2017 in Review: Gehenna & Hinnom Books Summation

Greetings from the Ethereal Plane,

2017 was the birth year of this company, the starting point of what would become a venture that grew in ways we never imagined possible. Back in April, we opened our doors. Our first call for submissions was for the Year’s Best Body Horror 2017 Anthology. The volume of authors who submitted was beyond any expectations we had, and the quality of the work received was nothing short of exceptional. We published over 40 stories in that anthology, and it went on to be our most successful publication of 2017.

Hinnom Magazine‘s submissions call was posted back in May of 2017 (alongside the call for Year’s Best Transhuman SF 2017 Anthology), and this project became one of our consistently fascinating ventures. We received a tremendous response from the interview with S.T. Joshi, already published on the site, that we decided to host an interview with a literary voice in each magazine, relative to the genres we love so much.

For issue 001, we interviewed S.T. Joshi, for issue 002, we interviewed T.E. Grau, for issue 003, we interviewed Philip Fracassi, and for the fourth issue, released today, we interviewed John Langan. The kindness and generosity of these authors was unbelievable and we were consistently humbled by the author community as a whole. With each interview, we had our concerns that the authors would be too busy or preoccupied to spare the time, but not only did they afford the time for the interviews, they were also incredibly enthusiastic and kind. We did review series for all the authors we interviewed, except Joshi, as this was our first release and we hadn’t conjured the idea of review series yet. We also did author spotlights for each writer involved, to try and help get the word out for their stories. 4 issues, and 6 months later, the spotlights are still going strong!

Hinnom Magazine Issue 001 was our first physical release, published on June 30th with 5 stories. We included a review for a film in the magazine, alongside the interviews. In our efforts to consistently support authors, we also placed spread ads of the interviewed’s books in each magazine. In issue 001, we had a spread for James Dorr’s Tombs collection, as he was the first author whom we interviewed after reviewing their work. After the interview with Dorr, we decided to create permanent sidebar ads on the site (which you will see to your right) for the work of every author we interviewed. “The Saraya” by Ryan Fitzpatrick was our featured story of that issue and the artwork was done by the always-exciting L.A. Spooner. Our film review for this issue was of Alien: Covenant.

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Cover art of Hinnom Magazine Issue 001 by L.A. Spooner of Carrion House

Fast forward to August, and we ended the submissions call for Year’s Best Body Horror 2017 Anthology, as we had reached our story limit. At the end of the month, we published Hinnom Magazine Issue 002, featuring 11 stories in a Lovecraft birthday Special Double-sized Edition. Our interview with Grau was among the pages, where we discussed his upcoming novel I Am the River, set for release from Lethe Press in February 2018. It was humbling interviewing Grau as just a year before, I read his collection The Nameless Dark. The book sucked me in and I couldn’t stop reading it for several nights. Grau was in part one of my inspirations for starting this company as I found his voice to be unique and enthralling. Concerning the interview, he was one of the kindest people I had ever met and I am, still to this day, beyond grateful for his encouragement and willingness to partake in the macabre venture that is Gehenna & Hinnom. Our featured story for issue 002 was “Godmouth” by P.L. McMilan and the cover art was done by Matt Andrew, who had a wonderful eye for creating that classic Weird Tales atmosphere that we love so much. We also reviewed Neill Blomkamp’s Oats Studios anthology series in this issue.

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Cover art for Hinnom Magazine Issue 002 by Matt Andrew

September came and the release of the Year’s Best Body Horror 2017 Anthology was on the horizon. The editing for this anthology was strenuous to say the least, as we wanted to make sure the formatting and style of the manuscript was unlike anything readers had seen before. The stories were so consistently beautiful and grotesque and during this process, I truly realized how much I appreciated the faith these wonderful authors put into the company. With my marketing experience from Plane Walker’s release, I was able to get the press release shared on several sites, including Dread Central, which was pretty awesome. Our introduction for the anthology was written by Shane Ramirez, and it was the perfect essay to prepare the readers to dive into the subgenre of body horror. The anthology is still doing excellent on amazon, after debuting at #1 in Horror Anthologies on Amazon. I can’t express how thankful I am to everyone who was involved in this project. The cover artwork was illustrated by the immensely talented David Dawkins.

