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Ecstatic Inferno

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From the moment you start to turn the pages, it will soak into your central nervous system, subtly and subversively reprogramming you at the DNA level. Each of these ten stories is engineered to disrupt a different psychic threshold. Pierce the layers between dimensions. Unleashing visions, demons and demiurges of the deepest collective unconscious, both beautiful and terr From the moment you start to turn the pages, it will soak into your central nervous system, subtly and subversively reprogramming you at the DNA level. Each of these ten stories is engineered to disrupt a different psychic threshold. Pierce the layers between dimensions. Unleashing visions, demons and demiurges of the deepest collective unconscious, both beautiful and terrible. From the deeply haunted Southern gothic strangeness to interplanetary quests of illuminating doom and profound cosmic transformation, Ecstatic Inferno is a heroic dose of hallucinatory modern speculative fiction, uncut and unforgettable. So taste the brain of Autumn Christian, where every line of idea-drenched, intoxicating prose bleeds with razored wit and revelations so sharp they poke holes in the night. Side effects may include: flashbacks, unshakeable awe and terror, the sense that your reality will never be the same.


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From the moment you start to turn the pages, it will soak into your central nervous system, subtly and subversively reprogramming you at the DNA level. Each of these ten stories is engineered to disrupt a different psychic threshold. Pierce the layers between dimensions. Unleashing visions, demons and demiurges of the deepest collective unconscious, both beautiful and terr From the moment you start to turn the pages, it will soak into your central nervous system, subtly and subversively reprogramming you at the DNA level. Each of these ten stories is engineered to disrupt a different psychic threshold. Pierce the layers between dimensions. Unleashing visions, demons and demiurges of the deepest collective unconscious, both beautiful and terrible. From the deeply haunted Southern gothic strangeness to interplanetary quests of illuminating doom and profound cosmic transformation, Ecstatic Inferno is a heroic dose of hallucinatory modern speculative fiction, uncut and unforgettable. So taste the brain of Autumn Christian, where every line of idea-drenched, intoxicating prose bleeds with razored wit and revelations so sharp they poke holes in the night. Side effects may include: flashbacks, unshakeable awe and terror, the sense that your reality will never be the same.

30 review for Ecstatic Inferno

  1. 5 out of 5

    Danger

    A lyrical, dizzying, haunting journey through the darkest parts of the human psyche, told through fresh takes on dystopian science fiction and horror, and delivered by way of dreamlike prose. Not a dud story in the bunch, and although some cut closer to home than others, all were memorable and engaging to the point of enchantment. I had heard that Autumn Christian’s writing was good, but I had never read any before this. It is good. Really good. And if this book was a drug, then I am hooked.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Pedro Proença

    Hey kids! Do you like HP Lovecraft's ideas cool, but find the writing dull? Do you like Robert Chambers' world and mythos, but can't get pass the obscurity of his works? Do you like the Thomas Ligotti's concepts, but can't stand that much nihilism? WELL, I HAVE SOME NEWS FOR YOU! Just try Autumn Christian's newest collection ECSTATIC INFERNO, from the amazing Fungasm Press! It's weird fiction, but it's actually good and enjoyable! Think of Philip K. Dick. Think of Jeff Vandermeer. This collection is t Hey kids! Do you like HP Lovecraft's ideas cool, but find the writing dull? Do you like Robert Chambers' world and mythos, but can't get pass the obscurity of his works? Do you like the Thomas Ligotti's concepts, but can't stand that much nihilism? WELL, I HAVE SOME NEWS FOR YOU! Just try Autumn Christian's newest collection ECSTATIC INFERNO, from the amazing Fungasm Press! It's weird fiction, but it's actually good and enjoyable! Think of Philip K. Dick. Think of Jeff Vandermeer. This collection is this good. Yes, it's nihilistic, so that last bit about Ligotti may be unfair. But Autumn Christian's voice is so cool and so poetic, you don't feel like your soul is crushing under a vice when you read her stories. You feel sort of a high. Like John Skipp says in his introduction to this book, Autumn Christian's writing is a drug. One you can't overdose on (at least not that I know of) and one that provides you with a level of satisfaction most alcoholic beverages can't. A must read for fans of weird fiction, Bizarro, and...well, books in general.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Maddux

