Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was the first time I remember being scared by a book. That tiny collection of stories with a rotting human face on the cover set me on a path which led to some great fiction later on, and nights throughout my life where I would lay awake finding it difficult to sleep. I read House of Leaves in a drafty apartment in Vermont at twenty, and it gave new meaning to every creak and gust moving through the night. H.P. Lovecraft’s sprawling body of work provided me with numerous accounts of cosmic horror often perfectly sized for spaces between larger works. I read Robert Chambers’s The King In Yellow in the top of my friends Vanagon, and that, along with the effects of a fireside spliff and the roaring engines of logging trucks left me breathless in the middle of nowhere Oregon.
The Hypnic Jerk is the feeling of falling we sometimes have as we go to sleep. We once understood that there were dangers around us and we could only grasp harder at a branch for protection. Effectively you (the human) are helpless, grasping at air, and that defines horror for me–the knowledge that the best you can do is hold on a little harder and hope everything turns out for the best. When I read Rats in the Walls by Lovecraft I reacted similarly, feeling the need to close the book and take stock of my surroundings to make sure that it hadn’t become real. I was helpless to the story. A literary jerk that I found unsettling, and now I can’t help smiling.
With this in mind, I present to you Unoriginal: The Horror Issue. A collection of words and art that should be read in the dark. Enjoy.
I am currently accepting contributions to a thematic publication Titled Unoriginal. The first issue will be stories and art inspired by horror. If you’d like to contribute please email me at Unoriginal.firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk about format and requirements. The current Schedule is based on materials being accepted in may and the magazine will be published in July. Thanks!