Life can kick us when we are down.
In Shawn Speakman’s case, he is fighting back.
Lacking health insurance and diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011, Speakman beat the disease as well as the massive medical debt he amassed from its treatment. He did this by publishing Unfettered, an anthology featuring short stories donated by some of the best science fiction and fantasy writers working today.
The fight will not stop there. In an effort to pay forward the aid he received—and to memorialize his mother who passed away from stomach cancer in early 2016—Speakman has again collaborated with celebrated genre authors to publish Unfettered II. All proceeds from the anthology will either help eliminate medical debt for other authors or be donated to cancer research hubs around the world.
Twenty-one original new tales comprise this amazing collection and, as the title suggests, the writers were again free to contribute whatever they wished.
Here is the line-up for Unfettered II:
Foreword by Terry Brooks
"Brightwine in the Garden of Tsitsian Village" by Bradley P. Beaulieu (Song of Shattered Sands)
“Day One” by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files)
“Figures” by Rachel Caine
“The Hedgewitch” by Sarah Beth Durst (The Queens of Renthia)
“The King’s Despatcher” by David Farland (Runelords)
“The Gunnie” by Charlaine Harris
“Bulletproof” by Mark Lawrence (Gunlaw)
“The Raven” by Erin Lindsey (Bloodbound)
“And Men Will Mine the Mountain for Our Souls” by Seanan McGuire
“The Red-Rimmed Eyes of Tóu Mǎ” by Aidan Moher
“Castle Coeurlieu” by Naomi Novik
“A Slow Kill” by Peter Orullian (Vault of Heaven)
“Aokigahara” by J.A. Pitts
“A Duel of Evils” by Anthony Ryan (Raven’s Shadow)
“The Thrill” by Brandon Sanderson (Stormlight Archive)
“Victim with a Capital V” by Scott Sigler
“The Last Flowers of the Spring Witch” by Shawn Speakman (Annwn Cycle)
“Little Wren and the Big Forest” by Michael J. Sullivan (The Legends of the First Empire)
“Magic Beans” by Django Wexler
“The Decoy” by Janny Wurts (Wars of Light and Shadow)
Todd Lockwood (Cover Artist)
Don Maitz (Interior Illustrator)
With the help of New York Times bestselling authors as well as talented newcomers, Speakman has taken the platform Unfettered created to not only confront medical debt but to support the battle against one of our gravest illnesses. Unfettered II is a fantastic sequel anthology but it is more than that; it is proof that we are stronger together than we are apart.
After all, isn’t that what genre fiction is all about?