Limited edition chapbook of Joe Pulver's novelette "The Package from Desertshore," the first episode of his serial The Night Museum, is now available. Dive headfirst into the author's poetic prose as his iconic character Fable receives a strange package.
The chapbook is limited to 100 copies. (If you're going to Portland's 22nd Annual H. P. Lovecraft Film, you can choose to pick it up there.) The ongoing serial is available through our Patreon.
We've been working with the artist Nick Gucker, who did the cover for Ride the Star Wind, to personalize each of the Kickstarter and pre-order hardcover copies. We even have some footage of him doodlefying them. And you can watch him! It's hypnotizing. (You still have a little over a week to pre-order your own copy with a unique sketch.)
Watch the artist: https://www.facebook.com/nick.gucker.3/videos/10212718603753090/
Broken Eye Books is publishing the novella The Queen of No Tomorrows by Matt Maxwell. This is a crime horror tale set in Los Angeles of the recent past, one close enough to remember—sharing the world first introduced in the short story "Chunked" (from Tomorrow's Cthulhu). Magic and crime go hand in hand here, where neon and stucco is a façade to the darkness. History once-forgotten is thrust to the forefront as criminal organizations exploit elder powers and perhaps find themselves exploited in return.
Cait MacReady spends her days in the Special Collections library at UCLA, restoring old books and saving them from the ravages of age. By night she's either catching a show or working her real job, making copies of antique and forbidden texts. But don't call them forgeries. She only gives the customers exactly what they want.
When her old lover and current business partner shows up on behalf of some customers who want a book that isn't written yet, Cait becomes suspicious. When she discovers they're from the organization No Tomorrows, she becomes afraid. And when she finds out that their leader, the enigmatic woman-child known as the Queen, wants the book that only Cait has, she begins to wonder what's real and what she's manufactured on her own.
Part crime novel, part ashes-of-the-past romance, part weird horror, The Queen of No Tomorrows takes readers through dirty alleys and the pounding industrial fever dream of the Last Prayer club, where Cait tries to stay one step ahead of the Queen, who seems to know the future before it's even happened.
A future that Cait would give anything to cut off.
"The Queen of No Tomorrows is the kind of book that I want to read," says Matt. "I wrote it simply because of that. Instead of placing things in the arcane and rarified (now all-too-familiar and safe) settings of the old and mannered, I wanted to bring cosmic horror and the uncanny out to the sunshine and neon of Los Angeles. Instead of simply revering a period or place, I wanted to poke at things, to see where the horror might show up in the everyday, even in the simple act of creation itself.
"Besides, there just aren't enough stories that treat crime like magic, or vice versa."
The Queen of No Tomorrows will be released in the Fall/Winter of 2017.
Broken Eye Books is publishing the novella Pretty Marys All in a Row by Gwendolyn Kiste. You’ll find her on a lonely highway, hitchhiking at midnight. She calls herself Rhee, but everyone else knows her by another name: Resurrection Mary. And when she’s transported home each night to a decrepit mansion on a lane to nowhere, she’s not alone.
In the antique mirror, call her name three times, and Bloody Mary will appear. Outside, wandering through a garden of poisonous flowers is Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary, a nursery rhyme come to gruesome life. Downstairs is another jump-rope rhyme—Mary Mack, forever conscripted to build her own coffin. And brooding in the corner with her horse skull is the restless Mari Lwyd.
They are the Marys, the embodiment of urban legend and what goes bump in the night. Every evening, they gather around the table and share nightmares like fine wine, savoring the flavors of those they’ve terrified.
But other than these brief moments together, the Marys are alone, haunting a solitary gloom that knows them better than they know themselves. That’s because they don’t remember who they were before—or even if there was a before. And worst of all, they don’t know how to escape this fate.
That is, until a moment of rage inspires Rhee to leap from the highway—and into the mirror with Bloody Mary. Suddenly, the Marys are learning how to move between their worlds, all while realizing how much stronger they are together.
But just when freedom is within their reach, something in the gloom fights back—something that isn’t ready to let them go. Now with her sisters in danger of slipping into the darkness, Rhee must unravel the mystery of who the Marys were before they were every child’s nightmare. And she’ll have to do it before what’s in the shadows comes to claim her for its own.
