Category Archives: eric brown

in the bundle: Little Sisters of the Apocalypse by Kit Reed

In July 2015 infinity plus and Storybundle offered a special deal for a set of nine literary fantasy books, including Kit Reed’s Little Sisters of the Apocalypse. The deal is no longer available but Little Sisters of the Apocalypse will be available in September as a standalone book. 



Little Sisters of the Apocalypse

“Reed has a prose style that’s pure dry ice, displayed in dystopian stories that specialize in bitterness and dislocation.” – The New York Times Book Review

Kit Reed: Little Sisters of the ApocalypseA motorcycle gang of nuns rides out on a mysterious rescue mission in this dazzling work of metaphysical fiction by Kit Reed. This scarifying trip into the near future provides an extraordinary look at women in the contemporary world. Marooned on Schell Isle in a pre-apocalyptic near future, the women are waiting. The men have all gone to war – the ultimate sexist act. When he comes back will he be welcomed? It’s an open question. But today is the day everything begins to change. What unknown force is rushing towards the island? What do the women have to fear? Is it the murderous Outlaw family, riding their way and bent on revenge, or the men, or an enemy within? But the bikers are coming: sixteen in all, in black helmets emblazoned with a silver cross, metaphysical infonauts who run computer programs in a ceaseless search for the name of God. They pray for the dead and when they have to, they ride out on their bikes to defend the living. Until they lift the face plates you will not know who they are. Watch out for them. The Little Sisters of the Apocalypse.

“A touching tribute to the author’s mother, a bittersweet space-age tale on the nature of women and loss.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Her stories are sharp, transgressive and full of the unexpected, with enough keen social observations to launch a thousand dissertations. ” – Chelsea Cain in The New York Times Book Review

“The Story Until Now unleashes new and classic stories fired by a radiant imagination.” – Elissa Schappell in Vanity Fair

A personal note from bundle curator Keith Brooke

Of all the notes I’ve written on books in this bundle, this has been the hardest, with far too many false starts followed by deleting everything and starting again. As befits her ‘transgenred’ label, Kit Reed’s work defies categorisation and tags. Little Sisters of the Apocalypse raises all kinds of questions about society, women’s roles, and the political of the everyday, but above all, for me, it’s one of the most moving stories I’ve read in a long time. And there are biker nuns. This is its first ebook publication, exclusive to this bundle.


And in a ruined city so remote from Schell Isle that Chag has never heard its name, sixteen bikers roll out of an underground garage and into the cold morning. Their black helmets are bisected by sleek crosses in silver. Warm breath mists the smoked face plates. The leader raises her gloved hand.


The sixteen dip their heads briefly and cross themselves. In ordinary times the bikers dazzle with new software at the top of the Pearson Tower in the blasted city, but today they have business elsewhere. In ordinary times the women are brilliant hackers, who market technology to support their mission to the homeless. They pray together four times a day and when circumstances permit, they meditate. In gentler times they would have been contemplatives.

But in this continuum the savage world demands more. When people are starving you can’t just turn your backs and pray for them. Right now life is uncertain and time is short. There’s too much to be done here.

The women pursue their God at lightspeed. Brilliant, driven, the bikers devise computer programs in an attempt to address the Almighty. Like divers they are poised for the ultimate leap. Let the computer vault everything that’s gone before, leapfrogging millennia of prayer and effort; let the analog mind pursue possibilities at speeds it’s impossible to comprehend; let it take them to the new jumping-off point. Then let it begin. For the gifted ones, who come closest to pure contemplation, time spent any other way is a necessary sacrifice. Love-struck and drawn, the women yearn only for the Presence, but even among themselves these bikers will not acknowledge which of them has come close, for fear God may hear them trying to describe what has been given and take it away.

They raise their own vegetables in the city park behind their office block. They celebrate the Sacrament of the Eucharist with the occasional transient priest; they try to do God’s will and they try not to resent the male hierarchy that tells them they are only women, and therefore not fit to be His priests.

They pray for the dead and when they have to, they ride out on their bikes to defend the living.

Their legend precedes them: crimes interrupted by the mysterious riders; lives saved at the last minute by bikers roaring to the rescue, robberies thwarted, murderers stopped; children rescued from floods or snatched from under the wheels of runaway cars at the last possible minute; householders saved from foreclosure by an astonishing gift of money; evildoers foiled and the helpless— helped. Picked up from the gutter and handed new lives, the blessed run to the door—too late—in an attempt to say thank you.

Before they can be identified, the mystery riders are on their bikes and gone, whisked away with a roar, disappearing in a cloud of oily exhaust.

