Monday, August 10, 2015

127. Supernatural Tales 30 reads } New Genre no. 7

David Longhorn, editor of Supernatural Tales and author of the story collection The Glyphs, reviewed New Genre no. 7. He considers what the issue adds up to—
If there's a common idea here it's the way that ideas long rooted not merely in genre fiction but in popular culture can be reworked, evolved, or otherwise mutated into something new and interesting.
—then looks at its parts, story-by-story.

At just about the same time Longhorn’s review appeared, I received issue 30 of Supernatural Tales. Back in February I was asked, along with a number of other authors who appeared in ST toward its inception, if I would contribute. I sent “Wild Dogs.”

In its earliest incarnation, “Wild Dogs” was “After,” a novella about a young man reeling from a break up, and with nary a supernatural element (though the protagonist—thoroughly self-absorbed and annoying—is plagued by weird dreams). “After” became “Rottweiler In a Nightclub,” a three-page parody of “After.” “Rottweiler…” introduced a dog into the narrative, who has the following exchange with the protagonist:
The dog jumps up onto the stool beside me. We face the bar, look at each other in the mirror.
            The dog says, “Give me your drink.”
            I do so. It puts its front paws up on the counter. A drop of blood falls from its snout into the glass.
            “It’s vodka,” I say. “I usually have gin.”
            The dog grunts.
            The dog says, “We are brothers, you and I.”
            I don’t feel so confused, anymore. I reach into my coat for my cigarettes. I offer one to the dog. It accepts, withdrawing it from the pack with its lips, and bares its teeth as it does so.
Before, at last, the story became “Wild Dogs” it was called “Humbaba,” with the idea that the protagonist is transformed into a monstrous spirit of the forest / city. If you read the story knowing this and knowing something about The Epic of Gilgamesh, you’ll see numerous connections between my “sourly-witty social realism” and that ancient myth.

Fellow Supernatural Tales old-timers include Helen Grant, Lynda E. Rucker, Michael Kelly, Mark Valentine (whose story is dedicated to the memory of Joel Lane) and Steve Duffy. Longhorn's review of New Genre no. 7 resides here; and there's a review of the  30th issue of Supernatural Tales here.

Addendum: James Everington, author and critic (who wrote about my "What Water Reveals" as pt. of his "Strange Stories" series), posted a recommendation to read Supernatural Tales 30.