    My first experience with Autumn's work was Crooked God Machine, a rich tapestry of nihilism replete with night and day terrors as diverse as the swamp hag Jolene who pulls children to the briny depths of her swamp parlor, emissaries of God donning armor and masks of prominent predators from the Animal Kingdom and even a shuttle ride to Hell with an intercom that issues basic instructions such as 'you're a terrible person, welcome to the rest of eternity' (something along those lines, anyway). Whe My first experience with Autumn's work was Crooked God Machine, a rich tapestry of nihilism replete with night and day terrors as diverse as the swamp hag Jolene who pulls children to the briny depths of her swamp parlor, emissaries of God donning armor and masks of prominent predators from the Animal Kingdom and even a shuttle ride to Hell with an intercom that issues basic instructions such as 'you're a terrible person, welcome to the rest of eternity' (something along those lines, anyway). When We Are Wormwood surfaced, it was everything in Crooked God Machine only perfected with a dark elegance. If CGM was raw and scathing, We Are Wormwood was sultry and refined. And then, there was nothing new from her for some time for what could be any number of reasons. I understand she was familiarizing herself with certain literary hierarchies who were perfect for accomodating her alchemy of the nightshade plant into literary visions. This collection is the result of years of dormancy as she found her way to the door of John Skipp's wisdom. Now, she is poised to envenom many more readers and we must all bow down and pay tribute. What strikes me most about the collection from a general overview is the recurring imagery of underground freezers, butterfly bites, frayed wings, moonlight, and finally, fragile women and the men who depend on them. Pink Crane Girls seems to be a commentary on voyeurism, but there's something else I can't put my finger on. It concerns a group of young women who are monitored and closely studied so their captors might better discern why they explode (literally) upon folding so many times. It could also be a meditation on female identity or the ever shifting paradigm of cosmetic beauty. The Dog That Bit Her is probably the saddest in the collection as its theme seems to be the futility of long term romance, along with the entanglements of dependence on someone else and the hassles of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. When June is bitten by a rabid dog, she begins seeing rabid dogs everywhere; Smashing through windows, escaping her paintings, pouncing from behind couches. Then, June begins acting like one herself in her quest to 'bite him back.' It's a damn sight painful to read about the disintegration of the woman he loved, whether he loved her for her meekness or not. He strives to protect her, transform her, anything. But, as we learn by the close, some people cannot be saved. Like them, you can either live with the affliction or divorce yourself from it. I kept screaming in my head 'Don't use the wrench! Don't use the wrench!' Out of the Slip Planet is a story circular in its construction that deals with an artist whose specialty is painting ostrich eggs as he navigates a world with mermaids and other fairy tale ephemera. Honeycomb Heads seems to be influenced by video games as it's not unlike the plots of sci-fi shooters such as Gears of War or Mass Effect. Earth is deader than dead and its inhabitants have moved to other, more hostile worlds with no recourse as their children are abducted from under their noses by a colony of space ants that drown them in an amniotic resin that causes the parents to wonder if it's too late to recover them. The Bad Baby Meniscus could be a send-up of any number of cultural eidolons, from psychiatry, the dating world, the school's intrusive role in the development of someone's child or even the idealized image of a beautiful woman flaunted on magazine covers. Mellie Anderson is about to undergo a nanosurgical process that will, in effect, lobotomize her. There will be no more visits out to the garden to talk with her 'scaredy crow' affectionately named Harrison Ford, she fears. There will be no more chasing rabbits or rambling nonsequiturs. She will soon become what is expected of her by her domineering mother, childhood be damned. But nature may have other ideas. Lastly, I want to commend Autumn's ever evolving approach as a scribe. More than ever, it feels comforting, as if saying 'yes, the darkness is there. Yes, it's probably going to devour you. But it's okay, because it devoured me too.' I don't know who in Autumn's life had the temerity to grant her such a melancholy outlook on life, but to those people I want to say two things: 1) Thank you. Without you, she may not have been the author she is, and 2) Go fuck yourselves, you monsters.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rodney