Householders stand in the doorway, baffled. Who was that … What do we have to reckon with?

Riding with black scarves streaming, the bikers do not advertise. Surprise gives them the advantage. Mystery makes them powerful; they give their lives to it. Pressed to name the source of their strength, they can only partially explain, although they’ve spent a lifetime trying to comprehend it.

They are riding out for a reason, and if only the leader knows what it is and she only imperfectly, no matter.

It’s enough to know something needs doing.

So it is over the lakebed that the motorcycles will come, pulverizing the cracked earth and raising a terrible dust. They will come in a roar of souped-up engines and a cloud like an approaching sandstorm. Until they thud to a halt in a tight half-circle and the whirlwind stills, you will not be able to see the riders clearly, and this is the way they want it. Until they lift the face plates you will not know who they are. Even then the riders’ features will be obscured, frosted with desert sand, so that until their leader speaks you will not know her, and the lettering on the helmets? Not yet clear.

Bikes start: HUDN-HUDN. RMMM RMMM RMMMM. The leader raises a gauntleted hand: everybody here? Fifteen other bikers raise their hands for the count. Ready.

RMMM RMMMM RMMMMMMM. Watch out for them. The Little Sisters of the Apocalypse.

(end of extract)

in the bundle: Hairy London by Stephen Palmer

In July 2015 infinity plus and Storybundle offered a special deal for a set of nine literary fantasy books, including Stephen Palmer’s Hairy London. The deal is no longer available but Hairy London can still be bought separately:



Hairy London

“Stephen Palmer is a find.”—Time Out

Hairy London by Stephen PalmerWhat is love?

One evening at the Suicide Club three gentlemen discuss this age-old problem, and thus a wager is made. Dissolute fop Sheremy Pantomile, veteran philosopher Kornukope Wetherbee and down-on-his-luck Velvene Orchardtide all bet their fortunes on finding the answer amidst the dark alleys of a phantasmagorical Edwardian London.

But then, overnight, London Town is covered in hair. How the trio of adventurers cope with this unusual plague, and what conclusions they come to regarding love is the subject of this surreal and fast-paced novel.

And always the East End threatens revolution…

“Stephen Palmer’s imagination is fecund…”—Interzone

“… (a) supremely odd yet deeply rewarding experience.”—CCLaP

“…a tour de force in imagining possibilities that lie beyond our information age… If you enjoy the full immersion experience of neo-magic, you’ll [like] Muezzinland.”–Gwyneth JonesNew York Review Of SF, on Muezzinland

Buy this ebook from: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CanadaBarnes and NobleKoboApple – SmashwordsGumroad

A personal note from bundle curator Keith Brooke

Although not an out-and-out comedy, I actually laughed out loud at some of the puns and witty observations in this satirical and incisive romp when I edited it for its first publication at infinity plus. Hairy London takes the known and twists it into odd shapes, an alternate-London fantasy that paints an extraordinary backdrop to an adventure story that puts love and society under the microscope in a novel quite unlike anything else you will have read before.


There were so many horseless carriages outside the Suicide Club that Sheremy Pantomile found himself pushing between lampblack-stained running boards, so that to his horror his trousers became blemished below the knee. He clicked his fingers at the doorman and shouted, “Gentleman! Find me a passage between these smoking wrecks, or I’ll have you cashiered.”

Gentleman Smyth adjusted his turban, glanced this way and that, then descended to street level. “My apologies, sir. There is talk of one of our explorers returning from furthest Oriental reaches. It seems news has spr––”

“Just find me away in, fellow. Then find me new trousers. I take a thirty four inch waist.”

Gentleman used his rear to nudge aside one of the horseless carriages, allowing Sheremy to squeeze through, then led him up the steps and inside the great marble edifice that was the hall of Bedwards House, Chancery Lane. Sheremy hurried into an ante-chamber, not wanting any of his peers to see his embarrassment. Gentleman followed. “I will go at once to the Trousery,” the doorman said, “then return with a fresh garment. What colour, sir?”

“Same as these. And don’t go, run.

Gentleman bowed. Sheremy waited, his annoyance fading as the sounds and smells of the Suicide Club calmed his mind. This was home. Here, he could be at peace, be free of the noise and stink of London; and here he could exercise his talents in the service of his fellow men. Damn, that Sikhish fellow was taking his time…

At last, as the Belladonna Clock struck nine, and then a few seconds later the great Tibetan dinner gong, Gentleman returned. Sheremy whipped off his trousers, adjusted his leather undergarment, then pulled on the clean trousers. “Excellent,” he said, “though they smell of lavender.”

