We are so excited to reveal the cover for J.S. Breukelaar’s next novel THE BRIDGE coming April 2021. This book is a wonderfully weird dark fantasy with blood cults and witches and creatures galore. As usual, Breukelaar’s beautiful prose and exceptional storytelling abilities knocked our socks off and we asked Luke Spooner of Carrion House to do this stunning cover. It is perfect for the story, and we can’t wait to see this book hit the shelves next year!
Excerpt from THE BRIDGE
I was raised by three sisters, one a witch, one an assassin and the third just batshit crazy. By the time I left their place deep in the Starveling Hills I’d met the middle one, Tiff, only once in person, and I never told the others. She’d run off or something, and they didn’t talk about her much, and maybe it was for that reason that she was my favorite—her absence having as big an impact on my growing up as the others’ presence. By the time I’d escaped the Father and came to live in the Hills, carrying my own dead twin in my arms, Tiff was already gone, leaving behind nothing but bad blood and a trunk filled with old clothes from across the ages. Among them were a pair of Roman sandals that fell apart in my hands, some rusted crinolines and a moldy cat o’nine-tails, concert T-shirts and even a diary whose discolored parchment pages could have been the skin of one of her victims, for all I knew. The pages were scribbled in illegible symbols which gave me a funny feeling in my lady-bits, and convinced me, from day one, that ‘Aunty’ Tiff wanted me, and only me, to find her.
In time Narn, the eldest sister, sent me away. To what seemed like the ends of the earth, may as well have been. To college. I lay awake in the Tower Village dorm room, at Wellsburgh College in Upper Slant, too sick to go to class, wondering why I was here. The damp pillow case chaffed my cheek, the weary thwack of a campus security pod overhead tangled in the jerky drum of my heart. I tried to push thoughts of the Father’s birds away, couldn’t help wonder how far I had really come from all that—the three crazy sisters and my own dead twin, buried under a bloodwood tree high in the Starveling Hills? I tried not to. I tried not to ask myself if it would ever be far enough.
Meera and her twin sister Kai are among thousands of hybrid women—called Mades—bred by the Father in his Blood Temple cult. Meera is rescued by a mysterious healer and storyteller, Narn, but her sister, Kai, does not survive the Father’s “unmaking”—although Kai may not have accepted that yet and still follows Meera around. Years later, when the cult is discovered and abolished, Meera, still racked with guilt and grief, enrolls in college to take advantage of a generous new Redress Program. When Narn’s conjure stories buy Meera a free ride to a notorious horror reading series, she is soon the darling of the lit set, feted by the other students, finally whole, finally free of the idea that she should have died instead of her sister. But college is not all it seems—Narn has lost a sister too, and Meera agrees to try and find her if Narn will keep feeding Meera the stories that are opening her up to memories she’s never acknowledged, secrets she’s never wanted to know, about Narn’s and the Father’s connection to a violent campus stalker. Time is closing in and Meera is afraid of where she stands on the bridge between worlds—fearful of what waits on the other side.More info →
2021 Releases from Meerkat Press
We are super excited to share our 2021 book schedule! We’ve got such a great lineup ranging from a prose-poetry speculative collection by Eugen Bacon and Dominique Hecq, a literary-leaning speculative fiction collection by Keith Rosson, a dark fantasy novel by J.S. Breukelaar, the next entry in Seb Doubinsky’s addictive City-States Cycle, a dark fantasy/horror novella by J. Ashley-Smith, and the final book in G.D. Penman’s Witch of Empire LGBT urban fantasy series.
We’ll be sharing more on each of these in the months to come and encourage you to check them out and preorder your copy today!
THIS YEAR’S AWARDS SUMMARY, so far!
