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Larissya’s life changes forever when her Grandmother gives her a magic crystal that shows her glimpses of the future. Hunted by mercenaries and an evil group known as the Triad, she is rescued by a large brute of a man named Talos and his band of diminutive followers.
She soon discovers that everyone thinks she is the one referred to in legend as The Crystal Warrior. And that her destiny is to gather the magic crystals and lead an epic battle against the Triad. A battle that will determine the fate of Agorai itself. But she doesn’t yet believe that she is the one.
The Triad has other plans. Plans that involve capturing the crystals and using their powers for themselves. Plans that involve murder, madness and pain. They have been waiting a long, long time for the Warrior to awaken.
From the magic swords Shakari and Antare, to the gigantic reptilian bird known as Taradahn, to the mysterious worm of power called Ishak, to the magnificent tree city of Frizl, Larissya’s story is full of wonder—and darkness.
Will she triumph over the forces of evil?
Will she obtain the power of the crystals?
Will she be able to save her friends?
Or will they die at her side?
Scarred from a battle they barely survived, Larissya and her companions embark on a journey that will take them far away from everything they have ever known. Determined to find the source of her powers, Larissya retraces the ancient path through the stars. It is a path that will lead them into the unknown. Into danger. Into a place where magic flows like blood.
Returning to her home world of Agorai, Larissya expects to find the peaceful land she left behind, untainted by the evil of the Triad which she and her companions had vanquished at the Battle of the Scar.
But things have changed in the years she has been away, and new forces are at work. Her crystals are uneasy, and the glimpses they show her of the future are disjointed and fluctuating. An ancient evil stirs under a pile of stones. The stream of time will be altered. She looks down at the world spinning beneath her, and then at her friends, wondering if any of them will survive.
From the man who can’t get a strange buzzing noise out of his head, to one who can’t stop himself from killing, to the robot who wants to save his creator, Skin of Giants is full of strange and otherworldly stories. Stories of a girl that wants off the grid, and of an experiment gone horribly wrong. Stories about machines and men. Stories about love, loss, pain, joy, freedom, and forgiveness. This collection of science fiction short stories is sure to make you feel, and think, and wonder.
The grey stone wall to her right rose like a cliff face above her. Birds circled and cawed in the dusk as the baleful yellow sun shone through a haze; they looked like pterodactyls with outstretched, leathery wings. To her left was a pool of water that stretched away into the fog. In the water the dark, burned trunks of logs bobbed–or were they bodies?
Dara can’t remember Dan, or the murders. Someone is stealing eyes. And there’s a monster; it lives in a wooden box.
Celeste had been dreaming of Bryn since she was eight: the flash of light across the sky, Bryn running, the explosion that nothing human should have survived, and then Bryn climbing out of the smoking crater and looking right at her. He was beautiful: six feet tall with muscles like coiled steel and dark blue eyes. His hair was black and his body was chiseled out of marble, like a Greek God.
For years she had thought he was nothing but a dream. But slowly the dream changed, and it seemed that he was trying to reach her. His arm stretched out as if to touch her.
And then she saw him, burning under the light of dawn. His skin was flame as their eyes met. Celeste’s heart sped up and she gasped. Bryn had found her.
They meet in a graveyard, each dealing with a terrible loss. Silas is bleeding and talking to a dead girl. Melanie is crying and running her fingers over Gary’s headstone. A secret organization is chasing her. She has a gift they need. And another group, known as The Sirens, is working on a weapon that will change everything.
Back in the day, we never had a problem with these pesky sparkly vampires. Oh, we would get an occasional deer in the yard, or a squirrel, or even a raccoon, but never vampires. It was a peaceful, quiet little town in the Pacific Northwest called Spoon. We never caused anyone any trouble and they left us well enough alone.
But those days are gone. Now these emo vampires are everywhere. Not to mention those dang waxing werewolves. It’s getting to the point where you can’t even have a beer in the backyard without some blood sucking freak moping about.
The last time I was in a coma my BFF read me every single Potter book, hoping they would give me the will to live. They didn’t, but I woke up anyway. Still delirious from the dragon bites, I demanded paper and wrote down Harry’s story as best as I could recall. I lit that one on fire.
Then I tried again… writing from right to left, upside down, and backwards. That version sucked ass, so I wadded it up and shot it out of a cannon.
The third time I wrote it in Latin, then scanned it in and ran it through Babblefish. That one wasn’t too bad, so I sent it to Penguin with a ransom note.
Against all odds, the fourth time was the charm! I typed that one into a dusty laptop in Comic Sans while guzzling whiskey.
And thus the story you have before you came to be….