gillpolack: (Default)
It's [personal profile] markdeniz again with another post about horror, or rather following on from the previous one (as promised).

Thanks to all those commenting on the previous one and I shall endeavour to reply to those as soon as I have finished this one.

Okay, well, horror, what on earth is it and why do we write/read/publish it?

I'm going to start with an excerpt from a paper I wrote whilst at university in 1996 and then carry on from there:

I constantly inform people that horror is my favourite of the literary genres, but have since realised that horror is actually not a genre at all. This is something that I will not examine further here, as this paper is assuming that those with an interest in this topic are actually aware of this. Two classic examples to emphasise this are Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, coming under the tag of Romanticism and Bram Stoker's Dracula, one of the many Victorian classics.

Horror is found in all aspects of literature: contemporary, science-fiction, fantasy, to name but a few and whilst many back away from the tag of horror, other genres appeal. Detective fiction is consistently one of the most popular forms of literature and contains titles which many horror writers would be proud to have on their cvs.

There is not one single genre that can be said to have escaped fully from horror, as even children's literature and romance have their fair share. It is an ubiquitous form, which tells us much about the human condition. For what is overlooked as cheap gimmicks and shock value can often lead to some of the best stories regarding humans and human suffering...

When I think of the best TV series I have been privileged to witness, I immediately think of Carnivale, one that was advertised as science-fiction (a bit like Supernatural there) and drama, and is unquestionably horror in essence. Did I love it for its horror? Well yes, but because its horror tells us something about the characters, about what they went through, about how they suffered, how they grew. Characterisation reaches new heights when dealing within these situations.

Orwell's 1984 is a serious horror book, as is Huxley's Brave New World - both societies that we must not become for any reason. (I am currently playing Half Life 2 and this game makes me think of these two books often.)

I am also reading Dr. Bloodmoney by Philip K. Dick and as you may have guessed am getting a fair dose of post-apocalyptic worlds, which incidentally is a genre I have been drawn to over recent years (the best post-apocalyptic being that of horror).

[profile] amandapillar talked about The Letter being inspired by a newspaper article and funnily enough my story Corvus, was inspired by a web news report about the birds falling to the death inexplicably in Australia. The news story was supplied by [personal profile] girliejones in her wonderful live journal and after I'd read the report I couldn't stop thinking about it and how we would react if it was the start of the end.

My human race became panic-stricken and shot every bird there was before realising it wasn't limited to our avian neighbours. What do you do then?

Horror for me is an investigation into the psyche and for me it all started with Mr. Poe way back when I was six years old, followed by Mr. Stoker when I was ten. I love to be scared but love to think what makes us scared, what is fear, what is horror and how does it manifest itself in us and how do we deal with it?

I am sincerely hoping that no one who submits to Eneit Press is interested in the cheap gimmick style of horror writing as it is not a kind that is read favourably by any of the three editors. We want gripping, we want well written and we want humanity.

All our emotions and elements need exploring, horror needs a home.
gillpolack: (Default)
My name is [personal profile] markdeniz and as the other half of Eneit Press, I thought it was time I popped in and announced myself to [personal profile] gillpolack's faithful (whilst realising lots of you are my flist anyway and so are probably already sick to death of me).

Anyway, 2007 began extremely well for Eneit Press, with the launch of the company itself in June, before our first book In Bad Dreams - Volume One: Where Real Life Awaits had a rather successful launch in Canberra, Australia, in October.

Yet celebrations were short and forced me to asses the whole company's position when my brother-in-law Fuat, was murdered at his place of work, a university, in Sweden in December. I had planned much for Eneit Press for 2008 and this event just meant everything came crashing down around my ears.

It made me think about the speculative genre, about why we write, why I write, what is our obsession with horror and why did I have to live the things I write about, rather than just have them on the page in front of me?

Much thinking has lead to re-evaluations within the company, as I was due to edit or co-edit three anthologies this year, two for release later in the year and one, a charity anthology, focusing on cancer, due for launch early 2009. The charity anthology has been shelved, due to it being a solo project but I have promised to resume duties on that later this year for a release in early 2010 instead.

Our other two anthologies: In Bad Dreams - Volume Two: Where Death Stalks, co-edited with [personal profile] eneit and Voices, co-edited with [profile] amandapillar are proceeding as planned with the two aforementioned editors jumping in to cover where things may get a little much for me.

I was at a 25th Birthday party in 2006 where one of the guests was very concerned that I was to form a publishing company based on the 'darker' side of speculative fiction and was asked why, why did I want to promote a genre that delights in scaring, horrifying and repulsing its readers (here I'm very much focusing on the horror genre - if that is indeed a genre per se)?

This is something that has come to the fore again recently but a topic I am very interested in seeing what Gillian's faithful think about this. Why do you read/write/publish stories about murder and torture, rape and all manner of instances where we human beings are nasty to each other (along with other races - when dealing in fantasy and science fiction)?

I have several ideas of my own but thought I would open the floor with this one before posting about my own experiences later in the week.

May 2013

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