Were giving away three paperback copies of Knock Knock by S.P. Miskowski. Add your information to the form below for a chance to win!
US and UK only. Prizes awarded by random drawing Aug 25, 2019. One entry per person.
Welcome Eddie Generous! His novella Plantation Pan is scheduled for release January 2020.
Eddie Generous is the author of several books, including Trouble at Camp Still Waters (novella, 2019), Great Big Teeth (novella, 2019), Radio Run (novel, 2018), and more. He is the founder/editor/publisher/artist behind Unnerving and Unnerving Magazine, and the host of the Unnerving Podcast. He lives on the Pacific Coast of Canada with his wife and their cat overlords. www.jiffypopandhorror.com
Plantation Pan January 2020
Omnium Gatherum is thrilled to welcome two new editors! We’re looking forward to a new slate of wonderful stories. Danielle will be announcing her slate for 2020 soon and Sean will be working with E.F. Schraeder on Ghastly Tales of Gaiety & Greed: Unauthorized & Haunted Cedar Point . Welcome!!!!
Sean and Danielle are also talented authors. Make sure to click on their photos and take a look at their books.
Omnium Gatherum is thrilled to welcome author E.F. Schraeder! E.F. will be working with editor Sean Patrick Traver. Ghastly Tales of Gaiety and Greed will be release in Jan 2020. Welcome aboard!
Ethicist, poet, and speculative fiction writer E.F. Schraeder studied applied ethics in graduate school and holds an interdisciplinary Ph.d. in Social Philosophy. The author of two poetry chapbooks, Schraeder’s fiction, non-fiction, and poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Dr. Schraeder serves as contributing editor at an animal
advocacy webcomic, and is online at efschraeder.com. Schraeder’s projects often explore moral luck, power, and vulnerability.
Ghastly Tales of Gaiety and Greed Jan 2020
Old Tom’s student is advancing fast, and her curiosity is outgrowing the secret garden in the LA suburbs that they call home. With increasing frequency they take to the streets, seeking out local ghosts and other small creatures and learning what they can. But when the rat population in the area begins to mysteriously dry up, cat and girl follow the clues back to a derelict bank building in the formerly-fashionable heart of the San Fernando Valley. Tom doesn’t believe in vampires—not after a lifetime of practicing magic and a century spent as a ghost—but if the rumors they’ve heard are true, could there possibly be a blood drinker hiding somewhere inside that abandoned building?
Omnium Gatherum is thrilled to welcome Alessandro Manzetti! He will be working with editor Lee Murray on The Keeper of Chernobyl to be released in 2019.
About the Author
Alessandro Manzetti (Rome, Italy) is a Bram Stoker Award-winning (and 7-time nominee) author and editor of horror fiction and dark poetry.
English publications include his novels Shanti - The Sadist Heaven (2019) and Naraka - The Ultimate Human Breeding (2018), the story collections The Garden of Delight (2017), the poetry collections War (2018, with Marge Simon), No Mercy (2017), Sacrificial Nights (2016, with Bruce Boston) Eden Underground (2015), Venus Intervention (2014, with Corrine de Winter), and the graphic novel Calcutta Horror (2019).
His stories and poems have appeared many times in Italian, USA, and UK magazines and anthologies.
He edited the anthologies The Beauty of Death (2016), The Beauty of Death Vol. 2 - Death by Water (2017, with Jodi Renee Lester) and Monsters of Any Kind (2018, with Daniele Bonfanti).
The Eighth of June
Do you remember where you were when you heard about the Doomsday Cloud? I remember where I was.
I was sleeping in my bed, and Paula had stolen most of the blankets. At 3:20 am my cell rang. I am not a reasonable man when awoken from a deep sleep, and I think I woke up swearing.
Nobody calls to chit chat or deliver good news at 3:20 am. If the phone rings then, it’s probably an emergency. It was Izabel, and she was hysterical.
At 4:11 am on August 10th, I walked through the door at Sky Harbor Observatory. The entire place was alive. There was a fearless excitement in the air, and to be a part of that was like nothing I’ve ever known.
The Doomsday Cloud had formed in the path of Earth’s solar orbit. We didn’t know where the cloud came from or what it was made of. All our instruments showed was that the cloud was made up of some nasty shit. A cosmic enemy had arrived, and we were about to kick its ass.
That was then.
“Daddy? What happens when the cloud comes?” Lani says.
“Nothing is going to happen, sweetie,” I say. “How many times do I have to tell you that? The Earth has an atmosphere for a reason.”
“The boys on the playground said that the cloud is going to make all the good people go to Heaven and make all the bad people go to… Heck,” she says, hissing the last word like it offends her. Such a good little girl.
“I didn’t realize the little boys at your school were scientists! So what university did they attend? Stout? Harvard? Yale?” I ask. I’m poking her little belly each time I name off a school. “Cambridge? Oxford? MIT? CIT? Princeton?”
“Stop it, Daddy!” she says, laughing hard.
I send her trotting happily away. Alone in my home office, I key my computer to life. The scientific community is active on the D-Cloud Forums. Since I last logged off the DCFs two hours ago, there have been no world saving breakthroughs.
