• Cassandra L. Thompson

Honoring the Shadows


So I’ve been knocking around some thoughts in this crazy brain of mine the last few days, and I figured it was time to make a blog post about it.


On Saturday, Quill & Crow will be releasing our very first Gothic anthology and it’s got me in my feels. Not only because I’m super proud of all the authors, but because a few of us have touched on some themes that I feel deserve mention.


In my last blog post, I talked about my love for medical history. It’s not only because I enjoy studying the past, but because I also appreciate it under the lens of Women’s History.


Not too long ago, there was a video circulating on TikTok about the history of the chainsaw. I won’t ruin the story, but the history of the chainsaw was my inspiration for Merciful, my contribution to the Anomalies & Curiosities anthology. I wrote it hoping to open some eyes to a piece of history that has been repeatedly swept under the rug. To give a voice to those who have been silenced.


In compiling the anthology, I wanted to find stories that had that Victorian mad scientist feel (which, holy crap did the writers bring that aspect - these stories are amazing!), but during the process, I worried I wouldn’t be able to make Merciful fit between them.


But then I stumbled upon the submissions from Marie Casey (Shadows) and Rebecca Jones-Howe (Woman of the White Cottage). All three of our stories touch on a very unpleasant aspect of Women’s History - abuse at the hands of men under the guise of medical treatment. I remember reading stories like The Yellow Wallpaper in college and feeling this unshakable horror that I couldn’t quite describe. That same unsettling feeling came over me as I read both their stories, and I hope I invoked it with my own. There is a fine line between exploitative horror and horror that makes us think, but it’s my assertion that our stories honor these women.


Perhaps this is why I am drawn to Gothic literature as a genre - Gothic horror in itself is a reflection of patriarchal systems, encompassing dread like few genres can, while making us consider gender roles in our society. But that is a whole topic for another day… which I might be touching on with our SUPER SECRET anthology coming soon… shhh….


I feel good about Anomalies & Curiosities, not only because of the deliciously dreadful mad scientists and deranged psychopaths, but because laced in between them, stands a testament to those who have long been silenced.


Those who now keep to the shadows.



Dreadfully Yours,


Cassandra



Why wait? Order your copy of Anomalies & Curiosities here.


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