Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Dennis Etchison, R.I.P. (1943-2019)

I was very sad to hear today about the death of Dennis Etchison, a masterful short story writer whose work transcends genres. If you've never read his fiction, particularly his short stories, you're missing out on one of the most subtly disturbing American writers of the past forty years. His many memorable stories include "The Late Shift," "It Will Be Here Soon," "The Dark Country," "On the Pike," "The Soft Wall," "The Olympic Runner," "The Blood Kiss," "The Dog Park," and "The Detailer." I consider all four of these collections to be essential reading:  THE DARK COUNTRY (1982), RED DREAMS (1984), THE BLOOD KISS (1987), and THE DEATH ARTIST (2000). Also noteworthy is his work as an anthologist, particularly CUTTING EDGE (1986), which includes Whitley Strieber's infamous short story "Pain," and the MASTERS OF DARKNESS series (1986-1991). 

I highly recommend listening to the following interview with Etchison, who spoke with fellow short story writer Scott Edelman during the second annual Stoker Convention (held aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California back in April of 2017) where Etchison was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Horror Writers Association. To hear the June 23, 2017 episode of Edelman's EATING THE FANTASTIC podcast, click HERE


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