What is it about tentacles that capture the imagination like nothing else? From The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife to the eldritch horrors of Lovecraft, what horrifies us often arouses us, too. Whether it's the taboo, the inherent wrongness, or something that can't be defined, tentacles capture the imagination, and these stories wrap their slippery appendages around our minds and won't let go.
Julian has the salt of the sea in his blood, but his father spurns him as weak and the others in the fishing village whisper that he is cursed. He's willing to do anything to prove himself and to make his life on the water, including A Bargain with a strange man of the sea... a man who has tentacles instead of legs and untold wealth to tempt him.
Niall is a Netrunner also known as the Timberwolf, fierce and cunning in his information raids. But when he's captured in the real world by tech giant Erik, also known as The Wheelman, Niall is Chained to the Wheel in real space and used for Erik's pleasure in the Net. And when Erik comes to test him, it will be with the awe-inspiring lower body of an octopus and a mingling of pain and pleasure that Niall no longer wants to escape.
Aaron might be innocent to the ways of the larger universe, but when he escapes his luddite world to make his way on a space station, that innocence becomes a slight asset. His arranged employer, Ilyan, is charmed by his wide-eyed purity and his acceptance of others, no matter how strange. And as their bond grows, Aaron begins to find his Home Among the Stars.
Jonah is a human researcher on an alien world, making his way with the help of his lover, Othosh, but when the two fail to check in for a Deadline or two, they may have to answer to the Earth Corps forces who look at the two mated males and see only a tentacled monster and his kidnapped human hostage.
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Inventors, pilots, tinkers, and soldiers; magical metals to replace an aging heart or a ruined limb; steam-powered fantasy worlds of clockwork nightingales, automatons, dirigibles, and men. The stories in this anthology visit diverse times in the history of modern man, and the men who populate these tales face war and cruelty, masters and…