All posts by Steve Rasnic Tem

[GUEST POST] Steve Rasnic Tem on Southern Gothic and the Appalachian Weird

In Steve Rasnic Tem‘s 30 + years as a professional writer he has published over 300 short stories, three collections, and four novels, as well as hundreds of poems, essays, articles etc. He is a past winner of the British Fantasy Award, World Fantasy, Bram Stoker, and International Horror Guild awards, and had been nominated for the Philip K. Dick, Shirley Jackson, and Theodore Sturgeon awards. His latest novel is Blood Kin, out this month (February 26th) from Solaris.

Appalachian Weird

by Steve Rasnic Tem

My new novel Blood Kin, a dark study of ghosts, snake-handling, and the Great Depression, is set in two Appalachias. The first, a sepia-toned vision of the impoverished thirties, is full of characters. The people are poor, but there are a lot of them. The other Appalachia, seventy-odd years later, is a greener vision, but it’s the green of rot and moss and kudzu vine filling the empty spaces of a much-diminished town. It’s like an Iris DeMent song with the sun going down and the town fading into little more than a memory.

I’m one of many who moved away. I needed book stores and movie theaters and the university. But despite the poverty, despite the sadness I feel when I see all the empty stores and abandoned houses, I still find it to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.
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