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Short Stories 365:31

Here I am at the end of a whole month of Short Stories 365. This is fun, and though there has been a day or two where I had to force myself to get online and post, I've been happy for the focus. Originally, I thought I'd be jumping around looking for all sorts of short stories to talk about - and then I realized how many anthologies I've been a part of where I hadn't yet found time to discuss the tales within, and bam. Quick math says I've got a third of the year covered already (not including books that haven't landed yet) and after that?

Well, there's my pile of Icarus magazines, the anthologies I often get to review for Erotica Revealed, and the other anthologies I've stumbled upon over the years. Not to mention the other anthologies I'm sure to end up buying between now and then.

Speaking of "now and then" the next story in Riding the Rails is mine, a story called "Elsewhen." So I'll skip right by that and land on... well, Mars.

"Mount Olympus," by Jeffrey Ricker.

Jeffrey Ricker is a fellow Fool alum with whom I think I've shared more table of contents listings than any other author. That's a case of being proud of the company I'm keeping, by the way. When we got the call for this anthology, we both ended up going somewhere very different. I went into a kind of ghostly past. Jeffrey Ricker went to Mars.

Set in the nonspecific future, "Mount Olympus" tells the tale of two young men (that they're named Nathan and Dan is sort of awesome) who have a train-ride on the red planet that goes awry and leads them to stumble into mythology before returning to a reality that might have offered more than they'd considered upon first meeting. Their banter is fun, and this glimpse of a future Mars left me wanting more. I know Jeffrey Ricker has a love of mythology - I can't wait to read his upcoming YA novel, which is full of the mythological - but the way he aligns it with something more science fiction was deft. And, of course, sweaty.