Behind the Mask

Behind the Mask

Releases May 16, 2017 | Order Now!

Behind the Mask is a multi-author collection with stories by award-winning authors Kelly Link, Cat Rambo, Carrie Vaughn, Seanan McGuire, Lavie Tidhar, Sarah Pinsker, Keith Rosson, Kate Marshall, Chris Large and others. It is partially, a prose nod to the comic world—the bombast, the larger-than-life, the save-the-worlds and the calls-to-adventure. But it’s also a spotlight on the more intimate side of the genre. The hopes and dreams of our cape-clad heroes. The regrets and longings of our cowled villains. That poignant, solitary view of the world that can only be experienced from behind the mask.
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About the Book

The authors in this collection, both established and new, are all dexterous and wonderfully imaginative, each deserving of their own form-fitting uniforms and capes. Some of the stories pulse with social commentary, like Cat Rambo’s whimsical and deft “Ms. Liberty Gets a Haircut” and Keith Rosson’s haunting “Torch Songs.” Others twist the genre into strange and new territories, like Stuart Suffel’s atmospheric “Birthright,” Kate Marhsall’s moving “Destroy the City with Me Tonight,” and Adam Shannon’s reality-bending “Over an Embattled City.” Some punch with heart and humor, like Matt Mikalatos’s satisfying “The Beard of Truth” and Chris Large’s adventurous “Salt City Blue,” while others punch with bite and grit, such as Michael Milne’s evocative “Inheritance,” Aimee Ogden’s poignant “As I Fall Asleep,” and Jennifer Pullen’s heartfelt “Meeting Someone in the 22nd Century.” Some of the stories feature characters who might not be superheroes in the traditional sense, yet are heroic nonetheless, such as Sarah Pinsker’s imaginative “The Smoke Means It’s Working” and Stephanie Lai’s majestic “The Fall of the Jade Sword.” Some shine a unique, captivating spotlight on supervillains, like Keith Frady’s dramatic “Fool” and Carrie Vaughn’s romantic “Origin Story.” Some are somber, ponderous works, where our heroes consider their impact on the world, like Lavie Tidhar’s regret-tinged “Heroes” and Nathan Crowder’s resonant “Madjack.” Others tread more light-hearted waters, with heroes adjusting to the sometimes-comical, sometimes-stressful life in the public eye, like Seanan McGuire’s entertaining “Pedestal” and Patrick Flanagan’s lively “Quintessential Justice.” And then there are the softer, quieter moments between heroes, as they navigate their extraordinary lives in their own unique ways, such as Ziggy Schutz’s tender “Eggshells” and, of course, Kelly Link’s captivating “Origin Story.”

Recent Press

  • Publisher’s Weekly – “Reeks and Richardson have pulled together a treasure trove of 20 stories . . . exploring the lives of superheroes when they’re not saving the world. . . . There is nary a miss in this diverse and thoughtful collection, which will have readers considering what it means to be human.”  – Full Review
  • Library Journal | Jennifer Funk – “Verdict: Fans of superhero fiction will find that these imaginative stories, with their original perspectives, make for a thoroughly worthwhile compilation.” – Full Review
  • Kirkus Reviews – (starred review) “A momentous, readable collection, its sole downside being that there are only 20 superhero stories.” – Full Review
  • SuperheroNovels.com –  “[Richardson] and Reeks have done a great job picking 20 stories that play to familiar strengths of the genre like transformation, self-identity, secret identities and the responsibilities that come with extraordinary power.” – Full Review
  • John DeNardo, SF Signal – “Short fiction readers should seek out . . . Behind the Mask: A Superhero Anthology,” 2017 Speculative Fiction Continues to Deliver – Full Article
  • A Dragon in Space – “. . . this anthology is a beautiful gem, with a lot of original content in the growing theme of superpowered people, whether they are superheroes or supervillains.” – Full Review
  • Words on the Page – “I was pleased to find the majority of these stories worked for me. . . . I highly recommend tracking down a copy.” – Full Review
  • Inky Reviews – (4.5/5 Stars) “Masterfully-written, this compilation lets us peek inside these people’s ordinary lives, and shows us that they may not be as different as we think. . . . Absolutely recommend it!”” – Full Review
  • Shomeret: The Masked Reviewer – “In this world where cynicism and noir are popular, I feel that superheroes are the antidote.   I found that hopeful vision in those particular stories of Behind The Mask which makes me glad that I read them.” – Full Review

 

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About the Author
Carrie Vaughn

Carrie Vaughn is best known for her New York Times bestselling series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty, who hosts a talk radio show for the supernaturally disadvantaged, the fourteenth installment of which is Kitty Saves the World. She's written several other contemporary fantasy and young adult novels, as well as upwards of 80 short stories. She's a contributor to the Wild Cards series of shared world superhero books edited by George R. R. Martin and a graduate of the Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop. An Air Force brat, she survived her nomadic childhood and managed to put down roots in Boulder, Colorado. Visit her at www.carrievaughn.com

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