Dark first, Faith second…

darkfaith_sm Dark Faith is coming… it’s coming soon. You should click the book cover over there and pre-order it if you haven’t already. Me? I’m going to light a cigarette, fill my coffee cup and spew a little regarding this collection—with Maurice‘s blessings, if not request.

Faith is not god. Faith is not religion. Faith can be a belief. It can be a trust. And among the things that faith can be, you would occasionally find “just a word.” In this collection, that’s what it was originally. Well, more of a concept than a word, but it wasn’t the whole sentence. It wasn’t intended to be the whole collection.

As I said in my Dark Faith Devotions contribution on Apex’s blog—after I had a fit when I saw the last question—the original idea behind this book was to cover the themes of Mo’Con: race, gender & faith. Note that Faith is part of the whole. The collection was supposed to encompass Mo’Con, the heart of the conversations and panels, and point behind the last four gatherings.

During the editing, while checking on Maurice’s sanity, I was occasionally regaled with tales of woe regarding Race and Gender submissions. Apparently, even for atheists, Faith is easier to write about, thus, Faith overrode the other two ideas in the final TOC. I hadn’t actually realized this until I saw a review of Dark Faith the same day I received the Devotions questions and called Maurice to have a tizzy. I knew that mine was the only Gender story and that Moe had a Gender poem to compliment it, but the fact that Race had also been lost was news to me. In response, he sent me the TOC as requested, with a notation next to each story regarding the concept it falls under…

POEM:  “The Story of Belief-Non” by Linda D. Addison – faith
“Ghosts of New York” by Jennifer Pelland (3600 words)  – faith
“I Sing a New Psalm” by Brian Keene (2000 words) – faith
“He Who Would Not Bow” by Wrath James White (6000 words) – faith
“Zen and the Art of Gordon Dratch’s Damnation” by Douglas F. Warrick (6700 words) – faith
“Go Tell It on the Mountain” by Kyle S. Johnson (3500 words) – faith
“Different from Other Nights” by Eliyanna Kaiser (3700 words) – faith
POEM:  “Lilith” by Rain Graves – faith
“The Last Words of Dutch Schultz Jesus Christ” by Nick Mamatas (4100 words) – faith
“To the Jerusalem Crater” by Lavie Tidhar (2900 words) – faith
“Chimeras & Grotesqueries” by Matt Cardin (5300 words) -faith
“You Dream” by Ekaterina Sedia (3900 words) – faith
“Mother Urban’s Booke of Dayes” by Jay Lake (5000 words) – faith
“The Mad Eyes of the Heron King” by Richard Dansky (4400 words) – faith
“Paint Box, Puzzle Box” by DT Friedman (6000 words) – art
“A Loss For Words” by J. C. Hay (5000 words) – art
“Scrawl” by Tom Piccirilli (4000 words) -art/sex
POEM:  “C{her}ry Carvings” by Jennifer Baumgartner – gender
“Good Enough” by Kelli Dunlap (3500 words)] – gender
“First Communions” by Geoffrey Girard (2600 words) – faith
“The God of Last Moments” by Alethea Kontis (5000 words)] – faith
“Ring Road” by Mary Robinette Kowal (5100 words) – faith
“The Unremembered” by Chesya Burke (4800 words) – race/faith
POEM:  “Desperata” by Lon Prater – faith?
“The Choir” by Lucien Soulban (5000 words) – ?
“Days of Flaming Motor Cycles” by Catherynne M. Valente (4000 words) – ?
“Miz Ruthie Pays Her Respects” by Lucy A. Snyder (2900) – faith
POEM:  “Paranoia” by Kurt Dinan – faith
“Hush” by Kelly Barnhill (3500 words) – faith?
“Sandboys” by Richard Wright (3900 words) – faith?
“For My Next Trick, I’ll Need a Volunteer” by Gary A. Braunbeck (8000 words) – faith

You see that? My/Jen’s Gender. One Race, but not race alone, it’s in combination with Faith. And three “Art”—which weren’t even in the original plans. Who knew when Alethea, Wrath and I were given the on-the-spot task in the lawn chairs to name this, that our title would be prophetic? Faith it is… But now the small portion of other things looks like they don’t belong, when really, we were just following guidelines and trying not to inundate the poor guy with too many Faith submissions.