    This collection combines the four stories in “A Gentle Hell” with six previously unpublished pieces. Within Ecstatic Inferno themes of loss, madness and melancholy prevail, with haunting characters in the form of insectoid monsters, broken butterflies, demons and blackened beings. When compared to her previous output, it could be said that Ecstatic Inferno is at times a bit more sci-fi or a even a slightly more accessible form of darkness, but I find it hard to say this for certain because each This collection combines the four stories in “A Gentle Hell” with six previously unpublished pieces. Within Ecstatic Inferno themes of loss, madness and melancholy prevail, with haunting characters in the form of insectoid monsters, broken butterflies, demons and blackened beings. When compared to her previous output, it could be said that Ecstatic Inferno is at times a bit more sci-fi or a even a slightly more accessible form of darkness, but I find it hard to say this for certain because each story carves it’s own identity. The author’s work has a feral, hallucinogenic quality that never fails to get the endorphins going. Akin to an IV delivering a “reader’s high,” her prose maintains a poetic intelligence that has me hooked. They Promised Dreamless Death - Would you trust all that is involved in turning off consciousness, having a machine take over your daily duties so that you can get that much needed “rest?” How do you re-assimilate upon returning to form? The interconnectedness of the characters and the changes in their relationships play a big part in shaping the context. A great way to begin. Crystalmouth - Possibly my favorite. The siamese twins and their experiences are extremely vivid and the entity they face is beyond creepy. I loved the interplay between the two as their conflicting personalities and ideas clashed. This could be deemed a coming of age story, but is much more eerie than any I have read. The ending may surprise you. Your Demiurge is Dead - The examination of religion is the thread running pulling this one together. The despondent, damaged nature of Mimi’s children, especially Tuesday, pull at the emotions as a society’s accepted deity shifts rapidly. Sunshine, Sunshine - “I’ve been waiting for you,” he said. “In these corridors, you’re an angel.” These are the words of the sunshine man. Creepy nostalgia with life experiences coming full circle after a prolonged distance grows between you and all that you came from. “I remembered the paths I used to walk like the ache people sometimes get in broken bones that have long since healed. That’s what this swamp was - a deep ache.” Pink Crane Girls - Possibly the most PK-Dickish of all. The protagonist is “a manager of living time bombs.” The turning of the girls into their new roles was a bit terrifying and sad. There is a strong sense that there is so much going on under the surface, but I am sure that I only grasped a small percentage of it. This one is immersive to say the least. “Where do they go when the work is finished?” The Dog that Bit Her - Following June’s character through the phantasmal changes in her life kept me under this story’s thumb until the end. Studying the changes in the dynamic of the relationship between her and her husband was a highlight and an indicator that something monumental is about to happen. The Bad Baby Meniscus is the other contender for favorite of the bunch. Also the most reminiscent of “We Are Wormwood” to me. I adored the character of Mellie. Her wit and ideals were extremely amusing. This one also had that trademark dark fantasy feel that Autumn does like no one else. “Everything got real slow, like I’d just stuck my head underwater and the reeds reached out to tug on my hair and encircle my face. I got the feeling that underwater lived another me, a liquid, luminous blue me, who parted the reeds and struck me on the mouth.” Tugging at my heart strings, the story had me hoping against what seemed an inevitably tragic end. I have never been one to keep it secret that Autumn Christian is a favorite of mine, but do not let this take anything away from the convictions of the review. Ecstatic Inferno is a book I have anticipated for quite some time, and is everything I expected, with some newly forged territory as well. I highly recommend this one as well as any of Christian’s books.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Marvin

