January Sale

Until the end of January, we are offering a massive 40% off Orchid’s Lantern press books on our webstore! That’s Fragments of Perception, Mind in the Gap, Vast, and Abyss. Simply enter JANUARY at checkout.

Go to store.

BookNook is here!

I’m thrilled to announce that our BookNook is now live!

In collaboration with The Art Cafe in Whitby (North Yorkshire), we have put together a curated selection of small press books to bring you the very best of lesser-known and innovative literature.

It is our impression that small, independent presses don’t get much attention in big book stores, yet they are busy taking creative risks, supporting challenging works, and translating world favourites into English for the first time. We think such books are a great fit for fans of contemporary art and look forward to drawing them out from the margins and into readers’ hands.

We have installed a bespoke bookcase, designed and made by local blacksmith James Godbold, and it looks fantastic next to the staircase commissioned from the same.

The Art Cafe is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm (with possible seasonal variation), and consists of two spacious floors of contemporary art, an espresso bar, and the open studio of textile artist Judith Reece.

In addition to the physical location, all our BookNook books are available to buy from our online store. We offer flat rate shipping within the UK, which means you can buy as much as you like without increasing P&P.

Press News

I am thrilled to announce that Orchid’s Lantern will be publishing Stephen Oram’s latest short story collection next year!

Extracting Humanity is a thought-provoking collection of near-future fiction, inspired by conversations with artists, scientists, and technologists.

Stephen has already had stories featured in our anthologies Vast and Abyss, and his novel Quantum Confessions was one of the very first books to be reviewed on Orchid’s Lantern, so it’s a pleasure to be working with him again.

You can read more about Stephen and his previously published work here.

Abyss: Stories of Depth, Time and Infinity is OUT NOW!

Are we more than the sum of our memories? Does time always pass the same or can it be influenced by thought? What happens to consciousness after death?

This is our second anthology – an exciting mix of horror, science fiction and experimental prose exploring these questions and many more. With contributions from:

William F. Aicher
Jasmine Arch
Mark Bolsover
R. A. Busby
Merl Fluin
Robert Guffey
Ayd Instone
Thomas Kendall
Tomas Marcantonio
David McAllister
Ross McCleary
L. P. Melling
Soumya Sundar Mukherjee
Kurt Newton
Stephen Oram
Nadia Steven Rysing
Vaughan Stanger
Antonia Rachel Ward

Buy now directly from our shop and get free shipping in the UK!

Also available from Amazon (where it is currently #1 in the Hot New Releases for Horror Anthologies), Waterstones, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository and many more.

Want to read it but not ready to buy? Why not add it to your list on Goodreads?

We’d love to know what you think, so please leave a review if you can. We will link to our favourite ones here on the website.

Flash Showcase: Earthbound Nebula by Ava Kelly

Image Credit: Ava Kelly


When it approached, it was slow. Passive enough to get close, unencumbered by human worry, graceful enough that its scarlet brilliance had exalted awe instead of fear.

I remember Pops, sitting on the back porch in that old squeaky chair, scratching his forehead, saying, “It’s gotta be something else. Aurora my ass, look at it.”

I remember Kiddo blinking at me, a couple of decades later, asking, “Why’s it so pretty, Daddy?” and, “Do you think we can touch it someday?”

I’d answer the same—nothing at all—because any words tasted like ash on my tongue. There had been one action to take, and one action only; even my twelve-year-old self knew. Study the earthbound nebula, comprehend it at all costs.

***

When it hugged the Earth, we didn’t notice, too preoccupied with measurements and suppositions and models. Too close to see. Kiddo used to tell me, when he got tall and broad-shouldered and voice-thick, that it governed my life. It had dragged me through school, through the long hours in the lab, through loss and pain, through stolen tenderness. I sigh, even now, at the memory of his angry frustration.

“We must understand,” I used to say. “Maybe it’s sentient. Maybe it also wants to understand.”

Continue reading “Flash Showcase: Earthbound Nebula by Ava Kelly”

Flash Showcase: The Memory Within by Aaron E. Lee

“What happened?” Yun asked the two scientists standing in front of her.

“The Memory War was almost fifty years ago now, I think.” Dr. Reyes raised her eyebrow, but Dr. O’Quin neither confirmed nor denied.

Instead, Dr. O’Quin said, “Genetic testing revealed the true form of memory in biology, and while the processing of those memories indeed took place in the brain, they were stored throughout the body in our DNA.” Yun nodded. It was a theory she had heard, but it seemed a confirmation of this would be pretty big news.

“Once we figured out how the body stored and processed this information, people started to get creative with that knowledge. Medication came out to improve memory, restore lost memories, and even to help people forget.” Dr. Reyes started unbuckling the clasps that held Yun down on the table.

Dr. O’Quin proceeded, “The medication was only half of the delivery system. After eight hours the patients had to be exposed to a low dosage of radiation, which triggered the Mnemonic Molecules. The medication was cheap to make. We didn’t go to war over the profits of the Memory industry. We went to war over the memories themselves.”

