Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

Magic runs wild in the 20th century as I shamelessly promote myself!

That’s the subtitle for my new short story collection, 19-Infinity, a collection of unrelated short stories set at various points in the 1900s. It’s out in paperback from Amazon and available for ebook pre-order from multiple retailers. The ebook goes live in Aug. 14.Cover copy: “It’s the 1900s but not as we knew them. Nazi shadow invaders battle Tesla and Edison. The Wandering Jew works as a private investigator. Teenage girls face sorcerers who kill through mirrors. A science fiction convention hides a conspiracy by Nazi occultists. Robert F. Kennedy’s death unleashes cosmic horror. Nursery rhymes walk the streets of New York.

Welcome to 19-Infinity, a supernatural version of the 20th century captured in 11 short stories. Whether riding along with a woman reporter in the 1930s or an aging actor in 1999, we get to see the last century as it never was — and given what magic does, that’s probably a good thing. There’s fantasy, romance, mystery, a lot of humor and a small bit of tragedy in the era of 19-Infinity.”

I’d originally set out to do a much larger collection of all my extant historical fantasy stories. I’ve written quite a few and I anticipate writing more of them. The world is so unsettled that anything contemporary I write today might be outdated by the time it sees print. Plus I have much less grasp of contemporary pop culture than I do of, say, the 1960s or 1970. I obviously don’t have the same grasp of Victorian pop culture but I know if it takes five years to sell a story, Victorians are going to be reading the same things they are today, so to speak.

When I realized I had a book’s worth of stories from the 20th century, I decided it might be a more appealing collection if I focused on the 1900s, I took a couple of stories and rewrote them for that century to fill the book out a little, which turned out to improve them. A Famine Where Abundance Lies involves cutting-edge IT; setting it in the 1990s I don’t have to imagine what the next big thing in IT is, just what it used to be.

The contents:


Leave the World to Darkness. A woman reporter stumbles into the story of a lifetime — if she survives to write it. A Nazi master of shadows will try to kill her first.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished. After two thousand years of accursed immortality, the Wandering Jew is one cynical S.O.B. The death of a good guy at the hands of the “Bad Samaritan” may turn things around.


And He Bought a Crooked Cat. At twenty-five, Paul is already middle-aged and stuffy. Then he has to walk a crooked mile to save his best friend from a crooked cat.

No One Can Slay Her. Despite the doom laid upon her, wealthy amateur detective Jennifer Armstrong is young, happy and in love with her new wife Kate (in this 1950s, gay marriage is legal and unremarkable). Only someone’s threatening Kate with a deadly magic that ties in with a sleeping god and a low-budget film studio.


The Savage Year. In the wake of Robert Kennedy’s death, a bronze-skinned vagabond girl and a woman working as a Secret Service sorcerer have to stop a British mage from unleashing cosmic horrors.

Shadows Reflected in Darkness. Maud picked the wrong night to sneak into a Soho jazz club in “swinging London.” Because now Death’s Jester intends to kill her.


The Glory That Was. Years ago Elizabeth and Molly adventured in a fantasy realm of Greek mythology. Now they’re back together in our world, but their lives have taken radically different paths.


Death Is Like a Box of Chocolates. It’s only a box of Stuckey’s praline candy. How can it be causing chaos?


Where Angels Fear to Lunch. The Wandering Jew now works as a PI. When an angel walks into his office and begs for help, it launches a case that could decide the fate of the world.

A Famine Where Abundance Lies. A cutting edge search engine. An overworked IT professional. A mysterious consultant. It adds up to trouble.

The Schloss and the Switchblade. When Ward Hanover agreed to be guest of honor at Nevercon, he didn’t expect they’d be screening his long-lost first film, The Juvenile Delinquents Meet the Nazis. And it’s dangerously different from the low-budget movie he remembers.

You may notice there’s nothing in the collection for the 1940s. I didn’t write any of these stories with an eye to creating this anthology; it just turned out that there’s nothing in my fiction from the 1940s. I thought about trying to write one but getting any book published is a lot of work (editing, choosing the cover, etc.). I decided not to add to it.

I’m publishing more details about the stories over at my own blog.

#SFWApro. Cover by Kemp Ward.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.