Of course, the irony in all of this is that I hate being called a “female” horror writer. When Moe said he wanted the Gender story I laughed and agreed and looked at it as a challenge. And reminded him of that hatred. No one calls Stephen King a “male” horror writer. No one calls Wrath a “black” horror writer. And I dare someone to call Clive Barker a “gay” horror writer. So why are “women” pointed out in the field? I never understood it. I never agreed with it. And here I was, agreeing to be part of it. Okay, if that was the case it’s going to be one helluva bloody, mean, ugly story from a chick, about a chick. People tend to forget that 8% of serial killers are women and almost 40% of domestic abuse comes from the female side of the relationship. I didn’t forget that. I remembered it and ran with it… and hope you enjoy it.

What was my point? Oh, that’s right, that last question on the Devotion. I suppose I could have just lied and tried to twist some form of Faith into my story, but that’s not how I’m built. Instead, I’ll point you to this collection called Dark Faith. You should get one. But remember, titles can be deceiving (look for my forthcoming Vampire Apocalypse, with nary a fang in it). Faith isn’t always god. Faith isn’t always religion. Sometimes, faith is just a word in a title that encompasses a whole lot of other things that only fall under that concept every third Tuesday, when the moon is full, and you hop up and down on one leg, while reciting nursery rhymes to deaf inmates.

And hey, if you’re not doing anything next weekend, come to Mo’Con. It’s going to be fun, and I’ve completely taken over the panels. There will be great food, amazing conversations, friends, colleagues and panels regarding Atheism (faith), Penises (gender/sex), and Blogging (umm… race? Not so much).

0 Responses to Dark first, Faith second…

  • Part of the blame might be best directed at me. As the publisher, I felt the book would be more accessible to readers if it had a unifying theme. Faith. And you’re right, faith doesn’t have to mean faith in a religion. It can be faith in a person, faith in a community, faith in doing the right thing, etc. So I had Maurice and Jerry turn the ship in that direction.

    Make sense?

  • Kelli says:

    Oh yeah, plenty of sense… but i wasn’t complaining, i was just clarifying and spewing a little atheism and having some coffee with my thoughts. no blame to be had =)))

  • Jerry Gordon says:

    I know you haven’t had a chance to read the book, but the anthology you’re imagining is pretty far from the actual work. Yes, faith is a guiding theme, but it’s faith in many guises: faith that there is no God, faith that there is a God, faith that the rules of Heaven and Earth are much different than we believe, faith in love, faith in magic, faith in the power of the past, faith in vengeance…. I could go on and on. We cast a wide net.

    As for gender, yours is by no means the only tale. Lucy Snyder wrote a gender assault on religious hypocrisy in “Miz Ruthie Pays Her Respects.” Kelly Barnhill’s “Hush” offers a haunting vision of gender in the context of family heartbreak. And Richard Wright’s stunning “Sandboys” deals with the subject from a male perspective. There’s more, but my point is the anthology is far more nuanced than simple one or two word descriptors might lead you to believe.

  • Kelli says:

    hehehe… stop apologizing!! it was not that kind of blog… although, it was to get attention to the book and get people thinking and commenting, so i guess that part worked =)

  • Qweequeg says:

    Whatever the theme, I am very excited to read it as some of the coolest writers – and people! – I know are in it. I have no doubt it will be awesome… which is another kind of Faith I suppose, isn’t it. ;)

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  • Kelli says:

    snagged from keenedom before explosion…

    craig cook:
    So I read “Good Enough” right before bed last night. Boy, was that ever a mistake. I dreamed of creating my own perfect woman with disposable body parts.

    Seriously though, great job Kelli. One of the best stories in this anthology so far.

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