Issue 9 of Broadswords and Blastersis a compilation of remarkable stories by authors whose voices I really hope you’ll get to know. My personal favorite was C. W. Blackwell’s “Quarter Past Ordinary,” a really well-executed and tensely plotted story about a murderous, shape-changing, train stowaway. In “Griffon Eggs” by R.A. Goli, a woman makes terrible sacrifices for a magical cure. Goli is very skilled at created a sustained tone of dread throughout. In “Camera Obscura” by Rex Weiner, the mind behind The (Original) Adventures of Ford Fairlane, a man intends to renovate a Mexican seaside mansion and becomes possessed by its past instead. “The Pole-House” by Ethan Sabatella involves a truly nightmarish device called a Scorn Pole, an animated horse skeleton atop a moving pole, tormenting some travelers. In Cara Fox’s “The Corsair’s Daughter,” women are kicking ass and taking names; the story includes a pretty amazing action scene of a woman swinging through the air, rapier in hand, slicing the throats of wolves attempting to tear her apart as she goes. “Termination Clause” by Scotch Rutherford is hard-boiled gangster story.In “Old Haunting Grounds” by Matt Spencer, two swordsmen must fight off horrors including carnivorous, anthropomorphic bats. The story “Courtship of the Queen of Thieves” by Vince Carpini describes a flirtation between two clever fortune hunters, and in “Olympian Six” by Adam S. Furman: a group of augmented Marines engages in a firefight with a heavily fortified compound.
Any one of these stories is worth the price of admission. Buy Volume 9 and you get them all!