Our latest volume of Fiction River is special for a couple of reasons. One, it is the result of an experiment launched by our 2014 Fiction River Subscription Drive on Kickstarter. Two, that experiment was a resounding success, yielding a volume with the kind of uniqueness that Fiction River is known for.

Let me explain.

When we conducted our first subscription drive, we brainstormed a lot of different options for rewards. One of the possibilities series editor Dean Wesley Smith came up with was innovative but risky (no shock there when Dean’s involved). He offered to co-edit a volume with someone he’d never met or worked with. As an editor, I can tell you that can be a terrifying prospect. Editing styles can vary greatly. As in vehemently disagreeing about a story. So, for two people to edit a volume together, well, that’s a potentially explosive experiment.

Mind you, anthologies are co-edited all the time. Dean and his wife and fellow series editor, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, co-edited our very first Fiction River volume, Unnatural Worlds, together. But they know each other well (obviously) and have worked together before. To agree to co-edit a volume with anyone willing to pony up for the reward. Well, like I said, Dean’s a risk-taker.

Here’s the thing about risk-takers, though. The good ones (and Dean falls solidly into this category) only take calculated risks. If there’s not a good chance of success, they won’t make the leap. Dean knew he could find a way to make this experiment work.

And, oh boy, was he right.

Enter Felicia Fredlund, Dean’s co-editor for Last Stand. Felicia had never edited an anthology before, but she possesses the strength of character and confidence in her decision-making of a person more experiences that her years would indicate. And her contributions to this volume made it all the stronger.

We strive to bring different voices to Fiction River. Felicia is a wonderful addition to our range of editorial voices. And she is now a Fiction River author, as well, with her first (but certainly not last) story appearing in this volume. (And, in case you’re wondering how this co-editing things works, Dean chose and edited Felicia’s story.)

fr20-last-stand-ebook-cover-web-284And now, without further ado, here’s the synopsis:

History offers many heroic tales of final battles. And in Last Stand, sixteen courageous authors offer their take on the topic. From a heartwarming tale of not-so-friendly business competition to a battle of the gods—sort of—for the fate of the world to a tale of looking for love in all the wrong places. These inventive stories make Last Stand one of the most creative—and memorable—Fiction River volumes yet.

Table of Contents
“The Great Ice Cream War of Grover’s Hollow” by Annie Reed
“Slow Motion” by Eric Kent Edstrom
“Do Not Resuscitate” by Dory Crowe
“Sunset, Fall, Home” by Dan C. Duval
“’Til Death Do Us Part” by Kerrie L. Hughes & John Helfers
“Circle ’Round” by M. L. Buchman
“Unto the Ether” by M. E. Owen
“Bury My Son at Home” by Angela Penrose
“The Flare” by Laura Ware
“What’s Left of Me” by Bonnie Elizabeth
“The Counter” by Rob Vagle
“The Toymaker of Kelsium Rye” by Chuck Heintzelman
“Magic and Sacrifice” by Felicia Fredlund
“Lady Elizabeth’s Betrothal Ball” by Anthea Sharp
“Suppose They Gave a Ragnarok and Nobody Came?” by Lee Allred
“Death Bunnies of Toxic Island” by Travis Heermann

I will now stop writing about this fantastic volume and let you go start reading it. You can pick up your copy here.


Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.