In Seasons of Insanity
, authors Gill Ainsworth & Frank W. Haubold examine the causes and consequences of human madness.
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A collection of horror from Stoker Award-nominated author Gill Ainsworth and The Kurd-Laßwitz Award-winning Frank W. Haubold.
At what point does an innocent girl grow to find her teddy bear is her lover?
When does a fun Halloween trick-or-treat become a dash for life—or, if you're lucky, death?
When does insanity become reality? Beware. Beyond pleasure is pain. And the next step you take may lead to a slip, a slide, a downward spiral into your own psychotic world.
Dare you open that Christmas present, or hold your lover's hand on a moonlit night? If you don't want to know, then don't turn these pages.
Table of Contents Introduction—Gill Ainsworth
SPRING "Cuddly Toys" — Gill Ainsworth
"The End of the Line" — Gill Ainsworth
"He Who Picks the Bones" — Frank W. Haubold
"Fighting the Flab" — Gill Ainsworth
"The Town on the River" — Frank W. Haubold
"Thanks, Sharon, Come Again" — Gill Ainsworth
"The Miracle Tree" — Frank W. Haubold
"Seven" — Frank W. Haubold
"Bugs" — Gill Ainsworth
WINTER "Silent Night" — Frank W. Haubold
"Promising Futures" — Gill Ainsworth
"Welcome to the Machine" — Frank W. Haubold
"Picking the Bones" by Crossvalley Smith
"The true nature of the 'evil' is hard to pin down. What if good intentions lurk beneath the veneer of evil? What is the price for the greater good? Who should pay it? What you've got here are compact horror stories packing a serious punch, both morally and metaphorically. They're the kind of tales that make you think about uncomfortable stuff, like just how far would you go in that battle against the monsters within us all?"
—Steven Savile, international bestselling author of Silver
"With psychological insight and a poet's sensibilities Gill Ainsworth and Frank W. Haubold breathe fresh air into classic tropes of horror and fantasy."
—Michael K. Iwoleit, award-winning writer, editor and translator
About the Author
Gill Ainsworth, at some point or other, has lived in most of England. Born in the North West of the country and ending up in the South East, interspersed with a few years in Zambia and stints in Milan and Paris, she feels lucky to have experienced so much of the world. At some point during her travels, she gained a BSc (hons) in Applied Biology, specialising in pharmacology and radiobiology and, subsequently, spent many years working in the research industry where she met her husband and worked with Nobel Prize winners.
When she finally took root in Kent with her husband and three children and began writing. Her short fiction has seen print in the UK, the US and Germany. For the past seven years, she has been an invaluable member of the Apex Team and was a Bram Stoker nominee for the anthology Aegri Somnia.
Her short story, "Bugs," featured in this collection, first appeared in Alternate Species where it won the Reader’s Poll Award.
Since 1989, Frank W. Haubold has been writing novels, tales and short stories in various genres (science fiction, fantasy, horror, contemporary literature) and now has numerous publications in German and international magazines. These include Nova (Germany), Albedo One (Ireland), Futuro Europa (Italy), etc. as well as other publications in and outside the fantasy scene. Until 2009, he edited for EDFC Passau, producing five anthologies in total. In 2009, his science fiction collection of short stories The Star Dancer was published and, in 2010, he edited the anthology Dream of the Sea for Projekte-Verlag Cornelius GmbH.
Many of his novels and short stories have been nominated for literary prizes, and reached top positions in various competitions. In 2008 he won the German Science Fiction Award in both categories (best novel with The Shadows of Mars and best short story with "Homecoming") and "He Who Picks the Bones" (reprinted in this collection) was short listed for the International Aeon Award 2009 for short fiction. More information on Frank can be found at www.frank-haubold.de.