“The light has failed: the era of man is at its end.
“Born of darkness, the creatures of myth, legend, and nightmare have long called the shadows home. Now, with the cruel touch of the sun fading into memory, they’ve returned to claim their rightful place amidst humanity; as its masters.
“Fading Light collects 30 monstrous stories by authors new and experienced, in the genres of horror, science fiction, and fantasy, each bringing their own interpretation of what lurks in the dark.”
(Click on the cover art by Jessy Lucero to see it in full-sized, tentacly glory!)
Fading Light, edited by Tim Marquitz, is an anthology of dark fiction (horror, fantasy, sf) coming out September 1st, 2012, from Angelic Knight Press, and will include my short story Goldilocks Zone. I’m really jazzed to have a story in this; there are a lot of amazing stories here, and its great company to be in.
Below is Tim’s introduction to the anthology, and the Table of Contents (including descriptions for the majority of the stories).
I started Fading Light with high hopes, but I wasn’t sure what to expect having never orchestrated an anthology before. There was a lot of uncertainty the night before submissions opened. What kind of stories would I get? Would any of the invited authors take me up on the offer to submit? What was I letting myself in for?
Turns out, the process went better than I could ever have imagined. Not only did I receive amazing stories from the vast majority of my invitation authors, I received a ton of great pieces from a wide range of folks from all over the world. Even better still, the stories were all diverse and original, each author taking the anthology prompt and making it their own. I ended up with way more stories than I could accept. Because of this, Angelic Knight Press and I decided to do a companion book so we could say yes a few more times.
In the end, I’m proud to say Fading Light features a number of debut authors alongside a cast of seasoned veterans, all poised to send a chill down your spine. So, dive into the darkness and experience the monstrous.
El Paso, TX
July 5, 2012
Table of Contents
“Parasitic Embrace” by Adam Millard: A volcano erupts, sending an ominous ash-cloud across the ocean. The ash-cloud is the least of our worries. Contained within the hellish plume are millions of micro-parasites that have been dormant, waiting to find their host.
“The Equivalence Principle” by Nick Cato: Steve Burke is a man suffering from a severe case of agoraphobia. He treats himself with a homemade cocktail of natural herbs and over the counter pain killers. But what he has spent most of his life avoiding becomes real in the ways he’d always feared.
“A Withering of Sorts” by Stephen McQuiggan: The author has opted to keep this story a surprise.
“Goldilocks Zone” by Gary W. Olson: Amita has had a trying evening––and it’s just getting started. People are becoming monsters, buildings are slipping into sludge, gravity is turning optional, and assorted parts of her body are mutating. A voice in her head tries to explain, but somehow, understanding only makes it stranger.
“They Wait Below” by Tom Olbert: The world is near dying. An ecological inspector stationed on a deep sea oil rig suspects something is very wrong with the rig’s crew. His investigation into the mystery leads him to an ancient cosmic evil that has slept for eons, waiting for its chance to return.
“Buck” by Mark Pantoja: This is a tale of humans trying to survive on our Earth which has been infected with an extraterrestrial ecology. It isn’t personal, it is just life. This story is about revenge––a sad and hollow revenge.
“Blessed Be the Shadowchildren” by Malon Edwards: The Sun is dying––mortally wounded by an asshole god and his jealousy. There’s hope (and love) in the slow, dark death promised. Hope hangs on fifteen-year-old Levi and Lali reaching the warm arms of the Bright Lady before a horde of pursuing Biloko devour them––intestines first.
“The Beastly Ninth” by Carl Barker: The Sorcerer Napoleon is free, having escaped from his island prison and returned to France, to begin re-raising Hell. The only man standing in his way is Lord Arthur Wellesley, and this time, the Duke of Wellington has a few tricks of his own.
“Late Night Customer” by David Dalglish: The author has opted to keep this story a surprise.
“Rurik’s Frozen Bones” by Jake Elliot: It is Scandinavia, 819AD. The Vikings rule the North Atlantic through both warfare and trade. A beast hunts the cold waters between Sweden and Denmark, a monster unchallenged by the bravest of sailors.
“Wrath” by Lee Mather: Steven hasn’t touched a drink in months and now the time is right to take his son back from his brother’s custody. What he hadn’t counted on was the end of the world. Steven stopped believing in God a long time ago, but seeing is believing––will belief be enough to deter God’s wrath?
“Friends of a Forgotten Man” by Gord Rollo: The author has opted to keep this story a surprise.