I can hear Lani in the living room, speaking nonsense, pretending to read her favorite book to her princess bear. I have a lump in my throat that’s all too familiar. Since the Doomsday Cloud formed, the slightest gesture on Lani’s part can have me in tears.
I check my watch.
With each tick, we are nineteen miles closer to the cloud. One second closer to…
June 8th. That’s the day Earth will enter the cloud. Of course, that assumes three things:
1) The cloud stays where it is.
2) The cloud doesn’t grow or shrink.
3) Earth continues to orbit the sun as it has for billions of years.
I scroll through the feed on my monitor, check my watch, and rub my forehead. I always feel so helpless here. My home computer is generations behind the machine in my office. I don’t have access to the ocean of data generated every second by the steady stream of res-drones analyzing the cloud.
I gather piles of readouts and put them into my briefcase. Tomorrow morning I’ll go back to Sky Harbor, but I’m ready to go now.
“Hey,” Paula says from the doorway. “You should spend some time with us, huh? We aren’t going to see you for a week and a half when you go back to the lab.”
“Nine days,” I say.
“Well, you better not spend the whole night in here. You still have a family, and we have needs.” She lifts the bottom of her shirt, runs a finger across her stomach, and smiles at me.
Like always, Paula is right. I stop putting papers in the briefcase and sit back down in my office chair. She sits on my lap and looks at the printouts that haven’t been crammed into the briefcase yet.
“Hmm, interesting…” she says. I know she has no idea what she’s looking at. “Just real quick, what’s TRA?”
I tip the page so I can read it. “It’s some kind of radiation. It was first observed by Dr. Jermihl Teourg, and it became known as Teourg’s Radioactivity, or TRA. We don’t know much about it, and that’s exactly the problem.”
“I see,” she says, wiggling her butt on my lap. She reaches in and pulls out another page. “Security and safety memo? What is this?”
I take it from her and put it aside, but she’s looking at me now. She’ll worry if I don’t explain, so I tell her. “There are a small number of “cloud cults” who have attacked some other research facilities. Sky Harbor is in a very defensible location, and nobody can really sneak up on us. They just want us to be aware that other places have been hit. Honestly, babe, we’re safer there than here. That’s why I wish you and Lani would come with me.”
“I know,” Paula says, wiggling her butt again. “But Mom needs me. She hates it at the home, so if I don’t visit her, she gets depressed. Plus, we’d just be in your way when you’re trying to save the world.”
She lifts another page, and I can tell by the letterhead that it’s a res-drone spreadsheet.
“This talks about what research drones have been deployed in the last twenty-four hours. These columns show what type of res-drone it is, who manufactured it, launch site, instrumentation.”
“All these drones launched in one day?”
“More,” I say. “That’s one of six pages. Those are just the ones that launched from Britain, France, and Germany.”
She drops the page and goes to the doorway. In the living room, she sees that Lani has fallen asleep on the couch. She closes the door most of the way and comes back to me. Paula swivels me around in my big office chair so if Lani wakes up and peeks in, she won’t see anything. What happens next is beautiful and private.
It’s September 23rd.
In my room at Sky Harbor, I listen to the news feed while sitting in the massage chair. We take turns with it, and tomorrow it will be gone. My back aches constantly from hunching over keyboards and monitors, but the chair offers some relief.
The news feed tells of a prison that’s been discovered. The warden and the guards have abandoned the prisoners in their cells. After the power failed, many died of dehydration. Most starved. Three or four are alive, but they won’t live long.
The news goes on to talk about a church where so many people showed up for Sunday Mass that only a fraction of them could get in. A riot broke out, and thirty-some people were trampled to death. Another six were shot to death by church guards. I’m amazed that people could be so desperate for salvation they’d trample their neighbor to get it.
It’s so goddamn overwhelming, I can’t help but light a cigarette off the one I’ve just finished. I’ve only recently started smoking, but I don’t see the harm anymore. I’d kill to live long enough to die of cancer. I gulp a horrible swig of vodka straight from the bottle. Genocide, church riots, food riots, rape, cannibalism, torture. I think, if this is how we behave when the storms come, maybe it’s all for the best.
Christ, it would be so easy to start one of these cloud cults. As a researcher, I could probably be more convincing than most of the other charlatans. All I’d really need would be some technical jargon, some mysticism, and cosmic permission for everyone to take drugs. These cult leaders all have scores of followers they lead into the hills. Presumably to drink, party, and screw right up until the end. I think about that, and I think, Why not? Why go on?
It’s because of Lani and Paula. That’s why I’m doing this. That fucking cloud. It has a chink in its armor, I know it, and I want to help find it. I have to. I have to save the world for my girls. I’ll fight for them to the bitter end.
“Henry, you look like a fucking ghoul.” I didn’t hear Izabel come in. She could have knocked, the jerk.
“Thanks, Iz. And, please, come right in. No reason why I’d want any kind of privacy in my room.”
“Have you been sleeping?” she says.
“Has anyone?” I say. “We learned how to function on next-to-no sleep in grad school, didn’t we?”
