Q: What is the scariest or most disturbing story you’ve ever read?
A: Dark Matter, by Michelle Paver — a tense and incredibly creepy story set in the Arctic Circle in the 1930s. It’s beautifully written, with gorgeous descriptions of both the physical Arctic landscape and the narrator’s psychological landscape. The format — journal entries — is perfect: appropriately old-fashioned and allowing the reader to see the gradual deterioration of the main character’s mental state and letting him function as a semi-unreliable narrator, since he’s both telling what happened and commenting on his own words. It captures the isolation and claustrophobia wonderfully, and creates a deeply unsettling atmosphere of menace throughout. The supernatural elements are of the very subtle, caught-out-of-the-corner-of-the-eye variety, and all the more terrifying for it. Reading this made me feel ill, which is just about the highest praise for a horror story I can give 🙂
Michelle Ann King’s story “Light Winds With a Chance of Velociraptors” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 2 June 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.