Linda Addison Wins HWA Lifetime Achievement Award

Sycorax’s Daughters Co-Editor Wins Horror Writers of America Lifetime
Achievement Award

San Francisco – Co-Editor of Sycorax’s Daughters, American poet and writer of horror, fantasy, and science fiction, Linda D. Addison, is the recipient of the Horror Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award for 2017. Addison will receive the award at StokerCon 2018 held March 1-4, 2018 in Providence, Rhode Island.

“I’m beyond excited and humbled by receiving an award I’d never considered being given,” says Addison.

Published by Cedar Grove PublishingSycorax’s Daughters is a horror anthology written completely by African American women.

Sycorax’s Daughters introduces us to a whole new legion of gothic writers. Their stories drip with history and blood leaving us with searing images and a chill emanating from shadows gathered in the corner. This anthology is historic in its recognition of women of color writers in a genre that usually doesn’t know what to do with us,” says Jewelle Gomez, author of The Gilda Stories.

Addison also has a piece in the upcoming Cosmic Underground to be released in February 2018. “I expect all kinds of interesting things coming in 2018, in addition to World Fantasy Con. For now, I’m excited about a poem/spell I created for Cosmic Underground (Cedar Grove Publishing) edited by editors Reynaldo Anderson and John Jennings, with a foreword by Greg Tate,” says Addison.  “The art for my piece was done by the magnificent Stacey Robinson. This book showcases illustrations and artworks covering areas of black cultural production situated within Afrofuturism, AstroBlackness, the EthnoGothic, Magical Realism, Sword and Soul and the AfroSurreal.”

About Linda Addison
Addison grew up in Philadelphia and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Carnegie-Mellon University. Addison is the first African-American winner of the Bram Stoker Award, which she has won four times. The first two awards were for her poetry collections Consumed, Reduced to Beautiful Grey Ashes (2001), and Being Full of Light, Insubstantial (2007). Her poetry and fiction collection How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend won the 2011 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection. She received a fourth Stoker for the collection The Four Elements, written with Marge Simon, Rain Graves, and Charlee Jacob.

Addison is a founding member of the CITH (Circles in the Hair) writing group; member of the Horror Writers Association and annually attends StokerCon and the Northeastern Writers’ Conference. She is also a member of SFWA and SEPA and has been on the honorable mention list for Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and Year’s Best Science Fiction. She has participated in panels with Harlan Ellison, Jack Ketchum, and L. A. Banks. She was “Poet Guest of Honor” at The World Horror Convention in 2005. Her writing has been featured in Essence Magazine, and she is currently poetry editor for Space and Time Magazine. Addison has also participated in Ellen Datlow’s Fantastic Fiction Reading Series at KGB Bar in NYC.

She will be the toastmaster for 2018 World Fantasy Con in November in Baltimore, MD. Linda Addison can be found at her website:

For more information about the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Bram Stoker Awards, please visit the StokerCon 2018® webpage at

Horror Writers of America (HWA), the premier organization of writers and publishers of horror and dark fantasy and home of the iconic Bram Stoker Awards®, presents the Lifetime Achievement Award annually to individuals whose work has substantially influenced the horror and dark fantasy genres. While the award is often presented to a writer, it may also be given to an individual for influential accomplishments in other creative fields. HWA employs a hard-working committee for the selection process and recipients are chosen through stringent criteria.

Cedar Grove Publishing provides books that celebrate diversity and being true to you while overcoming adversity to achieve success. We provide an outlet for disparate and diverse voices in various genres and niches to express themselves through words, pictures and technology. Titles from Cedar Grove Publishing are distributed by Small Press United (SPU), a division of Independent Publishers Group.


Black Women in Horror: Sycorax’s Daughters

Sycorax’s Daughters gives Black Women in Horror a Voice

By Sumiko Saulson, editor of Black Magic Women
Editor’s Note: On February 5, 2018 the Horror Writer’s Association announced that all three of the works by black women mentioned in this article have made it to the final Stoker’s ballot. The article was written when the ballot was still preliminary and reflects this.

