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About Gwendolyn Kiste
Gwendolyn Kiste is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens, from Trepidatio Publishing; And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe, from JournalStone; and the dark fantasy novella, Pretty Marys All in a Row, from Broken Eye Books. Her short fiction has appeared in Nightmare Magazine, Shimmer, Black Static, Daily Science Fiction, Interzone, LampLight, and Three-Lobed Burning Eye, among others. Originally from Ohio, she now resides on an abandoned horse farm outside of Pittsburgh with her husband, two cats, and not nearly enough ghosts. Find her online at gwendolynkiste.com
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Reluctant Immortals is a historical horror novel that looks at two men of classic literature, Dracula and Mr. Rochester, and the two women who survived them, Bertha and Lucy, who are now undead immortals residing in Los Angeles in 1967 when Dracula and Rochester make a shocking return in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco.
Combining elements of historical and gothic fiction with a modern perspective, in a tale of love and betrayal and coercion, Reluctant Immortals is the lyrical and harrowing journey of two women from classic literature as they bravely claim their own destiny in a man's world.
Liminal Spaces is a quiet horror anthology from Cemetery Gates Media featuring stories from well-known dark fiction writers such as: Joanna Koch, Jessica McHugh, Mark Allan Gunnells, Anthony J. Rapino, Gwendolyn Kiste, Michael Wehunt, Bob Ford, Kelli Owen, Richard Thomas, Todd Keisling, Chad Lutzke, Kristi DeMeester, Joshua Palmatier, and Norman Prentiss.
“The word ‘liminal’ comes from the Latin root limen. It means ‘threshold.’ A liminal space is a ‘crossing over’ space–a space where you have left something behind, yet you are not fully in something else. It’s a transition space.
“This is my favorite kind of horror and speculative fiction. Fiction which takes place in that ‘crossing over’ space. Stories about characters who have–wittingly or unwittingly–crossed a threshold. Those who have left something behind, yet are not quite somewhere or something else. They are in-between, and are neither one thing, nor another. Classic anthologies like Shadows, edited by Charles L. Grant epitomize these kinds of stories, as did Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, the work of Charles Beaumont and T. M Wright, Joyce Carol Oates, Shirley Jackson, and the ‘strange stories’ of Robert Aickman.”
-Kevin Lucia, Editor
Nothing is as it seems.
Your reflection beckons you through the looking glass. Step through the cracks and travel paths where the darkness twists familiar shapes, where the once safe havens are overrun with danger, and the mundane objects of your life are forever changed.
Twenty authors share their view of the world through the shattered and splintered shards of their imaginations. Where does perception end and reality begin?
The spirits of the dead exist in this anthology, and they want to communicate.
First appearing in the late 1800s, spiritualism became a religious movement that swept the nation. Under the assumption that the dead live on in the afterlife, spiritualists believed that contact with the dearly departed was not only possible, but something those who crossed over longed for. Contact was usually made through a medium, a person who claimed to have the ability to speak with the dead.
There Is No Death, There Are No Dead is a horror anthology that tackles all aspects of the spiritualist movement: from the true believers to the nay-sayers, the hoaxes to hauntings, the real mediums to the scam artists. From ghosts to possessions, from profound loss to insurmountable grief, these short stories explore limitless genres (historical fiction, Gaslamp mystery, modern horror, and everything in between) with a diverse cast of characters challenged at every corner.
There Is No Death, There Are No Dead includes new work from some of the most talented and respected authors in the horror and dark fantasy genres, featuring stories from Gemma Files, Helen Marshall, Kathe Koja, Lee Murray, David Demchuk, Lisa Morton, Gwendolyn Kiste, S.P. Miskowski, Seanan McGuire, Catherine Lord, Chesya Burke, Nadia Bulkin, Michelle Belanger, and Laird Barron, and edited by Bram Stoker Award winner Jess Landry and Aaron J. French.
The dead are speaking. Will you hear?
Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.
