From the award-winning creator of Ékleipsiscomes a dystopian narrative of affliction and obsession.
The world as we know it is forever lost. A deadly virus has scourged the planet and ravaged billions. Under the harsh ruling regime, survivors were “cleansed” and confined to isolated units, perpetually tormented by hunger, desolation, and desperation.
Among them is Geoff, a researcher for the trailblazing Paradiso, an authority-regulated virtual-reality program that allows users to momentarily escape their waking lives via implanted chips. He is devoted to perfecting the system—a vessel to preserve future hopes and dreams, where immense worlds prevail, brimming with vast possibilities.
But before long Geoff finds himself thrusted into the darkest recesses of these alternate realities, where he must confront not only his past but persevere against the unknown, fighting for his very existence.
Is all this magnificence just a grandiose illusion? Could there ever be salvation from the living hell into which mankind has plummeted?
Tamel Wino is a Canadian award-winning, dark fiction author from resplendent British Columbia whose works focus largely on degeneration of sanity and morality. He studied Health Sciences and Psychology, which only furthered his interest in human nature.
With inspirations including Clive Barker, Chuck Palahniuk, Cormac McCarthy, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood and Edgar Allan Poe; Tamel’s expositions are strongly grounded in traditions of dark fiction. Yet, with his bold narrative voice and incisive plot construction, Wino is paving a new movement within the space.
When he’s not reading or scribbling away on his laptop, Tamel loves listening to jazz, rewatching good ol’ classic shows and traveling.
Love and Other Monsters in the Dark by K.B. Jensen genre: magical realism, dark fiction, short stories
releases July 1st
Strange Stories That Linger in the Shadows
Readers will encounter serial killers, alien creatures, and dark angels, as well as more “normal” narratives about the horrors of everyday love. Love and Other Monsters in the Dark features a genre-hopping blend of contemporary fiction, noir humor, speculative fiction, and horror, with an undercurrent of love and the relationships that bind us together in the darkness. Among others, the cast of characters includes a catfish and her victim, creepy dolls in prayer, an arsonist housewife, an elderly bank robber, and a “teacup” pig. Some just can’t take it anymore.
From an award-winning story of a woman who turns into her grandmother overnight, to a narrative about facing relationship complications during a zombie apocalypse, this collection offers laughter and tears, playfully packaged in and out of flash fiction.
Eating the Storm
Standing at the edge of the field, staring into the horizon, Sara swallowed the approaching storm. She unhinged her jaw and swallowed wide, dislocating it. A shooting pain crept up her face. The gray storm clouds tasted salty in her mouth. The condensation slid down the back of her throat, a downpour that threatened to drown her. Her belly swelled, swirled, distended with a hard rain.
A control freak, always trying to please other people. Now she was trying to control the weather. What would her therapist think?
Sara furrowed her brow, clamped her teeth together despite the shooting pain. She was afraid that it would escape. That it would hurt all the people she loved, so she held it in.
The hair on the back of her neck rose, the hair on her arms too. Tiny, fine, blond hairs. She stared at them with wild wide eyes. Afraid if she spoke, the opening of her mouth would release it. She whimpered slightly, but no one was there to hear her.
Sara pushed back the urge to vomit and felt the storm churn within her. Her shoulder-length hair now stood on end. She reached up and tried to pull it back down, to no avail.
Her arms and legs swelled. Her feet and hands bloated. Blood vessels blossomed red across expanding skin. The dress she was wearing stretched and constricted her growing frame. The threads broke, shredding across her chest.
Watching her arms and legs balloon, she was afraid she would pop.
She remembered what her therapist had said, “Depression is anger turned inwards.”
You’d think these words could have helped her stop it, to let it go, but they didn’t.
The thunder rumbled through her internal organs, shaking her liver like jelly, while the lightning sizzled her brain. When they found Sara later, she was never quite the same. Her jaw made strange clicking noises, for one.
About the Author:
Award-winning Author K.B. Jensen’s short story collection, Love and Other Monsters in the Dark, will be published July 2022. She has two novels, Painting With Fire, an artistic murder mystery, and A Storm of Stories, which veers literary. K.B. lives in Littleton, CO., with her family and enjoys skiing. She’s a publishing consultant at My Word Publishing. Visit www.kbjensenauthor.com.
Suburban Death Project
by Aimee Parkison
Genre: magical realism, dark fiction
A disturbingly brilliant collection of experimental fiction exploring love, loss, and mourning. The twelve stories comprising SUBURBAN DEATH PROJECT sparkle with disturbing brilliance, revealing in full why Aimee Parkison is so widely celebrated for her innovative narratives and experimental fiction.
SUBURBAN DEATH PROJECT breathes life into what is barely surviving: ill-fated families, frightening relationships, and dangerous loves. With a dark humor serving to make unimaginable traumas both tolerable and knowable, Parkison delves into marriage and mourning, lust and loss, and violence and its aftermath. She exposes the horrors of life in its bodily form and relieves them with a passionate wonder burning so brightly it outshines age, death, and family secrets. In average American households, families haunt each other while still alive as they recompose into dragonflies, peach trees, squirrels, ducks, owls, shadows, tunnels, and zoos of endangered species. Pinned to boards for study, peered at by voyeurs, videoed by neighbors, or vivisected for the greater good, each body in these riveting stories undergoes an unflinching examination.
Aimee Parkison is the author of several books of fiction. Her work has won numerous awards and fellowships and has appeared in numerous journals in English and in translation in Italian. Her fiction has won the Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize from Fiction Collective Two, a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship, the Kurt Vonnegut Prize from North American Review, the Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction, the Jack Dyer Prize from Crab Orchard Review, a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship, a Writers at Work Fellowship, a Puffin Foundation Fellowship, and an American Antiquarian Society William Randolph Hearst Creative Artists Fellowship.
Aimee Parkison is a full professor at Oklahoma State University, where she teaches novel writing, contemporary fiction, exploratory narrative techniques, experimental fiction writing, and workshops in the Creative Writing Program’s BA, MFA, and PhD course offerings. Parkison has taught creative writing at a number of universities, including Cornell University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Oklahoma State University. Parkison has served as a visiting faculty member at the British Council’s International Creative Writing Summer School in Athens, Greece, and as a fiction faculty member at Chautauqua Writers’ Festival. Since the summer of 2019, Aimee Parkison has served on the FC2 Board of Directors.