I have a new story out in the new Strange Horizons issue! Undog is my own version of a haunted house by a dog that might not be quite alive or quite dead anymore.
This is my third appearance in the magazine and I am both super excited and sort of starting to see a pattern in the stories I publish there. It definitely feels like they get my more personal/intergenerational trauma/body horror stories of about 2k words. If that’s not a niche then I don’t know what is!
I have written ghost stories in the past but then something happened and I stopped going there. My themes changed slightly with time. So this feels like a nice return to something homey (pun intended) and familiar.
My initial inspiration was this microfiction by Lydia Davis called “Dog Hair” which absolutely GUTTED me. And not just because I am a mom to a sweet (and at times demonic) cocker spaniel. It was this sense of absence that fills every place where once someone we loved had been. Sometimes you can be brave for the worst stuff and then you go to familiar places and just face the emptiness and that’s all you need to fall apart. It’s a thought I am having a lot lately and might breed more art in the future.
My secret intention was to write a sequel to “Dog Hair”. If not a happy one, at least a creepy and heartwarming one. And pair the undog with someone equally broken. Someone who might have also felt unwanted, like the poor ghoul doggo of the story.
I keep thinking if that’s my dog in the walls—the dog I was meant to have—maybe there’s also another family. A broken, misshapen family full of open wounds stumbling around in the gaps, looking for me.
If you are the type of person who likes good unbois and wants to see them happy in this life or the next, this is a story for you. I hope this one helps you heal from old wounds. ❤
“My Country Is a Ghost” is now up on Podcastle Episode 659 with audio narration by the amazing Alethea Kontis! I am so excited this story got an audio treatment, I got misty eyed in many parts of the narration. I hope you enjoy it!
The story was first published in Uncanny Magazine Issue 32 this January (which was also my first sale to them) and this makes it eligible for this year’s Hugo, Nebula and WFA. There is also the annual Reader Poll up in Uncanny and my story is part of a long list of amazing fiction written by authors I admire. If you read and enjoyed “My Country Is a Ghost”, consider voting for it!
This story sprang from an idea I had about ghosts being able to follow their families. The initial idea branched out to be two different stories (at least). One was the flash “What Cannot Follow” and was published last October in Fireside Magazine.
This one though takes the premise to a more personal territory and that is immigration and mother-daughter relationships. What if ghosts, like living people, needed permission to emigrate to a new country? What if that permission was denied? How would the family of this ghost fare in a strange country without the solace of the ghost?
I wrote the first draft of this story during Week 3 of Clarion West Workshop and my instructor for that week was none other than the wonderful Amal El-Mohtar! With hers and my amazing classmates feedback I was able to expand the story and make it much more nuanced in a way that resonated with me.
Caroline M. Yoachim asked me some very insightful questions about the story and myself. If you want to know more you can give my first ever interview a read here.
I hope this story resonates with you as well. Happy New Year!
Halloween is my favorite holiday and this couldn’t be a better timing for my bittersweet ghost story “What Cannot Follow” to be online in issue #72 of Fireside Magazine!
It features an amazing narration by C. S. E. Cooney that perfectlycaptures the feeling of the story.
The main question that inspired the premise was: What makes a family? I believe that sometimes we can find greater closeness and tenderness in people we are not related to. And that is an idea that gives me hope against the loneliness inside.
I was born and raised in Greece, where Halloween is not celebrated–although we do have our own day, dedicated to remembering the dead called The Saturday of Souls.
I’ve always thought of Halloween as a holiday that makes us more mindful of our mortality in the hopes that we’ll make, even temporarily, some peace with it. And what better way to fight that ancient fear by celebrating this Holiday with loved ones?
The idea of this story came to me in 2015 when I was reading about 22 unprocessed negatives from Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-1917 Ross Sea Party, that were found in a block of ice.
Ever since I saw this image it haunted me. I knew I had to write a story about these film-ghosts and their expedition, that in my head spanned parallel universes and never truly ended.
It is also the story of a couple, Jacob and Adrian, and all the possibilities they didn’t get to explore because of Jacob’s sickness. It’s a weird story with a lot of surreal imagery and I am very glad it has found such an amazing home.
Lastly, I am so proud that this is the first time Publishers Weekly mentioned my name and one of my stories, ever. And in a very positive way!
“…and Eugenia M. Triantafyllou’s “Ghost Mapping” are exceptional offerings that sacrifice neither storytelling nor style in realizing their thought-provoking concepts.”