Nadia Bulkin is in Fantasy Magazine’s author spotlight. She answers questions about her story “Absolute Zero” and monster fiction in general. From the opening Q and A:
“First and foremost, I think monsters serve as a means of social control, representative of both unsavory behaviors and unsavory punishments. Then there’s also the need we have for an “other” to define ourselves against. But monsters work in that sense because they’re alluring and mysterious and dangerous—get back, temptation, etc. I think monsters are also good for getting us to ask ourselves reflective questions: Why do we find this monstrous? Is the monster really so different from us? How do we treat monsters, and what does that say about us?”
You can read our anthology’s closer, “Absolute Zero” at Fantasy Magazine as well:
When Max Beecham was eight years old, his mother Deena (delirious from antihypertensives) gave him a Polaroid and then lay down on the carpet behind him. Inside the white border of this photograph lurked a thing with the naked body of a gaunt man and the head of a dark, decayed stag. It sat on a tree stump the way neighborhood men sat on bar stools, surrounded by a cavalry of thin, burned trees. Max almost recognized this nightmare place as Digby Forest, a festering infection of wild land on the edge of Cripple Creek. In the dusk the image was shadowless and tense, as if that black-eyed Stag-Man meant to lunge out of its frame. As if it was only waiting for Max to look away.
“That’s your father,” said Deena. She had her back to him. Her thin cotton dress stretched to translucency across her long torso. He could see the shape of her vertebrae. “You’re always asking, so there he is.”