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About Lisa Morton
Lisa Morton is a screenwriter, author of non-fiction books, award-winning prose writer, and Halloween expert whose work was described by the American Library Association's READERS' ADVISORY GUIDE TO HORROR as "consistently dark, unsettling, and frightening". She began her career in Hollywood, co-writing the cult favorite MEET THE HOLLOWHEADS (on which she also served as Associate Producer), but soon made a successful transition into writing short works of horror. After appearing in dozens of anthologies and magazines, including THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF DRACULA, DARK DELICACIES, THE MUSEUM OF HORRORS, and CEMETERY DANCE Magazine, in 2010 her first novel, THE CASTLE OF LOS ANGELES, was published to critical acclaim, appearing on numerous "Best of the Year" lists. Her book THE HALLOWEEN ENCYCLOPEDIA (now in an expanded second edition) was described by REFERENCE & RESEARCH BOOK NEWS as "the most complete reference to the holiday available," and Lisa has been interviewed on The History Channel and in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL as a Halloween authority. She is a six-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award®, a recipient of the Black Quill Award, and winner of the 2012 Grand Prize from the Halloween Book Festival. A lifelong Californian, she lives in North Hills, California, and can be found online at www.lisamorton.com.
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C. J. Box , #1 New York Times best-selling author of the hugely popular Joe Pickett series, selects the best short mystery and crime fiction of the year in this annual “treat for crime-fiction fans” (Library Journal).
Tomorrow is coming whether you’re ready or not.
In Darkness, Delight: Fear the Future delivers twenty-two strikingly original tales of terror from Bram Stoker Award®-winners, bestselling authors, genre stalwarts and rising stars.
Includes Emmy-winning, New York Times bestselling author and world-famous magician Penn Jillette’s delightfully wicked short story “The Pain Addict,” which was adapted for a hit sci-fi anthology television series and is available here exclusively for the first time in book format.
Be warned: these are not science fiction stories with a dash of dread. These are visions of the horrifying futures that await us all.
“Airborne,” by Lisa Morton
“Err,” by Michael Laimo
“Daddy's Girl,” by Ben Eads
“Husk,” by Marshall J Moore
“We Have Names, Too,” by Michelle Muenzler
“The Haunting of Asteroid H111,” by Van Aaron Hughes
“Shoulda Read the Fine Print,” Blanche by Ben Lawrence
“Transference,” by Jenn Hopkins
“Game Over,” by Andrew Lennon
“Schroedinger's Head,” by Joanna Koch
“Locusts,” by Dominick Cancilla
“The Pain Addict,” by Penn Jillette
“The Sluggie Rebellion,” by William Meikle
“Noise,” by Max Booth III
“Seeking Harmony with the Infinite,” by Evans Light
“Billy Campbell's Bones,” by Jason Washer
“Survival is an Act of Selfishness,” by Frank Oreto
“Boxed In,” by CS Mergo
“What It Takes,” by Phil Sloman
“Neuroworm,” by Tim Curran
“And the Winner is...,” by Sheldon Higdon
“If I Drive Before I Wake,” by Eric J Guignard
Among our cast are the Fox sisters, teenagers surrounded by ‘spirit rappings’; Daniel Dunglas Home, the ‘greatest medium of all time’; Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whose unlikely friendship was forged, then riven, by the afterlife; and Helen Duncan, the medium whose trial in 1944 for witchcraft proved more popular to the public than news about the war. The book also considers Ouija boards, modern psychics and paranormal investigations, and is illustrated with engravings, fine art (from beyond) and photographs. Hugely entertaining, it begs the question: is anybody there . . .?
What happens when we make monsters? What happens when we make monsters of ourselves? Grotesque beings lurch from our darkest dreams. Vicious beasts stalk our twisted pasts. Lost souls haunt our deepest regrets. They are the blood on our hands. They are the obsessions in our heads. They are the vengeance in our hearts. They are Miscreations: Gods, Monstrosities & Other Horrors. Edited by Bram Stoker Award-winning editors Doug Murano and Michael Bailey. Featuring a foreword by Alma Katsu, and illustrations throughout by HagCult.
Treat yourself to some very tricky stories! Halloween . . . All Hallows’ Eve . . . Samhain . . . Día de los Muertos . . . the Day the Dead Come Back . . . When the barriers between the worlds are at their weakest—when ghosts, goblins, and grisly things can cross over into our dimension—then for a single night each year the natural becomes the supernatural, the normal becomes the paranormal, and nobody is safe from their most intimate and terrifying fears.
