The world’s fate lies with a comatose young girl; an android wants to remember a human she once knew under Martian skies; men at sea learn that the ocean is a realm far different from land, where an unforgiving god rules; a school security guard discovers extreme English class; and a man understands what the behemoth beneath the sea commands of him. The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 stories, riding the currents of fantasy, science fiction, crime, and horror. There are tales of murder, death, loss, revenge, greed, and hate. There are also tales of hope, survival, and love. For the sea was a fair master.

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Bookshop: Paperback

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“A collection of dark and fierce flash. Demmer’s short tales of horror and the weird will delight, disturb, and unsettle readers.” — MARIA HASKINS, author of Dark Flash
“Calvin Demmer has a lean writing style that is delicious in collections. These short stories deliver punches to the reader and then end before a recovery is possible!” — SOMER CANON, author of Killer Chronicles
“THE SEA WAS A FAIR MASTER is a literary kaleidoscope made from flesh with razor-sharp fragments twisting inside to form a bloody trunkful of blending images and genres, sci-fi and crime and horror mix to reveal vignettes as terse and surprising as a night of binge-watching The Twilight Zone. Demmer leaves no fear untouched – sharks and clowns and serial killers pepper these stories, daring the reader to turn the page, not knowing what fresh horror awaits them. A strong debut by a masterful new voice in horror. Don’t miss it.” — PHILIP FRACASSI, author of Behold the Void
“Demmer’s debut moves like a rabid dog straining against its chain. Each story hits like a flash of sharp teeth, every tale snarling with its own sudden bite. This is an engaging first collection from a versatile new talent.” — KAREN RUNGE, author of Seeing Double
“Connection. Disconnection. Loneliness. Love. Friendship. Murder. These are but a few of the elements of great horror, and Calvin Demmer expertly blends each one into his fiction—to a supremely devastating and unsettling effect.” — GWENDOLYN KISTE, author of And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe
“Overall, I was overwhelmed at how powerful these short tales were, and at how much I enjoyed the entire collection. Calvin Demmer is a name I won’t be forgetting anytime soon, and I’m already hoping for more to come from him. Highly recommended.” — KIMBERLY YERINA, Horror After Dark
“The quality of writing is exemplary, with each tale feeling unique and wonderfully complete. How a story that barely covers 3 pages can have a beginning, middle and satisfying end whilst featuring characters you are genuinely interested in testament to the skill of the author. There are no stories weaker than the other, ask me today what my favourite story was I’d say it was ‘Graves’, (heart breaking), yesterday ‘Restroom Finds’ (brutal with a wonderful twist), tomorrow? It really is that strong a collection.” — GAVIN KENDALL, Kendall Reviews
“Demmer never allows you to settle, these stories keep you on the edge of your seat and the moment you decide to call it a day, you decide to read one more story. Honestly, this collection is like a drug…This is a book that comes with my highest recommendation.” — ADRIAN SHOTBOLT, The Grim Reader
“Calvin Demmer hits on different types of horror. I dig his writing style. The setup and execution of each story is spot on. THE SEA WAS A FAIR MASTER is a quick, exhilarating read. It’s a real nail-biter. Nothing can prepare you for this book.” — CURTIS FREEMAN, Cedar Hollow Horror Reviews
“The Sea Was a Fair Master is a little book – with BIG teeth. Filled with stories that range from light sci-fi to surprising, delicious horror, I am certain that a large population of readers can and will find something (or everything) to love in this book. The language and pacing vary as needed from tale to tale, but at the core, it remains fresh and engaging writing.” — TRACY ROBINSON, Sci-Fi & Scary

Artwork by Reonie Bothma. Inspired by Calvin Demmer’s story “Yara” (from The Sea Was a Fair Master).
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