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“Witches’ Dance is a symphony of genius and insanity, love and danger. It is a novel about the secrets we keep and the dream of acceptance. Intricate and beautifully complex.”
—Ramona Ausubel, author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty and Awayland
Hilda Greer's love affair with the violin began at the age of seven, when she attended a performance by the virtuoso Phillip Manns. She believed him with a child’s faith when he declared himself the reincarnation of Niccolò Paganini and then dashed from the stage, his mind in ruins.
Nearly a decade after his breakdown, Phillip Manns is a recluse, insulated against the temptations of music—until a former colleague begs him to teach at a nearby conservatory. It’s there that he meets Hilda Greer, who’s come to audition and plays the piece that started it all: Paganini’s Le Streghe, or Witches’ Dance.
Entranced by the character of Hilda’s playing and unable to resist the siren call of music, Phillip takes Hilda under his wing. The two start a witches’ dance of their own, a whirlwind that sweeps them toward the International Paganini Competition. When their curtain falls, one will bask in the music world’s acclaim—and the other’s world will be shattered completely.
SHIPS OCTOBER 22, 2019
“Pick up this book if you’ve never read anything about Haiti or if you’ve read everything about Haiti: Maps Are Lines We Draw forges a new path.”
—Jen Hirt, author of Under Glass: The Girl with a Thousand Christmas Trees
After a decade of dreaming, Allison Coffelt arrived in Haiti, ready—she thought—"to learn how much she didn’t know" about the Caribbean nation. Traveling the highways with Dr. Jean Gardy Marius, founder of the public health organization OSAPO, she embarked on a life-changing journey that would weave Haiti’s proud, tumultuous history and present reality into her life forever.
Maps Are Lines We Draw explores the culture and natural beauty of the island as well as its discomfiting realities: the threat well-intentioned aid organizations can present to the local economy; the privilege that determines who gets to travel between a "here" and a distant "there" which is foreign and other; and the challenge of doing short-term good without creating long-lasting harm.
Carmilla kicks Dracula’s ass. Alluring, macabre, oneiric—the novella unfolds in endlessly strange directions every time I revisit it. And at its core, a pair of indelible female characters, whose attraction to each other is so undeniable that the text itself seems unable to contain them. I can’t think of a better guide through this ethereal, infuriating book than Carmen Machado—whose Borgesian imagination unearths for us the possibilities buried in its pages.
—Jordan Hall, co-creator & writer of Carmilla: The Series
Isolated in a remote mansion in a central European forest, Laura longs for companionship – until a carriage accident brings another young woman into her life: the secretive and sometimes erratic Carmilla. As Carmilla’s actions become more puzzling and volatile, Laura develops bizarre symptoms, and as her health goes into decline, Laura and her father discover something monstrous.
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s compelling tale of a young woman’s seduction by a female vampire was a source of influence for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which it predates by over a quarter century. Carmilla was originally serialized from 1871 to 1872 and went on to inspire adaptations in film, opera, and beyond, including the cult classic web series by the same name.
“Jayinee Basu's The City of Folding Faces enfolds you like a simulation, a hallucinatory glossolalia of futurist poetry evoking a world where the uneasy confluence of technology, art and capitalism pulls reality into new and unfamiliar shapes. Like Basu's characters, we glimpse that endlessly morphing shape with both wonder and unease, as it swarms with reflections of our own absurdist present.”
— Indrapramit Das, author of The Devourers
At the mysterious research facility known only as the Casino, anyone can play Roulette— but it’s not a game for the faint of heart. Those who upload themselves into the system expand their consciousness far beyond natural human limits. But when they return to their bodies and the everyday world, they struggle to function, finding their memories, their speech, and even their dreams changed beyond recognition.
Like many who have played Roulette and fallen into a state of profound dimensional dysphoria, Mara chooses to undergo a cutting-edge body-modification surgery, which by changing the very structure of her face promises to give her a language for expressing the inexpressible. And so she joins a growing subculture: the Ruga, who thanks to the surgery can communicate with each other through infinite permutations of facial colorations and wrinkles. Among themselves, the Ruga can express with satisfying clarity the way they now experience the world—with the side effect that they are increasingly cut off from the rest of humanity.
But Mara still wants to communicate her experience to the non-Ruga people who matter most to her, especially her boyfriend, Arlo. As she feels him slipping away, she undertakes radical changes in her life in order to hold on. It is through her struggle to remain connected to him that she at last discovers a way to adapt, living with a divergent psyche in a linear world.
“Small presses exist to publish joyously unclassifiable books like One Bronze Knuckle, which begins by declaring balderdash a magic word—and then proceeds to prove it!”
