Nightfire has acquired three more projects from acclaimed Manhunt author Gretchen Felker-Martin. Black Flame is set to publish in 2025, promising a bright future ahead for queer horror!
Deeply closeted since the collapse of her first and only real relationship, Ellen Kramer spends her days and nights painstakingly restoring films at a failing conservative film archive on Staten Island. But when a group of German academics present her employers with a recently rediscovered print of an infamous exploitation film believed to have been destroyed during the Holocaust, Ellen finds herself forced to confront her own repressed sexuality. As she restores the film, she obsesses over its depictions of occult violence and queer debauchery, and becomes increasingly convinced that the acts of infamy portrayed in The Black Flame are not fiction, but reality.
Here’s what Gretchen Felker-Martin has to say:
“Black Flame is an examination of the long relationship between film and queerness, of my personal history with the medium, and of the straight world’s obsession with—and outrage toward—onscreen queerness. It’s inspired in part by my childhood relationship with a Holocaust survivor, and by my experiences with film as an isolated and closeted rural queer. Even the most salacious, schlocky queersploitation is like a sledgehammer to the third eye when you’re totally cut off from any larger sense of queerness in the world. Dealing with the science of archival film preservation and restoration, Black Flame digs into how we use film to construct and suppress personhood and the tremendous threat to collective memory posed by forces like fascism.”
From Kelly Lonesome, Executive editor at Tor Nightfire:
“I am so excited to bring more terrific and terrifying works by Gretchen to Nightfire readers! A story about a film feels like the perfect project, especially considering her extensive work as a critic, and Black Flame is a story that only she can write. Gretchen is one of the most talented authors out there, and everyone who was blown away when Manhunt burst onto the scene should start counting down the days until Black Flame joins it on shelves!”
Manhunt was named the #1 Best Book of 2022 (Vulture); a Best Horror Novel of All Time (Cosmopolitan); one of the Best Horror Novels of 2022 (Esquire, Library Journal, Paste, and CrimeReads); a Top 10 Horror Debuts of 2022 (Booklist); a Best Book of 2022 (Tor.com); a Goodreads Choice Award nominee for Best Horror; a Best SFF Book of 2022 (Gizmodo); and one of the Most Influential Works of Postwar Queer Literature (The New York Times Style Magazine).
GRETCHEN FELKER-MARTIN, author of Manhunt and Cuckoo, is a Massachusetts-based horror author and film critic. You can follow her work on Twitter @scumbelievable) and read her fiction and film criticism on Patreon, Nylon Magazine, The Outline, and more.
Photo courtesy of the author
Black Flame will hit shelves in 2025.