The Mammoth Book of Halloween Stories brings you a dark feast of frightening fiction by some of the most successful and respected horror writers working today:
- OCTOBER IN THE CHAIR Neil Gaiman
- REFLECTIONS IN BLACK Steve Rasnic Tem
- THE HALLOWEEN MONSTER Alison Littlewood
- THE PHÉNAKISTICOPE OF DECAY James Ebersole
- MEMORIES OF DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS Nancy Kilpatrick
- FRAGILE MASKS Richard Gavin
- BONE FIRE Storm Constantine
- QUEEN OF THE HUNT Adrian Cole
- THE OCTOBER WIDOW Angela Slatter
- BEFORE THE PARADE PASSES BY Marie O’Regan
- HER FACE Ramsey Campbell
- A MAN TOTALLY ALONE Robert Hood
- BLEED Richard Christian Matheson
- THE ULTIMATE HALLOWEEN PARTY APP Lisa Morton
- THE FOLDING MAN Joe R. Lansdale
- I WAIT FOR YOU Eygló Karlsdóttir
- DUST UPON A PAPER EYE Cate Gardner
- NOT OUR BROTHER Robert Silverberg
- THE SCARIEST THING IN THE WORLD Michael Marshall Smith
- THE NATURE OF THE BEAST Sharon Gosling
- THE BEAUTIFUL FEAST OF THE VALLEY Stephen Gallagher
- IN THE YEAR OF OMENS Helen Marshall
- THE MILLENNIAL’S GUIDE TO DEATH Scott Bradfield
- WHITE MARE Thana Niveau
- PUMPKIN KIDS Robert Shearman
- LANTERN JACK Christopher Fowler
- HALLOWEEN TREATS Jane Yolen
Here you will encounter witches, ghosts, monsters, psychos, demonic nuns, and even Death himself in this spooky selection of stories set on the night when evil walks the earth . . .
THE OLD DUDE’S TICKER by Stephen King
Richard Drogan has been spooked ever since he came back from Nam, but he’s no head case, dig? He just knows the old dude needs to die.
THE RICH ARE DIFFERENT by Lisa Morton
Even though she made her name revealing the private lives of the rich and famous, Sara Peck has no idea how deep their secrets really go . . . or the price they’ll pay to get what they desire.
THE MANICURE by Nell Quinn-Gibney
A trip to the nail salon is supposed to be relaxing. But as the demons of the past creep closer with every clip, even the most serene day of pampering can become a nightmare.
THE COMFORTING VOICE by Norman Prentiss
It’s a little strange how baby Lydia can only be soothed by her grandfather’s unnatural voice, ravaged by throat cancer. The weirdest part? What he’s saying is more disturbing than how he says it.
THE SITUATIONS by Joyce Carol Oates
There are certain lessons children must learn, rules they must follow, scars they must bear. No lesson is more important than this: Never question Daddy. Or else.
THE CORPSE KING by Tim Curran
Grave robbers Kierney and Clow keep one step ahead of the law as they ply their ghoulish trade, but there’s no outrunning a far more frightening enemy that hungers for the dead.
Praise for the Dark Screams series
“A wicked treat [featuring] . . . some of the genre’s best.”—Hellnotes, on Volume One
“Five fun-to-read stories by top-notch horror scribes. How can you lose? The answer: you can’t.”—Atomic Fangirl, on Volume Two
“If you have not tried the series yet, do yourself a favor and grab a copy of any (or all) of the books for yourself.”—Examiner.com, on Volume Three
“Fans of horror of every variety will find something to love in these pages.”—LitReactor, on Volume Four
“[Volume Five] runs the gamut from throwback horror to lyrical and heartbreaking tales.”—Publishers Weekly
The debut title in a new city-based anthology series featuring all-new stories with speculative, sci-fi, and paranormal themes--each using distinct neighborhood settings as a launching pad.
"A stimulating anthology of 14 futuristic L.A. fables...Some of the best of these tales seem illumined by the humanistic spirit of the late Ray Bradbury, poet laureate of Southern California fantasy literature."
--Wall Street Journal
"[Speculative Los Angeles] is a swath of tales that are both wildly imaginative and emotionally grounded, speculations that not only imagine our possible futures but illuminate the collective anxieties of our unsettled and unsettling present."
--Los Angeles Times
"Speculative Los Angeles is a thrill ride of grand ideas and warnings. Take a place that already defines the future of culture, add fourteen unbound minds, and you get a collection that wows the imagination like no other."