“We use it to drive away moon moths,” Gentleman explained.

“What’s on the menu tonight?”

“A deviled tartar of yak, sir.”

Sheremy departed, hurrying up the stairs that led to the dining room. Before entering it he checked his appearance in the mirror held upright by the statue of Turkman Hi retrieved from the ruins of Constantinople by Pharaday Lemmington. Aha… tall, dark eyed, black hair slicked down, a subtle moustache on his upper lip. No wonder the girls loved him.

He walked into the dining room and at once saw several of his associates seated at a pentagonal table; one chair free. He strode forward.

“Friends!” he said, allowing a servant to pull back the vacant seat.

“You are a minute late,” said Velvene Orchardtide, examining a gold chronospiel that hung from his waistcoat spigot.

“An unpleasantness outside the building,” Sheremy explained, “caused by news of some import – or so I believe.”

Sheremy glanced at the other two diners: Sir Hoseley Fain, white-bearded Treasurer of the Suicide Club, and Lord Blackanore of Highgate, the Secretary. He enjoyed exalted company tonight. “Frankly,” he said, lighting a cigaroon, “I’m getting rather tired of dear Lemmington’s comings and goings. Can’t we find a higher calling than shooting exotic animals and returning them to London?”

A few embarrassed titters rose from the table. Sir Hoseley sniffed, then said, “What did you have in mind, mon ami?”

“Oh… just something better, I suppose.”

“Then you must think of something,” said Velvene, glancing again at his chronospiel. “Where is that soup, eh? It is Arctic onion, and if they do not bring it in soon it will go warm.”

“This place goes to hell if Pharaday’s around,” Sheremy muttered. “It’s just not good enough.”

Sir Hoseley shrugged, the ghost of a smirk on his face. “Complain to Juinefere,” he said.

Sheremy scowled. All here knew of his feelings for Lady Bedwards, though he had done his utmost over the years to conceal them. Sir Hoseley was an impudent weasel. “Very good,” he said. “Meanwhile, perhaps you should comb your beard before the birds start nesting in it.”

“Now, now,” said Lord Blackanore. “The soup arrives.”

As he cracked the surface of the soup and began cutting it up, Sheremy’s mind turned to the situation he found himself in, which some might call unfortunate, though he termed it unjust. “You see,” he explained, “I didn’t know she was married. I swear I didn’t know. How could I? She was just a freed slave, little more than a maid. Who’d have thought her husband would be so… well connected?”

“It seems you protest too much,” Sir Hoseley observed.

Yes, they all knew the tales here. He hated that. When people discovered his failings, he hated it. He loathed being talked about. Pushing aside his empty bowl he said, “You all think you know me, don’t you? You don’t. Only a lover truly knows their lover.”

There came laughs from the other four. “Well, we certainly all know you, Pantomile,” said Velvene.

“Alas rather too well,” Sir Hoseley added. ”Tu me décois.”

Sheremy felt his face flush. He had gone too far; spoken out of turn. “You are buffoons,” he said.

“Rather a buffoon than a lovestruck bumpkin,” said Sir Hoseley.

Sheremy felt his embarrassment turn to anger. “You’ve never married, have you?” he said, staring across the table. “Perhaps that is because you prefer the monocled post–”–”

“Enough!” Lord Blackanore cried. “Enough, please, all of you. We diminish ourselves with this horse banter.”

Sheremy nodded at his associate. “Thank you,” he said. “But you will admit it’s true. Nobody here knows love. Mankind does not know love, it doesn’t even have an explanation yet. We live in pandemonium because of that lack.”

“Then you have your higher calling,” Velvene said.

“What do you mean?”

“Explaining the inexplicable.”

“My dear fellow,” Sheremy said, “those long mornings you spend bathing have done something to your mind.”

Velvene shrugged. “Explain it for us and you will both solve the inequities of your life and do mankind a service.”

Sheremy felt he was being mocked by the urbane Orchardtide, whose family were well known eccentrics. “I won’t humour you,” he said.

“I mean it.”

Sheremy sat back. The deviled yak supper was approaching. “Then we’ll have a wager,” he declared, “all of us sitting here at this table. If, one season from today, one of us returns to the Suicide Club with an explanation of human love that mankind – from East to West – can accept, they will take the pot.”

(end of extract)

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in the bundle: Facade by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

In July 2015 infinity plus and Storybundle offered a special deal for a set of nine literary fantasy books, including Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Facade. The deal is no longer available but Facade can still be bought separately:




“A joy of clarity and lyricism.  She is a new breed of writer: a Renaissance woman.” —Charles de Lint

Kristine Kathryn Rusch: FacadeThomas fell in love with the Oregon Coast while filming his signature role as Anthony Short. Then his estranged daughter Heather died there, and Thomas fled.

