In nineteen ventures into the future, Mark Rich moves from a moving moment during human-alien contact, in "Across the Sky" ... to madcap conflict between Human and Vegetable, in the antic "Foggery" ... to a vision of life in Venusian orbit, in "The Apples of Venus" — the story SF giant Robert Silverberg called "science fiction in the classic mode, a contemporary version of the sort of work that makes old-timers speak with warm nostalgia of John W. Campbell's famous magazine Astounding Science Fiction of fifty years ago.
These twenty-two short stories are measured out with a cup of normal and a pound of the fantastic. From dark fairytales to alien skies, Monk’s stories blend haunting yesterdays, forgotten todays and twisted tomorrows wherein:
...A normal little girl in a city made of gears, takes on the world to save a toy....A normal ancient monster living in Seattle, must decide if love is worth trusting a hero...A normal patchwork woman and her two-headed boyfriend stitch their life and farm together with needle, thread, and time...a normal vampire in a knitting shop must face sun-drenched secrets...a normal snow creature’s wish changes a mad man’s life...a normal man breaks reality with a hamster...and yes, a normal little robot, defines how extraordinary friendship can be.
Poignant, bittersweet, frightening, and funny, these stories pour out worlds that are both lovely and odd, darkly strange and tantalizingly familiar, where no matter how fantastic the setting or situation, love, freedom, and hope find a way to take root and thrive.
The Queen of Faith is the opening act of Mark Teppo's first collection, The Court of Lies. These six stories dive deep into childhood fairy tales, swap spit with Lovecraftian monstrosities, rail against the world from atop a burning soapbox, offer a means to influence people and make friends via a plate of cookies, and warn of the danger that lies in inviting dreamers to sit at your table. These are stories of liars, heartbreakers, and fabulists; the way they see the world is undoubtedly the way it truly is.
At least one sentence of the previous paragraph is true. Welcome to the Court of Lies. The Queen suggests you place your trust in her . . .