Thinking a bit more about my last post on the mini-series, Chernobyl, and on body horror and systemic horror, and their relation to one another: body horror is somewhat about losing control of your physicality, your body (in this case, radiation destroying your body), while systemic horror is somewhat about losing control of how you can act, and behave, and be (in this case, managers and state officials dictating dangerous behaviour — along with consequences for not carrying out said behaviour).
Chernobyl combines them: for instance, managers forcing people into situations that lead to radiation poisoning and the harm of their bodies.
S and I started watching the mini-series, Chernobyl, last night. We finished it this afternoon. The first episode is one of the most horrifying things I’ve seen in a very very long time. The show is good, and it might be the only thing I’ve landed up binge watching in 2019.
Episode one deals with events happening immediately after the Chernobyl explosion — it contains a lot of body horror (radiation and its effects), and also something that could maybe be named institutional or systemic horror: when the various systems (cultural, legal, managerial, institutional, etc) work together to worsen everything, the the sense of horror / terror / fear that can come out of that.
It’s only five episodes, so easy to binge 😋.
This is the sweetest thing, and close to how I feel about stories.
I’ve more or less finished off this week’s flash fiction, although I haven’t posted it yet. I say “more or less” as well because this one is currently 286 words, rather than my usual 250. I’m trying to decide if I want to cut it down to 250, or, in the future, occasionally let pieces be longer than the 250 word limit I’ve been playing with.
I have a new bit of flash fiction up. I’ve called it Legio, or perhaps Legion. I’m still thinking a lot (never stopping, really), about systems and things playing together and building off one another. At some point the story of the demon Legion came to mind, a hive thing, a host mind. And here we are.
I struggled with this week’s bit of flash fiction, Dark Places. Multiple attempts at different voices and viewpoints didn’t work out for me. I’ve managed to find a voice, but this is even less of a story than some of my other pieces. I am happy with how it came out, though.
My new bit of flash fiction is up. It’s called Wilder, and was a theme supplied to me by S.
Work still goes on with the short story I’m writing. I’m now on leave, and managing to make more time to put into it. I’ve also started reading the copy of Jeff Vandermeer’s Wonderbook I picked up a few months ago. It’s lovely, full of surreal illustrations and interesting interviews.