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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 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
Apart from excellent poetry and fiction, this quarterly issue of Mithila Review includes interviews, essays and roundtable discussions about the state of speculative fiction in Latin America, Czech Republic, and China!
Contributors include Cixin Liu, Jaroslav Mostecký, Vlado Ríša, Martin Šust, Julie Novakova, Carlos Hernandez, David Bowles, Ernest Hogan, Sabrina Vourvoulias, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, William Alexander, Gwendolyn Kiste, Margaret Wack, Mari Ness, Jamie Samdahl, Sandi Leibowitz, Sonya Taaffe, Regina Kanyu Wang, Shaoyan Hu, Andy Dudak, Priya Sharma, Isha Karki, Gautam Bhatia, Aditya Singh and others.
· Introduction - Spectacular Worlds in Translation by Salik Shah
· Cixin Liu: Chinese Readers Care About the Whole Humanity
· 刘慈欣: 中国读者关心整个人类文明
· Quo Vadis, Czech Speculative Fiction? A Round Table Discussion With Jaroslav Mostecký, Vlado Ríša, Martin Šust & Julie Novakova
· Kam Kráčí Česká Fantastika? Panelová Diskuse - Jaroslav Mostecký, Vlado Ríša, Martin Šust & Julie Novakova
· Latin American Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: A Round Table Discussion With Carlos Hernandez, David Bowles, Ernest Hogan, Sabrina Vourvoulias, Silvia Moreno-Garcia & William Alexander
· Axes on Viola by Jaroslav Mostecký
· American Moat by Carlos Hernandez
· La Gorda and the City of Silver by Sabrina Vourvoulias
· Winds That Stir Vermilion Sands by David Bowles
· Gringos by Ernest Hogan
· The Twelve Rules of Etiquette at Miss Firebird’s School for Girls by Gwendolyn Kiste
· The Saint Of Small Things, Weeping by Margaret Wack
· The Study by Mari Ness
· Life by the river by Jamie Samdahl
· The Gifts by Sandi Leibowitz
· The Process by Sonya Taaffe
· A Brief Introduction to Chinese Science Fiction by Regina Kanyu Wang
· Glimpses of the Evolving Beast: The Mumble Jumble of a Translator by Shaoyan Hu
· Fidelity, Meaning, and Metadata: Observations of a New Translator by Andy Dudak
· Heart of the Labyrinth: Myth as the Starting Point for Storytelling by Priya Sharma
· Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation by Isha Karki
· The East is a Setting: Issues of Place, Theme, and Tone in Ian McDonald’s River of Gods and Beyond by Gautam Bhatia
· Landscape Of Dreams: Metronome by Oliver Langmead by Aditya Singh
Edited by Salik Shah, Isha Karki and Ajapa Sharma.