Congratulations to S.P. Miskowski. Astoria is on the preliminary ballot for the Bram Stoker® Award for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction.
In the aftermath of a shattering tragedy, Ethel Sanders flees her hometown of Skillute in search of a safe place where she can recuperate. She has discarded friends and family in a desperate bid for a new life, yet something is not right in the hideaway she's chosen. Strange images of the past pursue her, even in her dreams. Are they harbingers of the future, reminders of recent events, or her own, personal demons come to stake their final claim?
"Miskowski further enriches the all-too-real horror movie world of KNOCK, KNOCK with ASTORIA, a novella that is part Hitchcock, part David Lynch, and all Miskowski's distinctive, thoughtfully crafted, slow-burn literary terror." —Molly Tanzer, author of A PRETTY MOUTH
"S.P. Miskowski has been chronicling the mundane horrors of women’s lives – marriage, motherhood, family, and domesticity – through the lens of the supernatural since the publication of her Shirley Jackson Award nominated novel KNOCK KNOCK. Continuing with her related SKILLUTE CYCLE of novellas, Miskowski is unafraid to plumb the darkest impulses of the female psyche, and her gift for vivid characterization and naturalistic detail suffuses her fiction with a sense of frightening and devastating reality. In ASTORIA, a white-knuckle terror trip across the landscape of the Pacific Northwest, the darkness closing in on one woman’s desperate bid to escape the monster she birthed and the life she loathes becomes as palpable as the pages we’re turning; we can bolt the door and turn on the light, but in the end, Miskowski warns us, no matter what we do, our demons are coming for us." —Lynda E. Rucker, BLACK STATIC columnist and author of The MOON WILL LOOK STRANGE
"ASTORIA by S.P. Miskowski is a perfect and unique blend of THE OMEN and Elizabeth Berg’s THE PULL OF THE MOON. Miskowski’s writing is dark, delicious, and wonderfully layered. As always, her effortless elegance shines through the chilling prose, highlighting the ugly feelings that we wish weren’t inside all of us. She manages to turn the reader inside out alongside her characters, revealing that we’re all monsters and merely human at gut level." —Mercedes M. Yardley, author of BEAUTIFUL SORROWS