Ever since childhood, Wen Jian has been told that he is the hero of the Tiandi who will save Zhuun from the Katuia hordes. Locked away in a magnificent palace, the teen trained in several martial arts and enjoyed a pampered life, waiting for the moment he would face the Eternal Khan; however, not all the war arts masters think the young man’s skills match up, since his sheltered life has left Jian spoiled and arrogant. When a bizarre twist changes the prophecy, everyone’s lives shift: followers of Tiandi, Jian, the Katuia, the people of Zhuun, and anyone else caught in the wake. How will the world adjust when the belief so many have held onto seems broken?
The following is an interview with writer/editor Madison Estes regarding the release of the horror anthology, Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers Vol. 6, from Death’s Head Press. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Estes about the shared creative process of bringing the collection to life, what readers can anticipate from the stories, and more!
Zetian has always struggled to be the ideal of Chinese femininity. She loathes her useless bound feet and how her family values her brother, father, and grandfather over any of the women. When her older sister becomes a concubine to a war lord pilot and ends up dead, Zetian’s rage focuses on the system of using young women to help fuel Chrysalises (giant robots that fight against strange alien creatures outside of human civilizations) and help young men obtain military fame. Her natural mental strength propels her to the highest concubine ranks, where she successfully overcomes her male partner while mind melded and earns the name Iron Widow, a concubine who kills any Chrysalis partner. How will the government react to Zetian’s intense abilities, and will she be punished for the crime of murdering a war hero? Can a young woman from the provinces rise to power in a society that prizes city-bred, educated men over everyone else? Only time will tell.
Lorena Adler specializes in keeping secrets and using half-truths to keep the world from knowing her true self: an individual possessing the ability to utilize elements of both aspects of the ancient gods [the Vile (destruction) and the Noble (creation)]. Only the Queen of Cynlira is also dually wrought, and it’s a dangerous legacy to share. Hiding as the undertaker of tiny Felhollow seems safe until extraordinary events bring the Crown Prince, one of the few Vile bound of Cynlira, to her doorstep, threatening Lore’s found family unless she agrees to help in his quest. But she quickly learns that she’s not the only one who has hidden the truth and that sometimes the best way to save the innocent is by destroying everything.
It seems rare these days, kids and teens who enjoy reading. With the glamor of the Internet and cell phone apps constantly keeping us glued to our devices, there’s not much room in those hands to hold a book. Even rarer still is a child who wants to be a writer. Beyond that is the unicorn: a female pre-teen who wants to write horror.
I love history, so when I was approached to read the ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of an anthology of historical fiction about the interaction of Viking voyagers with Islamic emissaries in the 10th century, I had to say yes. I mean, who doesn’t love Vikings mixing it up with the dynamic and powerful Islamic kingdoms of that time period? I do admit that having a Master’s degree in Arabic and the Cultural History of the Arabs did influence me a bit. But then again, it has Vikings.
Yan Ge’s hauntingly surreal novel, Strange Beasts of China, has been slotted under Science Fiction and Fantasy, but it’s a work that doesn’t fully fit into any single genre. The collection of interconnected stories centered on a failed cryptozoologist turned pulp journalist resonated as modern fairy tales, and I loved how each new section about a beast of Yong’an added to the author’s world building to reveal new facets about the nature of humanity.