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60 Black Women in Horror Fiction Paperback – February 28, 2014
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I feel this is an important book because it gives writers exposure. Writers have to work hard at their craft and its hard for them to get the attention they deserve. There are more writers out there than readers and it's too easy for a good writer to go unnoticed. 60 Black Women in Horror Fiction shows that there are some great Black women horror writers out there. I only knew a handful of the writers in this book and after the in-depth interviews and short stories collected here, I found some new writers that I need to add to my to be read list.
This book starts with biographies and pictures of several writers and then gets into interviews with Linda Addison, Jemiah Jefferson and Eden Royce to name a few. One of my favorites parts of this book was how some of the writers talk about how women horror writers get treated differently than their male counterparts and there aren't as many. In the case of A.L. Peck she states that she doesn't know why there aren't more female horror writers and she wants to change that.
There is also a great interview with Jemiah Jefferson where she talks about the hardships of finishing a novel while putting up with health issues, a stressful job and financial issues. This book doesn't just give you a new perspective on what Black Women horror writers have to go through to get their work out to the public, it gives you a new appreciation for writers in general. 60 Black Women in Horror Fiction shows you what Black Women horror writers have to offer and gives a glimpse of what goes on in the mind of a horror writer.
“Amber’s New Friend” by Crystal Connor is a haunting story that mostly adheres to the Jamesian guidelines. To frame this discussion, it is worth bringing in words from the Dean of the School of Ghost Stories, M. R. James. “Two ingredients most valuable in the concocting of a ghost story are, to me, the atmosphere and the nicely managed crescendo. I assume, of course, that the writer will have got his central idea before he undertakes the story at all. Let us, then, be introduced to the actors in a placid way; let us see them going about their ordinary business, undisturbed by forebodings, pleased with their surroundings; and into this calm environment let the ominous thing put out its head, unobtrusively at first, and then more insistently, until it holds the stage. It is not amiss sometimes to leave a loophole for a natural explanation; but, I would say, let the loophoole be so narrow as not to be quite practicable.”
“Another requisite, in my opinion, is that the ghost should be malevolent or odious: amiable and helpful apparitions are all very well in fairy tales or in local legends, but I have no use for them in a fictitious ghost story.”
I was too distracted by the ghost being a central character and omnipresent for the atmosphere to work, and it was there full time throughout the story. I would have enjoyed more growing tension. The epilogue raised more questions for me than it answered.
“The Last” by Sumiko Saulson starts right where Frankenstein ended. Unfortunately, I didn’t really care for Frankenstein, so this story was doomed to not work for me.
“Rhythm” by Eden Royce is beautiful and lyrical in its unrelenting anger.
“The Funeral” by Annie J. Penn was a bit too surreal complicated by what appeared to be format issues. These worked against being able to immerse myself in the story.
I believe the majority of the information Saulson provided can be provided at her blog, But you can't go wrong with having it all compiled for you, with the Kindle edition at just .99.