A grief-struck man finds the truth he needs in a Wild Blue Yonder purchased from a back alley grief counselor. A Kentucky veteran freshly home from Iraq juggles a trailer-park Thanksgiving and zombie apocalypse. A disillusioned pastor and a disgraced security officer in the not-so-distant future face down a domestic terror cell bent on bringing about Armageddon. These are just a few of the stops in Ken Scholes’s latest pass through his Imagination Forest.
Blue Yonders, Grateful Pies and Other Fanciful Feasts is a potluck of words gathered together just in time to celebrate 15 years logging stories for fun and profit. So grab your plate and fork, find yourself a place at the table, and get ready to dig in!
"Ken Scholes mixes wildly beautiful imagery with the sharply visceral; the profoundly mythic with the profanely human. These keenly observed stories of faith, love, and loss will resonate in your bones."
—Tina Connolly, author of Ironskin
"Scholes’s third Imagination Forest collection (after Diving Mimes, Weeping Czars, and Other Unusual Suspects) continues exploring the limits of speculative fiction in 17 short stories whose genres include playful fantasy and SF as well as edge-of- your-seat suspense. Scholes revels in the offbeat and surreal, marrying otherworldliness with very real human fears and concerns, and his stories are all the richer for it....The collection has a distinctive rhythm, with the novella-length standout piece “A Symmetry of Serpents and Doves” bookended by shorter vignettes. Scholes’s work is considerably inventive, and this collection showcases his versatility as a writer."
This is a collection of mostly fantasy stories, only two of which I had previously read. One of the things I liked best about this particular selection is that I never knew what to expect from one story to the next. Sometimes they're realistic, sometimes surrealistic, and mostly somewhere in between. I particularly enjoyed "Annual Dues," "On the Freedom of Agency and the Finding of Lost Hearts," and "A Symmetry of Serpents and Doves" were my particular favorites. There are interesting story notes gathered at the end of the book. Scholes has the ability to adopt odd viewpoints that give his stories a very different taste. Fantasy writers are more likely to write novels than in either SF and Fantasy, and when they do write short fiction it is often set in the worlds that they have already created. Scholes invents new and interesting realities for each of his stories, and that makes them exceptional."
—Don D'Ammassa, Critical Mass
"Ken Scholes is a powerhouse. The stories he flows into the world are lightning strikes of wonder and emotion that will change the way you see life, love, despair, and grief.
—J.A. Pitts, author of Black Blade Blues
"Stunning and a delight to read . . . [Scholes] will make you think and he will paint pictures in your mind that will remain long after you close the anthology.”
—Mary Robinette Kowal, author of The Calculating Stars