Terin Ostler and the Zombie King

This collection of Michael’s short stories features the further adventures of Terin Ostler and his squire pals, as well as many of his stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies. Included as well are two brand new stories, and commentary on each one.

The stories are:

The Further Adventures of Terin Ostler:

The Zombie King’s Plan: Terin and the squires have to determine why the so-called Zombie King is after some magical rings, but something about his plan just doesn’t seem to make sense…

The Mystery of the Black-Bearded Dwarf: Trying to negotiate peace between dwarven tribes that hate each other becomes even more difficult when one of the dwarven leaders is murdered and Terin has to figure out whodunnit.

Honor Battle: Terin pretends to be a poor farmboy forced into an honor battle but mistaken identities turn the adventure into a bit of a problem…

Remembering the Future: Terin and the squires agree to perform a task at the conclusion of which their memories of the task will be removed, but now everyone is out to get them and they have no idea what they had done to make everyone so mad!

The Hidden Treasure of Pirate Percy: Terin is kidnapped by pirates who hate being stereotyped and are convinced only Terin can lead them to the hidden treasure.

Confronting the Duke: To conclude the Terin storyline, Terin and the squires finally confront Duke Frost with their accusations–but it doesn’t quite turn out as expected.

The Adventures of Captain Irad and Greenie:

X Spots the Mark: Bart (nicknamed “Greenie” by pirate captain Irad) is new to this whole pirate life and wasn’t quite ready when he and Irad are held prisoner by rival pirates. Irad, however, isn’t quite as incompetent as he pretends…

Get Kraken!: In order to keep from being hung by British soldiers, Irad promises that he knows a secret way to defeat the kraken and will do so in order to gain his freedom. Now he just needs to figure out that secret way is…

Other stories:

Impersonating Jesus: Stealing a time machine to study Jesus’ life seemed like a good idea to these college students, but when the machine literally lands on Jesus and kills him, the only way the three can keep the timeline intact so they can return is to take Jesus’ place…

Knowledge: A woman in future London claims to be Sherlock Holmes’ descendant and frustrates the local police by solving the murder of an alien.

More Hallways!: A crazy king makes ridiculous demands on the architect designing his latest dungeon.

The Jesus Secret: The discovery of a new Dead Sea Scroll provides new insight to Jesus’ life, but the Church wants to keep it a secret, and rightly so … That Jesus guy was a real nerd.

99 Pounds: A British boy sees an ad promising him he can stop being a 99 pound weakling, but he has one question…

The Mummy of Barnsley: Investigators from the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences look into the reports of a killer mummy loose in northern England, but how can that be?

Hell, I Must be Going: The Marx Brothers gain control of a bureau in Hell and cause trouble, but the devil is in the details.


Eating Authors: A short description of a memorable meal I had with my wife at a Red Lobster involving the discovery of a prominent bug in her salad.

“From peeved epic heroes coping with zombies and dwarves who dye their beards, to a pirate captain who refuses to learn the names of his new crew (they won’t be with him long), to a desperate time-traveling Jesus impersonator, to Groucho and Chico Marx gumming up the machinery of Hell-Michael Ventrella’s stories provide laugh-out-loud entertainment.” – Gregory Frost, award-winning author of Shadowbridge

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