“Altus” by Georgina Kamsika: The Altus is a free-diving submersible whose helmswoman aims to break depth records. She finds more than she bargained for at the bottom of the sea. Something monstrous lurks in the darkness with her and her submarine.
“Angela’s Garden” by Dorian Dawes: The author has opted to keep this story a surprise.
“The Long Death of Day” by Timothy Baker: For John and the love of his life, a terrifying shadow threatens to tear them apart. The world is at its end, and a blanket of darkness has spread between the Sun and Earth, turning day into deep gloom. With it, something monstrous writhes within the unnatural night, intent on devouring our dying planet.
“Out of the Black” by William Meikle: 300-years after the great dimming, the energy resources begin to run out. A man is sent from the underground city to the surface to scout for survival-necessary ore. All he finds is a dead world and a great blackness; a blackness that will not be kept out.
“Degenerates” by DL Seymour: The author has opted to keep this story a surprise.
“Dust” by Wayne Ligon: The author has opted to keep this story a surprise.
“Der Teufel Sie Wissen” by TSP Sweeney: The author has opted to keep this story a surprise.
“Born of Darkness” by Stacey Turner: After clouds block out the sun, Jeb struggles to keep his family safe and his faith intact. With his wife’s unexpected pregnancy and two strangers seeking refuge, things go from bad to worse. How do you tell who follows the path of light when you can no longer see who’s immersed themselves in darkness?
“Lottery” by Gene O’Neill: The author has opted to keep this story a surprise.
“Where Coyotes Fear to Tread” by Gef Fox: The world is shrouded in darkness and people have started acting strangely. Only two people can save the world from an ancient evil rising out of the Tennessee River––a ne’er-do-well redneck named Lester and his ex-girlfriend, Carla. Carla might be up for the challenge, but all Lester wants to do is get the hell out of Knoxville.
“The Theophany of Nyx” by Edward M. Erdelac: A fissure opens in the moon’s crust and swallows Earth’s first lunar colony whole, resulting in a thick cloud of dark dust that drifts into our planet’s atmosphere, blotting out the sun. Night falls across the entire world and vegetation begins to die. After eons of exile, something driven from the Earth in its primordial past is at last returning…
“Double Walker” by Henry P. Gravelle: Psychoanalyst, Dr. Maria DOBBS has a new client who believes his shadow has murdered his parents and others. She attempts to decipher whether he is a clever killer feigning insanity, an unwilling victim of an electrical storm jolting his senses, or the victim of a lifestyle placing his emotions in turmoil. Will she discover the truth before it is too late?
“Light Save Us” by Ryan Lawler: It has been months since Ted last saw the Sun. Hideous beasts lurk in the darkness outside the compound, waiting for the lights to fail. Ted works hard to keep the lights running, but the longer he fights, the more inviting the darkness becomes.
“Dark Tide” by Mark Lawrence: The author has opted to keep this story a surprise.
The following are bonus stories, available only for NOOK and Kindle:
“Roadkill” by CM Saunders: Jimmy and Tito make up one of the freelance ambulance and recovery crews patrolling the notoriously dangerous roads and highways of Brazil. Their job is not to the common man’s taste, but the money is worthy, and they’ve become very good at it. Everything worked great until the night they stumbled across an accident victim who refused to die.
“Torrential” by Regan Campbell: The author has opted to keep this story a surprise.
“Night Terrors” by Jonathan Pine: Dr. Mark Jacobs is a well-meaning physician just trying to do his best for his patients. But after a chance encounter, he ends up taking his work home with him in a way he could never imagine. Now he will have to face his own night terrors.
“Final Rights” by Peter Welmerink: The world has been cast into the cold embrace of Nuclear Winter, the Earth withering towards a dreary demise. The once-glorious daylight hours, now a perpetual dusk as the last bastions of humanity hold beneath the brightly-lit, but slowly dying vestiges of the larger cities. On the perimeters of our cloud-cloaked countryside, light succumbs to deep shadow–where a myriad of mutated beasts hungrily await civilization’s light to wink out.
“Evensong” by Alex Marshall: Demons rule the outside––but devils stalk within. These are the hidden halls of Agartha–perhaps the last of Earth’s buried strongholds where, for countless centuries, Morya’s folk have been enslaved. But now, rebel-soul Morya and her lover Seth have a chance to escape the hated Seers; a chance to breathe clean air and see the sun’s fading splendor for themselves…if only they dare…
Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light. His blog originates here. Fading Light blurb and intro by Tim Marquitz, story descriptions by the identified authors. Cover art: Jessy Lucero.