EventsThe Nightmare Box & Other Stories: Cynthia Gomez in conversation with Liam O'Donoghue

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The Nightmare Box & Other Stories: Cynthia Gomez in conversation with Liam O'Donoghue

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
César E. Chávez Branch


Local author Cynthia Gómez's debut collection is a magic-soaked love letter to Oakland, brimming with feminist rage. Its twelve stories center ordinary people - Latine, queer, working class - as they wield supernatural powers against oppression, loneliness, and dread.

Join us for the book launch of The Nightmare Box and Other Stories, a short-story collection by Oakland-based writer Cynthia Gómez. These horror stories are all set in or connected to Oakland -- including two pieces of historical fiction set in Oakland's early queer scene.

Cynthia will be in conversation with Liam O'Donoghue, host of local history podcast East Bay Yesterday. The two will discuss the history of Oakland's queer nightlife scene and the joy and wonder of doing historical research in Oakland. Gómez will read from her collection and also offer a copy of The Nightmare Box as a raffle prize! 

More about The Nightmare Box & Other Stories:

A young queer man finds love at a magical clothing shop—and the courage to stand up to the homophobic cops. A witch who makes custom nightmares wonders why all her victims are connected to the Black Panthers—and who she's really working for. A soon-to-be father encounters a mysterious hitchhiker who tries pulling him back to the days of his violent past. A brand-new vampire, freshly hired at the blood bank, delights in her heightened sexual desire and superhuman strength.

More about the speakers:

Cynthia Gómez writes horror and other types of speculative fiction, set primarily in Oakland, where she makes her home. She has a particular love for themes of revenge, retribution, and resistance to oppression, and she loves to write dark and frightening things while cuddling with her shadow, aka her adorable little dog. Her work has appeared in Fantasy Magazine, Strange Horizons, Tree and Stone, and numerous anthologies. The Nightmare Box and Other Stories is her first collection. You can find more of her work at

Liam O’Donoghue is the host and producer of the East Bay Yesterday podcast and the Oakland columnist for SF Gate. His journalism has appeared in outlets such as KQED, Oaklandside, Berkeleyside, Mother Jones, Salon, East Bay Express, 99% Invisible, The Kitchen Sisters, and the syndicated NPR program Snap Judgement. He has been honored by the East Bay Express as “the best journalist-turned-historian” and presented with a “Partners in Preservation Award” from Oakland Heritage Alliance. O’Donoghue has given many presentations on local history at libraries, schools and bookstores and throughout the Bay Area, as well as at institutions such as Oakland Museum of California, The California Historical Society, and Berkeley City Club.

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