Release the Virgins!

virgins cover jpg

It was a dark and stormy night at the Balticon science fiction convention in May of 2016. Most everyone had gone to bed, but a number of writers, editors and publishers were doing what writers, editors and publishers do at conventions in the early hours: hanging out at the bar.

During the conversation, the phrase “Release the virgins” was heard.

“That would be a great theme for an anthology,” I said. “Every story would have to contain that phrase.”

“I’ll write a story for it!” said Gail Z. Martin and Hildy Silverman.

“I’ll publish it!” said Ian Randal Strock.

“I’ll edit it!” I said.

Features the following stories:

“Valedictory” by Lawrence Watt-Evans
“Sidekicked” by Hildy Silverman
“Command Decision” by Steve Miller
“Are You There, Cthulhu? It’s Me, Judy” by Beth W. Patterson
“Innocence Lost” by Gail Z. Martin
“How Mose Saved the Virgins of Old New York” by Allen M. Steele
“The Fires of Rome” by Jody Lynn Nye
“Salvage” by Shariann Lewitt
“The Midwinter of Our Discontent” by Keith R.A. DeCandido
“Coming Attractions” by Daniel M. Kimmel
“Cracking the Vault” by Matt Bechtel
“The Coffee Corps” by Alex Shvartsman
“The Vestals of Midnight” by Sharon Lee
“Paradisiacal Protocols” by Gordon Linzner
“Brass Tacks” by Cecilia Tan
“Old Spirits” by Brian Trent
“The Running of the Drones” by Patrick Thomas
“Dangerous Virgins” by David Gerrold

hard cover | paperback | kindle | nook

Release the Virgins is a hoot of an anthology! Fun, weird, and wildly entertaining!” – Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Deep Silence and V-Wars

Release the Virgins may have started as a con in-joke, but it ended up as the finest story collection I’ve come across this year. I recommend it highly. As a collector of high-quality puns, I particularly appreciated the meditation upon the economic status of US territories in the Carribbean. Steve Miller’s story of planetary ecology (loosely connected to the Liaden Universe by the appearance of merc company captain Liz Lizardi) is, imho, the best of them, but almost all are very good.” – Virginia E. Demarce

“[From] an explanation for the incredible number of Dunkin Donuts in Massachusetts, to a story that incorporates a poltergeist from the Cretaceous, this collection keeps you guessing and grinning. Fantastic collection of well-known and respected authors who clearly enjoyed writing their short stories. Highly recommend.” – Nancy M. Tice

“What a wonderful collection of short stories written by a wonderful and interesting group of writers. I have met most of them at various cons. Not at all surprised this eclectic group came up with a book this name. Loved the stories. They were hysterical and poignant. Laugh out loud one minute and then think about the ramifications about what this would mean if accepted by society. This is a definite must add to your anthology collection!” – L. Pierce

“With a premise like ‘just include the phrase ‘release the virgins’ at some point,’ you really don’t know what you are gonna get. But this book is the whole box of chocolates, with solid stories that aren’t just about the gimmick, and present worlds I’d actually like to see far more of. If you like any of these authors you’ll undoubtedly tumble for the whole book, and even if you’ve never heard of one of them, if you’re a SF/F/Horror fan — this will provide hours of entertainment. About halfway through the book I also discovered a bonus delight: Trying to guess just how the key phrase would fit into the story. The uses are as varied as the authors’ personal styles, and sometimes they actually made me laugh. Dive in, and release your own virgins!” – Randee Dawn

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