Fix the World Anthology

twelve sci-fi writers save the future

Fix the World Anthology
Part of the Liminal Fiction Anthologies series:
  • Fix the World Anthology
Editions:Kindle - First: $ 6.99 USD
Pages: 238
Paperback - First: $ 16.99 USD
ISBN: 978-1-7323075-8-2
Size: 8.50 x 5.50 in
Pages: 238

We’re a world beset by crises. Climate change, income inequality, racism, pandemics,  an almost unmanageable tangle of issues. Sometimes it’s hard to look ahead and see a hopeful future.

We asked sci-fi writers to send us stories about ways to fix what’s wrong with the world.  From the sixty-five stories we received, we chose twelve most amazing (and hopefully prescient) tales.

Dive in and find out how we might mitigate climate change, make war obsolete, switch to alternative forms of energy, and restructure the very foundations of our society,

The future’s not going to fix itself.

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Publisher: Other Worlds Ink
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The rumbling increased to a roar, and more dark patches appeared in the green lagoon waters. So expensive. So laborious to stabilize what was left. But every bit worth it, in this moment.

A great spume of water sprayed high enough to throw a shimmer of mist across her face as the first part of the old city broke the surface. As the spume cleared, the top of the Campanile di San Marco rose above the water, green roof gleaming like new. A nice touch. The Restoration Guild must have worked overtime on that one. Its golden weathervane was gone, but the bas relief of the lion of St. Mark made her clutch her heart.

“Mamma, what’s the lion for?” She licked chocolate off her hands, desperate to make her afternoon snack last just a little longer.

“It’s the symbol of the city.” Mamma put her hand on Cinzia’s chest, patting it—boom boom, boom boom. “The beating heart of who we are.”

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Cinzia stumbled. It felt like yesterday.

“You okay?” Gio’s brow creased.

“I… sorry, yes. So many memories.”

Skipping over the bridges. The bad days of the quarantine. The corner market where mamma used to do her grocery shopping…

The Flood.

Another building broke the surface nearby—the Santa Maria della Salute, the beautiful basilica. Water poured off the gorgeous green domes in a thundering flood. They were mostly intact, though one of the smaller ones had a gaping hole—water poured out of it, cascading down to the lagoon like a waterfall, joining the general uproar of the Rise.

“Look, Kendra. You can see the outlines of the Canal Grande now.” The old waterway—the pulsing artery of the city—snaked away from them like a backwards ’S.’ In the distance, she could make out the edge of the Sestriere Cannaregio, the district where her mamma had lived in a modest apartment in an old stone palazzo that looked out on a concrete courtyard.

Waters rising, as it rained for close on a month, coming ever closer to their own second-floor balcony.

What if the water doesn’t stop coming?” Cinzia stared out at the concrete courtyard, where the seawater swirled and churned.

“Don’t worry about that, tesoro. The water always stops, eventually. Now come here and help me with dinner.”

She had been lucky. She had survived.

All across the lagoon, the buildings of Venice were rising from the water. Many were broken, piles of bricks and debris covered with algae and surprised fish that flopped around on suddenly exposed land. The outlines of the city were becoming clear as water poured out of the buildings, churning the lagoon into a muddy, frothy mess.

A row of palazzos along the edge of the Canal Grande collapsed, sending up a deafening roar as they crumbled into rubble. Cinzia stepped back instinctively, pulling Kendra with her as the platform rose thirty meters into the air to avoid the cloud of debris that briefly rose above the lagoon before settling back to earth.

“Nothing to be alarmed about. Not all buildings were stabilized prior to the Rise.” Doctor Horvat’s lined face nodded reassuringly from the hovering screen before them, her voice broadcast across the world and to the Lunar colonies far above. “We expected some collapses. We will keep you away from the dangerous areas.”

“What if the city doesn’t stop rising?” Kendra grasped the railing, her gaze locked on the scene below.

Gio knelt next to the girl. “There’s no chance of that. The polyps have a very short lifetime…”

Cinzia was grateful to him. He probably understood the science behind all of this far better than she.

Her mind drifted.

They ate the last of the almond cantucci, savoring the hard cookies even though they were stale. Cinzia was still hungry, but she knew better than to ask for more. There was no more.

Outside, the rain had finally slowed to a constant drizzle.

Mamma ruffled her hair, managing a wan smile. “I need you to stay here, Cinzia. Someone will come for you, I promise. I will find us help.”

The helicopters had stopped coming days before, and the boats that had been plentiful the first few days, with men telling them to stay put, had bypassed their part of the city ever since.

