I hope everyone is having a perfectly gloomy World Goth Day!
You know, when we entered into the futuristic world of 2019, I intended to start updating this blog more regularly – and here we are, in May, with my first post of the year.
But what better day to provide a little update than on this, the bleakest of fake holidays where we celebrate all that is delightfully dark.
Read on for some publication and acceptance news, a few goth lit and music recommendations, and a brand-new story that you can read right now.
Publication News: American Gothic and Gardens of Enchantment
My macabre short story “The Outsiders in the Hawthorne Tomb” is one of the tales featured in Flame Tree Publishing’s American Gothic anthology, which was released this month.
If you’re curious about the contents (and why wouldn’t you be?), check out this blog post to read myself and the other featured authors discussing our story inspirations.
After seeing the American Gothic submission call, I set out to write a tale rife with classic gothic themes (death, decline, family curses) and macabre imagery, as well as oddball characters and some dark humour. Stylistically, the story ended up absorbing a lot of influence from H.P. Lovecraft and Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. The mythology was inspired by an earlier short story of mine, ‘Behind the Music’, which featured an eighties rock star transforming into an arachnoid creature.
You can order the book here.
Earlier this year, my short fairy tale “The Offer” was reprinted in Fantasia Divinity’s Gardens of Enchantment anthology.
On first glance, this may not seem to fit today’s goth theme. But let’s just say, things aren’t all sunshine and rainbows in my garden.
Check out the book below:
Goth Music Rec:
I have been on a huge Type O Negative kick lately and am angry at myself for not discovering them sooner. Do not make the same mistake I did – listen to their signature song “Black No. 1,” and then the rest of their discography.
A couple of my very short works have been accepted into Fantasia Divinity’s Winds of Despair anthology (due out in December). They’re both drabble-length dark fantasy/horror stories; one of the shorts will mark the first published appearance of Ezek the Crow, a character I’ve been working on for years.
The book (the first in Fantasia Divinity’s Elemental Drabbles series) should be a neat, eclectic read, featuring works of horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and romance. They’re still looking for submissions – so if you have a 100-word short story in which the wind plays a role, send it in! (details here).
In addition to that, I have a few other accepted stories rattling around the pipes. I’m not sure if I can talk about them yet, so suffice to say, there’s one that H.P. Lovecraft fans may dig (or not), and another which will likely please witchcraft aficionados.
Goth Reading List
We all know the classics. Tortured family sagas like Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. Edgar Allan Poe’s tales of psychological terror. Classic monster stories like Dracula and Frankenstein. (Pro-tip: If you’ve read Dracula and couldn’t get enough, you may want to check out some of its predecessors: Carmilla by J. Sheridan Lefanu and John Polidori’s The Vampyre, which was conceived in the same brainstorming sessions that spawned Frankenstein).
For a modern update on the creatures of gothic fiction, look no further than Anne Rice.
The first three books in her Vampire Chronicles introduce one of gothic literature’s most compelling anti-heroes: nobleman-turned-rock star Lestat, a philosophical vampire who is as vain and cruel as he is passionate and loving.
His character is revealed masterfully throughout the series: you hate the guy in Interview with the Vampire, where he’s presented as an uncouth Heathcliffian villain; thirty pages into its follow-up, Rice has you crying in sympathy for him. (And just when you start thinking he’s not such a bad guy, Rice reminds you exactly how evil he is).
If vampires aren’t your cup of tea, check out Rice’s The Mummy (Or, Ramses The Damned), a thrilling romance that whisks the reader from Edwardian England to ancient Egypt.
If you like your fiction a little weirder, Clive Barker uses mystical settings and mutilated monsters as backdrops for deeply human stories of love, madness, and the grey areas between life and death, reality and fantasy; good and evil.
Cabal is a beautifully written dark fantasy love story disguised as a creature feature; Galilee is a steamy family saga; The Hellbound Heart (later filmed as Hellraiser) is essentially a grisly ghost story.
Melding lyrical language with dreamlike visuals, comic books can explore the striking imagery and psychological complexities of gothic literature in a way mere words on a page cannot.
Some of my favourites include James O’Barr’s bleak revenge story The Crow; Neil Gaiman’s gorgeous and sprawling Sandman series; Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s kitschy/creepy reinterpretation of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (beautifully illustrated by Robert Hack).
My hundred word folk-horror story “Old Wives’ Tales” went live on Horror Tree this Sunday.
It is featured alongside some chilling works by Robert Allen Lupton, CR Smith, and DM Burdett.
You can read it for free here.
Goth Movie Rec:
This haunting vampire love story literally starts out with an undead David Bowie drinking blood at a goth club while Bauhaus perform “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” It is the goth-est movie ever made.
Let me know in the comments how you will be getting your goth on today.
As always, thanks for reading.