Continue reading “Flash Showcase: The Memory Within by Aaron E. Lee”

Flash Showcase: Dissonance by Bernardo Villela

Did I awaken in a dream or dream I was awake?

I’d been drifting into twilit sleep, but did I make it? I saw nothing but blackness everywhere.

Not darkness, even when one wakes in a pitch black room there’s a sense—even if it’s subconscious—of a location, time or an innate feeling that things are there but unseen. When your pupil dilates, it comes to you.

This wasn’t blindness but absolute vacuity, I knew I could see, but there was nothing to see.

Light was derelict. Was it slowed, blocked, had it vanished?

Panic wasn’t within me, but an amalgam of ambiguous emotions: the feeling of awakening when you didn’t realize you fell asleep, the feeling of impending mini-apocalypse as a dreaded appointment neared, the no-man’s-land between déjà vu and jamais vu. As I couldn’t take the world as is nor could I imagine a new ideal, was this a new manifestation of Weltschmerz?

In my mind’s eye, which was unclouded, I saw bubble galaxies imbuing new realities. Was that something I sensed by some latent ESP I’d triggered or was that a dream, a daydream or a nightmare?

I felt weightless which was surreal. It was unearthly yet, as I took a step my movement wasn’t slowed and I touched back down onto solid, indiscernible ground. I was not aloft, nor paralyzed, but benumbed.

Seeing blindly, moving unfeeling; how could this be?

Looking down I saw my legs and hands. Another conundrum: There’s light hitting me and nothing else. What was the source of this light? Is it me?

Impossible. Yet, it seemed to be unless most basic tenets of physics no longer applied.

Continue reading “Flash Showcase: Dissonance by Bernardo Villela”

Flash Showcase: Acid to the Bone by A.J. Van Belle

Kell wiped red paint from her hand onto a boor-tree-fiber towel and studied her creation. The crimson streaks glowed in the diffuse light from her bedroom window. All one color, an entire tube of alizarin used on one small paint board. The paint’s thickness determined the darkness or lightness. No recognizable figure graced the image, but the strokes suggested movement. An arm flung wide. A tapered back arched in dance. Transition from standing to leaping.

She frowned at her work. It wasn’t good enough.

She went to the window, wishing it were safe to go outside. Beyond the glass, rain dripped from curling fronds. Acidic slime, an oocyte that lived everywhere on this planet, dropped in sloppy masses from the branches of the treelike organisms in Kell’s neighborhood. She let her faint reflection fill her field of view and disappear as she pressed her nose to the cold glass. Her breath made a misty circle. Stories of going outside to play filled her head, tales she’d heard since infancy. All the classic stories came from Earth, the broken place that could only support a few thousand souls now, in cities that shielded their residents from the weather extremes wrought by global warming.

Here, on Kell’s home planet, children didn’t play outside. The oocytes would melt your dermis. The warnings echoed like a hiss, first as the voices of the adults around you and then from the mire of your own brain, never to be erased: The oocytes’ll burn your skin. They’ll eat you to the bone.

Continue reading “Flash Showcase: Acid to the Bone by A.J. Van Belle”

Flash Showcase: The Past and the Future by Abhijatya Singh

Father is setting up the Time Fleeting Belt. After years of effort, he has finally figured out a medium for us to move through in time. He says that I will be able to see everything that has occurred or will occur like a spectator. He is telling me to not test its limit. I should just go back a few days and come back. He is pressing the button to activate the Belt.

I am moving back in time. I can see my father instructing me to not test the belt’s limit. I am going back. I see him celebrating after he realizes what he has made. I am floating through time. I see myself making out with my girlfriend for the first time. I see me, ten years old, trying to look through the door to see what my father does in his lab. I see my mother taking her last breath after giving birth to me. I should return now. I just need to turn the dial from past to present. But my curiosity is getting the better of me.

Continue reading “Flash Showcase: The Past and the Future by Abhijatya Singh”

Flash Showcase: Suckers by Gavin Jefferson

“If you can sign here, and here,” he said, pointing, “and here, here and here, you’re good to go.”

He perused the contract slowly, reading the words over and over in his mind. “I don’t know.”

“What are you worried about?”

“What if it doesn’t work?”

“Well ….” He shrugged his lips. “You’ll be dead.”

“That’s what I’m worried about,” he sighed.

“If you’d rather not, then I understand. It’s experimental, but revolutionary technology. I admit, we haven’t figured out how to revive the dead yet, but we will.”

“Are you sure? I mean; how close are you to cracking it?”

“Close,” he nodded frantically, “very close.”

“Within weeks, years, what is it?”

The man smiled and pulled the contract from the table. “I can see that this is not for you,” he said, folding the paperwork.

Continue reading “Flash Showcase: Suckers by Gavin Jefferson”

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