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horror – fairy tale/folklore

Horror stories that use fantasy or folklore elements. Return to general Horror

Note: these books are currently sorted by release date, with newest first.

Word Count: 33000

Summary: Clarity (noun) Four definitions to inspire writers around the world and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell: 1) Coherent and intelligible 2) Transparent or pure 3) Attaining certainty about something 4) Easy to see or hear Clarity features 300-word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum, from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

Clarity anthology
Clarity
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Genres:

Word Count: 11500

Summary: A dark fairy tale in a modern Welsh setting. The lives of a diver and a reclusive mermaid collide. Will one be the death of the other? When Erin comes to the aid of a sea creature caught in fishing nets, she's shocked to discover she's rescued an injured mermaid. Though it quickly disappears, Erin is determined to find the creature again. A twist of circumstance finds her trapped in the mermaid's lair, wrestling with her own conscience and the instinct to survive... This is a standalone novelette of about 11,500 words, and is the third installment in the Dark Folklore series.

Across Screaming Seas - Georgina Jeffrey
Across Screaming Seas
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Word Count: Information not available

Summary: There are creatures lurking in our world. Obscure creatures long relegated to myth and legend. They have been sighted by a lucky-or unlucky-few, some have even been photographed, but their existence remains unproven and unrecognized by the scientific community. These creatures, long thought gone, have somehow survived; creatures from our nightmares haunting the dark places. They swim in our lakes and bays, they soar the night skies, they hunt in the woods. Some are from our past, and some from other worlds, and others that have always been with us-watching us, fearing us, hunting us. These are the cryptids, and Systema Paradoxa tells their tales. *** Life and Death and Family Secrets... Sheridan Cascaden faces more than memories when she receives a call in the darkest hours summoning her home. Sent away five years prior to safeguard her from the evil that claimed her mother, Sheridan hasn't been back since. She returns to find her home in a disturbing state and her father straddling the Veil, with no explanation of what happened. Not only must she deal with her own demons, but she will have to delve into his if she is to unlock the mystery and save Papa's life. But where lies the line between truth and madness among the shifting shadows? And can Sheridan navigate it before it's too late... for both of them?

The Play of Light - Danielle Ackley-McPhail - Systema Paradoxa
The Play of Light
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Word Count: 11000

Summary: A dark fairy tale in a modern Polish setting. A grandmother cares for an ailing dragon... but her compassion puts her own grandchildren in danger. This is a standalone short story of about 11,000 words, and is the second installment in the Dark Folklore series.

Within Trembling Caverns - Georgina Jeffery - Dark Folklore
Within Trembling Caverns
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Word Count: 8700

Summary: A dark fairy tale in a modern Norwegian setting. Ida, a young girl grieving the loss of her mother, is wandering in the snowy wilderness when she meets the mysterious Maja - a huldra from myth and legend. Taking comfort in Maja's kind arms, Ida makes a desperate wish for her family to be whole again... and gets far more than she bargained for. With her own home turned against her, Ida must race across the wild valley to save her Pappa and confront the huldra before time runs out.

Beyond Thundering Waters - Georgina Jeffrey - Dark Folklore
Beyond Thundering Waters
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Word Count: Information not available

Summary: In this second instalment of the Damien the Devil series, we see Damien has found a new, more permanent home outside the foster system with Pat, Damien's Renfield and caseworker, and his twin brother Matt. He is also enjoying a budding romantic relationship with Brian, another boy from the foster home. But after the two of them are caught kissing, Damien is kicked out on the streets in the middle of the night-only to find himself in a very dangerous situation with a vampire. Brian, feeling guilty about the whole situation, goes looking for Damien the next evening, only to fall victim to the vampire's trap himself. Damien and Pat save Brian, but he's unable to remember what happened that night-until he starts to be plagued with nightmares. Meanwhile, Damien is too afraid to reveal to Brian that he is a vampeal: a half-vampire and half-human. Will they both be able to handle the truth of what each other is hiding?

Shattered Recollection - R.D. Noland - Damien the Devil
Shattered Recollection
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Word Count: Information not available

Summary: When Joan's husband dies, she is forced to move with her young son, Joey, from home to home. But at each home, an evil follows, forcing Joan and Joey to move again and again, hunted. They never know why they’re being hunted. All they can do is run away from the constant threat until, hopefully, it gives up the chase … or they find a savior who can either end it, or help them to fight it forever.