Huge congratulations to these winners and finalists:
- CARPE GLITTER by Cat Rambo, Nebula Award Winner (novelette)
- INTO BONES LIKE OIL by Kaaron Warren, Bram Stoker Award Finalist (novella), Shirley Jackson Award Finalist (novella)
- COLLISION by J.S. Breukelaar, Shirley Jackson Award Finalist (collection), Shadows Award Finalist (Collected Works)
- “Ava Rune” by J.S. Breukelaar, Shadows Award Finalist (short fiction)
And we’re still crossing our fingers for these fine works that are in the running:
- INTO BONES LIKE OIL by Kaaron Warren, Aurealis Award Nominee (horror novella)
- COLLISION by J.S. Breukelaar, Aurealis Award Nominee (collection), Ladies of Horror Fiction Award Finalist (collection)
- “Like Ripples on a Blank Shore” (from Collision) by J.S. Breukelaar, Aurealis Award Nominee (fantasy novella)
And finally, honorable mention goes to these fine works which were longlisted:
- CLAIMING T-MO by Eugen Bacon, NOMMO Award Longlist
- INTO BONES LIKE OIL by Kaaron Warren, Locus Award Longlist
- COLLISION by J.S. Breukelaar, Locus Award Longlist, Bram Stoker Award Longlist
J.S. Breukelaar’s Collision in Bustle’s 20 New Horror Books Article
Bustle.com had a nice mention of J.S. Breukelaar’s COLLISION in their article:
“Collision, has something for every horror reader, from the gothic, to the weird, and beyond”K. W. Colyard, BUSTLE
It’s September, and you know what that means, right? It’s practically Halloween, and it’s definitely spooky season. I’ve picked out 20 new horror novels for Halloween this year, and you won’t want to wait for the scares to begin. Halloween may come…
On Sale Now!
A collection of twelve of J.S. Breukelaar's darkest, finest stories with four new works, including the uncanny new novella "Ripples on a Blank Shore." Introduction by award-winning author, Angela Slatter. Relish the gothic strangeness of "Union Falls," the alien horror of "Rogues Bay 3013," the heartbreaking dystopia of "Glow," the weird mythos of "Ava Rune," and others. This collection from the author of American Monster and the internationally acclaimed and Aurealis Award finalist, Aletheia, announces a new and powerful voice in fantastical fiction.
Recent Press & Endorsements
- Locus Magazine, Paula Guran – “Collision: Stories, should be on your ‘‘must read’’ list. Breukelaar, an American living in Sydney, Australia, writes in a clean, incisive style with razor-sharp opening hooks, while blending the literary, the speculative, and the weird.”
- Barnes & Noble Blog – “A BEST SCI-FI FANTASY COLLECTION OF 2019…SO FAR”
- Aurealis Magazine – “There’s an ethereal and dreamlike quality to Breukelaar’s prose that demands attention and reflection that keep the reader enthralled beyond the last page.”
- Bustle.com, K.W. Colyard – “20 New Horror Books For Readers Who Take Spooky Season Seriously” – “Collision, has something for every horror reader, from the gothic, to the weird, and beyond.” – Full Article
- Booklist – “All 12 stories hit the same surreal nerve despite their sometimes vastly different plots, making the transition from one story to another feel like entering an entirely new world. The only predictable element is the collection’s overall strangeness, which is something that never gets old.” – Feb 2019 Issue
- New York Journal of Books, Walker Townsend – “J. S. Breukelaar is a writer of obvious talent, demonstrated over and over in this collection.” – Full Review
- Fangoria – “Breukelaar tackles rejection and misunderstanding head-on by harnessing her wonderfully weird prose and creating an imaginarium from it, one that holds things you’ve never dreamt could – or should – exist.” – Feb 2019 Issue
- Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show – “Each of these stories stylishly investigates an encounter between characters and forces of otherworldly, or in some cases off-world, hues. But Breukelaar accomplishes much more than that. She delves into how such contacts–which range from the merely glancing to the traumatically concussive–lead to altered perspectives and transformations of the mind, a literary feat of the first order.” – Full Review
- Hellnotes – “Collision is a wonderful collection of complex tales that cross genres in ways that are never fully expected at the beginning but always fully realized by the end. The boundaries between different styles are as porous as the boundaries between worlds, but each aspect is precisely organized and elevated by Breukelaar’s versatile and vital techniques. It’s no stretch to say there’s something for everyone here, but we can go further and say there’s something for every version of everyone, even as they shift and change.” – Full Review
