Steve Rasnic Tem returns to Solaris this March with a dark novel of Southern Gothic, ghosts, witchcraft, snake-handling, and the Great Depression – Blood Kin.
Michael Gibson has returned to the quiet home of his forebears and now takes care of his grandmother Sadie – old and sickly, but with an important story to tell about growing up poor and Melungeon (a mixed race group of mysterious origin) in the 1930s, while bedevilled by a snake-handling uncle and empathic powers she barely understands. In a field not far from the Gibson family home lies an iron-bound crate within a small shack buried four feet deep under Kudzu vine. Michael somehow understands that hidden inside that crate is potentially his own death, his grandmother’s death, and perhaps the deaths of everyone in the valley if he does not come to understand her story well enough.
This tightly wired novel of Southern haunting cements Tem’s place in the mainstream as he brings his celebrated creativity to his home state of Virginia in a revelation of the past’s effects on the present.
More on this later!