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The Seers’ Table April 2024


Kate Maruyama, Member of the Diverse Works Inclusion Community

Geneve Flynn recommends:

Claire Fitzpatrick is an award-winning editor and author of speculative fiction and nonfiction, specialising in body horror. She identifies as neurodiverse. Her self-published anthology, The Body Horror Book, which she compiled, co-wrote, and edited, won the 2017 Rocky Wood Award for Nonfiction and Criticism. Her debut collection, Metamorphosis, released by IFWG Publishing Australia in 2019, was hailed as “graphic and disturbing,” “engaging and darkly beautiful,” and “simply heroic.”

Claire is the current president of the Australasian Horror Writers Assn. She’s been a regular nonfiction contributor to Aurealis magazine since 2015.

Within nonfiction, she is the 2021 recipient of the HWA’s Rocky Wood Memorial scholarship fund and a Bram Stoker Award® finalist for her 2023 collaborative nonfiction anthology, A Vindication Of Monsters: Essays on Mary Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft (IFWG Publishing International). Her article “How Mary Shelley Continues To Influence Science Fiction,” published in Aurealis #145, was shortlisted for the 2022 William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review.

She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with a menagerie of animals and her two eldritch offspring.

Recommended Reading: A Vindication Of Monsters: Essays on Mary Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft.


The entire family was full of contradictions. Elopement, suicides, miscarriages, mourning—however, there’s no denying their powerful impact on the world, even to this day. And while the lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley may seem ordinary to many of us today, both women were trailblazers in their time, pushing boundaries, breaking convention, and following their own paths.

“ … there is a wealth of knowledge and informed study demonstrated across the whole collection.”Stephanie Ellis, Epeolatry Book Review, Horrortree

Find out more about Claire on her Web site, http://www.clairefitzpatrick.com.au, and connect on Twitter at @CJFitzpatrick19, Instagram at wetoo.arestardust, and Facebook at Claire Fitzpatrick – Speculative Fiction Author.

Author photo credit: Claire Fitzpatrick.

Kate Maruyama recommends:

Thomas Ha is a Shirley Jackson and Nebula Award-nominated writer of speculative short fiction. You can find his work in Clarkesworld, Lightspeed Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Weird Horror Magazine, among other publications. His work has also appeared in The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror series edited by Paula Guran. Thomas grew up in Honolulu and, after a decade plus of living in the northeast, now resides in Los Angeles with his wife and three children. His work blends elements of sci-fi, horror, and fantasy. His stories often center on family, home, and the struggle for power and control at the heart of strained relationships.

From my own readings, I can say that Ha has a knack for finding stirring moments in quiet scenes.

Recommended reading, “Cretins” from Weird Horror #7.


It was that day that I saw it, the little ruby bubble, resting gently on the back of my hand.

Were you careless? Or was I just lucky?

To find your needlework in my skin, that sign of the technique that people like you use—the way you prick sleeping people to test if we are cataplexic and truly unconscious. The way you look for that complete muscle relaxation and helplessness before you do whatever it is you do.

We talk about you in the Ferrier’s Syndrome forums—you people who follow us. Some have started calling you “hounds.” We know you can be violent, or deviants with compulsions. Others doing it for reasons we still don’t fully understand. But the one thing we assume you all have in common is that you like it whenever you discover someone with Ferrier’s, out there, collapsed in public and vulnerable—that power you get to have.

I’ll admit, finding that blood droplet was the first time in a long time that I felt it again.

You can read the rest of this story on Thomas Ha’s Web site: Thomashawrites.com. And you can find him online on Instagram @thomas.ha.writes, or on Blue Sky @thomasha.bsky.social.

Nicole D. Sconiers recommends:

Who knew suburbia could be so malevolent? In their stellar short story collection There’s Something Wrong in Morrington County, Ryan W. Kinney subverts the trope of the hood being the most dangerous place for young Black men. In Morrington County, an eerie suburb of Maryland, evil lurks behind ranchers, farmhouses, tree-lined streets and malls.

Ryan W. Kinney is an author and horror enthusiast who goes by the name of Brother Ghoulish. Ryan loves to share sinister and creative tales that push the limits of horror. With There’s Something Wrong in Morrington County, Ryan hopes to entertain readers with a collection of creepy stories.

Part supernatural thriller, part slasher, part whodunit, these twelve well-crafted tales examine what it means to be a Black gay man in America. Whether writing about evil fairies trapped in a jar, Black boy poets using rootwork to banish shadow creatures, or monstrous thighs taking on a life of their own, Ryan blends humor and horror to explore toxic relationships, bullying, police brutality, and radical self-love.

