Stories of Risk and Revelation

When the mask comes off, can you handle what’s underneath?

When your secret identity is revealed . . .

When the monster is unleashed . . .

When the superhero’s child has no power . . .

When Death himself is caught unawares . . .

Pull back the mask to reveal 21 tales from seasoned and award-winning authors, of magical masks, gas masks, death masks, superheroes, secret identities, disguised robots, alien symbionts, a Napoleonic thief, a swindling demon—even a hidden clown.

Who will take the risk?

Explore the masks we wear, the mysteries they conceal, and the price we pay when they’re stripped away.

Join us in our unmasquerade as we revel in—revelation!


This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.

WordFire Press eBook Edition 2019

Distributed by WordFire Press
an imprint of WordFire Inc
PO Box 1840
Monument, CO 80132

Printed in the United States of America

eISBN: 978-1-68057-227-8

Copyright © 2021 WordFire, Inc.
“Anthology“ copyright © 2021, WordFire Press
Introduction © 2021 by WordFire, Inc.
“Pygmalion” © 2021 by Seanan McGuire
“La Marionnette” © 2021 by Alicia Cay
“Speakeasy” © 2021 by Keltie Zubko
“Framing Marta” © 2021 by James Romag
“The Green Gas” © 2021 by Liam Hogan
“Death by Misadventure” © 2021 by John M. Olson
“The Fog of War” © 2021 by Edward J. Knight
“Faces of Death” © 2021 by Ed Burkley
“The Quota” © 2021 by Tom Howard
“Wa-Ha-Ya (The Wolf)” © 2021 by JL Curtis
“I Have No Name” © 2021 by Shannon Marsh
“Beauty is Lifted from Its Face as a Mask” © 2021 Eric James Stone
“Pagliacci’s Joke” © 2021 by Travis Heermann
“A New Purpose” © 2021 by Rebecca M. Senese
“Eyeless” © 2021 by Gamaliel Martinez
“In Defiance of Death” © 2021 by Rebecca E. Treasure
“Qualia” © 2021 by Russell Davis
“Shot in the Dark” © 2021 Brennen Hankins
“The Hibakusha” © 2021 by Michael Scott Bricker
“Mope Not for the Mighty” © 2021 by Michael Nethercott
“Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast” © 2009 by Eugie Foster, originally published in Interzone, February 2009.

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form.

WordFire Press
an imprint of WordFire Inc
PO Box 1840
Monument, CO 80132

Electronic version by Baen Books