edited by Mike McPhail

Beyond the Cradle of mankind, the universe is vast, unknown,
dangerous to the unwary…or those caught in the path of intrepid explorers proceeding without forethought.

Thirteen authors explore what it is to pioneer the future with tales fraught with danger and remorse, tempered with hope, luck, and serendipity. We face the monsters. We face the truth. We face ourselves.

Whether the frontier is that of science or space, there is no doubt that at some point one must ask …If we had known, would we have followed this course?


The Necessary Enemy by Ian Randal Strock

The Steady Drone of Silence by Danielle Ackley-McPhail

The Last Man on Earth by Jody Lynn Nye

Chasing the Ball by Peter Prellwitz

The Janus Choice by Jeff Young

Between Scylla and Charybdis by Patrick Thomas

The Star Gazers by James Chambers

Giraffe Children by Robert E. Waters

Good Advice by John L. French

Egg by Christopher M. Hiles

Youth by Judi Fleming

Meeting the Other by Nancy Jane Moore

The Third Heaven by Robert Greenberger




Edited by Mike McPhail, with stories by Jody Lynn Nye, Nancy Jane Moore, James Chambers, Jeff Young, Peter Prellwitz, Patrick Thomas, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Judi Fleming, John L. French, Christopher M. Hiles, and Robert E. Waters.


It’s that time again, where you get a chance to win a free copy of one of our books. This time Man and Machine (Defending the Future book 7) edited by Mike McPhail.

mam-proof-finalThe plan had been to un-man the battlespace; replacing flesh and blood with steel and carbon fiber. Machines, both remote-guided and autonomous, would fight and be destroyed in the name of freedom, sparing the troops. However, as with all arms races, the opposing side’s technology eventually catches ups to yours, resulting in the need to put lives back on the frontline to deal with the unknown.

Gear up! This fight is far from over in 14 new stories of the struggle to survive, the new machines of war.

With stories by Bud Sparhawk, Jennifer Brozek, Ronald Garner, Aaron Rosenberg, Brenda Cooper, James Chambers, Nancy Jane Moore, Patrick Thomas, Jeff Young, Eric Hardenbrook, Robert E. Waters, Anton Kukal, and Danielle Ackley-McPhail.


We are excited to present to you the cover of Man and Machine, Defending the Future Volume 7. After a three-year hiatus, editor Mike McPhail has given us another great volume for your reading enjoyment, featuring series veterans Brenda Cooper, Bud Sparhawk, Jennifer Brozek, James Chambers, Patrick Thomas, Jeff Young, Robert E. Waters, Eric Hardenbrook, Nancy Jane Moore, Judi Fleming, and Danielle Ackley-McPhail, plus our newest recruits: Ronald T. Garner, Aaron Rosenberg, and Anton Kukal.

In addition, the collection contains a final farewell from CJ Henderson, written just before his passing, about his participation in the Defending the Future Series.


Back Cover Copy

The plan had been to un-man the battlespace, replacing flesh and blood with steel and carbon fiber. Machines, both remote-controlled and autonomous A.I.s, would fight and be destroyed in the name of freedom; sparing the troops at the cost of the nation’s treasure.

However, as with any arms race, the opposing side’s technology eventually catches ups to yours, resulting in the need to put lives back in harm’s way on the frontline; to deal with, and adapt to the unknown, as only humans can.



We are proud to announce the release of James Daniel Ross’s eShort, A Different Kind of Courage. This is the fifth story in the Radiation Angels: The Mission Files series.


Captain Todd Rook is called to meet with a revolutionary leader to foment open rebellion. It is a just cause, an honest cause, a righteous cause. It is simply one he does not believe can win. He must meet in the rebel camp and tell them the truth. And hopefully, teach these slaves that there is more than one kind of uprising, a different sort of rebellion, more than one kind of courage in the face of oppression.

Now available on Amazon.

Radiation Angels Series:

Lightyears of distance begin as humble feet of space, and the rise of one of the legendary mercenaries is no different. These stories are collected from many sources to bring you a more complete picture of Todd Rook, a man who would one day risk everything on a gambit, and defend two planets from the damnation of Damocles.



We are proud to announce the release of Jeffrey Lyman’s eShort, The Fall of Autumn, a tale of steampunk ingenuity and courage.


So many lives are changed or lost as one by one the ancient bridges fail, succumbing to time and attacks by horrific beasts from inside the trans-dimensional gates. Just one bridge remains—Autumn—and should it fall all connection between the far-flung cities will be lost, sundering families and leaving the populace bereft of resources.  Can Julia Destora, a visionary engineer and cool hand with a multi-barrel flechette cannon, rediscover the secret of the gate’s geared technology before the final bridge falls? As she helps defend Autumn, the memories of those left behind, her mother’s death, and the teeth scars across her own body feed Julia’s resolve. 

Now available on Amazon.

About the Author

Jeffrey Lyman is an engineer in the New York City area. His work has appeared in the anthologies Sails and Sorcery from Fantasist Enterprises, New Blood from Padwolf Publishing, and Breach the Hull, So It Begins, By Other Means, Best Laid Plans, and Dragon’s Lure from Dark Quest Books. He was co-editor of No Longer Dreams and all four volumes of the award-winning Bad-Ass Faeries anthology series. He is a 2004 graduate of the Odyssey Writing School, and won 2nd place in the fourth quarter of the 27th Annual Writers of the Future Award.