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Quantum Incoherence

By Duane


Cover - Quantum Incoherence

A writer must write, and herein is a collection of short stories (and one novella) written over a period of almost 30 years.  They span from the eerie threshold of urban fantasy to deep space adventure on the far side of the galaxy, from the light-hearted to the grim, from the short to the long.

 1. The Tower Between the Veils

Kerrid, like all acolytes on the evening of her 13th birthday, must face her Trail and either return as a novice Priestess or be sent home as a failure.  But Kerrid's mentor takes her to the most terrifying place possible in search of treasure: Dreyfus' Tower, said to be the home of angry captured demons. Worse, the tower is situated on the frail edge between the world and hell, and when the situation becomes hopeless, Kerrid must choose between them as she saves or destroys the town and everything she believes in.

2. Brothers

Agent Talmadge of the CIA was on loan to the FBI for a special operation, has been murdered by a local gangster.  It could be the perfect crime, but Gleason doesn't suspect that Talmadge himself will set a trap for him.  There are no ghosts or zombies involved, but Gleason doesn't have to know that.  But even Talmadge, principle player in the weirdest human drama since the first man walked upon the earth, doesn't yet know yet just how weird it really is.

3. The Phantom of Zone 131

The Pirate is a high-tech robotic scarecrow with a human mind, a marvel thousands of years ahead of any other technology in the galaxy.  His job: to terrorize the Orion Empire and thereby slow their advance.  But the Empire is even more afraid of the Phantoms, and neither The Pirate nor his creators know what they are.  His secondary mission is to find one, or at least identify them, but little does he suspect their true nature or what might happen when he does.

4. Snakes

The children of the McGuff family are unusual.  A psychologist called them "pathologically good," and it seems that weird things sometimes happen around them.  They've never fought among themselves, and don't put up with crap from others.  They have managed to wipe out bullying in their school, but what happens when the bullying is from adults and the methods that work in elementary school are no longer sufficient?

5. Free Enterprise

Psychic agent Jason Kilmer has failed in his mission to rescue Dr. Virginia Grant from the clutches of SunPower Corporation, but Grant has some surprises up her sleeve.  The conflict is far,far worse than a mere corporate battle over the mysterious and controversial Heneker equations that are the basis of Galacticom's and SunPower's businesses.  SunPower is prepared to plunge the galaxy into a millennium of tyrannical corporate domination.  The only possible way to stop it involves finding out why Heneker killed himself.

6. Taytar: A Love Story

From the beginning of the universe, the drive has been the same: to love and be loved.  But with only two players, hope is lost when one squanders the opportunity.  Now, with little time before the universe ends, can there be hope of recovering what was lost?

7. The Fairy and the Firearm

High school band geek Scotty MacThom comes home one night to find a pretty girl in his bed, one who carries a futuristic weapon, an attitude, and the ability to make pixie dust.  She gives him the unlikely story that she's an elf tracking down a band of goblins who have stolen a nuke from Texas.  When the conflict explodes right there in his bedroom, becoming more real than he expects, he begins to wonder: can two teenagers from different universes stop a band of 14 goblins with the potential to destroy both?

8. The Memories of the Beast

The Beast is Edmund Bronson, who in his younger days terrorized San Francisco with a series of brutal, sadistic rapes.  Now, released after a 35-year prison term, he supposes he is too old to return to the glory days, so he devises a plan to relive every one of his original crimes in amplified, glorious 3D color.  He only misses one essential detail.

9. The Final Yuletide?

The man is strange, large, gentle, and claims to be looking for the real Santa Claus.  He is Kamar Koy Ramillion.  He cooperates with the police, who come to understand that they have no power over him in any way.  Not only that, can he do miracles?  When Kamar devises a new plan to find Santa — one that involves kidnapping three children — the police are still powerless to intervene.

10. The Further Adventures of Kip and Peewee

In an extended ending to Robert Heinlien's Have Space Suit — Will Travel, protagonist Kip suddenly finds out that the adventure is far from over, and Ace Quiggle gets more than a malt in his face.


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