The Seers’ Table September 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.”
Linda D. Addison recommends:
Candace Nola is an award-winning Pittsburgh author, editor, and reviewer. You can find her short stories in The Baker’s Dozen, Just A Girl, and The American Cannibal anthologies as well as multiple short stories on Godless. Her novels include Breach, Beyond the Breach, Hank Flynn, Bishop, and Bishop: Man vs Monster. She is the publisher and editor of the 2022 Splatterpunk Award-Winning Anthology Uncomfortably Dark Presents: The Baker’s Dozen.
Nola is the creator of UncomfortablyDark.com, which focuses primarily on promoting indie authors in the horror industry with weekly book reviews, interviews, and special features. Uncomfortably Dark Horror stands behind its mission to “bring you the best in horror, one uncomfortably dark page at a time!”
She has three new books available in 2023:
– Bishop: Man vs Monster (Uncomfortably Dark Horror, 2023) which is the second installment to her hit novel, Bishop.
– Unmasked: A Dark Poetry Collection (Uncomfortably Dark Horror, 2023). This collection is Candace at her darkest moments, raw emotion behind the mask.
– Desperate Wishes (Thunderstorm Books/Tempest line, 2023) “In a world where women are nameless objects, Desperate Wishes are made.”
In the not-distant future, civilization as we know it is unrecognizable. People are property, and names are stripped away, replaced by obligation. Mackenna is treated as less than a person, as lesser than a beast. In her pain and rage, she opens herself to a voice that promises the fires of change.
Recommended Reading: Desperate Wishes released July 2023.
The figure in the rock pulsed brighter as it held her hostage to her shame, stripping away her defenses as it showed her naked, beaten, and bloodied. The memories slammed into her until she collapsed to her knees. A mournful wail blasted from her, full of pain and sorrow, followed by another, before a roar of anger and fury poured from her throat as the pulsing slowed inside the rock and retreated from her mind.
Hate and rage filled her, and bile burned in the back of her throat as images rose in her mind’s eye, unbidden and unwanted, much like the monsters that held her. Pain gripped her heart and set her shattered soul on fire. She burned red, seethed with it, flames burst in her veins as she felt the full weight of her wrath. Enough was enough.
She grew cold inside as she made a choice, cold and hard like a diamond had suddenly formed where heart should be. She would not endure this life any longer. She would escape or die trying. Vengeance and freedom would be hers, either through her death or theirs.
“Say it! Say the words!” It commanded.
“I wish it so. I wish you to kill them all,” Mackenna said, an icy stare fixed upon her face, no longer seeing the figure in the black granite, fixated only on the monsters in her mind.
You can find Nola on Twitter: @candace_nola, Instagram: cnola.author, Tik Tok, and Facebook as well as her Web site, UncomfortablyDark.com. Make sure to sign up for her biweekly to stay up to date on the latest news!
Tish Jackson recommends:
Welcome to the world of Alyanna Poe, where zombies and murder are commonplace. She started reading horror at 12 and published her first novel at 18. Having published five novels thus far, this is just the beginning for this young writer.
Alyanna comes by her love of horror by the familial; she is an actual descendant of the famous writer Edgar Allan Poe. First cousins six times removed, Ms. Poe does draw inspiration from his work, but confirms their writing styles are nothing alike. Even so, knowing of her famous ancestor did not immediately encourage her to write horror. However, finding a copy of Stephen King’s The Stand in a thrift store bin awakened a thirst for the dark. She was so inspired she began drafting the bare bones of her first novel Eaten. The book is primarily a zombie tale that explores what happens if the zombies are not fully dead. As one famous author once asked, do the dead love?
Ms. Poe published the sequel Void the next year before moving on to giving us two fictional collections. Cradles The Brain went deep into the gory parts of the author’s mind with stories that carry a similar theme to her next work Rejects. This is a collection of stories that every writer has: rejections. Alyanna Poe took what could be a source of pain and turned it into a triumph. Both collections carry the theme of outcasts and rejection incorporated into her splatterpunk style.
Her newest project is scheduled to be published this year on Halloween, and she touts it as the nastiest book she has ever written. Mukbang takes the concept of eating to a murderously disgusting new level and it should be a thrill to devour.
Recommended Reading: short story “Brooding Muses” from her Rejects collection (2022).
In the silence, her whisper was heard like thunder. “Murderer.”
Blood ran into Art’s eyes. He wiped it away with the back of his hand. She was just as beautiful as she was the day she died.
