“Frank,” a short story by Betsy Phillips (96), will be published next month by Apex Magazine, one of the preeminent sci fi/fantasy/horror magazines in the US. “When I pitched the story to them,” she writes, “I told them it was the story of an evil doctor’s zombie henchman teaching a woman to drive. But it’s also like what would happen if a woman had to go rescue her husband from Wade Davis, if Wade Davis went bad.” (Wade Davis, for those not up on their zombies, is the ethnobotanist whose controversial book The Serpent and the Rainbow claimed that Haitian zombies were people witchdoctors maintained in a trance state by pharmacological means.)
In her interview with Stephanie Jacob to be published in the same issue, Betsy spoke about the uses of horror and fantasy genres. “I told her…that while none of us are going to have to rescue our husbands from zombie-henchmandom, a lot of us will have to deal with loved ones whose personalities change when they some form of dementia. Horror and fantasy, I think, lets us focus on an exaggerated portion of the Truth in order to better understand it.”
Check out “Frank” in the September 2011 issue of Apex. In the meantime, you can read more of her insightful and often hilarious writing on her blog at tinycatpants.wordpress.com.
9/8/11 update: the story is now available online at http://apex-magazine.com/2011/09/06/frank/.