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      James Comins
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Opening night. The bridge to the Noh stage is only a few footsteps ahead. The audience is waiting for you.Opening night. The bridge to the Noh stage is only a few footsteps ahead, and the audience is waiting for you. Your mask is in your hand for the lead role, Shanne. Opposite you is your best friend Quinn, playing the sinister jester Punchinoni.You're all ready, all your lines are memorized, and your character is familiar and natural. All you have to do is step out on stage.Put on your mask. Step into your character. Take a deep breath.It's the role of a lifetime. It starts now.
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    The Stone Shepherd's Son

      James Comins
The Stone Shepherd's Son

Once upon a time--today, specifically--there was a shepherd of stones and his son. It's time for the lad to seek his fortune in the big city. But the big city is abuzz: the tin princess and the silver queen have gone missing, and the golden king is desperately worried. The stone shepherd's son begins his quest. But the ladies are hardly helpless, thank you, and there's other business needs doing.A shepherd made of stone had a son. Today the boy is old enough to set off to seek his fortune in the big city.But the big city is abuzz: the tin princess and the silver queen have gone missing, and the golden king is desperately worried. He offers a bodacious bonanza to the one who rescues the royal ladies. So the stone shepherd's son begins his quest.Only neither of the royal ladies is exactly helpless, thank you, and both of them have their own lives to live. Which is not to say they've got it totally under control, either. A shepherd's son with the world's smallest violin, a rare windflower seed and a piece of ever-burning charcoal might come in handy in averting a war between two imperial grumps.And just such a war needs averting ...
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    Where the Cloud Meets the Mountain and the Mountain Disappears

      James Comins
Where the Cloud Meets the Mountain and the Mountain Disappears

A free collection of contemporary and sf/fantasy short stories from author James Comins. In "The Soft Operative," a corporate saboteur kidnaps a genetically modified employee. In "Four Seasons of a Man," a Vietnam war vet's life is seen in four vignettes. In "Matt and Maggie," a punk couple live through a suicide attempt. Twenty stories and poems and poem-story-things.A free collection of contemporary and sf/fantasy short stories from author James Comins. In "The Soft Operative," a corporate saboteur kidnaps a genetically modified employee. In "Four Seasons of a Man," a Vietnam war vet's life is seen in four vignettes. In "Matt and Maggie," a punk couple live through a suicide attempt. Twenty stories and poems and poem-story-things.1. The Soft OperativeA corporate saboteur kidnaps a genetically modified employee.2. The Silent PastureBeauty and the beast sit in the garden of Eden.3. Maxwell's DemonFlash fiction for a New Scientist writing contest.4. Red Sox YankeesA city erupts in a riot.5. The Old Open DoorA poem based on "St. James Infirmary."6. The Woman on the Other SideA story about Alzheimer's.7. Four Seasons of a Man: Spring8. Four Seasons of a Man: Summer9. Four Seasons of a Man: Autumn10. Four Seasons of a Man: WinterVignettes of a Vietnam War veteran's life.11. A Guide to the Apocalypse, by Henrietta Stevensen, Age 46A satiric look at Internet conspiracy theorists and zombie-obsessed loons.12. Who's Afraid of the Big Beowulf?A prose poem mashup of Little Red Riding Hood and Beowulf.13. MoonwalkThree kids lost in the guts of the Space Elevator.14. The Sky Fell. . . and what happened after.15. PlacesGesture drawings in words. Not quite a poem, not quite stories. Prosody.16. The Coffin WormsA poem of the horrible things that happen after you die.17. The Death of Piers Plowman, or, The Barley-ChildA metaphor from The Angelus of Millet.18.The SingsongerNo idea. I think it's funny, anyway.19. The Rise of Arch-Lord EvilThe origin story of the big evil badguy from every video game and fantasy story.20. Matt and MaggieTwo punk kids deal with a suicide attempt.
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    13 Stories to Scare You to Death

      James Comins
13 Stories to Scare You to Death

In a small Midwestern town, kids are turning up dead. Strange and creepy creatures get them, traps and tricks get them, voices from beyond the grave get them. In thirteen stories, thirteen kids work to turn the tide of monsters.In an unnamed town somewhere on the American prairie, children are dying. Terrible creatures, some from this world and some from the next, are appearing at the edge of town. Bedtime has become deadtime. Strange diseases are infecting people. Voices from beyond the grave are whispering.Into town arrives a special delivery from Rumania: a wooden cart in a packing box. Out pops a pair of witch parents and a thousand-year-old teenage witch daughter. They paint an old house on a hill jet black and set about trying to stop the monsters. But it will take everything they have to end the supernatural evil that grips the town . . .
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    Lenna and the Last Dragon

      James Comins
Lenna and the Last Dragon

Book One of the Lenna series.Dragons. Robots. A kidnapping. A journey across the North Sea. A twelve-year-old girl with strange powers. And an ancient family of Irish immortals.Book One of the Lenna series. A regular day of carrying pig slop on the Icelandic dragon farm turns terrifying when twelve-year-old Lenna walks in on the old farm caretaker, Brugda, summoning up a prophetic vision of a dark future. Lenna is sent to visit the farm’s owner, deadly quiet Lady Joukka Pelata. She reveals tantalizing glimpses of the girl’s past and the possibilities for her future, hinting at how important she could become. The night gets stranger still as the world transforms into a glittering, crystalline place of wooden robots and shifting skies. But Lenna hardly sees the new, enchanted world around her as she dwells on her damaged relationships. She can’t escape the feeling that there are deeply hidden secrets surrounding Brugda and the quiet farmhands.
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    The Dark Crystal: Plague of Light

      James Comins
The Dark Crystal: Plague of Light

My entry to Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal Author Quest, published with kind permission of the Jim Henson Company. Set thousands of trines before the events of the film, PLAGUE OF LIGHT is the story of Cory and Loora, Woodland Gelflings searching for a cure to an arcane contagion that has infected the people of Thra.My entry to Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal Author Quest, published with kind permission of the Jim Henson Company.In the world of the Dark Crystal, stones can move and plants can sing. The Skeksis rule from the Castle of the Crystal, while the natural wizards called ur-Mystics work from afar to prevent the land from faltering. Set thousands of trines before the events of the film, PLAGUE OF LIGHT is the story of the search for a cure to an arcane contagion that has infected the people of Thra.Cory and Loora are both rebellious Woodland Gelflings who have been sent to Aughra to sort out their problems with authority. She enlists them on a quest to find a cure for the plague that has already infected their parents.Meanwhile, Gobber and Lemny are nuffing more than trav'ling merchants, carrying odds and evens to sell from their old cart, when they spot sumfing funny falling from the sky . . .
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