• Cassandra L. Thompson

Leeches, Laudanum, & Lobotomies


It was on a dreary night of November, that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet.”


Okay, putting this anthology together is not THAT dramatic, but let me tell you - this book is going to be its own amazing monstrosity!


I’m pleased to announce that Quill & Crow’s first collection of short gothic horror stories is coming together fabulously. Much as I was blown away by our illustrious Crow Calls poets, I am both humbled and honored to showcase some premium indie talent in the industry. You’re not going to want to miss it.


I also thought I’d take a brief moment to answer the questions: why gothic medical horror? Is that even a genre? What is wrong with you, Cassandra?


Well, I still haven’t figured out what’s wrong with me, sorry. But I can tell you, the above quote comes from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which is considered one of the greatest gothic horror novels of all time. I would argue that medicine/science goes swimmingly with the genre, though there tends to be more of a focus on its supernatural/romantic aspects. Not only did I want to try something a bit different than the norm, but I personally love studying medical history.


From leeches, to laudanum, to lobotomies, I am constantly blown away by some of the practices humanity once thought was state-of-the-art medicine. Want a taste? Feel free to Google the inspiration for our title, Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine by George M. Gould and Walter Pyle (1896). While there has never been additional documentation to prove some of the accounts included in the book, it still offers a glimpse into some fascinating history.


If you'd prefer a modern book, one of my favorites on the topic is The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris. (I do plan on reviewing it for the blog once my world stops spinning). Fitzharris perfectly captures the world of Victorian medicine as she reconstructs the career of Joseph Lister, the man we can all thank for helping guide us away from gore-crusted aprons and fully conscious amputations.


Intrigued? Check out her book if you enjoy a little non-fiction research, and definitely check out our anthology, which showcases Victorian medicine, the psychiatric practices of the early 2oth century, and a few supernatural twists that will leave you with a sense of dread that would make even Ms. Shelley proud.


And - as is the Quill & Crow standard - expect the stories to be amazing, the prose upmarket, and the book lovingly splattered in blood.


You can preorder Anomalies & Curiosities: A Gothic Medical Anthology today; paperback and hardcovers coming May 1st of this year.


Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be re-entering my editing cave so I can bring you a new adventure in gothic horror.


Dreadfully Yours,


Cassandra


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