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My first brush with short horror/weird tales was in elementary school. We had this mandatory reading program that built up longer and more complex readings of short pieces of material. Of all the things I read in those years of doing that program, only one story got lodged in my brain. It was a strange little tale by Ray Bradbury called “All Summer in a Day”. Not really a horror story exactly, but it was the first real story I can point to as my fascination with weird tales and, ultimately, my own horror story writing. From there I discovered Poe and Lovecraft on to all the short horror authors I admired in my youth and still to this day – people like Ambrose Bierce, M.R. James, Algernon Blackwood, etc. etc. As I began to craft my own stories I naturally got to a point where I thought that seeking publication would be the next logical step. But what I found was that the world at large no longer had much of a place for short horror stories in the vein of these great authors from years gone by. Horror styles and tastes have changed. People want writing that is streamlined and active, action-packed and ultra-modern. People also like novels instead of anthologies or collections. Even the magazines that say they are publishing short fiction are really just places for authors to pimp their novels. The quality of the work is sadly lacking in comparison to the great works of the past. It’s sad to see that half-baked horror is getting published where once used to be the work of the golden age of short horror.

One Comment

  1. It’s sad to see how publishers flaunt half-baked stories as horror, and how the genre’s name has been tainted as a result. I hope to see the horror genre, in particular the short stories, brought back to their former glory some day soon!

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