Currently on the preliminary ballot for the Horror Writer Association’s Bram Stoker Award in the short story category, Sycorax’s Daughters is a short story anthology showcasing works by women of African heritage. Originally published in February 21, 2017, the book is experiencing a new wave of interest due to its position on the HWA preliminary ballot, and because of Black Magic Women, as the books share a common theme and about a third of the same authors. Its editors are Linda Addison – the first and only black Stoker Award winner; Kinitra Brooks – an academic who researches black women who write horror – and Susana M. Morris.

Hopefully, this year will mark the end of Linda’s reign as the only black author to have won a Stoker. Her co-editor Kinitra Brooks is also on the preliminary list for non-fiction for her book Searching for Sycorax: Black Women’s Hauntings of Contemporary Horror. Although Octavia Butler is gone, she is also on the preliminary ballot in the graphic novel category, for Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation which lists her as author alongside Damian Duffey.

However, the preliminary list is not the same thing as the final list, and these people are not even considered nominees. As far as I know, Tananarive Due is the only other black person to have made it to the final ballot. If more than one black author makes it to the final ballot this year that, and of itself will be a very big deal. And you have to know that everyone associated with Black Magic Women is paying close attention, since we are now following in their footsteps.

As Walidah Imarisha: explains in the foreword, Sycorax was the mother of Caliban in Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  She was banished before Caliban was born, but her son tells Prospero that he is the rightful owner of the island because it once belonged to his mother. So the title, Sycorax’s Daughters, refers to how like Sycorax, black women have been historically silenced. Our stories are told by our sons – black men – or through the eyes of the oppressor, like Prospero. Stories of the terrifying Sycorax are used by Prospero to keep his white daughter, Ariel, in line.

Anthropologists and those who study human DNA have confirmed that Eve, the first human woman, was an African. Black folks existed in Africa 100,000 years before humans were found anywhere else in the world. But like Sycorax, the black woman has been silent. She has frightening legend to terrify little white girls into chastity and obedience to men, or a mother the enslaved black man wistfully invokes when he tells the white man about the power he used to have when his mother ruled the world he is now enslaved in. But what of Sycorax’s daughters, the women in this anthology ask.

Picking up pen and putting it to paper, her black daughters give voice to their mother; finally allowing the long silenced African woman to tell her own story.

I first met Walidah Imarisha and Kinitra Brooks at the end of AfroBlackness II at Loyola Marymount College back in March 2015. I was down there on a book promotion tour with author Crystal Connor. Since I was foolish enough to travel without my business bank card, and my personal credit is poor, I was stuck on the bus. I was pretty frazzled by the time I arrived. Crystal and I whispered back and forth about how intimidated we were to be down there with Kinitra Brooks, PhD; I do believe Nisi Shawl was there as well.

Black Girl Nerds like me and Crystal Connor have our own relationship to black women in horror, which is a lot like musicians on the Chitlin Circuit or poor rappers who sell mixtapes out of the trunk of their car. These women were so educated, and felt outclassed and were terrified that we were going to say the wrong thing or use the wrong salad fork. They took us down to a bar that had barbecue, and we did our best to fit in.

I’d been corresponding with Kinitra Brooks for about a year at that point. She’d contacted me about my 2014 book 60 Black Women in Horror. She’d been using it as a reference for a book she was working on Searching for Sycorax: Black Women’s Hauntings of Contemporary Horror, and wondered if I could help her with the book. It soon became apparent that I was not really educated enough to help her do anything more than locate black women who write horror. As a reference guide, 60 Black Women in Horror which will be re-released February 15, 2018 as 100 Black Women in Horror – is more of a Who’s Who than anything else. So I ended up giving her a lot of people’s email addresses and we both added a bunch of women on Facebook.  She ended up working with a friend of mine, Linda Addison – who I was introduced to by a good friend and local author Rain Graves. I am not the least bit ashamed to admit that Linda is a lot more educated than I am. And she’s the only editor of Sycorax’s Daughters who doesn’t have a PhD after her name.

