Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Book Tour, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for Behind the Mask by Kelly Link, Carrie Vaughn, Seanan McGuire, Cat Rambo, Lavie Tidhar and others, edited by Tricia Reeks and Kyle Richardson. Please leave a comment or question for the authors or editors to let them know you stopped by. You may enter the tour wide giveaway, where the authors will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to one (1) randomly chosen commenter, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below. You may follow all of the stops on the tour by clicking on the banner above. The more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning. Good Luck!
You’re the Hero We NeedBy Anthology Co-Editor: Kyle RichardsonThis is how it begins: you wake slowly, wrestling the dregs of sleep from your head, from your hair, from your face. Just like any other day, you stumble through your morning routine. Thoughts crowd your mind, like flies buzzing around a chunk of sour meat.Will he finally notice you today?Isn’t your appointment this afternoon?Is that another damn gray hair?Eventually you stagger out the door and down your regular commute—on a crowded bus, in an expensive car, or perhaps you simply meander along a rain-slicked street with your head down, your shoulders shrugged, your cellphone pinched between your restless fingers—just in case anybody calls.Nobody ever does.Right now, you’re ordinary. You fit in. Hell, you blend in—today, perhaps too much. On the bus, a man in a pinstriped suit bumps your shoulder as he strides past. In your car, everyone seems eager to cut you off. On the sidewalk, strangers step in front of you as if you don’t even exist at all.Grudgingly, you accept this. This is just how the world works. There are somebodies, and there are nobodies, and you are, apparently, the latter.The disappointment digs into your chest like the claw end of a rusted hammer.You’re granted a few seconds to mourn this sad epiphany, to wallow in self-pity, before a young man in a leather jacket clips your arm.Instinctively, you mumble out an apology, as if it’s your fault for getting in the way.The young man spins around and lets out a gasp, his eyes wide, his mouth agape. He stares for a moment, frantic and frenzied, his gaze searching, but never really meeting yours—as if he can’t even see you at all.It’s awkward. Uncomfortable. It makes you fidget. You apologize again, just to fill the growing silence. “Sorry.”The young man lets out a bewildered curse and stutter-steps away, his head on a perpetual swivel. Like he’s terrified of something. Of you.You shake your head, confused, and this is when it catches your eye: the glint of sunlight off a nearby shop window. You squint at it, and your reflection squints back at you—or rather, your lack of a reflection does.Where the image of you should be, there’s nothing but empty air.#This is how it begins: your journey from ordinary to extraordinary. You are the common man. The every-woman. The reluctant hero. The brooding villain. In today’s frenetic world, where social media has turned us all into Followers, where Like buttons have replaced the human response, where every crisis and catastrophe feels bigger, graver, and more dire, you are the reminder that we crave: that someone just like us—a nobody, an anybody—can become so much more.You are proof that we can all make a difference, not just through powers, but through actions. Through belief. Through hope.And as for your invisibleness? Well—just think of the possibilities!
Behind the Mask: Superhero Stories
By Kelly Link, Carrie Vaughn, Seanan McGuire, Cat Rambo, Lavie Tidhar and others
Edited by Tricia Reeks and Kyle Richardson
An Anthology of Heroic Proportions
Publisher: Meerkat Press, Llc.
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Genre: Superhero Anthology
Length: 290 Pages
About the book:
Behind the Mask is a multi-author collection with stories by award-winning authors Kelly Link, Cat Rambo, Carrie Vaughn, Seanan McGuire, Lavie Tidhar, Sarah Pinsker, Keith Rosson, Kate Marshall, Chris Large and others. It is partially, a prose nod to the comic world—the bombast, the larger-than-life, the save-the-worlds and the calls-to-adventure. But it’s also a spotlight on the more intimate side of the genre. The hopes and dreams of our cape-clad heroes. The regrets and longings of our cowled villains. That poignant, solitary view of the world that can only be experienced from behind the mask.
Excerpt from Over an Embattled Cityby Adam R. ShannonThey say that every time you remember something, you open up the memory and repack it again, like viewing a painting and making a perfect copy of it, over and over. With time, the details smear and change, until the picture is something entirely different, not a transcription of the way the world was, but your own creation.But my memory of the Outsider feels perfect, untouched.Dust blew around me. Not like a sandstorm, but an unspeakable darkness, the pulverized remains of people, buildings, and dreams. Blocks of debris impacted nearby, like the footsteps of an approaching giant.My mother, somewhere in the dust, was screaming my name.Then he was there.He never bothered with an extravagant costume, never indulged in theatrical capes or high collars. He wore the same simple shirt and pants he had on when he came back to our time. When his feet settled on the cracked sidewalk beside me, I felt the solid, reassuring thump through the bottoms of my shoes.“And what are you doing here?” he asked. There was a faint accent, an endearing lilt he never quite shed when he learned our language.I knew him by sight. Everyone did. I’d watched him in videos, on the news, and listened to my parents debate whether he was a hero or something else.I stared.“Do you have a name?” he asked.I nodded. “Emma.”A man ran out of the swirling dust, his face contorted in panic, and vanished back into the storm.Outsider smiled. Caked dust cracked at the corners of his eyes. “Emma the Brave,” he said.