Now he returns, not to solve his daughter’s murder, but to see if he can live with himself and his past.

Only someone leaves mysterious notes signed Your Daughter, and birds die on his porch. Strangers report a man in a cloak who looks just like Thomas, but the fans who follow him everywhere don’t see anyone.

But Thomas knows something strange lurks in the shadows. Then more people die and Thomas realizes he holds the key to it all. He alone can solve the crisis, if he only dares…

“Rusch’s [Façade] is an exceptionally effective casebook of abnormal psychology…Rich and revelatory. The ending is perfect.” —Locus

“Like early Ray Bradbury, Rusch has the ability to switch on a universal dark.” —the Times (London)

“Kristine Kathryn Rusch is one of the best writers in the field.” —SFRevu

Buy this ebook from: Amazon USAmazon UK

A personal note from bundle curator Keith Brooke

Kris Rusch is both versatile, working in a number of genres, and phenomenally productive. Neither of these things is particularly noteworthy, of course. What makes Kris stand out is that she maintains such a staggeringly high standard, repeatedly lauded by critics and fans alike, regularly hitting the bestseller lists, and gaining her top awards across the genres. Facade is a fine example of her ability to take a genre – in this case dark fantasy suspense – and proceed to dissect it, reassemble it, and make it her own.






OPEN with water breaking along the rocks, surf splashing over the edges of the cliff, spraying passersby on this street in a small seaside town. In the distance, a lighthouse looms. Gray clouds overhead, old gray buildings weathered by the ocean—even the passersby are gray. The entire area evokes a mood of gloomy darkness. Shoot almost FILM NOIR, gritty and shadowy, à la 1930s B movies.

ANTHONY SHORT and his cat, RUMBLES, stroll across the road. Rumbles is half Siamese, half everything else, all mouth and no substance. Short is tall, lanky, and very impressive. His rain cape billows out behind him, making him look as if he is flying.

“CUT! CUT! Dash it, Thomas, the coat is supposed to billow out behind you. You’re supposed to look important, not like the Wicked Witch of the West after she’s met with a bucket of water.”

Thomas shakes the moisture out of his black hair. Skizits, the cat, easily drops her Rumbles role and runs for a drier section of road.

“Sorry,” Thomas says.

The camera crew relaxes. One of the grips reaches beside his chair for a thermos. The assistant director checks the script as if it is at fault for the flub instead of Thomas.

“Sorry? Sorry?” Michael takes a step closer to him. “We only have the morning to do the damn opening scene, and all you can say is sorry?”

Fifteen people wait for him. The cameras and equipment hide the road. Thomas turns away from them, and gazes at the lighthouse, half lost in the morning mist. “I’m not much for grimy seascapes,” he says.

(end of extract)

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in the bundle: The Ragthorn by Robert Holdstock and Garry Kilworth

In July 2015 infinity plus and Storybundle offered a special deal for a set of nine literary fantasy books, including Robert Holdstock and Garry Kilworth’s The Ragthorn. The deal is no longer available but The Ragthorn will be available in September as a standalone book. 



The Ragthorn

The Ragthorn by Robert Holdstock and Garry Kilworth “I am placing this entry at the beginning of my edited journal for reasons that will become apparent. Time is very short for me now, the final part of the ritual draws near…

I cannot pretend that I am not frightened.”

There were these two British writers, one lived in the country, the other in the city. The country writer loved to visit the city and partake of brandy and Greek kebabs in the local hostelry. The city writer liked to visit the country and guzzle ale and barbecued steak under the apple trees. The two writers needed an excuse for these indulgences, and so they invented one, and this excuse was called “collaborating on a story” … It soon emerged that the story was to be about a legendary tree, which they both vaguely recalled from the tales their grandfathers used to tell them of mystery and myth. Soon they were delving with suppressed excitement into old documents at the British Museum and began to come up with some frightening discoveries.

The first of these finds was in studying the original text, in Anglo-Saxon, of the Old English poem “The Dream of the Rood”. The marrying of the “tree” (crucifixion cross) and the “thorn” (a runic character) was too elaborately regular to be an accident of metre or alliterative language. Other discoveries followed, and the story gradually surfaced, like a dark secret from its burial mound.

The Ragthorn: a dark and unsettling World Fantasy Award-winning novella by Robert Holdstock and Garry Kilworth.

