A young writer overwhelmed by obligations wishes to exist in a library in a frozen bubble of time, to work as long as she likes. Her wish is unexpectedly granted, and she finds herself whisked away on a writer’s retreat in just such a library. At first she works feverishly, and makes tremendous progress on her life’s work. But then she becomes curious about the library; so empty, so still, so… inescapable.
She discovers that it is full of hand-written books like the one she has just completed — all writers who made the same wish as she, came to this place, and discovered they could not leave. Some wrote many volumes, some left only one half-finished journal… but what happened to them once they stopped writing? And where are they now?
A young contestant wants to win this year’s pumpkin contest at the county fair very, very badly — but is worried mere agricultural skill won’t be enough. What lengths will he go to in order to win? Sabotage? Theft? …Murder?
A young woman takes the wrong backpack when she leaves a cafe. She discovers the mistake when it starts making noises. Inside, she discovers a small, furry creature of a kind she’s never seen before. Is it an experiment? An alien? Something else? Why was it in a backpack at all — and what lengths will the people who lost it go to to get it back?
An oil baron’s daughter visits Nigeria and sees the extreme environmental and social destruction wrought by her family business. But when she returns home, the heiress finds that it’s no surprise to anyone.
She resolves to change the company from the inside — but finds herself instead plunged into a deadly and decades-old chess match between businesses and governments, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.
When drilling for oil at the bottom of a salt water lake, the engineers also unearth an ancient type of weed which feeds on proteins and kills in order to get them. Initially it goes unnoticed, but when the fish start disappearing from the lake, a scientist notices that something is wrong. Initially he is met with disbelief, until all the fish are gone and the weeds -imbued with a primal sense of intelligence- start seeking their victims higher up the food chain, including humans. When it turns out the weed is resistant to all available chemicals concern turns to panic. Especially as the weeds are making their way through an estuary towards the sea. Will the scientist be able to stop the killer weeds or will the sea never be safe for fish or man?
A mysterious plague has rendered the world unable to speak — maybe never again. How will this plague change the world?
Euterpe, the muse of song, loses yet another promising artist to drugs and alcohol. She suffers an overwhelming crisis of confidence. Does she do more harm than good to those she visits? The thought drives her to entirely withdraw from mankind for a time — but what happens when every song we sing is entirely uninspired?
The story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff from the perspective of the troll — a humble toll-taker just trying to do his job despite aggressions from a gang of ever-larger goats.