– by Josh Schlossberg
Independent bookstores—used ones, in particular—are among my favorite human-made spaces. I love strolling between the shelves, inhaling that old book smell, discovering new stories I can let into my head. This is exactly how I’ve found quite a few authors I’d never heard of before, some of whom became my new favorites.
Unfortunately, most indie bookstores have long since bit the dust, with the last of them barely hanging on for dear life. But what if there was a way to save them?
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!