What Screams May Come: Blood Covenant by Alan Baxter

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Blood Covenant by Alan Baxter
Cemetery Dance, May 2024

The Synopsis

cover of Blood CovenantWhat should have been a breeze of a bank heist for James Glenn and his crew goes violently wrong, forcing them to flee, blood-stained and angry. They stumble onto a remote lodge that doesn’t open for another month — a perfect place to lie low until the heat’s off.

Except it’s occupied.

The Moore family, just arrived to prepare for the season, are taken hostage by the criminals, but not without bloodshed. And when blood gets spilled, something ancient notices. Something malevolent. Something ravenous.

Their only hope is the youngest Moore, teenager Rueben, outside and unseen when James and his gang arrive. It’s up to Rueben to get help and save his family, but the influence of the ancient evil is taking a toll on him as well…Continue Reading

Dead Trees: The Nightrunners

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cover of Twilight Zone Magazine from October 1988The October 1988 issue of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone Magazine had a big feature about Splatterpunk authors. Editor Tappan King was reportedly trying to create a movement.

There were photos of authors from a convention who were purported to be Splatterpunks: John Skipp, Craig Spector and David J. Schow, of course. R.C. Matheson and Ray Garton. I can buy all of that, but Joe R. Lansdale was proclaimed to be one of the Splat Pack. Even more ridiculously, so was Robert McCammon.Continue Reading

Dark Pathways: Of Headless Men and Estranged Brothers

Dark Pathways

cover of In the Valley of the Headless MenIf you haven’t already, make sure you put In The Valley of Headless Men by L.P. Hernandez on your “to-read” list. It’s a tight, well-paced novella that hits right in the gut. Here’s the blurb:

Nahanni National Park is one of the last truly wild places on earth. Accessible only by plane, and only when the weather cooperates, it’s the perfect place for estranged brothers Joseph and Oscar to have an adventure following the death of their mother. Gillian, Joseph’s first love, invites herself along in the spirit of friendship. The park is much more than beautiful. It’s mysterious, with legends of giants and hidden, prehistoric animals. And among its few visitors, an outsized number of violent deaths inspire its second, more seductive name.

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Review: The Werewolf at Dusk and Other Stories by David Small

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cover of The Werewolf at Dusk and Other StoriesThe Werewolf at Dusk and Other Stories by David Small
Liveright (March 2024)
192 pages
Reviewed by Danica Davidson

The Werewolf at Dusk and Other Stories is a haunting triptych of tales about “the dread of things internal.” Done in an illustrated format, it’s kind of like a picture book for adults, and it shows the depth and artistic aesthetics possible in graphic storytelling. This is a book to stay with readers long after they’ve finished the last page, and I’ve never seen anything else quite like it.Continue Reading

David Small and The Werewolf at Dusk

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Author and illustrator David Small’s latest book, The Werewolf at Dusk and Other Stories, contains three yarns — “The Werewolf at Dusk,” “A Walk in the Old City,” and “The Tiger in Vogue” — all connected by the theme “the dread of things internal.” Two are based on short prose stories by other authors, and one is largely based on a dream Small had. Small spoke to Cemetery Dance about how the stories came together, his approach in writing and illustrating The Werewolf at Dusk, and what he would like readers to take away from the book.Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

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

What Screams May Come: Bill Mullen’s THE THING IN THE WIND

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The Thing In The Wind by Bill Mullen
Crystal Lake Publishing (April 5, 2024)

cover of The Thing in the WindThe Synopsis

A woman who has found her place in the world has it overturned by news of her mother’s disappearance in a remote region of northern Saskatchewan. She, her father, and a small group set out to find answers about how and why her mother and colleague disappeared and are suspected to be dead, all the while being haunted by dreams, premonitions, and a strange presence of something stalking them…something not human.Continue Reading