    Autumn Christian is first and foremost a science-fiction writer. This may not be obvious at first because many would not associate the dense wordplay, the deep intimacy and emotion in the writing .and the almost nihilist philosophical tones with what the mainstream sees as science fiction. Even when the theme does not seem to be science fiction, we are immersed in a feeling of other dimensions and alternate realities. It may help to understand this if you can catch the heavy Philip K Dick influe Autumn Christian is first and foremost a science-fiction writer. This may not be obvious at first because many would not associate the dense wordplay, the deep intimacy and emotion in the writing .and the almost nihilist philosophical tones with what the mainstream sees as science fiction. Even when the theme does not seem to be science fiction, we are immersed in a feeling of other dimensions and alternate realities. It may help to understand this if you can catch the heavy Philip K Dick influences. Even though Dick developed his skills in the pulp press he was soon taking science fiction to philosophical and meta-physical levels that were not seen before. Christian is still a young writer and, even in the pages of this excellent collection, it is clear she is still developing her unique voice. But, and some will consider these words heresy, she is in the truly literary sense already writing better than Phillip K Dick. Ecstatic Inferno is a collection of ten short stories. Some are clearly science fiction. Others may be less obvious. All are fantastical in a surreal and somewhat nihilistic way. In some stories it is a little hard to know what she is really writing about. Death and identity is a safe bet but they are not stories that lends themselves to simple interpretation. For instance, "The Dog That Bit her" seems to be another variant of the werewolf tale yet we are let in at the beginning that the protagonist is not what we might expect and this is not the usual dog bites girl tale. These stories do not lend themselves to non-attentive reading. partially before they go where you least expect them to go and partially because the author's poetic style is too complex and beautiful to give less than your full attention.. "They Promised Dreamless Death" is another odd nightmare/dreamscape where a corporation promises years of dreamless sleep while your body continue to work and strive. This one really affected me. As a retired therapist, i knew there are people out in the world that would love to live a fantasy like that. They would prefer a life of death rather than a life of dreams. Yet the author, through a character who does not want this dreamless sleep, explores the illusion of reality and identity and perhaps the futility of even caring which one is illusion or reality. I am not even sure what "Crystalmouth"is about except that it is about conjoined twins that are haunted by an incubus. It still scared me in a way that was deeper than the usual scare. Which brings up another point. These are stories that need two, even several, readings. The real horror is between the lines. Other stories worth pondering include "Pink Crane Girls" which is about a strange experiment where women fold paper cranes and eventually explode. "Honeycombed Heads" is about a group of settlers on a strange and disagreeable planet where their children are taken and then transformed into something else. I couldn't help thinking if, removing the science fiction, this isn't something every parent experiences and dreads. The aforementioned not-a-werewolf story "The Dog That Bit her" has some exceptionally beautifully dialogue that captures the character quickly in lines like "You're smart and kind,...and you have eyes like an owl that once broke his wings in my backyard and died in my arms." That is half of the fiction but each of the ten works has a special attraction that both eludes and pulls at you. Autumn Christian is one of those authors that can only get better. Considering how good she is now, that is a scary thought just by itself.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Benoit Lelièvre

    Consider this a successful soft launch to horroctober. ECSTATIC INFERNO is not exactly cosmic horror but it has elements of it as well as science fiction, surrealism and magic realism. Perhaps the coolest thing about Autumn Christian's fiction is how philosophically and symbolically loaded it is. The opener THEY PROMISED A DREAMLESS DEATH explores human dependence to technology and quick fixes. YOUR DEMIURGE IS DEAD draws a line between religion and belief and perhaps my favorite story of the co Consider this a successful soft launch to horroctober. ECSTATIC INFERNO is not exactly cosmic horror but it has elements of it as well as science fiction, surrealism and magic realism. Perhaps the coolest thing about Autumn Christian's fiction is how philosophically and symbolically loaded it is. The opener THEY PROMISED A DREAMLESS DEATH explores human dependence to technology and quick fixes. YOUR DEMIURGE IS DEAD draws a line between religion and belief and perhaps my favorite story of the collection SUNSHINE, SUNSHINE explores the mechanics of sacrifice, love, life and the self-perpetuating cycle of abuse in Christian's own eerie and atmospheric way. HONEYCOMB HEADS and THE DOG THAT BIT HER also were pleasant surprises. Autumn Christian is tremendously talented, unique and original. Some kind of hybrid between Laird Barron and Philip K. Dick. Don't miss out on this collection. It is special.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Garrett Cook

    Poignantly monstrous. Painfully human. These stories on the fringe of horror, sci fi, magical realism and every kind of Gothic will hurt you, heal you and sometimes bring you to something not unlike catharsis. Autumn is an author worth watching. I speak of her often and have stood up for her often because she deserves it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michael Adams

    I'd give this 7/5 stars if possible, it's that life-altering. Full review to follow… I'd give this 7/5 stars if possible, it's that life-altering. Full review to follow…

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sjgomzi

    ‪One of the finest short story collections I’ve come across in a long time. No exaggeration. Haunting imagery, gorgeous writing. Like no one I’ve read before. I NEED MORE. 😃‬

