Ninepin Press

Nontraditional, nonsequential storytelling. Stories in strange shapes.

By Jedediah Berry

A World Fantasy Award Finalist

Shuffle, cut, play, read. A story about a haunted family, published as a poker deck and written to be read a near infinite number of ways.

“The Family Arcana” is the portrait of a sprawling family bound to their decaying farmhouse by a web of passions and strange obsessions. Each shuffle of the deck reveals a new pattern of secrets, confessions, troubles, indictments, and dreams. The family grows, shrinks, and changes, trapped forever in its haunted house of cards.

Illustrated by Eben Kling and printed by the United States Playing Card Company, the deck is suitable for use in all standard playing card games.

52 Cards

The denser this world becomes, the more specific and also more changeable its inhabitants, which seems to be precisely the kind of mischief and heart that Berry intends.” —Strange Horizons

“Here’s a genius idea: take a creepy gothic story about a family living in a possibly haunted house and break it up and put the pieces on playing cards. Jedediah Berry and the folks at Ninepin Press did just that with ‘The Family Arcana: A Story in Cards’ and the results are brilliant and wonderful.” —SmokeLong Quarterly

“Recommended, especially for people who like Berry’s other writing; people who enjoyed Little, Big; people who collect unusual card and tarot decks; people interested in the way symbols can flex and bend and point towards different meanings; people whose relatives play a lot of trick-taking card games.” —Emily Short’s Interactive Storytelling

“It’s a classic deck—four suits, deuce through ace—that includes several sentences of the surreal, slightly creepy story on each card. Play a card game, hold a story in your hand.” —Jacket Copy (the LA Times Books Blog)

“What do you get when you mix a ghostly novella with a deck of cards? You get ‘The Family Arcana,’ which is a deck of 52 cards (plus two Jokers) that can be played as any traditional card game…. The uniqueness comes with the fact that each card includes a snippet of the life of an excruciatingly dysfunctional family, as told by the children living inside the decomposing farmhouse.” —Purple Pawn

Includes cards and instructions for a trick-taking game unique to the story (four players, main deck required to play), plus recipes and curiosities from the world of “The Family Arcana.”

Illustrated by Eben Kling. Cards printed by the United States Playing Card Company.

41 cards

What’s your sign? Learn your fortune from these twelve story-poem horoscope cards written for each sign of the zodiac by:

♈️ ︎Seth Landman ♉️ Jeffrey Ford
♊️ Kelly Link ♋️ Victor LaValle
♌️ Alexander Chee ♍️ Robert Lopez
♎️ Gwenda Bond ♏️ Holly Black
♐️ Genevieve Valentine ♑️ Christopher Barzak
♒️ Alice Sola Kim ♓️ Mira Bartók

by GennaRose Nethercott
Illustrated by Bobby DiTrani

A kaleidoscopic tale of cruel beasts, daring thieves, lost sweethearts, and a family on the run, told through twenty-six fold-up paper fortune tellers.

Each cootie catcher features eight possible endings—but the endings are also beginnings, complications, transformations, jumping-off points for other parts of the tale. Read them alone or with a partner, using any method you like: counting off bolded words and numbers, choosing panels that strike your fancy, or simply laying them flat. From jailbreaks to kissing practice, murders to museum heists, each trip through Lianna Fled the Cranberry Bog reveals new sides of this multifaceted, interactive tale of wonder and terror.

“Another marvelous and whimsical narrative project from one of the most interesting small presses you’re likely to encounter.”
—Kelly Link, author of Get In Trouble

“I absolutely adore this haunting, dark, strange, glorious work of art…. I have been playing this book/game for hours and I’ll never get enough of it.”
—Edward Carey, author of Little and The Iremonger Trilogy

By Travis Smith

In 1922, a council of astronomers ratified the eighty-eight constellations we know today, leaving many others to fall into obscurity. Now, with prose poems dedicated to Argo the Ship, Felis the Cat, Solarium the Sundial, and a dozen more of those lost figures, Travis Smith presents a zodiac of the obsolete, the forgotten, and the lost.

Zodiac B is marvelous…. I love that the form of this work is not bound, that the cards can be taken individually and with each other, that the name of one being may recur on the card of another. This work inspires one to see more above and below; it is wonderful and fun.”
—Ish Klein, author of Consolation and Mirth and Moving Day

“Travis Smith’s talent as a writer lies not only in the arresting and beautiful lines of each poem, but in the complex wholeness created from the interlocking pieces. [Zodiac B] will charm and fascinate any reader, regardless of their interest in astronomy or literature.”
—Johanna Albrecht, Flyleaf Books

Cards printed in the US by the United States Playing Card Company. Cover illustration by Chelsea Granger.