WINNER OF THE 2015 SHIRLEY JACKSON AWARD
WINNER OF THE 2016 SUNBURST AWARD!
by Gemma Files
Fired at almost the same time as her son Clark’s Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, former film critic turned teacher Lois Cairns is caught in a depressive downward spiral, convinced she’s a failure who’s spent half her adult life writing about other people’s dreams without ever seeing any of her own come true. One night Lois attends a program of experimental film and emerges convinced she’s seen something no one else has—a sampled piece of silver nitrate silent film footage whose existence might prove that an eccentric early 20th-century socialite who disappeared under mysterious circumstances was also one of Canada’s first female movie-makers. Though it raises her spirits and revitalizes her creatively, Lois’s headlong quest to discover the truth about Mrs. A. Macalla Whitcomb almost immediately begins to send her much further than she ever wanted to go, revealing increasingly troubling links between her subject’s life and her own. Slowly but surely, the malign influence of Mrs Whitcomb’s muse begins to creep into every aspect of Lois’s life, even placing her son in danger. But how can one increasingly ill and unstable woman possibly hope to defeat a threat that’s half long-lost folklore, half cinematically framed hallucination—an existential nightmare made physical, projected off the screen and into real life?
Other CZP books by Gemma Files:
Praise for Gemma Files
“Experimental Film is sensational. When we speak of the best in contemporary horror and weird fiction, we must speak of Gemma Files.”
“Gemma Files has one of the great dark imaginations in fiction—visionary, transgressive, and totally original. With this new novel [Experimental Film], Files explores the world of film and horror in a way that will leave you reeling. A smart, sharp page-turner with heart and depth.”
“Gemma’s been producing top-notch horror stories for years, and her weird Western Hexslinger trilogy is chock full of hellish horrors.”
“I am surely addicted, and this new addiction has a name–Gemma Files. We had company over the weekend, company I adore and hadn’t seen in a year, and I still snuck in bits of this audio book. The author spins together imagery that is breath-taking in both beauty and terror.”
—A Dab of Darkness (audiobook review)