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Dark Faith [MultiFormat]
eBook by Jerry Gordon & Maurice Broaddus

eBook Category: Horror/Fantasy
eBook Description: The destructiveness of passion, both earthly and supernatural, makes cities bleed and souls burn across worlds, through endless time. Experience the spiritual side of the zombie apocalypse in ""The Days of Flaming Motorcycles"" and transcend both hell and nirvana in ""Zen and the Art of Gordon Dratch's Damnation."" Look into ""The Mad Eyes of the Heron King"" to find the beautiful brutality written in the moment of epiphany or ""Go and Tell it On the Mountain,"" where Jesus Christ awaits your last plea to enter heavenif there is a heaven to enter when all is said and done. Cover art by Edith Walter "The Story of Belief-Non" by Linda D. Addison (poem) "Ghosts of New York" by Jennifer Pelland "I Sing a New Psalm" by Brian Keene "He Who Would Not Bow" by Wrath James White "Zen and the Art of Gordon Dratch's Damnation" by Douglas F. Warrick "Go and Tell It on the Mountain" by Kyle S. Johnson "Different from Other Nights" by Eliyanna Kaiser "Lilith" by Rain Graves (poem) "The Last Words of Dutch Schultz Jesus Christ" by Nick Mamatas "To the Jerusalem Crater" by Lavie Tidhar "Chimeras & Grotesqueries" by Matt Cardin "You Dream" by Ekaterina Sedia "Mother Urban's Booke of Dayes" by Jay Lake "The Mad Eyes of the Heron King" by Richard Dansky "Paint Box, Puzzle Box" by D.T. Friedman "A Loss For Words" by J. C. Hay "Scrawl" by Tom Piccirilli "C{her}ry Carvings" by Jennifer Baumgartner (poem) "Good Enough" by Kelli Dunlap "First Communions" by Geoffrey Girard "The God of Last Moments" by Alethea Kontis "Ring Road" by Mary Robinette Kowal "The Unremembered" by Chesya Burke "Desperata" by Lon Prater (poem) "The Choir" by Lucien Soulban "Days of Flaming Motorcycles" by Catherynne M. Valente "Miz Ruthie Pays Her Respects" by Lucy A. Snyder "Paranoia" by Kurt Dinan (poem) "Hush" by Kelly Barnhill "Sandboys" by Richard Wright "For My Next Trick I'll Need a Volunteer" by Gary A. Braunbeck

eBook Publisher: Apex Publications, LLC, Published: 2010, 2010
Fictionwise Release Date: July 2010


1 Reader Ratings:
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Although the horror genre naturally lends itself to up close and personal examination of good and very nasty evil, little writing in that genre is faith inflected. This anthology addresses that gap. "Faith" is used loosely and expansively in this collection of short tales that offers something for lots of different tastes-slasher, fairy tale, end times, ghost story-as well as religion. "Zen and the Art of Gordon Dratch's Damnation," by Douglas F. Warrick, is a meditation on enlightenment as cagey as any Zen master's teaching. "Different from Other Nights" by Eliyanna Kaiser offers a knife twist on the Passover celebration. Although the anthology is uneven, as collections often can be, the very best, like Gary A. Braunbeck's "For My Next Trick I'll Need a Volunteer," resonate in the mind long afterward, with no guts or gore. And while Cathrynne M. Valente's "The Days of Flaming Motorcycles" is a wicked clever zombie tale set in Augusta, Maine, readers may wonder where zombie Jesus is when we need him. --Publishers Weekly (May, 2010) "Faith. Light and dark. Terrible beauty and mind-shattering horror. It's all here, in what's sure to be one of the year's best anthologies." --Shroud Magazine (Kevin Lucia)


Introduction

In the foreword of Orgy of Souls, my novella co-written with Wrath James White, I wrote that "Faith is that sometimes tenuous, sometimes stronger than we think thing that keeps our world in order. [Wrath and I are] both men of faith in our own way, be it faith in ourselves or faith in God. We each are on our own spiritual journey." All quest journeys begin with a leap of faith--that is, what we choose to put our trust in. We each have a worldview that helps us navigate the world. For some, it is ourselves (the individual or humanity). For some, it is science (the determination of our senses and what we can prove). For some, it is the spiritual (under the assumption that there is more to this life than presented, both in terms of the spiritual and in terms of after this life). And there is, or can be, some overlap.

But we all believe in something.

So I invited horror, science fiction, and fantasy writers to riff on the idea of faith. Who we are, artists and people of faith, expressing our theology, whatever it may be, in our writing. And with the challenge to take it to another level: art is never for its own sake, but for people's sake. I believe that art should be engaged with--and, in its own way, explore--truth; and we shouldn't be afraid of truth, no matter where it takes us.