I am incredibly proud of the black female horror writing community, and the small role 60 Black Women in Horror played in what would become Sycorax’s Daughters, a sort of a matchmaking service introducing black women in horror to each other. In a very real way, bout Sycorax’ Daughters and Black Magic Women owe a tremendous debt to Sheree Renée Thomas, the author of one of the short story Seven Bells Turns the World Round Midnight. She was the editor of a series of anthologies showcasing horror by black authors called Dark Matters. A large segment of the women who ended up on the list 60 Black Women in Horror were authors on that project.

Another woman we owe a debt of gratitude to isn’t black at all. Hannah Neurotica, the woman behind Women in Horror Month, a February celebration of women in all aspects of the horror industry, not only writing, inspired the 2013 blog series that became 60 Black Women in Horror.

Sycorax’s Daughters contains 28 horror stories and 14 dark-themed works of poetry. The book gives voice to a diversity of black female horror writers. Some of the authors are relative newcomers. The authors include established, award-winning authors who are not best known for horror such as Patricia E. Canterbury, a number of authors from the Dark Matters series like Joy M. Copeland, several horror-branded authors like Kai Leakes, Nicole Givens Kurtz, Crystal Connor, Zin E. Rocklyn, L. Marie Wood, Sheree Renée Thomas and Lori Titus. There are authors of dark speculative fiction who cross genres into fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi like Eden Royce and Valjeanne Jeffers.

The other authors on the project are Tiffany Austin, Tracey Baptiste,  Regina N. Bradley, Amber Doe, Tish Jackson, Tenea D. Johnson,  R. J. Joseph, A. D. Koboah A. J. Locke, Carole McDonnell,  Dana T. McKnight , LH Moore, L. Penelope, , Kiini Ibura Salaam, Andrea Vocab Sanderson,  Nicole D. Sconiers, Cherene Sherrard, RaShell R. Smith-Spears, Tanesha Nicole Tyler, Deborah Elizabeth Whaley, , K. Ceres Wright, and Deana Zhollis

 About the Author: Sumiko Saulson is Sumiko Saulson is a horror, sci-fi and dark fantasy writer, winner of the StokerCon Scholarship from Hell and 2nd Place Carry the Light Sci-Fi Short Story Award. Born to African-American and Russian-Jewish parents, she is a native Californian and has spent most of her adult life in the Bay Area. She ranked 6th place in the Next Great Horror Writer Contest.

Black Horror History: Son of Ingagi

A Forgotten Catalysis: Son of Ingagi

by James Goodridge

In 1940, a B-grade science fiction/ horror movie of high mellow drama flavor titled Son of Ingagi (ten years earlier Ingagi a B-movie staring Bela Lugosi a jungle horror movie seems to have been a vague influence) ran in black inner city neighborhood theaters and in segregated movie houses in the United States. At the time a movie produced by SACK’s attractions to occupy matinee theater goers time, Son of Ingagi faded from cinema memory soon after. But the recent emergence over the last ten years of the Afro-futurism movement which broadly has connected all black speculative mediums as a whole has brought the movie back into light.

Connecting the legacy dots, Son of Ingagi has the late honor of being the first black horror/scifi movie with an all black cast no less. Ingagi was directed by Richard C. Khan from a screen play by Spencer Williams who would go on–depending on your opinion–to later fame on the Amos n’ Andy television show. The cast : Zack Williams as N’Gina aka the monster (an actor of mystery in that no record or bio can be found of him), Laura Brown as Dr. Jackson, Alfred Grant as Rober Lindsay, and Daisy Bufford as Eleanor Lindsay. Spencer Williams does double as Detective Nelson. A break from the 1940’s mellow dramatic music soundtrack is provided by the Toppers.

Pete Hampton and Laura Bowman.

