Have you ever found yourself walking across a supermarket parking lot on a sunny day, mentally ticking through your shopping list, minding your own business, and been stopped dead in your tracks by the sound of a dog barking in a nearby car? Not much can catapult me from a pleasant frame of mind to anxious confusion faster than that sound.

Because it must be investigated.

Having been a journalist, I have reported stories of dogs trapped in hot cars, people trapped in their vehicles on flooded roads, houses burned down leaving badly injured survivors, or worse. So, OK, I have a mind alert to potential catastrophe. But I am ill-equipped to deal with ambiguous calls for help. Is that dog roasting and desperate? Or is he just impatient to get the treats his owner always brings him when they go to the store? (Good boy!)

I am convinced that the main power superheroes have is freedom from doubt. Self-doubt mostly, but also freedom from the gnawing dread that maybe there isn’t a solution to every person’s suffering. But superheroes aren’t the only ones who tackle dangers great and small. And frankly, my admiration is much greater for the mere heroes and heroines who jump right in to save their worlds, carrying their burdens of self-doubt and dread along with them.

What better way to savor the saviors than indulge in Dean Wesley Smith’s new Storybundle, Saving the World. Dean’s goal in curating this bundle was to find as many ways as he could to save as many worlds as writers could come up with. He offers the reader eight novels and two short-story collections. In addition to Dean’s book from the Thunder Mountain series, The Taft Ranch, you will find Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Diving novel Searching for the Fleet, and four novels by some of the most entertaining and original authors writing about worlds that need saving in a multitude of genres. There are sci-fi, time travel, space opera, thriller, magic and more.

It’s that time of year when the days get shorter and the evenings longer, and the world can seem a darker place in more ways than one. These stories dispel doubt and dread (admittedly after conjuring it), and if you treat yourself to them, and you’re good, they will leave you feeling as satisfied and happy as a puppy.


Gwyneth Gibby is Associate Publisher of WMG Publishing.