Like Short Fiction? Check out the “… Later” Trilogy

I had the good fortune to participate in each of these books, published by Thinking Ink Press as charity projects.  A percentage of royalties from each volume has been donated to library systems in San Jose, Calif., Dixon, Calif., and Modesto, Calif., thusfar.

I’m in exceptionally good company on these anthologies as well, sharing space with the likes of Harry Turtledove, Lillian Csernica, A.J. Sikes, Kirsten Weiss, Anthony Francis, T.E. MacArthur, and more.

My stories in each volume are as follows; please click through on the book titles to purchase.

Twelve Hours Later

The premise in the first book sets the tone for the rest of the series:  two stories, each 12 hours apart.  Fans of Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes will be particularly interested in this volume, as we return to the Opéra Garnier in Nous Sommes Deux Heures and Nous Sommes Quatorze Heurs (2 AM and 2 PM, respectively).  Apprentice woodworker Lucien Dubois is determined to learn more about the opera house in which he works … and his curiosity takes him to the fifth basement, where he finds far more than he bargained for.

Thirty Days Later

This time, we enter the world of Les Misérables with Two Days in June, Parts 1 and 2.  Long-time friends Jean-Claude and Henri plot their place in the June Rebellion of 1832, while their lady friends face their own challenges.

Some Time Later

Flowers of London and Flowers of Paris introduce charming rogue Thaddeus Flowers, would-be inventor.  Thad takes us on a trip to the Electrical Exhibition in London and to the opening of the Eiffel Tower in Paris … where he also encounters a masked genius who until recently lived beneath the city’s elegant opera house.

International Literacy Day

Via Freepik

Today is International Literacy Day.  Designated by UNESCO in 1965, the aim of the event is to celebrate and amplify the importance of literacy to individuals and communities alike.

I don’t remember being taught to read; I entered school already able to do so.  I was read to regularly, and there were always books in the house.  I loved using the school and public libraries to expand my horizons.  Yet, there are people for whom this is not part of their landscape.  Some 880 million people worldwide.

One of the things I’m most proud of in my authors’ group is our commitment to literacy.  With our partners at Thinking Ink Press, we have published a series of three anthologies (Twelve Hours Later, Thirty Days Later, Some Time Later) for which a significant portion of the proceeds are donated to local literacy programs.  Since starting this project, we have donated in excess of $1,500 to help people in our community learn how to read.

atw80p-v2In celebration of International Literacy Day, I am promoting Around the World in 80 Pages.  This is a collection of 10 short tales, across history and cultures … and it’s free.  Just click here to get a copy in the format that fits your eReader.  Thanks, as always, for reading.



Weekend Reads: Some Time Later

This week, I’m going to toot my own horn a little.  Or, rather, the horn of the writing group to which I belong.  Some Time Later contains two of my stories (“Flowers of London” and “Flowers of Paris”).  Fans of my Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes series will be particularly interested in these tales … but I digress.

In all seriousness, it was my honor to work on all three of the books in this series, which benefit local literacy programs.

Some Time Later: Fantastic Voyages Through Alternate WorldsSome Time Later: Fantastic Voyages Through Alternate Worlds by AJ Sikes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclosure: I have two stories in this anthology. My review refers solely to the rest of the work.

Some Time Later is the final book in a charity anthology series (see also Twelve Hours Later: 24 Tales of Myth and Mystery, Thirty Days Later: Steaming Forward: 30 Adventures in Time) created by the authors who participate in Clockwork Alchemy. A portion of the proceeds, from the inception of the project, have gone to support literacy programs.

In this book, the paired stories start a tale and pick up “some time later” with the events. Not too surprisingly, the standout stories are Harry Turtledove‘s “Three Men and a Vampire” and “Three Men and a Werewolf,” the latter being a paean to a 1970s pop singer that is guaranteed to make you smile. I was raving about that story the same day I read it.

Kudos also to anthology newcomer Richard Lau, for his tales of Johnny Chimes. The story of a robot designed to be a vigilante was surprisingly poignant, particularly in the second story (“The Last Stand of Johnny Chimes”).

The tales range from straight-up steampunk to historical fantasy, and there isn’t a bad one in the lot.

Highly recommended.

View all my reviews

Some Time Later–now available!

Lots of wonderful stories in this book. I’m in good company!

Airship Flamel


For the past three years, the authors participating in Clockwork Alchemy, San Jose, California’s steampunk con, have put together short story anthologies the proceeds from which are donated to various organizations promoting literacy.  The concept is simple–each author writes two short stories separated by a duration of time.  Two years ago, it was Twelve Hours Later.  Last year it was Thirty Days Later.  This year the theme is Some Time Later–giving the authors a bit more chronological leeway.

I am honored to have been able to participate in this event for the last two years, and proud to announce that this year’s anthology launched last weekend at Clockwork Alchemy 2017 and is now available.

My stories feature a band of rather hapless air pirates searching for the lost treasure of Atlantis.  These same pirates also feature prominently in my recently launched steampunk novel The Secret Notebook of…

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Not one but TWO anthologies

I have stories in both of these anthologies. Be sure to check them out!

BJ Sikes, author

The folks at Thinking Ink Press are releasing two of the anthologies I helped create! They are reissuing Twelve Hours Later, the first book of the Later trilogy, and they are publishing Some Time Later, the third book of the trilogy. The Later books are charity steampunk anthologies that I edited. I also contributed stories.

Some Time Later

Some Time Later: Fantastic Voyages in Alternate Worlds will be available soon through booksellers in print and e-book editions and at Clockwork Alchemy 2017. Fifty percent of the proceeds will be donated to local literacy programs.

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