Having returned from Africa, Dr. Jackson has come home with secrets: a missing link creature she commands with the strike of a mallet on a gong named N’Gina and two sacks of gold. Tirelessly working on a mysterious chemical that will be a boon to mankind (we never get to know what the boon is) unfortunately, Dr. Jackson doesn’t get a chance to share her life’s work due to N’Gina’s developing a taste for blood mixed with the mysterious chemical, he murders the stern doctor in her basement lab which starts mayhem in the house. You really have to love Khan’s editing use of a bottle of ink signifying the spilling of blood  I won’t spoil it for the reader of this who may want to search for the movie online, so I’ll only go on to write that mellow dramatic sub plots involving lost love, an inheritance, and a visit from Dr. Jackson’s no good brother add to the suspense.

What I found just as interesting was the back story behind Miss Laura Bowman (Dr.Jackson) seems she had a  successful career as a performer in vaudeville and the chitin’ circuit (black vaudeville) with her common law husband Mr. Pete Hampton around the turn of the 20th century. Son of Ingagi wasn’t a great movie, but I (being a B-grade horror/scifi grind house fan) give it the Ed Wood award for passion and effort. Like W.E.B Du Bois’s science fiction short story The Comet (1925), Son of Ingagi is an important part of the black speculative time line.

Watch the movie now!


jamesgoodridge headshotBorn and raised in the Bronx , New York James is new to writing speculative fiction. After ten years as an artist representative and paralegal James decided in 2013 to make a better commitment to writing. Currently writing a series of short twilight zone inspired stories from the world of art, (The Artwork) and a diesel/punkfunk saga (Madison Cavendish/Seneca Sue Mystic Detectives) with the goal of producing compelling stories.

Book Review: Ramses the Damned 2, Rice

Anne Rice’s Long Awaited Ramses the Damned 2 Delivers

By Sumiko Saulson

I was only 21 years old when Anne Rice released The Mummy: Ramses the Damned back in 1989. Like a lot of other enthusiastic fans of the book, I for years awaited the day when the author would keep her end-of-the-book promise that it would not be the end of Ramses’ literary world. 28 years later, the promise was finally fulfilled, with the November 21, 2017 release of Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra.

It was worth the wait.

The second Ramses the Damned installment was written with her son Christopher Rice. As a fan of both authors, there was an added element of guessing when Anne was writing an when Christopher was writing throughout the course of the book. Anne tends to use flowery, romantic and descriptive language evocative of the gothic horror genre and Victorian era literature, whereas Christopher veers more towards action, having a background in thrillers, and uses the more concise language of suspense. They did a wonderful job of blending their voices, making it difficult to tell.

The Passion of Cleopatra is character-driven. Colorful, compelling characters like Ramses the Damned, his love interest Julie Stratford, and his angry old flame, Queen Cleopatra make a comeback from the first book, along with increased roles for minor characters from the first book as well as new characters. Like the first book, it is rife with dark skinned, dark haired, supernaturally blue eyed Egyptians. If anything, there are more of these, in the form of attendants to Queen Cleopatra and the mysterious Saqnos.

Sibyl Parker, an American romance writer sets her popular adventures in Egypt is beginning to experience disturbing visions. She has dreamed of Egypt all of her life; dreams where she is Cleopatra. But recently, there has been a new, ominous tone to these visions. She occupies the life of another in these hallucinations. At first, they seem like dreams, fantasies. Then, she recognizes someone she knows to be a real person these visions: a certain Mr. Reginald Ramsey. He’s been in the news due to his proximity to the discovery of a mysterious mummy, and several strange occurrences soon afterward.

Meanwhile, an angry Cleopatra, having been awakened by Ramses in the early book, is on her own journey. Unlike most of the other immortal and long-lived Egyptians who companions who drank the elixir while living, she had the draught poured on her flesh by an impulsive and guilt-ridden Ramses. Her behavior, as a result, has a certain wild or primal element to it, which seems to be connected to the period of time she was dead.