--Michael Connelly, author of the best-selling Harry Bosch series
"The problem of buying books for others can be solved by offering the equivalent of the literary box of chocolates: the anthology...For Californians, or people who just like the West Coast, there's Speculative Los Angeles, edited by Denise Hamilton."
--Washington Post, recommended by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
"Speculative Los Angeles is a new venture from Akashic Books, which has published an impressive series of original anthologies of noir fiction centered on various cities. This is the first in a series doing the same thing for speculative fiction, beginning with LA."
"14 outstanding stories of weird and uncanny happenings in the City of Angels...Each story presents a fresh take on the magic and strangeness of L.A. past, present, and future, and the characters are representative of the diverse region, caught in situations ranging from surreal to chilling. Readers should snap this up."
--Publishers Weekly, Starred review, Pick of the Week
As an incubator of the future, Los Angeles has long mesmerized writers from Aldous Huxley to Octavia E. Butler. With its natural disasters, Hollywood artifice, staggering wealth and poverty, and urban sprawl, one can argue that Los Angeles is already so weird, surreal, irrational, and mythic that any fiction emerging from this place should be considered speculative. So, bestselling author Denise Hamilton commissioned fourteen stories (including one of her own) and did exactly that. In Speculative Los Angeles, some of the city’s most prophetic and diverse voices reimagine the metropolis in very different ways.
In these pages, you'll encounter twenty-first-century changelings, dirigibles plying the suburban skies, black holes and jacaranda men lurking in deep suburbia, beachfront property in Century City, walled-off canyons and coastlines reserved for the wealthy, psychic death cults, robot nursemaids, and an alternate LA where Spanish land grants never gave way to urbanization.
As with our city-based Akashic Noir Series, each story in Speculative Los Angeles is set in a distinct neighborhood filled with local color, landmarks, and flavor. Since the best speculative fiction provides a wormhole into other worlds while also commenting on our own, that is exactly what you'll find here.
THE DEPARTED by Clive Barker
On All Hallows’ Eve, a dead and disembodied mother yearns to touch her young son one last time. But will making contact destroy them both?
CREATURE FEATURE by Heather Graham
What could be better publicity for a horror convention than an honest-to-goodness curse? It’s only after lights out that the hype—and the Jack the Ripper mannequin—starts to feel a little too real.
THE NEW WAR by Lisa Morton
Mike Carson is a war hero and a decorated vet. He doesn’t deserve to be trapped in a hospital with some black thing sitting on his chest as patients die all around him. His only hope is to take out the nurse—before it’s his turn.
SAMMY COMES HOME by Ray Garton
It’s what every family prays for: a lost pet returning home. But when Sammy, the Hale family sheepdog, appears on their doorstep, he brings back something no parent would ever wish upon his or her child.
THE BRASHER GIRL by Ed Gorman
Cindy Marie Brasher is the prettiest girl in the Valley, and Spence just has to have her. Unfortunately, Cindy has a “friend” . . . a friend who tells her to do things . . . bad things.
Praise for Dark Screams: Volume Four
“Collectively, Volume Four constitutes the most cohesive, narratively enriching and entertaining Dark Screams entry to date. Be it the presence of genre icons Barker and Morton, stories from the lesser-known but equally talented Garton and Gorman, or the pure fun of Graham’s tale, fans of horror of every variety will find something to love in these pages.”—LitReactor
“The best of the bunch so far.”—Examiner.com
“Stacks up well with any of the other three books so far [with] a fairly good variety in the kinds of horror stories too . . . If you’re new to the series, this is a good jumping-on point.”—Wagging the Fox
“Dark Screams is one of the best values on the horror market. . . . Do yourself a favor, and pick it up.”—Adventures Fantastic
Ghosts: A Supernatural History is a historical and global exploration of these mysterious apparitions. It asks: What exactly is a ghost? Are poltergeists, wraiths and revenants technically ghosts? How does ‘ghost’ relate to ‘soul’? And how many different kinds of ghost are there? It visits the spirits of the classical world, including the Egyptian five-part soul and the first haunted-house comedy play, Mostellaria by Plautus (254–184 BCE). We encounter the frightening phantoms of the Middle Ages – which might incinerate priests or devour children – and the nineteenth-century rise of Spiritualism – essentially a religion devoted to ghosts. Ghosts are everywhere: from India’s bhūta to the Hungry Ghost Festival in China and Mexico’s La Llorona legend, as well as the Bell Witch of the American South and ‘the most haunted house in England’, Borley Rectory.
