Steven Mohan, Jr. has published scores of short stories in markets as diverse as INTERZONE, POLYPHONY, and PARADOX, as well as several DAW original anthologies. His short fiction has won honorable mention in THE YEAR'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION and THE YEAR'S BEST FANTASY AND HORROR.
It takes only moments for a catastrophic failure to send the lander smashing down into the little world's cold surface, scattering twisted fragments of steel across ten miles of blue ice.
The crash leaves Mission Specialist Bob Hargrove stranded in an airless, frigid hell a half-billion miles from Earth. There's no way he can survive.
Unless there's more to Europa than anyone knows.
Kenny Rogan is a Chicago cop—and a hero. Five years before he saved the life of a wounded boy. But there’s a dark side to the story that no one knows—and Rogan can’t live with. But when he’s sent to a bus station men’s room to roust a homeless man who claims to be an angel, he’ll discover that redemption can be found in the strangest of places.
Anubis, Egyptian god of the underworld, has a problem—two runaway children. HIS children. His search for his beloved twins has brought him grief and worry and a trip to Minneapolis. He’s meeting with an artist who churns out kitsch festooned with unicorns and puppies and TEDDY BEARS. Anubis HATES teddy bears. But the artist may lead him to his children. And Anubis would do ANYTHING for children.
The second son of a minor barron, Robert Smallmeadow dreams of impossible glory, impossible because he lives in the shadow of his brother, Ethelred. Then the Pope proclaims the Crusades. Robert’s dreams of glory may come true—if he can find a sword.
And he does—or the sword finds him. For it's a blade with a mind. But will the boy wield the sword—or will the sword wield the boy.
Frank Goodsen struggles to keep his wife and daughter alive in a dying world. Hidden away in the mountains, he carves a thin living out of a poisoned land. That is, until he encounters Hardeep Singh a microbiologist who turns his life upside down. But that’s nothing compared to what it will be like when he learns what is really destroying the Earth.
IN SPACE NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU LAUGH offers five glimpses of a hilarious future.
Watch as powerful aliens place the fate of humanity in the sticky hands of a small-time crook…Take a peek at an exotic dancer working the moons of Jupiter who finds herself in the middle of an interplanetary power play…Join a human freighter crew as they try to fight off the wacky effects of an alien curse.
The rules for slaves are simple: keep your head down and train hard, for it is only training that can save you in the Coliseum. All this Thrace knows.
But he forgets it when a young slave's cry rouses him. The boy has found a body--and a mystery. A mystery is a dangerous thing, as treacherous and lethal as any opponent a man might face in the Coliseum. Thrace should turn away.
But he can't.
Ever have a breakdown in a bad part of town? That’s what happened to Melanie Li—only her breakdown is an old freighter and the bad part of town is a remote alien spaceport. Worse, she’s caught between two members of her own crew—a pompous baboon and a prankster who lives to puncture the egos of pompous baboons. It's all good fun—until the prankster offends an alien. Then the hijinks REALLY begin.
Gasira is a chimp taken from the wild when she was a baby and gifted with human intelligence. Now an adolescent, she’s asking about the one topic no one ever talks about.
Desperate to know about her real mother she works with a pair of madcap orangs to steal her file. Only the plan blows up in her face, leading to a courtroom drama that places the idea of uplift itself on trial.
Any spec ops mission is bound to be a dangerous, but this one's RIDICULOUS. Not only does the President send Achilles Black’s ghost team to a dying world, but he forces him to take along a politician. And that’s only the beginning.
Because something is killing off his troops.
And the revelation that he’s up against ZOMBIES won’t be the worst surprise Black encounters.
It begins on a starship in the dark of space. A starship filled with sleeping souls. A starship horribly misnamed SANCTUARY.
Jennifer Harkin is roused early from cryogenic suspension to find a mystery. The memories of who she is, even WHAT she is, have been altered. All she knows for certain is that someone needs her protection. And it won't be easy.
Because SANCTUARY is filled with zombies.
NOTHING IS PERMANENT, SAVE THE EARTH.
This 37,000-word collection offers five glimpses of a future Earth. Explore a time when man's best friend is forced to live in a world without man. Meet a woman who's cursed with dreams of alternate lives. Visit a world where splinter groups use virtual reality to bring to life their twisted philosophies. These stories and others await you on ETERNAL TERRA.
Sally meets a mystery man who's tall, dark, and handsome, but she doesn't have time for him. She doesn't have time for anything. Since a bizarre accident, she can't get a good night's sleep. Her dreams are filled with terrifying visions of her death. This mystery man may hold the key to silencing her dreams--or he might be very dangerous.
Because, now, Sally is dreaming of murder.
When dealing with an alien species, even a small misunderstanding can be lethal. Contact specialist Father John Cardinale thinks he understands the question posed by his alien friend--but he's wrong. By the time he REALLY understands, it's much too late. This compelling story, in the tradition of James Blish's A CASE OF CONSCIENCE, explores a potential flaw in the Christian concept of free will.
