• Ladies of Horror Fiction celebrates Body Horror
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    Guest Post: This Undeniable Skin: The Grotesque and Lovely Wonders of Body Horror by Gwendolyn Kiste

    This Undeniable Skin: The Grotesque and Lovely Wonders of Body Horror by Gwendolyn Kiste Flesh. Sinew. Bone. Muscle. Nails. Blood. These bodies we occupy are simultaneously beautiful and horrifying. It’s so strange to me how much work is happening within this cage of my bones at every moment. All the heartbeats I never have to coax. All the breaths I never remember taking. It’s at once life-affirming and a little intimidating how much goes on without me ever having a say in it.  This is part of the reason why body horror has long fascinated as well as repulsed me—in the best possible way, of course. From my first viewing…

  • Ladies of Horror Fiction celebrates Creatures
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    Guest Post: Be Careful What You Wish For: The Legend of the Wendigo by Renee Miller

    Horror writers have many options when it comes to “scaring” our readers. We can take the real, the surreal, and the totally impossible and (if we’re lucky) use any or all of it to make a reader feel mild discomfort or outright never-turning-the-lights-off-again terror. I think the combination of physical and psychological horror can be pretty effective in keeping a reader off-kilter, which is why I love monsters. They give a “face” to the unknown. The difficulty is in making that face scary. It’s not real, and we all know it, so how do we get the reader to believe in it enough to scare them?  For me, the first…

  • Ladies of Horror Fiction celebrates Creatures
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    Guest Post: Creatures in Horror: From the Weekly World News’ Batboy to Phosphorescent Alien Goop By Betty Rocksteady

    Creatures in Horror: From the Weekly World News’ Batboy to Phosphorescent Alien Goop By Betty Rocksteady My first introduction to horrific creatures was in The Weekly World News, that tabloid magazine from the 80s and 90s featuring weirdo cryptids and Fortean phenomenon. My papa always referred to the mag as just “the news,” so as a kid I was convinced all these creatures were completely real. Actually, I’m still notcompletelyconvinced that those strange beings don’t lurk in hidden corners of the earth. There are a few distinct types of creatures that tend to pop up in genre fiction and I think they all highlight different fears. Secret earthly beings that…

  • Ladies of Horror Fiction celebrates Creatures
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    Guest Post: A Passion for Monsters By Lee Murray

    A Passion for Monsters By Lee Murray From amorphic blob to prehistoric beasts and rampaging apes, and even the humble rat, the creature feature has become a staple of horror fiction. Just a quick look at recent films provides us with a good snapshot: there was last year’s Rampage, this year’s new Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and creature stories based on reality like Crawl, and the 47 Metres Down sequel. Whether on the screen or on the page, our interest in monsters is strongly ingrained. But where did it start? Why so much interest? Into the Mist author Lee Murray asks some of her creature-feature writer friends for their insights.  First up is Australian…

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    Guest Post: All Vampires are Gay, or: Why I Tried and Couldn’t Write a Proper Queer Horror History Essay By J. Danielle Dorn

    All Vampires are Gay, or: Why I Tried and Couldn’t Write a Proper Queer Horror History By J. Danielle Dorn Since I couldn’t find anything anyone else had written about the history of queer women in horror, I figured the old axiom about writing it myself would hold true for nonfiction same as it does for fiction. It doesn’t. And as a non-binary gynesexual person, I should have known better. Even when writing about queer horror, cisgendered white men are the majority of visibly queer authors, which in my opinion makes it even more crucial that we as readers seek out and celebrate authors who identify as queer and female.…

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    Guest Post: The Inherent Power of Words to Describe Oneself By Alice Collins

    The Inherent Power of Words to Describe Oneself By Alice Collins Words are a powerful thing. I’ve struggled with them a lot over the years. Especially with trying to find the right descriptors. There’s lots of continued learning involved, it’s a natural part of language evolving. It takes a while for a new word to catch on, and even longer to find one that is descriptive enough to describe the previously indescribable. It’s very tricky finding appropriate words. Even when you do, you may find it changing some years down the line and that’s ok! However, there are many people that I’ve run into IRL and on the internet bemoaning…

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    Guest Post: The Intimacy of Monsters by Hailey Piper

    The Intimacy of Monsters By Hailey Piper I adore cosmic horror, but it isn’t what I usually write.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve penned a couple, but I’m happier leaving that scale of world-ending dread to P.L. McMillan and Caitlin Kiernan.  I don’t connect the entropic, inevitable death of all things in a fearful way.  Cosmic horror delights me. Personal horror gets under my skin.  The little, everyday injustices and horrors that are easy to miss.  They could be happening right next door.  And through those come the intimate monsters. Personal ones. When an intimate monster creeps into your life, sometimes you aren’t even aware of what you’ve met.  They…

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    Guest Post: Motherhood and Horror by Gemma Amor

    Motherhood and horror By Gemma Amor Let me get this out of the way in the first sentence. Ready? Okay. ‘Mommie Dearest’. There. I said it. Now that I have, that expression can sod off and climb into the bin and we can have a proper chat about Motherhood and horror without the spectre of maniacal, glamorous movie star Joan Crawford and her bloody coathangers looming above us. Let’s get something else out of the way while we’re here. I’m both a writer of horror fiction AND a Mother. Does this make me more qualified to talk about it at length? Probably not. But it has changed how I consume…

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    Guest Post: The Mother is the Monster by Tabatha Wood

    “The Mother is the Monster” — an Exploration of Monstrous Matriarchs in Modern Horror Fiction and Film by Tabatha Wood Women in horror frequently get a very bad deal. They are punished, constantly and consistently, for no other reason than their gender identity. Portrayed either as weak and fragile victims, or gratuitously over-sexualised, often their only purpose is to be assaulted, lusted over or both. Enter: the Monstrous Mother. She may be possessive, narcissistic, overbearing, jealous, abusive, homicidal or sexually-oppressed. The very worst kind of monstrous mother is all of these things at once. Horror has a special relationship with its audiences — it relies on emotions and must illicit…

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    Guest Post: Creeping from the Womb by Kristi DeMeester

    Creeping from the Womb By Kristi DeMeester In the past, I have said that motherhood is the most monstrous thing you can do. I’ve now been a mother for five years, and I still believe that. Female bodies have often been treated as objects of horror. Our monthly blood; the infinite mysteries we carry in our wombs; the pain and violence of childbirth; our bellies swollen and unrecognizable even after an impassive doctor has pressed a squalling child into our arms. We turn away from it because it is primal. Because of all the things in our world that have been lessened, made more delicate, this act of birth and…