The rumbling subsided.

Cinzia opened her eyes and looked around. For just a moment, there was absolute silence on the traghetto, along the shore, and on the sky board.

She looked over the railing.

Venice—her Venice—lay before her. It was in sad shape. Many of the landmarks she remembered were tarnished or broken. Whole zones of the city had collapsed, and except for Piazza San Marco, a green film covered the risen city. She was a ghost of her former glory.

But she was there, as solid and real as the hand before Cinzia’s face.

—From "Rise," by J. Scott Coatsworth

COLLAPSE

Lander

Liminal Sky: Oberon Cycle Book 2

Lander - J. Scott Coatsworth - Liminal Sky: Oberon Cycle
Part of the Oberon Cycle series:
  • Lander
Editions:Kindle - 2: $ 4.95 USD
Pages: 296

The world needs saving, again.

Xander and Jameson thought they’d fulfilled their destiny when they brought the worlds of Oberon and Titania back together, but their short-lived moment of triumph is over.Reunification has thrown the world into chaos. A great storm ravaged Xander's kingdom of Gaelan, leaving the winged skythane people struggling to survive.

Their old enemy, Obercorp, is biding its time, waiting to strike. And to the north, a dangerous new adversary gathers strength, while an unexpected ally awaits them. In the midst of it all, Xander’s ex Alix returns, and Xander and Jameson discover that their love for each other may have been drug-induced.

Are they truly destined for each other, or is what they feel artificial? And can they face an even greater challenge when their world needs them most?

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Publisher: Other Worlds Ink
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Eventide

Eventide - Coatsworth
Editions:Kindle - First Edition: $ 0.99 USD
Pages: 33

What if you woke up in a strange place that was as familiar as your own home, but also completely strange and different? What if you opened your curtains to find the universe looking back at you?

Welcome to Eventide.

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Innovation

Queer Sci Fi's Flash Fiction Contest Book 6

Innovation
Part of the QSF Flash Fiction series:
Editions:Kindle - First: $ 4.99 USD
Pages: 249
Paperback (Abkhazian) - First: $ 16.99 USD
Pages: 248

IN-NO-VA-TION (Noun)

1) A new idea, method, or device.

2) The introduction of something new.

3) The application of better solutions to meet unarticulated needs.

Three definitions to inspire writers around the world and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell. Here are 120 of our favorites.

Migration feaures 300-word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum, from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

Excerpt:

The Serpent and His Summoner

Matt Doyle (300 Words)

 

“Why?” Kourt whined, his feathered, serpentine tail tensing in shock. “Why would you do this?”

David smiled and willed himself forward, traversing the electric haze of the containment unit with ease. “For us.”

“No,” the demon replied, turning his head away. “You died. And now you are trapped.”

“I don’t view it as being trapped,” David replied, crossing his arms and shooting his companion an indignant look. “You once told me that you would do anything to be with me. Was that true, or just part of the summoning contract?”

“It was true,” Kourt huffed. “Not that it would matter if it were not.”

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David nodded, turned, and tapped three times on the wall. After a few seconds, three more answered and the wall faded from view. “Two taps would mean I made a mistake and I’m coming out,” he explained. “Three means I stay, and the exit can be shut down.”

“Fool! Bring it back!”

David shrugged. “I can’t. My assistants can use the tech I created, but I was the only one with magic. Without me, they can’t even redraw the summoning circle.”

“So this is your machine. Damned new-age wizard, combining magic and nature into something less efficient. What if the power cuts?”

“Back-up generator.”

“And if it cuts permanently?”

“We’re free. You return to Hell, and I do whatever human spirits do.” David ran his hand along Kourt’s tail, raising it gently to his face so he could breathe his scent. “I know this isn’t forever. But it’s more time that we would have had otherwise.”

Kourt frowned. “It no longer hurts you to touch me?”

David smiled. “I am electricity now. In a way, I’m yours to command, oh feathered, electric serpent.”

Kourt sighed, and finally, smiled. “Then…let us find ways to enjoy our time.”

COLLAPSE

Cailleadhama: Through the Veil

Cailleadhama: Through the Veil
Editions:Kindle - First: $ 2.99 USD
Pages: 100
Paperback - First: $ 8.99 USD
Size: 8.50 x 5.50 in
Pages: 100

Colton is a trans man living in a climate-changed world. He plies the canals that used to be city streets, earning a living taking tourists on illicit journeys through San Francisco's flooded edges beneath the imposing bulk of the Wall.

