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

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

Night Time Logic with Brian Evenson

Night Time Logic with Daniel Braum

“The Past and Future. Ambiguity and Uncertainty. The Monstrous and the Terrible.”

photo of author Brian Evenson
Brian Evenson

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 January 2024 I spoke with award-winning author Brian Evenson about McSweeney’s #71, the special horror issue of the publication that he guest edited. You can see our conversation here.

Evenson was asked to guest edit the issue of McSweeney’s to examine future directions of the horror genre and to curate stories that might challenge reader’s perceptions. We begin our conversation here with a question about the project.Continue Reading

Review: Ornithologiae edited by Mark Beech

cover of OrnithologiaeOrnithologiae edited by Mark Beech
Egaeus (June 2022)
260 pages; Limited edition of 460 Copies
Reviewed by Daniel Braum

Ornithologiae is an anthology with the theme of birds edited by Mark Beech from his Egeaus Press in the United Kingdom. The subtitle of the book is “Being a collection of weird and uncategorizable stories and poems on the subject of birds.” The volume is hardcover with black and white interior illustrations and color illustrated end pages.Continue Reading

Review: Pluto in Furs 2 edited by Scott Dwyer

cover of Pluto in Furs 2Pluto In Furs 2 edited by Scott Dwyer
Plutonian Press (January 2022)
228 pages; $14.99 paperback
Reviewed by Daniel Braum

Pluto In Furs 2 is the follow up volume to the 2019 anthology Pluto In Furs: Tales of Diseased Desires and Seductive Horrors edited by Scott Dwyer from his Plutonian Press. It is an anthology of themed short stories with the theme of erotic horror.Continue Reading

Review: Teeth Where They Shouldn’t Be by Chad Stroup

cover of Teeth Where They Shouldn't BeTeeth Where They Shouldn’t Be by Chad Stroup
Oddness Press (June 2023)
276 pages; $39.99 hardcover; $29.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book  
Reviewed by Daniel Braum

Teeth Where They Shouldn’t Be is Chad Stroup’s collection of short stories, released in multiple formats in June 2023 by Oddness Press, the publisher who also produces Forbidden Futures Magazine. The book is illustrated by Mike Dubisch. Stroup is also the author of the novels Secrets of the Weird and Sexy Leper from Bizarro Pulp Press. He is the singer for the band Icepield and a drag queen by the name of Jenn X. Oddness states on the back cover that the collection “pushes boundaries, challenges perceptions, and leaves an indelible mark by delving into a transformed world and the unfathomable depths of the human psyche.” 

The short story “The Perfect Playground” from the 2017 anthology California Screamin’ was the first I read of Stroup’s work. I am always interested in setting-forward stories and was glad to revisit the story here. In the opening paragraphs to “The Perfect Playground” Stroup deftly delivers an immersive slice of life of Chula Vista, California, through the eyes of Heather, a “lone driver at her most vulnerable” singing along to the Smashing Pumpkins while driving home after a keg party. The visage of California dreaming does not last long as we flash forward to a glimpse of Heather’s exsanguinated body and a strange creature “tall as a street lamp. Androgynous features. Thin as a mantis. Arms and legs like broken yardsticks. Sheer skin like laurel vellum.” The mysterious unknown creatures kills mirthfully “gyrating like a sea monkey in heat.”

In opposition to this strange creature from Stroup’s wild imagination are a bunch of young California punks who spy the creature while lobbing water balloons full of milk onto cars passing beneath an underpass. The young gang’s “ordinary world” is thrust into the madness of facing down this thing — a thing that is part car-wash-inflatable-bendie-advertisement and yet also part nightmare ripped from the world of HR Giger. With this creature, which to my delight is never named or explained, Stroup embodies the horror of the state of California and life there. This high wire act, easier said than done, is an example of one of the many unique aspects Stroup delivers in his tales. The way Stroup structured the story and the ending place he leaves us with was a bold choice and will be sure to delight lovers of horror. Stroup makes it look easy.

Another standout tale is a story original to the collection, “Voices Carry.” The title shares a title with the 1980s song by the band ‘Til Tuesday, a song and music video with Aimee Mann’s rebellious vocals and spiked hair well known to those of us steeped in the MTV era. I bet this is not lost and likely intentionally done by Stroup, who is also a talented musician with a deep knowledge of music of many styles and eras, not merely the California underground.

