Commentary on the Exotic Gothic series: In 2006, I floated a concept I created called Exotic Gothic to over seventy publishers around the world. It was an experiment in growing neo-Gothic stories: to keep one or more traditional tropes of the old genre in each new story, but add much that’s culturally different, and set them all outside of their original birthlands of the UK, Germany, and France. Since then the series has had four volumes, the first three from Ash-Tree Press of Canada (which with regret was unable to produce the fourth due to unforeseen personal commitments and time constraints), and the current from England’s PS Publishing (whose name to carry the series was suggested by many of the writers within this all-new collection). Exotic Gothic 2 was a Shirley Jackson Award Finalist, and Exotic Gothic 3 a Shirley Jackson and World Fantasy Award Finalist. Many of the series’ harrowing and sensual tales now reappear the following year in Best Of and themed collections. PS presents an all-new Exotic Gothic 5 in 2013.
DANEL OLSON, Editor (b. Brainerd, Minnesota, USA, 1965) dates his passion for Gothic conflicts, characters, and settings back to a broken place of lost dreams and loster minds. It was where his Mom, all in white, occasionally took him to as a little boy when there was no one else to watch him—her employer, the Brainerd State Hospital, a mental asylum now mostly in disuse. Through slow winter mornings and longer summer afternoons, he waited near the gigantic kitchen for her shift to end. A memorable babysitter is the State. He remembers drawing and reading comics and eating waffles with strawberries as he overheard patients’ declarations and conversations over the dining hall tables. Stories infernoed with fear and anguish, crying, long pauses, real demons, movement disorders, shouts, but then inexplicable laughter were the order of the day at the psychiatric hospital caf. And so close to the madness of these committed strangers was the sweetness of his Mother’s love.
As evidenced by Exotic Gothic 4 and in true Gothic style, Danel now finds himself compelled to reenact the past...he is still learning the gory and melancholic details of the latest story, and still collecting the uncanny, distraught, fevered tales for others to this day.
Other fresh fiction anthologies Danel is exploring with North American and European publishers include Nunleashed: New Stories of Religious Orders vs. Ungodly Monsters; Reel Moments: Original Dark Fiction Inspired by Movie Stills; and MONSTERS? Famous Fiends Have Their Say in 25 New Tales.