In this anthology, it has taken us to new and interesting places as we explore various tangents to the ideas of faith. Life can be magical and terrifying, filled with both fantasy and horror. There is life and there is death; everything in between is unknown. We live in the throes of "why?" We react to injustice, we question why bad things happen to good people. We feel the existential terror of what it means to encounter God, the ultimate Other. On the other side, there's the idea that God is personal and relational, Jesus can be a guy you can sneak around back and share cigarettes with. We can see faith lived out in love and relationships or be horrified by the things done in God's name. Faith in action can move us to do something, to confront the sins of our age, such as sexism, homophobia, and racism to name a few.

I'd like to thank several people for their support during all of this. The Mo*Con family: Brian Keene (whose own spiritual journey inspired all of this), Wrath James White (whose "anti-spiritual" journey continues to challenge me), Alethea Kontis (who reminds me that life is magic), Kelli Dunlap (who taught me that sometimes you have to give life the finger and take a smoke break), Chesya Burke (my sister, for better or worse and all that entails), and Gary Braunbeck and Lucy Snyder (mentors and inspiration). My co-editor, Jerry Gordon, for all of his hard work. I wouldn't have been able to do this without him. My fellow Indiana Horror Writers without whom Mo*Con would have remained a neat idea. Jason Sizemore for having faith in this project. And Sally, Reese, and Malcolm, who allowed me time to read, write, and edit, and sacrificed time with me to make this happen. It's to them that I dedicate this book.

And my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with me during times of praise and doubt, chasing after me when I wander off. I am often the most failed of His ambassadors, but I thank you for the freedom to explore my faith and continue my weird journey ... which is all mine.

Maurice Broaddus

February 16, 2010

* * * *

To God and the story He has written

* * * *

The Story of Belief-Non

An expanse of water

the first cool breeze of fall, red leaf floating to earth, relinquished by maple tree, a newborn's first cry entering atmosphere.

The result of evolution, scientifically dissected into proteins, neurons, defined parts of the Table of Elements, tracked by global warming trends, the end game of a drunken night of groping.

H2O, the beginning, the end, the place life dances in precise explicit units, found deep in Earth, alluded to on Mars, hinted at in faraway galaxies, as close as

Neptune, a mark made in dark spots of methane drifting in thick clouds.

Even in denying Zeus or Ra, there is an innate beauty to the mind unraveling fables often used as weapons rather than song, in that absence of belief, seasoned by curious doubt, watching the inhumanity of choice, heartbroken at the hunger, the wasted life, the Shadow Story unwinds.

Faith doesn't come easily, let Truth recognize insubstantiality, choose to believe or not, on the Walkabout the protagonist falls in love with

Endless Possibility, mirrored in the grand story of perfection/imperfection.

--Linda D. Addison

* * * *

Ghosts of New York

Jennifer Pelland

Poets and sages like to say that there is clarity in certain death. That a calm resignation settles over the nearly deceased, and they embrace the inevitability of the end of life with dignity and grace.

But there was no clarity for her, no calmness, no life flashing before her eyes in a montage of joys and regrets. There was just pure animal terror, screams torn from her throat as she plummeted toward the ground in the longest ten seconds of her life.

And then there was an explosion of pain.

She remembered flailing at the air, as if she could somehow sink her nails into it and cling there until help arrived. She remembered the crash and pop of the people who were landing mere seconds before her. She remembered a fleeting moment of shame when her dress blew up over her head, exposing her underwear to the crowds gathered below. She remembered the burst of shit and piss as she crashed through the awning just a split second before she hit--

The only people who find clarity in certain death are those who somehow cheat it, those who can reflect back upon the experience and use it to goad them into living a better life.

For the ghosts, there is only terror.

After her first fall, she stood by the roadkill smear that was her body, not recognizing what she was seeing at first, until two more bodies rained down from above, splattering on pavement with a crash of glass and a sickening splat.

Then she knew.

Then the North Tower collapsed.

All around her, people screamed and ran while she stood helplessly by the wreckage of her body. Debris flew through her, burying her corpse, leaving the ghost of her untouched.

And then she fell again.

If anything, it was worse than the first time. Now, it was an echo of a fall, a non-existent body falling from a non-existent building, with all the terror of the original fall--the same flailing, the same flash of embarrassment, the same piss--

The same body-shattering moment of pain at the end.

Days passed, the dust cleared, the debris and bodies were carried away, but still she fell, over and over, sinking through the sky for the same interminably long ten seconds, the pain of impact fresh and raw each and every time.

Between falls, she wondered if she were in hell. She wondered what terrible thing she'd done in life to merit this kind of eternal punishment. But she couldn't remember.

She couldn't remember anything.

No, that wasn't strictly true. In the chest-heaving intervals between falls, she could remember, if she tried, the blistering heat and choking smoke. She remembered mobbing a broken window with a half-dozen other people, gulping in precious lungfuls of clean air. She remembered a floor too hot to stand on, the eerie creak of metal. She remembered a man and a woman dropping past her window, hand in hand. She remembered looking over her shoulder at the impenetrable wall of smoke. She remembered a scream stuck in her throat, a heart that felt like it would burst through her chest, a desperate wish to breathe just once more before she died.

She remembered a split-second decision, legs suddenly unfrozen, propelling her out into the blue September sky.


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