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Merry Christmas, Mister Wolf (short stories) - Hollow Moon series
Steph Bennion

It is the twenty-third century and scientists, dreamers, crooks and believers have bridged the vast cosmos, staking their claims where distant suns burn fierce in the sky. Yet for all of humankind’s technological marvels, life for many is far from a wondrous fairytale.

When the power fails when parents are out for the night, is it wise to be wandering the forest with vicious robot wolves on the loose? Can a young boy change his destiny with the help of a fraudulent wizard and draw the sword from the stone? Are the city streets paved with gold for the lowly detective and a stolen brass clockwork cat? Who will help a downtrodden shopping mall Santa Claus to win back the spirit of Christmas? Can a lost little girl defeat the evil ruler with the help of her seven diminuitive miner friends? It is supposed to be the season of goodwill!

This collection brings together the main-sequence seasonal tales from the space-opera Worlds of Hollow Moon:
> "Merry Christmas, Mister Wolf"
> "A Wizard, A Sword And A King"
> "The Clockwork Cat"
> "Santa Claustrophobia"
> "Psyche's Seven"
> Epilogue: Extract from Paw-Prints Of The Gods
> Timeline Interviews, Part 2: Main Sequence.

Published for the first time are the timeline interviews, a light-hearted look at how the various novels and short stories fit together. In this volume, Ostara Lee and Zotz Wak talk about events from Hollow Moon onwards...

HOLLOW MOON CHRISTMAS SHORT STORIES have been published every December since 2011. These are generally science-fiction re-tellings of traditional fairy tales popular in the British tradition of pantomime, while fitting into the overall story arc of the novels. This collection will be revised and reissued as future seasonal short stories are released. This volume was updated in December 2018.

(First published 12 December 2017; approx 50,000 words. [details])

Cover artwork by WyrdStar; 'Moon and Tree' image by Alexas-Fotos on Pixabay.

EBOOK recommended retail price: £1.49 / $1.99
ISBN: 978-1301604357 (Smashwords); ASIN: B07881R31T (Kindle).
Amazon UK Amazon USA Apple Books Barnes and Noble Kobo Scribd Smashwords

~ T H E - W O R L D S - O F - H O L L O W - M O O N ~

ebook ebook ebook ebook ebook ebook ebook
Prequels Book 1 Book 2 Book 3 Book 4 Main Sequence Intro Anthology

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Timeline Interviews, Part 2: Main Sequence

So how do the novels and short stories in the Hollow Moon series fit together? Via the wonders of extra-dimensional time portals, author Steph Bennion interviews detective Ostara Lee and intrepid inventor Zotz Wak, former residents of the eponymous hollow moon...

OSTARA: It’s hard of me to admit this, given what came later, but growing up as a homeless orphan on the holovid sets of Avalon can’t have been nice. Artorius found himself in the spotlight during Gods of Avalon, a truly awful and bloodthirsty holovid show for third-rate celebrities (“A Wizard, A Sword And A King”). The Avalon Broadcasting Corporation does whatever it wants on that moon! Life in the black is dangerous enough without inventing more horrors.

ZOTZ: I met Artorius four months later. The Dhusarians had taken him to their secret base on Falsafah in Tau Ceti. It so happened that Ravana was there also, with a team of archaeologists from Bradbury Heights, digging up what seemed to be an ancient alien temple. Ravana went missing, so I went with her dad Quirinus and a grumpy pilot called Momus to look for her (Paw-Prints Of The Gods). Ravana too had been kidnapped by the Dhusarians, but escaped with Artorius and two greys. The only aliens I got to see on that trip was a far-too-close encounter with weavers, those horrible giant spiders! That was when Ravana and I first met Commander Kedesh of the Grand Priory. It was there in the alien portal that they saw the cryogenic capsule from the lost USS Constellation.

OSTARA: That was the first clue we had that there was something really freaky about Artorius. Speaking of clues, I had set myself up as a private detective on Newbrum! My first case was looking into the shady goings-on of the local Dhusarian Church. I nearly died when I saw two of Taranis’ horrible cyberclones with Captain Nyx, who was head of the church on Ascension. Going back to your earlier question; yes, I was obsessed with those damn Dhusarians. That was mainly because of Nyx. He hated me!

Read the full interview with Ostara Lee and Zotz Wak in MERRY CHRISTMAS, MISTER WOLF!

* * *

Short stories in this volume...

ebooks Individual short stories are available for free...
If you enjoy the free offerings below and wish to support the work of the author (beyond buying books, of course!), it is really appreciated if you can find time to spread the joy to friends and family, or via a quick review at your favourite ebook website. Alternatively, you may wish to leave a PayPal tip on the way out... Steph.

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Robot wolves were no match for this 'Little Red Riding Hood'. Barnard's Star: Two months after HOLLOW MOON.

Christmas at the exclusive ski resort of Kirchel, high in the New Malverns on the planet of Ascension, was a tedious affair. The concrete log cabins, artificial snow and holographic trees were all as fake as the robot security wolves that patrolled the dome at night. But the wolves were rejects from the brutal Gods of Avalon game show. When the power fails, with their parents out for the night, Hestia and her friends would soon wish they had never ventured into the forest in search of park ranger Granny. (Hestia and Xuthus return in Paw-Prints Of The Gods.)

(First published 1 December 2012; approx. 8,000 words. [details])

EBOOK recommended retail price: Free!
wyrdstar pdf web page Single-story ebook only
A bloodthirsty holovid show unexpectedly becomes 'The Sword In The Stone'. Alpha Centauri: Same Christmas as "Merry Christmas, Mister Wolf".

