Reviews and Recommended!

April 9, 2016

“Gramma Tells a Story”, in Black Static #49 has received some great reviews:

Given a hard act to follow, Erinn L. Kemper’s Gramma Tells a Story comes up next, with something sufficiently lighter in imagery to clear the gruesome flavour of Hargadon’s effort from your mouth. Here, a young woman called Nissi is spending some time living in a rented casita in Costa Rica. Unfortunately, the casita appears to be haunted at this time every year by the grandmother of the owner’s family. Fortunately, she’s friendly.

Opting to stay in the hut throughout, Nissi finds herself rapt in conversation with the wizened old ghost (whose phantasmal appearance is wonderfully realised in Kemper’s prose) as the tragic reasons behind her Costa Rican jaunt come to the fore – giving her the opportunity to make peace with what she left behind, her own mistakes included.

Gramma Tells a Story isn’t a frightening, nor even particularly unsettling, piece of work – it feels distinctly bereft of malevolence – but it hits hard on a human level. Kemper drip-feeds Nissi’s history and motivations as the story unfolds, building to an emotional gut-punch that is simultaneously tragic, upsetting and uplifting; an otherworldly revelation of undying love and forgiveness in even the worst of circumstances.”

(unable to copy here, but here is a taste) “I have not come across a passage as powerful about being a ghost among other ghosts as this one: “It’s a strange feeling being dead, a spirit roaming around, fueled by anger and vengeance. When they crawled up in me, joining their ghost flesh to mine, I was almost solid.” That will likely stay with me forever.

“Nissi is living in a little house in Costa Rica and is visited by the owner’s grandmother. Gramma tells Nissi her life story and helps her come to terms with hers. Poignant and touching.”


Being reviewed is a very new and interesting experience. I’ve also received two lovely notes regarding this story. One from a reader who said he wasn’t ashamed to admit the story brought a tear to his eye.

Thank you!


I am also thrilled that my story, “The Claim”, wh8ch appeared in A Darke Phantastique, edited by Jason V Brock, made the long list for Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year Volume 7.

Here is the full recommended reading list:





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