Call for Nominations: 10 Weird Writers to Save Us All in 2019

Yes, it’s back! Last year’s 10 Weird Writers to Save Us All in 2018 was an absolute success, and many of the featured writers ended up in our debut anthology, Mannequin: Tales of Wood Made Flesh. We’re hoping even more readers and fellow writers turn out this year to nominate their deserving peers. One of the things were passionate about here on SMM is promoting writers who might not be getting the recognition they deserve. It’s a tough world for writers out there, and it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of online information oversaturation. So, here’s your chance, folks. There are only a few rules:

Nominate a weird, bizarro, horror, or otherwise experimental writer you feel could use some recongition this year for their tireless work. Try to avoid nominating folks who already have a strong online presence and fanbase; the point of this list is to express gratitude to authors who might not recieve it otherwise.

Nominations are open to the public! Ten nominees will be voted by the Silent Motorist Media street team for public recognition. Please limit your nominations to four or fewer writers. It’s always helpful to include a few words on why you think these writers deserve recognition. We consider such comments when it comes to the final vote. 

Please try to nominate a writer who has released or is planning to release something in 2019! While this is our preference, it isn’t strictly necessary. 

Please do not nominate yourself!

You may submit your nominations as a comment to this post, or as an email to Winners will be announced early in June, and nominations will close on May 30th. 

Let the nominations again! Your participation is deeply appreciated, and we encourage you to share this announcement on social media. The more shares this gets, the more exposure your deserving author will get when the list releases!


Mannequin: Tales of Wood Made Flesh

We are finally nearing the release of our debut anthology, Mannequin: Tales of Wood Made Flesh, inspired by the long-standing sub-theme of the uncanny prevalent in the works of Thomas Ligotti and Bruno Schulz. Somehow, we were able to enlist an extraordinary array of authors for this release, as you’ll see in the image below. The cover art is by the inimitable Don Noble.

Mannequin Jacket Social Media (1)

(Yes, we are aware of the typo on the back cover, and it has already been rectified for the print edition)

It’s been a wild and long ride from this project’s inception in July of 2018. I’ve learned a lot as a writer and an editor, and I’m excited to put my newfound perspectives of anthology creation to work on Silent Motorist Media’s next project, The Nightside Codex (for which we are currently open for submissions).


The kindle edition of Mannequin is currently available for preorders. While we are unable, unfortunately, to set up pre orders for the print edition, you can expect to see it live at Amazon on the first of June.

Everyone involved with Mannequin has worked hard, and we feel like readers of weird and horror fiction will be thrilled with the result. As a first step into the world of publications, we certainly couldn’t be more pleased.

Proceeds from Mannequin, just like everything else on Silent Motorist Media, will go towards the payment of writers and the maintenance of this site. We thank you for your support, and look forward to providing you with quality fiction as we develop as a publisher.

-Justin A. Burnett


Kindle Crack Returns! Gwendolyn Kiste, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Shirley Jackson, and More

By popular demand, SMM’s Kindle Crack segment is back! We apologize for the unexpected hiatus, but new work schedules, editing obligations, and a fierce period of catching up on fiction writing put us more than a little behind. But now the wait is over, and your long-standing thirst for excellent kindle deals for nuts of weird literature is about to get momentarily quenched. So open up, dear readers, and receive the blessed communion of excellent books for prices that are easy on the writerly bank account!

Everyone’s been talking about Gwendolyn Kiste, and for good reason! The Rust Maidens, after all, recently landed an exceedingly impressive duo of Bram Stoker and This Is Horror awards; how many books can brag such a thing? Even better, you can pick up this legendary novel on Kindle for less than the price of a hamburger. You truly can’t expect a better deal than this.

Speaking of celebrated female writers of weird fiction, Caitlin R. Kiernan’s The Dinosaur Tourist also sport’s a kindle price tag of under five bucks. I’m halfway through this collection myself, and it’s every bit as magnificent as people say it is. If you want your weird fiction a little on the heady side, this book is made for you. Stylish, articulate, and utterly intoxicating.

If you enjoy the books we post here, you should already be familiar with Vastarien, particularly since you undoubtedly already subscribe to the journal via Patreon. If you don’t, go do that right now! Grimscribe Press’ recent This Is Horror award is absolutely deserved, since Vastarien quickly developed a reputation for quality work very early in its developmental stages. If you’re (somehow) unfamiliar or unconvinced, Vol. 1, Issue 2 is going for a steal on Kindle right now. This is an excellent chance to what the hype is all about for yourself.

