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Edited by Phoenix Sullivan

Dare To Dream Press

(In Conjunction With Steel Magnolia Press)

Echoes of yesterday touch the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary ways in these provocative stories by some of the best up-and-coming authors of mainstream and speculative fiction around the world.

Anthology copyright 2011 by Phoenix Sullivan.

Except where noted, all stories originally copyrighted by their respective owners.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system — except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews — without the written permission of the editor and/or respective author(s), except where permitted by law.

Table of Contents


Echoes of yesterday touch the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary ways in these provocative mainstream stories

Last Seen

by Amanda le Bas de Plumetot

Past Survivors

by Sarah Adams

Footprints on the Beach

by Aleksandar Žiljak

The Restoration Man

by Simon John Cox

A Dark Forest

by Jen White

My Own Secret Dinosaur

by Jo Antareau

The Language of Ice

by David North-Martino


Mythic tales and near-future accounts that could have been and could easily still be

Twilight Of The Claw

by Adam Dunsby

The Angel Genome

by Chrystalla Thoma


Speculative fiction that reminds us of our impending mortality and our immortal aspirations

In Ring

by Scott Thomas Smith

Bones Of Mars

by D Jason Cooper

Hunting The Mantis

by Adam Knight


by Kenneth Burstall

Indigo’s Gambit

by Adam Israel

Blood Fruit

by Shona Snowden


Because humor lurks even in our darkest hours

A Thorny Dilemma

by Rory Steves

Invoice H10901: 3 Wooly Mammoths

by Robert J. Sullivan


by Peter Dudley


Echoes of yesterday touch the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary ways in these provocative mainstream stories

Jase was her ghost in the machine — a shaded memory captured in synthesized pixels. The ghost of her past — near enough to see, too distant to touch. But could they still, somehow, connect?


by Amanda le Bas de Plumetot

The last thylacine was seen on YouTube. You find her between film clips of ghosts and a movie you uploaded a couple of years ago. You and Jase that summer. He turns toward the camera and grins at you. The sun is on him and he is ripe fruit. Peach.Mango.Perfectly preserved.

Half dog, half kangaroo, the last thylacine paws at the bars of her enclosure: playful, happy. Ears forward, she rushes along the side of her cage, chasing something the zookeeper is holding; she sits back on her haunches, her long hind feet flat on the ground.

The camera bites pieces of light from the thylacine. Your computer processes it, your screen converts it. Pixels shade her through variations beyond black or white, on or off, there or not there; she’s been trapped by silver, caught in greyscale limbo.

You read that the IBM computer, Roadrunner, can sustain a petaFLOP of calculations in a second. The words are meaningless, made up. Does FLOP stand for something special? It sounds to you like the way you feel most days.

The nights are too long and empty. You google Jase and discover 387 hits. You’re not sure if that’s many for someone who wasn’t really anyone. You follow each link and find him tagged on Facebook, mentioned in blogs, standing on that beach with you. You and him, there on the screen for everyone in the world to see. You wish they would. You are wearing a bikini and smiling at the camera. He’s beside you, tall and golden, his hand reaching round behind you, resting, where you loved to feel it, on the back of your neck. He is smiling at you. You will always remember the way you could see forever in his face, in that gaze.

When you look at those pictures now, you know the eternity of that moment is simply a construct of light and shadow.

The last thylacine died in the Hobart Zoo. Locked in a cage, she stared out through the lattice of wire to the distant warmth of the keeper’s house. Alone all the long nights, she paced, fretful, the unfamiliar sound of her nails clicking on cement. She was surrounded by the stink of bears, the roar of lions, the shit-hurling culture of monkeys, the press and flow of humans. The last thylacine was imprisoned between concrete floor and iron bars without even a kennel’s shelter.

There was thunder the night she died, and rain. A springtime cold snap that followed days of merciless heat. Above the thylacine’s cage was a deciduous tree, still bare of leaves. She called through the night, her high-pitched yip yip yip torn away by the wind. You’ve heard that hypothermia causes the victim to feel paradoxically warm and you wonder if that’s what the thylacine felt as she died. You hope so. You hope she had a dying dream of forest and treefern, of other thylacines. Because the last thylacine’s final vision was strobe-lit by lightning: black and white. Vertical bars.Alone.

At least you were there with Jase at the end. You held his hand and tried not to cry. It was wrong, the way you could feel his bones. He’d faded to shadows, black, grey, silver. He had no density, no weight. Even as you gripped his hand and tried to keep him with you, you could feel him fading. Black, grey, silver, gone.

Ghosts stare out from mirrors all over the Internet.

You read about thylacines on a cryptozoology website. A link leads you on to a website about the magical properties of silver. It takes a silver bullet to kill a werewolf; a silver crucifix will burn a vampire. Mirrors capture souls, trap them between glass and silver. You’ve heard there are cultures where they believe the camera steals their souls. Light carries the image, focuses it through glass and lens to be captured on a plate of silver nitrates. A moment of soul. You wonder if digital cameras have the same power, and then you learn that the circuits in them are made from silver.

Every website is a combination of picture, opinion and fact.

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