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Liminal Spaces: An Anthology of Dark Speculative Fiction

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Liminal Spaces is a quiet horror anthology from Cemetery Gates Media featuring stories from well-known dark fiction writers such as: Joanna Koch, Jessica McHugh, Mark Allan Gunnells, Anthony J. Rapino, Gwendolyn Kiste, Michael Wehunt, Bob Ford, Kelli Owen, Richard Thomas, Todd Keisling, Chad Lutzke, Kristi DeMeester, Joshua Palmatier, and Norman Prentiss. “The word ‘liminal Liminal Spaces is a quiet horror anthology from Cemetery Gates Media featuring stories from well-known dark fiction writers such as: Joanna Koch, Jessica McHugh, Mark Allan Gunnells, Anthony J. Rapino, Gwendolyn Kiste, Michael Wehunt, Bob Ford, Kelli Owen, Richard Thomas, Todd Keisling, Chad Lutzke, Kristi DeMeester, Joshua Palmatier, and Norman Prentiss. “The word ‘liminal’ comes from the Latin root limen. It means ‘threshold'. A liminal space is a ‘crossing over’ space–a space where you have left something behind, yet you are not fully in something else. It’s a transition space


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Liminal Spaces is a quiet horror anthology from Cemetery Gates Media featuring stories from well-known dark fiction writers such as: Joanna Koch, Jessica McHugh, Mark Allan Gunnells, Anthony J. Rapino, Gwendolyn Kiste, Michael Wehunt, Bob Ford, Kelli Owen, Richard Thomas, Todd Keisling, Chad Lutzke, Kristi DeMeester, Joshua Palmatier, and Norman Prentiss. “The word ‘liminal Liminal Spaces is a quiet horror anthology from Cemetery Gates Media featuring stories from well-known dark fiction writers such as: Joanna Koch, Jessica McHugh, Mark Allan Gunnells, Anthony J. Rapino, Gwendolyn Kiste, Michael Wehunt, Bob Ford, Kelli Owen, Richard Thomas, Todd Keisling, Chad Lutzke, Kristi DeMeester, Joshua Palmatier, and Norman Prentiss. “The word ‘liminal’ comes from the Latin root limen. It means ‘threshold'. A liminal space is a ‘crossing over’ space–a space where you have left something behind, yet you are not fully in something else. It’s a transition space

30 review for Liminal Spaces: An Anthology of Dark Speculative Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alex | | findingmontauk1

    LIMINAL SPACES: AN ANTHOLOGY OF DARK SPECULATIVE FICTION is filled with such an impressive lineup of authors that you can't NOT get this one. Not only am I impressed with the caliber of authors listed in the TOC, but I am even more blown away at how my extremely high expectations (which probably isn't fair) were met story after story after story. It's extremely rare for me to find an anthology that totally blows me away cover to cover, but this one does it in spades. According to the summary, ‘li LIMINAL SPACES: AN ANTHOLOGY OF DARK SPECULATIVE FICTION is filled with such an impressive lineup of authors that you can't NOT get this one. Not only am I impressed with the caliber of authors listed in the TOC, but I am even more blown away at how my extremely high expectations (which probably isn't fair) were met story after story after story. It's extremely rare for me to find an anthology that totally blows me away cover to cover, but this one does it in spades. According to the summary, ‘liminal’ means ‘threshold' and so a liminal space is a ‘crossing over’ space (or a space where you've left something behind, yet you aren't totally in something else) It’s a transition space - an in-between space. Some of these stories I was able to distinctly make that connection whereas others I had to think about some (and there's no right or wrong way to go about that). All the authors brought forth their own interpretations and all the stories are just so good. Like... SO GOOD! I alluded earlier that not all anthologies are a solid knockout from beginning to end, but this one is for me. Every story had me totally invested. Some stories were more quiet than others while some were quirky, fast-paced, and right in your face. I did love every single story here and if rated individually, they all get a 5 star from me. But below are my personal favorites: "Written in Water" - Robert Ford "Phoenix" - Mark Allan Gunnells "Sharp Echoes" - Kelli Owen "Womb With a View" - Chad Lutzke "Back to One" - Jessica McHugh This anthology is one to be read with as few distractions as possible. Turn off the TV. Put your phone somewhere else. And just cozy up with your beverage of choice, a blanket, and maybe your furbaby... and really let these stories be absorbed. An anthology this good with all these authors in one place should almost be illegal. Lucky for us it isn't.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Incredible line up and great stories!

