There was a period of time this morning where I actually almost felt bad about submitting my bit of “flash fiction”:http://curveballconspiracy.blogspot.com/2006/06/heritage-repaid.html, even though it obviously met “The Curveball Conspiracy’s”:http://curveballconspiracy.blogspot.com criteria for publishing it. I think what kind of bugged me about it was that I ended up doubting myself, wondering if it really fell into the category of speculative fiction. Michael O’Mahoney’s ((The creator of the site.)) focus was to have authors submit stories that are a sidestep away from reality, and my story was certainly that – maybe even a bit more than just a simple sidestep.
The horror genre can be a fascinating one to write in. Not all speculative fiction is horror, and not all horror is speculative fiction. But when the story contains elements that cannot or do not occur in real life – like magic, mystical events, paranormal happenings, etc. – then it is probably safe to say that the story has, at the very least, stepped into the realm of speculative fiction. Of course, some horror probably only briefly visits before bounding away, but sometimes that’s all you need, that one little bit of the unexplainable, the one thing that allows the reader to suspend disbelief for just long enough, and then the story plunges on, leaving the reader gasping but hanging on for dear life to find out what happens next.
I don’t consider myself a horror writer ((I definitely consider myself more of a sci-fi/fantasy writer.)), but I have to admit that a lot of my writing touches on the dark with a high degree of regularity. Maybe I’m just more comfortable visualizing the fantastic than I am with visualizing the future. Or maybe the darker tales simply speak more persuasively to my imagination and preempt some of the other, non-horror story ideas I have. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.