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Nicole Cushing

Nicole CushingNicole Cushing is an author of dark fiction. The anthology Werewolves & Shapeshifters: Encounters With The Beast Within includes Nicole’s short fiction (alongside stories by Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, Charlaine Harris, and Chuck Palahniuk). Three of her tales received honorable mentions for Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year, Volume 5. One of her stories was selected for the Tangent Online 2013 Recommended Reading List. Several of her stories have been (or are currently being) adapted for audio presentation on podcasts such as Tales to Terrify, Pseudopod, and Cast Macabre. All told, Nicole has sold well over twenty short stories to various markets in the U.S. and U.K. Her essay on the racism of H.P. Lovecraft has been quoted by The Guardian and linked to by The Atlantic Monthly. A native of Maryland, she now lives with her husband in Indiana.

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Children of No One: A Shirley Jackson nominee

Children of No One by Nicole Cushing

Nicole Cushing has earned her first award nomination for Children of No One, a novella published by the exciting new (as of 2012) publisher, DarkFuse. It is one of the seven novellas nominated in a strong field for the Shirley Jackson Award, an award I consider most apt to give me good reading recommendations.

The theme of Children of No One I find especially fascinating: art can be abused to horrific effect. It has always been true that what one person thinks of is artful and outrageously original is another person’s garbage; “My kid could do that!” is a phrase that has been directed toward any number of modern pieces, such as, say, the splatter paintings of Jackson Pollock. But there have also been discussions about whether certain art is cruel and unworthy of a mentally healthy audience. Some of Francis Bacon’s paintings, for instanc... Read More

A Sick Gray Laugh: A disturbing, metafictional, transgressive tour de force

A Sick Gray Laugh by Nicole Cushing

A Sick Gray Laugh, Nicole Cushing’s 2019 horror novel, is disturbing, at times disgusting. It’s surreal, it’s metafictional and it’s often hilarious. And, really, that’s about all I have to say about it. If you like any of those things, or all of them, you should read it.

Oh, what? I should tell you about the plot? Okay. Noelle Cashman, our first-person narrator, is an award-winning horror novelist. Recently, though, she has started medication for her struggles with anxiety and depression and now, faced with a book to write, discovers she doesn’t want to write another novel. While parts of her life are getting much better — she joined a softball team, lost some weight, is eating more healthily — Noelle is distressed and intrigued by the steady encroachment of th... Read More