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Cover Art of Years Best Body Horror 2017 Anthology by David Dawkins

September marked the beginning of a four month stretch where we released a new publication each month. The stress was high, but incredibly worth it. In October, we did a review series for Philip Fracassi’s recent works, including his debut collection Behold the Void, which was fresh on the market at the time. We enquired about an interview, and once again, were caught off guard at how kind and encouraging he was. Fracassi is such an interesting writer with incomparable experience, his career fields covering so many different forms of media. The interview was published in Hinnom Magazine Issue 003, which included 7 stories, Jim Horlock’s “Limbs” securing the featured spot. We reviewed the films Demons (2017) and Blade Runner 2049 (2017)Hinnom Magazine Issue 003 was truly an interesting release, since the review of Demons was after an invitation to a private screening of the film. This was a first for us, and one of the telling signs that people were starting to take note of The Gehenna Post, our news and media branch. We also packed two interviews in this issue. Accompanying Philip Fracassi was writer/editor Dan Coxon. Dan was kind enough to ask if we’d be interested in cross-promoting each other to help get the word out for his literary journal Shadow Booth. We interviewed many of the authors involved, including Paul Tremblay and Richard Thomaswhich was pretty awesome and surreal. Once again, the support of the horror community was unlike anything I had ever seen. We can’t thank these authors and editors enough for believing in us and for the opportunities to take this wild ride together. The beautifully weird cover art was done by Travis Holmes, who would go on to illustrate Hinnom Magazine Issue 004 as well.

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Cover art of Hinnom Magazine Issue 003 by Travis Holmes

In November, we released our Year’s Best Transhuman SF 2017 Anthology, which featured over 25 stories of mind-bending science fiction. We were lucky enough to have the press release shared on sites like Transhumanity.net and Scifi & Scary. While the anthology didn’t contain the volume of stories that the Body Horror release did, it was still a major success and we are very proud of the stories that we received and of the authors that we published. The paperbacks sold very well and we were very appreciative of the sci-fi community and their support of the project. The beautiful artwork was illustrated by Leo Guinard.

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Cover art of Year’s Best Transhuman SF 2017 Anthology by Leo Guinard

Alas, we reach December. John Langan was an author who I admired deeply for quite some time. When he agreed to an interview for Hinnom Magazine Issue 004, I was thrilled beyond explanation. We reviewed The Fisherman and the newly re-released House of Windows beforehand. The interview was fascinating, our conversation delving into the aspects of writing and what makes or breaks a unique, definitive voice. The magazine was stacked with 10 stories, the interview with Langan, and a review for Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. Travis Holmes tackled the cover art and produced a disturbingly festive illustration that the readers loved (Krampus!). I want to personally thank John Langan for his patience and willingness to partake in the interview, considering the entirety of the interview took place the day before Christmas and the day after. He was very kind, despite the awful timing. One of the conflicts of having the release dates for the magazine at the end of the month! We had more pre-orders for Hinnom Magazine Issue 004 than any of the previous issues, which was an awesome way to end the year.

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Cover art of Hinnom Magazine Issue 004 by Travis Holmes

I remember back when we released the interview with S.T. Joshi, and how it served as a celebration for our receiving 1,000 visitors to the site. Now, five months later, we’ve had over 35,000 unique visitors. Our article “43 Underrated Films from the Darker Side of Cinema You’ve Probably Never Seen” reached over 10,000 views within the first 24 hours and has since been shared on Facebook more than 2,000 times. It’s unbelievable how much this company has grown, and how in such a short time, we have accomplished so much. Every time I recall this, I remember the authors who submitted to us, who promoted us, who were excited about our submissions calls, who agreed to interviews. None of this would’ve been possible if not for these people. They put faith in a fledgling company that had no prior releases. Our readership continues to grow, as does our social media reach, and all of this can be attributed to the fantastic authors who submitted to us with the trust that we would share their stories to an inspired audience.

We sincerely hope that we have met the expectations of you, the readers. This was our goal from the beginning, and will continue to be our primary goal. 2018 is going to be an enormous year for the company. Our organization has so many projects planned, and we are launching numerous exciting ventures. Even more exciting things are to come.

We sincerely hope that you will continue on this journey with us as we travel farther into the Ether. As we continue to Embrace the Unknown.

Thank you for all of your support over this past year.

Now, we ask that you follow us once more . . . deeper . . . into the void.

 

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