What Screams May Come: When the Lights Go Out by Kevin Lucia

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When the Lights Go Out by Kevin Lucia
Cemetery Dance, May 30, 2024

The Synopsis

cover of When the Lights Go OutWhen the lights go out…that’s when things change. When masks are put aside, and eerie truths are laid bare. It’s when towns grow extra streets and cul-de-sacs which don’t exist in daytime. When whispered wishes and fantasies become reality. When our deepest fears and most powerful longings become flesh. When ambitions become obsessions which overpower us, and leads us to our ends.

But it’s also when our imaginations run free, unfettered by the trappings of mundane living. Just as the dark unleashes despair, it also fuels fantastical leaps impossible to take during the day. It’s the canvas upon which we paint worlds and universes which take the darkness and create something out of nothing.

In his new collection, one of the leading voices in small press horror offers up an eclectic collection of strange tales — the kind which can only happen when the lights go out, and we close our eyes.Continue Reading

Night Time Logic with Gwendolyn Kiste

Night Time Logic with Daniel Braum

“Ghost Stories. Interstitial Spaces. Crossing Over.”

Opposite of the “Day Time” part of a story, which is the part that deals with rules, linear logic, and things we consciously process, Night Time Logic is the part of a story that is felt but not consciously processed. 

photo of author Gwendolyn Kiste
Gwendolyn Kiste

Through in-depth conversation with authors this column explores the night time part of stories, the strange and uncanny in horror and dark fiction, and more.

While author Howard Waldrop coined the term, the phenomena is certainly on display in the work of British author Robert Aickman. Any of his books of stories are a fine starting place for those looking for recommendations to read what he called “strange tales.” My short story collection with Cemetery Dance is titled The Night Marchers and Other Strange Tales in homage to Aickman and his kind of stories. It can be found here

In March 2024 I spoke with Gwendolyn Kiste about her new book, ghost stories, haunted houses, and much more. Our conversation is available on YouTube.

Kiste’s newest novel The Haunting of Velkwood is out now from Saga Press. We begin our conversation by talking about ghost stories…Continue Reading

Review: Where the Worm Never Dies by Quinn Hernandez

cover of Where the Worm Never DiesWhere the Worm Never Dies by Quinn Hernandez 
Swann + Bedlam (June 1, 2024)
114 pages; $18.00 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Quinn Hernandez loves the full spectrum of speculative fiction, and he is currently working on expanding his fiction universe. His poetry collection Life and Other Unfortunate Horrors is available from Madness Heart Press, and his short story collection Viva La Muerte! is available from Nightmare Press. His second poetry collection Where the Worm Never Dies is forthcoming from Swann and Bedlam Press.Continue Reading

What Screams May Come: Innocence Ends by Nikolas P. Robinson

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Innocence Ends by Nikolas P. Robinson
Uncomfortably Dark (June 21 on Godless/June 30 on Amazon)

cover of Innocence EndsThe Synopsis

Six friends meet together in an isolated mountain town in Northern Idaho to commemorate the fifth anniversary of a close friend’s suicide. A week of hiking, spending time in nature, and a bittersweet reunion soon takes a sinister turn as the friends find themselves fighting for their lives and struggling to survive. A seemingly tranquil community bombarded by late spring storms becomes a trap filled with monsters and threats everywhere they turn. Terrifying secrets are revealed and the survivors are left to wonder what will be left of the world outside if they can find a way to come through the gauntlet alive.Continue Reading

Review: Where the Dead Wait by Allie Wilkes

cover of Where the Dead WaitWhere the Dead Wait by Allie Wilkes
Atria (December 2023)
400 pages; $20.49 hardcover; $11.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

What do you get when gothic horror goes to the arctic? Pure poetry with a fiendish dark heart.

