Some notes from a carnival barker’s third cousin


I wanted to take a moment to talk about a few things that have crossed my virtual desk recently from some of the contributors to Turn to Ash, Vol. 1.

First up is Beneath the Remains by Terence Hannum. Terence sent me a copy of his novella a few months ago, and I’ve been meaning to say something about it here for a while, but the hours have a way of peeling away in days, then weeks, at a time before you know it. I finally got a chance to read it a month or so ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Hannum has created an enthralling hesher noir set against the backdrop of a decaying early 90’s Florida. It’s grime and bad times all the way down; not exactly a feel-good book, but Hannum’s prose makes the gutters glitter.

Spencer and I lay on the dirty lanai loungers, all the other patio furniture or detritus in whatever state we had found it we tossed into the deep algae green of the uncleaned pool. We had pulled the remaining two loungers next to a small low fire pit area where Spencer had lit a blaze even though the heat of the evening was suffocating. We didn’t care.

I laid back and watched the shadows dance across the stained walls of the house, playing with the thick film on the chair and rolling it between my paint stained fingers. Spencer had stolen a machete and cut into the screen to the lanai. Over the course of the evening we had spray-painted a magnificent tapestry of pentagrams and entire voids of solid black on the once pale stucco walls. Entire sliding glass doors were now translucent chasms of dripping midnight grime whose enamel surfaces gleamed in the pyre. Staring back at us.

Beneath the Remains is available HERE from  Anathemata Editions.

Up next is the phonetically similar, Anathema: Spec from the Margins. Anathema is new, soon-to-launch publication from co-editors-in-chief,  Andrew Wilmot and Michael Matheson. From the Indiegogo campaign:

Anathema: Spec from the Margins, a tri-annual speculative fiction magazine of work by queer POC. We want you to help us make Anathema a podium on which the voices we least hear from can stand and hold nothing back.

It sounds very promising, and there are some really cool rewards offered at various tiers on the campaign page. If you’re strapped for cash, you can get a whole year’s subscription for $10 CAD, which is less than $8 USD right now. The campaign will be running for the next month. Check it out HERE.

And lastly, but certainly not leastly, is Blood Kiss from J. Daniel Stone. I have not had a chance to check this one out yet, but I hope to get my mitts on it very soon. Of Particular to interest of fans of J.’s story in Turn to Ash, Blood Kiss tells another tale featuring Dorian and Tyria, the characters from “What Makes a Shadow.”

To macabre painter Dorian Wilde, art is a weapon. Dissatisfied with life and where it is leading him, he looks to himself and to his partner, Leland, for answers that cannot be.

Tyria Vane is a spoken word poet who has never felt part of any clique or crowd. She is haunted by dreams of an abusive childhood that she can only make sense of through words, and with the help of her lover, Adelaide.

An unexpected introduction sparks new promise in Dorian’s creative heart, in Tyria’s poetic soul, and they begin to understand that only together are they able to satiate their weird lusts and personal tortures. Is art love or is love art? Set between the shadows of Manhattan and Brooklyn, what could have been a masterpiece in paint and prose might end up being the worst thing that anyone can imagine.

Is art love or is love art? Set between the shadows of Manhattan and Brooklyn, what could have been a masterpiece in paint and prose might end up begin the worst thing that anyone can imagine.

Blood Kiss is available from Villipede Publications. Amazon link is right HERE.

You can, of course, pick up a copy of Turn to Ash, Vol. 1 – which features stories from Terence, Andrew, and J. – HERE or HERE.

I’d also like to thank the fine folks over at Miskatonic Musings for the surprise shout-out at the end of the latest episode, Pumpkinhead: Turnt. It’s an honor to be mentioned in a Pumpkinhead episode, even if it’s one covering the awful 4th and 5th entries in the franchise. And Charles managed to pronounce my name correctly, which is no small feat unto itself. You should already be listening to Miskatonic Musings, but in case you aren’t, HERE’S a link to the latest episode.

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