2020 was a year none of us will soon forget, but we'd rather...
At least we have some decent fiction – fantasies and mysteries in exotic surroundings as well as the ordinary.
Our latest anthology of this year's works has all of these in a single volume. And we collect the last of this election year's artistic output into this single volume.
Of course, we also have a little satire, with a president making his appearance in two of our stories. And while his opponent didn't appear, the riots did. Even our authors are not immune to being inspired by the reported events, though I can assure you none of them were ever in personal danger from these or that pesky virus which only spread worse the more you tried to lock it down...
And that sounds like some editor should put a bug in one of their ears with a new idea for a story.
For now, I'll leave you to this marvelous collection of these New Voices stories.
THE SMALL TWIN-ENGINE plane rocked in the sudden thunder storm, lightning flashed outside. Cabin lights flickered on and off. Along with the sky flashes exposing the passenger’s drawn faces to alternate pitch black and brilliant white.
Besides the pilot and the stewardess, the only occupants in the rocking craft were a man, his very pregnant wife, and an attending doctor.
In the midst of the thunder and whining engines, A cry rang out, then another.
Two young children entered this world inside that small airplane.
In the next minute, that craft pitched forward, pushing all the occupants against their seats. The husband and wife each holding tight onto one child each, while the doctor grasped his black medical bag to his chest with one hand, and the arm of his chair with the other – both hands white from a straining grip.
Seconds turned into eternity as the plane plummeted through the flashing clouds.
In the cockpit, the pilot was furiously working to level out the plane at least into a gliding pattern. All by brute force of his straining arms, legs, and back. At his side, strapped into the co-pilot seat, the stewardess was working through the re-start sequence to get the engines powered again, to get the hydraulics and electrical working once more.
With her practiced moves, any observer could see they had been through similar scenes before. Their quick, sure actions coming from repetitive training and sheer muscle-memory – despite the steep angle of descent and the continual rocking that shook the craft.
At last, the engines caught again, and lights flickered back on in the cabin. Thrusting the throttle full forward, the young woman in the co-pilot seat then helped the straining pilot pull back on the shared yoke of that plane, using the controls on her half of the small cockpit.
They got their too-rapid descent back under control only a few thousand feet above the storm-whipped waves. There the clouds left them as a retreating ceiling, and they were now below the cloud-to-cloud lightning. The rain had also quit – which gave the pilot and stewardess a clearer view. As the craft leveled out, the engines bit into head and side-winds – pulling them toward their nearest safe landing, still hundreds of miles away.
As the pilot pulled the throttle back to a more normal speed for the new conditions, the stewardess patted his shoulder. “I’d give you a kiss, lover, but I need to check on our guests.”
The Autists: Jenna by J. R. Kruze, S. H. Marpel
Idylls of a Lazurai by S. H. Marpel, J. R. Kruze
Riot Wall by S. H. Marpel, R. L. Saunders
The Eye In Team by J. R. Kruze, S. H. Marpel
The Case of the Tenacious Typist by S. H. Marpel, J. R. Kruze
The Girl Who Believed Tomorrow by J. R. Kruze
The Projector by S. H. Marpel, R. L. Saunders
The Panic of 2020 by S. H. Marpel, R. L. Saunders
Doppel by S. H. Marpel, R. L. Saunders
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