Widow - Rob Bliss
Widow
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Word Count: 36000

Summary: INK (NOUN) Five definitions to inspire writers around the world and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell: 1) A colored fluid used for writing 2) The action of signing a deal 3) A black liquid ejected by squid 4) Publicity in the written media 5) A slang word for tattoos Ink features 300-word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum, from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.

Ink Anthology
Ink
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Word Count: 120552

Summary: Like a spout pushing its way through soil extending deep mighty roots as it grows firm and tall, Michael like those around him has become renewed in the sun. The Wheel of Creation continues to turn through tragedy and triumph with secrets and mysteries revealed, truth discarding deceit to rot away into dust. Terror still lurks in shadow, hinting at battles yet to come and while the union of souls may reign down catastrophe upon all involved, there is a newly shared optimism that this town, rebirthed and revived again after decades can meet the oncoming storm together. Bonded in battle, humbled in heart new friendships have replaced old animosities as all the residents are finding their place in creation.Despite the odds, the couple continues their path toward blending, but if the sun sets on their hopes or the union is not supported by the Mother, disaster could befall not just Michael and Kurra but the entire Grove.Book four of The Place Of Things is Blood. The blood spilled and shared through trial and combat, forged in a family or spilled through injury, death, or pain and joy. Will the Great Mother approve of a blending of souls, or will the remains and splatter of not just Michael, but all those he holds dear be splashed in chunks upon the wedding alter.As this story concludes in the middle it continues on like the cycle of the seasons. Never ceasing always evolving. Until next time, Love from the Sacred Grove.

Blood - Daniel Fisher - The Place Of Things
The Place Of Things Book Four: Blood
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Word Count: 216321

Summary: Root by Daniel Fisher, the third book in the Place of Things series is the continuing story of Michael and his new, rather unique fiancée. From the Winter’s Solstice to the Vernal Equinox we find our lovers and their friends explore new and creative ways to adapt to life-altering events. Having relocated and now a resident in the sanctuary town of Sacred Grove, Michael is finding his place among the mythical, mystical, and mostly immortal residents who’ve hidden away from the outside world. Not only is he coming out of his own isolation, but they are also finding he is dragging them out of self-imposed exile as well. Sometimes against their instincts. As his and Kurra’s love deepens, new mysteries are added to the mysteries and his and their worlds will never be the same.As the union between two souls from two drastically different worlds draws closer, new mysteries, challenges, and threats crop up for Michael, the mortal, and all the immortals that get caught in his wake. Enchantments and wards may not be enough to hold back the onslaught of supernatural forces if the wedding gets bumpy. Many may yet perish if things go awry. May the Goddess help them all.Book four, the conclusion to this tale coming soon.

Root - Daniel Fisher - The Place Of Things
The Place Of Things Book Three: Root
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Word Count: 58161

Summary: So what's a young gay boy living in the eighty's from suburbs of Dayton, Ohio to do, when he comes out to his family, only to finds out his family has been keeping their own secrets. Jason Wynwood just turned 18 finding out he is in a long bloodline of witches. As Jason searches for love, he falls for a mysterious black haired gentleman named Damien. Jason is thrown into a dangerous world of magic with witches, vampires and werewolves, and a glittery nightlife sexual pleasures. He also discovers Young gay men have been turning up dead at rest stops all over surrounding areas. Police suspect that it's the work of a serial killer. But when a friend ends up dead it becomes personal. Can Jason find the killer before anyone else turns up dead?

Skeletons in the Closet - R.D. Noland - Tales of a Gay Witch
Skeletons in the Closet
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Word Count: 49549

Summary: He is known as "The Living Curse" and the progenitor of the species know as "vampire". He is the Darkness that even the shadows hide from and the plague that no man can cure. He is the prophecy of all that is to come and the sworn enemy of Huntress and angel alike. He is the beginning and has the will power and strength to survive to the very end... His name is Cain.

Cain - Delizhia Jenkins - Vampire Hunters Academy
Cain
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Word Count: 17651

Summary: Damien is a 14 year old orphan that has grown up  in foster homes all his life. He finds out that he is a "Vampeal" , a child born from a vampire and human. If that wasn't bad enough Damien is a teenager that is dealing with his feelings for other boys. Damien is put into a home that the foster parents are very religious and he ends up on the street. Patrick is Damien's caseworker and if fresh out of college is assigned to look after him but finds out that Damien is no longer at the foster home. So Patrick sets out to look for him, which turns out to be a very dangerous road for both of them.

