The Houdini Plan

Clay Bennett

Across the Universe

Allow me to ignore life’s problems and politics for a minute for something more fun:  My latest anthology (co-edited with Randee Dawn).

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It’s a great anthology of “Alternate Beatles” stories with some of the top writers in the field of science fiction and fantasy! (In order of appearance): Spider Robinson, Charles Barouch, Gordon Linzner, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Allen Steele, Sally Wiener Grotta, Ken Schneyer, David Gerrold, Cat Rambo, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Bev Vincent, Patrick Barb, Carol Gyzander, Pat Cadigan, Gail Z. Martin, Barbara Clough, Eric Avedissian, Alan Goldsher, R. Jean Mathieu, Beth W. Patterson, Christian Smith, Gregory Frost, Matthew Amati, and Gregory Benford.

It’s available in hard cover or paperback!

We’ve already received some great reviews!

“This collection is a Magical Mystery Tour through alternate universes where the familiar narrative of the Beatles is turned on its head. Or ear. Or ass. It’s fun, irreverent, sexy, and twisted–just like the Fab Four themselves.” — Vicki Peterson, The Bangles

“I must have read a thousand Beatles books. But not one of them mentioned that the Beatles were attacked by aliens at the Hollywood Bowl. Or talked about their encounter with the Mersey Monster. Or discussed how they became zombies. I had to learn all of this from the thoroughly entertaining anthology Across the Universe. Each of its 25 stories of speculative fiction re-imagine The Beatles in alternative universes, allowing us to laugh at and with John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Highly recommended!” — Scott Freiman, creator of Deconstructing the Beatles

Across the Universe is way too much fun! It’s the Beatles in the Twilight Zone of infinite possibilities! Highly recommended!” — Jonathan MaberryNew York Times bestselling author of V-Wars and Rage

Across the Universe is a fantastic, freewheeling, and imaginative romp of a collection. The authors transported me not only across the universe, but to what might have been in many and various alternate universes, all populated by the Beatles and their peculiar possible transmutations. Totally engrossing.” — Paul Marshall, Strawberry Alarm Clock

 “The Fab Four are reimagined as wizards, robots, hockey players, zombies, the Marx Brothers, and more in this anthology from Ventrella (Big Stick) and Dawn (Home for the Holidays). An introduction by “Wicked” series coauthor Nancy Holder sets the stage. Standouts include the clever time-travel, short-short “The Perfect Bridge” by Charles Barouch; “Meet the Beatles” by Pat Cadigan, a delightful exercise in nostalgia; and two stories based on the “Paul is dead” hoax: “Paul Is Dead” by Lawrence Watt-Evans, in which an alternate universe Paul replaces the original, and “When I’m #64” by Patrick Barb, in which Paul constantly dies and comes back to life. The absolute standout is “Through a Glass Onion” by Christian H. Smith, a poignant, inspirational tale about a failed musician named John Lennon from another universe who is given a vision of the success he had in ours. VERDICT: This anthology will be mostly of interest to Beatles fans, but even non-fans will find stories here that will move and surprise them.” — Library Journal

“Ranging from trippy fantasy to hard science fiction and zombie apocalypse mash-up, the stories in this anthology send the members of the Beatles on wild adventures through alternate timelines and universes. In Allen M. Steele’s “Come Together,” artificial intelligences named for each of the Fab Four identify so strongly with their namesakes that they jeopardize their space probe’s mission when they begin to fall out with one another, mimicking the breakup of the band. An idealistic George Harrison tries to teach transcendental meditation to Richard Nixon with disastrous geopolitical results in Sally Wiener Grotta’s “The Truth Within.” Gregory Frost’s “A Hard Day’s Night at the Opera” plugs the band members into the plot of a Marx brothers movie to hilarious effect. It’s clear that each of the 25 contributors are true fans, filling their tales with references to Beatles history and, in the case of David M. Gerrold’s “The Fabtastic Four,” so many song lyrics that readers will be tempted to sing along. Beatles aficionados and fantasy fans will enjoy this affectionate, speculative homage.” — Publishers Weekly

Crime pays

Matt Bors

Name one thing Trump has done that is counter to Putin’s desires

I dare anyone to find one thing Trump has done that isn’t in Russian’s interest.
 
Get out of Turkey? Done.
 
Allow Erdogan to buy missiles from Russia? Okay
 
Try to always make Ukraine the bad guy? Yep.
 
Allow Russia to build bases in Cuba? No problem.
 
Look the other way when Russian dissidents go missing or are killed? Of course.
 
Never ever say one bad word about Putin? You got it.
 
Allow Russia to take over airbases in Syria once we abandon them? Easy peasy.
 
Try to get us out of NATO? Working on it.
 
Get the US out of international treaties? Yep, most of them.
 
Can’t think of one foreign policy decision Trump has made that in any way is counter to what Russia wants. Can you?
 

Russian Assets

Clay Bennett

Impeachment testimony talking points

“You Democrats only called witnesses who attacked Trump! Not one defense witness testified!”

“We subpoenaed them…we asked them to testify.”

“They’re not going to participate in your sham inquiry! Besides, all our witnesses have said it never happened!”

“All the witnesses under oath said it did. Why not have your defense witnesses testify under oath?”

“They’re not going to particip–”

“Yes, right, we know.”

 

Republican talking points

Drew Sheneman