Happy New Year to everyone. It seems a little while since I last posted a blog, but the usual festive frolics are always more time and energy consuming than we expect.
Anyway, what better way to start 2012 than with a bit of exciting news concerning two of our contributors to TERROR TALES OF THE LAKE DISTRICT, both of whom have had stories chosen for inclusion in Ellen Datlow’s BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR #4.
First up is Simon Bestwick (pictured left), whose actual Lake District tale, THE MORAINE, will make Ellen’s final cut, along with another story of his from last year, DERMOT, which appeared in BLACK STATIC #24.
Second up is Anna Taborska (pictured below), who wrote our grisly Lake District parable, NIGHT OF THE CRONE, though in her case the chosen story is actually the extremely savage and gruesome LITTLE PIG, which appeared in Charles Black’s excellent BLACK BOOK OF HORROR #8 last summer.
For those who haven’t read either of these collections of new and original horror fiction (and if not, why not, may I ask?), I’ll elaborate a little…
THE MORAINE tells the cautionary tale of a young couple whose relationship is failing, and yet who take an outward-bound holiday together on the Lake District fells. Inevitably, the fog comes down, but instead of trying to find a quick and sensible route to lower ground, our two hapless heroes are just too busy bickering. It isn’t long before they realise that they are lost, but then start to suspect that they aren’t as alone up there as they thought …
Despite the traditional feel, this is high concept horror from Simon, and well worthy of inclusion in any Year’s Best collection.
LITTLE PIG is far more visceral, because, let’s face it, it was written by Anna Taborska. For such a sweet girl, Anna is nothing if not a cruel blade when it comes to scary and horrible fiction. This story concerns a Polish family’s flight through a snow-bound forest as the Soviet armies sweep across their country, committing all kinds of atrocities en route. Naturally, murderous soldiers are not the only peril they face. This is Eastern Europe in the depths of winter, and all kind of unimaginable and voracious horrors lurk amid the mist and the icicles.
I’d already commissioned Anna to write for TERROR TALES OF THE LAKE DISTRICT before I’d read LITTLE PIG, but I read LITTLE PIG before she delivered her Lake District story, and I knew straight away that I’d made the right choice. Great to see that others – Ellen Datlow no less – agree.
So well done, you two … let’s hope these are the first of many successes in 2012.