"Folklore and fairy tales," Gwendolyn says, "have always been a huge inspiration for me, both for their whimsy and their remarkably dark underpinnings. As a horror writer, there’s nothing as familiar and unsettling as many of the original fairy tales most of us grew up reading.
"In that vein, Pretty Marys All in a Row started from a conversation I had with my husband, who is a fellow devotee of folklore. He and I went through all the Marys who appear in fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and other legends. It’s astounding when you list them all, how often the name appears in different incarnations (ditto for the Jacks, though he’ll have to wait for another story).
"That conversation led me to a series of questions that immediately unnerved me. What if these Marys know they’re storybook legends—and what if they want no part of it? If the choice to be in our folklore was never theirs to make, then what if we’re perpetuating their torment by continually retelling these tales? And if the Marys, like Resurrection Mary and Bloody Mary in particular, are the embodiment of nightmares, then what kind of powerful force controls the nightmares? That last question terrified me most of all—the notion of something else, something unknown to them, controlling the Marys—and from there, Pretty Marys All in a Row was born.
"Ultimately, the story became one about loss and identity and finding yourself and your home and family, even when all other choices have been ripped away from you. To have Pretty Marys join the incredible roster of releases at Broken Eye Books is beyond thrilling and humbling. This is a journey that’s been a wonderful one to take as a writer, and I hope that readers feel the same way."
Pretty Marys All in a Row will be released in the Fall/Winter of 2017.
Broken Eye Books is publishing The Obsecration by Matthew Bartlett as an ongoing serial. It’s Leeds. It's 2018. And the patrons in the Look Diner await their meals, drawn by something greater than hunger, something stronger than the need for shelter from the oppressive heat and humidity of summer. Waitresses hustle. Cooks sharpen knives and light burners, giving birth to blue blossoms of flame. Something is happening tonight. Something is stirring in the greased air sliced by whirling ceiling fans. You and I, we have a corner booth. A front row seat.
Abrecan Geist. In Leeds, Massachusetts, the name evokes dangerous magic, unspeakable blasphemies, black rites in the basement of Anne Gare’s notorious book shop. Outsized rumors surround him. He lived a full three hundred fifty-eight years, dying in 1982 and taking to the casket the cadaver of what appeared to be a sixty-year-old man, and he could speak to birds. He and his coven, the Hilltown Ten, were responsible for the notorious priest murders and disappearances of the early 1980s. He could bend reality to suit his will. And in his later years, his dreams took over, warping reality even as he slept.
Something is going to happen tonight, here, in the Look Diner in Leeds, Massachusetts. Something devilish. Something unnatural. All will play a part. You and I? Though we are but observers, we may not live through the night. But we will see something no one has ever seen before. It might be starting soon. Yes . . . the lights are flickering. The ceiling tiles are bulging like brown-stained bellies. The yolks of the eggs on my plate are filling with blood, and my water is boiling in my glass. Don’t look away. Don’t even blink.
What does all this have to do with our favorite occultist, leader of the Hilltown Ten, dreamer, diarist, monster? Sit tight. Soon all will be revealed.
“I’ve referred in passing to Abrecan Geist in several stories," says Matt. "A biographical snippet appears in 'The Witch-Cult in Western Massachusetts.' I envision him as a less annoying, more entertaining Aleister Crowley. I’ve always wanted to explore the character more fully, and in The Obsecration, I do just that—I hope you enjoy him as much as I do.”
The Obsecration will be exclusively offered on the Broken Eye Books Patreon with new chapters released regularly to patrons (every other month or so). The first installment will be released to patrons in September/October. Once the first season of The Obsecration is complete (in 2018), it will be collected and made available to everyone in print and ebook format.
Broken Eye Books is publishing The Dying Empire by Remy Nakamura as an ongoing serial of weird fiction short stories. This is a fungal dieselpunk setting centered in 19th-century Japan. It's a world in which the British fuel their rise to power on fungal biotech instead of on coal, steam, and steel.
