Rita Oakes












Short Stories

Lethe Press
Also available for the Kindle.

"Gorgeously moody, Rita Oakes's elegant writing vibrates with the horrors
of war and equally so with the unexpected beauty that keeps those
horrors at bay. Rich in historical detail and human insight, these
stories wrap themselves around you and imprint you with their spell,
leaving you changed for having read them; Oakes's characters live and
breathe, lingering after the book is closed. COMRADES-IN-ARMS is a
collection to be savored and revisited. Highly recommended.”.

- Chris Cevasco

What the reviewer said:

"Brutal and beautiful, Oakes' stories are gems of character, time, and place."
Lane Robins, Author of Maledicte and Renovation

“Comrades–in-Arms mixes the supernatural with historical fiction to beautiful, frightening, and haunting effect. I’m simply stunned by this collection. How splendidly imagined and deftly written it is.”
- Jeff Mann, author of Purgatory and Salvation

"Zombies: Shambling Through the Ages"

Get a hard copy version here. Also available for the Kindle.

"It's a wonder humanity ever survived into the twenty-first century. Even Neanderthals knew to bury the dead beneath stones to prevent corpses from rising. Ancient civilizations feared slain warriors would return from battlefields, medieval physicians worried that bodies would rise from plague pits, many cultures buried the dead at crossroads to prevent the dead from walking. In Zombies: Shambling Through the Ages, editor Steve Berman has collected stories that reveal the threat of revenants and the living dead is far from recent. From the Bronze Age to World War II, this anthology guides us through millennia of thrills, chills, kills, carnage, horror, and havoc wreaked throughout history by the walking dead".

What the reviewer said:

"another great book...particularly the story written by Elaine Pascale...great book of stories, well written ...I don't usually buy these zombie books since I am much older and this was not in 'my generation"...but glad I did "
Dana Happel

Time Well Bent Anthology"A Wind Sharp as Obsidian"
Time Well Bent anthology. Also available for the Kindle.

An alternate history set during the Spanish Conquest of Mexico.

What the reviewer said:

"...lush and uncomfortable, loving and filled with awe and majesty. "
Rainbow Reviews

"Sorrow's Blade"
Beneath Ceaseless Skies, issue 24 (August 27, 2009)

A banished elf, enchanted sword, and plague in medieval France.

Tales of Moreauvia"Before Chaos and the Glare"
Tales of Moreauvia, Spring 2008

Dr. Dominique-Jean Larrey faces the unthinkable in 1812 Moscow.

What the reviewers said:

"Part Night of the Living Dead and part miniaturized War and Peace. . . "
The Fix

Paradox #1"By Bayonet and Brush"
Issue one (April 2003).

What the reviewers said:

". . . paints a hard picture of a soldier's life in Napoleon's army as it invades Aragon. There Corporal Saint-Amiens finds that, in the madness of war, not only are lives wasted, but often those things that give extra meaning to life as well."
— Jetse de Vries, The Fix, issue 7

". . .a robust and impressive debut . . . Oakes writes with a clean, proletarian prose style which when blended with her exotic and meticulous historical detail provides a gritty, thematically purposeful voice . . . Oakes polishes her métier triste theme to a poignant, existential shimmer . . . " 
— Daniel E. Blackston,

Many Faces of Van Helsing"Poison in the Darkness"
The Many Faces of Van Helsing. Edited by Jeanne Cavelos. Ace, 2004. Also available for the Kindle.

Now available in mass market and Kindle editions.

Professor Abraham Van Helsing struggles with his wife's unexpected infidelity and the tragic death of their only child in a tale of deception and madness set twenty years before Bram Stoker's Dracula. The anthology was nominated for a Stoker, but competition was fierce that year. It's a great anthology with some wonderful stories by Christopher Golden, Brian Hodge, Joe Hill, and Tanith Lee, among others. It was an honor to find myself sharing a table of contents with such company. Read the story here.

Dogtown Review"Jewels in a Jasper Cup"
Dogtown Review (May 2004)

Six-year-old Meghan is coping with her parents' divorce, a tyrannical first-grade teacher, and cruel classmates, but when a homeless man gives a unicorn into her keeping she discovers an unexpected ally. Dogtown Review is a small magazine put out by fellow Odyssey alumnus, David Schwartz, who also writes some pretty amazing and quirky fiction of his own. This story is my shortest and least grim--a sort of urban fantasy and the only thing I've published featuring a contemporary setting. Read the story here.

Paradox #6"For You, Lili Marlene"
Issue Six (Winter 2004-2005)

Stefan, a Roma escapee from the concentration camps and former partisan, searches for any remnant of his surviving clan in the months following the end of the Second World War. Read the story here.

What the reviewers said:

" . . . This is an elegant and subtle work of historical fiction. . .  Oakes offers a glimpse into the disintegration of the Roma people, and a delicate, difficult story."
 —Bluejack, Internet Review of Science Fiction

"The overarching theme of the story is chances missed, that things have happened during the war that make human beings fundamentally different, and that things will never really be 'better' again. Overall, these themes and the realistic, poignant emotions of the characters, as well as the intricacies of the setting, make this piece of Holocaust fiction memorable.
— Rebecca Gold, Tangent Online

Aeon Speculative Fiction, issue 7 (May 2006)

This was my first electronic publication. And it also marks the first sale of one of my shapeshifter stories. Julius and Marcus are Mutari, members of an ancient race of werewolf-like creatures, held as slaves in a decadent household in ancient Rome. Read the story here.

What the reviewer said:

"Steeped in colorful characters, "Lupercalia" is Gladiator meets Underworld, though to compare the story with the celluloid media does it a disservice. Oakes scribes an action-packed, mythical romp through Roman history."
— Suzanne Church, Tangent Online