The Seers’ Table June 2023
Kate Maruyama, Member of the Diverse Works Inclusion Community
Linda D. Addison recommends:
E.E. King is an award-winning painter, performer, writer, and naturalist. She’ll do anything that won’t pay the bills, especially if it involves animals. She’s been published in over 100 magazines and anthologies, including Clarkesworld, Daily Science Fiction, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Short Edition, and Flametree. Her novels include, Dirk Quigby’s Guide to the Afterlife: All you need to know to choose the right heaven, and several story collections.
Ray Bradbury called her stories, “marvelously inventive, wildly funny, and deeply thought-provoking.” Her stories are on Tangent’s 2019, 2020, and 2022 year’s best stories. She’s been nominated for a Rhysling, and several Pushcart awards. In 2023, her story “First Plantings” was an Omega Sci-Fi Award 2023 Roswell Award finalist.
Look for her 2023 work: “Fossils of Truth and Grace,” in Just a Girl: A Badass Women of Horror Anthology (Sinister Smile Press) and “The Witch’s Christmas” in Saltwater Sorrows Anthology (Tyche Books Ltd.).
You can read some of her work at King’s site under Free Reads menu. Contact her for free audio codes (English—both abridged and full-length) for her short collections and Electric Detective.
She’s shown paintings at LACMA, painted murals in LA and is currently painting a mural in leap lab in San Paula, CA. King also co-hosts The Long Lost Friends Show on Metastellar YouTube and spends her summers doing bird rescue and her winters planting coral in Bonaire.
Recommended Reading: Dirk Quigby’s Guide to the Afterlife.
Excerpt: from “Chapter 44: Of God and Ganja.”
Dirk was considerably shaken by the increasing frequency of attempts to end his life. In some ways, the fact that someone— and more than one someone—despised him enough to kill was more disturbing than the explosions. What had he done to engender such hate? All his life Dirk had wanted to be loved, or liked—or at least ignored.
“It’s okay to visit, but I wouldn’t want to die there,” he confessed to Angelica over after-dinner cognac.
“Which is your favorite?”
“Philosophically, Baha’i and Quakers hands down, even the Jews and Christian Scientists aren’t so bad—any place that accepts you regardless of earthly affiliations is okay by me. But for a good time, I’d recommend the Garden of Paradise every time.”
“Get out of the car. Let me see your license and registration,” the man in blue demanded.
Dirk hesitated; his registration was in the glove compartment. If he got out of the car, he wouldn’t be able to hand it to the cop, because it would be in the car.
The officer sniffed. “Have you been drinking?”
Dirk attempted an ingratiating smile, attempting to convey admiration for those who “protect and serve.”
“Out,” the cop snapped, extending his hand for Dirk’s documents.
Dirk reached over and opened his glove compartment, reaching for his registration.
“Hands in the air,” the officer shouted, pulling out his pistol.
Before Dirk could comply, the registration had grabbed his fingers and rapidly sucked him into the snug darkness of the glove compartment.
Dirk had never been so glad to get to Heaven in his life.
Find E.E. King online: Web site: http://www.elizabetheveking.com; Twitter: @ElizabethEvKing; Instagram: @elizabetheveking; Facebook: EE-King.
Rob Costello recommends:
Ellen Oh is a former adjunct college instructor and lawyer with an insatiable curiosity for ancient Asian history. She is an award-winning author of the middle-grade novels Finding Junie Kim, The Dragon Egg Princess, and The Spirit Hunters trilogy (Spirit Hunters, Island of Monsters, and Something Wicked), and the YA-fantasy trilogy The Prophecy Series. She is also the editor of the middle-grade anthology Flying Lessons and Other Stories, and the YA anthology A Thousand Beginnings and Endings. Ellen is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books (WNDB), a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing diversity in children’s literature. Originally from New York City, Ellen lives in Rockville, Maryland, with her husband, three children, two dogs, and has yet to satisfy her quest for a decent bagel.
Ellen’s newest spooky middle-grade novel, Haru, Zombie Dog Hero, is scheduled to be released on July 11, 2023.
Recommended Reading: Spirit Hunters, pages 106-107:
“What is all this?”
“I know,” Dayo said in hushed tones. “That’s a Ouija board and tarot cards. And look!” She lifted the cover to expose the rest of the table. “A crystal ball!”
“Cool!” Harper moved forward to touch the shining globe when Dayo shook her head quickly and covered it again.
“We shouldn’t touch any of these things,” Dayo said. “My mom says things like that bring bad spirits to you, so it’s best not to ever touch them.”
Nodding, Harper backed away. She had no intention of attracting any more bad things. She looked down and realized she was still holding the planchette thing. She dropped it on the table and jumped in horror when it began to spin all by itself. The atmosphere in the attic suddenly felt heavy and expectant.
“No, Harper! You put it on the Ouija board! You have to move it, quickly!”
Harper didn’t want to touch it, but she forced herself to grab the spinning thing and throw it on the other side of the table.
Dayo shuddered. “Let’s get out of here!”
Find out more about Ellen at https://www.ellenoh.com and Twitter: @ElloEllenOh.
Kate Maruyama recommends:
Lark Morgan Lu writes speculative fiction and lives with a collection of succulents and tea. Their work has appeared in Augur, Into Chaos, If There’s Anyone Left, Volume 3. Their body horror piece in Pyre Magazine is excerpted below. While they have a very low Internet profile, I get the feeling that this is a writer to watch. They are working on a new novella that sounds phenomenal.
Recommended Reading: “With a Gleam in Their Eye,” Pyre Magazine.
Harlow’s left eye grew swollen and tender to the touch over the next weeks. It observed the days pass acutely for the first time since it had arrived here, each day delineated by the slow transformation on its face. The skin at first grew purple and tender with blood, feeding the child. Later, the eyelid stretched into translucency.
Its left eye developed a leathery, dry texture like an eggshell. Through the thin skin of the eyelid it could see that the left eye—no longer its eye, if it was honest with itself—had a surface iridescent like a slick of oil or cracked obsidian in the sun. Sight from the eye had been replaced with a glimmering, prismatic snow. The vision resembled Kir@Kira’s hair under a wet or freshly-showered animation.
In the mornings, Kir@Kira doted on her pregnant partner. She had breakfasts in bed delivered with personal assistant bots, scheduled extra cleanings in the bathroom to account for regular puke sessions, ordered pregnancy-safe alternatives to its antidepressants. She treated it like a precious, beloved thing. Her next album would be dedicated to it, their child, their new life together forever.
You can follow Lark on Twitter @larkmorganlu or learn more about them at https://larkmorganlu.com/.