The Emir’s Falcon
By Matthew Hughes
Bernie Cholach is an Alberta high school senior, a farm boy who wants to be a biologist, though his father wants him to take over their feedlot. His desire to pursue a career in science has been amplified by his experiences as a volunteer bird handler at a Canadian Wildlife Service facility that breeds and rears peregrine falcons for release into the wild, to repopulate the species after it was decimated by pesticides.
Sheik Nasur bin Mukhta is the teenage son of a Persian Gulf emir, beginning a course in petroleum engineering at the University of Alberta. He dutifully accepts that his life’s course is laid out for him by his traditionalist culture.
Rosie Leboucan is the teenage daughter of a Métis trapper, now running her dad’s trap line in the Swan Hills after he became disabled when a horse fell on him. Her ambitions are to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.
Then the Government of Canada, wishing to sell a nuclear-powered desalination plant to the emirate, decides to give the emir one of the peregrines as a diplomatic gift. Nasur’s father asks him to go to the rearing facility to accept the bird.
When Bernie learns of the government’s intentions, it’s more than he can stand. He impulsively takes the bird he has been tending – he has named it Skyrider – and flees to a remote cabin in the Swan Hills wilderness.
The RCMP are tasked with getting the bird back. They mount a search. Nasur insists on being on the scene. And the scene turns out to be Rosie’s trapping territory.
The events bring the three young people into contact with each other. Each learns from the other and from the conflict into which they have been drawn. And their coming together will lead each of them off in new directions…
By Gayle Smith
Willomena Swift, an isolated, ranch-raised young woman, home from playing in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, finds her precious foal killed by a rogue stallion. The stallion’s owner, once Willo’s baseball coach, is now the chair of the new cooperative pasture committee.
Willo struggles to understand how she can raise horses when her family lease, in the transition zone between forest and prairie, will be turned over to the new pasture.
While facing numerous challenges with the wild stallion and his owner, Willo remembers her years playing baseball for the Rockford Peaches. Amidst romance and tragedy, Willo struggles to assert her rightful place and realize her dreams.
Shapers of Worlds Volume III
Edited by Edward Willett
The third anthology featuring science fiction and fantasy by authors who were guests of The Worldshapers podcast, this outstanding collection will include new fiction from Griffin Barber, Gerald Brandt, Miles Cameron, Sebastien de Castell, Kristi Charish, David Ebenbach, Mark Everglade, Frank J. Fleming, Violette Malan, Anna Mocikat, James Morrow, Jess E. Owen, Cat Rambo, K.M. Rice, Ryan van Loan, and Edward Willett and new poetry by Jane Yolen, plus stories by Cory Doctorow, K. Eason, Walter Jon Williams, and F. Paul Wilson.