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nicholaus Patnaude

    "They Promised Dreamless Death" A future is stained by urges for psychical annihilation because vampires stand at bedsides howling for 20 years. Reading this first story made me think of another Fungasm author: Violet LeVoit. They both blend genre tropes with mesmerizingly poetic lines--that's not to say that their voices are similar but that they approach writing from a similar angle. This line stood out: "Life would be better if we weren't present during our difficult transitory periods, if we "They Promised Dreamless Death" A future is stained by urges for psychical annihilation because vampires stand at bedsides howling for 20 years. Reading this first story made me think of another Fungasm author: Violet LeVoit. They both blend genre tropes with mesmerizingly poetic lines--that's not to say that their voices are similar but that they approach writing from a similar angle. This line stood out: "Life would be better if we weren't present during our difficult transitory periods, if we shut off the part of us that thought and felt and tasted, and slid our heads down on dark waters while the machines lived for us." A scary yet prescient line indeed in our age when we frequently disappear into our technology. Another poetic and startling line: "I had to plaster every deer that stepped in the headlights and keep melting the asphalt with Jeanine's teeth and my foot on the pedal and her warm honey shy eyes in my stomach because I'd never feel that way again." One can sense the pleasure overwhelming and reordering reality and spatial planes here. Sometimes weird and wonderful ideas might slip past you in the seductive, otherworldly flow of the language--such as here: "I think that while the world is sleeping a new entity will enter our universe, like a thief in the night, creep over our head-fog, and take away our bodies and our space, infiltrate our energy and our nightmarescapes. If the world ever walks, I don't think it will ever know what it used to be." The world--having been taken over by an evil entity--will not remember what it used to be if it walks. You could build an entire story around this casually mentioned concept! When Jeanine calls the narrator a "deadhead," I did wonder if he'd had one of the machines in his head since he couldn't recall why he had refused the operation. That coupled with the fact that Boxy only answers to Jeanine ("the name of every pretty girl") suggests that there's something screwy with the narrator's perceptions as he jumps into the lake even though he mentioned earlier they'd be going there "so we're not going to die." "Crystalmouth" The imagery in this story about skull-conjoined sisters is terrifying in both its precision and originality: "His mouth stretched. Heavy. Yawning. Burrowing, big mouth. Big tongue. Crystals studded his tongue. They shredded the roof of his mouth so that the skin hung down in thick strips, and when he breathed the strips fluttered." and: "The crystals grew heavy in his mouth, and when he unlatched the window they sparkled in darklight. My sister's snowpowder hair fell off the bed and he bent down and wound it around his wrists to drag himself closer to us." I picture the most evil cereal box cartoon monster ever here. Although perhaps that is a misleading statement for this story is bleak: "I imagine she wanted to dip us in formaldehyde and nail us to a piece of wood to sell to a curio shop." After the conjoined sisters startle and assault a terrified boy in the woods, the smaller sister says "It's fun to be a monster." Later they go on a date which goes wrong--however, they eventually get revenge on the incubus by ripping out his crystal tongue. This story is somehow wacky, devastating, and creepy. "Your Demiurge is Dead" I enjoyed the surreal world-building in this one during passages like this: "There were three trash bags of summer-heated, red exposed fetid god flesh that washed up on the Gulf of Mexico." This tale is more of a slow-burner than the other two. I particularly enjoyed the weird imagery of the faery hole. "Sunshine, Sunshine" The "sunshine man" is an eerie figure who will search "for women so he could bury his hands into their hair, make love to them not with skin but with needles and blood finger-painting, transform them with wounds and later dissect them upon his tables."' There is a breathtaking originality and strangeness to lines containing ideas like making love with "blood finger-painting" and "transform them with wounds"--it's as if destruction and mutilation is viewed as a delicate and artistic virtue. I'll quote a bit more from this stellar paragraph: "He collected these women like butterflies beautifully pressed between pins, and his sunshine house hid a labyrinthine cellar maze underneath full of freezers and tubes and monsters that lived in family portraits. He killed delicately, spread out bones and skin like wings, preserving them in ice and serum, stored inside locker rooms that he visited sometimes like favorite poems, counting off delicate, torn paper haloes. Freckles and indigo eyes were favorite lines, and he gently touched the places he drained of blood, sensual but not exactly sexual, like he smell that lingers after rain." "Pink Crane Girls" Loved the idea of "simulated sunlight cafes" in this one. Also, this odd glimpse: "Behind him a girl sat, her back to the line going out the door, her pink dress unzipped and revealing the layout of her protruding spine. It didn't seem like a real body part, but something holographic, simulated, a real spine wouldn't be on a girl constantly humming and vibrating to frequencies we couldn't comprehend." "Out of the Slip Planet" I found the imagery in this anthropomorphic passage to be quite potent and affecting: "I wanted to save them. I waned to get up and run out to greet them like a war hero, press my shoulders into their sides and push them back into the ocean. Except I imagined once I touched them their bottlenecks would become aquiline nose, their seaweed entangled throats would turn into wet hair. I would touch gray skin and it would become pink and cool. They would turn over on their backs and look at me with dying woman eyes that had seen leviathans, shipwrecked vessels, the blue heart of coral reefs." "Honeycomb Heads" The land where the protagonists travel lies somewhere between an alien fortress and an otherworldly beehive. "The Dog That Bit Her" Didn't appreciate the insult to Kafka. Some great surreal touches in this nightmarish piece featuring recurring attacks by a rabid dog, such as here: "I often rolled over and climbed up the attic ladder to find her at the canvas wearing her bloody sweater, head bent to the brush, red hair alive." I loved the twisted ambition of June throughout the tale to "bits him back" and the transformation scenes were incredibly vivid and original--much more disgusting, somehow, than a typical werewolf transformation sequence. "The Bad Baby Meniscus" This line startled me with its eerie beauty: "I got the feeling that underwater lived another me, a liquid, luminous blue me, who parted the reeds and struck me on the mouth." As did these ones (although they're a bit more grotesque): "The butterfly bite started looking even worse. Its poisonous cat-eye center dripped orange pus and black ichor." One of my favorites. The idea of death as the perfect mathematical creation as created by a god was a fascinating one. As was the metaphor of existence as a vast labyrinth. "The Singing Grass" This has to be one of the strangest opening lines/hooks to a story that I have ever encountered: "I told him that in the singing grass I saw a deer tear out the head of a cougar, but instead of staying away he went out there to paint." In this story again we find these sudden, surreal, macabre moments mentioned casually like here: "No girl from the town could've snapped her head back until it touched the tip of her spine. No, she emerged out of the singing grass, out of the electric song that whipped through the meadow and straight through me." This story was definitely my favorite. These stories will wound you, warp you, steal your dreams, and entangle your soul with a weird otherworldly vision that is Autumn Christian's. I loved the odd logic, surreal visuals, midnight loneliness, and speculative dreams visions in these tales. There is also a lyrical quality to many of the mind-mending lines, offering stories rich in detail and kaleidoscopic in construction, rewarding multiple rereadings.

