As promised, in honor of Father’s Day, To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity is live. If you pre-ordered, your eBook is available for download now.
Whether you like science fiction, fantasy, military sci-fi, historical, or contemporary, adventure, humor, interesting characters, or even thought pieces, this anthology has a story for you.
My story, “Cooper” is a tribute to Jeff Cooper, one of the iconic, real-life figures associated with the M1911 and the 45ACP. This story was inspired not just by the idea of a sentient/sapient gun. I also found inspiration in The Wizard of Oz, in the fact that the Tin Man had in him, what he was so desperately seeking–a heart. Like the Tin Man, my protagonist is in search of something he thinks he’s lost.
Scott Bell‘s gritty cop story, “Earning It” explores the meaning of valor and honor. A writer with a unique voice, Scott balances out the grittiness with his trademark humor.
J Trevor Robinson‘s “Let the Chips Fall Where They May” doesn’t give us the “gentlemen thieves” of the typical pop-culture casino heist story. Inspired by his own father, it is instead the story of a commander, a role model, and a father responsible for the lives of so many others.
William C. Burns answers the question “So, what are wizards doing in the 21st century?” in his fantasy, “The Heaven Beasts.”
Karina L. Fabian serves up a noir-style detective story complete with dragons and fae. If you’re a fan of the movie, Bright, this one is definitely for you.
Michael W. Herbert, a Navy veteran who served in Vietnam, wrote two stories for this anthology, both based on real life events–one about dealing with rape, and another about defending a gay shipmate. I’m particularly fond of the way he handled both of these controversial subjects. As Michael says, “A mature man does not always know what to do, but he will do what he can to help.”
Richard Paolinelli gives us a dystopian story, “The Last Hunt.” Unlike so many other zombie stories, this one is about one man’s devotion to his duty and his country.
If you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan, I think you’ll really enjoy Ann Margaret Lewis‘s “The Affair of Miss Finney.” Holmes pursued many dark crimes, but Doyle never addressed the crime of rape. So, how would Holmes deal with the worst crime a woman can suffer?
In “For Man or Beast,” award-winning science fiction author Brad R. Torgersen, plunges us into a story about a future, untamed frontier where we discover that it is about being men and women that makes us essential not just to each other, but to civilization.
“Street Fox” by C. J. Brightley is set in her Erdemen Honor universe. Children need to believe in heroes. And not just in this fantasy, but in the real world.
In “Bring the Pain,” veteran and writer T. L. “Tom” Knighton, delights and entertains us with a story about a guy who is, quite literally, a tank.
In “The Messenger” Lloyd Behm II makes us cheer for an aging green beret who keeps his oaths, even in a post-apocalyptic world where the US no longer exists.
Marina Fontaine‘s “Picture Imperfect” is set in the near-future dystopia of her Chasing Freedom novel. Her hero is forced to choose between protecting his family and complying with a system that provides him with comfort and power.
Jon Del Arroz‘s military sci-fi adventure, “Compassion,” shows us that we must continue to fight the good fight, to fight for what is right.
Newcomer Jamie Ibson‘s story, “Priorities” takes us into the world of the school resource officer, the cops that investigate offenses involving students and schools.
No speculative fiction anthology would be complete a werewolf story, right? Julie Frost‘s “Man-Made Hell” mixes science-fiction and the supernatural, giving us a character who embodies virtus (the manly virtues) no matter his form.