Child Under the Stars - R.D. Noland - Damien the Devil
Child under the stairs
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Word Count: 20000

Summary: A story born in the hollers of Eastern Kentucky. Elizabeth Robinson. An Elizabeth Robinson has lived in the hills of Eastern Kentucky as long as people have built permanent settlements in the lush, green forests. While the mountains recover from the War of Northern Aggression, the simple folk seek the healings of the Robinson women. Three generations, working the ways from the old country, live in isolation. The youngest Elizabeth Robinson, a healer by happenstance, despises her role in the family. She longs for freedom, the wilderness of her youth, an escape from a dark secret. Alone in the forest, she stumbles upon the ghost of a Yankee soldier, Samuel Henry. Determined to help Samuel pass beyond the veil, Elizabeth brings him back to her mountain home. Turning of the wheel of fortune, prosperity changes to misfortune for the Robinsons, and a menacing figure lingers like a thick fog. Generations, built on lies, force Elizabeth to face a bleak reality and make the ultimate sacrifice.

Apparitions of Elizabeth Robbins - Jeannie L. Morris
Apparitions of Elizabeth Robinson
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Word Count: 24,074

Summary: While Sacrum Umbra showed us the darkness of our own shadow, and In Ventre Tuo the guts of our inner monster, The Lesser Apocrypha is still another beast altogether. Meant to gather together the stranger stories, it contains some of the more surreal and ephemeral stories, the ones that just are without much rhyme or reason. Stories like an odd moment in the park, the strange child who won't stop haunting you, an alien invasion that gets very personal, an AI born of a lolcat, monsters in the woods, and a spell gone terribly wrong.

The Lesser Apocrypha - Amanda M. Lyons
The Lesser Apocrypha
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Word Count: Information not available

Summary: Love defies time, crosses the infinite distance of space, and sparks formidable magics in the hearts of those it touches. And immortality? Yeah, it’s got that covered, too. In this powerful volume, Pop Seagull Publishing presents twelve science fiction and fantasy short stories on the theme of love and its role as a force of nature. Follow an ambitious 1930’s journalist and her high-society boyfriend as they defend the world from evil beings that hide in shadows. Can love prevail when science fails? Take a wild ride with Zephraim Cochrane as he searches for his long lost love through inter-dimensional travel. After all, the best inventions are always made to get dates. Embark on a whirlwind romance with a creature of the Fey in seven days, a beautiful story of friendship and finding self-love before all else. Descend into a very Torontonian sort of hell in search of lost love in Melanie in the underworld... just don’t forget to pet the corgi. You’ll find these adventures, and many more, inside.

Love, Time, Space, Magic - Stephen B. Pearl
Love, Time, Space, Magic
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Word Count: 254

Summary: Nukekubi are a form of Japanese goblin that during the day look like ordinary folk. At night they separate their head from their body and fly around scaring people to death to feed on the energies released. Ray McAndrues, a Pagan wizard/priest, encounters a Nukekubi that is feasting on the people of Toronto and decides that he has got to put a stop to it. Ray gains allies in his quest in the form of two Japanese martial artists who have made hunting Nukekubi their life’s work and his on-again, off-again girlfriend Cathy, who is also a mystic. Problems arise when east and west do not communicate wall and Cathy is his on-again, off-again girlfriend. Also, what is the centuries-spanning tie that binds Ray to the Nukekubi and will it help or hinder the quest?

Nukekubi - Stephen B. Pearl
Nukekubi
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Word Count: Information not available