  3. 5 out of 5

    David

    Now THAT is what an anthology should be.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    I started this anthology with the intention of reading a couple of short stories in- between full length novels. Instead, I ended up reading this straight through.  There wasn't a bad story in this book and they were all good in their own ways. Here are a few of my absolute favorites: Phoenix- by Mark Allan Gunnells Sharp Echoes- by Kelli Owen Womb With a View- by Chad Lutzke Midnight in the Southland- by Todd Keisling The Black Door- by Anthony J. Rapino I don't read a lot of short stories but o I started this anthology with the intention of reading a couple of short stories in- between full length novels. Instead, I ended up reading this straight through.  There wasn't a bad story in this book and they were all good in their own ways. Here are a few of my absolute favorites: Phoenix- by Mark Allan Gunnells Sharp Echoes- by Kelli Owen Womb With a View- by Chad Lutzke Midnight in the Southland- by Todd Keisling The Black Door- by Anthony J. Rapino I don't read a lot of short stories but one thing I love about anthologies like this is getting a small glimpse into their writing style and finding new authors to follow. Thanks so much to Cemetery Gates Media for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lezlie The Nerdy Narrative

    This anthology is fantastic. I was very familiar with the majority of the authors who have pieces included, so I *knew* it would be a great read. The authors I was not familiar with, oh they're on my list to read more of now, so huge thanks to the editor, Kevin Lucia, for including more works by the authors with each piece to make it easy for me to find my next read. Liminal Spaces - A transitional space where we're neither one thing or the other...a crossing over space - this is our theme for th This anthology is fantastic. I was very familiar with the majority of the authors who have pieces included, so I *knew* it would be a great read. The authors I was not familiar with, oh they're on my list to read more of now, so huge thanks to the editor, Kevin Lucia, for including more works by the authors with each piece to make it easy for me to find my next read. Liminal Spaces - A transitional space where we're neither one thing or the other...a crossing over space - this is our theme for this collection of dark fiction. Speculation of what could or could not happen in certain circumstances or places. 14 stories where authors create worlds, places, shadows, events for us to enter into and experience the darkness. I would say there are only perhaps 4 stories that I could take or leave. The rest were absolutely stellar, some are actual new favorites as far as short stories. I love when authors make me use my head to think about what the intent is or they are so clever in their creation that I'm left shaking my head in awe. I will absolutely pick this one up time and again to revisit the genius of some of these stories!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carla

    I am reviewing this book for Cemetery Dance in my position as an early reviewer, so I must note I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. A new, refreshing horror collection about the spaces between, running the gamut from simply the best Lovecraftian story I have ever read to the most disturbing body horror about the most selfish cat lady that has ever lived. Two of the stories take place in the time of Covid without being stressful to the reader, and both take a unique approach t I am reviewing this book for Cemetery Dance in my position as an early reviewer, so I must note I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. A new, refreshing horror collection about the spaces between, running the gamut from simply the best Lovecraftian story I have ever read to the most disturbing body horror about the most selfish cat lady that has ever lived. Two of the stories take place in the time of Covid without being stressful to the reader, and both take a unique approach to this new horror we face, our”new normal” and the in-between space it has created in our lives. With carefully crafted introductions to each author, the reader will be making TBR lists as they go along, and making new horror friends as they crawl between these walls.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    I started this anthology collection expecting to like it far more than I did. The stories were for the most part just okay. No story in the anthology is awful or a waste of time to read, thankfully. But few hit high notes either. None of the stories stand out in my mind, though the first three are the most memorable. The first story was arguably the best in the anthology, except that it wasn't horror. It wasn't even speculative. It featured no supernatural elements. To my surprise, it finished as I started this anthology collection expecting to like it far more than I did. The stories were for the most part just okay. No story in the anthology is awful or a waste of time to read, thankfully. But few hit high notes either. None of the stories stand out in my mind, though the first three are the most memorable. The first story was arguably the best in the anthology, except that it wasn't horror. It wasn't even speculative. It featured no supernatural elements. To my surprise, it finished as it started, ensconced in the land of mainstream fiction. The story is well told and definitely worth reading. I just don't see it as belonging in an anthology that bills itself as containing speculative fiction. Still, I am glad to have encountered the story, even if like a penguin at a state aquarium it was out of its natural setting. The second story, "The Haunted Houses She Calls Her Own" by Gwendolyn Kiste was another surprise. I had never heard of this author, but she has published about fifty short stories and a couple novels, all within the past decade alone. Covid may have slowed her down. She only published two stories last year, this being one of them, and two the year before that. The anthologist said at the beginning of her story that Kiste is known for her myth building. I certainly saw evidence of that here. She has given a lot of thought to what it means for a spirit to haunt a place. I like her take on it, that a spirit can only haunt for as long as that spirit is remembered and in the heart of the living. When no one alive remembers a person who died any more, they lose their power to haunt. This story is a reflection on what this principle means for the world and the places haunted by the spirit that departs it. I get where the author is coming from on this. It's an atheistic perspective. Since atheists don't believe in an afterlife, or supernatural extensions of the spirit truly lasting to enter other realms, ("All we are is dust in the wind") people only live on (after death) in the hearts and memories of the living. By this view, dead people move on "heaven" if they're remembered fondly and grieved but are assigned to "hell," if we're all glad they're gone, or, even worse, perhaps in Kiste's view, we the living don't care one way or the other about the departed person. This story is a speculation in terms of an extension of that same principle, only told in a more narrative and less philosophical manner. It really got me thinking on the meaning of life. I liked the second story better than the first, since reading the first was as much fun as being a pediatric oncologist, even if the story was poignantly and sensitively told. Both stories were excellent. The third story is the most memorable in the anthology if frustrating for being a fragment. Its author, in any event, will be the one author from this collection whose work I seek more of. It has a lot of conflict in which both sides accuse the other of atrocities, but the motivations for the actions taken by a larger than necessary cast of characters aren't clear. Even though we're only seeing a small part of a richer story, the world we catch a glimpse of is intriguing. I'd like to see more of it and will find out if Joshua Palmatier sets other writings of his there.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Netanella