Tris is an elf who comes through the veil to the City by the Bay - the Caille - on a coming of age pilgrimage called the Cailleadhama. He is searching for his brother Laris, who went missing after crossing through the Caille years before.

The two men find they have common cause, and together they set off to find Laris in a world transformed by the twin forces of greed and climate change. And in the end, they find out more than they ever expected, both about the warming world and their own selves.

Note: This story was originally published in the "Myths Untold: Faery" anthology from Wilde City Press. It is presented here in its original form.

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Publisher: Other Worlds Ink
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Reviews:Chris Sweeso on Bayou Book Junkie wrote:

I loved how the author wove action with mythology and romance and gave us a very detailed story that I just couldn’t put down until it ended! Colton and Tris were both amazing on their own, but together they seemed unstoppable and I was very happy with how their relationship progressed and the resolution in the end.


Migration

QSF Flash Fiction Book 5

Migration
Part of the QSF Flash Fiction series:
Editions:Kindle - First: $ 4.99 USD
Size: 8.50 x 5.50 in
Pages: 258
Paperback (Abkhazian) - First: $ 16.99 USD
Size: 8.50 x 5.50 in
Pages: 258

MI-GRA-TION (Noun)

1) Seasonal movement of animals from one region to another.

2) Movement of people to a new area or country in order to find work or better living conditions.

3) Movement from one part of something to another.

Three definitions to inspire writers around the world and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell. Here are 120 of our favorites.

Migration feaures 300-word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum, from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

Excerpt:

Homecoming

Second

Homecoming - J. Scott Coatsworth
Editions:Kindle - Second: $ 2.99 USD
Pages: 100
Paperback - Second: $ 8.99 USD
Size: 8.50 x 5.50 in
Pages: 100

Spaceman meets wolfman.

When his own world is destroyed, Aldiss and his crew barely manage to escape, leaving friends and lovers behind. What was meant to be an exploratory trip back to the home world becomes a mad dash for survival.

When they awaken from deep sleep on Earth, abandoned by humanity five centuries before, they must quickly learn about their new home. While exploring the region around the ship, Aldiss meets Hari, a human-wolf hybrid, whose people harbor secrets which just might cost the crew their lives.

Will Hari and Aldiss uncover the secrets of the past and find common ground? Or are Aldiss and his team doomed to failure?

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Publisher: Other Worlds Ink
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Reviews:Paul on Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words wrote:

“This book clicks on just about every level... a ride worth taking.”


Ten

Ten
Editions:Kindle - First: $ 0.99 USD
Pages: 30

It's ten days until Christmas.

After losing his husband in an auto accident the year before, Chris has decided to go all out to find someone new before the big holiday - planning ten dates in ten days. Somehow, though, none of them is quite right. And as each new day and date passes, Chris starts to notice a strange pattern in the guys he's dating.

What do they all have in common? And is one of them Chris's new Mister Right?

Only time will tell.

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December 17th - Glenn

I picked up the mail on the way into my apartment from the car. It was the usual junk—a copy of Sacramento Magazine, two Bed Bath and Beyond coupons… and a credit card offer made out to Aristotle Collins.

I closed my eyes, picturing Ari’s laugh—“I haven’t been Aristotle since I was six!” I smiled and took it inside, grabbed a Sharpie and scribbled “deceased” across the address label. I tossed it in the mailbox and went back inside to get ready for my third date.

Two days, two duds. No matter—with eight dates left to go, I figured I still had a one in five chance at finding marital bliss again.

I always wasgood at math.

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Glenn had suggested we meet at some place out in the suburbs called the Melting Pot. He was a little older, conservatively dressed in a tailored suit and tie, his hair cropped short. He looked kind of familiar in that weren’t-you-a-character-actor-on-Law-and-Order? sort of way.

I’d found him on Craigslist. I know, I know, it’s basically the swap meet of hook-up sites—a lot of the merchandise is a gritty and a little used, but every now and then you found a copy of Action Comics #1. Or a cute bit of flower-based wall art.

His ad had seemed nice:

Mature, middle-aged man seeks younger for fun, possible relations.

I was sure he’d meant “relationship.”

The restaurant was dark and smelled like meat and chocolate. It kinda turned me on.

I sat down and smiled. “Nice place.”

He nodded. “I like it. It’s quiet and out of the way.”

“I haven’t been to a fondue place in years.” The things you do for dating.

Ari had always hated it. Our first two dates had been famously bad—involving a napkin on fire and some classic teeth on lip action—but we’d given it another try, and somehow the third time had been the charm.

