Games Creatures Play

Games Creatures Play

Paperback-Games Creatures Play (InCryptid -2.3 - Jammed) by Charlaine Harris

Games Creatures Play (2014) by Charlaine Harris — Published by Jo Flecher Books

Games Creatures Play (April 1st 2014 ) — Anthology 

✮ Paperback Release: April 7, 2015

Genre and Sub-GenresEdit

Urban fantasy / Mystery

Theme Edit

Paranormal Pastimes


✥ Includes a brand-new story featuring Sookie Stackhouse and Manfred Bernardo.

✥ A 15-strong team of bestselling and awardwinning writers gives us a winning combination: Games Creatures Playcovers all the bases!

Everyone plays something – whether it’s solitaire or squash, World of Warcraft, darts or dodgeball. Games bring out the best in us, the worst in us, the thing-we-never-expected in us. Human beings naturally like to test their limits, both mental and physical – and why should the supernaturals be any different?

In their latest anthology international superstar Charlaine Harris and award-winning mystery writer Toni Kelner have collected stories that feature ghostly players, bloodthirsty interruptions, and competitions with deadly outcomes, from some of the top writers in the fantasy, horror, crime and mystery genres. ~ Risingshadow

Editor and AuthorsEdit

Editor: Charlaine Harris (UF, Myst), Toni L. P. Kelner (UF, Myst)

Contributors: Jan Burke (myst), Dana Cameron (Fant, Myst, Crime), Adam-Troy Castro (Sci-Fi-Fant, Hor, Child), Brendan Dubois (Alt-Hist, Myst), Charlaine Harris (UF, Myst), Toni L. P. Kelner (UF, Myst), Caitlin Kittredge (UF), William Kent Krueger (Myst-Thrill), Ellen Kushner (Fantasy), Mercedes Lackey (Fantasy, early-UF), Joe R. Lansdale (Hor, Myst-Thrill, Fict), Laura Lippman (Myst-Thrill), Seanan McGuire (UF), Brandon Sanderson (Fantasy), Scott Sigler (Hor, Sci-Fi-Fant, Myst-Thrill)

Supernatural ElementsEdit

psychic, telepath, werewolves, ghosts, haunted house, changelings, faeries, dead people, zombies, necromancy, magic, demons, witches, Allaway Kith, Gods, Elder Gods, devil, Greek gods, elves, cryptids, werewolf warrior, raven oracle, chimera (monster), monster hunters, curse, witch w: affinity for sound, Native American ghosts

List of Stories Edit

Story Title Series and Order # Author Supes Sport / Game Lead(s)
"In the Blue Hereafter" "Grave" series, Sookie Stackhouse Charlaine Harris psychics, witch, telepath softball game Sookie Stackhouse, Manfred Bernado
"Hide and Seek" none William Kent Krueger Ghosts, Haunted House Hide and Seek
"Stepping into the Dead Zone" Jan Burke Fairies, changelings, Der Erlkönig dodgeball
"Dead on the Bones" Joe R. Lansdale Reanimated spirits, zombies, hoodoo conjure man, necromancy Boxing
"The Devil Went Down to Boston" Caitlin Kittredge fae, demons, devil shell game, game of chance
"On the Playing Fields of Blood" Brendan DuBois Native American ghosts, Curse lacrosse
"The God's Games" Dana Cameron Werewolf, Greek gods, werewolf warrior, raven oracle original Olympics, pankration (ancient Greek MMA)
"The Case of the Haunted Safeway" Scott Sigler Ghosts Baseball
"Prise De Fer" Ellen Kushner ghost Fencing
"Dreamer" none Brandon Sanderson Dead gamers, body-jumping poltergeists race; game of cops & robbers
"False Knight on the Road" SERRAted Edge series Mercedes Lackey devil (?), elves drag racing
"Jammed" InCryptid series #2.3 Seanan McGuire monster hunter, cryptids, chimera (monster) roller derby Antimony Price POV, Annie
"Hide and Shriek" Adam-Troy Castro 3 monstrous Elder Gods hiding game with clues
"Ice" Laura Lippman ghost; drowned girl trapped in a frozen pond skating on the ice
"Bell, Book, and Candlepin" Toni L.P. Kelner witch w: affinity for sound, werewolf, curse, Allaway Kith candlepin bowling Allaway Kith

To expand the table, right-press on a row of the table or (Control-press on a Mac)—choose add row.

