New short story collection embraces the strange, explores the supernatural

An angel, an android and an alien walk into a book…

Ghost Mode & Other Strange Stories, a new collection by speculative fiction author David Michael Williams, contains 13 short stories spanning such genres as fantasy, science fiction, paranormal and dreampunk.

From ambitious extraterrestrials to a denizen of the darkweb to a mighty spellcaster with the mind of a child, every story includes an element of the supernatural. Each tale also challenges the traditional notions of what defines a hero or a villain by spotlighting complex characters caught up in complicated circumstances.

Ghost Mode & Other Strange Stories is the first short fiction collection by the Wisconsin novelist.

“Longform storytelling has always been my preferred medium for fiction, but I had amassed many ideas for shorter, self-contained tales while writing books and series over the years,” Williams said. “Creatively speaking, this collection is a confident step out of my comfort zone while exploring genres, themes and characters that have been waiting in the wings for far too long.”

While each story stands on its own, several of them tie into Williams’ existing works of fiction, including The Renegade Chronicles, The Soul Sleep Cycle, and The Lost Tale of Sir Larpsalot, a YA portal fantasy released in 2020.

“Several of these stories started as ideas, writing exercises and rough drafts as far back as a decade ago, and others resulted from my personal challenge to compose eight tales in eight weeks late last year,” Williams said.

“And even though the collection celebrates the strange and supernatural, each story attempts to define what it means to be human.”

One Million Words, Williams’ indie publishing company, published Ghost Mode & Other Strange Stories on June 22. The paperback and e-book are available at Amazon.com.

In addition to the short story collection, Williams is the author of eight novels, including a sword-and-sorcery series and a dreampunk trilogy. A 1999 graduate of UW-Fond du Lac and a 2001 graduate of UW-Milwaukee’s creative writing program, his fiction also appears in various anthologies. He has been a member of the Allied Authors of Wisconsin, one of the state’s oldest writing collectives, for the past 15 years.

Learn more about the author and his fiction at david-michael-williams.com.


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