"Steampunk makes it easy to glorify the British Empire and to gloss over its abuses," says Remy, "but in The Dying Empire, its fungal-fueled might brings its reliance on plunder and decay to the surface. (Her Majesty’s giant puffball airships and zombie soldiers need to feed, or they won’t last long. China fights back with gunpowder and petroleum-based weapons. And caught in between are the isolationist Japanese.)
"The Dying Empire will follow the adventures of an outcaste woman with forbidden fungal powers, a young secret agent caught between love and country, an aging Kabuki actor turned private investigator, and an intelligent idealistic octopus. They find one another and form an unusual alliance. The story starts close and personal but expands as this team of misfits unwinds the tangle of intrigue within Edo and discovers the secrets that fuel Britain’s technological supremacy.
"On a more personal level, this novella gives me the opportunity to explore the relationship of the living to the dying and the dead. This obsession started when I was younger, after I dressed the cold body of one relative in ritual clothing and carefully picked out the cremated bones of another to place into an ornate urn. Mushrooms and mold abound in this world, and they represent a bridge of sorts between life and death, feeding on decay as they do and clearing the way for new life. "
The Dying Empire will be exclusively offered on the Broken Eye Books Patreon with new chapters released regularly to patrons (every other month or so). The first installment will be released to patrons in August/September. Once the first season of The Dying Empire is complete (in 2018), it will be collected and made available to everyone in print and ebook format.
Miskatonic Musings has a fun chat with Desirina Boskovich on the latest episode of their podcast. They discuss her new book, Never Now Always, and alien abduction and CS Lewis and freelance writing and dogs v. cats. And why you'll love the book. Desirina reveals that she wrote the book to the "scared, freaked-out child in all of us."
Check it out!
Broken Eye Books is publishing The Night Museum by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. as an ongoing serial of weird fiction short stories and novelettes, interludes and documents. These tales will be given life over the coming months in various narrative styles and structures, reflecting the variety of things to be discovered and encountered in the Night Museum.
What is the Night Museum? It is the boundaryless repository of all things ever thought, experienced, made, imagined—all things dreamed of, discarded, found, won, lied over, both the faraway and nearby, that exist under the labyrinthine, black-shadowed skirts of Mother Night. The Night Museum is the home to the mysterious Boatman, to the writers Loftus and Bori, and to the curator Book, a steampunk projection who sometimes serves as an escort to those who come to the Night Museum without a field guide. And there are creatures aplenty: the Voy and Ogr the cricket, who serves as Mother Night’s eyes and ears, and the nightwolves and a spider that lives in Mortlook, the Janitor of Lunacy--(he and a character named Fable have a long night to share with you)—and a murderous ghost named Hild and many others. You'll see a murder mystery, a mysterious package arriving in the dead of night, and perhaps something from the bestiary and more, all told in the inimitable poetic prose of the author.
"Many times over the past few years," says Joe, "I have thought about returning to the Night Museum, but somehow, despite my mountains of notes, the opportunity never arose. I’ve dusted off my notes for Broken Eye Books and have begun exploring . . .
"The Night Museum and the character Book first appeared in my novel The Orphan Palace (2011), and it is with great pleasure I return to investigate the contents of its many corridors, salons, balconies, and landscapes."
The Night Museum will be the first title in our new line of serials, exclusively offered on the Broken Eye Books Patreon with new chapters released regularly to patrons (every other month or so). The first installment will be released to patrons in July/August. Once the first season of The Night Museum is complete (in 2018), it will be collected and made available to everyone in print and ebook format.
We very much love what we do here at Broken Eye Books, getting to bring so many weird and wonderful authors and artists to you. And we want to keep doing just that, publishing the odd, strange, and offbeat side of speculative fiction and blurring the boundaries of weird, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and more. We want to continue bringing you the kinds of stories that you love.
So we've launched a Patreon. This enables you to purchase an ongoing subscription to our books and ensures that we can continue to offer professional rates to our authors and artists, can continue to bring you stories with complex characters and grandiose ideas and diverse experiences. This will help us continue to grow and to build a weird and wonderful community.
We just launched it, but we've got lots in store. We lay a little of that out below, and we'll be announcing new titles as we move forward. You can help us bring our books to life while ensuring that you get your own copies every monthly.
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