UnCommon Lands presents 20 unique depictions of fantastic places and alien landscapes. These stories of the human (and inhuman) experience transcend time and place and will transport you to worlds you’ve never imagined. Including new and veteran voices, our UnCommon Authors bring you stories which span multiple genres, but hold together on a framework of quality storytelling and a solid theme. UnCommon Lands reminds us that where we are from isn’t as important as where we are going.
Includes (In No Particular Order)
The Creaser by Tom O’Brien: Sea levels have risen around the world and with it new ways of living have to be found. In drowned London, a scavenger known only as The Diver has found the scent of magic by the coast and she means to make it hers.
Gators in Kansas and Other Hazards of Modern Farming by Ralph Walker: Sal has been working the farm for years to earn his stake, but rising water and invasive species threaten to take it all away.
Rakka Surprise by Bey Deckard: It was a simple task, a bit of diplomacy, on a new world for some blue bloods of the Polyverse Coalition. Unfortunately, Captain Drayan failed to read the fine print, the bits that put his sensory system into freefall. Good thing he had Sitik the Rakka, his first mate, to sort it all out. Except, that sorting led to more fine print and a Rakka surprise to end all surprises.
The Crater by Kenneth Robbins:: In the waning year of the American Civil War, the Union army outside Petersburg, VA, digs an impressive tunnel under the Confederate fortifications. They fill it with tons of explosives and detonate it. The chaos and confusion is immense. A Union officer sends an unnamed Private into the “crater” to assess the extent of the damage. The Private enters the smoke and haze. On the other side, he is transported to Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 1945, and what he witnesses confuses him. He must report back. He rushes through the mist toward the Union lines, but fails to share what he has seen.
Galileo’s Dog by Karen Gemma Brewer: Two companions arrive on the Red Planet and set about their
work like man and dog. Solar-powered Rover must slumber at nightfall, while his master toils on through the dark under battery power.
Exhibit D by Michael K. Schaefer: When Dale goes to sleep in a prison cell, he doesn’t expect to wake up on top of an incredibly tall stone pillar. And he isn’t alone: the pillar is just one of countless similar ones scattered across a long valley, and on many of them are other prisoners. Nobody knows how they got onto those pillars, why they are held there, and who is responsible for their unexpected relocation. It looks like Dale will have to spend the rest of his life in this strange place, when one day a man arrives and tells him of a way out he has never even dreamed of…
Ecumenical Outpost 732 by P.K. Tyler: Making friends is hard, especially when you live on a space station at the very end of the known universe. T’se’s life is filled with questions, from what will happen to her in the future and who are the strange people who live on the prison planet covered in red dust out her window?
The Pillars of Theonasa by Roslyn Cay: The King of the Wind Demons ponders the phenomenon destroying his city.
The Rite by Christopher Godsoe: Nyla wakes up on her 18th birthday prepared to make the hardest choice of her life. Being an intelligent, well-educated young woman, she has spent plenty of time thinking about what she wants and has a plan. But even the best laid plans often go awry.
Silicon Oar by Shebat Legion: An entity struggles with the perception of illusion and memory.
Carcerem–A Spectral Worlds Story by Daniel Arthur Smith: There are worlds around us that we cannot see…and some we cannot escape. In the future, parallel planes of existence and their inhabitants have become known to humanity. These are the Spectral Worlds. Blitz’s adventure occurs in the Prison Plane Carcerem, a gray shadow of the Alpha Plane’s Nor East Meg, a mega-city of towering ziggurat structures. For most, a trip to Carcerem is one-way, but his custom-fitted cybernetics and reputation from the Spectral Wars have made him a candidate for an offer he cannot refuse.
Look for more adventures from Blitz in the Spectral Worlds series.
Somewhere I Belong by Jeremy Rodden: Toonopolis is a cartoon city that is home to the thoughts and ideas of all sentient beings in the universe. Angel comes into existence in the Tooniverse in a place she thinks is Toonopolis but quickly realizes she appeared in Ao, the adult section of the Tooniverse, instead. Follow her journey to right this wrong through such fantastical sections of Ao as Penisville and Hentaitown. Even if it means disobeying tahe will of her creator, Angel will find somewhere she belongs.
A Trap in Eshwar by E.E. Giorgi: After defecting his troops and leaking secret war plans to the enemy, Hyleesh escapes to the perfect hide-out: a ghost city at the bottom of the Tadhun Basin, one of the valleys on planet Eshwar that are completely submersed in toxic fog. He’s pretty certain nobody can ever find him there until he receives a cryptic message: I want to meet you.
Dreamsolution by Michael J.P. Whitmer: Jesse discovers a mysterious website named Dreamsolution. Accepting a bargain without knowing what he has agreed to, Jesse embarks on dream-quest to save his fiancé, Heather, from her nightmares.
ConseQuent by Brent Meske: Somewhere in space and time, a civilization of poor, peaceful farmers live out their simple existences on floating rocks, where trade and news come in at times from the skyships and their skysailor crews. Yet one amongst them is an outsider, observing silently from the fringes. Who is this Watcher, and what designs does he have for the simple folk of the Vall?
Dragomir by Tausha Johnson: Dragomir has been warned to avoid certain parts of the forest. The woods are full of wild beasts and monsters. But when he takes his sheep to feed then finds himself lost, Dragomir meets age old beliefs and superstition in the land beyond the forest.
The Last Immaculate by Levi Jacobs: On a simulated tropical island, accurate to the atomic level, people are being used as test subjects for genetic experiments in cancer research. Mei, angry about this treatment (including the deletion of her parents), plans to escape to the physical world with her boyfriend Oliver’s help. Oliver, an administrator in the real world, is desperately in love with her, and trying to get her out before the island is restarted and all its inhabitants erased. Mei, meanwhile, gets embroiled in a plot to threaten the real world using altered DNA, and together they must find a solution that doesn’t end in his world sick and hers erased, before the power struggle plays out.
Anderson’s Necessaries by Jon Etter: Anderson’s Necessaries, a five-and-dime store in the tiny town of Meadowbrook, has a habit of having everything the residents of the town need. However, when proprietor Earl “Andy” Anderson tries to find chalk for new schoolteacher Ruth Thatcher, the store knows what both of them really need.
No Small Favors by Anne Skinner: What would you sacrifice to have everything you could ever want? After Lucy Jones receives an invitation to the Room, she learns exactly what her limit is.
Walker Between the Worlds by Ashleigh Gauch: When Shephard Mercer breaks the greatest law found in Haida shamanism and uses his powers for his own personal gain, his love Aria pays the price. Now he must go through live burial and a series of trials in the World Between to earn her soul back and prove himself worthy enough to return to the world of the living.