Also included in this volume, two bonus stories: “The Fabulous Beast” by Garry Kilworth, and “The Charisma Trees” by Robert Holdstock.

A personal note from bundle curator Keith Brooke

Rob Holdstock was co-editor of an anthology that published one of my very first stories. I first met him at the book launch, one of the most charming, warm and intelligent people I’ve ever encountered, and he went to great lengths to help me establish my writing career. He is also one of the finest fantasy authors we’ve ever seen. Around the same time I was reading every story by Garry Kilworth I could lay my hands on, even delaying the reading of them simply to prolong the pleasure – it’s with good reason that New Scientist has described him as ‘arguably the finest writer of short fiction today, in any genre’. Rob and Garry’s World Fantasy Award-winning collaboration The Ragthorn captures the strengths of both authors, and appears here in its first ebook publication, exclusive to this bundle.


I am placing this entry at the beginning of my edited journal for reasons that will become apparent. Time is very short for me now, and there are matters that must be briefly explained. I am back at the cottage in Scarfell, the stone house in which I was born and which has always been at the centre of my life. I have been here for some years and am finally ready to do what must be done. Edward Pottifer is with me – good God-fearing man that he is – and it will be he who closes this journal and he alone who will decide upon its fate.

The moment is very close. I have acquired a set of dental pincers with which to perform the final part of the ritual. Pottifer has seen into my mouth – an experience that clearly disturbed him, no doubt because of its intimacy – and he knows which teeth to pull and which to leave. After the inspection he muttered that he is more used to pulling rose thorns from fingers than molars from jaws. He asked me if he might keep the teeth as souvenirs and I said he could, but he should look after them carefully.

I cannot pretend that I am not frightened. I have edited my life’s journal severely. I have taken out all that does not relate forcefully to my discovery. Many journeys to foreign parts have gone, and many accounts of irrelevant discovery and strange encounters. Not even Pottifer will know where they are. I leave for immediate posterity only this bare account in Pottifer’s creased and soil-engrimed hands.

Judge my work by this account, or judge my sanity. When this deed is done I shall be certain of one thing: that in whatever form I shall have become, I will be beyond judgement. I shall walk away, leaving all behind, and not look back.

(end of extract)

in the bundle: In Springdale Town by Robert Freeman Wexler

In July 2015 infinity plus and Storybundle offered a special deal for a set of nine literary fantasy books, including Robert Freeman Wexler’s In Springdale Town. The deal is no longer available but In Springdale Town can still be bought separately: 



In Springdale Town

“…lovely Americana set-piece turned on its ear.”—Jay Lake

Robert Freeman Wexler: In Springdale TownReconciliation, longing, and ambiguity combine in one astounding locale: Springdale. Is it a mundane New England town on a picturesque river, or the nexus of the paradoxical?

Springdale appears to be a quiet village, unblemished by shopping mall or mega-store. The town sits in a fertile valley, surrounded by countryside rich in natural wonder. Summers, tourists attend the area’s many arts and music festivals, and hikers crowd the trails. In the fall, reds and yellows of turning leaves decorate the landscape, and in winter, mountain resorts fill with avid skiers.

But some say Springdale exists only on the contoured highways of our collective imagination. Others point to references dating back to Colonial Boston, to multiple versions of a ballad telling a story of remorse and disgrace.

Here are three facts:
1. Maps cannot be trusted;
2. All History is awash with fraud and hoax;
3. Springdale is an absence of identity.

For two people, a lawyer named Patrick Travis and a television actor named Richard Shelling, Springdale is home and anti-home, a place of comfort and a distortion of everyday life. They are strangers to each other, yet connected. Their lives will intersect with a force that shatters both.

This edition includes a specially written afterword by the author.

Springdale is told in a deceptively muted style and cunningly crafted so that the story appears to assemble itself around the reader like a trap he or she has sprung, yet remains innocent-looking until the end, when a spring-loaded hammer smashes down.” —Lucius Shepard,

“For some writers, prose is a means with which to construct an analogue of reality. For Robert Freeman Wexler, fiction is a means with which to de-construct reality. Yet his stories have such a strong sense of linguistic integrity, it’s hard to believe that he isn’t reporting his experiences from a parallel universe.” —Rick Kleffel

Buy this ebook from: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CanadaBarnes and NobleAppleSmashwords

A personal note from bundle curator Keith Brooke

Some fantastical fiction is right there in your face: elves, unicorns, wizards, quests that will forever change the world. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes it sneaks up on you, drawing you in, painstakingly building up your understanding, playing to your assumptions and preconceptions. And then it blindsides you. We’re talking about fiction where the world is Not As It First Appears. Once it’s done that, you’re in the trap, and all you can do is dig ever deeper into the strangeness – you have no choice. In Springdale Town is such a book, a beautiful, disturbing and wonderfully undermining construction.


