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Authors: Ferrett Steinmetz

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∞ : The Chapter Midway Through the End Credits

V
alentine had never fucked
on a beach before, but discovered sand got everywhere. Which, if your sex had a certain cruel edge, could be used creatively.

She collapsed, watching the stars in the warm Caribbean sky, holding a freshly-bruised Robert as he fell asleep in post-coital bliss.

Eventually, this would get boring. She wasn't engineered for monotony. Neither was Robert. In time, one of them would itch for adventure, and they'd move on.

They'd go back to Paul. Paul always had adventures.

But for now, feeling Robert wriggle deeper next to her, feeling the ocean surf at their feet, she basked in contentment. The only thing that could make this better was…

“Milkshake, ma'am?”

“Thank you, Butler,” she said, and took the shake from Butler's tray.

Acknowledgments II
Electric Boogaloo

T
hanks
, Phil.

And while we're holding a moment of grief, as readers of the series will know, Aliyah was heavily inspired by my goddaughter, Rebecca Alison Meyer, who passed away of brain cancer on her sixth birthday. She was extraordinary. I don't know that Rebecca would have become a magic-wielding lesbian commando at the age of thirteen, but I can't say I would have ruled it out either.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, Rebecca's mother Kat Meyer and my friend Karla Winans have helped found a charity to help families who've survived losses like Rebecca. And if you have some spare cash, donating to Rebecca's Gift at http://rebeccasgift.org/ would help make the world a little brighter in Little Spark's name.

And I've thanked a lot of people in past acknowledgments who I should thank again; everyone at Angry Robot, who have been really good about supporting this series, including Mike Underwood (the 'Mancer series' #1 fan), Marc Gascoigne and Phil Jourdan, and Penny Reeve. Thanks to my, er, best friend Angie, who never stopped believing in me. Thanks to Mom, Dad, and my daughters Amy and Erin – but heck, you've all made it in previous dedications, why am I thanking you here? Oh, right, ‘cause you're awesome. Thanks to Aileen, who listened to me complain late in the evenings on far too many occasions.

Thanks to every one of you who's reading this. If you got here, I'm presuming you came with me on the past journey of the last two books, and God, that means
so much
to me. (And if not, you've got two books of prequel to consume, so get crackin'!) And a special thanks to anyone who reviewed or referenced or mentioned any of my books; remember, every time a reader tells other people about the book they just read, an author gets their wings.

But if you've got this far, I'm sure some of you are asking one question:
Are there any more adventures?
And I hope there will be. I've got some vague ideas of what Valentine and Butler might get up to. But for right now, I think I've pushed the family as far as I can, and so if I'm gonna tell a new 'mancer story it'll probably be with some different 'mancers.

God willing, I'll return to this crazy magical world someday.

So keep up with me on my Twitter, @ferretthimself, or at my blog at
www.theferrett.com
. I'll catch ya around.

Oh! And if you've followed me thus far, you know damn well there's one person who I always end my acknowledgments by thanking. When I was writing four hours a night to try to fix this damn novel, my wife quietly cleaned the house for me when I slacked on my chores. She went for long plot-walks with me as I angsted, “How do I make this work?” She read endless pages. And she's always been brutally, gloriously honest when the words don't work.

She not only
supports
my dreams, she
enables
them. And man, I hope I lift her up half as high as she lifts me.

I love you, Gini.

Arf.

The CHAPTER That Comes After The Acknowledgments
Ferris Bueller Says to go Home


A
ctually
, pizza sucks,” Aliyah said. “Anyone wanna get donuts?”

About the Author

F
errett Steinmetz is
a graduate of both the Clarion Writers' Workshop and Viable Paradise, and has been nominated for the Nebula Award, for which he remains stoked. Ferrett has a moderately popular blog,
The Watchtower of Destruction
, wherein he talks about bad puns, relationships, politics, videogames, and more bad puns. He's written four computer books, including the still-popular-after-two-years
Wicked Cool PHP.
He lives in Cleveland with his wife, whom he couldn't imagine living without.

theferrett.com
•
twitter.com/ferretthimself

A
NGRY ROBOT

An imprint of Watkins Media Ltd

L
ace Market House
,

54-56 High Pavement,

Nottingham,

NG1 1HW

UK

a
ngryrobotbooks.com

twitter.com/angryrobotbooks

DONUTS

A
n Angry Robot
paperback original 2016

C
opyright © Ferrett
Steinmetz 2016

F
errett Steinmetz asserts
the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

A
catalogue record
for this book is available from the British Library.

U
K ISBN 978
0 85766 572 0

US ISBN 978 0 85766 573 7

EBook ISBN 978 0 85766 574 4

S
et by Epub Services
.

A
ll rights reserved
. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.

T
his book is sold
subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

T
his novel is entirely
a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.

Angry Robot and the Angry Robot icon are registered trademarks of Watkins Media Ltd.

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