Several years ago a bunch of science fiction romance authors came up with a fun idea. “Why don’t we write a collection of novella length stories, science fiction romances involving pets. Any sort of pet – cats, dogs, owls, weird aliens, as long as it’s a pet helping the two main characters get together.” Some of the biggest names in the SFR genre were involved – S.E. Smith, Linnea Sinclair, Susan Grant, Cara Bristol, Veronica Scott, and others.
And so it was done. The anthology was called Pets in Space and it was very successful – so successful, they did it all again the following year, and the year after that… And they created a trademark Pets in Space®. Several of the books have become USA Today best sellers. You can learn more about Pets in Space here. Apart from offering great stories for people to read, Pets in Space donates part of what it earns to Hero Dogs, a wonderful charity that trains companion dogs to help veterans – military and first responders – to live a normal life.
This year it’s the turn of Pets in Space 6 and I am privileged to have a story in the anthology. It’s called The Thunder Egg – and here’s a taste of the opening chapter.
THE MIST HAD THICKENED. Two minutes ago, Afra had been able to read the writing on the shop fronts. Now, she could hardly see the signs. Her pulse pounded. She shouldn’t have come this way, even if it was the fastest route back to the spaceport. She walked on, the sound of her footsteps muffled in the heavy air. Just a few more blocks and she’d be out of Old Port and its narrow, winding, cobblestoned alleys. Huh. The tourists thought it was picturesque. It was a great place to get mugged. Afra tightened her fingers around the reassuring bulk of her pistol’s butt nestled in her jacket pocket and aimed for the feeble glow of a streetlight. At least the weather would have put off the thugs.
Something slammed into her chest.
Afra’s heart went into overdrive as she jolted to a halt, staring down at the creature clutching her chest. Wide dark eyes stared up at her. She could almost feel the plea. Footsteps thudded nearby.
“It can’t be far. Look that way.”
A male voice, rough and urgent. The creature, whatever it was, squawked and disappeared into the darkness. A bird? Some sort of flying thing, at any rate. Odd. A strange thing to find in Old Port. The people here would eat anything.
Pets in Space 6 is available for pre-order, with delivery on 5th October. Costing US$4.99, the anthology includes stories from eleven authors. But don’t forget to buy your copy while you can. The book will be taken off sale in November.
Meanwhile, The Search for the Crimson Lady has reached 25 thousand words.