Swells of oceanographic angst buffeted Shelling. A profusion of discolored velvety fur–pelts of beaver or raccoon–lined the street, softened his fall. Shelling had a beaver dam on his property, and he liked to sit near it, under the trees, losing himself in the sounds of his land. He planned to move a picnic table out there, though he worried it might disturb the animals. But why was he lying in the grass outside the library? Shelling jumped to his feet, and hurried down Main Street.

Half a block from the library, he stopped, unable to recall the source of his agitation. That’s what happens when you miss your yoga class, he thought. He would have appreciated an explanation for the cancellation. With his unstructured life, disruptions like this left him dangling. If not for the discipline of yoga, his transition to life in this small town would have been difficult; the practice relaxed and invigorated him, opened him to new experiences. Living in the Los Angeles area for so long, he had grown contemptuous of other places in the country, of small towns, of any place lacking big-city sophistication.

As he walked, he glanced into the windows of several stores, seeing a clerk behind the counter in some, and in others, no one. Not just the yoga center then; the town appeared to be shorn of people, residents and visitors alike.

He entered Frisell’s Coffee Roasters, pausing in the doorway, as had become his habit, to allow the fertile aroma of the roast to permeate his lungs. Two young women sat on stools behind the counter. They were laughing; as he drew near, he heard the one at the cash register mention elephants, or maybe cellophane. The other laughed harder, gasping, sucking air through the laughs. She hunched forward, cupping her reddening face with both hands. Silver rings decorated most of her fingers. Shelling recognized one with a raised zigzag design on a dark background, from the jewelry store across the street. He had spent parts of two afternoons there, trying on rings, assisted once by a bland-faced woman and the other time by a well-manicured bald man, neither of whom gave any indication of interest in talking to Shelling beyond the requirements of their job.

“What’s so funny?” he asked. Neither woman responded. The young woman at the cash register asked the other to start a pot of decaf. Shelling ordered a cappuccino and waited while the ring woman prepared it. The cash register woman held out a hand for money. A tattoo of a dark bird, wings outstretched, decorated the underside of her wrist. Shelling wanted to join their discussion, but saw no way to breach the wall. He opened his mouth, preparing to tell the young woman that he admired her tattoo; instead, he carried his mug to a table and looked out the window at the empty sidewalk. The two women continued their conversation as though Shelling didn’t exist.

“There’s an archival method, Albania or someplace,” one of them said. “They use numbered index cards to keep track of the tides.”

“Are they suspended by fishing line, like in Greece?”

(end of extract)

Buy this ebook from: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CanadaBarnes and NobleApple – Smashwords

in the bundle: The Far-Enough Window by John Grant

In July 2015 infinity plus and Storybundle offered a special deal for a set of nine literary fantasy books, including John Grant’s The Far-Enough Window. The deal is no longer available but we have plenty more available from John Grant



The Far-Enough Window

“A real treat … a first-rate novel.”—Karla Von Huben, Blue Ear

John Grant: The Far-Enough WindowFor as long as she can remember, Joanna has lived on a remote estate with only her dog and an old housekeeper for company. One day, when she goes to write up her diary she finds that she seems already to have done so—and this discovery leads her to a distant wing of the crumbling mansion … and to the Far-Enough Window. Under the guidance of Robin Goodfellow, who has been waiting for her beside it, she peers farther than the eye can see to transport herself to Fairyland.

But this is a Fairyland unlike any she has ever heard of! Here nothing is ever as it seems, as the fey creatures of mythology vie with the cozy little fairies she’s read about in children’s books. Joanna must tread a complex and hazardous path to find her way back to her own present. If she succeeds, perhaps the mysteries of her own strange life will be answered.

Filled with constant astonishments, The Far-Enough Window—a classic fantasy by Hugo- and World Fantasy Award-winning writer John Grant—is a work of great beauty that challenges the mind at every ingenious twist and turn. It is a novel for anyone who can remember burrowing under the bedclothes with a flashlight so their parents wouldn’t know they were still reading.

