Monday, October 31, 2011

Journal of the Day: The Innsmouth Free Press

2011 marks 20 years since I began writing poetry and short stories seriously, and placing them in publications. Some have come and gone. Others are still chugging along. For the next few weeks, I'm going to look at some of those who were there for me at different points in my career.

Seeing that today is Halloween, I'll start off with one of the journals dedicated to horror and the supernatural, I've appeared in, the Innsmouth Free Press.

Established in 2009, the Innsmouth Free Press is many things, printing short fiction, poetry, and news clips in the vein of The Onion, if The Onion did horror.  They also put out reviews and commentary on topics related to the mythos and cosmic horror envisioned by 20th century writer H.P. Lovecraft.

The Innsmouth Free Press is where you can find my horror story, "A Model Apartment," about a Hmong painter who moves to the city of Arkham and what happens when she runs into the horrors of New England and the Old Country.

My poem, "The Deep Ones" will be featured in their forthcoming anthology, Future Lovecraft.

They also printed what I believe may be one of the first Lovecraftian historcal horror stories set in Laos, "What Hides, What Returns" in their anthology, Historical Lovecraft this year.

One of the things I've enjoyed about the press is its commitment to multicultural voices and their search for well-written, new perspectives. The Innsmouth Free Press has been very good about encouraging mythos fiction that reflects diverse perspectives and cultural viewpoints, which is still somewhat rare in this sub-genre of horror.

This is the journal where I've also deposited any number of short horror bits to help flesh out the city of Innsmouth, first featured in Lovecraft's "The Shadow Over Innsmouth."  Some have been tongue-in-cheek, such as the discovery of lost Twain manuscripts that hint of the Jumping Frog God of Tsathogghua County,  while others have been efforts of mine to broaden the perception and role of Southeast Asians in Lovecraftian fiction.

A significant example is the work I've done regarding a Lovecraftian race known as the Tcho Tcho, who first appeared in August Derleth's 1933 short story "The Thing That Walked on the Wind." In that story, a character refers in passing to "the forbidden and accursed designs of the Tcho-Tcho people of Burma". Later that year, in "Lair of the Star-Spawn", co-written with Mark Schorer, Derleth expanded on the Tcho-Tcho, describing them as a short, hairless people that worship Lloigor and Zhar. Given their treatment over the years by other writers, I've felt much better work can be done handling them. We'll see, over time, what prevails in the Lovecraftian canon.

The Innsmouth Free Press is still looking for occasional and regular contributors and readers. They recently finished their Apocalypse Week series, and have many other exciting issues ahead. Check them out!

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