Today’s post comes from fellow HWA member Richard Schiver, who has a new horror novel coming out next month. But is it any good, I hear you ask? I look forward to finding out in October.

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Outback Horrors Down Under: An Anthology of Antipodean Terrors is a new release from Australian indie press Things in the Well. As the title suggests, it contains stories from New Zealand and Australian authors, including one of mine, “On Home Soil”. My story starts in Australia, but New Zealand is where the action really happens. The protagonist, Lou, is a witch with strong inclinations towards protecting those less powerful than herself. So when she is introduced to a young Maori woman and her desperately ill daughter, she can’t help but answer the appeal for help, even if it goes against her better judgement. Along her journey, Lou learns some devastating truths about her young charge and her own origins that will change her, figuratively and literally, in ways she could not have foreseen.


Now we come to the final tale in Drive, She Said, “The Shadow Over Tarehu Cove”. If you want the spoiler-free version of the story behind the story, check out the original post I made when the anthology in which it first appeared was released.

For a slightly more spoiler-laden elaboration, read on.

TY Kim (Mushstone) mushstone.deviantart.com, mushstone.tumblr, behance.net/mushstone / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

 

The brief for the anthology Cthulhu: Land of the Long White Cloud was Lovecraftian-themed horror stories set in New Zealand or the South Pacific. The publisher was particularly interested in stories that incorporated indigenous myths, legends, or folklore. It felt like a gift landing in my lap when my internet wanderings yielded the story of the Ponaturi, malevolent amphibious creatures whose physical description matched closely with that of the frog-fish men inhabiting the seas near Lovecraft’s fictional town of Innsmouth.

The title of this story is a nod to Lovecraft’s tale “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”. Like Lovecraft’s story, mine features a stranger coming into a close-knit and secretive community. And if you’re wondering what parts of this story are inspired by personal experience, that would be the principal setting of rural Northland, and the tangi that occurs at the beginning.