Friday, 28 February 2014

Women Writing Lovecraft

I was 7 years old when I read Lovecraft for the first time. My sisters and I were given an anthology of short stories from around the world; the story from the US was "The Cats of Ulthar" which I instantly loved and re-read many times. I wasn't aware of who was the author then. Authors weren't that important when I was that little, what mattered was the text itself. At that time nobody told me it was weird for a girl to like Lovecraft and vengeful cats.

I went back to Lovecraft when I was a teenager and by then I had read everything Poe-ish I could find (how I loved Julio Cortázar's translations of Poe into Spanish!) This way, I found the Mythos (those had poor translations, though) and I liked them despite not having any characters to relate to. I liked them because people didn't "win", because horror and anxiety were embodied by things and creatures that were impossible to overcome. Imagine how surprised I was when I found out that the Cthulhu guy was the same that had written one of my favorite short stories as a little girl. This time nobody told me either that it was weird for a teenage girl to like the short stories and monsters written by a man who clearly had problems creating female characters –and POC in general *sigh*–.

Back in college I became friends with my now fiancé because of Lovecraftiana. He found me reading inside an empty classroom and asked if I had read Poe and Lovecraft. "Of course I have, you dumbass," I thought –I just said "yes"–. He, then, proceed to tell me all about Eternal Darkness and how the game was Mythos-like. He didn't tell me it was weird for a woman to be reading in an empty classroom and to like genre fiction that had inspired survival horror video games.

I first published a Lovecraftian story in 2011. Because of that I've read other women who also love and write that kind of stories much better than I do. Nobody told us it was weird at all, right?

Wrong.
#TeamSquid mascot drawn by Lisa Grabenstetter

It seems that some people think women like me are weird. They believe Lovecraftian stuff is a "guy thing" and that there are very few women writing it. They even wonder if we just don't like to play with squids. Silvia Moreno-Garcia answered that question:
Women do write Lovecraftian fiction. We aim to prove it with your support. More than a dozen female authors have gathered to write original Lovecraftiana and place it in a single volume under the title She Walks In Shadows.
She Walks In Shadows will be the first all-women Lovecraftian anthology and, if all goes well, I'll be part of it. How weird cool could it be? I mean, I'm a Mexican woman who loves to read and write Lovecraftiana *pause to let some heads explode*. And, of course, I like to play with squids.


It's me and Cthulhu! Hugging each other!


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Help crowdfund She Walks In Shadows' Indiegogo campaign by sparing some money or just spreading the word. But hurry because it ends on March 13th, 2014.