collections: APOCALYPSE X 7 and SCIFIDARK.
The Language of Monsters,
The Mushroom King,
Hour of the Snowflake,
Think of a Pink Ship,
Facts About Gel,
A Flavor of Quark, and
Apocalypse x 7: Offbeat Doomsday Stories
Seven startling versions of the world ending - one for every day of the week: Hour of the Snowflake, Wednesday, Think of a Pink Ship, Facts About Gel, The Crossing, A Flavor of Quark, & Junk Silver.
Horror Quartet: Dark Forces & Waking Nightmares
A mysterious, impenetrable house, a strange birthday gift, a cursed book, and a vast wine cellar holding an ancient, terrible secret: “Solid House”, “The Food Processor”, “The Book of Thomas Welte”, and “Stairwell to Hell”. Four chilling tales of dark forces and waking nightmares.
Stairwell To Hell
When his uncle dies, Bellamy looks forward to a simple life collecting rent in the slum building he inherits, and drinking himself into oblivion by way of his relative’s vast wine collection. The tenement itself seems to have other plans, however, and Bellamy finds himself drawn to a dark world and its terrible secret—a secret that destroyed his uncle, and threatens to annihilate Bellamy too.
A happy, successful, family man finds himself facing the ultimate test when he loses the most important thing he has. This edition also contains three surreal bonus stories: “The Style Intruder”, “Junk Sliver”, "The Seventeenth of Septober" and also a extended 3 chapter sample from the novel "Growing Up Zombie."
The Book of Thomas Welte
Thomas Welte believes himself master of his destiny. He only requires the time and inspiration to make his mark in the world. When Thomas discover a mysterious green book with uncanny, self-transforming pages, he faces the chilling prospect that the work he values above all else may not be HIS at all. And if not -- can Thomas ever learn who created it? Or if it -- and he -- truly even exist?
The Seventeenth of Septober
What’s more important, the schedule or the scheduler? Who really runs the office anyway?
The staff need the schedule, but the scheduler needs a signature. By the way, the men and women around the big scary conference table need new ideas. From somewhere. Anywhere.
Bonus: The edition contains three bonus flash fiction stories. “The Nameless Man”, “Junk Silver”, & “The Style Intruder”.
From far-flung worlds to just-around-the-corner nightmares—four science fiction excursions on the dark side: The Language of Monsters, Landing Day, The Mushroom King, & Cure!
Aliens, thugs, spies, and super-flu. Approximately 25,000 words of gripping, hardboiled, science fiction.
The Woods Wife
Giselle has no cause to question her life. She works, her husband works. They have no real understanding of each other, but how many wives and husbands do? No, Giselle has no cause to question life, until a mysterious being appears at the forest’s edge, beckoning her. Now Giselle will have to choose ignorant bliss or taking a chance on herself. Includes bonus story: "Peas and Carrots."
The Man In The Gorilla Suit
Swing shift on the warehouse packing line. Dull. Repetitive. Boring. Until the man in the gorilla suit shows up. Then everybody’s happy.
... For now.
Includes bonus story: "The Daylight Singles Mixer".
Think Like A Canary
For Trevor, interning inside a commercial macro-state has its perks. Like a free afternoon every week, and a yellow polo shirt to wear while enjoying the communal swimming pool projection. But everything goes wrong when the symbol of his budding success disappears. To solve the puzzle of where it went, he must turn to the most puzzling person he knows: Stickie, the worst intern in Super-SeaTac.
The Van Winkle Attempt
Post-singularity, one makes of one's future what one can. Ossix choses well: holding an important job administering a popular bulletin board and maintaining membership in a thriving, if volatile, community.
But what lies beyond the veil? In a world where engagement is everything, what happens when an entity chooses, despite the risks, to go to sleep?
Includes bonus story: "The Doppler Effect".
The Story Boat
A small, unnamed, seaside town, far away in time and space, yet not so very different from our own.
A man with a job to do. An endless, impossible job.
A mysterious vessel that comes and goes bringing ... what exactly? A last glimmer of hope? A light through the fog of a darkening world?
A story about stories, and the people who need them.
Includes bonus story: “Sweet Release."
The Way of the Skunk: A Short Novel
An unexamined life suits Donald fine. At least until the day he collapses in the driveway, right between two matching Volvos. Now, everything must change. Mayhem and chaos (and a high-speed chase in stocking feet) lie in Donald’s future. The skunk Donald finds sitting on his chest sees to that. To keep the family together, he’ll learn a new way to live. The skunk's way.
Red Jacket: A Novel with a Superhero
New York. Tough place for a young, black superhero to fight crime, pay rent, and have a love life. Tough enough, that is, even before the city's mightiest champions enter a transdimensional rift, answering a call-to-arms against alien invaders. Now it's up to Red Jacket and a handful of other "rear guardians" to save the world's greatest metropolis. Or die trying.
419 Memoirs & Other Strange Stories
Voyages to impossible pasts, bizarre futures, and skewed-but-recognizable versions of the present.
Includes The Food Processor, Library Rules, They Get Away from You, Once Upon a Time At the Learning Annex, A Flavor of Quark, Whatever Happened to NinjaBaby?, The Whited Child, The Plastic Fruit Museum, and more. Plus two novel excerpts: Red Jacket, and Growing Up Zombie, and other extras.
Growing Up Zombie
The last living, breathing resident of Harlen township discovers the perfect substance to repel the living dead. Too late to save his Grandpa, or even the town bully.
Now he must set out on a desperate cross-country odyssey of survival and self-discovery. Where it leads, he can't say. But he does know he will learn to grow up in world of zombies.
Or not grow up at all.
The Plastic Fruit Museum: A Short Novel
From the time of a life-threatening accident in infancy, Glen had one obsession. His collection. It gives his life meaning. It *becomes* his life. He protects his obsession from all attempts to co-opt it, and him: parents, jealous rivals, even the only woman who ever loves him. Only one thing matters. But in the end, will obsession destroy Glen, or give him the peace he's never known?
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