Maia Chance, Janine A. Southard, Raven Oak and G. Clemans serve up an entertaining variety of dark fiction, science fiction, mystery and fantasy stories to spice up your holiday season!
From The Publisher
What do you get when you mix mystery and speculative fiction, then toss in the holidays for good measure? A mobster Santa, genetic hanky-panky, Victorian villages, time-travelling detectives, Krampus, eerie bell spirits, and more–this collection of short cross-genre fiction is the perfect counterpoint to traditional holiday reading!
This collection stars four authors, each with their own distinct style. National bestselling author Maia Chance, who is famous for her cozy mysteries, dazzles with humor and folklore. IPPY award-winning science fiction author Janine A. Southard beguiles with unexpected time-travel science. Science fiction & fantasy bestseller Raven Oak offers a look into the gothic past. And for a whole new perspective, debut fiction author and art expert G. Clemans dives into the intersections of creativity and mystery.
Joy to the Worlds brings together eight short works that explore mysteries across time and space. Ranging from dark dystopian worlds to comedic retro-futures, four diverse writers find new ways to combine these disparate worlds.
Review of Joy to the Worlds
Wild Hunt by Janine A. Southard
An undead detective solves a supernatural murder mystery in this western-flavored dark fantasy. Would have loved some illustrations with this, the world was as interesting as the story itself.
Escape From Old Yorktown by G. Clemans
A quaint Victorian village is not what it seems in Escape From Old Yorktown. This Y/A dystopian tale, blends M Night Shamalyan’s The Village with The Hunger Games and The Twilight Zone. Revolution! Secret Societies! Hidden knowledge uncovered by those darned kids! Great reveals at the end make this story worth the read.
Odysseus Flax and the Krampus by Maia Chance
Yes, that Krampus. Now that Hollywood has discovered Krampus, it’s safe for Americans to recognize that KRAMPUS IS A THING, but I digress. Odysseus Flax and the Krampus has it all – great writing, a snappy pace, great characters, and small-but-clever twists. It’s like your favorite Holiday Cookie – short and sweet, and leaves you wanting more.
Ol’ St. Nick by Raven Oak
Holiday murder mystery… in space! Think Santa Claus vs the Martians crossed with Firefly and a dash of The Sopranos. The pace was like my ex, a little too fast and loose, but still enjoyable.
Bevel and Turn by G. Clemans
A time-traveling Christmas toy and a terrible family curse are at the center of Bevel and Turn. I really enjoyed the awkward, Y/A protagonist, and the relationship angle was well done.
Death Node by Janine A. Southard
This time-traveling cop adventure left me feeling a bit disjointed, but I imagine that’s what time travel does. Would do. Could have done. Ahem. Death Node was smartly written, showing the repeating effects of changing things in the past. Reminded me of The Butterfly Effect, but in a good way.
The Ringers by Raven Oak
A young magician and her family pass through a dead forest and get trapped in an even deader town in The Ringers. Although our hero’s fledgling magical abilities are no match for an evil necromancer, she won’t stop until the town is free from the “Ringers,” bell-ringing horrors who are anything but jolly as they search the town for a different kind of Christmas spirit.
I loved the ideas in this story. Raven Oak really managed to turn holiday traditions on their heads.
Mr. and Mrs. Mistletoe by Maia Chance
My favorite of the stories, Mr. and Mrs. Mistletoe is a hilarious cross between Fido and The Jetsons. This retro/future mystery sends a prudish town librarian out of her routine life to solve the disappearance of the town’s prized scepter. (For medicinal purposes, natch.) Quality writing and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, mixed with some clever jabs at society -isms. Not nearly long enough.
#JoytotheWorlds Holiday-themed #SpecFic @maiachance @jani_s @raven_oak @gayleclemans http://bit.ly/1NJB0Zz
Krampus! Dystopia! Time Travel! Santa in space? #JoytotheWorlds #SpecFic http://bit.ly/1NJB0Zz
Happy Speculative Holidays! Check out #JoytotheWorlds #SpecFic http://bit.ly/1NJB0Zz
Thanks to Grey Sun Press for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an open and honest review.