What, then, is Sibyl’s connection to her? If both are living at once, then it doesn’t seem like it could be reincarnation. And if it is reincarnation and Sibyl possesses Cleopatra’s soul, then what is the soul, spirit, or impulse that animates the hot-headed Cleopatra?

A certain group of Egyptians, Jeneva, Callum, and Matthias among them have been given a weakened version of the drought that only keeps them alive for 200 years. Saqnos, their maker, told them not to awaken them unless something occurred to make them believe that the original elixir existed. He was too depressed by watching his spawn die in what seemed to him, the briefest of times.

All of these interesting characters are hot on the trail of Ramses the Damned, who himself, is engaged to Julie Rutherford. She, newly immortal, along with her uncle, the dashing and reticent Elliot, Earl of Rutherford, are gallivanting around the globe while Elliot avoids seeing his wife and his son, Julie’s former fiancé, in person. Elliot seems primarily interested in male romantic and sexual companionship, which may be part of why he has no desire to see his wife. He’s also afraid she’ll notice the changes immortality brings.

This is the set-up for a globe-trotting adventure that switches back and forth between its interesting primary characters before heading towards its powerful conclusion. Combining the suspense timing of Christopher Rice with the eloquent language of Anne Rice, it is fast-paced, lush, and engaging. If you enjoyed The Mummy or Tale of the Body Thief, I recommend you pick up this book.

 About the Author: Sumiko Saulson is Sumiko Saulson is a horror, sci-fi and dark fantasy writer, winner of the StokerCon Scholarship from Hell and 2nd Place Carry the Light Sci-Fi Short Story Award. Born to African-American and Russian-Jewish parents, she is a native Californian and has spent most of her adult life in the Bay Area. She ranked 6th place in the Next Great Horror Writer Contest.

From the Vault: The Sounds of Horror in Black American Music

From the Vault – So Good, it bears Repeating
The Sounds of Horror in Black American Music

by J. Malcolm Stewart

Somewhere between screams of torment that came from the Door of No Return and the groaning of the slave ship, between the seller’s cries in the flesh markets and the scorching fields of the American South, came the Blues…

Born of brutality and brutal honesty, the sounds of work gang chants became entwined the twist and the twang of the guitar string, mixing the call and response structure of the West African storytellers with the rhyming couplets of the French and the English languages and coupling the cosmology of the ancient Oriesha  with the Apocalypse of Daniel Belteshazzer and John the Revelator.

Chains were broken but oppression was not… So the Blues traveled from plantation to plantation, from work camp to work camp,  from roadhouse to roadhouse, until the thumping of wood and string and voice created a roaring tide that rivaled the sea itself.

And Hell came with it…

Charley Patton may have been the first. A man stuck between two worlds, denied and hidden by his celebrated white musician father, forced by Jim Crow to hit the dirt roads between sharecropping plantations to ply his special brand of full contact entertainment.

He was the first show stopping Bluesman in the years after Reconstruction, screaming at the top his lungs for 35 years, giving words to the pain and injustice of a people who, like him, could not claim their rightful inheritance in a color struck world.

Once, when a sharecropping plantation owner asked one Patton’s listeners about the massive appeal of the Blues player’s distinctive howling, the man simply said to the landowner, “Boss, you’ve never been a nigger on a Saturday night…” A statement as starkly insightful to the black experience as it is disturbing.

Around the firelights of those cotton field work camps, the next generation was already watching and learning. Robert Johnson was also an exile of sorts, kicked out by his mother’s second husband at 14 to wander the crossroads of life on his own. In his way, Johnson was living the Blues, following the masters of the form, making great and glorious plans of his own.

In his self-told story, he made up his mind one day to go the crossroads and invoke something that could help him be the best Bluesman of all time.

Whether it was the Leguba of ancient times or the Devil of Christian vintage has always been up for debate. In fact, the story itself may have been the one of the first, best examples negative image marketing.Whatever the source, Johnson became the next sensation, with the Library of Congress trailing him in down in 1936, (before the Hellhounds apparently), as they recorded perhaps the most mysterious 41 songs in American history. His strange death in 1938 is now the stuff of legend and speculation, a story that mixes fact and fiction together in generous amounts.

