Accidental Horror Story

In the name of the People

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a short story. The idea came to me upon seeing some blog post on how “I Love Lucy” and “Honeymooners” and “M.A.S.H.” are just some of the first shows aliens on a distant planet will watch as part of first contact with Earth. What would those people think of us? Will the humor, dark or slapstick, be lost on them? Would they see us as “good people”? First impressions matter…

So I envisioned a world full of pacifists who devise a scheme to protect their planet from hostile aliens by creating content designed especially to scare off visitors from other worlds. It turned out to be a fun short story and I submitted it to one of my favorite publishers: Mariah Axiz of 600 Second Saga. Mariah is a connoisseur of the strange and wonderful; she had published several of my stories in the past; I love her work… I hit submit and waited…and waited. A few days later I got an email back: “This is NOT my kind of story. I don’t do horror…”

Horror? What? I don’t write horror stories…well, I did write “The FATOFF Conspiracy”…and “Pigeon” has aspects of horror…I guess “Suddenly, Paris” and “Coding Peter” have a few bits…and I just realized that my latest book on first contact (I do seem to return to this theme over and over again), “Gardeners”, is very much a horror story (think Matrix meets The Thing)…and perhaps “Baby Killers” and “The Black Queen” and “The Red Pen” and…and… Oh my god! I’m a horror writer! I never knew!!! That’s really not who I am. I’m nice and get creeped out easily…

So that was quite a revelation. My short story, “In the Name of the People!”, rejected by Mariah, was included in the Graveyard Girls collection of horror shorts written by women. It just came out (still waiting for my hard copy!).

I hope you take a look, have a listen, and read some of my stories…they are really not as scary as all that…just thought-provoking!