Here are some of my favorite small press stories:

1, Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Diving into the Wreck

WMG Publishing. This is the first book in a series. Boss dives old spaceships. It’s dangerous work and so she prefers to work alone. But then she finds a ship that is old enough that it shouldn’t exist at all at the place where she found it, she gathers together a team who can explore it. Boss is a woman in her forties and we never find out her real name.

2, Dean Wesley Smith, ed: Fiction River: Moonscapes

WMG Publishing. A short story collection. The stories are all set on a moon, either our own or some other planet’s moon. I enjoyed all the stories.

Fiction River is a series of short story collections. Some have clear themes, such as Moonscapes, Unnatural Worlds, and Time Streams. Some have a more generic theme, such as Justice or Pulse Pounders, and they have stories from various genres.

3, David B. Coe and Joshua Palmatier: Galactic Stew

Zombies need Brains. Another very enjoyable short story collection. This one is centered on food in SF settings.

4, Karen A. Wyle: Playback Effect

Oblique Angles Press. Playback Effect is near future, thoughtful SF about how technology affects humans and whole societies. The setting is the near future where people have invented the technology to record what other people experience and then play it back and experience it themselves. Feelings can be recorded and one of the main characters is a professional dreamer who records her dreams for others to buy and experience. However, specifics and details aren’t yet recorded.

5, Scott Warren: Vick’s Vultures

Parvus Press. Victoria and her crew salvage alien tech from starships crippled in battle. But on one ship, the commander and a handful of his crew are still alive. The commander is a Prince of his race and strikers a deal with the puny humans to survive.

6, Karl Gallagher: Torchship

Kelt Haven Press. The first book in a trilogy but can be read as a stand-alone. Mitchie Long is a secret agent sent to a cargo ship as a pilot. She’s used to going undercover and lying to everyone. However. when she must fight alongside the small crew, she starts to feel a connection with them. It doesn’t have one story but several connected tasks, like a TV miniseries. I enjoyed them all.

7, R. J. Theodore: Flotsam

Parvus Press. Talis is the captain of Wind Saber, a small airship with a total crew of four people. To keep her vessel in the air, Talis is sometimes forced to take jobs that are borderline legal, or outright illegal. She takes an easy-sounding job from a trusted man: an old ring needed to be retrieved from the wreckage of an airship. Talis agreed to the job even though the payment barely covers the cost of the equipment needed for diving the wreck. Of course, things go wrong.

I also have quite a few small press and self-published books in my TBR:

8, Anthea Sharp: Star Compass

Fiddlehead Press. Charles Dickens meets Firefly in this tale of an orphan destined for the stars.

Steampunk with a twist! Enter a fantastical world filled with alien spacecraft and Victorian sensibilities, ball gowns and travel to the stars – where a pickpocket with a particular gift yearns for the stars…

9, M.H. Thaung: Diamond Device

Caroline Thaung. After diamond power promises to replace steam, an unemployed labourer and a thieving noble unite to foil an international plot and avert a war.

10, Kari Kilgore: The Becalmed

Spiral Publishing, Ltd. Bitan, the most valuable commodity in the human universe, only comes from one planet.

And that planet has a problem.

The TransGalactic Corporation sends Luis Ahmad, Chief Psych Officer, on a desperate mission to save the human colony on Bitanthra.

Can Luis solve the mystery in time to stop the collapse of communications throughout the galaxy?

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