Elevator Pitch: This Twisted Earth (Vol.1)
Editor: Dion Winton-Polak
Writers: Adrian Tchaikovsky, Jess Nevins, Mike Chinn, Phil Sloman, Matt Lewis, Piotr Swietlik, Jacob Prytherch, Dave de Burgh, Andrew Coulthard, Drew Bassett, Hereward Proops, Keith Coleman, Dion Winton-Polak.
Publisher: Six Minutes to Midnight – an imprint of Great British Horror
Buy the paperback from http://sixminutes.greatbritishhorror.com/product/this-twisted-earth
Kindle edition available to pre-order from Amazon now.
What is This Twisted Earth?
It’s a pulp anthology; a shared-world creation that gives our authors the chance to play cat’s cradle with Time itself. We bring you Celtic warriors and cyborgs, rat men and Romans, European gods and Middle-Eastern monsters, Mayan noir, Saharan horror, and samurai science fiction.
Why should we pick this up?
This Twisted Earth is an ambitious and exciting anthology, positing a version of our world where all of Time has become tangled. It is a sandpit environment, allowing our writers to grab whatever fragments of history, genre, and speculative future that tickles their fancy and bring them together across twelve tales.
The anthology features original stories by Adrian Tchaikovsky – Arthur C. Clarke Award winner (Children of Time); Jess Nevins – World Fantasy Award nominee (Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana); Mike Chinn – British Fantasy Award nominee (Swords Against the Millennium), and nine other fabulous writers.
Excerpts from This Twisted Earth
The Electric Eye of the Silver God – Adrian Tchaikovsky
In his retinue he took one who was wise, besides Isobel. Kumaradevi – “Devi” to Horeb – was a scholar from a city named Harappa, which had risen and fallen before Horeb had ever been born. She had come to Waset with the mind of a scientist and had taught and learned many things. Her true joy, though, was the craft of entering and leaving places without the permission of their owners. In his campaigns to defend Waset she had been his spy amongst the tents of the enemy more than once.
In Horeb’s retinue as well were three who were warriors besides himself, and chief of these was Ahemait. Ahemait was not truly one of his people, but in Horeb’s mind she was a war-beast fit for a Pharaoh, for all he knew she was a machine. Ahemait was tended to by Tank-Hilde, the pale woman who had been a fisherman’s wife in Norway before she came to Duat, but had demonstrated such a knack for artificing. Ahemait was controlled by Hilde, and crewed by the creature they called the Clicker, because Isobel could not make it speak, though it had learned the tongue of the Nile and Isobel could translate its thoughts. These were his army: a woman, a monster and a battered Russian T34 tank named after the devourer of souls.
The Ghost in Michelle – Matt Lewis
The noise of battle subsided slightly as fighters from both sides turned to look up at the war machine casting a shadow over the field. The vehicle was a spiky lump set on top of a metal circle, like a gauntleted fist on a tea plate. The circle crackled with the same dirty yellow energy that infused Grunt’s sword. A tri-gunned turret protruded from either side of the fist. Each gun was different, giving the tank a menacing and asymmetrical look.
Grunt poked out of the top, grinning widely, the air shimmering around him from the pilot shield that protected the driver. A Convert and an Avatar shared a disbelieving glance for a second before the tank landed on them with a crunch.
With a few further noises of enthusiasm, Grunt started running people down.
Blod desperately wanted to close her eyes now. She was seeing things she had never imagined she would actually see. Things she had laughed at in films. She wondered if the armoured warrior was even aware of the horror any more.
Tokoloshe Tower – Dave de Burgh
Stry grimaced. He was a man of science, not superstition, but he’d seen enough during his journey to know that many creatures once relegated to myth and legend were dangerously real. “I know tokoloshe.” He had heard about their Central African progenitors, the Djinn – there were enough similarities that he thought that he knew what to expect, if he ran across them.
Brother Amos let out a hearty chuckle. “You think so, but dees are differen’, mah man. Dey speak, an’ make promises. Tell people dey know what’s behind de Troubles. Upset de pattern. People believe dem and dey disappear, too. Lelike goed.”
Stry turned the words over in his mind for a moment, the Afrikaans phrase for ‘ugly things’ echoing in his mind, before he understood what Amos had said, and when he did a strip of sweat down the middle of his back seemed to freeze while spider-fingers scuttled across his scalp.
They can talk, and they know who’s behind the Twisting? He frowned down at his bag. Wouldn’t that be interesting?