A potent mix of madness, myth, and murder, with a sprinkling of black humor.

For the first time ever, A.Z. Anthony’s best short stories are available in one complete collection. Featuring the award-winning “In the Garden of Giants,” and “Kiss of the White Mistress,” along with fan favorites such as “Nine Parts Bluster,” and “Respectable Work,” this anthology of dark fiction is a potent mix of madness, myth, and murder, with a sprinkling of black humor.

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A monster stalks the ever-dark of Murkwater swamp.

A creature of nightmare made flesh. Though no one has properly seen it, the rumors about it are as abundant as the slashed and torn corpses it leaves in its wake. It’s wonderful news, assuming that you’re Senesio Suleiman Zhao, famed monster hunter, Champion of the People, and murderous egotist.

“Nine Parts Bluster” is a dark fantasy short story of fame, betrayal, and the monsters hiding in plain sight.

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Honor be damned, there’s glory at stake.

It is the duty of great men to explore the wild unknown, to go where others will not. Harper fancies himself just such a man as he leads an expedition into the perilous Ghairkhan range. Often called the “Garden of Giants,” it is a sacred land meant only for the honored spirits of the ancestors, or so say the locals. But it’s the place of lesser men to fear the dead as Harper seeks to claim his title as the conqueror of Ghairkhan.

“In the Garden of Giants” is a dark fantasy short story of pride, survival, and superstition from award-winning author A.Z. Anthony. It received Honorable Mention in the 2016 Writers of the Future contest.

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Any aspirations of honest work were long behind him. Exile had that effect on a man.

Chen’s classical education had taught him a great many things. How to read and write, to calculate numbers, to record history, and even to interpret the mysteries of poetry and philosophy. What it hadn’t taught him, however, was how to lie, cheat, and steal. A shame, then, that he was working for the biggest liar, cheat, and thief this side of the empire.

“Respectable Work” is a dark fantasy short story of lies, threats, and murder, all in the pursuit of earning some honest coin.

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He’d always tried to do right by others, but the time for that was long past.

Freshwater clams are the newest craze in the imperial capitol at Ba Seng. Far from the grand city, Jao scratches out a peaceful living harvesting the delicacy from the ever-dark of the Murkwater. But when his companions are slaughtered, and he’s taken captive to serve their murderers with his culinary talents, it isn’t long before the dark waters and dank earth of the swamp swallow Jao, twisting and corrupting the peaceful man he once was.

“Kiss of the White Mistress” is a dark fantasy short story of madness, murder, and mushrooms from award-winning author A.Z. Anthony. It earned second place in Migmag’s Spring 2013 Short Story Contest, judged by Barry Cunningham – the founder of J.K. Rowling.

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