By John Raab
Author Lucy Snyder returns with an anthology, including the Bram Stoker winning story of 2013 titled “Magdala Amygdala.” Snyder is also the author of an urban fantasy series featuring Jessie Shimmer. Snyder has sold over one-hundred and twenty short stories. Fifteen of those are included in this latest book SOFT APOCALYPSES, in a range of genres.
SOFT APOCALYPSES is your latest anthology. What kind of short stories will fans see inside the pages?
The book contains a mix of genres. All of the stories are dark, perhaps not all horror, but very dark nonetheless.
“Magdala Amygdala,” the opening story in the collection, is my take on the zombie apocalypse. It won the 2012 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction. “However….” is the original version of a story Gary A. Braunbeck and I cowrote for a Hellraiser anthology; we were asked to edit this version because it was deemed too disturbing for that book (yes: too disturbing for Hellraiser. I was just as baffled as you are). “Antumbra” is a post-apocalyptic science fiction horror story. “Diamante and Strass” is a post-apocalyptic, rock-and-roll science fiction weird Western. “Tiger Girls vs. the Zombies” is an entirely different take on a zombie apocalypse; it’s set in the world of my book INSTALLING LINUX ON A DEAD BADGER. “The Leviathan of Trincomalee” is a Lovecraftian steampunk adventure tale on the high seas.
Those are just a handful of the stories in the collection. Most every story features some kind of “soft” apocalypse: the world that the main character knows and understands has come to an end, but life goes on after the cataclysm.
With many different short stories in your book, is there one that you would tell fans to read first, to give them a sense of the type of writer you are?
There are a couple of stories you can read for free online to get a taste of what my writing in this book is like. You can find the opening story, “Magdala Amygdala,” online at Nightmare Magazine. And you can find “Antumbra” online at Apex Magazine:
Are there any characters in your stories that shoot off the pages and force you to keep writing about them?
Absolutely. “Repent, Jessie Shimmer!” features the protagonist of my action-oriented urban fantasy novels SPELLBENT, SHOTGUN SORCERESS, and SWITCHBLADE GODDESS. I have a lot more stories about Jessie rattling around in my brain; I won’t run out of tales to write about her for a long time. She’s flawed and damaged, but she absolutely never gives up, and she’s a lot of fun to write about
Do you have any superstitions when you write?
I’m not superstitious, but there are some environmental conditions I prefer to have to really get in the writing groove. Coffee is a must, as are comfy flannel pajama pants, fuzzy socks, and music. I generally write to instrumental music, often soundtracks or electronic albums. I usually find complex lyrics distracting. For some projects I’ll have Stravinsky and Howard Shore in my playlist, for others it’s Daft Punk and Juno Reactor, and for still others it’ll be Tool.
What can fans expect to see from you in the future?
The biggest project I have coming up is DEVILS’ FIELD, the fourth book in my Jessie Shimmer series. That book is tentatively set to be released in mid-2015.
I’ve also been writing a lot of short fiction lately. My southern gothic tale “Kudzu” will appear in A Darke Phantastique: Encounters with the Uncanny and Other Magical Things (Cycatrix Press) any day now. My Lovecraftian tale “The Abomination of Fensmere” will appear in Shadows Over Main Street (Hazardous Press) sometime this fall, and its sequel, “The Girl With The Star-Stained Soul,” will be In The Court of the Yellow King (Celaeno Press) in the next couple of months. Looking further out, my fantasy story “Spinwebs” will appear in Not Our Kind (Alliteration Ink) and I’ve got several other projects I can’t mention yet, but one’s a tie-in anthology for a thriller show I’ve loved for decades, and I’m incredibly excited to be part of it.
We would like to thank Lucy for sharing this exciting book with THE BIG THRILL. To find out more about Lucy, please visit her website.
Lucy A. Snyder is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of the novels SPELLBENT, SHOTGUN SORCERESS, SWITCHBLADE GODDESS, and the collections ORCHID CAROUSALS, SPARKS AND SHADOWS, CHIMERIC MACHINES, and INSTALLING LINUX ON A DEAD BADGER. She has two new books out in 2014: SHOOTING YOURSELF IN THE HEAD FOR FUN AND PROFIT: A WRITER’S SURVIVAL GUIDE from Post Mortem Press, and her story collection SOFT APOCALYPSES from Raw Dog Screaming Press. Her writing has been translated into French, Russian, and Japanese editions and has appeared in publications such as Apex Magazine, Nightmare Magazine, Jamais Vu, Pseudopod, Strange Horizons, Weird Tales, Dark Faith, Chiaroscuro, GUD, and Best Horror of the Year, Vol. 5. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and occasional co-author Gary A. Braunbeck and is a mentor in Seton Hill University’s MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction.