Ginger Nuts of Horror
To be 100% honest, folks, if I really had to pick just one “book that made me,” well…Keith Deininger stole mine. I mean, I wrote Queen’s Blood (featured in Angelic Knight’s Manifesto UF and my own Queen & Other Stories, released this month) with Jack Sawyer and the Territories in mind. Or maybe Keith’s off the hook. I love a good time-travel piece, and another story from my collection, The Bad Place, has drawn the occasional comparison to King’s The Langoliers
Fortunately for me, I had a lot of time to read in my youth, so you’re not stuck with another essay on The Talisman or King in general. I was very much a loner at school and on the bus there and back, and had a different book almost every day, either from my own collection or the library. Kids can be evil to each other, so it really isn’t a big wonder that ghosts, vampires, rabid dogs and robots—even malfunctioning ones—seemed like better companions.
I never did read an Isaac Asimov book that failed to capture my imagination. Even the couple of nonfiction texts I read on the periodic table and such were compelling reading—and I was probably ten or eleven when I picked those up! But one of his works that’s stuck with me the most as I’ve made the journey from primarily a consumer of science fiction and horror to a producer of it is I, Robot.
Dr. Asimov didn’t invent robots, but he did create Three Laws that made them, at least potentially, less threatening to humans than some of the robot-related fiction preceding his. Robots could improve quality of life. Robots could be trusted. But then…then he flipped the script and wrote a whole book of short stories on the multitude of ways the Three Laws could be warped, loopholed or removed, and the consequences of such occurrences.
Dr. Asimov was such a genius, he wrote an entire collection based around outsmarting himself—and pulled it off in a way generations to come will admire.
When the idea caught hold in my mind to write a tribute to Dr. Asimov’s robots, two things stuck out to me: 1) His robots and writing were the product of a much gentler time, and 2) I lack the subtlety of a genius author and professor with degrees in several sciences. So, while my robot serial killer in Seymour’s Descent may lack the full measure of the good Doctor’s wit and spark, I’d wager the piece stands apart as uniquely modern and horrific by today’s standard. I’d like to think he wouldn’t be altogether unpleased.
Lincoln Crisler has been writing horror and dark science fiction since 2006. His work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications. His first novel-length collection, debut novel and third anthology are all scheduled for 2014 publication. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Managing Editor of The Midnight Diner, a quarterly magazine of Christian-based speculative fiction.
A United States Army combat veteran and non-commissioned officer, Lincoln lives in Augusta, Georgia. Lincoln and his wife own a virtual assistant business, Crisler Professional Services. You can contact him at email@example.com and visit his website at lincolncrisler.info.
Queen & Other Stories (2014, Apokrupha) collects the best of Lincoln Crisler's horror and dark science fiction, including several digital-only rarities and two brand-new pieces. The fourteen short stories and one novella include:
Tradition: A widow and a group of her late husband's friends take a stab at a cathartic hunting trip in the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse.
Old Stooping Lugh: Irish and Italian gangsters run afoul of an ancient Celtic deity in 1920's Boston.
Nice to Matter: The secret origin of a superhero cop's prostitute sidekick.
The Bad Place: A little girl discovers the secret behind her brother's disappearance--and an outlandish time-travel plan to save her from their abusive father that might do more harm than good.
Queen: A middle-aged woman in a frigid marriage discovers her experimental age-defying treatment may be something more than skin deep.
ORDER QUEEN & OTHER STORIES IN PRINT AND DIGITAL FORMATS ON AMAZON!