“You ready for church, hon?” she had asked, the white sundress flowing around her and their soon to be child, still coddled inside her womb. Her blue eyes had sparkled when she asked, a faint smile on her lips.
The knife had glinted in the light from the open window, startling her.
“What are you doing, Arthur?”
He had snatched her by the arm.
The woman held a hand over her protruding belly, pointing the other at Art. She bared her teeth as she exclaimed the truth. “Murderer!”
Art’s heart sunk as the weight of his crimes fell on him, along with the hundreds of spirits. They had their way with his body, ripping and digging into his flesh with hands and teeth of the whitest bone. He writhed in agony under their weight, gasping for air as his head surfaced in the torrent of sloshing water and bone.
You can follow Alyanna Poe on her Web site: http://www.authoralyannapoe.com; Instagram: @authoralyannapoe; Twitter: @alyannapoe; her work is available on all online platforms.
Nicole D. Sconiers recommends:
Erin E. Adams is a first-generation Haitian-American writer and theatre artist. She received her BA with honors in literary arts from Brown University, her MFA in acting from The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program, and her MFA in dramatic writing from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
An award-winning playwright and actor, Adams has called New York City home for the last decade.
Erin knows about the horror of Black girls who go missing with little media attention. She captures that feeling of dread and rage in her debut novel, Jackal (Bantam, 2022), a gripping supernatural thriller about a Black woman’s reluctant return to her hometown, her search for a missing girl, and the evil she encounters in the woods.
Recommended reading: Jackal
“Being a Black girl is inhabiting a cruel riddle: Your beauty is denied but replicated. Your sexuality is controlled but desired. You take up too much space, but if you are too small, you are ripped apart. Despite the wash of it, that’s one thing you can always count on whiteness to do: destroy a threat.”
Learn more about Erin on her Web site, and follow her on Twitter: @IAmEEAdams and Instagram:@iamEEAdams.
Kate Maruyama recommends:
Sunny Moraine’s fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Nightmare, and Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, among other places. They are also responsible for the novels Line and Orbit (cowritten with Lisa Soem) and the Casting the Bones trilogy, as well as A Brief History of the Future: Collected Essays. In addition to authoring, Sunny is a doctoral candidate in sociology and a sometimes college instructor; that last may or may not have been a good move on the part of their department. They unfortunately live just outside Washington DC in a creepy house with two cats and a very long-suffering husband.
Recommended Reading: Crowflight (Casting the Bones, Book One).
As Turn struggles to adapt to life among the people she once feared, terrible truths begin to emerge. There is a dark conspiracy behind her exile—a rising power that threatens to destroy everything the crows stand for and even to upset the balance between life itself …
Turn looked at it (the rune) for a long time, her brow furrowed.
At last she spread her hands and moved them rapidly across the stone floor. She turned onto her side and rolled into the circles, painting her torso and arms and legs with congealing blood. Erasing the curving lines. Transferring them onto herself where they would have little power.
But her skin could also keep secrets.
She lay on her back and let the moon touch her forehead like a mother’s kiss.
At last she gathered up the bones moved away from the moonlight, and sat against one of the cavern walls. The blood had come from two white doves, plucked, their bodies crumpled and tossed aside separate from the feathers. Now she picked one of the bare bodies up and tore into its breast with her teeth. She chewed the flesh thoughtfully.
Sunny can be found at sunnymoraine.com, or you can follow them on Twitter: @dynamicsymmetry; Instagram: @sunnymoraine
Tawana Watson recommends:
Ms. Tonia Ransom is an award-winning World Fantasy creator and executive producer of an Ignyte Best Fiction Podcast, that features creepy tales written by Black writers. Ms. Ransom has been writing horror thrillers since she was in the second grade; her first story was based on the HALLOWEEN movie franchise character, Michael Myers. Ms. Ransom currently lives in Austin, TX.
Risen is her debut book where Ms. Ransom leads the readers on an imaginative journey into the land of the dead that’s horrifying and funny. Another horror thriller by Ms. Ransom, Afflicted, is best described as LOVECRAFT COUNTRY meets TRUE BLOOD. According to Fancy A Draw, a listener reviewer, Afflicted, is gripping, and unapologetically brutal and nightmarishly powerful.
Afflicted — A horror thriller audio drama
To follow Tonia Ransom: Site: www.toniaransom.com (BlueSky / IG @missdefying) (@missdefying) / X (twitter.com))