Jac Jemc's The Grip of It is a chilling literary horror novel about a young couple haunted by their newly purchased home
Touring their prospective suburban home, Julie and James are stopped by a noise. Deep and vibrating, like throat singing. Ancient, husky, and rasping, but underwater. “That’s just the house settling,” the real estate agent assures them with a smile. He is wrong.
The move—prompted by James’s penchant for gambling and his general inability to keep his impulses in check—is quick and seamless; both Julie and James are happy to start afresh. But this house, which sits between a lake and a forest, has its own plans for the unsuspecting couple. As Julie and James try to establish a sense of normalcy, the home and its surrounding terrain become the locus of increasingly strange happenings. The framework— claustrophobic, riddled with hidden rooms within rooms—becomes unrecognizable, decaying before their eyes. Stains are animated on the wall—contracting, expanding—and map themselves onto Julie’s body in the form of painful, grisly bruises.
Like the house that torments the troubled married couple living within its walls, The Grip of It oozes with palpable terror and skin-prickling dread. Its architect, Jac Jemc, meticulously traces Julie and James’s unsettling journey through the depths of their new home as they fight to free themselves from its crushing grip.
Three celebrated books - all of which harbour a twisted ambition to physically alter your imagination - together for the first time. The Hellmouths of Bewdley is a series of 16 stories hiding in a novel about a small town in Ontario's cottage country. Navigating through drunk and dead men, prisons and suicides and mad doctors, these short stories act as a halfway house for literary delinquents.
Pontypool Changes Everything is the terrifying story of a devastating virus. Caught through conversation, once it has you, it leads you into another world where the undead chase you down the streets of the smallest towns and largest cities.
In Caesarea, everybody's embarrassed and nobody is mentioning the mess. Caesarea, you see, is the town that can't get to sleep at night. Only Burgess demands answers to the really big question: Who's been sleeping in your bed?
In “Strange Loop,” an outcast attempting to escape an unnamed mistake spends his days taxiderming animals, while in “Delivery,” a family watches as their dementia-addled, basement-dwelling father succumbs to an online shopping addiction. “Don’t Let’s” finds a woman, recently freed from an abusive relationship, living in an isolated vacation home in the South that might be haunted by breath-stealing ghosts.
Fueled by paranoia and visceral suspense, and crafted with masterful restraint, these seventeen stories explore what happens when our fears cross over into the real, if only for a fleeting moment. Identities are stolen, alternate universes are revealed, and innocence is lost as the consequences of minor, seemingly harmless decisions erupt to sabotage a false sense of stability. “This is not a morality tale about the goodness of one character triumphing over the bad of another,” the sadistic narrator of “Pastoral” announces. Rather, False Bingo is a collection of realist fables exploring how conflicting moralities can coexist: the good, the bad, the indecipherable.
Featuring twenty to thirty authors in each issue, NANO Fiction has roots that draw from Aesop’s Fables and Zen Koans. Notable practitioners of this prose form include Lydia Davis, Franz Kafka, Italo Calvino, Ignacio Martínez de Pisón, Naguib Mahfouz, and Linor Goralik, among others.
This issue of NANO Fiction features works by: Nicholas T. Brown, Ryan Call, Brian Allen Carr, Gabe Durham, Avital Gad-Cykman, Frank Giampietro, Jenny Gillespie, Jennifer Gravley, Kate Hagerman, Kyle Hemmings, Ann Hillesland, Jac Jemc, Janet Jennings, Suzanne Lamb, Brandon Lamson, Cynthia Litz, Joël Martinez, Stephanie Martz, Scott McWaters, Katherine Megear, Amanda Montei, M.V. Montgomery, Adam Moorad, Thomas Mundt , Fred Muratori, Thisbe Nissen,S. Craig Renfroe, Jr., Sophie Rosenblum, Tom Whalen, Timothy Willis Sanders, Stephanie Valente, and L.A. Zimmerman.