cover image The Ghost Sequences

The Ghost Sequences

A.C. Wise. Undertow, $19.99 trade paper (358p) ISBN 978-1-988964-33-1

Wise (Wendy, Darling) showcases 16 brilliant stories in this immersive, ghostly collection, opening with the speculative “How the Trick Is Done,” in which a charismatic magician levels up his stagecraft when he begins dating a Resurrectionist, but things take a turn when the ghost of his former assistant returns with a broken heart. “I Dress My Lover in Yellow” is an eerie epistolary story told through a young woman’s research on an unusual painting. In the margins, the researcher’s roommate leaves her notes that begin casually, like those one would leave on the fridge, but slowly morph to mirror the painting’s nefarious history. The final, eponymous story leans the heaviest into a traditional horror tone as readers are dropped into the world of four artists as they prepare for an art exhibition contest. When the electricity cuts out, the ghost stories they share to pass the time until it comes back on slowly become more real, more personal. Soon, the echoes of these stories erase the line between the living and the dead. With beautiful prose, unique takes, and a broad range of tones and approaches to the horror genre, this is a collection to be savored—and just in time for Halloween. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, BG Literary. (Oct.)