Sunday, September 4, 2011

BLOODLINES: Serial Horror in Fiction #3 - Borderlands edited by Thomas and Elizabeth Monteleone

by Bill Lindblad

The easiest way to create a series in horror is to create an anthology series. The only things needed are a theme and a publisher. Whether it's a collection of the year's best examples of one type of horror or a gathering of stories about a specific creature type, anthology series are very reader-friendly. Their biggest flaw is that contemporary readers prefer novels, and that prevents many publishers from producing anthologies unless they address a known niche of fandom or the editor is a legend in the field with a proven track record.

Borderlands is a series produced by a highly respected editor... in the horror field. Anyone more than glancingly familiar with horror recognizes Thomas F. Monteleone, either from his years as a writer of both fiction and nonfiction or from his editorial work. And the series he (and now his wife) edit addresses a known niche of fandom... but again, one that's not likely to be a primary interest to the casual reader.

Specifically, the Borderlands series addresses what is intimated by the title... the borders of horror. Stories that use none of the traditional creatures or villains of horror, stories by new authors and atypical stories by established authors. The Monteleones insist on work that is different and work that is excellent, rather than "edgy", and the distinction pays off. There have only been five of these books produced over the course of the twenty-one years the anthology series has been in existence, and all five have garnered multiple award nominations for the stories included within.

The editors are accepting stories for the sixth book in the series over at Borderlands Press, until October 2011. I'm looking forward to seeing what stories eventually make the cut.

The books in the series are: Borderlands, Borderlands 2, Borderlands 3, Borderlands 4, and Borderlands 5, and were released as hardcovers from Borderlands Press. The first two books had paperback releases from Avon in the early 1990s, the first four were released in paperback by White Wolf in the late 1990s, and Borderlands 5 was released in paperback as From the Borderlands.

--Bill Lindblad