- Inkheist, Shane Douglas Keene – “Breukelaar’s stories are fueled with gorgeous darkness, often thematically heartbreaking and always nothing short of amazing.” – Full Review
- Barnes & Noble Blog – “New Scifi Fantasy We Can’t Wait to Read” – “I read Breukelaar’s novel Aletheia earlier this year, and she blew me away with a story that took unexpected turns and seduced me with its vivid prose and flawed, compelling characters. It’s a book I still think about a lot. Since I love short fiction, I really can’t wait to read this collection and see what dark and magical dreams she’ll bring to life there.” – Full Article
- Paperback Paris, Rachel Gonzalez (4 stars) – “J.S. Breukelaar‘s Collision transcends the borders of horror writing by creating fantastical and near real-life world with simple twists that keep them tangible but still impossible to predict. In this short story collection, Breukelaar explores the innate cruelty of man, the uncanny elements of things that sometimes seem unknown, and the things that divide us as a race.” – Full Review
- Paperback Paris – “A Collision of Worlds: J.S. Breukelaar Discusses New Story Collection and Genre-Bending Fiction.” – Interview
- Litreactor.com, Max Booth – “The 15 Most Anticipated Horror Books of 2019” – Full Article
- NB Magazine, Linda Hepworth (5 stars) – “I to urge you to read these haunting, disturbing and thought-provoking stories for yourself. If you enjoy the weird, the quirky and the unexpected, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.” – Full Review
- Breach Magazine, Eugen Bacon – “The stories are ruthless, nothing is safe—even the child who offers a lollipop and loses a wrist to the Clint Eastwood dog. Breukelaar experiments with the Gothic and queries the queer. Bedded within the tales is a voluptuous energy that turns pages. Tables pirouette in a blink and, before you know it, the story is eleven shades grimmer.” – Full Review
- “J.S. Breukelaar moves effortlessly among the varieties of the fantastic, shifting from horror, to science fiction, to fairy tale, sometimes within the same story. Combining gritty, lived-in settings with characters grooved and gouged by their experiences, these stories refract the complexities of contemporary existence, bringing our hopes and horrors to vivid life. Breukelaar’s work collides with the reader, opening us to terror, wonder, and insight.” – John Langan, award-winning author of The Fisherman and House of Windows
- “Collision shows J.S. Breukelaar’s range, from horror to fantasy to literary to science fiction and every emotional register between, but, after reading this collection, I’m not at all sure there’s any kind of limit to what she can get done on the page.” – Stephen Graham Jones
- “J.S. is leaving her footprints on a path blazed by luminaries such as M.R. James, Robert Aickman, Tanith Lee, Kelly Link, Charlotte Perkins Gillman, Jeff VanderMeer, Gustave Flaubert, Edgar Allan Poe, Daphne DuMaurier, Leonora Carrington and Charlotte Brontë, to name but a few.” -Angela Slatter, Award-winning author of Sourdough and Other Stories, Vigil, and Corpselight
- “Stories that start in one place, and end – or don’t – somewhere else entirely, with dread, surprise, and wry beauty along the way . . . Collide with J.S. Breukelaar’s collection, and who can say where you’ll end up?” -Kathe Koja, award-winning author of The Cipher and Buddha Boy
- “J.S. Breukelaar’s new collection, Collision, has definitely the perfect title. Her stories will punch your breath out, slam you sideways and hit you by surprise, leaving you exquisitely bruised and wanting for more. One of the major voices of our times, J.S. Breukelaar is a writer who fears nothing and takes you along her amazing narrative rides that defy genre and conventions, a reckless driver that only notice the signs on the side of the road in order to run them down.” -Seb Doubinsky, author of The Babylonian Trilogy, The Song of Synth, and Missing Signal
- “Strange and unflinchingly surreal, Breukelaar’s stories read like dispatches from a fever dream.” -Keith Rosson, author of Smoke City and The Mercy of the Tide
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The Cipher Fan Art Contest
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Meerkat Press Signs Steve Simpson’s The Purpose of Reality, a Two Volume Set of Poetry, Short Fiction, and Art.