Welcome to The Court of Lies, the first collection by Mark Teppo. These are stories of liars, heartbreakers, and fabulists; the way they see the world is undoubtedly the way it truly is. The Queen suggests you place your trust in her. The Prince is also your guide, and you should not trust his disarming smile. And, the horned King beckons you to approach his throne. At least one sentence of the previous paragraph is true. There is no escaping The Court of Lies.
"Fascinating and quirky characters come together in this excellent collection of short stories by Teppo (Heartland). The included works range in length from the brief, poignant “How the Mermaid Lost Her Song” to the superb concluding novelette, “A Christmas Wish (Redux),” in which Santa goes on a single-minded quest to find a dead parent for a child and takes on the mathematical complexity of the afterlife in the process. Teppo weaves in and out of the worlds he’s created in his novels, using rich and descriptive language (“Truth was such a devalued coin that it couldn’t purchase a condom”). Several of Teppo’s entries are non-traditional, including “The Nihil Nation Manifesto,” a story in the form of record liner notes. Even the linear plots feature twists and turns, thanks to unreliable narrators. This collection is a true hit for Teppo’s fans and new readers alike."
"Teppo’s having too much fun, and readers who fall into this collection are going to have a blast. Characters from his novels reappear, and new characters cross over from story to story, until you realize you’re neck deep in what I call Teppo World, a place that can be hilarious one minute, horrifying the next, then deeply affecting. He can write anything, from fantasy to hard SF to satire. For those of you not already in on the secret, this collection is proof that Teppo’s one of our best, a writer who understands genre and storytelling at some kind of samurai level.”
—Daryl Gregory, author of Afterparty
"Court of Lies by Mark Teppo is a collection of various short stories covering a wide scope in the sci-fi/fantasy genres. From mermaids to werewolves to Orwellian futurescapes to Santa and the North Pole at Christmas time, this collection shows the power of Mark Teppo's imagination and his prowess at bringing it into the world."
"Teppo looks to be a writer to pay attention to.”
—Peter Heck, Asimov’s
"High concept meets a thrilling pace. Mark brings the big guns to the writing table.”