Gemma Files – This Is Not For You

ART © 2014 SHELBY NICHOLS (From Nightmare Magazine. Image links to artist website)

It’s here at last! Women Destroy Horror, the special edition of Nightmare Magazine edited by the, ever awesome, Ellen Datlow. A handful of the short stories and articles  are going to be made available for free on the Nightmare Magazine website. To read the whole lot you have to buy the magazine either in hard copy or ebook(Kindle, Nook. Kobo), the ebook looking like a proper bargain as it’s still the regular price of £1.90 despite featuring far more stories and articles than a regular issue of Nightmare. The hard copy is a shade off £8 but is still a bargain considering how much is crammed inside.

The first story to be released for free is ‘This Is Not For You‘ by Gemma Files.  Files has been publishing fiction since the mid-1990s yet, to the best of my knowledge, this is the first tale of hers that I’ve read – a full list of her published work can be found on the Internet Speculative Fiction Database.

I read ‘This Is Not For You’ on the train to work this morning and, if the rest of her writing is like this, I have to read more. I’m adding her to my Christmas list this year for sure. (Are you reading this C?) The story follows the bacchanal rites of a revived Hellenistic cult with a serial killer lurking in their midst. This is a disturbing, yet playful, story and the elements that make it disturbing are exactly the same elements that also make it playful. Files inverts the trope of the male serial killer  -the lone hunter- stalking his, mostly, female victims and turns it into a very female collective activity that celebrates female power in the same way that the serial killer trope celebrates male power through its fetishization of violence and the ability to take life at will. The story also has a nice little dig at the male douche-patrol that stalk the internet fighting for the rights of men oppressed by women everywhere(sarcasm).

Over the next couple of weeks we are going to see ‘…Warmer’ by A.R. Morlan(8th October), ‘It Feels Better Biting Down’ by Livia Llewellyn(15th October) and ‘Unfair Exchange’ by Pat Cadigan(22 October) released for free. I’m really excited to read Livia Llewellyn’s story. But then again who wouldn’t be? 🙂

As well as the short fiction Nightmare are also releasing ‘The H Word: The H is for Harassment (a/k/a Horror’s Misogyny Problem)’ by Chesya Burke8th October), ‘Artists Showcase: Five Women Artists Who Are Destroying Horror Art’
by Galen Dara(15th October), and an interview with Joyce Carol Oates by Lisa Morton(22nd October). All of which I’m looking forward to reading over the coming weeks until pay day when I’ll be ordering the hard copy.

If you are considering buying this via Amazon please use either the links in this post or the links to Amazon in the sidebar as that way the fantastic Lovecraft Ezine will get a bung at no extra cost to you. 🙂

Keep it weird.


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