December 27, 2013 by Laird
The formatting isn’t pretty, but here’s a link to Blackwood’s Baby, the opening shot in my new collection, The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All.
Blackwood’s Baby, courtesy Jordan Dyke.
| Tags: blackwood's baby, horror, jordan dyke, laird barron, the beautiful thing that awaits us all
I really enjoyed this story. I think you managed to convey the whole “everything fell apart” feeling very well – the way the hunting trip descended into chaos, etc.
As a note, if you read it from the default view (in frames, which might bugger with mobile reading, et al), Baen’s ebooks have some nice options for changing fonts and sizes around. Even will let you “bookmark it” by way of keeping track with the location in the HTML (then I think it remembers furthest place read). You’ll have to use this link and the click on Chapter 2
Not perfect, but back in the earlier days of e-reading, I appreciated their built in font changes and keeping track of places (in contrast to my other books, which tended to be text files from Project Gutenberg).
Blackwood’s Baby would make a fantastic flick. Don’t you think?!
From your lips to…
I love this story. I first read it in Ghosts by Gaslight. Probably my fave story in The Beautiful Thing.
Thanks! The anthology was originally intended as a gaslight-inflected project, but the publisher changed it to steampunk in mid-stream, so my story is kind of odd man out.
Ah, the mid-stream theme change explains why your story had a much different feel to most of the others in Ghosts by Gaslight. I think I even commented to someone about that at one point.
Laird. Just finished your book. Then went and ordered your entire back catalogue. Does that make me a fan? Shit. Anyway, liked them all except Vastation, which was self-indulgent. You write men in extremis very well. I like the fact Miller decided to blow his brains out — that’s just what a guy would do — not convinced the man could’ve been persuaded out of it, but by that stage you’d earned the benefit of the doubt. One things for sure, you can write. Looking forward to The Croning to see if you can sustain it beyond the short-form. If not, you owe me fifteen bucks.
I was skeptical about his transition to long form but The Croning was fantastic. Here’s a link to my review:
Hey! My full christian name is Kai-Erik, and yours is Eric Keys. Spooky. I’ll read The Croning and see if I agree with your take.
Spooky Indeed. Maybe I’m your alter ego that takes over your body when you black out sometimes. Who can say?
Anyway, I think The Croning would be best when read after some of his short stories, especially The Imago Sequence & Other Stories as he takes many of the ideas and themes that start there and in Occultation and kind of amplifies them. It was interesting to see a more sustained take on the work he had already done in his short stories.
But I may be wrong. I’d be interesting to hear what you thought of it if you came to it without that background.
(PS… I’m pretty sure I’m not your alter ego, but I’ve been wrong about so many things in life that I try to keep an open mind.)
Thanks for reading, Kai.
I love how Laird’s stories hit us all in different ways— Vastation was my favorite in that collection.
This is one of those stories that needs some old-timey Woodcut-esque artwork. That seen after everything went to hell and the group rode in to find all of the dogs laying on the ground dead and dying with the two men shooting at a shaggy, top-heavy Thing racing off through the trees was horrifying. And then when one of them explains that the beast had scooped two of the dogs and pranced about while they hung from Its antlers, twitching and splattering blood everywhere….That honestly unsettled Me. After reading that tale I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the anthology. Also, I was pleasantly surprised to see Vastation in there. I forgot You wrote that little beauty!
Thanks! I like that anthology. Shepard and Ford have very good work in there.
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