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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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The spirits of the dead exist, 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.
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
A desert roadhouse becomes the place of ultimate survival as a young couple retaliates against its spiraling web of lost memories. A cursed board game waits patiently in a midnight attic for the only girl to ever escape its deadly ending. A no-nonsense veterinarian uses the tools of her trade to seek bloody vengeance on those who wronged her.
And many more stories...
Featuring works by: Gwendolyn Kiste, Rob E. Boley, Sarah Read, Scotty Milder, Sophie Leah, Paul Magnan, S.K. Campbell, Matt Neil Hill, Adrian Ludens, Mark Wheaton, Buck Weiss, S.R. Miller, Nik Patrick, Shannon Brady, Jaap Boekestein. Compiled and edited by Aric Sundquist. Cover artwork by Mikio Murakami.
A dazzling collection of the most gripping tales of horror, vividly told.
Odd tales of campus life at Miskatonic University from
Brandon O’Brien • Bennett North • Kristi DeMeester • Elliot Cooper • Liz Schriftsteller
• KG McAbee • Brenda Kezar • Nate Southard • Scott R. Jones • Gina Marie Guadagnino •
Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. • Marcus Chan • Gwendolyn Kiste • Matthew M. Bartlett
This is your first year? Welcome! Oh, you’re going to love it here at Miskatonic. Just... be careful. I mean, I’m sure everything will be fine, but you know, things happen. This can be a strange place. You hear stories: people changing and buildings rearranging, ghostly sounds and overly attentive textbooks, odd notions and foul deeds... even monsters! Hah. Just stories, right? Sure.
Faculty struggling for funding in the occult sciences. Students trying to navigate whole new worlds of possibility. Administration striving for growth and progress and not just damage control. And Arkham residents adjusting to the constant influx of new faces.
Just study hard. Party safe. Maybe find love. And don’t die.
"The stories vary in form and content, but their connection to the university is always clear. [...] There is also beer. This short story collection will fit right in with any horror or new-adult collection." (Booklist)
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.
- Evan Dicken, "Every House a Home"
No one understands strange places like people who have been there. Mad Scientist Journal has brought together twenty-two tales of people who have visited places both beautiful and horrifying. Some places heal, some places destroy, some places just want to see the world. Haunted houses share a neighborhood in these pages with dimensional rifts, hidden skyscrapers, and abandoned spacecraft.
Included in this collection are stories from Ali Abbas, Nyri Bakkalian, S. E. Casey, Julian Dexter, Evan Dicken, Carolyn A. Drake, Dorian Graves, Diana Hauer, Georgie Hinojosa, Michael M. Jones, Gwendolyn Kiste, M. Lopes da Silva, Christine Lucas, Audrey Mack, Lyndsie Manusos, Alanna McFall, Alexander Nachaj, Timothy Nakayama, Betty Rocksteady, Ian M. Smith, Kathryn Yelinek, and E. R. Zhang. Includes art by Ray McCaughey, Kristen Nyht, Scarlett O'Hairdye, and Luke Spooner.
This month, we have original fiction from Vajra Chandrasekera ("The Sill and the Dike") and Gwendolyn Kiste ("The Pied Piper Syndrome"), along with reprints by Richard Christian Matheson ("Third Wind") and Reggie Oliver ("The Skins"). We also have the latest installment of our column on horror, "The H Word," plus author spotlights with our authors, a showcase on our cover artist, and a feature interview with the creators of Dapper Cadaver, one of the best sources for creepy props and Halloween supplies.
In the antique mirror, call her name three times, and Bloody Mary will appear. Outside, wandering through a garden of poisonous flowers is Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary, a nursery rhyme come to gruesome life. Downstairs is another jump-rope rhyme—Mary Mack, forever conscripted to build her own coffin. And brooding in the corner with her horse skull is the restless Mari Lwyd.
They are the Marys, the embodiment of urban legend and what goes bump in the night. Every evening, they gather around the table and share nightmares like fine wine, savoring the flavors of those they’ve terrified.
But other than these brief moments together, the Marys are alone, haunting a solitary gloom that knows them better than they know themselves. That’s because they don’t remember who they were before—or even if there was a before. And worst of all, they don’t know how to escape this fate.
That is, until a moment of rage inspires Rhee to leap from the highway—and into the mirror with Bloody Mary. Suddenly, the Marys are learning how to move between their worlds, all while realizing how much stronger they are together.
But just when freedom is within their reach, something in the gloom fights back—something that isn’t ready to let them go. Now with her sisters in danger of slipping into the darkness, Rhee must unravel the mystery of who the Marys were before they were every child’s nightmare. And she’ll have to do it before what’s in the shadows comes to claim her for its own.
PRETTY MARYS ALL IN A ROW is dark urban fantasy that follows the (after)lives and times of five ghosts and their haunts. The novella combines contemporary fairy tale and urban legend in a story that shows that being dead isn't always a bed of roses.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
"Underneath the creepy images and ghostly lore, Gwendolyn Kiste has created a story about the power of women's friendships, a subject often handled with all the cloying sweetness of a bag of candy corn. But these Marys are wicked and wonderful—just the gals you'll want to hang out with on a dark and stormy night. A darkly fantastic delight!" (Wendy N. Wagner, author of An Oath of Dogs)
"Gwendolyn Kiste excels in creating subtle, unsettling disturbia. Her writing is clever, imaginative, eerily beautiful. It lingers with you days later—perhaps long into the night as you stare at the shifting light on the ceiling—twining itself through your thoughts. Pretty Marys harkens back to the writing of Shirley Jackson and Daphne DuMaurier, whose work speaks to the fears of women and our struggle to find and keep our space in the world. The fear of not being heard. Of being replaceable. Perhaps most nerve-wracking of all: being forced to confront the darkness that lies inside all of us, telling us we’re not worthy, we’re not enough. Kiste writes empowering horror, handling these challenging subjects deftly and with a tough tenderness that lets the reader know: yes, there will be a fight... but you can do this." (Eden Royce, author of Spook Lights)
"Wholly original and profoundly haunting, Pretty Marys All in a Row is Gwendolyn Kiste’s finest work to date. Her prose glides effortlessly through the (after) lives of her protagonists, adding an unfamiliar humanity to the women of myth that we feared as children—a humanity that will resonate within the darkest heart.
The classic monsters have returned… again!
During the gothic horror revival of the late 1950s through the 1970s, vampires, witches, devil worshipers, occultists, spirits, ghouls, and grave-robbing mad scientists returned to terrify a new generation of thrill-seeking movie audiences. Influenced by the social and cultural upheavals of the time and the ever-present specter of nuclear war, these classic terrors became more violent, more subversive—and more seductive.
Behold the Undead of Dracula features stories inspired by the films of the gothic horror revival, dripping with blazing bright-red blood and radiating sex appeal. Eleven of the best authors in underground horror fiction offer up unique and terrifying takes on this special era of cinematic history, summoning spine-tingling tales sure to frighten and seduce unwary readers.
Grab your popcorn, take a seat, and watch as the curtain rises on these neo-gothic nightmares. Bear witness to the lurid and sensual horrors of...
Behold the Undead of Dracula!