In this charming story filled with gentle humor, a young woman meets a group of old men on a spring day. Saul flirts shamelessly with Emma, only to have his rival Rajiv try to steal the pretty girl away. Except there's more at stake then a quarrel between two senior citizens. Because these old men are not old men, the park is not a park, and what they decide will save or destroy us all.
There is a hidden world tucked inside our own, magical and dangerous. Tommy and Henry A are two small-time hustlers down on their luck. They use their powers to skim a little money from the idle rich and they never, ever hurt anyone. But lately things have gone terribly wrong and if they're going to survive they'll have to turn to a woman who is both beautiful--and scary.
The Fates rule human destiny. The first spins the thread of life, the second measures it, and the third CUTS. Except Fred Stewart has an in with the Greek trio. A car accident gave him the ability to see parts of the future, an ability he's exploited to make himself rich. But now darkness is rushing down on him like a freight train.
Because there's no way to avoid the will of the Fates.
When the aliens come, they're supposed to say: "Take me to your leader." But this time the aliens already know who they want to talk to--a small-time crook from Newark, New Jersey named Jimmy Numbers. The aliens have serious grievances (humanity has been polluting interstellar space with reality TV) and if Jimmy is going to save himself--and humanity--he's going to have to do some fast talking.
Candy Sparkles is a refugee from an endangered Earth who sold herself to Hector Jupiter's Traveling Curiosity Show to escape the mother world's fate. Now she's the most popular exotic dancer on Io. All of which is fine--except Hector forces her to go service a very special client, a client who has the power to save the Earth. And Candy Sparkles is going to discover exactly what she really is.
What happens to man's best friend after man is gone? That's the question three uplifted dogs have to answer after humanity is wiped out. In a story that is by turns funny and heartbreaking a marxist Irish setter named Red and a German shepherd named Buzz follow a mutt named Church as he braves the terrors of a post apocalyptic world to find the last living human.
In the far future the poor won't be packed into the cities--they'll be cast out into the black. Jose Santiago wanders the outer reaches of the solar system looking for the a frozen treasure that will turn his life around. And racing against the greedy corporation that wants the treasure for itself. This story won honorable mention in THE YEAR'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION edited by Gardner Dozois.
Megan Cranston is having nightmares and who can blame her? If you'd just survived a spacecraft crash and your butt was pinched by the President, you'd have nightmares, too. But that isn't the worst part. Megan suddenly finds herself helpless before Zeus-- who isn't known for his gentlemanly treatment of the ladies. Plunge into the strangest--and funniest--first contact situation you'll ever see.
Russian mobster Valeri Kozlov has a problem. Someone iced five members of the Chinese mob. Not killed, but iced, turned into glittering statues of frozen water. And Kozlov's boss has assigned him to fix the mess, before the hit starts a magical mob war in Chicago. It's a dangerous job and it makes Kozlov wonder.
Is he being set up?
The smart beachgoing tourist packs plenty of sunscreen, uses a blanket to keep the sand out of his shorts, and always watches when the kids play in the ocean. But how many tourists know what to do when the rotting denizens of Hell come shambling out of the green Pacific? This is the problem for Lincoln City, Oregon, a beachfront town that wakes up one day to find it's been overrun by the undead.
In 2083, America is a very different place. The FBI is sent to investigate a terrorist threat, but instead finds the most famous missing person in history, Callie Cook, a senator whose unexplained disappearance fifty years before threw a presidential election into turmoil. Cook will have to navigate a suddenly bizarre world to solve a half-century old mystery--the mystery of who she really is.
William Darcy was an FBI rising star when he was plucked from a high-profile assignment and given a case that is more about PR than justice. Darcy and his scary smart partner are sent to Rwanda to investigate a series of inexplicable kidnappings in the midst of genocide. But what they'll find in the darkest corner of Africa won't be simple--and it won't be anything they expect.
If the world were about to end what would you do? Would you imbue your final days with sacred meaning--or would you sink into hedonism and depravity? This is the unenviable choice that faces sexy Katya Grigorev as Earth slouches toward apocalypse--until a mysterious man offers her a third alternative.
A man who might be a savior--or a madman.
It is a fact of history that when Neil Armstrong set Apollo 11 down on the moon he was running dangerously low on fuel. This Pushcart Prize-nominated story recounts an alternate history in which the lunar module crashed and man's journey to the moon ended not in triumph--but tragedy. A decade later, two astronauts finally return to the moon.
And what they'll find is something no one expects.
Paul Merrick had always lived a charmed life--right up until the moment when the Gulfstream he was in went down over the Sahara. Now his life has been transformed into a horrific, lurching disaster in which his very survival is in doubt. Because in the terrible new world of After the Crash, it's not only the desert that's trying to kill him.