My First Fright featuring Gwendolyn Kiste

Author Gwendolyn Kiste
Gwendolyn Kiste

Two of the biggest horror-comedy films of the 1980s debuted on the exact same weekend in June 1984. Ghostbusters was the bigger success of the two, but Gremlins has remained a fan favorite amongst ’80s kids, and for good reason. It’s silly, with eye-catching character designs that just scream MERCHANDISE OPPORTUNITIES, but it’s also a pretty wicked and nihilistic horror movie. I remember both reveling in and being quite frightened by it as a boy. Gwendolyn Kiste, too, was heavily influenced by Gremlins in her youth, and she’s got some pretty cool ideas for carrying the long-dormant franchise forward. Continue Reading

Review: The Invention of Ghosts by Gwendolyn Kiste

The Invention of Ghosts by Gwendolyn Kiste
Nightscape Press (2020)
64 pages; $30 limited edition
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

Gwendolyn Kiste is a rare kind of speculative writer: the kind able to craft highly metaphorical and allegorical tales which also vibrate with a resonance that cuts close to the bone and pierces the heart. As a reader, I’ve always needed to feel something in response to a work of fiction. From fun, escapist thrillers to “high brow literary horror,” if I don’t feel something for the characters and about their situations, the story bounces right off me, no matter how finely written it is.Continue Reading

Review: The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste

The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste
JournalStone (November 2018)
218 pages; $17.95 paperback; $4.95 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

For those out there who are unfamiliar with Gwendolyn Kiste’s gorgeous prose, The Rust Maidens would be a great place to start. After last year’s stellar collection, And Her Smile Will Untether The Universe, Kiste steps out with her debut novel, which rattles the soul in a disturbing, yet beautiful read.Continue Reading

Review: And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe by Gwendolyn Kiste

And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe by Gwendolyn Kiste
JournalStone (April 2017)
210 pages; $15.95 paperback; $3.95 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

Remember this name. Gwendolyn Kiste will one day rule the world of dark short fiction if there’s any justice. Every once in a while, a new voice emerges and takes the genre by storm. Several have broken the surface lately and shown tinges of greatness to be, but rarely is one “born” with a style and substance this mind-boggling.Continue Reading

Review: And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe by Gwendolyn Kiste

And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe by Gwendolyn Kiste
JournalStone (April 2017)
267 pages; $15.93 paperback; $3.95 e-book
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia

And Her Smile With Untether the Universe is an amazing collection of speculative fiction by Gwendoyn Kiste which touches on surreal fantasy but never loses its grip on an all too tangible—sometimes painfully so—sense of reality. This is important for me, because I often find that happens with surreal stories of the fantastic. While I admire the world created and the surreal experience rendered, I sometimes feel distant from the characters and their experiences, and the stories fail to really impact me on an emotional level.Continue Reading