Stroup’s “Voices Carry” opens with:

Maddy had no mouth, though she had teeth.

Sweet, sweet teeth with even sweeter secrets. She could never let Richard know the truth that hid behind her reticence. Not that he’d bother to notice. No, it was safer to euthanize her freedom. Keep the lie on life support. Indefinitely.

The passage’s reference to teeth resonates with the title of the collection as well as the ‘Til Tuesday song. In the book’s forward the punk rock spirit of Stroup’s writing is highlighted along with the body horror present in much of Stroup’s work. In the forward, Stroup is compared to horror legend Clive Barker, who influences Stroup with the notion “the worst monsters are not those with a monstrous aspect, like the denizens of Midian, but those with normal appearances and monstrous natures…”

“Voices Carry” is a great example of this influence. Stroup delivers not only a story of masques and masquerades but a world with the horrors of being invisible and the horrors of the violation of trust by a loved one on unflinching, full display.

Those who like their horror infused with a mix of the strange, bizarre, the uncanny and the punk ethic will be certainly find much potent fuel for their fires and will be stoked by Stroup’s 15 stories in Teeth Where They Shouldn’t Be.

Exclusive Excerpt: The Serpent’s Shadow by Daniel Braum

cover of The Serpent's Shadow by Daniel BraumI delight in stories that deliver more than meets the eye at first glance. I love to read them and I love to write them. In films and shows such as It Follows and The Twilight Zone and in the work of Robert Aickman things are often very much more than they first appear. The Serpent’s Shadow is also one of those kinds of stories.

It is Christmas week. In Mexico, 1987. At first glance all might appear as a slasher set up or a horror tale with familiar tropes. There are teens in peril. “Ugly Americans” are where they should not be. A killer is on the loose.

Wander a little further along the road and you might find these tropes you spied are taking on new iterations, or are even being subverted.Continue Reading

Into the Abyss with Daniel Braum and Luisa Colón

Saturday night on the Cemetery Dance Youtube Show Into the Abyss, Kevin Lucia, CW Briar and Thomas McDonough interviewed CD authors Daniel Braum (The Night Marchers, The Serpent’s Shadow) and Luisa Colón (Bad Moon Rising), talking with them about their respective Cemetery Dance releases, as well as whatever horror topics came up! Check out the show now, and also buy their books!

The Night Marchers and Other Strange Tales by Daniel Braum
The Serpent’s Shadow by Daniel Braum
Bad Moon Rising by Luisa Colón

Review: Major Arcana edited by Steve J. Shaw

cover of Major Arcana 7Major Arcana edited by Steve J Shaw
Black Shuck Books (September 2022)
234 pages; $14.99 paperback
Reviewed by Daniel Braum

Major Arcana is the title of the seventh annual installment of the Great British Horror series published by UK Publisher Black Shuck Books. Each book in the series features ten British authors and one “international” (non-UK) author.

The 2022 edition features 11 stories, each having a title sharing the name with one of the Major Arcana cards of the Tarot deck.Continue Reading

Night Time Logic with Liliana Carstea

Night Time Logic with Daniel Braum

“Strange Tales. Fairy Tales. Pluto in Furs and Romanian Folklore.”

author Liliana Carstea
Liliana Carstea

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 other aspects of horror and dark fiction through in depth conversation with authors. 

I delight in the strange and uncanny side of the genre particularly the kind of story one might call “Aickman-esqe.” 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.   

Romanian Writer Liliana Carstea was a guest author at the New York Ghost story festival back in December 2020. You can see our conversation here.

Since then she has gone on to publish in a range of anthologies and magazines. Carstea is an author of strange tales and we begin our conversation with a question about that term.Continue Reading

Night Time Logic with Kathe Koja

Night Time Logic with Daniel Braum

“Velocity. The Nature of Ghosts. Life. Existence and Extremities.”

portrait of Kathe Koja by Rick Lieder
Kathe Koja
(Portrait by Rick Lieder)

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

This column explores Night Time Logic and other aspects of horror and dark fiction through conversation with authors ranging from favorites and award winners to underexposed talents and new comers. 

I delight in exploring the strange, weird and uncanny in fiction particularly the kind of story one might call “Aickman-esqe.” My short story collection is titled The Night Marchers and Other Strange Tales in homage to Robert Aickman’s strange tales. The new Cemetery Dance Publications trade paperback edition of the book can be found here. Included are all-new story notes discussing strange tales and an essay exploring one of Aickman’s own.