  11. 5 out of 5

    M.P. Johnson

    In this collection, Autumn Christian deftly moves between genres. She pulls thoughtfully from horror, science fiction, etc, creating a mix that's uniquely her own. This collection has one of the best werewolfy things I've read in a long time. I look forward to reading more. In this collection, Autumn Christian deftly moves between genres. She pulls thoughtfully from horror, science fiction, etc, creating a mix that's uniquely her own. This collection has one of the best werewolfy things I've read in a long time. I look forward to reading more.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jo Quenell

    This is some high-concept, mind-smashing bizarro, lying somewhere between gothic horror, sci-fi and the surreal. Not every story landed, but the ones that did flattened me. I tried to think of a writer to compare Autumn Christian to, but truthfully her voice is 100% her own. This is a great collection.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Horror Underground

    Review from: http://beneaththeunderground.com Keeping up with their blemish free roster, Fungasm Press has released the latest collection of psychologically damaging short stories from Autumn Christian. Ten powerful tales of demons, dimensions, and dark science fiction send you on a hallucinatory trip through the mind of of a person that is sure to be a major player in the scene. Four of these stories having been previously released in A Gentle Hell, Fungasm has brought us an additional six that Review from: http://beneaththeunderground.com Keeping up with their blemish free roster, Fungasm Press has released the latest collection of psychologically damaging short stories from Autumn Christian. Ten powerful tales of demons, dimensions, and dark science fiction send you on a hallucinatory trip through the mind of of a person that is sure to be a major player in the scene. Four of these stories having been previously released in A Gentle Hell, Fungasm has brought us an additional six that are receiving their first publication. In the first story, They Promised Dreamless Death, starts this collection in a hugely strong way. The prose is poetic and presents deeper theories in passive ways than most authors are able to convey in hundreds of pages. This story is Lovecraftian in a nihilistic way with a narrator that is more exhausted than paranoid. Crystalmouth takes us to the perspective of two conjoined twins whose daily activities are told with a vile and horrifying gusto. The story ends in a surprising way that I dare not spoil. Your Demiurge is Dead continues the running theme of religion, this time bringing more emotional heft than the previous stories. Sunshine, Sunshine offers the introduction of the “Sunshine Man”. This twisted tale reveals a man with a vile hobby. The cyberpunk by way of horror in Pink Crane Girls offers a fresh perspective, not that the stories or themes were getting stale. Continue reading at: http://beneaththeunderground.com/book...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lisa LeStrange

