Mark Crittenden has edited many fine anthologies. Howl contained a wealth of accomplished writing. Then there was the excellent Dreams of Duality. He now has a new collection of great stories out with his Techno-Goth Cthulhu anthology. I’m delighted to have stories in all his anthologies.
Mark met me at The Slaughterhouse where we talked about flavours and apathy.
Tell us about your new Techno-Goth Cthulhu anthology.
This anthology pays homage to the great American Gothic Horror writer, H.P.Lovecraft whose writing introduced the “cosmic” into horror nearly a century ago with an emphasis on the infinitesimal plight of humankind. I asked authors to explore the elaborate mythology of Lovecraft as one might see through the eyes of a cybergoth/techie/hacker/futurist. The theme for Techno-Goth Cthulhu is that technology itself has become the enemy of mankind and must somehow be altered, minimized, or altogether subverted to achieve the survival of our race. And of course ever looming in the background are the Great Old Ones, chiefly Cthulhu himself, asleep in his dreaming city beneath the waves and waiting to rise again.
Would you say the stories in it have a particular flavour?
There is definitely a stylish element to the work in this collection, and I did personally challenge authors to transcend their usual comfort zone, to take the reader someplace dazzling. The stories come with a sense of foreboding and touch upon the very real futurist principle that through the acceleration of technology we will one day create a “super-intelligence” and the affairs of human interaction will then fall completely from the realm of predictability. It’s a fight for the future against both technology and entities with a cosmic awareness that greatly exceeds our own.
Do you have any plans for future anthologies?
I like to think of the door as wide-shut. Ideas come slowly and need to be nurtured and tested. There is a big tendency for people to bandwagon and go wherever the trend is leaning. As an editor and publisher I try to resist this as much as possible, and encourage new thinking…no matter how much it hurts. If I were to see another film about an ex president hunting vampires or zombies I think I will just retch.
Do you think we live in an age of apathy?
Not entirely, and not just yet. We spend more time than we do eating, and over one third of the time we do sleeping on social media devices per day. I think in the very imminent future mankind will depend completely on machines for virtually every facet of day to day life. That will be when we have completely defeated ourselves. A particle moving faster than the speed of light will appear to be moving backwards in time. I’m not sure what that says about technological advances other than not all of them are good.
Mark thank you for a perceptive and articulate interview.
Techno-Goth Cthulhu author list:
• Whispers of The Ruling Class- Louis Baum
• Little Earthquakes- Nickolas Cook
• Looking for Joey Shoggoth- Peter Rawlik
• Meditation on a Dead World- Dave Fragments
• The 88th Floor- Benjamin Sperduto
• Ghost Ship- James Dorr, member SFWA and HWA
• Carriage Thirteen (a novelette)- Nathan J.D.L. Rowark
• The Avenue of Blades- Richard Godwin, member SinC, CWA, ITW, and HWA
• Stark Raving Mad- Mae Empson, member HWA
• False Awakenings- Mark Anthony Crittenden
• The Dark Net- Wednesday Silverwood
• Project Keziah- Donald Jacob Uitvlugt