The Wicked Heart by Christopher Pike

That being said, winkey-face to all the ladies…I’m not straight!

Filmmaker, screenwriter and podcaster Toni Cunningham returns to The PikeCast to dissect 1993's The Wicked Heart, a story of moony relationship regret, early internet chatrooms, serial killers, and suddenly Nazis. We all really enjoy the book, and do spend a good long time discussing the pros and cons of using Nazis as boogymen.

He did not want to kill.


Dusty Shame was a high school senior, and a serial killer. Already he has murdered three young women, and he has more planned. Yet Dusty did not want to hurt anybody. There was something inside him, or perhaps outside him, that compelled him to kill.

Sheila Hardolt has lost her best friend to Dusty's insane attacks. It will be her task to probe the clues Dusty has left at the site of each of his murders. Clues that will point her into the past—to a time when a large portion of mankind lost all sense of decency.

There she will find the seed of Dusty's evil compulsion, the Wicked Heart, and the reason
why it did not die the first time it was destroyed.

Sometimes it is OK to not be OK. That is the central theme in the work of screenwriter Toni Cunningham. She is currently working on her Masters Degree in Media Arts and Studies while chasing her dream of being a writer/director. Whether she is writing a dystopian science-fiction short or a coming-of-age feature, the goal of her work is to always let the reader know that “other” is perfect.

Witch by Christopher Pike

Gross. Sick. Yuck.

The PikeCast welcomes another Loser to the show to discuss Christopher Pike's 1990 book Witch. Jenn Adams, cohost of The Loser's Club Stephen King Podcast, and the Psychoanalysis Podcast joins us for a meandering exploration of a book that gets so much right while still suffering from some Pike bloat. We talk action, witchcraft, horror, and Stephen King.

She was a good witch.

Julia is a young woman with extraordinary powers. She has the ability to heal people with her touch. She can also know things that are happening in far off places when she looks in water that has sunlight shining on it. She comes from a tradition of witches, of good witches. But before Julia's mother died, she warned her daughter never to look in water that had moonlight shining on it. Unfortunately, almost by accident, Julia does so. What she sees is a vision of the future, a scene in which a young man she doesn't know is shot in a hold-up and dies in her arms. Only later, when Julia attends a football game at school, does she meet the young man.

He is her girlfriend's new boyfriend.

Julia immediately falls for the guy, but it is an ill-fated love. He does not belong to her and he is supposed to die. Or does he have to die? Julia doesn't know if her vision of the future is set, or if it can be changed. She doesn't know why the gunman in her vision evokes such hatred in her, and why she feels she must destroy him at all costs. But using the supernatural powers at her command, and
risking her own life, plus the lives of her friends, Julia will find the answers to all these questions, at a terrible cost.

Jenn is a writer and podcaster from Nashville, TN. She co-hosts both Psychoanalysis: A Horror Therapy Podcast and The Loser’s Club: A Stephen King Podcast. She is the author of the Strong Female Antagonist blog and will gladly talk your ear off about final girls, feminism, and Stephen King.

The Lost Mind by Christopher Pike

OMG, they're all “doin' it!”

Award winning horror film theorist and analyst turned screenwriter and co-host of the podcast This Ends at Prom, BJ Colangelo joins The PikeCast to look at Christopher Pike's 1995 novel The Lost Mind. While we all found something to enjoy within the pages, the sadly very stereotypical middle eastern descriptions take us in a deep dive to the problematic Pike section.

She didn't know what she had done.

She awoke in the woods beside a dead body. There was a knife in her hand, blood on
her clothes. Had she killed the young woman who lay beside her? She couldn't remember.

She couldn't remember anything.

Not even her own name.

It was as if someone had stolen her mind.

Stolen her soul.

BJ Colangelo is an award winning horror film theorist and analyst turned screenwriter from the Midwest known for her work analyzing gender, sexuality, and social impacts in genre films. Her work has been featured both online and in print and she was recently featured in the book 1001 Women in Horror, as a panelist for El Rey's TOP 5, and as a panelist for the “Queer Fear” panel at San Diego Comic-Con in 2019. BJ also co-hosts the podcast ‘This Ends at Prom' analyzing films marketed to teen girl audiences with her wife, Harmony from the cis and trans femme lens. In her spare time, BJ lives to annoy her wife by belt singing early 00s pop punk and show tunes from musicals no one other than her remembers.

The Starlight Crystal by Christopher Pike

Epilogue, more like epi-long!

Author Hailey Piper joins The PikeCast to deconstruct Christopher Pike's 1996 Sci-Fi novel The Starlight Crystal. What starts out as a straight forward discussion about the book descends quickly into madness as nearly all of the Pikers lose the thread and find an inability to really discuss the book as it is. 

The secret mission lasted forever.

