QSFer Jamie Killen has a new queer historical horror book out: Red Hail.
Professor Colin Ayres has spent years researching the strange story of Galina, Arizona, a sleepy border town ripped apart by violence and paranoia after the outbreak of a mysterious illness in 1960. Colin is certain the Galina Incident was simply a case of mass hysteria. But when his partner, Alonzo, starts exhibiting strange symptoms, Colin is shocked to realize they are the same as those that emerged in Galina decades ago.
As Alonzo’s condition worsens, Colin scrambles to piece together what really happened during that terrible summer in the past. He uncovers a story of murder, corruption, and fanaticism. The deeper he digs, the more he becomes convinced that what happened in Galina wasn’t mass hysteria after all.
When others start to develop the same eerie symptoms, Colin must confront the possibility that someone—or something—is driving the plague. Guided by rumors of a person who found a way to stop the plague in the sixties, Colin races to find answers before the disease destroys Alonzo and everyone else it touches.
Warnings: Violence, religious conflict, child death (non graphic)
“What in the…” Dove squinted and pushed her nose close to the windowpane. After a moment, she picked her way around the stacks of books and headed for the front door.
Anza followed. As Dove reached for the doorknob, the tinny sound of individual drops sped up and became a roar.
Anza froze as the door opened, and the smell hit her. It wasn’t
rain. Not the comforting, loamy earth-and-creosote smell she loved falling asleep to. No, this was something coppery, musky, and so heavy, she could taste it.
“Hail,” Dove said, voice almost drowned out by the roar of
Anza moved forward slowly, eyes locked on the ground. It was
hail, all right. Most of the chunks were the size of her thumbnail.
Some were as big as golf balls.
A pile of themwas already melting into slush where they had rolled against the front step.
Instead of the pale color of fresh ice, though, the hailstones had the raw crimson hue of uncooked meat.
Jamie Killen’s introduction to the world of dark fiction came at the age of seven, when her well-meaning but perhaps overly enthusiastic dad decided that the works of Harlan Ellison made for some great bedtime stories. She’s been avidly consuming science fiction, horror, and fantasy novels, movies, comic books, and podcasts ever since.
Jamie’s short stories and flash fiction have appeared in dozens of anthologies and magazines. She is also a writer and director of several dark fiction podcasts.
Originally from Arizona, Jamie now lives in Texas with her longtime partner. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys practicing her mixology skills by inventing new and exciting designer cocktails. She also likes craft beer, travel, and cuddling with her two adorable rescue mutts.