Posts tagged RESONATOR: New Lovecraftian Tales From Beyond
RESONATOR: New Lovecraftian Tales From Beyond drops today FRIDAY MARCH 13th! Today is the day we pull names from some kind of container to see which 4 of our pre-ordering Migraineers will be the lucky bastards to win the sweet original art by Nick Gucker that we used for the cover! That’s later on… in the meantime read this swell interview that anthology editor Scott R Jones did with RESONATOR author Christopher Slatsky! (We’ll be rolling out interviews with most of the contributors over the next two weeks or so, so check back often for added awesome.)
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Christopher, as I read your story, Film Maudit, I was put in mind of the urban legend that surrounds the 1895 showing of the Lumiere Brothers film, L’arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat: basically, viewers at the time were said to recoil in terror at the image of the train pulling in at speed, largely because no one at the time was used to the immediacy of the medium. Movies have always had this aspect of altered reality, and a good movie, shown in the black cavern of a theatre, can be completely transporting. Your titular film is of course anything but Good, and the addition of a Resonator-type spookshow gimmick machine makes of the film a portal into hell. You’re clearly a film buff: what movies have had a profound effect on you, and why?
Of course there are dozens, but those that invariably rise to the surface are the usual dark fantasy and noir film suspects: Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast, Dawn of the Dead, Kwaidan, Scarlet Street, John Carpenter’s The Thing, The Spirit of the Beehive, anything by Maya Derren, specifically Meshes of the Afternoon. In fact Meshes was screening in my head the whole time I was writing Film Maudit.
I’ve seen you mention elsewhere that you’re more interested in writing stories that chronicle the moment before an apocalypse than the moments that come after. Once the horror is revealed, do you think there is anything more to be said about, say, the human condition, or our place in the universe? Or is post-apocalyptic horror fiction just so much fantasy-fueled gilding of the lily?
I prefer the insinuation of Armageddon, the circumstances and emotions that accompany the descent to the End. There are some who can masterfully chronicle the lives of those after the Fall (McCarthy’s The Road and Tim Lebbon’s Naming of the Parts are two great examples of post-apocalyptic tales that gut-punched me), but for the most part I find such stories seem more concerned with inventories, stockpiling and survival preparation, rather than any meaningful examination.
Post-apocalyptic tales lean towards a literature of comfort, of celebrating the attempt to return to the status quo, or a semblance of some such. I prefer horror that unsettles so profoundly the reader is left wondering why they’d even settled into whatever complacent worldview they held before reading the tale. The plummet down the well is more interesting to me than what happens when they hit the bottom.
What’s coming up for you in the next months, Christopher? Anything special we should be on the lookout for?
I have a tale in the premiere issue of the new weird journal Xnoybis, a story in The Summer of Lovecraft anthology coming up, and a collection in the works, tentatively scheduled to be released at the end of the year. And I also have the usual short stories in limbo and a novel in the works.
Martian Migraine Press: the Best Kind of Headache
RESONATOR: New Lovecraftian Tales From Beyond drops officially at the end of this week! FRIDAY MARCH 13th! A day that will no doubt live in some kind of infamy, according to our recent tea leaf readings and repeated exposure to cosmic rays in our specially constructed ray-harvesting bunker! (Ahh, the things we get up to for fun here at MMP HQ! We can’t even, not even.) Anyway, you can still PRE-ORDER the paperback edition of RESONATOR HERE (until Thursday, naturally — jeez! Tomorrow? Yes.) and not only save on shipping costs (anywhere in the world!) but be entered to win the sweet original art by Nick Gucker that we used for the cover! That’s all kinds of pineal-stimulating win, right there. So, go do that, and then come back here to read this swell interview that anthology editor Scott R Jones did with RESONATOR author Lyndsey Holder! (We’ll be rolling out interviews with most of the contributors over the next two weeks or so, so check back often for added awesome.)
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Lyndsey, your story, Parasitosis, has a remarkable crackling energy to it, largely due to the poetic choice of having your Resonator technology induce a synaesthetic response in the user. Colours you hear, language you feel on your skin, vignettes that impose themselves over reality the deeper one goes into the experience. Synaesthesia is a little known condition; what made you want to work with it?
I’m fascinated by the human body and its weirdness: all of the strange little things that some of us can spontaneously do that make us so different from any kind of artificial intelligence. I grew up in the 1980s, when the prevailing attitude was that technology would eventually outshine all of humanity. After having worked in an operating room for a while, I’ve come to believe that human bodies are far more complex and amazing than technology could ever be. Also, I personally have orgasms to colour synaesthesia.