Johnson also became an inspiration to another generation as a fellow Mississippian took Bad Bob’s sound with his electric guitar to the South Side of Chicago in 1946. Muddy Waters took the folk traditions of the black South along with him, drawing inspiration from its wellspring of enchantments, spirits and ancient artifacts. In his songcraft, the Wise-Women of the Mystery Traditions became the “gypsies” of the modern South, casting spells, granting favors, creating Mojo-hands of luck for worthy adherents.

In his 1957 song “Evil,” Waters imagines himself as a past practitioner of sorcery, walking through the jungles of Africa using his will to tame and rebuke every man or beast he meets. About the same time Waters sang of terrorizing the Motherland, the airways were alive with “Screaming” Jay Hawkins’ novelty hit “I Put a Spell on You.” In the song, the theatrical Hawkins (he, at times, would rise from a coffin during his stage show) describes with loving menace the way he intends to keep the object of his affection by using strange powers of his mind.

Though the result was indeed very scary, it also was masterfully crafted and given Hawkins’ powerful vocals, it remains a favorite of Halloween celebrations to this day.

However, the next wave is always building and one of the musicians on the scene at Muddy Water’s nightclub became the Vanguard of its sonic emergence. James Allen Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix often “sat in on side” (in the musical parlance) at Muddy’s. Or at least, he did during the times he wasn’t being fired by Little Richard for stealing “The Originator’s” on-stage thunder. Muddy gave the talented Seattle vagabond several lengthy discourses about the strange majesty of the Blues. Hendrix took that advice and ran with it… All the way to London, England where he ended up re-writing the rules for popular music.

After becoming an international sensation, Hendrix wrote his ticket back to the States and settled down in NY’s Electric Ladyland studios to record his third album. Perhaps inspired by his lengthy conversations with the electric guitar pioneer, Hendrix decided to make a 15 minute deep blues jam the centerpiece of his upcoming 4 disc “concept album.”

The rock magician decided to borrow the “gypsy woman” trope from Waters, but instead of him “being born for good luck” like the hero of the Blues-player’s  “Hoochie Coochie Man,” the opening stanza of Hendrix’s creeping blues tells us, this time, the prophecy of the Wise-Woman brings death to a distraught mother as the “Voodoo Chile” is born.

Hendrix’s version of the Bluesman’s fantasy extends beyond the boundaries of the terrestrial as he travels in his spirit from this life to next, present both in the far reaches of outer space at the same time he sits watching from his lover’s picture frame. The screaming, crashing crescendo of the piece sends the impromptu audience, who stuffed themselves in the recording studio that Friday night in 1967, into a frenzy, cheering and clapping while Hendrix, Buddy Miles, Mitch Mitchell and Steve Winwood riff and roll until the tape runs out.

It may have been that enthusiastic response to Hendrix’s cosmic voodoo that inspired him to bookend his sprawling album with a thunderous coda. “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” is as short as its predecessor was long and as aggressive as the first song was ponderous. In it, the lyrics imagine Hendrix as a giant of Creation as he retells the ancient formation myth of the Canary Island chain.

“I stand up next to a mountain,” he sings. ” And I chop down with the ledge of my hand….” His guitar explodes and growls as he proclaims “If I don’t see you no more in this world, I’ll see you in the next one.. Don’t be late…”

Hendrix’s untimely death in 1970 ended the Age of Aquarius before it started, making him, along with Robert Johnson, a member of the now legendary 27 Club. In the decades after his death, the sound of black America went from the mind expanding psychedelic music of the 1960s to the angry boom and thud of Hip Hop and Rap during Reagan’s 1980s.

