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About Selene dePackh
Selene dePackh is a multiply-disabled graphic designer, diagnosed as autistic late in life. She’s recently turned to writing to help navigate an increasingly treacherous social undertow bending toward eugenics. Kirkus says of her first novel and its narrator: “…a character of immense depth and originality. There are few protagonists in sci-fi—or literature in general—that present an autistic perspective with such specificity and pathos. The explorations of ableism and sexuality in a claustrophobic cyberpunk setting make this unlike anything most readers will have encountered before.”
She says of her writing, “It’s ironic that I’ve spent most of my life working in images. Words aren’t considered the tools of autistics; we are assumed to “think in pictures.” I bring a lifetime of crafting visual design to the challenge of creating narrative, and I do so driven by the urgency of my own waning days and the existential threats to the world I’ll be leaving.”
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"A very promising anthology." —Ellen Datlow, Best Horror of the Year
"An annual highlight of the genre." —Anthony Watson, Dark Musings
"Weirdness with truth at its heart." —Des Lewis, Real-Time Reviews
Will you recognize fascism and join the revolution?
With stories by Sam J. Miller, Jaymee Goh, Brandon O’Brien, Octavia Cade, Jennifer Shelby, and many more...
There’s something fascinating about a book that was never written. It resists, for one, all the imperfections that inherently arise in language, all those insufficiently rendered thoughts and images that famously leave writers exasperated with their own work. Exasperated enough to inspire some, like Kafka, to advocate the wholesale burning of their oeuvre. Sometimes it’s worse. Imagine how many books out there never made it to print thanks to the gap between direct experience and these tiny scratches of ink we’re expected to render it by. A damned shame. One of the benefits of avoiding this insufficiency is that an unwritten book achieves exactly what it’s supposed to. Robert W. Chambers’ two-act play, “The King in Yellow,” drives its reader to madness. There’s no question of its power to do so. What horror writer wouldn’t want a taste of that? Luckily, the actual text is never allowed to interfere with Chambers’ unwritten masterpiece. That’s what makes it so fascinating—the burden of creation is thrown back into our own imaginations, letting us fill in the gaps with our own hidden madness. Barring the invention of some kind of live neuron mapping tech in the world of entertainment (you laugh, but just wait), nothing comes closer to a truly individualized media experience. No wonder writers as diverse and inventive as H.P. Lovecraft, Stanislaw Lem, and Jorge Luis Borges, to name a few better-known examples, are drawn to the unwritten manuscript. But that’s not entirely what this book is about. You’ll find more here than just the (un)written word in the classic sense—there’s musical scores, ancient glyphs, an autograph, and even an eBook. Worse, each extracts a terrible price from its reader. With the exception of Richard Thomas’ “In His House,” these stories aren’t additions to the lore of unwritten staples of horror and weird fiction. They are wholly fabricated media artifacts of each writer’s imagination, horrific in their nonexistence, dark heirs to the great and unreal Sutter Cane. We hope your imagination is a secure place since it’s there where the conjurations are soon to begin. We bid you luck on your descent into The Nightside Codex
"This jewel of a collection had me crying, laughing in parts, and becoming outraged. I hope that everyone in the care-taking communities of medicine and mental health reads these rare and wonderful first hand accounts for their own education." - Judy Grahn, author of A Simple Revolution, Another Mother Tongue, and Love Belongs to Those Who Do the Feeling
“At the nexus of sexuality/sexual identity and disability resides a community that is as othered as one can be. And as has always been true, there resides in such a marginalized community wisdom about the human condition that is timely and necessary. We who do not understand the gradations and dynamism of Autism and other neural and generally physical challenges, who do not understand the gradations and dynamism of human sexuality, must humble ourselves before the varied voices of this community. They are our teachers. Michael Monje and her associate have gathered and produced an important anthology.” - Richard Katrovas, author of Raising Girls in Bohemia and Swastika into Lotus
Skip down the path, between the tombstones, and around the mausoleum to the old town hanging tree. There you will find what you didn’t even know you were looking for.
Have you ever wondered what that thing chasing you in the woods was? Or the shadowy creature that swears it is not real even when others can see it too? What about a house that has locked you snuggly in and won’t let you go no matter how loud the creatures from the Other Side cry out for your soul?
Step into the shoes of the once voiceless for just a little while and discover the answers for yourself.
Two aging, eccentric women find their lives in rural Maine upended by the ominous discovery of a badly injured dog, harbinger of the decades-long stalker of one of them and conduit of shattering cosmic forces to the other.
Stephanie, fleeing an abusive relationship, has found herself run to ground in a small, decaying city at the edge of an exhausted wilderness, isolated by age, trauma, and disability. Her friend Sylvie, a gifted healer, turns to a complex system of revelatory personal faith to manage the ferocious tides of her mental illness. Between them, they must come to terms with the sinister implications raised by their fierce, beautiful, damaged rescue.
It will be the fight of their lives.
"A fantastic story that will appeal to horror fans...who enjoy small town stories and religious horror."--Booklist
ISSUE #2 features the dark visions of Tim Major, Casilda Ferrante, Dan Stintzi, Stephen Oram, Selene dePackh, J.T. Glover, Tim Jeffreys, and Zandra Renwick. It is edited by CM Muller, creator of the award-winning Nightscript anthology series.
If you are a fan of Black Mirror, Philip K. Dick, J.G. Ballard, Alphaville, and the like, then SYNTH may well be your next literary fix.
For more information, please visit: www.synthanthology.wordpress.com