Synopsis by StoryEdit

"In the Blue Hereafter" by Charlaine Harris — "Grave" series & Sookie Stackhouse series

Manfred is a true psychic from the Grave series. His grandmother was also a psychic who died. In this crossover story, his grandmother sends him messages from beyond the grave. These messages send him to Bon Temps LA to a softball game where he meets Sookie Stackhouse. ✥ Magic is exercised to manipulate a high school softball game. ✥ Manfred Bernardo is a psychic who teams up with Sookie as he tries to figure out why his dead grandmother has ordered him to travel to a girls' softball tournament in Bon Temps. ✥

"Hide and Seek" by William Kent Krueger

Runaway boys are coerced by a trio of crazy siblings into playing life-or-death games of hide-and-seek. ✥ Damned souls playing a desperate game of hide and seek with their tormentors. ✥ Life-and-death stakes make the competition get serious. ✥

"Stepping into the Dead Zone" by Jan Burke

Fuses the myths of changelings and the events of Goethe’s poem Der Erlkönig with the rules and logistics of navigating a new primary school and the violence, exclusion and degradation of dodgeball. ✥ Two boys enroll in a new school, learn the truth about their lives, and play a mean game of dodgeball. ✥ The kids are smart and work together to make things better and help each other. Fairies and changelings.

"Dead on the Bones" by Joe Lansdale

Set during the depression. Odd story of calling up dead people to fight. ✥ Depression era slice of Southern Gothic where the local hardman scraps with the spirits of dead celebrity boxers enticed into bodies retrieved from the cemetery by a Voodoo Conjure Man. Vividly imagined with a side order of revenge. ✥ Reanimated spirits summoned into a boxing bout with living contenders. ✥ A conjure man (aka hoodoo practitioner) and a dead man's reanimated spirit. ✥

"The Devil Went Down to Boston" by Caitlin Kittredge

Three siblings grow up rough in Southie, maturing into very different types of adults: a substance-abusing thug, a decorated veteran, and a gutsy young woman who will do anything just to survive. ✥ Magic and demons mixed together. ✥ Featuring a game of chance with Old Nick himself. ✥ The youngest daughter of a low level criminal family of Irish immigrant fae gambles with Lucifer to free her brother from the death sentence he placed on himself after stealing from a dangerous gangster. ✥

"On the Playing Fields of Blood" by Brendan DuBois

Native Americans from long ago play killer lacrosse. ✥ Cursed Native Americans challenging unwary hikers to a bloody lacrosse match. ✥ Four college students on a hiking trip pay the ultimate price for the sins of their ancestors. ✥

"The God's Games" by Dana Cameron

Werewolf who works for the Greek gods at the original Olympics trying to stop a planned murder. ✥ A wolf man must prevent a murder at a 5th Century Olympics by winning the pankration (akin to an ancient Greek equivalent of MMA). ✥ A werewolf must complete a complex task foreseen by two oracles: win the pankration, stop a murder, expose the perpetrator, and stay away from a beautiful woman—all without shifting into his animal form.

"The Case of the Haunted Safeway" by Scott Sigler

Ghostly baseball players from 80 years ago haunt the Safeway. ✥ Ghost stomper Hunter Hunterson as he investigates a haunted, never-ending baseball game. ✥ Ghostly tale of love and baseball which manages to be funny, sweet and a little bit spooky all at the same time. ✥ Gun toting redneck Hunter Hunterson and family take on a pair of spectral baseball players causing havoc in the local supermarket. ✥ Deceased baseball players marked for exorcism by freelance monster hunters. ✥ In this dead-on parody of Dog the Bounty Hunter, Hunter Hunterson and his monster-stompin' family (his "hair-sprayed vision of loveliness," jewel-bedecked wife, Betty Lou and their three kids) set out to rid a supermarket of two destructive, baseball-playing ghosts. ✥

"Prise De Fer" by Ellen Kushner

Fencing in France with extra lessons from a ghost. ✥ A young fencer haunting an upper class girl’s school. ✥ The spirit of a swordsman from an earlier time tries to convince a lonely young girl—an expert fencer—to help him avenge his death. ✥

"Dreamer" by Brandon Sanderson

Dead gamers playing a real-life round of capture the flag on city streets. ✥ A game of cops and robbers is a new challenge when the players are able to switch bodies at will. ✥ Capture the flag with body jumpers. ✥ A gang of body jumpers terrorizes Manhattan, fighting to a no-holds-barred finish despite the huge amount of horrific collateral damage they inflict on innocent human bystanders. ✥

