The author USA Today calls “a modern master of historical fiction” presents three short stories from three different genres—science fiction, murder mystery, historical fiction—set in three different times, from the near future, to the present, to more than two thousand years ago.
In “Insecticide,” John Moreland faces a problem: cockroaches. Hundreds of them, thousands of them, everywhere in his apartment. But all problems have a solution—or so we would like to think. When an exterminator pays a call, Moreland believes his problem is over. But John Moreland’s problems are just beginning…
Set in a not-too-distant future which seems uncannily like today, “Insecticide” was first published decades ago, but now seems more timely, and more chilling, than ever.
“Murder Myth-Begotten” is set not in the distant past, but in modern-day Berkeley, California—where author Steven Saylor happens to live. But the story nonetheless draws from Classical myth, as a brother and sister, inspired by the revenge killings of ancient Greek drama, decide to exact revenge on their own mother. But once you decide to embrace the values of the ancient Greeks, the Fates may have some unpleasant surprises in store…
In “The Eagle and the Rabbit,” the year is 146 B.C. For centuries, war has raged between Rome and Carthage. But at last the walls of Carthage have been breached. Its temples have been looted and burned. Its citizens have been massacred.
Rome’s triumph appears absolute. But in the desert south of the smoldering ruins of Carthage, scattered survivors are still at large, desperate but free. Roman mercenaries are dispatched to hunt them down. When captured, the survivors are subjected to a forced march designed to weed out the weak and crush the will of the strong.
Separated from the other captives, two young Carthaginians are made to endure to a special series of ordeals—not only punishments, but temptations as well. One is dubbed the Eagle, the other the Rabbit. The choices they make could destroy them both—or lead one of them to freedom. But to win his freedom, the Eagle must pay a terrible price.
Steven Saylor is the author of the best-selling Roma Sub Rosa series featuring Gordianus the Finder, sleuth of ancient Rome. The Sunday Times of London says that “Saylor evokes the ancient world more convincingly than any other writer of his generation.”