Horror & Dark Fantasy

THE ROBOTS OF GOTHAM

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Author Spotlights

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Lucius Shepard

Stories just come to me, sometimes over a period of years, sometimes over a few days. I’m not into self-analysis, so I don’t explore their origins, but in this case it was obvious. I was an abused child, and a very angry teenager and young man. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over being angry—so in this case I was more or less blending some autobiographical stuff with fantasy. When I was a kid, I believed anger was magic of a kind, power, and I wanted to convey that feeling in the main character. I got angry when I was writing it.

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Author Spotlight: Tamsyn Muir

It’s easy to write a WWII story, especially one set in Germany, and have it be an easy-out in terms of insta-setting. It evokes an immediate response of pain and despair. But that doesn’t mean WWII is not what it is, a giant psychic scar, and thus an opening for horror and the numinous. Just because the war’s over doesn’t mean the scar is gone.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Lisa Tuttle

I often draw on experiences from my own life for inspiration, but as a writer of fiction I am not bound to stick to things that really happened. Dreams, daydreams, music, art, books, other people’s lives—these things and more give me ideas for what to write.

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Author Spotlight: Matt Williamson

The story reads, at times, like something for children, but it’s unwholesome even apart from its violence—and that confusion of tone and subject matter seems video-gamey to me. The story as a whole is like a weird dream someone might have after playing Grand Theft Auto while listening to an audiobook of Peter Pan on loop for twenty hours.

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Author Spotlight: Daniel H. Wilson

It’s terrifying to contemplate violent weather wrecking your plane. But I think the real horror of “Foul Weather” goes deeper than that. We all know that Mother Nature is trying to kill us, usually via the weather, but the understanding is that it’s not personal. Mother Nature is Mother Nature—she’s not good or evil. This story wonders whether that’s true. Is there a deeper evil that permeates the hidden dimensions? Could it reach us from beyond the veil in the form of wind and rain and thunder?

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Author Spotlight: Tananarive Due

This story is most definitely about the challenges of parenting, especially parenting alone. I’m lucky enough not to be a single mother or have long separations from my husband, but I think all mothers have a moment when they think, “Wow, this is way more challenging than I expected.” And all of my supernatural stories are metaphors for true life challenges and observations.

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Author Spotlight: J.B. Park

I didn’t have trouble going where I thought [the story] needed to go. The doubts came after.

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Author Spotlight: Sarah Pinborough

The setting wasn’t drawn from my experience, but an ex-boyfriend of mine used to live in a rural town in Tasmania and he told me a story about how he once saw a stranger walking across their school sports field carrying a large knife. It was the germ for this story so I kept the setting. Plus, death is almost a character in this story so I wanted to have a barren, hard setting as the backdrop.

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Author Spotlight: Ramsey Campbell

[Setting is] pretty crucial ever since Ann Radcliffe used it as a source of atmosphere in her novels. The method was refined and focused by Poe—look at “The Fall of the House of Usher,” where the setting can even be said to share its spirit with those who dwell there. Several of Lovecraft’s greatest tales are inspired by real American locations, while others have their roots in his imaginative notions of places he hadn’t visited—Australia, the Antarctic.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Poppy Z. Brite

Character always drove everything for me. A good setting becomes a kind of character.