Satisfy Your Craving for More Pennsylvania
Michael asked me to write a guest blog about some exciting things that are happening in the land of New Pennsylvania. As a co-editor of the forthcoming anthology Tales from Pennsylvania, I’ve become a bit of an expert on the topic of Pennsylvania fan fiction. So, while Michael works on the sequel, Oklahoma, here are some tales that might satisfy your craving for more Amish Sci-Fi.
By the way, for the published stories below, I list the Amazon Kindle price. But all are available for free via Kindle Unlimited.
Tales from Pennsylvania
In November, eleven talented writers (including Michael himself) are providing you all new short stories set in the Pennsylvania universe. Besides myself and Michael, the other contributors are Nina Tozzi, Kevin G. Summers, Lesley Smith, Timothy C. Ward, Edward W. Robertson, Tim Grahl, Jennifer Ellis, Kim Wells, and Nick Cole. To try and summarize the talent in this collection would take several blogs! But I can say, as co-editor of the anthology with David Gatewood, I’ve been immersed in these tales for months and they’re excellent! They explore every corner of Michael’s universe—from the Great Shelf to the City to the AZ to all new areas even he didn’t dream of. And Michael provides a whole new Eagles story bound to bring a smile to the faces of Eagles fans everywhere. Look for the collection on Amazon November 21! We’ll be hosting a launch party that day, too, so reserve some time on your calendar to join us and chat with the authors. It’ll be a blast!
The Bestimmung Company Tales: Gettysburg and Susquehanna
Full disclosure: these are my to-date published contributions to PA fanfic, but I’ll do my best to report just the facts, ma’am . . .
The B Company tales focus on a company of elite TRACE commandos as they struggle against Transport. Written in the military-sci fi tradition (and heavily influenced by classic military fiction writers like C.S. Forester, Bernard Cornwell, and John Scalzi), they’re heavy on action. But they’re not simply testosterone-fests. In fact, the leader of B Company is a woman, Mary Brenneman, formerly a resident of the AZ and tough as nails. Though action-packed, these stories have humor, even amidst the chaos of war, and likeable characters readers seem to care about (based on the reviews I’ve seen). If you like exciting military sci-fi with characters you remember, I think you’ll like these stories.
Gettysburg: A Tale of the Second War for Pennsylvanian Independence finds B Company approaching the town of Gettysburg, New Pennsylvania. From the book description: “Severely outmanned and outgunned, [TRACE knows] if they can’t find a way to level the playing field with Transport—and soon—defeat is inevitable. A large supply of Transport’s okcillium—the all-important material powering laser weapons and other military technology—sits largely unguarded in a small town between the AZ and the City. Tactics, heroics, and bloody slaughter are once again the order of the day as Bestimmung Company sets out to seize their prize. In this small town with a famous name, the soldiers of B Company are about to discover that history has a way of repeating itself.”
One reviewer at Amazon says: “After going through many battles with each of these characters, we care for their plight, root for them to win and learn more about them so that they are not just soldiers, but real people with personality and history.” $0.99, 28 reviews, 4.9 stars (average)
Releasing November 1 and available for pre-order, Susquehanna: A Second Tale of Bestimmung Company continues the story of B Company following the Battle of Gettysburg. TRACE’s food supplies from the AZ have suddenly gone missing, and it’s up to B Company to find out why. Without that food, the whole TRACE network and its war against Transport are in jeopardy. You might even get a guest appearance by a favorite character from Pennsylvania in this tale! Of Susquehanna, Nick Cole (author of Soda Pop Soldier and The Wasteland Saga) says: “Pourteau handles military SciFi with a deft literary gift for both the regular and the heroic that reminds the reader of Bernard Cornwell. Brilliant in scope, nuanced in execution. Read this and enjoy.” $1.99, This title releases Nov. 1, so no reviews are up yet
The Yesterday Adjustment: A PENNSYLVANIA Novella
David Bruns has penned a fascinating tale of espionage and time travel in The Yesterday Adjustment. From the book description: “After more than a half-century at war, Transport is desperate for a way to defeat the rebels once and for all. Enter Damien Strickland, Time Operative agent. His mission: posing as an Amish man, go back in time and make sure the rebel attack on the Columbia portal fails. The mission takes an unexpected turn when he meets Amos Troyer, the man who will grow up to become the feared leader of the rebel forces. But Amos in this timeline is only a harmless sixteen-year-old Amish boy.”
I read this tale in one sitting—I literally couldn’t put it down! What’s really cool about this story is that you get to see events from Transport’s perspective—the mission planning, the execution, the consequences of tampering with the time line. And Bruns’s style will keep you riveted to your Kindle. Here’s what one reviewer had to say: “This swift-moving and tense story hits all the right notes for a piece of fan fiction from the universe of Michael Bunker’s Pennsylvania. . . . it connects well to some characters from the Pennsylvania Omnibus and it also enriches that world by adding deeper resonance to some of its characters and their motivations. I thoroughly enjoyed the James Bond sequence (including the requisite discussion with a Q-type character) in the beginning . . .” $0.99, 11 reviews, 4.9 stars (average)
Donavan: From Michael Bunker’s World of “PENNSYLVANIA”
D.K. Cassidy fills in the backstory of another character from Michael’s original story. From the book description: “Born in the Amish Zone, [Donavan Yoder] was raised to embrace a plain, peaceful life. After he grows up, Donavan becomes an officer with the Transport Authority, the tyrannical government grinding New Pennsylvania under its iron boot. Eventually, his conscience leads him to side with TRACE, the resistance group fighting Transport for the freedom of the entire planet. Donavan has made some tough choices in his life. What ultimately drove him to sympathize with the very rebels he’d fought to subdue?”
I found Donavan to be a poignant tale of difficult, sometimes tragic choices driven by the purest of motives. It’s one of those stories that is deep in its aspirations despite its brevity. The short story form is perfect for eliciting strong emotions in the reader, and Cassidy makes good use of that fact here. One reviewer says: “Donavan by D.K. Cassidy is a compelling, touching, emotional read. The words on the page drew me in instantly. This boy’s tale stirred feelings deep down inside and I read with great vigor. The author has the keen ability to draw readers in with her realistic dialog and clear writing style.” $0.99, 18 reviews, 4.8 stars (average)
The Wild Ones
Technically, this isn’t fanfic, since Michael wrote it. But since I’m listing independent short works in this blog, I wanted to give it a nod. The Wild Ones is a short glimpse into the history of New Pennsylvania and the first Amish settlers that founded the Amish Zone. Moreover, it gives you more background information on Eagles, a fan-favorite character from Pennsylvania. One reviewer says: “Even though you can read this in less than 10 minutes, The Wild Ones is another great story that you can read before or after you read Pennsylvania. If you haven’t read Pennsylvania then this will make you want to read it. If you have read Pennsylvania then this will make you miss the world and make you want to jump in it again.” $0.99, 27 reviews, 4.8 stars (average)
More to Come…
So, a quick reminder: keep your eyes on Amazon for the November 21 launch of Tales from Pennsylvania. Until then, maybe these stories can tide you over. 😉
As Michael puts it, “I can think of few things more satisfying to me as an author than to learn that other authors want to write stories in a world I created.” I’ve described four of those tales here, but many more are on the way! And they’re written by fans-turned-authors who—just like you—fell in love with Michael Bunker’s world. Say—maybe you’d like to write one yourself?