    I read the anthology "Liminal Spaces" as part of the monthly group read at Literary Horror. Typically I haven't had much luck lately with anthologies, but this one was much more hit than miss. As an anthology that collects dark stories about the space between, there was a lot here to like. Some of my favorites included the first story, "Written in Water," "O Adelin," and "Rotten to the Core." Chad Lutzke's "Womb with a View" was especially unnerving, and I found myself on the edge of my seat as I read the anthology "Liminal Spaces" as part of the monthly group read at Literary Horror. Typically I haven't had much luck lately with anthologies, but this one was much more hit than miss. As an anthology that collects dark stories about the space between, there was a lot here to like. Some of my favorites included the first story, "Written in Water," "O Adelin," and "Rotten to the Core." Chad Lutzke's "Womb with a View" was especially unnerving, and I found myself on the edge of my seat as the story reached its peak.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lara Pittmon

    Legit Frightening Holy cow! I haven’t had a book scare me enough to put it down in a couple years. This was awesome! I can’t wait for the next anthology.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emily Haynes

    Chilling stories about when life makes a turn into unexpected places.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Paul Preston

    “My life has become a sum of all the ways a person can be powerless.” -Kristi DeMeester Sometimes it feels like we are there, in between, in a liminal space. A transitional space where we are neither one thing or another. Disturbing and dark, these are stories of places you don’t want to find yourself. Reminiscent of the old Tales From the Darkside where regular people slip off the path of normality. Wander into the drive-in, the parking garage, the delivery room, the bar, or the cat cafe- howeve “My life has become a sum of all the ways a person can be powerless.” -Kristi DeMeester Sometimes it feels like we are there, in between, in a liminal space. A transitional space where we are neither one thing or another. Disturbing and dark, these are stories of places you don’t want to find yourself. Reminiscent of the old Tales From the Darkside where regular people slip off the path of normality. Wander into the drive-in, the parking garage, the delivery room, the bar, or the cat cafe- however, you won’t walk out the same, assuming you walk out at all. Great writing with a wide variety of settings and styles that come together to create a nice collection of suffering.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bill Hsu

    I've really enjoyed work by a number of the contributors. But I don't think their stories here compare with their best. More notes here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/... I've really enjoyed work by a number of the contributors. But I don't think their stories here compare with their best. More notes here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alicia Hilton

    Favorite stories: Robert Ford's "Written in Water," Michael Wehunt's "O Adelin," and Richard Thomas' "Rotten to the Core.” Favorite stories: Robert Ford's "Written in Water," Michael Wehunt's "O Adelin," and Richard Thomas' "Rotten to the Core.”

  14. 5 out of 5

    Diane Lehane

  15. 4 out of 5

    Trudie Johnson

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dave Kirschner

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sophia Hayes

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mark Harrop

  19. 5 out of 5

    Fiona Marshall

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa A Brewer

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brian Martinez

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mads Baekkevold

  24. 4 out of 5

    Maria

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ty

  26. 4 out of 5

    Phil

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marta Trumpjonas

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christi Nogle

  29. 5 out of 5

    Charles Haines

  30. 4 out of 5

    John

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