For those who read the pitch-dark All The White Spaces from Allie Wilkes two years ago, this is a worthy follow-up. It’s not a true sequel, meaning readers can start with this novel and enjoy it, as Wilkes covers the backstory in a manner that isn’t overkill with infodumps. Instead, readers are treated to another great study in character building and setting.Continue Reading

What Screams May Come: Europea Halls by Alan Shivers

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Europea Halls: A YA Slasher Trilogy by Alan Shivers
Crystal Lake Entertainment (May 2024)

The Synopsis

When the survivors of the summer massacre in Budapest are forced to go to Brussels, they will learn the hard way that the final chapter of a Slasher Trilogy always goes back to the beginning.Continue Reading

Derek Charm’s Toxic Summer

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cover of Toxic Summer #1Eisner Award-winning cartoonist Derek Charm is mixing horror with humor in his new comic, Toxic Summer, and its first issue drops on May 1 from Oni Press. High school graduates and friends Ben and Leo are expecting a great summer as lifeguards, but things go from bad to worse when there’s a toxic spill. Charm spoke to Cemetery Dance about his influences, the extremes of horror and humor, and what he hopes readers take away from his newest work. Continue Reading

Review: When the Rain Begins to Burn by A.L. Davidson

cover of When the Rain Begins to BurnWhen the Rain Begins to Burn by A.L. Davidson
Disturbances by Alycia (October 2023)
140 pages
Reviewed by Chandra Claypool (Instagram) (TikTok)

Noland and Judah are finally on a vacation together and they stop in the Appalachian wilderness to be one with nature and enjoy the gorgeous views.  Well off the beaten path to avoid the local yokels, they get stuck when an unexpected storm leaves their RV cemented into the mud.  As if things couldn’t get worse, a deadly rain has come upon them, which Judah finds out about when a few drops eat away at his hand.  As this acid rain continues, there appears to be no ending and they watch animals being consumed in disgusting fashion making their beautiful view into one of death and despair.  Now they’re trapped inside their RV, not knowing when this will end.  Not only do they have to endure what is happening outside, but they quickly have to deal with their own personal demons as well.

Oh my freakin’ beating black heart.  Yes, this is an eco-horror novel with some gruesome scenes, but it’s the relationship between Noland and Judah that truly shines. Their forced isolation truly brings out the good and the bad within themselves and to each other. All I want to do is take them both into big bear hugs and tell them everything is going to be okay.  Each moment of their tenderness pulled at my heart strings and each time they put themselves in danger, in their relationship and in the terrible death rain, I held my breath and hoped for a happy ending. I really want to discuss more but I feel you should read this with little information and let the words pierce you as they did me.

This is a fantastic read for those seeking a haunting and introspective horror story that explores the complexities of personal relationships and the terrors of the unknown.  Come for the dread and stay to see what happens to the cutest couple in horror history.


What Screams May Come: The Day of the Door by Laurel Hightower

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The Day Of The Door by Laurel Hightower
A Ghoulish Books Publication (April 2024)

cover of The Day of the DoorThe Synopsis

Once there were four Lasco siblings banded together against a world that failed to protect them. But on a hellish night that marked the end of their childhood, eldest brother Shawn died violently after being dragged behind closed doors. Though the official finding was accidental death, Nathan Lasco knows better, and has never forgiven their mother, Stella.

Now, two decades later, Stella promises to finally reveal the truth of what happened on The Day of the Door. Accompanied by a paranormal investigative team, the Lasco family comes together one final time, but no one is prepared for the revelations waiting for them on the third floor.Continue Reading

Review: Inkblots by Jeff Oliver

cover of InkblotsInkblots by Jeff Oliver
300 South Media Group (February 2024)
240 pages; $16.99 paperback
Reviewed by Joshua Gage

Jeff Oliver is a writer of intense emotions, having started composing his dark poetry at just 11 years old. His poetry has an ethereal quality. When others may have been destroyed by such devastating darkness, he manages to weave lyrical justice into an otherwise unfair world. His newest collection of poetry is Inkblots.Continue Reading

Review: Eynhallow by Tim McGregor

cover of EynhallowEynhallow by Tim McGregor
Raw Dog Screaming Press (February 2024)
178 pages; $17.19 paperback; $6.99 e-book
Reviewed by Chandra Claypool (Instagram) (TikTok)