Several collections of Shirley Jackson’s work are also on sale right now, and I can tell you from personal experience that this won’t last. Quick, pick up Dark Tales while you can, then go to the rest of her works on Kindle and pretty soon you’ll have a comprehensive catalogue from one of the most celebrated writers to grace the world of dark fiction. In fact, consider this purchase essential!

Sure, I’m departing from the “theme” a bit on this one, but my primary interest is providing you with excellent books at unbelievable prices. Rimbaud is one of the most exciting and important poets of the late nineteenth century, and it would be a travesty to pass up this incredible deal on Vol. 1 of Wyatt Mason’s Modern Library edition of Rimbaud Complete. I absolutely adore this book…

…almost as much as I adore the Arden Shakespeare series. These are the cream of the crop when it comes to Shakespeare critical editions, and a slew of them are on sale right now for Kindle. Of course, Hamlet has to appear here, since it’s just about as “weird fiction” as Shakespeare gets (although I’d love to argue that Shakespeare has a lot more in common with weird fiction than we’d think, but I’ll save that lengthy tangent for another time and place). For the quality of work, this is an absolute steal.

-Justin A. Burnett


The Profane by Vincenzo Bilof – Book Review

by Ben Arzate

Lana, a woman possessed by an angel, has been kidnapped by a cult of Satanists who want to exorcise the angel for their own evil purposes. However, her lover Michael has infiltrated the Satanists. With the help of him and her training to use the angel’s power, the two plan to destroy the cult and take down the sadistic Satanic priest Father Willard.

The exorcist closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. The smell of human wreckage filled him, caused his lips to tremble on the verge of a smile. Yes. Shit and pain. The dungeon smelled like shit and pain, and this was good. It was like coming home.”

The Profane is an inverted exorcism story. Rather than a priest attempting to cast out a demon to save a person, it involves Satanists who engage in a parody of the exorcism ritual to harvest the power of an angel residing inside a person. The core of the story, however, is still one of a clash of good against evil. Lana, the possessed, is not tormented by the angel inside of her but by the cult that tortures her to bring out the hate and pain in her and eventually cast out the angel so the cult can use its power.

The book begins with Lana in the dungeon of the Satanists’ castle. The castle is above a fissure called “the abyss” which seems to be an entrance to Hell and creatures called “the damned,” humans corrupted into perverted monsters, wander the halls. To cope with the pain of their torture, Lana escapes to a mental landscape called “the garden.” There, she speaks with a manifestation of Father Dacius, the man who trained her to fight the cultists. She finds solace in the garden and in her memories of watching Star Wars with Michael. Michael, meanwhile, is acting as the dungeon jailer until the time is right to strike.

Much of the story is told in flashback, revealing the backstories of the various characters. We learn how Michael and Lana met as orphans, the man named Pa who recruited orphan children into the ranks of the Satanists, and how Father Dacius trained Lana to fight the cult. The battle between Lana and Father Willard is largely psychological. While Willard torments Lana to try to get to the angel inside her, Lana uses the angel’s power to show him images of his past and his long-lost brother. Throughout the story, Bilof gives us some very disturbing imagery.

Inside the old man’s long, wire bear, tiny creatures writhed. Tiny forms moved, twisting inside the mass of hair.


Inside of Pa’s fist, maggots.

Inside of Antonio’s orifices, maggots.”

The way Bilof tells the story make the experience of reading it like being shown a dark and hazy picture that gradually becomes clearer, its horrifying images becoming more apparent and its blood reds and burning yellow fires becoming more vivid.

In between its psychological aspects, the story also gives us action sequences of Michael fighting the damned with axes and firearms and countering Willard’s Satanic exorcism with a Catholic one. Bilof makes these various elements come together very well. The story is chaotic with a timeline that jumps around a lot, however, most of it feels controlled.

There are, however, a couple parts that didn’t work as well as they could have. There are parts that imply the Satanic cult is descended from Nazi occultists and intend to bring about a “Master Race.” This aspect is only ever partially explored and seems something that should have either been explored further or cut. There are also chapters which are journal entries written by Lana. These give insight to her mindset leading up to her capture by the Satanists, but don’t give much new backstory to Lana. They also end a little suddenly, making their inclusion feel somewhat anticlimactic. These don’t detract much from the overall story, however.

The Profane is a well-written work of supernatural horror. It’s a fresh take on an exorcism story full of vivid and disturbing imagery and engaging psychological drama. Fans of religious horror stories will especially get a lot of this.