Horror & Dark Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

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Nonfiction

Author Spotlight: Laird Barron

What do you think is under the tarp, and does its ability to kill have a ritual significance to the timing of the later events in the story?

In a horror story, there’s always the choice to reveal the monster, or monstrous, or leave it to the imagination. I chose the latter as one’s imagination will often supply a far more dire vision than a cold description on paper. If nothing else, whatever is under the tarp signifies the narrator’s connection, and obeisance, to a dread and awful power.

The main character seems somewhat sympathetic to the plight of humanity, its role in their development, and eventual end. Why?

The narrator feels a connection to humanity because he, or it, has reincarnated into a facsimile of a man. Of course, the being is irredeemably Other, and it experiences melancholia that spans eons.

Water seems to factor heavily in the role of the main character. Is this because of the belief that all life springs from the sea?

Water is a colossal force, the veil of mystery upon our world. It is what we seek when we seek life elsewhere in the universe.

When the creature next rises, what will the world look like? What other beings might it guide?

I’m not prepared to speculate on that. The implication is certainly unpleasant for humanity, for all life on the planet.

What is the significance of it being the mouth of God?

I originally conceived the idea in my youth when trying to wrap my mind around Jesus as a mortal, yet also the Son of God. It occurred to me that what was being described was a human who’d been designed or repurposed to act as a sensor for an outside agency. I just combined that with a Lovecraftian view of the universe and added water.

What else do you have in the works that might interest our readers?

My latest collection, The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All, should be available sometime in 2013. I’m working on a crime novel and writing a lot of stories for various anthologies. An Alaska-themed collection is in the works.

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Sean Patrick Kelley

Seamus BayneNightmare editorial assistant Sean Patrick Kelley  is  the co-founder of the Paradise Lost writing retreat held annually in Texas. You can learn more about him, and his writing at his home on the web, Mythlife. He tweets as @Endiron