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The Seers’ Table December 2023


Linda D. Addison, Member of the Diverse Works Inclusion Community
You can see any of The Seers’ Table posts since inception (March 2016) by going to the HWA main page and selecting menu item “Our Blogs/Seers’ Table”.

Ace Antonio-Hall recommends:

Lisa Springer is a writer from Barbados currently living in New York with her family. She loves creating worlds readers can get lost in. Lisa is passionate about writing thriller and horror fiction for young people.

Recommended Reading: There’s No Way I’d Die First (Delacorte Press, September 5, 2023).
Lisa Springer’s young adult novel is a contemporary horror novel that follows seventeen-year-old horror buff, Noelle Layne. Noelle knows every trope, every warning sign, every survival tactic of horror. She even leads a successful movie club dedicated to the genre. Who better to throw the ultimate, most exclusive Halloween party on all of Long Island, New York? Noelle Layne, of course. However, she and her guests are forced to test their survival skills in a deadly game when a murderous clown out for blood crashes the party.

In this horror comedy, Noelle Layne reveals that she has been waiting her entire life to prove that she’s a Final Girl.

Find Creator online: https://lisaspringerbooks.com/; Twitter/X: @lspringerwrites; Instagram: @lisaspringerwrites.

Nicole D. Sconiers recommends:

Vaughn A. Jackson writes speculative fiction, often blending elements of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. He is the author of two novels: Up from the Deep and Touched by Shadows. When he isn’t writing, Vaughn is probably playing video games, watching sci-fi movies, or trying frantically to keep up the guise of being an adult. His sci-fi horror novel Touched by Shadows explores how seemingly powerless communities rise up and fight back. Oumou is a thirteen-year-old Black girl with psychokinetic abilities on the run from a lab experiment gone horribly wrong. She flees to the all-white town of Archwood, North Carolina, where most residents are determined to keep the town pure, except the Chastaines, a kind white family who take her in. Not only is Oumou faced with the real-life horror of racism, she’s also being hunted by an ancient evil hellbent on usurping her power. The teen is rescued one night by Leslie, a jaded reporter with a strange ability of his own. They team up to battle the encroaching darkness before they’re both consumed.

Recommended Reading: Touched by Shadows (JournalStone Publishing, 2021).

Excerpt from Touched by Shadows:

“I can’t,” Oumou said. “I’m too dangerous. It was right … I’m a monster, just like it.”

“When I look at you,” Leslie said, “do you know what I see?”


“I see a girl put through the worst of it. You’re terrified,” he said. “Of everything. Don’t bother lying about it. I’m a reporter, I get paid to see through bullshit. You’re scared because you hurt people, and you’re scared because people hurt you.”

Oumou refused to meet his eye.

“You’re just trying to survive, and people … man, people keep fucking with you. Testing you. And that gets them hurt.”

He walked over to the broken picture frame shattered on the floor and picked it up. “That’s what I thought,” he mumbled. He walked back to Oumou and tapped her gently on the shoulder. She looked up and he handed her the picture frame. “Only you get to decide what you are, kid,” he continued. “You think you’re a monster, that’s what you’ll turn out to be. But if you think you’re something better … well, maybe you have a chance.”

Follow Vaughn A. Jackson on: Twitter: @blaximillion  BlueSky: @blaximillion.bsky.social; Instagram: @blaximillion_author; Facebook: /blaximillion; TikTok: @blaximillion_author.

Linda D. Addison recommends:
Native New Yorker LindaAnn LoSchiavo (she/her), a four-time nominee for The Pushcart Prize, was also nominated for Best of the Net, Balcones Poetry Prize, an Ippy, a Firecracker Award, the Rhysling Award, and Dwarf Stars.

She is a member of the British Fantasy Society, HWA, SFPA, and The Dramatists Guild.

Titles for 2022: Women Who Were Warned (Cerasus Poetry) and Messengers of the Macabre: Hallowe’en Poems (Audience Askew).
Forthcoming in 2023: Apprenticed to the Night (UniVerse Press), Felones de Se: Poems about Suicide (Ukiyoto Publishing), and Vampire Ventures (Alien Buddha Press).
Forthcoming in 2024: Cancer Courts My Mother (Penumbra / Stanislaus State College). Forthcoming in 2025: Eros and His Entourage (Naked Cat Press).
Her 2023 poetry collection, Vampire Ventures (Alien Buddha Press) presents a fresh take on vampire lore and other timeless themes.

Recommended Reading: Vampire Ventures (Alien Buddha Press)
Excerpt (a poem):

Dracula Plans His Hallowe’en Soiree

Near Hallowe’en, routine tension sets in.

