Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Twisted Winter

I’m not afraid of the dark. It’s streetlights I don’t like, especially those glaring orange sodium lights. Have you noticed how strange they make people look, on the street at night? How their faces go pale and bloodless, and their clothes turn a dark, dirty grey, no matter what colour they really are?  Have you noticed how hard it is even to see people properly – because the streetlights make them the same no-colour as everything else - as if they aren’t really there at all, just moving shadows? 
            There’s no such thing as colour. All those bright reds and blues and greens we see in daytime are only wavelengths.  What shows up under the orange streetlights is just as real as what you see in daylight.
           Maybe more real.

So begins my story "DARK", in this new anthology well-received by Amanda Craig in the Times last Saturday as 'a haunting, well-written collection of spooky short stories edited by Catherine Butler'. As you're reading this, I'm heading down to Brighton for the World Fantasy Convention. In the meantime, if you feel like some Hallowe'en tales, here's a look at the contents page.

My favourite may just be Frances Hardinge's beautifully creepy take on the Snow Queen - but then there's Susan Cooper's terrifying costume party, and Frances Thomas's eerie water spirit, and Liz Williams' poignant mix of Egyptian myth and dank English countryside - and Cathy Butler's very odd dog story, and Rhiannon's retelling of the Persephone myth - and - well, see for yourselves.

Happy Hallowe'en!

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