October Publications

In Rex, by Fred Yager (co-author of Untimely Death), 11-year-old Davy Ross's paleontologist parents go missing from a dig on Mount Kilimanjaro, and he finds a mysterious egg among their belongings. When a tiny dinosaur hatches, Davy has to protect him from an unscrupulous professor, return the tyrannosaurus to its jungle home and locate his missing parents. (Hannacroix Creek, $25.95 180p ISBN 1-889262-88-9)

Deep in the African jungle, under the roots of a giant tree, lives a population of tiny creatures called Bogglers. Three young Boggler boys get lost in a flood, and before returning home they find themselves on the path to adulthood in Kazi Mabalani's Journey to Ahkabah: The Map and the Riddle, a fantasy tale about the crucial father-son bond written from an African-American perspective. (Land's End [P.O. Box 3066, Ocala, Fla. 34478], $11.95 paper 236p ISBN 0-9709160-0-0)

When Beto Orozco revives the ancient Aztec god Tezcatlipoca via artificial intelligence technology in the ethnically indeterminate, cyber-heavy future, the trickster god inhabits Beto's body and enters the Hollywood scene in Ernest Hogan's (High Aztech) Smoking Mirror Blues. This hyperactive, racy, imaginative novel imagines the collision of a pop-American underworld, practically limitless technological capabilities and a mischievous deity's predilection for taking control by wreaking havoc. (Wordcraft of Oregon [www.oregontrail.net/ ~wordcraft], $12 paper 212p ISBN 1-877655-37-6)

Told in the voice of King Arthur's mythic bard, The Song of Taliesin, by John Matthews (The Winter Solstice), gathers 20 stories from Arthurian legend. The Sacred Pigs of the Isle of the Mighty, a cauldron with frightening powers, murderous lords and a giant who is responsible for the rising and setting of the sun are among the many fantastical details of these new interpretations of ancient stories. 12 b&w illus. (Quest [306 W. Geneva Rd., P.O. Box 270, Wheaton, Ill. 60187], $19.95 paper 244p ISBN 0-8356-0802-6)

In Joshua Ortega's first novel, ((Frequencies)), the citizens of the technologized nations of A.D. 2051 can have bio-"gengineered" body parts and modems in their brains, but jaded Agent McCready, whose job is to investigate frequency emissions violations, prefers 20th-century sensibilities. When he signs on to protect the family of a wealthy tech-magnate, he gets more than he bargained for: skeletons (or clones) in the closet, the magnate's beautiful daughter, potentially lethal informational infections, life-threatening danger and a cherry 1957 Chevy. (Omega Point Productions [www.omegapp.com], $17.76 paper 368p ISBN 0-9671120-2-8)

Thomas Bloom's (The Nova Affair) The Plains of Heaven begins in the immediate aftermath of a worldwide nuclear war, and follows seven individual survivors through their private post-apocalyptic hells amid the irradiated ruins of U.S. society. A tiny fraction of the government tries to establish order at home and make treaties abroad, as citizens struggle to stay alive. (RavenHaus [www.ravenhauspublishing.com], $24.95 248p ISBN 0-9659845-5-9)

In the 25 stories in Wondrous Strange, Robin Spriggs (coauthor of The Dracula Poems) touches on as many chilling, bizarre or miraculous phenomena. Three long-dead sisters revivify momentarily to torment their nightly visitor; to save himself and his little son, a father tries to renege on a ghoulish pact he made years earlier; just before his first trip to the moon, an astronaut strolls down memory lane to the childhood moment when a crazy, ghostly girl spoke of his future. (Circle Myth [P.O. Box 431, Murrayville, Ga. 30564], $13 paper 264p ISBN 0-9634-296-0-4)

Vickie Mason Randall presents another post-apocalyptic vision in her debut book Red Moon Rising: Out of Barren Ground, Vol. I. Sisters Rachel and Sarah, part of a savage, roving band of survivors of the eco-disasters that destroyed civilization, come into contact with a peaceful village, and find the comfort, understanding and love they'd never known. (Bonneville [www.cedarfort.com], $12.95 paper 202p ISBN 1-55517-528-7)

When composer and music teacher Jared Grayson gets a phone call from the hospital asking him to identify his long-lost uncle, Grayson's life gets turned upside down. He doesn't know if this comatose man is his relative, and he doesn't know why he suddenly starts hearing a voice telling him the wisest, most important things he's ever heard, but both events change his comfortable path and set him on a series of adventures, musical and otherwise, in Royce Richardson's first novel, The Blissmaker, accompanied by a CD of music composed and performed by the author. (Ancient River [www.ancientriver.com], $36 480p ISBN 0-9677200-2-8)

In another debut, Tangy Bonanza, Doc Solammen presents two novellas that enmesh the reader in wild, raunchy, drug-hazy adventures via chapters with titles like "Forgive Russ His Trespasses" and "Woolite by Moonlight." Jesus H. Christ and a testy, pompous but charismatic dog are just a couple of the unusual heroes readers will follow on psychedelic road trips. (Necro/Bedlam [www.necropublications.com], $40 190p ISBN 1-889186-20-1)

In separate but linked stories in Victor Gischler's first novel, Three on a Light: From the Case Files of Dean Murphy, PI and "spook chaser" Murphy has an unusual clientele. An old collector hires him to retrieve his prized possession, an ancient Indian pipe with "unique properties" that could prove deadly to Murphy; the cops sign him on to investigate some brutal killings in a Gen-X club, and the murderer evidently used its claws. (Silver Lake [www.silverlakepublishing], $14.95 paper 156p ISBN 1-931095-19-1)