I don’t let too many people take over my blog – okay, I don’t let anyone take over my blog – except today, it’s Harry Markov, one of the eds of the Tales to Terrify anthology (which is the fraternal almost-twin of the podcast). Below, Harry asks ‘Where is the Horror?’
Where is the Horror? The Horror is Everywhere!
I have been thinking about horror in my country for quite some time. Seeing how Halloween is coming soon and I’m preparing for the launch of Tales to Terrify, Vol. 1, it’s hard not to think about horror on a much larger scale. The word horror has always evoked images of creatures, which certainly belong in the dark streets of a Western city. Werewolves, zombies and vampires would seem pretty exotic where I live. Creatures and monsters, spells and hauntings are out of place in Bulgaria.
Bulgarian culture lacks a conventional tradition in horror storytelling, supernatural at the very least, and it’s an absence so natural and in line with the current Americanization of Bulgarian culture, I only saw it after I was invited to review a Bulgarian horror movie for a feature. It was on Facebook and I recall laughing my ass off and typing in something of the sort “I’m sorry, but we don’t have horror movies in Bulgarian”. I don’t even remember why I thought this hilarious. It was just obvious to me that Bulgaria doesn’t have any horror movies…
Than I stopped, took a double-back and thought “Wait, what? How the hell is it that we don’t have any horror movies?” I tried to think about horror writers. Nope, we have none published and celebrated like King is in the English-speaking cultures. The root of the problem goes further. Apart from me, nobody I know tells horror stories about monsters and ghosts and anomalies and I do so in the privacy of my home with my sister as an audience (she enjoys it, I swear). Why don’t Bulgarians tell horror stories?
Then of course, I realized that we’ve been telling horror stories all along. Sure, they have nothing to do with skeletal hands, cosmic tentacles or hordes of the undead, instead they are about the creative math of starvation, the very real fear of going out of your home and never returning (everything from being run over to kidnapped or randomly beaten to death) and the high mortality rate among medical facilities of any type. We don’t conventional horror stories told around camp fires or Halloween specials, because living in Bulgaria means to be the protagonist of the cruelest survival horror.
The rules are simple. You do what you have to do to cope and survive, but the worst part is that you do not get to win. The danger is never over. The horror never stops. If life is horror, then the horror stories are the fruits of catching up with friends and relatives at a cup of coffee, the hushed conversations in a restaurants and the secrets we share in the dead of night after the alcohol has loosened tongues. In a sense, Bulgaria, along with other countries with a similar economic and political profile, is perhaps the country with the strongest horror tradition.
The only difference is that horror has become a very corporeal companion.
GAME: You can be one of the lucky ten people to win a PDF copy of our anthology. All you have to do is find us on Facebook or Twitter (@TalestoTerrify) and answer the following question: What scares you most? The most creative responses will receive the coveted PDF copy and will be featured in our first November show.
The game will end on October 31st, our official launch date. A like and a follow will be appreciated, but are not a prerequisite to enter the competition.
You can follow the blog tour on the following dates and sites:
- ·October, 22nd: Innsmouth Free Press
- ·October, 23rd: Dark Wolf’s Fantasy Reviews
- ·October, 24th: Kaaron Warren
- ·October, 25th: Sci fi & Fantasy Lovin’ News and Reviews
- ·October, 26th: Fantasy Book Critic
- ·October, 29th: Wag the Fox
- ·October, 30th: Angela Slatter
- ·October, 31st: Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review
Who is Harry? Harry Markov is a writer, reviewer, columnist and as of recently an editor. Generally off-kilter, but most pleasant, you can find Markov sitting somewhere with fingers on some sort of keyboard. At the moment he’s finishing a Masters in Advertising and Media Communications and working as an SEO expert in a small firm in Varna, Bulgaria.
You can find Markov’s short fiction in The World SF Blog, Pandemonium: Fire and the upcoming Arcane Anthology volume 2. He has made his editorial debut as the assistant editor for Bryan Thomas Schmidt’s anthology SPACE BATTLES: Full Throttle Space Tales #6.
His irregular blogging can be found on Through a Forest of Ideas (http://throughaforestofideas.blogspot.com/) and he’s available on Twitter at @HarryMarkov.
Tales to Terrify – the Anthology
Want to know more about TTT in bookish form?
This Halloween, October 31, 2012, fans of the chilly dark and terrifying will have yet another reason to cower beneath the sheets as the stories that are voiced weekly on the internet’s scariest horror spinning site rise up to haunt the pages of “Tales to Terrify, Volume One.” “Volume One” is the Parsec-nominated, horror podcast, “Tales to Terrify” in book form.
At a generous 284 pages, “Volume One” gathers the best of the best—both titans of horror and fresh blood—and features 23 blood-curdling, nightmare-fueled tales. The book features work by Joe R. Lansdale, Gene Wolfe, John Shirley, Weston Ochse, Gary McMahon, Kaaron Warren, Margo Lanagan, Felicity Dowker, Angela Slatter and Christopher Fowler.
Does the dark make you sweat a tad more than normal? Do you ever wonder if that stranger on the street might be carrying a knife, all the better to carve you with? Does the thought of the dead rising raise goosebumps on you? If so, “Tales to Terrify, Volume One” will feed those fears and suggest there’s more to come.
Table of Contents:
“Jumbo Portions” by Christopher Fowler
“Wet Dog Perfume” by Michael Penkas
“Seen Through Flame” by Gary McMahon
“Just Around the Corner” by Alexei Collier
“In A Country Churchyard” by Bev Vincent
“God of the Razor” by Joe R. Lansdale
“Bread and Circuses” by Felicity Dowker
“Chair” by Martin Mundt
“Grandmother’s Road Trip” by Cat Rambo
“In The Dust” by Tim Lebbon
“The Last Few Days in a Life of Frost” by Joe Pulver
“Green Apples, Red Nails” by John Everson
“Just a Suggestion” by John Shirley
“Working for the God of the Love of Money” by Kaaron Warren
“Rat Time in the Hall of Pain” by Lawrence Santoro
“The Short Go: A Future in Eight Seconds” by Lisa L. Hannett
“The Goosle” by Margo Lanagan
“Lost and Found” by Mark Morris
“An Eye for An Eye” by 2001 Nancy Kilpatrick
“All I Needed to Know I Learned in Piggy Class” by Nicole Cushing
“Big Rock Candy Mountain” by Weston Ochse
“Bluebeard” by Angela Slatter
“The Tree is My Hat” by Gene Wolfe
Forget the Ouija board, “Tales to Terrify, Volume One” is a direct link to the world beyond. Do you have what it takes to be scared on the scariest day of the year?
“Tales to Terrify, Volume One” will appear in several formats including:
Hardback book £16.99
Paperback book £10.99
You can buy your copy at the Tales to Terrify podcast website (http://talestoterrify.com/) and our own website dedicated to the book “Tales to Terrify, Volume One” (http://talestoterrify.com/volume-1/). The volume will go on sale on October 31st. For further information, please contact Harry Markov at the following e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.