It’s the summer of 1980 in Cleveland, Ohio, and Phoebe Shaw and her best friend Jacqueline have just graduated high school, only to confront an ugly, uncertain future. Across the city, abandoned factories populate the skyline; meanwhile at the shore, one strong spark, and the Cuyahoga River might catch fire. But none of that compares to what’s happening in their own west side neighborhood. The girls Phoebe and Jacqueline have grown up with are changing. It starts with footprints of dark water on the sidewalk. Then, one by one, the girls’ bodies wither away, their fingernails turning to broken glass, and their bones exposed like corroded metal beneath their flesh.
As rumors spread about the grotesque transformations, soon everyone from nosy tourists to clinic doctors and government men start arriving on Denton Street, eager to catch sight of “the Rust Maidens” in metamorphosis. But even with all the onlookers, nobody can explain what’s happening or why—except perhaps the Rust Maidens themselves. Whispering in secret, they know more than they’re telling, and Phoebe realizes her former friends are quietly preparing for something that will tear their neighborhood apart.
Alternating between past and present, Phoebe struggles to unravel the mystery of the Rust Maidens—and her own unwitting role in the transformations—before she loses everything she’s held dear: her home, her best friend, and even perhaps her own body.
The answers to these and many other rhetorical questions lie within these pages.
2019. The year certainly made its mark on the world—and more than its share of scars. It also made for a bounty of good horror stories of the extreme kind, the best of which the tales herein serve to illustrate.
2019 was the year Year's Best Hardcore Horror went global. Not by design but because the stories inside just happened to have been written by authors hailing from various parts of the globe. From Australia by way of South Africa, to Italy, Scotland, Norway, Taiwan, North America and India--the common denominator being that their tales come from darkest regions of imagination.
TABLE OF CONTENTSGOING GLOBAL: INTRODUCTION by Randy Chandler & Cheryl Mullenax
FEAST FOR SMALL PIECES by Hailey Piper
GODDESS OF GALLOWS by Kristopher Triana
LATE NIGHT INCIDENT AT THE WHITE TRASH MOTEL by Duane Bradley
A NEW MOTHER’S GUIDE TO RAISING AN ABOMINATION by Gwendolyn Kiste
UPPER CRUST by Michael Paul Gonzalez
REDLESS by Annie Neugebauer
A TOUCH OF MADNESS by Tim Waggoner
PARADISUM VOLUPTATIS by Joanna Koch
RADIX MALORUM by Sean Patrick Hazlett
LACKERS by Leo X. Roberson
WHY DO BIRDS SUDDENLY APPEAR? by Rajiv Moté
DARJEELING by Syon Das
MRSA ME by Alicia Hilton
WHAT DID YOU DO TO THE CHILDREN? by David L Tamarin
HAVE A HEART by Matthew V. Brockmeyer
SWINGS AND SUSPENSIONS by D.A. Xiaolin Spires
KIRTI by Alessandro Manzetti
THE TEA AND SUGAR TRAIN by DEBORAH SHELDON
SCREAMS FOR STARGIRL by Ben Pienaar
QUEER WEATHER by Scáth Beorh
Classic authors include: E.F. Benson, Ambrose Bierce, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Rhoda Broughton, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Bernard Capes, Ralph Adams Cram, B.M. Croker, Joseph Sheridan le Fanu, Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, O. Henry, William Hope Hodgson, W.W. Jacobs, M.R. James, Rudyard Kipling, H.P. Lovecraft, Guy de Maupassant, Edith Nesbit, Vincent O'Sullivan, Margaret Oliphant, Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, Charlotte Riddell, Mark Twain, Hugh Walpole, Edith Wharton.
A yoga group brings transcendence and bodily transformation. A woman undergoing Gender Confirmation Surgery is subjected to outlandish techniques. A young man discovers the reality-warping potential of a bootleg horror VHS. A mother comes to terms with the monstrous appetites of her newborn child.
Being terrified is just the beginning.
Become one with us and take a deep, penetrating dive into the plasma pool...
This is THE NEW FLESH.
With an Introduction by Kathe Koja.