Those years brought political anger, racial confrontation and soaring disenfranchisement to the black urban communities of America. Many of the Nation of Millions, whose grandfathers and grandmothers heard Charley Patton howl  and scream, now had different horrors to consider. But even the mega-cities and sprawling ghettos of the North and South could not divorce themselves from the terrors of the past. The evil things of days past changed and morphed, emerging again into the light altered like Frankenstein’s Monster .

No greater example of this musical mutation between old and new is found than in the 1987 song “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” by the Houston based rap group, The Geto Boys. In the song, each member of the group, caught up in some form of street crime, describes being chased by a relentless evil, which in turn could be either supernatural or psychological in nature.

The final verse of the song, rapped by Bushwick Bill, sums up the fear and paranoia of the theme as he describes a Halloween weekend spent bag robbing and terrorizing the neighborhood. Suddenly, a terrifying figure of the night appears behind them, causing Bill and his companions to attack in self defense. The following violence ends up with Bill coming to realization that the whole incident had been a hallucination, and in reality, he had been pounding his hands to bloody shreds on the concrete by himself.

This new reality of crime, unjust policing and poverty changed the sounds of fear again by the 1990s. Tupac Shakur, between his prison terms and diss-raps, oft described being driven and pursued by demons in his music. Shakur’s great rhetorical rival, The Notorious B.I.G., reminded his fans that “You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Kills You,” before being shot dead himself in the streets of Los Angeles. NYC rap duo Mobb Deep entitled their third album “Hell on Earth,” as a reflection of the concrete inferno of their native Queensbridge neighborhood. Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA started and then rejected a rap school of expression some dubbed “Horrorcore.”

The turn of the calendar to the 21st Century brought with it even more terrors and madness. The Twin Towers fell and the Orwellian reality of the deep Security State emerged. The horrors of the day also took a more pleasing shape as artists began exploring the Faustian bargain of obtaining fame and wealth by all means, perhaps even at the cost of one’s eternal spirit.

Whether it be metaphor or magik, Bahamian pop sensation Rhianna explores this topic in depth on her 2016 video-album offering, “ANTI.” Where some see the alchemical triumph of a descendant of slaves becoming a trans-humanist superwoman, others see the mark of a Luciferian pact, literally mapping out for her viewers an occult game plan on how to sell one’s soul to the forces of the Abyss.

Maybe she met Robert Johnson on the way there…

Regardless, music has served as a mirror to the souls of Black Folk in this land far away for nearly four centuries. In it, good or ill, we see the concerns of the day and our fears for the future.  Whether we are mastered by these terrors or we rise above them depends on how we respond to what we see in that aforementioned image.

If we do not find they way to that higher path, the howl and scream of history may just be beginning…



jaymal_1423800549_46 - Edited.pngJ. Malcolm Stewart is an author, journalist and media professional who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. His short fiction has appeared in the Pulp Empire Series, Heroes of Mars, Twisted Tales, Temptation Magazine as well as on the Smoke and Mirrors podcast. His novel-length thriller The Eyes of the Stars can be found at in ebook and paperback. His short story collection The Last Words of Robert Johnson and Other Tales is also available now on along with his non-fiction collection of horror film essays, Look Back in Horror: A Personal History of Horror Film.

Press Release: The Ghost Notebooks by Ben Dolnick


Ben Dolnick’s forthcoming novel THE GHOST NOTEBOOKS is on sale from Pantheon today! At once wonderfully creepy and deeply moving, this book is a “compelling mix of love story, detective story, and ghost story” (Booklist) as a young couple, newly engaged, become live-in caretakers of a historic museum.

When Nick Beron and Hannah Rampe decide to move to the tiny upstate town of Hibernia, New York, they aren’t running away, exactly, but they need a change. Their careers have flatlined, the city is exhausting, and they’ve reached a relationship stalemate. Hannah takes a job as live-in director of the Wright Historic House, a museum dedicated to an obscure nineteenth century philosopher, and she and Nick move into the old, creaky house. But as summer turns to fall Hannah begins to have trouble sleeping, and she hears whispers in the night. One morning Nick wakes up to find Hannah gone. Now, in his frantic search for her he will discover the hidden legacy of Wright House: a man driven wild with grief, and a spirit aching for home.