In my previous column I spoke with Matthew Cheney about strange tales, Robert Aickman, and more. In today’s column Kathe Koja and I speak about ghosts. Life. Existence. Her short story collection Velocities, and more. We begin with a road trip.Continue Reading

Night Time Logic with Matthew Cheney

Night Time Logic with Daniel Braum

“Magic Tricks. Nightmares. Ambiguities and Confessions”

photo of Matthew Cheney
Matthew Cheney
(Photo by Amy Wilson)

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 other aspects of horror and dark fiction through in depth conversation with authors about their stories. 

I have an interest in discussing and exploring the strange, weird and uncanny side of the genre, particularly the kind of story one might call “Aickman-esqe.” My short story collection is titled The Night Marchers and Other Strange Tales in homage to Robert Aickman’s strange tales. The new Cemetery Dance Publications trade paperback edition of the book can be found here. Included are all-new story notes discussing strange tales and an essay exploring one of Aickman’s own.

In my previous column I spoke with Justin Burnett about “leaving knots tied”, the uncanny, and labyrinths. In today’s column Matthew Cheney and I speak about his new book The Last Vanishing Man from Third Man Books and discuss the horror genre, Robert Aickman, strange tales and ambiguity, and much more. We begin…“after the end.”Continue Reading

“Across the Darien Gap” by Daniel Braum

banner that says Cemetery Dance Free Fiction

cover of The Night MarchersDaniel Braum writes stories, set in locations around the globe, that explore the tension between the psychological and supernatural.

The following story originally appeared in Cemetery Dance Magazine #55 in 2006. It can be found in the all-new Cemetery Dance Publications edition of his first short story collection The Night Marchers and Other Strange Tales which is out on May 19, 2023.

Cemetery Dance Publications will be releasing his novella The Serpent’s Shadow in Fall 2023. Braum is also the author of the books Underworld Dreams, The Wish Mechanics: Tales of the Strange and Fantastic, and Yeti. Tiger. Dragon.Continue Reading

Night Time Logic with Justin Burnett

Night Time Logic with Daniel Braum

“Horror and weird fiction is the labyrinth.”

photo of Justin Burnett
Justin Burnett

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

In this column, which shares a name with my New York based reading and discussion series, I explore the phenomenon of Night Time Logic and other aspects of horror fiction by diving deep into the stories from award winning authors to emerging new voices. 

I have an interest in strange tales, the kind of story one might call “Aickman-esqe” and like to discuss them here and look at stories through that lens when I can. My first short story collection is titled The Night Marchers and Other Strange Tales in homage to the lineage of Robert Aickman’s strange tales. The new Cemetery Dance Publications trade paper back edition of the book can be found here. It discusses strange tales in the all-new story notes and features a full essay on one of Aickman’s tales.

In my previous column I spoke with Ray Cluely about ghost stories, settings in his fiction, his strange tales and more. In today’s column I speak with Justin Burnett about “leaving knots tied,” the uncanny, doppelgangers, music, labyrinths and more.

We begin with a discussion about his debut fiction collection The Puppet King and Other Atonements.Continue Reading

Night Time Logic with Ray Cluley

Night Time Logic with Daniel Braum

“Ghosts of the Sea. Strange Tales. And Coping With Loss.”

cover of All That's LostNight Time Logic is the part of a story that is felt but not consciously processed. 

In this column, which shares a name with my New York based reading and discussion series, I explore the phenomenon of Night Time Logic and other aspects of horror fiction by diving deep into the stories from award winning authors to emerging new voices. 

I have an interest in strange tales, the kind of story one might call “Aickman-esqe” and like to discuss them here and look at stories through that lens when I can. My first short story collection is titled The Night Marchers and Other Strange Tales in homage to the lineage of Robert Aickman’s strange tales. The new Cemetery Dance Publications trade paper back edition of the book can be found here.  It discusses strange tales in the all-new story notes and features a full essay on one of Aickman’s tales.

In my previous column we visited with UK author and editor James Everington about strange tales and his anthology of liminal sea-side stories. In today’s column I talk with Ray Cluley about ghost stories and more. Ray’s stories not only feature a wide range of setting-forward fiction he also writes strange tales so it is easy to see why they quickly captured my attention.

We begin our discussion with a look at a trio of stories from his latest short story collection.Continue Reading