A Celebration of Women in Horror (Pt 1)


Article by Brian James Lewis

February is something special for fans of speculative fiction, dark poetry, weird tales, and horror. Is it a celebration of half-priced Valentine’s Day chocolate after the 14th? Well, sort of. But the really big deal is: WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH! This is a great time to recognize female writers, poets, and editors. Since there are so many and I’d like to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome, I’ve chosen three 5 Star writers off the Wall of Fame. For this installment, Gallows Hill is saluting Michelle Mellon, Lucy A. Snyder, and Renee Miller! One of my big goals as a reviewer is to shed light on the fresh, new, and unique. So buckle those seatbelts, grab your chocolate, and let’s roll!

Let’s kick things into gear with a Michelle Mellon! If you haven’t read her collection of speculative short fiction Down By The Sea I highly encourage you to give it a whirl. Mellon’s dark tales will chill your blood while engaging your brain. Great characters and inventive story lines change everyday things into shockers. Fallen Leaves, Crash Test Dummy, and an elderly gardener with a Green Thumb are not exactly as they seem. But, that’s what we love about speculative fiction, right? Just one wrong step leaves you stranded in a dark alley being harvested by a couple of creepy dudes with leaf blowers. The first story in the book, Crawlspace sets the tone of what to expect from Mellon’s writing. A teenage boy has been acting up and making life hell for his mother, so she sends him over to Old Lady Ennis for some community service. Unfortunately the young man is not on his best behavior and a conflict ensues. Who will win this battle? In Afraid Of The Dark Christine knows that if she is put in complete darkness, something very bad will happen. Unfortunately, her husband has big plans to break this “silly fear” of hers and pays the price for it. Ride the ice cold wave of fear and get Down By The Sea by Michelle Mellon from HellBound Books at www.hellboundbookspublishing.com ! You can also follow Michelle on Twitter:@mpmellon.

Next up on our “Women In Horror you should read right now” list, is Lucy A. Snyder. Her recent release from Raw Dog Screaming Press, Garden Of Eldritch Delights is a stunner! Inside the great cover art by Daniele Serra you’ll find a diverse and mind boggling array of stories. Speculative fiction, weird fantasy fiction, and dark science fiction abound. In The Gentleman Caller a physically disabled phone sex worker’s brain is used by a crafty man to release The Master from the sea. In The Warlady’s Daughter we meet Elyria who was created by a common enough situation. A couple of folks got inebriated and had some fun. But Ria didn’t grow up as a daughter, she grew up under false premises. However, the lady warriors known as the Nemain return for their leader’s daughter so that she may have the opportunity to learn and join them. But what of the narrow minded villagers? Will Elyria become a warrior and a member of the Nemain? Or will she decide to remain at her uncle’s bakery and take whatever is forced upon her? Do you have a major shithead male boss? One who likes to make you beg for vacation or to leave early from work for a legitimate reason? If so, then you’re going to really enjoy Executive Function! Bradley Pendleton certainly digs being the head honcho. He’s also a sexual predator, which is not cool at all. Luckily he meets Miss Alewhite, who shows Mr. Pendleton exactly where he stands in the world. Enjoy! Savor this creep’s dismay and gasp at what’s behind the façade of a major corporation. Power corrupts, does it not? Lucy Snyder’s Garden Of Eldritch Delights is powerfully written for fans of complex, intelligent speculative fiction. Get your copy at www.RawDogScreaming.com and be sure to follow Lucy on Twitter @LucyASnyder!

Another Woman In Horror to be reckoned with is Renee Miller. This year, I had a great time reviewing her novel Eat The Rich which was released by Hindered Souls Press in fine style with a blood splotched and very worried looking Ben Franklin on the cover and title page. This is a novel of sheer madness and the desire of one man to be free from society’s constraints. His name is Ed. You might consider him a visionary or just an idiot who had no idea what the consequences of his actions would be. But one thing’s for sure, he’s not a pompous asshole. When Ed walks out the door of his plush house in the suburbs and leaves all his material wealth behind, he’s ready to be FREE! Instead he finds himself in a major shit storm. Aliens have landed on Earth and taken on the guise of homeless people. They claim they’re just here to teach humanity how to exist in a utopian society. Maybe that’s true, but the way they go about it is far, far away from ideal. Once they get cooking, things escalate in a quick and ugly fashion. Those who refuse to follow the new plan are dealt with severely. Forced equality? What could go wrong with that? How about…Plenty? I could tell you more, but it will be so much better to read Renee Miller’s words instead of mine. She will amaze you with how she keeps everything rolling at a steady pace. No loose ends. All killer and no filler. A great writer who interweaves her horror with important stuff, like how poorly we earthlings treat each other and muck up our lives, Miller once again shows us that horror is not just blood and screams. Unfortunately Hindered Souls Press is no longer active, but make sure to follow Renee Miller on Twitter @ReneeMJ and at www.authorreneemiller.com to find out what this outspoken writer is up to next!

That’s it for this week’s celebration of Women In Horror Month, folks! Be sure to tune in next week when I pull works from three awesome female poets off the Wall of Fame and share them with you to continue celebrating Women In Horror Month, here at Gallows Hill Magazine!    

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