It’s been a busy week for a biological horror fiction writer!
Over the weekend, I helped put on “Music To My Fears” with Denver Horror Collective, our experiment with horror fiction readings set to live music. On top of making sure everything went smoothly with the acts and the event itself, I played guitar accompaniment behind two stories. “Love Bug” by Amy Armstrong dealt with the outbreak of a strange, new disease and “You Can Do Better” by bestselling author JoAnn Chaney was about a disturbing Tinder date.
We had a sold-out show with about 80 people in the audience and we raised enough money to fully finance Terror at 5280’, Denver Horror Collective’s local horror fiction anthology due out in November (of which I’m an editor).
As if that wasn’t enough, last night I read at something called “Noir at the Bar,” a semi-regular event at the Irish Snug here in Denver typically focused on crime fiction. However, since this is the Halloween season, they wanted a horror twist—which is probably the only reason they invited me!
I had a great time listening to the other authors including organizer Michael Poole, Sam W. Anderson, Carina Bissett, Hunter C. Eden, Molly Tanzer, and Jane Keir.
Though I haven’t written anything I’d call “noir,” I read an excerpt from my short story “Viremia,” which was published in Campfire Tales in 2017. If you haven’t read the story yet, it certainly has a few elements of crime fiction, but in my particular style, things get weird pretty fast.
While some homeowners ask you to take off your shoes before entering, the custodians of this forest expect you to remove your spine.
by Arthur Herzog
THIS BOOK WAS PUBLISHED
IN NINETEEN SEVENTY-EIGHT
ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE!
Over the last century, traditional publishing has brought us the most famous horror stories ever told. Big names such as Stephen King and Dean Koontz thrust horror’s tendrils into the minds of millions of Americans, popularizing the genre.
Fast forward to 2019, where small presses and indie publishing are now bringing us the lion’s share of horror fiction—including what I believe to be some of the best stuff ever written, in what many are calling a horror renaissance.
The reason is simple: Small presses have more freedom to publish unique and diverse voices, acquired tastes that might not appeal to a mainstream palate. While these conduits can sometimes be hit or miss, more often than not, they’re where you’ll find the most artful—and dangerous—writing out there. Giving free rein to authors is how a literary genre evolves.
Which is why I’m all shivers to announce that, this fall, Denver Horror Collective (of which I’m a founding member) will be publishing a horror fiction anthology of its own!
What do vampire bedbugs, desert parasites, and zombie deer have in common? They’ve all had starring roles in my horror fiction!
Though I rarely lack for dark inspiration, for years I’ve struggled to define the specific subgenre of horror in which I write. For a while I was calling it “microbial horror,” as a lot of my work focuses on viruses and bacteria, though not all.
For instance, the novel I’m currently pitching, Alpha Syndrome, has to do with deer ticks, but I’m sure as hell not calling my stuff “tick-lit.” And then I wrote “Handgina,” and while some tried to label it “body horror,” to me that brings up images of guts and gore, which I tend to shy away from (in my writing, my reading, and life in general).
Over time, I pondered my (world’s largest?) collection of “nature-based horror” books: dark, clever, and often absurd tomes about killer sea birds, deadly snails, and murderous bodies of standing water. But while many of my stories do take place in or involve nature, that didn’t quite feel right either.
by Stephen Gregory
St. Martin’s Press (1988)
WHEN IT COMES TO BIRDS
ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S GOT NOTHING
ON THE CORMORANT.
A buck doesn’t get you much these days. But here’s a short list of products you can purchase on Amazon for $0.99!
1) Pineapple Shaped Bottle Opener
2) Makeup Brush
3) Mini Funnel
4) 2-ounce Plastic Spray Bottle
5) Silicone Oil Brush
6) LED Elephant
7) Multifunction Garlic Tool
8) Cosmetic Sponge
9) Glue Stick
10) My short story “Handgina” about a bitter young man shocked to find a part of the female anatomy growing out of the palm of his hand!
Pick up “Handgina” (cover art by The Rïpröck) for $0.99 for your Kindle or gift it to a friend (or frenemy)!
Hammers On Bone
by Cassandra Khaw
A TOUGH CASE FOR A
LOVECRAFTIAN PRIVATE EYE;
NOT YOUR GRANDPA’S NOIR.
I was interviewed on the Jeamus After Midnight podcast with Jeamus Wilkes about folk horror, my dangerous and ill-advised pilgrimages to the desert, and whether it’s a good idea to have a big ego as a writer (I wonder why I was asked that question?).
Check it out and tell me what you think and be sure to subscribe to Jeamus After Midnight!
Download or stream here.
My latest short story, “Handgina,” is now available on the evil Amazon for a mere 99 cents (cover art by the RïpRöck)!
A bitter man reeling from a breakup is convinced women have it easy compared to men. When a part of the female anatomy starts growing out of the palm of his hand, he faces a series of ordeals that help him see things from a new perspective.