Summary: Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Award Winner Best Translated Book Award Shortlist “The celebrated Châteaureynaud, who over the course of a distinguished career has created short tales that are not exactly contes cruels but which linger on the edge of darkness and absurdity.” —New York Times Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud is well known to readers of French literature. This comprehensive collection—the first to be translated into English—introduces a distinct and dynamic voice to the Anglophone world. In many ways, Châteaureynaud is France’s own Kurt Vonnegut, and his stories are as familiar as they are fantastic. A Life on Paper presents characters who struggle to communicate across the boundaries of the living and the dead, the past and the present, the real and the more-than-real. A young husband struggles with self-doubt and an ungainly set of angel wings in “Icarus Saved from the Skies,” even as his wife encourages him to embrace his transformation. In the title story, a father’s obsession with his daughter leads him to keep her life captured in 93,284 unchanging photographs. While Châteaureynaud’s stories examine the diffidence and cruelty we are sometimes capable of, they also highlight the humanity in the strangest of us and our deep appreciation for the mysterious. Reviews “Châteaureynaud is a master craftsman, encapsulating weighty themes with pith and heart. In his hands, the short story is a Gothic cathedral whittled from a wine cork.” —The Believer “Châteaureynaud celebrates the quiet, hidden beauties of the world and the objects or knowledge we hold tight like talismans to protect us from its losses and horrors.” —The Quarterly Conversation “Châteaureynaud makes expert thematic use of both light and shadow to reveal his fantastical realms of wonder and fear. His unassuming prose startles as it entrances, holding readers on the edge of elegantly rendered, fantastical dream-worlds while all at once alluding to their more nightmarish qualities. In the style of Kafka and Poe, Châteaureynaud makes the supernatural seem not only present, but ubiquitous, inclined to encroach at any moment on the humdrum lives of unsuspecting mortals. More sinister than fairy tales, yet not quite definable as horror stories, Châteaureynaud’s whimsical writings leave one unsettled and alert, appreciating anew the possibilities of the chilly night air while simultaneously feeling the urge to draw nearer to the fire—just in case.” —Catherine Bailey, Three Percent “The collection will perhaps appeal especially to those who enjoy their fiction short and concise, not to mention intense and decidedly peculiar. If you . . . are interested in dream-logic, fantastic situations, the unexplainable and/or macabre . . . this volume delivers again and again.” —Neon Magazine “Châteaureynaud’s stories are disorienting, bizarre, mythical. The stories don’t end with epiphanies or a tidy wrapping-up. Some of the endings are abrupt, even unsatisfying; they feel more like a beginning. So what? A Life on Paper is fantastic in both meanings: it’s fantastic, as in strange, unreal, weird, imaginary; and it’s fantastic, as in absolutely fucking awesome. People will call A Life on Paper magical realism. A few will call it irrealism. I don’t care what you call it. I just want you to read it.” —Bookslut “Both classic and modern, strange and simple, Châteaureynaud’s stories remind not only of Vonnegut but of Gogol and Kafka. What’s endearing about the stories is the amount of tenderness running through them. Even in stories about bizarre cruelty (the title story tells of a father who had his daughter photographed a dozen times a day for her entire life), affection provides the glue.” —Time Out ChicagoA Life on Paper is a brief selection from more than thirty years of fiction. Châteaureynaud has a backlist for American readers that this book makes enticingly tangible, almost real. His own work is such that it might be subject of one of his stories. This might be all there is, the rest pure fabrication. The unreal, awaiting translation.” —Rick Kleffel, The Agony Column “These 22 curious tales verging on the perverse will strike new English readers of Châteaureynaud’s work as a wonderful find. Beautiful prose featuring ingenuous protagonists and clever, unexpected forays into horror are the hallmarks of these mischievous stories.” —Publishers Weekly “Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud is 63 and has never published a book in English until now. A Life on Paper: Selected Stories, brilliantly translated by Edward Gauvin, opens the door at last. . . . Nothing matters in this book unless it has been told, everything is told. Open this book.” —John Clute, Strange Horizons “Châteaureynaud’s dance steps are so nimble that he seems, without effort, to show us what is best in others.” —Brooklyn Rail “Châteaureynaud has sometimes been called the Kurt Vonnegut of France. However, this collection of 22 of Châteaureynaud’s stories—which are often other-worldly and not infrequently unsettling—may speak to some readers more directly of Kafka.” —Christian Science Monitor “As weird as they are elegant, as delicious as they are unsettling, these fables place Châteaureynaud in the secret brotherhood that has only exemplars, no definition: Kafka, Bruno Schulz, Nathanael West, Aimee Bender. We are lucky indeed to have them, in a very skilled translation.” —John Crowley (Little, Big) Table of Contents Foreword by Brian Evenson

A Life on Paper - Edward Gauvin
A Life on Paper
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Word Count: 90000

Summary: MANKIND IS NO LONGER THE DOMINANT SPECIES. When Harrison Kent suggests an outing to a remote campsite in Colorado, his friends are all eager for a few days of fun and adventure. What awaits them, though, is far more than they ever bargained for. They learn that Sasquatch is real, but these are not the shy creatures of legend. A madness has claimed them, erasing their once peaceful nature and leaving in its wake a ravenous horde of monsters that’s about to descend upon the unsuspecting residents of a remote town. But the woods hold more than one secret. The cast of a low budget reality show is filming in the area and they have information that could even the odds. Harrison and his friends will need to team up with them for a desperate last stand against the rampaging beasts. Because if not, they’ll all learn what it truly means to be at the bottom of the food chain.

COMING SOON
Bigfoot Hunters - R. Gualtieri
Bigfoot Hunters