There’s Something Wrong in Morrington County is an important and thoughtful debut from a brave writer.

Recommended Reading: There’s Something Wrong in Morrington County.

Excerpt from “Brood” (page 125):

“Fear is bad for people like us, Wayne. We’re the only ones around here who can stop this thing—it’s been years,” Dee-Dee argued, but Wayne’s body was still poised defensively.

“I don’t fool with no witchbane. Messing around with that stuff’ll have you stuck upside down in a hole in Hell, and you won’t know what hit you,” Wayne warned.

“That’s not going to happen,” she said to which he smiled and asked, “Trying to convince yourself?”

Dee-Dee sighed in frustration at hearing her words mockingly thrown back at her. Wayne came up beside her and placed a hand on her shoulder.

“You know I’m about to say something you won’t like, right?” he asked her.

“Yeah … me first, though: guard me,” she said and grabbed the witchbane. Wayne tried to wrestle it from her but failed as Dee-Dee took a big bite.

“Dammit, Delilah!” he shouted as he threw the remaining witchbane down and stomped on it.

“This demon and its followers took my brother from me and are only preying on people like him because they think no one will care. I mean, there’s barely been any news coverage on most of Morrington’s missing people. Well, big fucking surprise for them, someone does care and that someone knows what they’re doing,” Dee-Dee argued, and as she did, her voice and eye contact remained steady.

“I love you, but I think you’re being a bit silly. I’m sorry! You miss your brother, and what happened to him wasn’t right. But he wouldn’t want you risking your well-being like this by making something an issue that isn’t yours,” Wayne said.

Dee-Dee pointed a finger in his face and said: “There it is, right there: an issue that isn’t mine? This isn’t about me missing Terrance; that’ll never stop. This is about justice and ensuring this doesn’t happen to anyone else. It’s gay boys now, but you can’t seriously think this demon will stop once it’s all full up on them? Because of rhetoric like yours that transwomen like me are so grossly under-protected.”

You can connect with Ryan on TikTok: @brotherghoulish.

Kari J. Wolfe recommends:

Eric LaRocca (he/they) is the Bram Stoker Award®-nominated and Splatterpunk Award-winning author of several collections of horror and dark fiction such as Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke and The Trees Grew Because I Bled There. His newest collection, This Skin Was Once Mine and Other Disturbances, is set to be released April 2, 2024. Released in June 2023, Everything The Darkness Eats is on the shortlist for Best Debut Novel for this year’s Bram Stoker Awards.

He is an active member of the HWA and currently resides in Boston, MA with his partner.

Recommended Reading:

From Everything The Darkness Eats:

If by some inexplicable force of sorcery, Ghost Everling’s skin suddenly became as transparent as a sheet of cellophane, the young man wouldn’t even consider objecting. He wouldn’t seek out a cure, wouldn’t consult with physicians or skin specialists to remedy his peculiar ailment. He wouldn’t even act surprised or feign terror the way others might.

For Ghost, invisibility had already claimed him long ago.

He conceded there was something uniquely strange that occurred when you lost a loved one. Something that wasn’t in the literature he had read in despair or the self-help podcasts he had listened to on his morning walks throughout his neighborhood. Something that had hollowed him out and rendered him as “unusable goods” to any woman or man that would have him.

Although it had only been three years since his wife, Hailey, had passed, Ghost figured he knew all there was to know about invisibility. More specifically, he knew all there was to know about being left behind—the phone calls of condolences from family that became less and less frequent, the friends that had shied away from him as if fearful they might be touched by the same sorrow too. Everyone around him seemed to move on, while Ghost remained trapped in place.

Yes, trapped.

Ghost knew everything there was to know about traps, too.

Some of them don’t appear until later in life, as if secreted beneath underbrush like the iron mouthpiece of a hunter’s snare.

He couldn’t go a day without glancing in the mirror and being reminded of the trap that had demanded his body three years ago— a wraith of guilt wrapped around his neck the way an infant chimpanzee clings to its mother. He could scarcely forget the moment when he first realized it was there—a thin wisp of white smoke curling about his throat, claws of vapor as finely delicate as Chantilly lace plugging his nose and ears.

From there, it only grew.

You can find Eric on Facebook: @ejlarocca; Twitter @hystericteeth; Bluesky: bsky.app/profile/ericlarocca.bsky.social.

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