“You’re cute.” Glenn grinned. He had a nice smile. A point in his favor.

“Thanks.” I was pleased. “You’re not too bad yourself.” I refused to add for an older guy. I’dworn that shoe with Bryan, and it was a bad fit, not to mention bad manners. But that tongue…

The waiter stopped by. “My name’s Dorothea. Have you two decided what you want?” She gave us her best waitress smile.

Glenn waved her off. “Give us a couple minutes?”

“Sure. I’ll check back with you in a little bit.”

I felt something between my legs, and looked down to see Glenn’s foot, wrapped in a black nylon sock, massaging my crotch. The sock had a little golden cross embroidered on it.

I looked up and Glenn was winking at me.

Nylon socks? Seriously?

I could almost hear Ari laughing.

He was moving a little too fast. I pushed his foot away.

Glenn looked hurt. “I’m sorry. I thought you likedme.” He tugged at his collar.

His collar.

Boom, I knew where I’d seen him before.“You’re Pastor Glenn from All Hallows,” I blurted out before I could stop myself. My sister’s parish. I’d gone with her once for Christmas Mass and remembered ogling him. Holy shit, maybe I’d turnedthe poor bastard with my gay gaze.

Glenn’s face went white. “I… I’m not… I can’t…” Without another word, he got up and pulled out his wallet to lay forty bucks on the table. Then he almost ran out the door.

I stared after him. Why does everyone think I’m a john or a prostitute?

Then I realized he’d left the money to pay for the meal.

He wasa decent guy, after all

I wasn’t going to waste the twenty-five-minute drive, so I stayed and treated myself to an awesome chocolate fondue.

I was kind of ad for the guy—I mean, what must it be like to go your whole life lying about who you were? But I didn’t date closet cases.

Ari was in total agreement.

I gave Glenn a four on my scale.

Hey, at least he’d paid for dinner.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Serena Yates on Rainbow Book Reviews wrote:

At the core of this thoughtful, sweet Christmas story are both heartbreak, due to a husband lost, and a very cute idea to help the surviving man find new hope a year later. It’s a story with heart and a ton of Christmas spirit, entirely without fluff or sap, and written with lots of humor. The end result is entertaining, made me smile, and carries a wonderful message of hope on more than one front.


Spells & Stardust

Spells & Stardust - J. Scott Coatsworth
Editions:Kindle - First: $ 3.99 USD
Pages: 136
Paperback (Abkhazian) - First: $ 9.99 AUD
Pages: 136

Spells & Stardust is Scott's first anthology - eight sci fi and fantasy shorts that run the gamut from regeneration to redemption.

The Bear at the Bar: A gay fish out of water tale with a pinch of magic.

Tight: What happens when your lover disappears in midair?

Morgan: The year when everything changed.

Re-Life: What if you were reborn in a strange new future?

A New Year: They met every eleven years. And each time, Hank's life changed.

Repetition: What if you wanted to go back in the closet?

Gargoyle: Sometimes you get what you deserve. Sometimes it happens on All Hallows Eve.

Avalon: A few bright moments in the sun, stolen from outside time.

Most of these stories have been previously published in various anthologies and journals. This is the first time they have all been collected in one place.

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Publisher: Other Worlds Ink
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The edge of the old cement pediment crumbled away beneath Hank’s feet into the river far below, glistening in the light of the almost-full moon. The bridge railing was cold at his back—he could feel it all the way through his jacket and shirt to his skin. He could see his breath glowing in the night air.

The nearly-frozen water rushed by in the river below, flowing under the bridge behind him and on toward the ocean far away in a steady flow, silver in the moonlight and heavily laden with winter rain. As soon as he gathered his courage, Hank would let go of his grip on the railing and fall into those icy waters, to disappear forever from the world of men.

It was New Year's Day, 1986, an hour after midnight, and it was the end of things for Hank.

Or it should have been.

It was also the night he first met Dale.

Impact

QSF's Fifth Annual Flash Fiction Contest

Impact reveal

IM * PACT(noun)

1) One object colliding with another

2) An impinging of something upon something else

3) An influence or effect on something or someone

4) The force of a new idea, concept, technology or ideology

Four definitions to inspire writers around the world, and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell - these are the best of the best.

A difficult choice to be made. An object hurtling recklessly through space. A new invention that will change the world. So many things can impact a life, a society, or a planet.

Impact features 300-word speculative fiction ficlets from across the queer spectrum from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

Welcome to Impact.