…or what John Skipp, Sarah Pinborough, Laird Barron, Ross E. Lockhart, and Meghan Arcuri-Moran have in common, or… Friday plugs!
There are many reasons why I’ve loved John Skipp’s transition from O.G. Splatterpunk to one of the horror genre’s best and most vibrant elder statesmen. His latest column at Fangoria is just one more example. In it, Skipp tackles the subject of Women In The Horror Genre in a way that’s thoughtful, respectful, candid, and much-needed. I’ve seen this discussion taking place in the Science-Fiction and Comic Book communities, but the conversation is long overdue for the horror genre. I’ve only seen a select few discussing it, so far (primarily Nick Mamatas, Ellen Datlow, Monica O’Rourke, and Sarah Pinborough).
I mentioned Sarah Pinborough above, and Skipp does, as well, in his column. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you’re not reading her Blog, you really should be. She doesn’t post often, but when she does, it’s a always a gut punch of an essay. Such as this latest discussion on sexual harassment in the genre, or this letter to her teenage self (which I think I’ve plugged here before), or especially this one. There are some in our genre who view Sarah simply by her public persona on Twitter and Facebook, or her horror novels for the now-defunct Dorchester (much as they do me), and that’s sad, because those people are missing out. She’s one of the smartest, bravest truth-speakers we have in the genre right now, and her Blog should be required reading.
Speaking of good things in the genre, Laird Barron (unarguably one of the absolute best weird fiction writers to emerge in the last decade) is editing the inaugural volume of the Year’s Best Weird Fiction for Undertow Press. This will be an important volume for both readers and writers. Undertow Press have posted submission guidelines along with the crowd-sourcing information here. Please consider becoming a backer. It’s going to be a great read.
And while we’re on the topic of great reads, Ross Lockhart’s new anthology, Tales of Jack the Ripper, is now available in paperback and for the Kindle and Nook. It features a stellar line-up of authors, both accomplished and new, and you should check it out.
Finally, speaking of new authors, meet Meghan Arcuri-Moran. She’s very new, with (if I remember correctly) two published short stories and a poem, so far. I haven’t yet read her work, but I did hear her on a panel at NECON last weekend, and was impressed with what she had to say, and then I read her write-up of the NECON convention, and was doubly impressed. It made me laugh out loud. It also felt like a kindred spirit to my own “If We’re Gonna Go To Hell, Might As Well Enjoy The Ride” — which, for new readers, was a write-up of the 2001 World Horror Convention that appeared on my Blog back when I’d had about two stories published and maybe a poem (and was later reprinted in Sympathy For the Devil). Maybe that’s just me being nostalgic. Maybe not. But go read her Blog. I think she’s definitely a name to watch.