    This book took me a long time to read and I mean that in the best possible way. There was no way for me to consume this book quickly. I took it to work with me on a slow night and I ended up playing games on my phone all night. (thanks for that Ms. Christian) Each story in this book requires time to process and digest. Ecstatic Inferno is on equal levels, entertaining and disturbing.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rick

    This was a very interesting, grim read. Full review to come. **update 10/3/16** I really neec to get this written! I have botched the status dates so badly that I am not even sure when I finished it at this point.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dave Ging

    Ummm...Yea...this book. WTF. Total mind trip. Stunned.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    These stories wouldn't let me go! I frequently find my mind wandering back to the horrifying and delicately beautiful worlds that Autumn Christian has forever embedded in my mind. I feel like an intoxicated trauma victim hungering for another glimpse of the ultra-real. These stories wouldn't let me go! I frequently find my mind wandering back to the horrifying and delicately beautiful worlds that Autumn Christian has forever embedded in my mind. I feel like an intoxicated trauma victim hungering for another glimpse of the ultra-real.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dave Anderson

    I buy everything Fungasm Press releases. Always a no brainer. Ecstatic Inferno is 10 really awesome short stories that will entertain anybody down with strange well written stories. I will be revisiting some of these again to re-read them.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Beth Ricketson

    Bad ass and brilliant

  20. 4 out of 5

    David

    These stories are either a dark dream, a pleasant nightmare, or something in between. They are certainly vivid, intense, and deeply disconcerting. I love them.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kevin L

    Holy wow, what a great new (to me) talent! Christian just knocks it right out of the park consistently across EVERY story in this SciFi/horror collection. The careful choice of words throughout shines with beautiful turns of phrase and powerful imagery and storytelling. I can not recommend this book highly enough.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Zach

    It feels like comparing writers to Philip K Dick is becoming kind of meaningless due to overuse, but I genuinely can’t come up with a better comparison for a short story collection that features God’s body washing up in a trash bag on the beach. There’s a story with a needle-toothed incubus where that isn't even the most unsettling aspect of the story. Most of the stories achieve a dreamlike lack of structure without feeling disorganized, featuring vivid surreal imagery and the sort of language It feels like comparing writers to Philip K Dick is becoming kind of meaningless due to overuse, but I genuinely can’t come up with a better comparison for a short story collection that features God’s body washing up in a trash bag on the beach. There’s a story with a needle-toothed incubus where that isn't even the most unsettling aspect of the story. Most of the stories achieve a dreamlike lack of structure without feeling disorganized, featuring vivid surreal imagery and the sort of language use that you can’t quite explain why it works but fuck if you won’t be turning certain phrases over in your head for days afterward.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michael LeSueur

    The back cover of this book claims it is a PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCE. This statement is accurate, or at least, it feels like it is. Autumn's collection is filled with several mind-bending scifi, horror, and southern-gothic flavored stories. Favorites include "They Promised Dreamless Death", "Pink Crane Girls", "Out of the Slip Planet", "Your Demiurge is Dead", "The Dog that Bit Her", and "The Singing Grass". If you like Thomas Piccirilli, Phillip K. Dick, Poppy Z. Brite, Gen Urobuchi, Harlan Ellison, The back cover of this book claims it is a PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCE. This statement is accurate, or at least, it feels like it is. Autumn's collection is filled with several mind-bending scifi, horror, and southern-gothic flavored stories. Favorites include "They Promised Dreamless Death", "Pink Crane Girls", "Out of the Slip Planet", "Your Demiurge is Dead", "The Dog that Bit Her", and "The Singing Grass". If you like Thomas Piccirilli, Phillip K. Dick, Poppy Z. Brite, Gen Urobuchi, Harlan Ellison, or Caitlín R. Kiernan, I highly recommend you pick up this collection!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jon James

    This book is a collection of sensual, twisted, and surreal stories. Ecstatic Inferno skims across reality like a skipping stone, as each story plunges us into the beautiful and horrific, yet intensely personal universes Christian creates.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sam Tepes

  26. 5 out of 5

    Charlie S.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Spinwallah

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amy Vaughn

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hakan Karlsson

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