Monday, July 19, 2004

New Voices

As I mentioned before, the Zoetrope site has a great thing going for new writers. But one of the most exciting discoveries was the work of a writer named Alicia Gifford, whose stories always gave me a jolt and woke me up. She's got a quirky, entertaining, smooth voice and every story of hers that I have had the pleasure of reading was a delight or an eye-opener or the literary equivalent of a rollercoaster ride or fascinating character study. Watch for her. Since running across her work on the site, I know she's gotten published by markets including Pig Iron Malt (last I heard, that site was on a hiatus for new submissions, btw), and NFG. (Publication by the latter having become sort of a holy grail amongst Zoetropers, and a goal I have yet to achieve.)

I've mentioned McSweeney's before, and as long as I'm discussing new discoveries of writers I hadn't necessarily heard of from mainstream sources, I should mention Kelly Link, whose work appeared in a print publication, McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales. McSweeney's uses both electronic and print to leverage its literary endeavors, and I highly recommend this "Mammoth Treasury." It was actually meant to be a nod to old pulp fiction, and includes such well-known writers as Stephen King, Michael Crichton, and Harlan Ellison, but the abstract, edgy, and wild story called Catskin by Kelly Link that was included within its pages was worth the price of admission and introduced me to a new voice.

From a quick Internet check, it looks like Kelly Link is a horror and fantasy writer, however, it's long been one of my theories that horror is an underestimated and largely unappreciated subgenre of literature. (Another of my favorite recommendations in the genre: Poppy Z. Brite's Lost Souls.) At any rate, I have every intention of trying to follow Kelly Link's work more closely.

Thanks for reading,



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