“[W]hat a colorful and dangerous world it is. The characters make the ride so enjoyable. Joanna is a curious and strong-willed young woman who goes though a lot physically and mentally. The friends she meets on the way are warm and likable; the banter between them is priceless. The Far-Enough Window is a light read with entertaining characters that take you though a redefined world of Fairyland. This is definitely the kind of book to read at least once again.”—Mike Purfield, B-Independent

“I predict that you will enjoy it immensely. I certainly did.”—Chuck Gregory, January Magazine

“[A] thoroughly original and adult work that nonetheless slots neatly into a tradition of children’s fantasy tales beginning with Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan and continuing through The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe all the way to Harry Potter and the Amber Spyglass. In this instance, however, rather than write a children’s fantasy that could be read enjoyably as an adult work, Grant has written an adult work draped in the traditional tropes of children’s fiction…. [A] wonderful book for those who want a literature on an adult level that nonetheless hearkens back to their childhood favourites…. Seeing ‘far-enough’ really is equivalent to being there.”—Lou Anders

“A very satisfying read. A fine and very unusual book.”—Joules Taylor, SF Crowsnest

The bundle is available for a very limited time only, via

A personal note from bundle curator Keith Brooke

I love this story! I know I should attempt to be more objective here and tease out the many reasons why you should want to read it, but sometimes you just have to go with your first response. The Far-Enough Window is a delightfully playful updating of the fairytale form, retaining both the genre’s charm and its darker edge, but with a modern, knowing sensibility. This is its first ebook publication, exclusive to this bundle.


At first Joanna thought Mr Dogg was dead. He lay sprawled out on the dusty floor, his eyes closed and his toothy mouth open, his flanks motionless. But as she ran her fingers through the coarse hairs of his side she could feel that his flesh was warm.

‘He’s all right,’ said Robin Goodfellow, materializing beside her. ‘Haven’t you been noticing that the clouds are not moving, either?’ He pointed out through the murk of one of the turret chamber’s tall rectangular windows. ‘That tail of cloud that looks like a grandfather’s chin is still halfway across the disc of the sun, just as it was an hour ago when you first came up here.’

Joanna was unsurprised. Stopping time for a while was something she’d often dreamed of being able to do—and, even more so, speeding up time—so it seemed only natural that Robin Goodfellow should number it among his tricks.

‘How long can you do this for?’ she said.

‘Forever and a day,’ he said. ‘What else would you expect me to reply, gracious lady?’ He leaned towards her confidentially. ‘To tell you the truth, Joanna,’ he whispered, ‘that extra day’s a real killer in practice, but I add it on just so as not to disappoint folk, and hope I’ll never have to actually do it.’

Laughing, she aimed a mock blow at him, and he hopped nimbly away.

‘But I want Mr Dogg to be able to . . . to see far enough as well,’ she said.

Robin Goodfellow looked at her doubtfully. ‘Forgive my boyish impertinence,’ he said, ‘but I don’t think you yet quite understand what seeing far enough actually entails. It’ll be all right for you, for am I not your liege-servant, sworn to protect you from harm? But the hound already knows the nature of the Farness, so I cannot be liege to him. If he’s in the Farness with us, he is his own master, there of his own accord.’

‘You talk as if we were actually going there,’ said Joanna, ‘not just seeing it through the window.’

Robin Goodfellow looked puzzled for an instant; then his face cleared. ‘It’s as I thought,’ he muttered to himself. He gazed into her eyes and said: ‘That’s what I meant when I said you didn’t know what this entailed, Joanna.

‘Seeing? Going? What’s the difference?’

(end of extract)

More available from John Grant

in the bundle: Lord of Stone by Keith Brooke

In July 2015 infinity plus and Storybundle offered a special deal for a set of nine literary fantasy books, including Keith Brooke’s Lord of Stone. The deal is no longer available but Lord of Stone can still be bought separately: 



Lord of Stone

“A progressive and skilful writer.”–Peter F Hamilton

Keith Brooke: Lord of Stone

Trace: a country where magic is dying out. A country at war with itself. A country where the prophecies of the Book of the World have started to come true.

Bligh: a young foreigner, drawn irresistibly to the war in Trace. A man who has rejected religion, yet appears to be possessed by one of the six Lords Elemental. Bligh thinks he’s going mad, but if he is then it’s a madness shared by others…

Gritty and passionate, Lord of Stone is a fantasy for the new millennium by the acclaimed author of The Accord and Genetopia.

“Keith Brooke’s prose achieves a rare honesty and clarity, his characters always real people, his situations intriguing and often moving.”–Jeff VanderMeer

“I am so here! Genetopia is a meditation on identity – what it means to be human and what it means to be you – and the necessity of change. It’s also one heck of an adventure story. Snatch it up!”–Michael Swanwick, on Genetopia

Buy this ebook from: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CanadaBarnes and NobleKoboAppleSmashwords

A personal note from author Keith Brooke

This is a personal favourite among my novels, a story set in the immediate aftermath of a terrible civil war in a fictitious country based on 1930s Spain. Lord of Stone tells the story of a man many believe to be a reincarnated god in a world where magic is losing its hold.


