I finally get to announce the 15 talented authors who will be featured in this year’s Inked in Gray anthology! We are so excited to showcase these stories, all of which center around the aspect of survival. It blew my mind the vast array of interpretations of the theme. With this release, our authors tackle the physical, emotional, and mental aspects of survival through a myriad of different situations. Topics of immortality, sanity, self-preservation, even the survival of tradition take center stage in this collection.
We are currently deep into the editing process, and we have a few surprises in store for this release. Look out for our exclusive kickstarter and an official release date of Summer 2021.
But first! Let me introduce the authors for the 2nd annual Inked in Gray Anthology.
R.A. won this year’s anthology contest with her story “Cold,” about a young man and his difficult choice between starvation and surrendering to the voice of the wind telling him to make the ultimate sacrifice.
About the Author: An award-winning literature teacher and die-hard horror fan, R. A. Busby is also the author of “Bits” (Short Sharp Shocks #45), “Street View” (Collective Realms #2), “Not the Man I Married” (Black Petals #93), “Holes” (Graveyard Smash, Women of Horror Anthology, Vol. 2), and “Cactusland” (34 Orchard, forthcoming).
“I was always instructed to write about what I know,” she states, “and I know what scares me.” In her spare time, R.A. Busby watches cheesy Gothic movies and goes running in the desert with her dog.
“A Cage of Moon and Stars” is a dark fantasy about betrayal and the struggle for survival as one civilization preys upon another through moonlight.
About the Author: David-Christopher Harris’ fantasy publications include “Olam Ha-Ba” in speculative fiction and poetry magazine Arsenika, “Last Call” in The Arcanist Magazine, “Falselight” on PageHabit, and “Children of Ozymandias” in 50WordStories, among others. He received his M.A. in Medieval Literature, which he uses exclusively to teach his cat Latin. He is currently querying.
“Migration” takes us where risk and hope collide, and somewhere in between a migrating clan must survive and decide what values they take with them.
About the Author: Andy Dibble is a healthcare IT consultant who lives in Madison, Wisconsin. He has supported the electronic medical record of healthcare systems in six countries. His work appears or is forthcoming in Writers of the Future, Star*Line, Sci Phi Journal, and others. He is Articles Editor for Speculative North magazine.
“Taylor Manor” offers a new twist on the haunted house tale, one which will make you question walking into an unfamiliar place without the blessing of its owners.
About the Author: LT writes mostly speculative fiction shorts and novels while spending her days raising her children and satisfying her never-ending thirst for knowledge through reading, meeting people, and first-hand life experiences. She has short story publications with Dancing Lemur Press, Me First Magazine, Jazz House Press, and forthcoming with Black Hare Press and Cardigan Press. She currently volunteers with WriteHive, a nonprofit literary organization.
“Sleigh 54” is a horrific twist on magic and Christmas elves and what it really means to save Christmas.
About the Author: Ben is a young author who has been writing stories for over six years now. Recently he has been published in his town’s newspaper.
Maxwell I Gold
“Escape from the House of Asher-Fell” is a tale of nihilistic self-discovery by a woman trapped in her own profound grief.
About the Author: Maxwell I. Gold is a Rhysling Award nominated prose poet, focusing on weird and cosmic fiction. He is a regular contributor to Spectral Realms, edited by Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi and his work has also appeared in Weirdbook Magazine, Space and Time Magazine, Startling Stories, Baffling Magazine, and many others.
His debut prose poetry collection, Oblivion in Flux: A Collection of Cyber Prose is forthcoming this August from Crystal Lake Publishing.
“Among Tall Trees” is the juxtaposition of survival vs tradition. A man must choose between one people’s right to their ancestral home and allowing that people’s continued destruction.
About the Author: Damir Salkovic is the author of novels Kill Zone and Always Beside You. His shorter work has been featured in the Lovecraft eZine, Dimension6 Annual Collection 2020, and in multiple horror, science and speculative fiction anthologies.
“Threads” is a story about spiritual and mental sanity and how blurred the lines become in our desperation to achieve it.
About the Author: Lawrence J West has been on his writing journey since he was fourteen years old and has always been drawn to fantasy, sci-fi, and horror because of the way these genres allow for the exploration of human experience in unique ways. Since becoming a husband and father he has also found that his writing has a greater degree of empathy and insight.
Lawrence can be found on Twitter.
Sharon Frame Gay
“Old Women” tells of the women who endured and survived WWII, how one processes those experiences years later and how one may cope with past experiences once they live to see the morning.
About the Author: Sharon Frame Gay is an award winning author whose work has appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including Chicken Soup For The Soul, Typehouse, Fiction on the Web, Literally Stories, Lowestoft Chronicle, Thrice Fiction, Saddlebag Dispatches, Crannog, and others. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee.
A collection of her short stories, Song of the Highway, was released in August, 2020.
“I am Emergent” is a story that pits love against love, and the moral quandary that arises when we fear we cannot save what we love the most.
About the Author: Timothy Johnson is a writer and editor living outside of Washington, D.C. His published work includes the novels The Pillars of Dawn and Carrier as well as short fiction appearing in various professional and semi-professional markets. He is an MFA candidate in George Mason University’s creative writing program and an affiliate member of the HWA.
“Cathuranjalee” addresses isolation, desperation, and overcoming adversity at the hands of family and religion.
About the Author: DL Shirey lives in Portland, Oregon, where it’s probably raining. Luckily, water is beer’s primary ingredient. His stories and non-fiction appear in 60 publications, including Confingo, Page & Spine, Zetetic and Wild Musette.
“The Algorithm” explores the theme of survival at the intersection of livelihood and technology.
About the Author: Dan Eveloff is a lawyer and sports agent living in Chicago, Illinois with his dog, Reuben. He studied accounting at the University of Kansas, and subsequently earned his law degree from Northwestern University. His short fiction “The Price of Recompense” has appeared in AHF Magazine, “Shakespearean Justice” in Aphelion Webzine, and “Prevenge” can be found in Close to the Bone Magazine.
“Someday” is about making difficult decisions that do not have easy answers. Taking a chance could allow for a better future, but it could also end in death.
About the Author: Valerie Hunter teaches high school English and has an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her stories and poems have appeared in publications including Cicada, Storyteller, Edison Literary Review, Other Voices, Room, and Wizards in Space.
Find Valerie on Instagram.
“In Doctrine and In Deed” is as the title states, taking us through the contemplations of a mother and her neurodivergent son in a cafe in Chicago.
About the Author: Nicholas Barner has farmed, cooked, and written variously in Oakland, Chicago, Maine, and Los Angeles. He lives with his partner, Shelby, and their Dog, Nuni.
He can be found online at nicholasbarner.com.
“A Dicey Proposition” is a bit of a social commentary on how totalitarianism has a micro-level affect on relationships between individuals.
About the Author: Thomas Canfield lives in the mountains of North Carolina. His phobias run to politicians, lawyers and TV pitchmen. He is still trying to plumb the logic of the sales pitch; The more you buy, the more you save. It never quite seems to work out that way in the real world. Canfield occasionally reviews books on Goodreads.