My newest find is The Hive Mind: SF, Fantasy & Horror. As the title suggest is a hive of authors that posting and sharing their fiction with anyone with access to the World Wide Web. These authors include Maria di Girolamo, Mark J. Howard, Bren MacDibble, Tonya Moore, John Claude Smith, and Alexandra Wolfe. You can check out their bios by visiting Authors.
The Hive Mind is organized into categories fantasy, horror, science fiction, supernatural, and urban.
Being the reader that I am, seeking out the weird and horrific, I took a quick look at the horror category. To be honest, there is not much there, just one story so far, Satan in a Scrapyard. There are seven stories in the science fiction section. I might go back for one of those this week.
Satan in a Scrapyard is not that horrific or weird, but it does have a strange narrative voice that kept me plugging through the story. The narrator is an odd bird that feels it is necessary to communicate directly to the reader, “Now, writers know a little bit of magic, and I can tell by the way your eyes are moving over these words that you don’t believe me but I swear it’s true: I came face to face with Satan and lived to tell this tale.”
I’ve seen this narrative style before, but I’m not sure that I’m a fan. Being addressed takes me out of the story and makes me question the dream that all good fiction should ensnare readers with. Still, there must be a market for it because it seems all too common. It is just not my style.
Anyway, the story is bizarre tale of the narrator’s chance encounter with Satan. I love stories about Satan. Satan must be the interesting of all literary characters. He is a liar, a shape shifter, and the archenemy all that is good and correct. Hell must be the most interesting place theme ride in the universe’s theme park.
The narrator is in true form, pulling out all the stops, to try and convince the reader of something. In this case, it is my belief that narrator is unreliable and the events are fabricated. Why else go to all the effort in spelling out what kind of story is being told.
This is why I ended up enjoying the story. I found the effort the narrator puts into the telling of the tail very interesting. Here is just a taste, “Sometimes I write stories too, usually made-up ones. But tonight I am going to write you a true story about the time I met the Devil in a scrapyard.”
Nice. Very nice. This line, among others is intended to put the reader at ease while a sight of had is being played out. The trick is a good one. Well, worth the reading.
Howard, Mark. “Satan in a Scrapyard.” The Hive Mind, 2009