A List of Female Authors’ Fear Stories
Butler’s story is called “Speech Sounds” and is set in a time after the world’s institutions have fallen and all is anarchy. The closest things to infrastructure are buses, run by independent contractors who’s services are unreliable (sound a little like some of today’s bus systems?), and mercenary cops. And where there’s no unifying law there’s bound to be mad killers which you’ll definitely find in this story. Not to mention, universal communication has broken down making these murderers even more monstrous when they speak in seemingly non-vocabularic sounds. The story lives up to
The four other stories are from the second anthology I checked out. There had been no story in it that I had intentionally been looking for. I just happened to come across it while searching for the Butler story that I was looking for to read in honour of Martin Luther King Day. But that’s the great thing about libraries: you often come across titles you weren’t originally looking for that seem so intriguing that you check them out. This anthology is called The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination also edited by Adams. The title caught my eye so much since I’ve always been a big lover of the mad scientist character which has been so closely associated with modern horror (early 20th century and on). I grew up on old horror movies involving mad scientists, including the numerous Frankenstein movies (both Hollywood’s and England’s Hammer Studios’).
|Credit: Wikimedia Commons|
Speaking about movie adaptations of classic novels, I have to pay at least a small tribute to the one who started the Frankenstein myth: Mary Shelley. She is truly a woman of horror since her famous novel gave life (pun intended) to a monster myth that would eventually permeate all the way into pop culture, a pop myth written by a female author during a time (late 18th century) when women writers were almost unheard of.
But now for the anthology’s stories that I’ve been reading for Women In Horror Month:
“Harry and Marlowe Meet the Founder of the Aetherian Revolution”, Carrie Vaughn: This is a neat steampunk suspense-thriller. It’s not only set in an alternative Victorian England like typical steampunk stories are, but the main characters are two of Queen Victoria’s grandchildren: Harry (short for “Harriet” I assume) and Marlowe. The story is mostly through Harry’s point of view and so she investigates the lab of a criminal scientist who is under house arrest. But it’s not an electronic manacle (“brace” as they call it in today’s “humane” language) that binds him to his home. Instead it’s a fence that’s electrified by an aetherian device. The horror in this story? I don’t want to create a spoiler but I can guarantee you that horror is inhuman enough for any sci fi-horror fan.
“Laughter at the Academy”, Seanan McGuire: This is a story that involves a two in one menace of horror: a psychotic killer who is a mutant and is psychotic because of. The psychosis is caused by an epidemic of a sort that infects geniuses for some reason, including scientists. The plot was very clever, keeping me on edge and wanting to read more.
The staff at HorrorAddicts.net had asked me if they could include a couple of my articles in an anthology they’re putting together. I said I would be delighted if they did. The staff has always been encouraging of me and my work and I was more than happy to give them my consent. So I sent them my revised copies today. The anthology is supposed to release sometime this year. I’ll keep you updated on further details as they come in.
I’m aware that today’s Valentine’s Day, and even though I don’t celebrate the holiday (mostly for political reasons related to excessive commercialisation) I still want to wish you readers out there who do celebrate it a Happy Valentine’s Day! As I said, I don’t celebrate the holiday, but my critique group wanted each of us to write a story with a love theme. My story was a horror one where Cupid is a monster of a sort, as in an evil god. Sadly, I was trying to write it too close to the meetup time and didn’t finish it. I’m not really good with writing stories based on prompts although I do plan to finish the Cupid story eventually. When? I don’t know at this time, but when I do finish and publish it I’ll let you know.
I’ll try to have more on Women In Horror and female authors of fear next time.
Until then . . .