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 Eternal Enemy by Christopher Pike

A Briefcase Full of Flesh.

Christopher Pike's 1993 book The Eternal Enemy proves to be VERY divisive for The Pikers. They're joined by podcaster Patrick R. McDonough on his virgin Pike voyage to talk through this wild ride of a book that begins with more information than anyone needs to know about VCRs and ends with a robot from the future with a briefcase full of flesh.

A VCR that could tape tomorrow's news.

Rela has just bought herself a new VCR. She sets the machine to tape a movie she plans to show at a party she is throwing. But instead of the movie she gets the news–tomorrow's news.

Soon Rela is regularly recording next week's news, even what is to happen in the far future. It's fun, at first, until she sees herself on the news. And learns that there is no future for her.

But can she change destiny?

Can Rela survive what is meant to be?

Patrick R. McDonough is a writer, reviewer, and podcaster. Producer/host of Dead Headspace; a co-host of Unburying the Dead; and editor of KillingTimeWithSilverShamrock.

The Tachyon Web by Christopher Pike

“Why couldn't we go to the moon like normal kids?”

The Pikers tackle their first pure sci-fi novel from Christopher Pike, 1986's The Tachyon Web. They're joined by frequent Cooper collaborator Ginger Bentham to dig into this early work featuring young folks flaunting all the rules and joyriding through space to get some sweet alien love.

They did it for kicks.

Five young thrill-seekers in a stolen spaceship on a joy-ride to the stars.

But one of them had a more dangerous plan–to blast beyond the Tachyon Web, the iron boundary that barred mankind from the worlds beyond.

There they found danger, excitement, and heart-stopping adventure. And, on a strange alien world, one of them would also find love.

Ginger Bentham is the co-host of Life on the Swingset and Intellectual Foreplay. She is a relationship revolutionary and nerdy sexcation provocateur with a mystic twist. You'll most often find her meditating, sweating to a Madonna playlist, or recruiting for the Clitorati Heretic Society.

Scavenger Hunt by Christopher Pike

Far more dynamic mammary glands…

The Pikers are joined by JJ Ranvier to discuss Christopher Pike's 1989 wacky tale of death, regret, scavenger hunts, and lizard people: Scavenger Hunt.

The hunt was on…

School is almost over. A secretive club on campus has organized a scavenger hunt for the entire senior class. In small groups, and with the help of cleverly planted clues, the kids are led throughout the city, and then deep into the nighttime desert. The sponsoring club has promised a wonderful prize for the first group to reach the goal of the hunt.

But for Carl Timmons, a troubled young man who has recently lost his best friend, the hunt will become a nightmare. Led astray by his love for a strangely beautiful girl, he will wander far from the others, and back into a haunted past, where the line between the living and the dead is blurred and broken.

J.J. Ranvier is a queer voice actor, comedian, podcaster, and writer. Originally from LA, she moved to Chicago because the Midwest is nicer and she hates having to drive. You can find her on Twitter yelling about politics or Instagram posting thirst traps or petting a stranger's dog somewhere.

Fall Into Darkness by Christopher Pike

Anger almost as good as a goddamn gun…

The Pikers are joined by Jennifer Ann Gordon to talk about Christopher Pike's 1990 courtroom drama/mountain climbing epic/proto-incel cautionary tale: Fall Into Darkness.

They said she murdered her best friend.

The trial is for murder. Ann Rice is dead. Her best friend, Sharon McKay, stands accused. But there is no body. And the three witnesses to the crime only heard what happened, and did not see it. Nevertheless, the prosecution is almost certain of victory. Ann was alone in the dark with Sharon on top of the cliff when Ann fell the 500 feet into the torrential river that claimed her life. There was only one route leading to the cliff, and all the witnesses can remember hearing the girls arguing before the fall occurred. Sharon's only defense is that Ann committed suicide. But everyone who knew Ann, including Sharon, said she was not the suicidal type.

And they were right.

Ann was much more than suicidal.

She was obsessed.

Jennifer Anne Gordon is a gothic horror novelist. Her work includes Beautiful, Frightening and Silent (2020) which is a finalist in the Kindle Book Review Awards, and From Daylight to Madness (The Hotel book 1), When the Sleeping Dead Still Talk (The Hotel book 2). She had a collection of her mixed media artwork published during spring of 2020, entitled Victoriana: mixed media art of Jennifer Gordon.

Jennifer is one of the hosts as well as the creator of Vox Vomitus, a video podcast on the Global Authors on the Air Network. Jennifer is a pale curly haired ginger, obsessed with horror, ghosts, abandoned buildings, and her dog “Lord Tubby”.

Last Act by Christopher Pike

[Cooper sighs…]

Filmmaker, screenwriter and podcaster Toni Cunningham joins Cassie, Becca, & Cooper on The Pikecast to discuss 1988's Last Act, a meandering and overstuffed murder mystery set on a literal set, and staged as a play. Cooper gets grumpy about the plot and Cassie reveals her distaste for milk and penchant for stealing pigs.

It was only a high school play—until death walked on stage…

Melanie was the new girl in town, a little lonely, a little bored.

Then she auditioned for the school play and won the starring role. Suddenly she had a whole gang of exciting friends. But these friends shared something that Melanie did not know, something from the past. Something so terrible that none of them would ever talk about it.

Until after the play's opening night.

When the police came for the body, and for Melanie….

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.

The PikeCast's Goodreads Book Club
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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



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