Neat! The creatures your narrator encounters in the spaces Beyond are sentient, scheming things, with an active interest in using her for their own ends, which I found made a nice change from the usual run of mindless hungry blobs. It stands to reason that a Beyond ecosystem (or as I started to call it, an “eeek!-osystem”) would have highly-evolved, thinking beings somewhere in it. Which would you find more horrific: consumed by an extra-dimensional jellyfish or enslaved by (for lack of a better term) a junkie demon?
Being eaten has an end point at least, though I can’t imagine jellyfish, even extra-dimensional ones, being terribly quick eaters. They probably have lots of fun neurotoxins they’d hit me up with, though, so there’s that to look forward to. Anyway, having stared into what I was fairly certain was my own impending doom more than once, there’s something freeing about letting go when you’re in that moment, when you see your own death looming immediately ahead of you and you are sure that there is nothing you can do to stop it. Most of us spend every waking moment running from our own mortality so there’s a profound sense of relief when you feel that Death has finally caught up with you and you don’t have to run any more. Being trapped by junkie demons is far more insidious, because your cage is something that is intangible. When you can’t see the walls of your prison, how do you know where they begin and where they end? How do you tell your fellow inmates from your jailers?
You’re fairly new to being published; Parisitosis is, I think, your second story published and the first in print. How are you finding the experience so far? Any writing goals you’d like to share?
I’ve been trying to be a lot more visceral with my writing lately, which is both liberating and terrifying. Putting a lot of myself into my work makes the process of writing a lot more of an adrenaline rush, but it also makes submitting it a lot more tense – I sometimes feel like I’m showing up naked on someone’s doorstep and hoping they don’t laugh at me.
No one’s laughing, trust us! Where can we find more of your work in 2015, Lyndsey?
My story Chosen will appear in Innsmouth Free Press‘ upcoming anthology She Walks in Shadows in the fall. I’m also working on a project with some other incredibly talented women with collagen disorders, the proceeds of which will be used to help us all meet together in person in November this year. It’s still in very early stages of planning, but I’m very excited about it.
Always a pleasure, Lyndsey! We’re very happy to have you in RESONATOR and we look forward to watching you rise!
RESONATOR: New Lovecraftian Tales From Beyond drops officially at the end of this week! FRIDAY MARCH 13th! A day that will no doubt live in some kind of infamy, according to our recent I-Ching readings and repeated pressings of our collective forehead to large magnets and plasma balls! (Ahh, the things we get up to for fun here at MMP HQ! We can’t even, not even.) Anyway, you can still PRE-ORDER the paperback edition of RESONATOR HERE (until Thursday, naturally) and not only save on shipping costs (anywhere in the world!) but be entered to win the sweet original art by Nick Gucker that we used for the cover! That’s all kinds of pineal-stimulating win, right there. So, go do that, and then come back here to read this swell interview that anthology editor Scott R Jones did with RESONATOR author Orrin Grey! (We’ll be rolling out interviews with most of the contributors over the next two weeks or so, so check back often for added awesome.)
Orrin, a big part of what I liked about your story, Programmed To Receive, was the temporal fuzziness you worked into the narrative. The Resonator technology you write about doesn’t just open up space and alternate dimensions, it also cracks open Time, so that moments in the life of your narrator bleed through into other moments. It’s not messy though; the story works as a seamless whole. Can you speak about your process with this? Did you map it all out or did you take a more holistic approach?
It seems like my process is always a little bit different from one story to the next. I actually wrote the first draft of Programmed to Receive pretty much all in one sitting, so I guess you could call that a holistic approach, but before I started I had… not exactly an outline, but a good idea of what beats I wanted to hit, and some notes on each beat. So it felt a lot like I had already done the heavy lifting of writing the story before I started, it was just a matter of connecting the dots.
You also use Tarot imagery to good effect. The Tarot system of divination has always struck me as a kind of melding of technology and spirit. Do you have experience reading Tarot? What made you decide to use it as a framing device for your story?
I don’t have any experience or training in reading Tarot, but I’ve always been fascinated by the imagery and symbolism of it. The very first thing I came up with for Programmed to Receive was the image of the broadcast tower, and as soon as I started writing notes for the story I started calling it “the Tower” and from there the other Tarot cards to delineate the sections of the story just kind of fell into place.
What’s coming up for you, Orrin? Where will we be able to read more of your work in 2015?
I’ve got a lot of stuff in the works for 2015, including stories coming up in Giallo Fantastique and Gothic Lovecraft, and my ghost apocalypse story Persistence of Vision, which originally appeared in Fractured: Tales of the Canadian Post-Apocalypse, is going to be reprinted in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year Volume 7, which I’m really excited about. But the main place you’ll be able to read more of my work in 2015 is with the release of my next collection, which is coming out from Word Horde in October. It’s going to feature thirteen stories, all of them inspired by horror cinema from various eras, three of them (including a novelette) new to the collection. We’re calling it Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts, and for more info on it just keep an eye on my blog or the Word Horde website.