Blurring The Line is the new anthology of horror fiction and non-fiction, edited by award-winning editor Marty Young, published by Cohesion Press. You can get your copy here or anywhere you normally buy books (the print edition is coming any day now).
To help people learn a bit more about it, I’ve arranged for each fiction contributor to answer the same five questions, and I’ll be running these mini interviews every weekday now that the book is available.
Peter Hagelslag is a retired sailor who now works for an offshore company in the Black Sea. At day he maintains equipment, at night he tries to maintain his wild imagination. His stories have been published in Apex Digest, Premonitions and Rudy Rucker’s Flurb; and the anthologies New Writings in the Fantastic, Hysterical Realms and (the multiple award-winning) Qualia Nous.
1. What was the inspiration/motivation behind your story in Blurring The Line?
The–IMHO–very mistaken idea that mass shootings can be prevented (or lessened) by even more guns and mass surveillance. It leads to a downward spiral of paranoia, fear and–inevitably–even more violence and bloodshed. Some of the scenes in the story where the über-guardians try to prevent a mass killing resemble actual events but all too closely, unfortunately.
2. What does horror mean to you?
I prefer psychological horror and horror that brings something extra to the table. Something that illuminates why there is fear, why we fear, or why the root cause for fear has changed for different cultures, across the ages and after technological developments.
3. What’s a horror short story that you think everyone should read?
“The Whimper of Whipped Dogs” by Harlan Ellison. When I bought his collection Deathbird Stories I was already aware of his several of his famous stories like “Repent, Harlequin, Said the Tick Tock Man”, “Along the Scenic Route” and “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream”, but these did not fully prepare me for “The Whimper of Whipped Dogs”. It’s brutal, it’s voyeuristic, and it strongly suggest that the greater evil may not be the act of (very gruesome) murder, but the people witnessing it *and doing nothing*.
4. What horror novel should everyone read?
The Trial by Franz Kafka. The epitome of existential dread and paranoia.
5. Name something that you think just might be real, or might not…
Your sense of security: is it real, or is it just a pipe dream?
Previous posts in the Blurring The Line interview series: