Like Unfettered, Shawn's previous anthology, this one has a pretty amazing line up. Just how amazing? Well take a look at the authors who have stories in this book: Joe Abercrombie, Terry Brooks, Kristen Britain, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Harry Connolly, Delilah Dawson, David Anthony Durham, Jason M. Hough, Mary Robinette Kowal, Mark Lawrence, John Marco, Tim Marquitz, Brian McClellan, Seanan McGuire, Peter Orullian, Kat Richardson, Anthony Ryan, Shawn Speakman, Brian Staveley, Michael J. Sullivan, Sam Sykes, and Mazarkis Williams
Also like Unfettered, the writers were able to explore whatever theme or story idea they thought would make a good story. A nice way to compile an anthology (in my opinion). As for myself, my entry has nothing to do with either Riyria or The First Empire. It's a completely standalone story that combines my love of computer games and some existential musings. It's called "The Game" and here's what I wrote in the way of an introduction for the piece.
I admit it, I’m a long-time gaming geek. When I started back in 1984, I played on a Compaq DeskPro outfitted with an 8 MHz 8086 CPU and an awesome monochrome display adapter. I said I was a geek, remember? During the golden age of computer gam- ing, otherwise known as the 1990s, each month brought quantum innovations, spurring a host of inventive game designs. For me, the pinnacle was reached with the invention of the MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role-playing game), and my wife and I became lost in the world of EverQuest from 1999 to 2001.
In the land of Norrath, we made many friends as we rose from a pair of pathetic magic users to guild legends, and I saw how the lines blurred between reality and the virtual world. People speak of how computer games are a waste of time. But a great many good things grew out of those days. One of them was a fertile seed of an idea that I pondered well over a decade ago . . . and still do. This story is the result.And to give you a taste, here is the first page, courtesy Shawn Speakman at Grim Oak Press.
I hope you are interested, and if you would like to pre-order a copy of Unbound, you can do so from Grim Oak Press.