Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Reviewer Of "Trump Tales Of Terror" Spotted Something I Didn't

The author of the blog Minor Heresies posted a very kind review of TRUMP TALES OF TERROR. Please check the review out if you have a moment. I'm going to be in a good mood all day because of it.

What's interesting though is that the reviewer spotted something in my short stories that I didn't. But I think it's a completely valid point. I'll explain it fully in the comment section below, because there are spoilers.

TRUMP TALES OF TERROR is about ugly creatures, murderous fantasies, and apocalyptic worlds – and they’re right in America. YOU CAN BUY IT HERE.


  1. Here's the reviewers comment: "It does stray into the supernatural. However, it only strays into that hazy, dimly-lit area between the truly magical and the truly mentally ill. The narrators are unreliable by definition, so it is hard to tell between demonic possession and dissociative identity disorder."

    The interesting thing is that if you'd asked me what my beauty pageant story, "Sweet Thing," was about, I would have told you it was about a person with a paranormal power. The reviewer is pointing out that it's completely possible that the story might be REALLY about a person with a delusion. I hadn't entertained that possibility while writing the thing.

    AND YET... The story "felt better" as an account from only the person's perspective, with no "special effects" to confirm that the power was real. If you're a writer, you probably get how there's always a point where you are just following the logic of the story to its conclusion without quite knowing why it has to be told the way it does.

    So, maybe the damn thing is all in my character's mind. Huh.

  2. And there's the true horror of it. To have a paranormal power and the will to use it is one level of terror. To not know whether you are an avenging angel or a deluded outpatient is quite another level. Am I possessed, or just off my meds? Are there weird things happening, or are my screws loosening?

    People love conspiracy theories because they imply some kind of order and logic in the world. If there is one compact enemy with a head, then that head can be cut off. If it is the human condition, then life gets confusing and your next door neighbor becomes a threat. That's the most screaming terror, when your bland, middle aged neighbor is smiling a little too tightly, gripping the shovel a bit too hard, or are you imagining that?

  3. One of the things I always enjoyed about your stories is that they're perfectly capable of straying into very disturbing sorts of ambiguity.


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