Linda D. Addison is an award-winning author of five collections, including How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend, and the first African-American recipient of the HWA Bram Stoker Award®. She has published over 360 poems, stories and articles and is a member of CITH, HWA, SFWA and SFPA. Addison is a co-editor of Sycorax's Daughters (Cedar Grove Publishing), an anthology of horror fiction/poetry by African-American women. Catch her work this year in Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda anthology (Titan), Weird Tales Magazine #364, and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (May/June issue).

How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend by Linda D. Addison

Who doesn't need to know How To Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend? From the first African-American to receive the HWA Bram Stoker award®, this award-winning collection of both horror and science fiction short stories and poetry reveals demons in the most likely people (like a jealous ghost across the street) or in unlikely places (like the dimension-shifting dreams of an American Indian). Recognition is the first step, what you do with your friends/demons after that is up to you.

The collection received a HWA Bram Stoker award® and two pieces from the collection were on the Honorable Mention List for Best Horror of the Year.


Linda Addison deserves all the accolades and awards she's received. Now's your chance to find out why. How to Recognize A Demon Has Become Your Friend has some of the finest speculative poetry you're liable to come across all while putting a chill down your spine and a chuckle in your chest. – Tenea D. Johnson



  • "Addison's stories offer extremes. They range from depictions of hard-edged, open-mawed, tentacled monstrosities to whimsical, at times comic aliens (I'm thinking here of the story about the barkeeper's hair!). From external demons that must be destroyed to internal ones so deeply ingrained in the secrets of the human heart that it takes decades for the victim to realize how completely she has been possessed."

    – Michael R. Collings, poet, critic, scholar and author of over 120 books, including several bestselling novels
  • "Readers will find an awful lot to enjoy in How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend, there is something in here for every taste and all of it is superbly written. So if you're a horror reader who is looking for change of pace, a science fiction fan who enjoys the lighter side of geekdom, or a fantasy lover who enjoys a passionately told tale, How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend is speculative fiction at its best and is highly recommended."

    – Tony Tremblay, reviewer at Horror World
  • "Everyone should know when a demon has become their friend, and Ms. Addison imparts the wisdom of the spheres with beautiful language and playful asides. Demons exist everywhere— in alien invaders from deep space, in the ghosts that live in your neighborhood, and probably in your own heart. Detailing the sublime and terrifying, there be monsters here: passionate zombies, the lusty dead, tentacle creatures, Native Americans who dream-travel through space and time. Edgy and sparkling language depicts the demons that lurk all around us and, most importantly, within us."

    – Judy Comeau, award-winning writer and reviewer for Count Gore Tomb of Delight



The first time Brenda saw her cousin, Angelique, she looked like a black angel. Dark as sweet chocolate, dressed in shades of cinnamon chiffon. As Angelique stood at the top of the Amtrak train stairs, Brenda took one look at her and knew she had the Power. It glimmered around her. She glanced at her father. He obviously didn't see how special Angelique was; even Angelique seemed unaware of the strength of the sparkling light she threw out that Saturday morning.

"Angelique, is that you?" Brenda's father lifted the girl from the train to the ground. The layers of her dress floated in the air like wings. "Look how you've grown. Last time I saw you, you were only as tall as a dream, and now you and your cousin Brenda are growing like rainbows into the sky."

Brenda was used to her father talking like poetry, every now and then. Grandmom said he was one of those people who'd been born in a moment of luminosity and had no choice. He was an artist who made things out of anything he found on the street, and taught elementary school. Fortunately, Brenda was never in his classes, but Grandmom said that was just the way it should be, plain and simple, and Brenda should thank her mother in heaven for looking after her.

A porter carried Angelique's suitcases to the platform.

"Girl, your mother sent you with enough clothes for a year, and you're only here for the summer. That's just like Julia." He laughed. "This is a beautiful dress, but I hope you got some playing-around clothes."

"Yes, sir." Angelique said.

"In North Carolina that's the polite thing to say, but there are no 'sirs' here in Philly. Uncle Larry will do. Okay?"

"Yes, Uncle Larry," she said slowly.

"How's your parents doing?" he asked.

"Mother is busy with her charity work, and Father's business is doing very well." Angelique smoothed her dress.

"Good. Now let's get you home so your grandmother can take a look at you. She's cooked quite a feast in your honor."

Larry picked up as many suitcases as he could carry; the porter trailed behind with the rest.

Brenda took Angelique's hand and pulled her along with them. "I'm so happy you're here. You're staying in my room. I've got two beds. We can be like twin sisters, just like our moms really were."

"I'd like that." Angelique squeezed Brenda's hand.

When they reached the parking lot Larry paid the porter and packed the suitcases in the car. Angelique whispered in Brenda's ear, "Do you know that old woman following us?"

"Where?" Brenda asked.

"Behind me, across the street." Angelique turned around. "She's gone now, but she was staring at us on the train platform."

"I didn't notice her." Brenda shrugged. "Could've been anybody."