Following on from yesterdays interview with Matt Moore. I am proud to present a guest from the man himself. Matt is a horror and dark science fiction writer who believes good speculative fiction can both provoke thought and reflection as well as thrill you. His work explores the theme of contrasting what is monstrous with what is human while inverting assumptions we tend to accept as “truth”.He write stories set in worlds very similar to ours, but with one or two very different things. By exploring those differences and their effects, he hopes to say something about our world.
Why title my collection Touch the Sky, Embrace the Dark......
Why title my collection Touch the Sky, Embrace the Dark
When talking about their book, writers tend to talk about plot. Since I’ve written a short story collection, I can’t tell you about every story. So instead, I’ll describe why the title Touch the Sky, Embrace the Dark is a good summation of the collection.
My fiction deals with contrasts. One of my favorites is contrasting what makes someone human (and humane) and what makes someone or something monstrous, and are these two ideas mutually exclusive?
So Touch the Sky, Embrace the Dark intentionally sets these contrasting phrases against each other.
“Touch the Sky” comes from my Aurora Award-nominated short story “Touch the Sky, They Say”. It’s an uplifting, affirming message akin to “reach for the stars.” It encourages you to try, to strive, to be more than you are. It’s an idealistic message. (Ironically, in the story the act of touching the sky is one of surrender.)
“Embrace the Dark” is meant to be the opposite of “Touch the Sky”. It is a pragmatic, almost pessimistic, message to not just accept but embrace the dark part of ourselves. As people we can strive to be better (“touch the sky”), but must also remember that we are still animals. We can get angry for no good reason, lash out at those we love, and refuse to acknowledge bad news or opinions that we disagree with. In moments of reflection we may come to regret these actions, but our emotional, animal selves usually react faster than our contemplative forebrains can.
Taken together, Touch the Sky, Embrace the Dark reflects what it means to be human: We must strive to be better without forgetting our limitations. The stories in this volume deal with both our human failings as well as the almost infinite determination and compassion we possess. Is striving against impossible odds laudatory or foolish? Is giving up an act of weakness or a pragmatic choice?
Themes of unquestioning devotion, unexpressed resentment and rationalizing cruelty are mixed with risking one’s life to make a difference, seeking individuality in a world of assimilation and facing certain death to fulfil your greatest wish.
But don't think these stories are nothing-ever-happens literary stories. There are nanotechnology werewolves, ghosts, invading armies (that might be extraterrestrial), macro-dimensional beings, assassins and IAs that have blocked access to the afterlife.
I believe good speculative fiction—science fiction, fantasy and horror—should both keep us on the edge of our seat and give us something to contemplate about after we close the book.
If that’s the kind of stories you enjoy, please check out Touch the Sky, Embrace the Dark.
Stories of the bizarre, the terrifying, the all-too-near future.
Only able to recall the memories of others, a ghost tries to solve the mystery of his death. The zombie apocalypse is the gateway to a higher level of human consciousness. An amusement park of the future might turn you into the attraction. An engineer-turned-mercenary races to kill the savior of mankind. When the sky falls, what room is there for hope?
For fans of thought-provoking horror and science fiction, this collection includes the Aurora Award-nominated "Delta Pi" and "Touch the Sky, They Say".
"This is a writer to watch out for. I can’t wait to see what he does next." - Philip Nutman, author of Wet Work and Cities of Night