A dark Southern Gothic vision of ghosts, witchcraft, secret powers, snake-handling, Kudzu, Melungeons, and the Great Depression.
Michael Gibson has returned to the quiet home of his forebears and now takes care of his grandmother Sadie – old and sickly, but with an important story to tell about growing up poor and Melungeon (a mixed race group of mysterious origin) in the 1930s, while bedeviled by a snake-handling uncle and empathic powers she barely understands.
In a field not far from the Gibson family home lies an iron-bound crate within a small shack buried four feet deep under Kudzu vine. Michael somehow understands that hidden inside that crate is potentially his own death, his grandmother’s death, and perhaps the deaths of everyone in the valley if he does not come to understand her story well enough.
Steve Rasnic Tem (born 1950) was born in Jonesville, Virginia, which is in the heart of Appalachia. He went to college at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and also at Virginia Commonwealth University. He got a B.A. in English education. In 1974, he moved to Colorado and studied creative writing at Colorado State University. He is married to author Melanie Tem. The couple have three kids and live in a large house in Colorado.
Steve Rasnic Tem's short fiction has been compared to the work of Franz Kafka, Dino Buzzati, Ray Bradbury, and Raymond Carver, but to quote Joe R. Lansdale: "Steve Rasnic Tem is a school of writing unto himself." His 200 plus published pieces have garnered him a British Fantasy Award, and nominations for the World Fantasy and Bram Stoker Awards.
Photo by Debra Lee Fanatia.