Exploring Dark Short Fiction #5: A Primer to Han Song by Eric J. Guignard

Considered one of the three most important voices in contemporary Chinese science fiction (along with Liu Cixin and Wang Jinkang), Han Song is a multiple recipient of the Chinese Galaxy Award (China’s highest profile sci-fi prize), as well as the Chinese Nebula Award and Asian-Pacific Sci-fi Gravity Award. Song bridges new developments in science and subjects of cultural and social dynamics with stories of dystopia, governmental conspiracy, and subversive horror, earning praise for his work as “absurdly dark,” while also reigniting a science fiction renaissance.

Including original English translations by Nathaniel Isaacson, PhD, Dark Moon Books and editor Eric J. Guignard bring you this introduction to Han Song’s work, the fifth in a series of primers exploring modern masters of literary dark short fiction. Herein is a chance to discover—or learn more of—the enigmatic voice of Han Song, as beautifully illustrated by artist Michelle Prebich.

Author Eric J. Guignard took some time out of his busy schedule to talk with The Big Thrill about his latest anthology, EXPLORING DARK FICTION #5: A PRIMER TO HAN SONG:

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

Eric J. Guignard

My earliest media influences were The Twilight Zone, Jack London, Stephen King, and vigilante-style comic books, and because of that I tend to write with the same sort of blended literary and thriller audience in mind.

Some authors I currently adore and consider influences and inspirations include Joe R. Lansdale, Cormac McCarthy, George Orwell, Stephen Graham Jones, Jeffrey Ford, Lisa Morton, Kaaron Warren, Dennis Lehane, Seanan McGuire, Lauren Beukes, Jack Kerouac, Mark Bowden, O. Henry, James Ellroy, Neil Gaiman, Steve Rasnic Tem, Helen Marshall, John Steinbeck, Weston Ochse, and many, many others…

Why is Han Song significant?

Because author Han Song is a modern master of the literary and quiet short horror tale, incorporating a striking range of emotion, surrealism, and character study into his cross-genre work.

What attracts you to this book’s genre?

The excitement, the thrills. The strange. The emotional resonance. The imaginative. Basically, I love monsters and explorations of fear, but I also love literary accouterments and beautiful storylines, which is an ideal (to me) in this genre.

*****

ERIC J. GUIGNARD is a writer and editor of dark and speculative fiction, operating from the shadowy outskirts of Los Angeles, where he also runs the small press, Dark Moon Books. He’s twice won the Bram Stoker Award, been a finalist for the International Thriller Writers Award, and is a multi-nominee of the Pushcart Prize.

He has over one hundred stories and non-fiction author credits appearing in publications around the world. As editor, Eric’s published multiple fiction anthologies, including his most recent, Pop the Clutch: Thrilling Tales of Rockabilly, Monsters, and Hot Rod Horror, and A World of Horror, a showcase of international horror short fiction.

His latest books are his novel Doorways to the Deadeye and short story collection That Which Grows Wild: 16 Tales of Dark Fiction (Cemetery Dance).

Outside the glamorous and jet-setting world of indie fiction, Eric’s a technical writer and college professor, and he stumbles home each day to a wife, children, dogs, and a terrarium filled with mischievous beetles.

Visit Eric on his website, his blog, or Twitter (@ericjguignard).

 

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