The Guardian is an anthology of science fiction short stories. It is part of the Newcomer series of scifi anthologies.
Guardians are defenders, carers and guides. Some look after individual people, others whole planets or universes, but all share a strong belief in their responsibility to protect their charges.
Awakening by Alasdair Shaw
Algernon Wade and the crew of the Hansard arrive to study an abandoned colony for the Exploration Service. They find a highly advanced civilisation that met a grisly end. Their presence triggers an Awakening.
The Lattice by Jeff Tanyard
Rob Treutlen lives in a cage, just like everyone else on Earth. The Reptilian Empire constructed The Lattice around the planet, and they persistently demand more work from their captives. Rob hates it, but he has an ailing father to care for, and he can't afford to get involved with the resistance.
His father's death changes that. He seeks out the resistance and attempts to escape. It's dangerous, and his probability of success is low, but he's willing to risk it. Because having nothing left to live for makes some things worth dying for.
Biting Shadow by C Gold
They say curiosity kills the cat, but what about a pup with only one life?
What starts out as a desire to see the great unknown outside the den quickly turns into more than Biting Shadow ever anticipated when he comes across a dying stranger who is desperately trying to pass on a 'gift'. Now, as an unwitting host to alien technology, Biting Shadow struggles to make sense of the rapid changes made to his biology while also dealing with a hostile presence. These alterations may be the key to saving his family and even the planet, but at what cost to himself?
Gate of Dreams by Rick Partlow
Andre Damiani is obsessed with finding the lost secrets of the Predecessors, thinking it will bring meaning and fulfilment to his life. When he finds the key to not just his own purpose but that of all life in the universe in a long-lost cache of ancient alien technology, he also finds it threatened by the same Corporate Council masters he's served for decades. Damiani is forced to decide how much he's willing to sacrifice to preserve the Gate of Dreams from the greed of men.
The Following Star by Elizabeth Baxter
A lonely boy walks the empty corridors of a starship with only his dog for company. He guards a precious cargo: one that holds many secrets, one that only he can protect. But when The Following Star begins to catch the ship, he soon learns that his whole life has been a lie.
The Renewal by Zen DiPietro
Arlen's a trader, not a scientist. She never expected to be in a first-contact situation.
When an alien species needs her help, she discovers that there are people in the universe like nothing she ever dreamed. People who find her as unique and fascinating as she finds them. People who need her help with The Renewal. Sometimes profit isn't everything.
Stowaway by Benjamin Douglas
A month ago, Ada Xander had a home, a family, and a normal life working the family mine on Cyron-2. Now she's a Stowaway, sleeping standing up crammed in a smuggling cabinet on-board a pirate ship. To survive, she'll need to forge alliances, prove her worth, and become one of the crew. And all that assumes they won't just space her outright if they find her.
Baptism of Fire by Cora Buhlert
Cadet Anjali Patel had hoped for something more exciting than guard duty for her first mission with the legendary Shakyri Expeditionary Corps, the best fighters in the Empire of Worlds. However, this boring job quickly turns hot, when an enemy convoy comes up the mountain pass Anjali is supposed to guard. Her Baptism of Fire is more than she bargained for.
Sleeping Giant by Andrew Vaillencourt
When a crew of desperate pirates sets down on a distant frontier world, the only thing between them and an easy payday is one old woman working the fields. But things are often not what they seem. What that woman knows makes all the difference between life and death, and a Sleeping Giant is stirring.
We Have the Stars by JJ Green
It is a foggy night in an alternate Victorian London. Eleanor, a world-famous inventor, fulfills a decades-old pact. In We Have the Stars, three friends meet, and the revelation that follows shatters Eleanor's perspective on humanity and herself.
Warning Signs by Edward M Grant
A damaged warship can't remember much beyond its mission to defend the planet it orbits. When the Behemoth turns up and starts landing its passengers, no-one spots the Warning Signs.
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The Guardian is available wholesale.