Eynhallow is a beautiful gothic piece of horror literature taking place in the Orkney Islands way back in 1797.  Our protagonist, Agnes, is a pleasure to get to know.  She lives on a remote island and is in an abusive marriage, trying to get through the days and raise her kids the best that she can. Then one day a stranger comes and occupies a house that really is uninhabitable and here our story truly begins.Continue Reading

Kang Tae-kyung on Webtoons and The Bequeathed

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Kang Tae-kyung is the pen name for two creators, Kang and Tae-kyung, who have published multiple webtoons, including their horror title The Bequeathed. Webtoons are comics from South Korea that can be read digitally, and they’re becoming more popular globally and in America. The live-action show The Bequeathed, from award-winning writer and director Yeon Sang-ho, is currently on Netflix, and he worked with Kang Tae-kyung to also make a webtoon version of this creepy story about murder and secrets. Cemetery Dance spoke to Kang Tae-kyung about their background, why they think webtoons are good at conveying horror stories, and how they approach getting horror across. Continue Reading

What Screams May Come: No One Is Safe from Philip Fracassi

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No One Is Safe! by Philip Fracassi
Lethe Press (April 2024)

cover of No One Is Safe!The Synopsis

No One is Safe! presents fourteen stories of macabre, pulpy terror — a book filled with futuristic noir mysteries, science fiction thrillers, alien invasions, and old-school horror tales that will keep you up late into the night. Inside these covers, you’ll discover haunted dream journals and evil houses, birthday wishes gone wrong, a neighborhood cat that cures any disease, a flesh-eating beach, and mysterious skeletons on a hidden moon base. You’ll meet wise-cracking detectives, suburban vampires, murdered movie stars, and monsters of the deep. Don’t get too attached to the characters you’ll meet on these pages because anything can happen, and no one is safe.Continue Reading

Night Time Logic with Dan Franklin

Night Time Logic with Daniel Braum

“Ghosts. Monsters. And Things that Linger.”

photo of author Dan Franklin
Dan Franklin

Night Time Logic is the part of a story that is felt but not consciously processed. 

In this column I explore the phenomenon of Night Time Logic and the strange and uncanny side of horror and dark fiction through in-depth conversation with authors. 

My short story collection with Cemetery Dance is titled The Night Marchers and Other Strange Tales in homage to Robert Aickman’s strange tales. It can be found here

 In February 2024 I spoke with Cemetery Dance’s own Dan Franklin about his new book, ghosts, monsters, folklore, and much more. You can tune into our conversation here on YouTube.

Franklin’s newest novel These Things Linger is out now from Cemetery Dance. We begin our conversation here at the very, very beginning of the book…Continue Reading

Exclusive Excerpt: The Harrowing by Rye Hickman and Kristen Kiesling

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cover of The HarrowingOn April 16, Abrams Fanfare will publish the genre-bending graphic novel thriller The Harrowing by illustrator Rye Hickman and writer Kristen Kiesling. This stylish, surprising, suspenseful, and unsettling book follows a psychic teen who hunts potential killers — until she discovers the boy she loves is her next target.

Abrams Fanfare has supplied Cemetery Dance with the following exclusive excerpt. Before you dive in, the comic’s creators offer some insight about this part of the story.

“It’s a vision time warp,” said Kiesling. “Up to this point, Rowan believes the serum will prevent her from losing her mind. We learn in this scene that like many of the medications currently on the market, the unintended side effects are useful. It’s not a diabetic drug used for weight loss but it does possess unexpected, yet beneficial side effects. Rowan’s mother discovered the medication protects Harrows’ minds but also grants them the ability to manipulate their visions. Having this opportunity sets up Jackie’s motives.”

Hickman adds: “There’s actually a delightful amount of synchronicity here in what Rowan is learning how to do (move through time inside the killer’s spree) and what the art must do in order to take the reader along on the ride. Anchors, in comics, are objects and people that appear consistently from panel to panel in order to help the reader understand movement in space. But here in The Harrowing, movement/space is secondary to time, so the people and objects on the train are performing a slightly different little trick.”

Enjoy the excerpt, and order your copy of The Harrowing today!Continue Reading