Ben Dolnick’s work has appeared in GQ, The New York Times, and on NPR.


“For all its curiosity about things that go bump in the night, the most notable features in The Ghost Notebooks are its qualities of light. Ben Dolnick’s charm, lucidity, and insight will come as no surprise to his growing group of fans. Count me one of them.” —Garth Risk Hallberg, author of City on Fire

“In this compelling mix of love story, detective story, and ghost story, [Dolnick] takes a haunting look at what might follow life.”—Booklist

“Hannah loses her job and applies to be live-in caretaker of the Wright Historic House upstate. She and her fiancé Nick leave Astoria with dreams of a simpler, reinvigorated relationship. And then Hannah disappears. This Brooklyn author delivers an affecting and original take on love, loss and grief in assured writing that is both poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes in the same sentence.” —AM New York’s “Must-Read Books in 2018”

“Dolnick’s immersive novel, about how little people know about their loved ones, adds a supernatural element to that topic…. Nick’s convincing narration, a chronicle of blind spots and good intentions, is chief among the devices Dolnick deploys to give familiar motifs a contemporary sensibility in this ghost tale, love story, mystery, and bildungsroman.”—Publishers Weekly

Press Release: WiHM, Massive Blood Drive

From the Twisted Twins Productions Press Release:

It’s Women in Horror Month and that brings with it not only numerous celebrations of equality, but our MASSIVE Blood Drive! Yes, you can’t think horror without thinking blood so we took it upon ourselves to make the world aware of the very dire need for donors. Now in it’s 9th year, we decided to kick things up a notch by featuring 30 filmmaking teams from around the world and release a new Blood Services PSA for 30 days!

DISCLAIMER: This IS Horror, boys and grrls, so SOME of these do have VERY naughty content. Blood. Gore. EXTREME gore. Disturbing situations. Nudity. Sexual situations. Violence. Language.

If you are SENSITIVE to this kind of content, be a mature human being and just don’t watch. No need to spoil the fun for us fellow weirdos. We’re not hurting anyone. It just REALLY looks like we are 😉

Now, on with the show!!

 Presenting: “Be A Hero” by Vanessa Ionta Wright

Check it out here:


Vanessa Ionta Wright is a filmmaker based in Atlanta, GA. She is the co-owner of Above the Line Artistry ( as well as the co-founder and Festival Director of the Women in Horror Film Festival (  Vanessa collaborated with Samantha Kolesnik, Mark Simon (One Missed Call), David Irwin (House of 1000 Corpses) and Josh Oliver (Oculus) on Rainy Season, based on the story by Stephen King.  Vanessa has also directed the short film I Baked Him a Cake and a PSA for the WiHM9 Massive Blood Drive.  Vanessa graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Video Production & Film. She is a lifelong fan of cinema, most especially the horror genre. She enjoys punctuality, scary movies, a quick wit, sandwiches, the music of Michael Jackson, Halloween & Bacon Jam. She does not enjoy bugs, clowns, perpetual lateness, mean people, oppression, laziness, running more than 3 miles or curved walls.


I was really honored to be invited to create a PSA for the WiHM Massive Blood Drive.  This is a brilliant idea to blend the world of horror filmmaking with such an important cause.  I think it’s easy to take our blood for granted.  It is crucial to donate.  I hear people say all the time “I wish I could do something to help” and this is probably the most simple and effective means of helping others.  Giving your blood will save lives and I am so grateful to be a part of such an amazing cause.  The theme this year of Be a Hero is so appropriate, because when you give blood, when you save a life, you become a hero.

Full cast & crew can be found on IMDb at: Cast of Be a Hero:

Look for a NEW WiHM Massive Blood Drive PSA every day with the last one appearing on March 1st.

For more on Women In Horror Month check out the official site at: http://www.womeninhorrormonth. com/