Author Archive

NOTE: This installment of Special Needs In Strange Worlds features a guest post from author Daryl Gregory! – Sarah Chorn

Daryl Gregory is an award-winning writer of genre-mixing novels, stories, and comics. His first novel, Pandemonium, won the Crawford Award and was nominated for a World Fantasy Award. His other novels include The Devil’s Alphabet (a Philip K. Dick award finalist), Raising Stony Mayhall (a Library Journal best SF book of the year), and the upcoming Afterparty. Many of his short stories are collected in Unpossible and Other Stories, which was named one of the best books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly. He lives in State College, PA. You can learn more about him and his books by visiting his website.

Minds, Bodies, and the Three D’s

by Daryl Gregory

Let’s start on a down note, shall we?

My junior year of college, early in the spring semester, I walked into what I would later call the Black Tunnel. Suddenly I was exhausted all the time. I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning, and sometimes stayed in the dorm room all day. When I did go to class, I couldn’t concentrate.

My memories of those days have the quality of tunnel vision. The edges of the world seemed to have closed in. When people spoke to me, they seemed to be talking from the far end of a rifle barrel.

What was happening to me felt physical, and externally imposed. I knew that my problems were only going to get worse the longer I slept, but I could no more “snap out of it” than I could decide to stop having the flu.

Then the tunnel opened. I don’t know why. One day I woke up with a little more energy, and started repairing the damage I’d done to my grade point average. I felt like I’d survived an attack from my own body.

Maybe that’s where my fascination with the mind/body problem began. I kept wondering why, even though I knew the depression wasn’t rational, that I couldn’t just pull my self out of it.
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Daryl Gregory lives in State College, PA, where he writes programming code in the morning, fiction in the afternoon, and comics at night. His first novel, Pandemonium, won the Crawford award for best first fantasy and was a finalist for the World Fantasy award. His second novel, The Devil’s Alphabet, was named one of the best books of 2009 by Publishers Weekly. His first collection of short fiction, Unpossible and Other Stories, will be published by Fairwood Press in October, 2011. He writes the comics Dracula: The Company of Monsters (with Kurt Busiek), and Planet of the Apes for BOOM! Studios. His new novel, Raising Stony Mayhall, will be published June 28, 2011 from Del Rey Spectra.

Anti-Horror: A Modest Proposal for a Yet Another Subgenre

A couple weeks ago on the Locus podcast, Karen Burnham, Tim Akers and I were talking about mixing genres. Tim writes novels that draw from steampunk, high fantasy, noir, and even westerns. His Veridon series and The Horns of Ruin are rollicking adventures that defy easy classification. And me, I like writing weird stuff too. Karen said that she was halfway done reading my new book, Raising Stony Mayhall, and that it felt like a fantasy written as science fiction.

I was happy to hear that, because even though the book is about zombies, it was never intended as horror in the classic sense, or to fit into any particular genre. It’s a story about a dead boy (the eponymous Stony) who grows up thinking he’s the only zombie in the world, but eventually finds other living dead people like himself. (One reviewer called it a zombildungsroman, a term I am now going to use whenever possible.)

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