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Genre and Length:

Contemporary Fantasy Short Story


In a forest that lurks at the edges of civilization, lives a prehistoric beast. Each night, he leaves his forest to wreak havoc on the cities of man. This is one of those nights.

How did the story come about?

I love monster movies. Godzilla, Beast from 20,000 fathoms, King Kong, I love them. But I was always disappointed in the emphasis placed on the human characters’ as opposed to the monsters themselves. In many monster movies, particularly the ones I’ve mentioned, there always seems to be more going on with the monster than what is revealed. With this story, I wanted to try and get inside the monsters head, and portray his thoughts as he goes on his killer rampage.

Do you prefer writing short fiction over novels, and if so, why?

I’ve only attempted a novel once before. I realized very early in the writing process that the story I was telling wasn’t quite long enough to be a novel, so I just turned it into a novella. I think right now I prefer short stories, mostly because I don’t like stories that feel padded. I’ve always been of the philosophy that ‘too short’ is usually better than ‘too long.’

I’m not saying that I would never write a novel, but with the possible exception of two ideas that I’ve had, I think most of the stories I’ve come up with can be done justice in fewer than 20,000 words. But again, never say never.

Which short fiction writers have most influenced you?

I love HP Lovecraft. He did a fantastic job of discussing the smallness of humanity, and had a terrific writing style. He also had a great imagination for coming up with monsters.

Harlan Ellison is amazing. I love the brutal honesty of his work, and the way he can make you feel what’s happening to his characters.

Isaac Asimov is another great one. While his stories might be a little dry sometimes, the ideas and dilemmas he put down were some of the most intellectually riveting stuff I’ve seen in science fiction.

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