My first time reading Marian Womack‘s work came via the collection Lost Objects, an unsettling array of speculative fiction informed by climate change in multiple unsettling ways. (I interviewed her about it in 2018.) This year will see the release of her novel, The Golden Key — but first, Womack has another literary project that she’s ushered into the world, an anthology co-edited with Gary Budden. This is An Invite to Eternity, which includes stories from Kristen Roupenian, Aliya Whiteley, and Naomi Booth. It’s also the first book from Calque Press, a new independent publisher. I talked with Womack about the anthology, the press, and the uncanny boundaries of ecological fiction.
Some of the most unsettling horror taps into a primal and very real fear: that our bodies will somehow turn on us. It’s the sort of case where only the severity needs to be increased for a taste of the uncanny to emerge. We wrestle with our own bodies’ failures all the time, from chronic conditions to sudden illnesses. We struggle with our own health and we reckon with the health of those closest to us. Horror doesn’t need to do much to strike a chord here.
In our afternoon reading: interviews with Halle Butler and Naomi Booth, a playlist from John Domini, and more.
In our afternoon reading: a conversation with Colson Whitehead, reviews of novels by Naomi Booth and Courtney Maum, and more.