Copperfield’s in Petaluma recently devoted an evening to Word Horde, an independent publisher (in Petaluma) and its new release, Giallo Fantastique. This anthology follows a style of decadent, paranormal crime fiction popularized in the late 1890s and early in the 20th century; revitalized in the 1950s and 60s through cinema (cinema fantastique). As it says on the back of the book, these stories live “at the intersection of crime, terror and supernatural fiction.”
Ross Lockhart is the editor, and he spoke a little bit about the subgenre. Then he read a bit from a few of the stories. Lockhart is a performer, and I enjoyed skimming along in my copy while he read in the voices of various narrators. (Fiction Giallo is associated with the “black-gloved” killer hiding in your house… one story is narrated by a pair of those black gloves.)
While not strictly horror, many of these stories are consciously horrific, and while this isn’t exactly my kind of thing, the stories I’ve read hit their intended mark. So far, my favorite is the last story in the book, “Exit Strategies.” That title is a play on words.
Lockhart brought his “assistant editor,” Elinor Phantom, and, and you can see, she was correctly attired for a book about “Yellow” fiction.