Editor Kyle Richardson lives in the suburban wilds of Canada with his encouraging wife Michelle, their rambunctious son Kai, and a staircase that Kyle seems to be constantly tumbling down. He writes about shape-shifters, superheroes, and the occasional clockwork beast, moonlights as an editor at Meerkat Press, and has been working on his first novel for so long now, his wife has resorted to ultimatums. He made his short-fiction debut in Love Hurts: A Speculative Fiction Anthology and has since sold stories to Daily Science Fiction and his enthusiastic mother, at exorbitant rates.
Author Bios and Links:
Kate Marshall lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and several small agents of chaos disguised as a dog, cat, and child. She works as a cover designer and video game writer. Her fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Crossed Genres, and other venues, and her YA survival thriller I Am Still Alive is forthcoming from Viking. You can find her online at katemarshallwrites.com.
Chris Large writes regularly for Aurealis Magazine and has had fiction published in Australian speculative fiction magazines and anthologies. He's a single parent who enjoys writing stories for middle-graders and young adults, and about family life in all its forms. He lives in Tasmania, a small island at the bottom of Australia, where everyone rides Kangaroos and says 'G'day mate!' to utter strangers.
Stuart Suffel's body of work includes stories published by Jurassic London, Evil Girlfriend Media, Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine, Kraxon Magazine, and Aurora Wolf among others. He exists in Ireland, lives in the Twilight Zone, and will work for Chocolate Sambuca Ice cream. Twitter: @stuartsuffel
Michael Milne is a writer and teacher originally from Canada, who lived in Korea and China, and is now in Switzerland. Not being from anywhere anymore really helps when writing science fiction. His work has been published in The Sockdolager, Imminent Quarterly, and anthologies on Meerkat Press and Gray Whisper.
Adam R. Shannon is a career firefighter/paramedic, as well as a fiction writer, hiker, and cook. His work has been shortlisted for an Aeon award and appeared in Morpheus Tales and the SFFWorld anthology You Are Here: Tales of Cryptographic Wonders. He and his wife live in Virginia, where they care for an affable German Shepherd, occasional foster dogs, a free-range toad, and a colony of snails who live in an old apothecary jar. His website and blog are at AdamRShannon.com.
Jennifer Pullen received her doctorate from Ohio University and her MFA from Eastern Washington University. She originally hails from Washington State. Her fiction and poetry have appeared or are upcoming in journals including: Going Down Swinging (AU), Cleaver, Off the Coast, Phantom Drift Limited, and Clockhouse.
Stephanie Lai is a Chinese-Australian writer and occasional translator. She has published long meandering thinkpieces in Peril Magazine, the Toast, the Lifted Brow and Overland. Of recent, her short fiction has appeared in the Review of Australian Fiction, Cranky Ladies of History, and the In Your Face Anthology. Despite loathing time travel, her defence of Dr Who companion Perpugilliam Brown can be found in Companion Piece (2015). She is an amateur infrastructure nerd and a professional climate change adaptation educator (she's helping you survive our oncoming climate change dystopia). You can find her on twitter @yiduiqie, at stephanielai.net, or talking about pop culture and drop bears at no-award.net.
Aimee Ogden is a former biologist, science teacher, and software tester. Now she writes stories about sad astronauts and angry princesses. Her poems and short stories have appeared in Asimov's, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Daily Science Fiction, Baen.com, Persistent Visions, and The Sockdolager.
Nathan Crowder is a Seattle-based fan of little known musicians, unpopular candy, and just happens to write fantasy, horror, and superheroes. His other works include the fantasy novel Ink Calls to Ink, short fiction in anthologies such as Selfies from the End of the World, and Cthulhurotica, and his numerous Cobalt City superhero stories and novels. He is still processing the death of David Bowie.
Sarah Pinsker is the author of the 2015 Nebula Award winning novelette "Our Lady of the Open Road." Her novelette "In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind" was the 2014 Sturgeon Award winner and a 2013 Nebula finalist. Her fiction has been published in magazines including Asimov's, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Uncanny, among others, and numerous anthologies. Her stories have been translated into Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Galician. She is also a singer/songwriter with three albums on various independent labels and a fourth forthcoming. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her wife and dog. She can be found online at sarahpinsker.com and twitter.com/sarahpinsker.
Carrie Vaughn is best known for her New York Times bestselling series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty, who hosts a talk radio show for the supernaturally disadvantaged, the fourteenth installment of which is Kitty Saves the World. She's written several other contemporary fantasy and young adult novels, as well as upwards of 80 short stories. She's a contributor to the Wild Cards series of shared world superhero books edited by George R. R. Martin and a graduate of the Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop. An Air Force brat, she survived her nomadic childhood and managed to put down roots in Boulder, Colorado. Visit her at www.carrievaughn.com.
Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches atop a hill in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld Magazine, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. She is an Endeavour, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award nominee. Her second novel, Hearts of Tabat, appears in early 2017 from Wordfire Press. She is the current President of the Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers of America. For more about her, as well as links to her fiction, see http://www.kittywumpus.net
Meerkat Press, Llc. Will be giving one (1) copy of Behind the Mask (winner’s choice of ePub or Mobi) at each stop on this tour. YOU MUST LEAVE A COMMENT AT THIS STOP TO BE ENTERED IN THIS CONTEST FOR THIS BLOG STOP. Drawing to be held 5 days after the stop date of this tour. This contest is a separate giveaway sponsored by the publisher.