Expected entertainment, catering, Décor: a bachelor like Dracula Tries to outdo last year’s event—though some Attended by mistake and won’t return.

Tradition dictates hospitality’s Essential to his kind.  Longevity Must be preserved. Drinks are but one concern. His entourage deserves to be amused.

Instead of necks turned red as after-birth, Refreshments can be served by a blood bank, Thanks to a generous donation made.

Exquisite concentration on details Is a tourniquet for his unquiet mind, Obsessed with real estate, castle upkeep, Demands imposed by vamphood’s life-in-death.

His party plans completed, its checklist ticked, The Transylvanian lord licked his lips, Succumbed to tempting pleasure-crested pricks.


Find LoSchiavo online: Site: Twitter: @Mae_Westside; Vampire Ventures Web site –  https://www.VampireVenturesPoems.com; YouTube: LindaAnn Literary channel.

Kate Maruyama recommends:
I first read Ezra Claytan Daniels’ deeply creepy and wonderful graphic novel Upgrade Soul when my daughter recommended it. I followed it with BTTM FDRS, which is a graphic novel that deals with gentrification and generational erasure in Los Angeles using horror. His new short story “Pressure” is featured in Jordan Peele’s Out There Screaming: An Anthology of New Black Horror and is excerpted below.

Ezra Claytan Daniels is a mixed-race (black/white) writer and illustrator. His critically acclaimed graphic novel series, The Changers, began a unique career peppered with collaborative multimedia projects ranging from video games to animation to feature documentaries.

Ezra collaborated with Chicago-based chamber group Fifth House Ensemble on the narrative concert series, “Black Violet,” which the Chicago Sun-Times called “a modern classic.” He also contributed animation to experimental hip-hop luminary Alexis Gideon’s Video Musics series of animated rap operas and has worked on several interactive projects with esteemed interactive artist Erik Loyer. Ezra contributed animation and design to the feature documentaries, LUNCH LINE and RESISTANCE, as well as the LA-Emmy award-winning second season of KCET’s LOST LA docuseries.

His collaboration with experimental video artist Adebukola Bodunrin, the animated short film THE GOLDEN CHAIN, has screened at The Whitney Museum, The British Film Institute, The International Film Festival Rotterdam, MFA Boston, REDCAT Theater, ATA San Francisco, at Art Basel, Switzerland, and on the Criterion Channel. In 2017, THE GOLDEN CHAIN was acquired by The Whitney for their permanent collection.

Ezra’s graphic novel, Upgrade Soul, began as a pioneering immersive serialized graphic novel for iOS in 2012. Upgrade Soul was named a 2013 IndieCade Finalist, and has exhibited at The Hyde Park Art Center, the Wexner Center for the Arts, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Upgrade Soul was a featured project at the Fantoche International Animation Festival in Baden, Switzerland, Haarlem Stripdagen in Amsterdam, and the Fumetto International Comics Festival in Lucerne. Upgrade Soul was collected in print by Lion Forge Books in 2018. It was the recipient of the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics, nominated for Eisner, Harvey, Ringo, and Ignatz awards, and was named one of the best books of 2018 by Publishers Weekly, Vulture, The Library Journal, and Paste. Upgrade Soul is currently in development as a feature film.

Ezra’s graphic novel collaboration with Ben Passmore, entitled BTTM FDRS, was released in 2019 by Fantagraphics Books. BTTM FDRS was named one of the best books of 2019 by Chicago Public Library, New York Public Library, and Hyperallergic Magazine, and was nominated for both Eisner and Harvey awards. BTTM FDRS is currently in development as a feature film.

Ezra currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, where he writes for film and television, most recently on DOOM PATROL for HBO Max and the Amazon sci-fi drama, LIGHTYEARS.

Recommended reading: “Pressure,” from Jordan Peele’s Out There Screaming: An Anthology of New Black Horror.

You rest hard on the old, worn-in guest mattress you’ve jumped and slept on dozens of times over the years. You dream of drowning, your head held underwater by a small but powerful hand. You hold your breath until it hurts. Finally, you inhale, expecting your lungs to fill with water and end your suffering, but it’s just air. In your dream, you can breathe underwater.

It feels like you’ve been asleep for only a few minutes when you’re slapped conscious by an explosion of shattering glass. You sit up, your heart pounding so hard it knocks the wind out of you with each beat. You creep to the door and listen, but hear nothing. Your ears still haven’t popped. You open your mouth and swallow and an electric, blinding pain shoots through your skull.

You can find Ezra at ezracdaniels.com or follow him on Instagram @ezracdaniels.

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