It is two hundred years in the future. Eighteen-year-old Paige Christian has been given a chance to join the crew of the Traveler — a special spaceship designed to circle the solar system at near light speed. One day aboard the Traveler is equal to ten years on earth. The Traveler is a time capsule as
well as a spaceship. Its purpose is to study the changes on earth throughout two centuries, and then return home.

But something happens to the Traveler. Something also happens to the earth, an awful thing. And the years pass, billions of them, and still Paige Christian lives, and remembers all those she left behind. Until the day she finally does come home, to a world and a future no human being could have imagined.

Hailey Piper is the author of several horror books, such as The Worm and His Kings, The Possession of Natalie Glasgow, Benny Rose the Cannibal King, Queen of Teeth, and most recently her short story collection Unfortunate Elements of My Anatomy. She's a member of the Horror Writers Association, with short fiction appearing in Dark Matter Magazine, The Arcanist, and Year's Best Hardcore Horror. She lives with her wife in Maryland, where they move much much slower than the speed of light.

The Grave by Christopher Pike

Maybe all this had something to do with aliens.

Filmmaker Jenn Wexler joins The PikeCast to talk about Christopher Pike's 1999 novel The Grave, its similarities and differences from earlier Pike novels, and the growth of the author. It's a confused story of zombies, genetic engineering, Jesus babies, and vampirism, and it's all VERY Pike.

The Grave is not the end of the story…

It begins with an innocent young man being led deep into the woods by a mysterious young lady. There he is attacked by a cruel cult, stripped of his clothes, thrown naked into a coffin, and buried alive to the sound of strange chants.

It continues with a pretty girl meeting a fascinating guy. A guy who is not like other guys. Who hardly seems to blink…or breathe, and who emits a cool presence even in the midday sun.

It ends in a nightmare. In a weird realm of existence where life and death mirror each other. Where the grave no longer promises any escape, from pleasure or pain.

Jenn Wexler is a writer and director whose directorial debut, THE RANGER, world premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and was released by AMC’s Shudder. She is the producer of acclaimed and award-winning genre films DEPRAVED, DARLING, LIKE ME, PSYCHOPATHS, and MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND.

Chain Letter by Christopher Pike

Why are there so many characters?!

Gory Cory joins us as we go back to the early days for 1986's Chain Letter, and are immediately overwhelmed by far too many characters, some really nonsensical twists, and someone who must have superhuman strength to pull all this off.

We also must share The Haunted Outfit's Joan

https://www.instagram.com/p/CAlZZv_l5ai/

She did not understand that she was dead.

When Alison first read the chain letter signed “Your Caretaker;' she thought it was some terrible sick joke. Someone, somewhere knew about that awful night when she and six other friends committed an unthinkable crime in the desolate California desert. And now that person was determined to make them pay for it.

One by one, the chain letter was coming to each of them…demanding dangerous, impossible deeds…threatening violence if the demands were not met. No one out of the seven wanted to believe that this nightmare was really happening to them. Until the accidents started happening
-and the dying…

Cory is a teen horror blogger that runs her own blog GoryCory.com. She is a teen correspondent for Fangoria and the co-host of the Scream Teens podcast on the Anatomy of A Scream network.

Remember Me by Christopher Pike

The one with the emergency butt icing.

The PikeCast is thrilled to be joined by author of Horrorstor, My Best Friend's Exorcism, and Paperbacks from Hell, Grady Hendrix to discuss Christopher Pike's 1989 book Remember Me, a tale of murder, the afterlife, jealousy, suicide, body switching, baby swapping, one too many sets of adults, and, of course, incest. We also learn of at least one strange family's solution to diabetic episodes. 

She did not understand that she was dead.

When Shari Cooper awoke at home after being at her girlfriend's birthday party, her family acted like she wasn't there. They didn't hear a thing she said. They wouldn't even look at her.

Then the call came from the hospital. Her father and brother paled. Her mother started to cry. Shari didn't know what was wrong. Not until she followed them to the hospital.

There she found herself lying on a cold slab in the morgue. The police said it was a suicide. Shari knew she had been murdered.

Making a vow to herself to find her killer, Shari embarks on the strangest of all criminal investigations. One in which she spies on her old friends, and even enters their dreams—where she comes face-to-face with a nightmare from beyond the grave. THE SHADOW—a thing more horrible than death itself. The key to Shari's death.

The only thing that can stop her murderer from murdering again.

Grady Hendrix is an American author, journalist, public speaker, and screenwriter known for his best-selling 2014 novel Horrorstör. Hendrix lives in Manhattan and was one of the founders of the New York Asian Film Festival. 

Spellbound by Christopher Pike

This episode was shot in the face by its parents.