“That was a long time ago. You should sleep when Paula gets here, at least. Otherwise they’ll think you’re turning into a mole-person or something.” She’s trying to joke with me, but neither of us has had a real laugh in weeks.
“Did you hear they attacked Goldboro?” I ask her, but I know she’s heard. “The whole place is just… gone.”
“I saw that on the feed. It’s a goddamn shame. We needed them most.” Izabel looks blankly at a spot on the floor.
“That’s why they got hit. Fucking cloud cults. They ought to kill their own damn selves and let the rest of us take our chances.” I light another cigarette.
“I wonder when they’ll come here,” Izabel says, only half speaking to me.
“Sooner or later. That’s why I wasn’t sure about bringing Paula and Lani here. I’ve gone back and forth on it so many times, but we should be together, you know? If the end is coming, I want them beside me when it gets here.”
I don’t tell Iz that Paula’s drinking heavily these days, but I think she knows. Everyone’s getting heavy into something. For some it’s booze, for some it’s religion. Some folks want to have sex right up until the end, others want to murder everything in sight. Humanity’s true faces.
“Stay positive, Henry. Sky Harbor has much better security than Goldboro.”
I don’t know if that’s true, but I nod. We had colleagues that worked at Goldboro. Hell, Frank Zumski was there. He was one of our crew back in grad school. We called him Frankie Nutso—partly because he ate pistachios nonstop, but mostly because he was an absolute wild man when there was a party happening. Neither of us says anything about him, but we both know the other is thinking about Frankie Nutso.
A group called the Heralds of Blessed Redemption were responsible. In a surprise rocket attack, they killed Goldboro’s power and opened gaping holes in the perimeter. Then truckloads of gunmen stormed the complex, slaughtering security and research personnel alike. Finally, they planted heavy explosives. No doubt, the Heralds thought they’d be gone before the military response arrived. They weren’t, and there was a standoff. I can only imagine what went through their minds: do we sit and get blown up by our own explosives, or do we get blown to pieces trying to break through the army’s blockade? It all went up in flames.
It’s October 18th.
Find out how the story ends! Plus there are many more stories.
Congratulations to Danielle Kaheaku on the release of In Extremis. In honor of release day, print copies of In Extremis are just $10.99! Today only.
Cole made a deal with Death, and it turns out he got the short end of the stick. Andbeing stuck in the small dusty town mucking stalls as he waits for instructions has a way of testing the Reaper’s three speeds: on, off, and don’t push your luck.
Catherine Blake is a head-strong woman in charge of her family’s failing farm and raising her two younger brothers. She’s beautiful, cynical, and not about to let the blood-thirsty mayor and his posse of black-eyed demons trying to make room for the incoming railroad get her off her ancestral land.
Cole just can’t keep his eyes off Catherine, and his heart—which he hasn’t felt beat in years—aches whenever he’s away from her warm skin. Cole knows it’s wrong to feel anything for her, or for the two brothers she cares for, but he loves how she makes him feel... almost human again. He knows he has a job to do, but those demons are inching in on their farm, and he thinks he might just have to break the rules and intervene—come hell or high water—to keep those kids safe.
Besides, what’s Death going to do? Send him to hell?
His soul’s already there.
Congratulations to Lynn Hortel on the release
of her debut novel Throwback.
Nine-year-old Jordyn used to hear her dead grandma talk. She used to go on flying dreams too, so high that she could see Earth from space. But when her father murders her mom and brother, child protective services place her in the care of Mr. Payne. She escapes six long years later—but not before she forgets how to fly.
Life takes a turn for the better. She gets a job at the Pink Pig Diner, saves her tips, and buys a house in the desert, a little fixer-upper. She even falls in love with the cook, a veteran, who understands the nightmares. Her crazy dad’s in prison, Mr. Payne is dead, and she survived it all. Besides the bad dreams, she’s never been happier.
That is, until a park ranger kidnaps her and holds her captive on his off-the-grid property. But that’s not the worst part. Because if the ranger murders her, Mr. Payne is waiting on the other side to keep her close forever…
Congratulations to Greg Chapman on the release of Netherkind! Ebooks and paperbacks are available on the Omnium Gatherum website and Amazon.
Thomas is no ordinary man. To live, he must devour human flesh. His habitual existence is one of killing and feeding and taking on the physical characteristics of his victims.
Thomas tries to fit in with the rest of humanity, but when his beautiful neighbor, Stephanie deceives him and turns out to be a monster just like him, he decides to discover his heritage and take revenge. Little does he know that there are many other "Fleshers" out there hiding in the shadows of the world and they are at war with each other.
Episode 3 is here!
Ghost and girl have found a place to stay, a secret haven in a forgotten garden where she can practice her newfound skills. A bomb shelter built decades ago makes for a cozy underground home; untended fruit and nut trees provide a bit of nourishment; and the natural elements are ready to share their primal secrets. But the realworld remains right outside the fence, and old Tom knows they’ll have to make some accommodation with it. How can his girl keep one foot in the realm of ordinary events and the other in the numinous world of witchcraft?