• Fiona McIntosh: Voyager Author of the Month

    Fiona McIntosh was born and raised in Sussex in the UK, but also spent early childhood years in West Africa. She left a PR career in London to travel and settled in Australia in 1980. She has since roamed the world working for her own travel publishing company, which she runs with her husband. She lives in Adelaide with her husband and twin sons. Her website is at www.fionamcintosh.com.

    Her latest book, The Scrivener's Tale, is a stand-alone and takes us back to the world of Morgravia from her very first series, The Quickening:

    About The Scrivener's Tale:

    In the bookshops and cafes of present-day Paris, ex-psychologist Gabe Figaret is trying to put his shattered life back together. When another doctor, Reynard, asks him to help with a delusional female patient, Gabe is reluctant... until he meets her. At first Gabe thinks the woman, Angelina, is merely terrified of Reynard, but he quickly discovers she is not quite what she seems.

    As his relationship with Angelina deepens, Gabe's life in Paris becomes increasingly unstable. He senses a presence watching and following every move he makes, and yet he finds Angelina increasingly irresistible.

    When Angelina tells Gabe he must kill her and flee to a place she calls Morgravia, he is horrified. But then Angelina shows him that the cathedral he has dreamt about since childhood is real and exists in Morgravia.

    A special 10th Anniversary edition of her first fantasy book, Myrren's Gift, will be released in December!



When Horror Meets Fantasy

   I was recently asked to be a guest speaker at a Hobart film festival themed around women in horror: Stranger With My Face.
I identify so strongly as a fantasy writer that I’m always surprised when I get included in discussions of the overlapping genres (like my utter astonishment the first time I was nominated for a short story award in a science fiction category).

But once I thought about it, and peeled some of my preconceptions away, I started thinking that yes, I am actually a horror writer (as well as a fantasy writer and a novel writer and a feminist writer, and so on).  It’s hard to argue with when I look at the Creature Court trilogy, which is full of blood and dark magic, obsession and addiction, cruelty and death, along with the aspects I’m better known for – like banter, frocks and steamy sex scenes.

Come to that, most fantasy does have elements of horror in it.  Lord of the Rings is not only rife with monsters and violence, but it also features one of the most iconic Dread Objects of genre fiction – the ring that destroys the souls of those who hold it.  Fritz Leiber, one of my own heroes for his funny and clever Lankhmar series, also put Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser through some deep psychological traumas and was a master at balancing the sinister with the amusing.

Urban fantasy is particularly related to horror – in fact, you could argue that the works of Laurell K Hamilton, Charlaine Harris et al. are closer in many ways to the traditions of horror than to fantasy, certainly in the way that vampires, werewolves and other Horror Movie Icons have been swept into the mainstream.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer might have served to popularise the idea of a girl hero fighting the darkness, but while that show epitomises the urban fantasy genre, it was created very much in conversation with horror movie tropes.

So what is your favourite fictional collision between horror and fantasy?

7 Responses

  1. Great post, Tansy. And love the poster for Women in Horror month! Sometimes that’s just what it feels like when I’m getting ready to go out. 🙂

    Alien and Aliens have to be my original favourite cross over – though maybe it could be more SF-horror. Not sure how I look at it.

  2. Interesting!
    Genre can be a tricky thing, because nothing really fits neatly into any category – heck, nobody can agree on whether my books are for adults or young adults! Even I’m not really sure.

    I don’t read much fantasy so I couldn’t name a fantasy/horror crossover, but the series I’m reading right now – “Gone” by Michael Grant – has some definite horror elements. In the installment I’m up to, the author has just introduced a parasitical organism that grows inside people the way certain wasp larvae grow inside catepillars. It’s extremely horrifying and wouldn’t be out of place in a horror novel by any stretch. (It’s a great series, by the way. I can’t put it down!).

    I hate parasites. If I ever wrote a horror novel, it’d have to involve some. If I could stomach writing about them, that is.

    • I hear you, Katie.

      After gritting my teeth through the whole Alien, Aliens, Alienated… movie saga (and I’ve heard there’s yet another one coming out – or am I running behind on this?) parasites are not my favourite pestilence either.

      • Yeah, there is – it’s a prequel of some kind called Prometheus, and it’s being made by James Cameron, who made the original Alien (I read Empire Magazine, if you’re wondering). It looks like it’s gonna be really cool!

      • I’m excited for Prometheus! Its Ridley Scott though, not James Cameron ( he did the sequel Aliens ).

      • Whoops, my mistake! I hate it when I mess up on knowing movie trivia – that’s supposed to be my speciality!

      • Don’t worry we all do it! 🙂 My memory decreases in direct proportion to the distance from my last cup of coffee.

        I loved James Cameron’s Aliens best out of all that series – but I can’t scoff at Ridley Scott given he made one of my all time favs – Blade Runner. Can’t wait to see what he comes up with for Prometheus!

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