‘And out of the mayhem the Lords will arise…’
—The Book of the World, ch.18, v.29.

The ragged people were all around him, staring and shouting and waving their fists. Bligh looked down at the rounded stones lying scattered in the fire. Had he kicked them there? He did not know.

He remembered hiding in the ruins, looking down at all these people as they performed their calling to the Gods, the Prayer of the Body.

Yet now he was here in their midst and the people were enraged by his incursion.

“No!” he said, again. Nobody moved. The only other noise was the incessant clatter of a small radio, tuned in to a southern music station. “This is wrong,” he cried. “You can’t do this. It’s sick. Do you think that if the Lords were among you they would recognise – ” he gestured ” – this as anything but a cheap sham? Do you? There is nothing Holy about this charade. Nothing! It’s sick…” He was losing track. He did not know where he had found the words, or even what they meant.

He looked around at the people in their filthy tatters, gathered in the ruins where they were forced to make their home. These poor people were desperate, they needed something to believe, something to give their empty existences some kind of meaning.

As he studied their faces Bligh realised that the time for violence had passed and he was safe, for now. The mood of the gathering was returning to the passionate fervour of before, only now the atmosphere had been subtly transformed.

The people moved away, found their drinks and started to talk and laugh. Lila, kneeling at Bligh’s feet, hooked her hand into the waistband of his trousers and pulled him towards her. Her cheeks were smeared with tears and dirt from the ground. Her daughter was there too, pressing a jug of wine at him, small eyes pleading with him to accept it.

He did not understand these people’s response. He had wrecked their ceremony but they hardly seemed to care any more. He drank, long and deep, then passed the jug to Lila and watched as she pressed it to her lips.

She paused to touch the corner of her mouth. It was swollen, engorged with blood. He did not remember striking her – had it been him?

Someone turned the radio up louder, its music insistent, shrill. Bligh tried to come to terms with what was happening to him. The steady pressure in his head was frightening, a sure sign that he really was insane. He felt himself to be right on the edge of some mental precipice. It would not take much…

“I hear voices,” he said quietly. He had to explain, had to find the words from somewhere. “My head … I can’t keep track of it all. I see bodies, too. All day, all night. They talk to me.” He drank more wine and focused on its heat in his belly. “I’m mad,” he said. “Mad.”

He drank some more.

Later, the old man started his chant again. Nobody paid him any attention at first, but gradually the people stopped talking and silenced the radio. In their ones and twos they turned to watch, then started to clap out his complex rhythm. Bligh felt no anger now, only a mellow sense of well-being that centred in his gut and rippled outwards.

He did not object when Lila rose from where she had been sitting, head on his shoulder, hand on his thigh. He watched as she found the movements of her dance once again, her eyes locked unblinking on his. He drank some more from the jug of wine.

After a few minutes, she started to wail that twisting note that had reached right inside Bligh earlier in the evening. She wrapped her arms around her body, pulling at her clothes, teasing, and all the time her eyes were fixed on Bligh’s.

It crept up on him stealthily.

Sitting, watching, drinking … then suddenly he was out in the cleared dirt space with Lila, crying aloud, the old man’s chant pulling Bligh’s body about as if he was a marionette jerked by some mad puppeteer’s wires. He clutched at his head, trying to interrupt the pattern and stop, but still his body jerked and twisted and that awful chant pounded through his head. All he knew was the fire, the insane twitching of his body, the undying, timeless rhythm battering the inside of his skull.

At some point – he knew no sense of time – things started to change. A new rhythm, a new chant, supplanted the old. The voices of the people were all around, the people with whom he had shared this grim little shanty town. All chanting a single word, over and over again. “Who?” they cried. “Who? Who? Who?”

He did not understand, but he sensed that he did not have to understand.

“Who? Who? Who?

Somewhere in his head: the pressure, transforming. Rising through the levels of his mind, bursting forth to take over his senses and submerge all that he was, all that he had ever been.

“Who? Who? Who?

Expanding, a force that would destroy him and know no different. Rising up to take over.

“Who? Who? Who?

He stood and spread his hands, and then there was sudden silence.

“Who?” said the old man, eventually, his chin glistening with saliva and sweat.

“I am…” said Bligh, who was no longer Bligh, in a voice no longer Bligh’s. “I am the second of the Lords Elemental: I am Lord of Stone.” Now, he smiled. “I am,” he said, “your Saviour.”

(end of extract)

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