The ladies take over The PikeCast. Cassie and Becca are joined by Andrew from FriGay the 13th to talk about the absolute bizarreness of Spellbound, where people are birds and birds are people and someone gets shot in the face.

No one knew how the girl had died.

They found Karen Holly in the mountain stream, her skull crushed. There was only one witness to the tragedy, Karen’s boyfriend, Jason Whitfield. He said a grizzly had killed her. But a lot of people didn’t believe him. They thought Jason had murdered her in a fit of rage.

And now weeks have passed, and Jason has another girlfriend, Cindy Jones. And there are the new kids in town. Joni Harper, the quiet English beauty that Cindy’s brother, Alex, cannot get out of his mind. And Bala, the foreign exchange student from Africa, the grandson of a powerful shaman.

Together they will return to the place where Karen was killed.

Some will die.

The others will come face to face with a horror beyond imagining.

Andrew is a resident horror nerd and hails from the great white North that is Northern Michigan. He now resides with his husband Michael and their fur baby Sonoma in Chicago where he works in marketing. He enjoys all things horror and some of his favorite movies are things like Friday the 13th, Candyman, and The Descent, amongst many others. He also enjoys a good cheddar cheese, a run outside and spending time with his friends.

Master of Murder by Christopher Pike

This episode has hair and has skin — both lovely.

Writer wish fulfillment, murder, angry teenage boy rage incel energy, a preternaturally clever pre-teen girl, and possibly the worst name in the entire pike canon: Triad Taylor. 1992's Master of Murder takes The PikeCast on a wild emotional ride of shock, amusement, and disagreement, and Cassie gets her own Jeremy moment as she hates the main character more than any character ever.

No one knew he was famous

Marvin was an eighteen-year-old senior in high school. He was also America's bestselling author of teenage fiction. Millions of kids read his books. In fact his latest series—THE MYSTERY AT SILVER SPRING—was the craze at his high school. But Marvin wrote under a pen name, and no one knew who he was. He was rich and famous, but he couldn't even get a date for Friday night.

Yet Marvin wanted to remain unknown. He was worried that his incredible career was about to hit a brick wall. The final installment of his famous series was overdue. His millions of fans were dying to know what was going to happen in his series, but so was Marvin. He had no idea how the story was supposed to end.

Then one night he opens a fan letter It has come from his publisher—in the usual way. But this letter says, “I know who you are,” and the postmark is from his local town. At first Marvin is unconcerned about the letter, but then another arrives, saying more….

Soon Marvin is caught up in a web of mystery more complex and frightening than his own books. But too late he realizes that the stories he has been spinning are true.

Jenny Nulf has extensive experience in the film industry as a film distributor, critic, and festival programmer.

Bury Me Deep by Christopher Pike

Murder, Intrigue, and Scuba

Fly to Hawaii with the Pikers for a week filled with scuba instruction and death and scuba discussions and nightmares and scuba diving and betrayal and scuba subterfuge. In 1992's Bury me Deep, the gang finds a suspense (and scuba) filled story with ghosts, murder, betrayal, and boyfriend stealing. They're joined by Nico Bell, a newcomer to Pike, who can't get over her motherly instinct that someone allowed these KIDS to go to Hawaii on their own!

The dead boy would not go away.

Jean is on her way to Hawaii for a week of fun in the sun. But the vacation gets off to a gruesome start. The boy sitting beside her on the plane suddenly chokes and dies. Jean tries to push the incident out of her mind when she arrives on the island, but finds it impossible.

Part of the reason is because Mike keeps coming back to her in her dreams. Horrible dreams filled with cold blood.

Two of Jean's friends are waiting for her in Hawaii – Mandy and Michelle. They have already made friends with two young men who teach scuba diving at the hotel – Dave and Johnny. Jean and Johnny quickly become friends. But there are problems in paradise. Besides Jean's continuing nightmares, Dave and Johnny have recently lost a partner in the ocean. No one knows how he died. No one can find his body. But then Jean finds Mike's body. It isn't where it's supposed to be, and it seems as if it's still got some life in it.

Nico Bell is the author of Food Fright, and she is the editor of Shiver, A Chilling Anthology. Her short stories have been published in many anthologies including Gothic Blue Book IV A Krampus Carol and The Second Corona Book of Horror Stories. In addition to writing and editing, Nico is a book reviewer for ScifiAndScary and Publisher's Weekly.

The PikeCast's Goodreads Book Club
Read with The PikeCast 38 members
The official Goodreads discussion group for The PikeCast: a horror podcast dedicated to examining the work of Christopher Pike, one book at a time. ThePikeCast.com

Books we're currently reading


Whisper of Death Whisper of Death
by Christopher Pike
Start date: October 1, 2020



View this group on Goodreads »
Check out Cooper's Spectral Inspector novels!
Check out Cassie's Horror Author Coloring Book!
Menu