On the moon of Avalon, Alpha Centauri, the young orphan Artorius is resigned to spending Christmas alone, wandering the snowy streets of Londinium just as a new series of the bloodthirsty holovid show Gods of Avalon is about to start. As the medieval tournament gets under way, he finds that the alien-worshipping nuns encamped in the fake Temple of Mithras are taking more notice of him than usual. Not only that, but the man playing wizard Merlin was not the usual company cyberclone! (Artorius and the Dhusarian nuns Jizo and Lilith return in Paw-Prints Of The Gods.)

(First published 15 December 2013; approx. 8,000 words. [details])

EBOOK recommended retail price: Free!
WyrdStar pdf web page Single-story ebook only
If 'Dick Whittington' was a detective. Barnard's Star: Four months after CITY OF DECEIT.

Ostara Lee, Newbrum's premier private detective from Paw-Prints Of The Gods, is lured to the wealthy city of Bradbury Heights by a message from the mysterious 'Lestrade', asking for her help on a case. Captain Nyx of Newbrum police is in league with businessman and sometime smuggler Bouki Moritasgus. Can a brass clockwork cat, stolen by street urchin Tomtem from the Dickens Christmas Fair, really save the day?

(First published 16 December 2017; approx. 10,000 words. [details])

EBOOK recommended retail price: Free!
WyrdStar pdf web page Single-story ebook only
Bad Santa is 'Goldilocks' in 'Three Billy-Goats Gruff'. Solar System: Same Christmas Eve as in "The Clockwork Cat".

NEW! It is Christmas Eve and Zotz Wak (the intrepid Flying Fox from City Of Deceit) and girlfriend Aurora (streetwise hacker from the same novel) are stuck babysitting toddler Meuler in a Cayenne shopping mall. Their terminal boredom is shattered by the arrival of Chia, the mall's world-weary Santa Claus, who is definitely not in a festive mood. Zotz and Aurora hatch a plan to help Chia bring a proper Christmas to the poor children in town.

(First published 12 December 2018; approx. 5,000 words. [details])

EBOOK recommended retail price: Free!
WyrdStar pdf web page Single-story ebook only
'Snow White' with a bite and an army of saboteurs. Epsilon Eridani: Part 1, eight years before HOLLOW MOON; Part 2, same Christmas as "The Clockwork Cat" and "Santa Claustrophobia".

The notorious prison of Feng Du was no place for Psyche to spend the first fourteen years of her life. When her mother passes away, she escapes to the mainland and finds sanctuary with a group of young miners. Meanwhile, Governor Malingee of Taotie has ambitions to be number one in Epsilon Eridani and nothing will stand in her way! (Commander Kedesh from Paw-Prints Of The Gods is in this one.)

(First published 18 December 2016; approx. 11,000 words. [details])

EBOOK recommended retail price: Free!
WyrdStar pdf web page Single-story ebook only

Publication details
Do you have the latest version? Ebooks are periodically revised to adopt layout changes, update endpapers following new releases and to correct any errors.

ebook December 2017 - First ebook edition (approx. 140 pages).
December 2018 - Ebook updated to include new short story and revised timeline interview.
[NOTE: Publication date on Smashwords is that of earlier single-story edition, i.e. December 2012.]
ebook December 2012 - First ebook edition (WyrdStar pdf, Smashwords ebook and Three Tales For Christmas anthology for Kindle).
October 2016 - Smashwords ebook revised: 'Ebook Extras' added.
December 2016 - WyrdStar pdf ebook reissued with new font and layout.
November 2017 - Second ebook edition (WyrdStar pdf and
Three Tales For Christmas only).
December 2017 - Smashwords ebook withdrawn and replaced with
Merry Christmas, Mister Wolf anthology.
ebook December 2013 - First ebook edition (WyrdStar pdf only).
December 2017 - Text corrections; published in
Merry Christmas, Mister Wolf anthology.
ebook December 2017 - First ebook edition (WyrdStar pdf); published in Merry Christmas, Mister Wolf anthology.
ebook December 2018 - First ebook edition (WyrdStar pdf); published in Merry Christmas, Mister Wolf anthology.
ebook December 2016 - First ebook edition (WyrdStar pdf only).
August 2017 - Text corrections.
December 2017 - Published in
Merry Christmas, Mister Wolf anthology.

NOTE: If you obtained this ebook anthology from Smashwords, you can download subsequent updates at no extra cost.

THE WORLDS OF HOLLOW MOON came about through my love of space opera and science fiction. I enjoyed writing these books so much that more are sure to follow!

> The Worlds Of Hollow Moon overview.
> Hollow Moon (novel) book page.
> Paw-Prints Of The Gods (novel) book page.
> City Of Deceit (novel) book page.
> The Avalon Job (novel) book page.
To Dance Amongst The Stars (prequel short stories) book page.
> Three Tales For Christmas (free introductory anthology) book page.

Please see WyrdStar News and the associated RSS feed for latest offers. Thanks for visiting! - Steph Bennion.

Hollow Moon

Preferred Outlet
Ebook stores and Digital Rights Management (DRM) - Ebooks distributed from Smashwords are DRM-free, which means that once you have purchased a title, you can download it as many times as you like (and in whatever format you like) and make back-up copies if necessary (for personal use only!). WyrdStar's preferred sales outlet is Smashwords, not least because the author gets a larger slice of the list price there than anywhere else! WyrdStar ebooks sold via third-party outlets (Amazon, Apple Books, etc.) will be subject to the vendor's terms and conditions. With 'cloud'-based systems, an ebook sale will be treated as a purchase of a licence to read, rather than the purchase of a digital file itself.

All content (c) Steph Bennion, WyrdStar and Danse Macabre 2007-2020.

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