—Andy Duncan, award-winning author of An Agent of Utopia
Jonathan Berger, known locally as The Bergermeister, is the head of Bergerton’s illustrious (and eponymous) Berger family. The Bergers have prospered in the town ever since the day when Jon’s great-great-grandfather refused to move from the very spot where his donkey cart had toppled over on the side of the road. Fortune smiles upon them all—until a catastrophic fire strikes on the night of the annual Feast of Sullivan, and they find themselves lost and scattered to the winds.
Runaway grandchildren, a pitchfork-armed local militia lost to the wars in the north, rival churches, a home for wayward boys, goat caves converted to a makeshift prison: their tortuous adventures are seemingly endless. But as they explore the wild world beyond the confines of their little town, circling ever nearer to the great island City, they also discover the connections that hold steadfast between them, no matter what the distance.
Narrated by a witch whose knack for storytelling far outstrips her questionable magical talent, this charming debut paints a world where anything might happen—and most of it does.
"Alternately provocative and tender, Andrew Katz's debut gives us the vampire we've been waiting for: a ghastly undead specimen with wisdom to share."
—Stephanie Feldman, author of The Angel of Lossesand winner of the Crawford Fantasy Award
In the house on the hill, there lives a vampire. But not of the sexy, mysterious, or sparkling kind. The vampire Gideon prefers to drink nearly expired blood from the local morgue while watching over the humans around him—humans he calls “children,” because when you’re as old as he is, everyone else does seem like a child. And so many of these children are prepared to throw their lives away over problems that, in Gideon’s view, appear rather trivial.
He sets about trying to fix them by means of an unofficial, do-it-yourself suicide hotline. He's sure that he's making a difference, maybe even righting the mistakes of his past. Then one day a troubled young girl calls, and his (undead) life gets turned upside down. Before he knows it, he’s got a surly, tech-addicted teenage roommate—and, at long last, he begins to grow up.
“Buy Tales of the Astonishing Black Spark for the superheroes; read on for the humor and the wisdom. This is a rich and furious debut novel.”
—Daniel A. Hoyt, author of This Book Is Not for You and Then We Saw the Flames
Trapped in a dead-end job in his Ohio hometown, watching the girl of his dreams move on to a glamorous new life in a big city—Donald McDougal’s aimlessness has held him back for a long time. When a lightning strike grants him superhuman powers, he jumps at his chance to finally be somebody. But the new abilities and the pursuit of superheroic fame come with a price tag, and it may not be one he can afford.
This wry debut is at once a fanboy’s homage to the history of superhero storytelling in America and a keen-eyed satire of those same stories, raising questions about race and privilege that are becoming impossible to ignore.
“Complex and strange, The Quelling is a marvel of a debut. With an eye toward the Victorian madhouse and an American Gothicism reminiscent of Shirley Jackson, Barrow paints the sisters Dorian and Addie with tenderness and keen psychological intuition. Their voices, like the animal documentaries that play constantly in the background of their lives, remark frankly on the brutality of their experiences and yet capture an unfailing sense of wonder.”
—Jen Julian, author of Earthly Delights and Other Apocalypses, winner of Press 53's 2018 Short Fiction Prize
Addie and Dorian have always been together: the two sisters have spent most of their lives in a locked ward after being diagnosed with a rare psychiatric condition and accused of murder as children. Now on the cusp of adulthood, Addie plans to start a new family to replace the one she lost, while Dorian struggles with her own violent tendencies to help raise her sister's child. But Dr. Lark, the supervisor of their ward, sees these patients as the key to his revolutionary Cure. As his "treatments" become increasingly bizarre, Addie and Dorian are increasingly unsafe, and a ward nurse may be their only lifeline.
Tatiana "Pluta" Spektor was a mostly happy, if awkward, young girl—until her sociologist father was disappeared during Argentina’s Dirty War. Sent a world away by her grieving mother to attend boarding school outside New York City, Pluta wrestles alone with the unresolved tragedy and at last runs away: to the streets of Brooklyn in 1980, where she figuratively—and literally—spreads her wings. Told with haunting fabulist imagery by debut novelist Anca L. Szilágyi, this searing tale of love, loss, estrangement, and coming of age is an unflinching exploration of the personal devastation wrought by political repression.
"This is the thing that troubles me, for I cannot forget Carcosa, where black stars hang in the heavens, where the shadows of men’s thoughts lengthen in the afternoon when the twin suns sink into the Lake of Hali; and my mind will bear forever the memory of the Pallid Mask."
Reader, have you ever wondered who struck fear into the heart of H. P. Lovecraft? It was Robert Chambers. Now, the terror visits you.
A wicked link in a terrifying lineage, the tales contained in The King in Yellow have inspired generations of American horror writing. Look toward unspeakable Hastur and tell yourself these are only tales. Behold the Yellow Sign and convince yourself that, after all—it’s only a book.
Welcome, dear reader, to Carcosa.
Edited with notes and introduction by John Edgar Browning. Features nineteen original illustrations by Mike Jackson.
SHIPS APRIL 10, 2018.