Ghosts also delves into the history of the spirit on page and screen. How did Horace Walpole’s pioneering Gothic novel The Castle of Otranto of 1764 lead to the 2007 hit film Paranormal Activity? Classic ghost tales, from Ann Radcliffe’s works to the chilling short stories of M. R. James and Stephen King’s The Shining, reveal how the real meaning of ghosts has shifted over the centuries. Wide-ranging, informative and featuring 60 chilling, unearthly images, this book will appeal to the very wide audience for the supernatural.
In addition to stories about scheming jack-o'-lanterns, vengeful ghosts, otherworldly changelings, disturbingly realistic haunted attractions, masks that cover terrifying faces, murderous urban legends, parties gone bad, cult Halloween movies, and trick or treating in the future, Haunted Nights also offers terrifying and mind-bending explorations of related holidays like All Souls' Day, Dia de los Muertos, and Devil's Night.
"With Graveyard Weeds and Wolfbane Seeds" by Seanan McGuire
"Dirtmouth" by Stephen Graham Jones"
"A Small Taste of the Old Countr" by Jonathan Maberry
"Wick’s End" by Joanna Parypinski
"The Seventeen Year Itch" by Garth Nix
"A Flicker of Light on Devil’s Night" by Kate Jonez
"Witch-Hazel" by Jeffrey Ford
"Nos Galen Gaeaf" by Kelley Armstrong
"We’re Never Inviting Amber Again" by S. P. Miskowski
"Sisters" by Brian Evenson
"All Through the Night" by Elise Forier Edie
"A Kingdom of Sugar Skulls and Marigolds" by Eric J. Guignard
"The Turn" by Paul Kane
"Jack" by Pat Cadigan
"Lost in the Dark" by John Langan
"The First Lunar Halloween" by John R. Little
***Winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in the Anthology category***
Want to see something weird?
Embrace the odd? Satisfy your curiosity? Surrender to wonder?
From Crystal Lake Publishing and the Bram Stoker Award-winning co-editor of the smash hit Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories comes Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders.
Sixteen stories and two poems take you into the spaces between the ordinary—and the imaginations of some of today's masters of dark and thrilling fiction.
- A travel writer learns the terrible secrets at a hotel that's not at all as it seems.
- A disfigured woman and her daughter explore methods of weaponizing beauty.
- An amateur beekeeper acquires an object that shows her the true
danger of the hive-mind.
- Drifters ride the rails seeking something wondrous that could change their fates forever.
- A strange creature that holds our very existence in its hands shapes the lives of two lovers to touching and devastating effect.
- A young man helps his grandfather—and something much more monstrous—atone for bargains made during wartime.
- And much, much more…
Featuring Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Lisa Morton, Brian Kirk, Hal Bodner, Stephanie M. Wytovich, John Langan, Erinn L. Kemper, John F.D. Taff, Patrick Freivald, Lucy A. Snyder, Brian Hodge, Kristi DeMeester, Christopher Coake, Sarah Read and Richard Thomas. Foreword by Josh Malerman. Illustrations by Luke Spooner. Cover art by John Coulthart. Brought to you by Bram Stoker Award-nominated editor Doug Murano and Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.
Interview with the editor:
What kinds of short stories will readers find in this anthology?
Doug Murano: I wanted this book to encompass a lot of the things I love about weird fiction, fantasy and horror—as well as give a tip of my cap to some of the things I loved growing up. So, it’s not exclusively a horror anthology, though you’ll find there’s plenty of darkness and dread throughout the book.
It was important to me that the stories throughout the anthology embraced and celebrated the odd—so you're not going to find stories of big-top exploitation or carnival freak shows here. The closest, perhaps, you'll find to this angle is in Lisa Morton's story—but that piece turns the freak-show trope on its head and aspires to something much more daring, interesting, and, ultimately, haunting.
Some tonal touch-points for much of the book are actually Jim Henson's work — like Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal — particularly in the Undefinable Wonders section. I also drew tonal influences from Guillermo del Toro’s filmography, especially his Spanish-language films like Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone. As in those films, there’s terror and darkness here, but there’s beauty, wonder, and magic, as well. In other words, the book is willfully bizarre, wide-ranging, and beautifully strange.
Halloween’s influence on popular culture is examined via the literary works of Washington Irving and Ray Bradbury, films such as John Carpenter’s Halloween and Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, and television series including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Simpsons and True Blood.
Examining Halloween in the context of its increasing worldwide popularity, and illustrated with over 40 images, Trick or Treat leads us on a journey from the spectacular to the macabre, making it a must for anyone looking beyond the mask to the deepest roots of this modern holiday.