"False Knight on the Road" by Mercedes Lackey — SERRAted Edge series

Shine runner meets elves. They bet on a race to the county line. ✥ Features a high-stakes drag race on a foggy mountain road between a clever young bootlegger and a mysterious stranger. ✥ A road race between a Moonshiner in an all American muscle car and a stranger dressed in black driving something low slung and European. ✥ Moonshine runner gets sucked into a drag race with Old Nick (the Devil) on a desolate mountain road. ✥ A young, fast-driving moonshine runner gets carried away by his own arrogance and lets himself be goaded into a wager that results in the scariest ride of his life. ✥

"Jammed" by Seanan McGuire — InCryptid series #2.3

Main character is a Price who either hunts down bad "monsters" or helps good cryptids. Set in roller derby they kill a chimera. ✥ Chimera is on the rampage during a Roller Derby, features Antimony Price. ✥ Human Antimony Price teams up with the paranormals on her Roller Derby team to take down a rogue chimera. ✥ A supernatural murder mystery involving a roller derby league of humanoid mythological creatures. ✥ Antimony and her cryptid friends use their awesome Roller Derby prowess to locate and punish a murderous monster. ✥

"Hide and Shriek" by Adam-Troy Castro

Lovecraftian Elder Gods with a side helping of humor play hide and seek. ✥ A deadpan and blackly humorous Lovecraft parody featuring a trio of childish Elder Gods wiling away the aeons with a game of hiding themselves where unwitting humans might discover them after uncovering the right clues. ✥ Three powerful and narcissistic immortal gods fight off boredom by playing a game that might end with the destruction of all mankind. ✥

"Ice" by Laura Lippman

A drowned girl trapped in a frozen pond freed by two skaters. ✥ A young girl learns the true story behind a bit of neighborhood folklore. ✥ The story of 2 girls at different times on the ice in Baltimore. ✥ It’s a quiet story, touching only gently on the sporting theme of this collection. It’s a brilliant, heartbreaking little gem about the nature of story itself, and the manufacture of history at a very personal and local level. ~  Blog In The Basket ✥ Two girls have similarly horrific experiences, but with very different endings. ✥

"Bell, Book, and Candlepin" by Toni L. P. Kelner

A witch and a werewolf dealing with a curse at the bowling ally where they both hold down dead-end jobs. ✥ Allaway Kith of Salem, MA is the main character. The introduction says this is the second story with this world. Allaway is a witch with an affinity for sound—she can make a cone of silence, replay sounds she has heard before, make things softer or louder and hear conversations across the room. She works in a candlepin bowling alley with a curse. ✥ Two young supernaturals confound a curse, prevent a murder, and take their first step toward a romantic relationship. ✥ ~ Sources:

~ see review below for more details on stories. 

Cover ArtistEdit

Artist: not listed – possibly: Lisa Desimini

Publishing InformationEdit

  • Publisher: Ace Hardcover, Ace Trade, Jo Flecher Books
  • Book data: Hardcover, 356 pages, Pub: April 1st 2014—ISBN: 0425256871
  • Book data: Paperback, 432 pages, Pub: April 7th 2015, Ace Trade—ISBN: 042525707X

Cover Blurb Edit

Welcome to the wide world of paranormal pastimes, where striking out might strike you dead. Editors Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner are your announcers for this all-new story collection of the most peculiar plays ever made… Sports fans live and die by their teams’ successes and failures—though not literally. But these fourteen authors have written spirited—in more ways than one—new tales of killer competitions that would make even the most die-hard players ask to be benched.

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris’s "The Blue Hereafter,” Manfred Bernardo learns about softball from a certain blond barmaid in Louisiana.

Life-and-death stakes make the competition get serious in New York Times bestseller William Kent Krueger’s "Hide and Seek.”

New York Times bestselling author Mercedes Lackey’s "False Knight on the Road” features a high-stakes drag race on a foggy mountain road between a clever young bootlegger and a mysterious stranger.

In New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman’s "Ice,” a young girl learns the true story behind a bit of neighborhood folklore.

New York Times bestseller Seanan McGuire presents "Jammed,” in which a chimera loose during the Roller Derby makes it anyone’s guess as to who will still be skating by the time the buzzer sounds.

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson’s "Dreamer,” a game of cops and robbers is a new challenge when the players are able to switch bodies at will.

And New York Times bestselling author Scott Sigler follows ghost stomper Hunter Hunterson as he investigates a haunted, never-ending baseball game in "The Case of the Haunted Safeway.”

These and eight more supernatural sporting stories are guaranteed to have you rooting for the home team…or else. ~ Goodreads

Quotations Edit

Fang-tastic Fiction: ANTHOLOGY: "Games Creatures Play"

External Links Edit



Author Pages for book:

Goodreads: Series & Story Pages:

Author Websites:


Story Reviews:

Goodreads Author Pages:

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