Back when I was the managing editor for Fear & Trembling I was contacted for an interview by Lea Lawrynowicz who was writing an article for Rue Morgue titled “Divinity in Darkiness: The Rise of Christian Horror.” That article appeared in Issue 87 (March 2009). One of my quotes that made it into the article was “Regardless, it’s here to stay and other subgenres may branch out because of it. Who knows? We may be reading Buddhist horror one day.”
Three years later (an interesting number there) my prediction comes true with Dark Faith: Invocations, edited by Maurice Broaddus & Jerry Gordon. Both in the general sense in that this anthology of short stories can be more broadly defined as Spiritual horror or Religious horror than just Christian horror, and also in the specific sense with Elizabeth Twist’s story, “Kill the Buddha.”
The writers in the anthology are practically a who’s who list of short speculative fiction authors—like Jay Lake, Lavie Tidhar, Mike Resnik, Nisi Shawl, Tim Waggoner, and Lucy A. Snyder—as well as up and comers like Michael Ehart and Lashawn M. Wanak. The writers, both new and seasoned and in between, are among the best of the best. And the stories in the anthology show it, too.
While all the stories are spiritually themed and revolve around faith this isn’t your kiderized horror, whether it borrows from Christianity, Paganism, or Buddhism. And a lot of literary and slipstream elements can be found among the stories as well, like Jay Lake’s “The Cancer Catechism” or Tom Piccirilli’s “Subletting God’s Head.” Every story keeps you reading, makes you feel for the characters, and a few throw some excellent plot twists your way. As anthologies go, this one is far above average.
Not only do I highly recommend this anthology, I also think it should be required reading in theology and religion classes the world over. But, then again, I’m crazy that way.
Best read while listening to: there’s so much diversity here that there’s no way that mentioning one or two song artists could do the whole antho justice. So go with your gut instinct and listen to what feels right for each story. Just don’t let it be the Veggie Tales theme song.
Some of you might remember my silly little tale, “Galaxy Store,” that appeared at Ray Gun Revival back in ’06. You may have even heard the podcast recording of it along with an interview on Ray Gun Radio. But there’s a little story about the tale I haven’t yet shared until now….
It originally had a different beginning and ending. Yep. The folks at RGR felt my original beginning and ending needed cut for various reasons. To some extent I agree and disagree with the reasons, but I went ahead and did the cutting because (a) it was my chance to get the story published and (b) I can always have the reprint published with its original beginning and end.
And (b) leads me to this here announcement. Heh. You just knew a shameless plug was coming along, didn’t ya’?
“Galaxy Store,” the uncut version of it, has been accepted by Nancy Fulda who manages Anthology Builder.com. The cool thing about Anthology Builder.com (aside from the awesome list of stories from writers like Eugie Foster, Eric Flint, Jay Lake, and Alethea Kontis just to name a few), is that you can literally create your own customized anthology of your favorite short stories (like, say, a couple of Eugie’s, a couple of Eric’s, and of course mine). And you don’t just get to pick the stories, but the cover art as well, and you can make your own title. But, of course, if you don’t have the time or are not in the mood to customize your own, you can choose from a list of already-made anthos and just tweak things here and there if you want.
I’ve already done one: an antho full of my top faves (which includes “Galaxy Store”) that I’ve affectionately titled Pimping Out The Pimps.
But you don’t have to buy mine (at the low price of $14.95, which ain’t bad for a customizable antho that’s up to 350 pages of the coolest stories around). You can create your own and fill it with all your faves–which, I’m assuming, will include “Galaxy Store.” ;)
But if you’re just dying to try out some of the coolest stories among the coolest Pimps in the biz, then get Pimping Out The Pimps. In my own little custom antho, you’ll find stories from:
Scott M. Sandridge, aka The Master Pimp
Eugie Foster, aka Queen Pimp of Darkness
Nancy Fulda, aka Emperess of the Empire of Pimps
Eric Flint, aka The Pimp Shaman
Aliette de Bodard, aka Sorceress Pimp
Alethea Kontis, aka Spicy Pimp
Cat Rambo, aka Lady Pimpalot
R. L. Copple, aka Pimper of Space Monkeys
Michel D. Turner, aka The Motorcycle Pimp
Daniel Ausema, aka The Pimp Wizard
Marcie Lynn Tentchoff, aka Ginger-Snap Pimp
Angeline Hawkes, aka Pimping Beauty
Samantha Henderson, aka Princess Pimperella
Ruth Nestvold and Jay Lake, aka The Super-Pimping Duo
Ahmed A. Kahn, aka King Pimp
Marsheila Rockwell, aka the Rockin’ Pimp
T. L. Morganfield, aka Commander Pimp
and last but most certainly not least:
Sean T. M. Stiennon, aka The Pimpin’ Privateer
Hmmm, y’know, this whole Pimp word gives me an idea….