Featuring stories by: Brian Evenson, Sara Century, C.M. Muller, Leo X. Robertson, Max D. Stanton, Emma Alice Johnson, Cody Goodfellow, Bruno Lombardi, Katy Michelle Quinn, Jack Lothian, Mona Swan LeSueur & Fiona Maeve Geist, Madeleine Swann, Charles Austin Muir, Ryan Harding, Alex Smith, Gwendolyn Kiste, Brendan Vidito, and Sam Richard.
"Fetish technology. Pleasure technology. Sinister technology. Incomprehensible technology. Inhuman technology. Technology plus velocity, velocity plus death, death plus technology." - From the Introduction by the legendary Kathe Koja, author of The Cipher, Skin, and Under the Poppy.
In her debut collection, Gwendolyn Kiste delves into the gathering darkness where beauty embraces the monstrous, and where even the most tranquil worlds are not to be trusted. From fairy tale kingdoms and desolate carnivals, to wedding ceremonies and summer camps that aren’t as joyful as they seem, these fourteen tales of horror and dark fantasy explore death, rebirth, and illusion all through the eyes of those on the outside—the forgotten, the forsaken, the Other, none of whom will stay in the dark any longer.
It starts with crows tumbling out of the clouds and spectral voices on the wind that won’t leave her alone. Then there are those midnight visits to the graveyard that Odette can’t quite remember in the morning. Odette wants to forget magic, but her magic doesn’t want to forget her.
Odette soon discovers her worst nightmare is about to come true—the witchfinders are returning. And this time, the decree is clear: to burn the witch that got away.
"By the time you hurtle toward the epic conclusion, you will be wowed and left wanting more from this master storyteller and weaver of magic tales. Buy all of Gwendolyn Kiste’s books if you haven’t already. As well, award jurors and influencers should take note, because this book deserves to take home all of the prizes." (Cemetery Dance)
"Kiste’s writing style moves fluidly back and forth through time with lyrical language describing awful things. Readers will hang on every word, cringe and cheer through the action, and passionately root for Odette." (Library Journal, starred review)
"[Kiste} effectively creates an intense quasi-Jacobean world where witchfinders rule, and ably depicts a culture of fear, despair, and wonder among the persecuted witches. Recommended for historical fantasy fans and general readers alike." (Booklist)
"Kiste’s vivid descriptions bring Odette’s desperate story to life. This grim tale of magic and resilience is sure to please." (Publishers Weekly)
"Gwendolyn Kiste takes the magical and makes it real, makes beautiful the macabre. I really loved this book, I've read it twice already . . . I ended up racing through this book as once the pace picks up it keeps going in an exhilarating journey with lots of twists and turns." (S.J. Budd)
You don’t know their fire is coming until it’s too late. That’s exactly the way the witchfinders like it. As an isolated enchantress, Odette knows this too well—she lost nearly her whole family to the last round of executions, barely escaping with her own life. All the magic she could conjure wasn’t enough to protect her mother and sister, a burden that leaves a despondent Odette practically wishing she’d burned with the rest.
Now it’s five years later, and as the last witch left from her village, Odette has exiled herself to the nearby woods where she’s sworn off all magic, hoping instead for quiet and for safety. But no witch has ever been permitted a peaceful life.
It starts with crows tumbling out of the clouds and spectral voices on the wind that won’t leave her alone. Then there are those midnight visits to the graveyard that she can’t quite remember in the morning and the strange children following her everywhere she goes. Odette wants to forget magic, but her magic doesn’t want to forget her. Meanwhile, the former friends she left behind in the village are cowering together, hiding from the ghostly birds they believe she’s sent to torment them for abandoning her. But that’s only the beginning of their problems, as Odette soon discovers their worst nightmare is about to come true—the witchfinders are returning. And this time, the decree is clear: to burn the witch that got away.
With the men drawing nearer to the village, Odette must face the whispers from the dead and confront her fear of her own growing power if she wants any chance of stopping the army of witchfinders determined to rid the countryside of magic once and for all.