This collection is the first exposure I’ve had to Gwendolyn Kiste’s work, and if I can’t find her earlier works I will definitely be searching for her future work as it comes out. And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe is comprised of fourteen stories that show a familiar world with deep currents of bizarre beauty, pain, and sheer anomaly running through it that create a tapestry of weird horror unlike anything I’ve read before. I’m not going to give examples simply because it’s unique with every story and does nothing to try to create comparison where there is none. Suffice it to say Kiste has a wonderful gift of taking elements of life that we may take for granted or may think don’t affect us at all, then show a gem within it which can evoke wonder or sorrow or terrifying empathy, all of them at the same time not being out of the question.
And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe has many stories that literally are a hard mile's walk in someone else’s shoes, and a large part of the surreal beauty and tragedy that weave throughout these tales is wondering how they do it. Kiste is a beautiful and disturbing new voice in literary horror, and any who enjoys reading it or who is just looking for an exciting new avenue of the of the Weird is doing themselves a grave disservice if they do not pick it up.
And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe can be purchased through Journalstone or Amazon.