Next the spotlight shines on Steve Rasnic Tem as we continue to count through the contributors to A Darke Phantastique. The opening to his story, “The Weight Lost”, is touching:
They’d started the diet together, Clyde and Marjorie. Marjorie had stopped after losing thirty pounds and kept it off except for the occasional slip. Clyde didn’t care either way, unless it helped her live longer. He’d always loved how she looked, however she looked. He adored her, although he hesitated to use that word in her presence. Marjorie had always presented to the world a hard, no-nonsense surface. She didn’t trust most spontaneous emotion. What he considered a very little she thought too much.
“Are you crying? You aren’t crying, are you? Are you putting me on, being sarcastic?” She’d looked genuinely puzzled, but there was more behind it, he thought. A kind of distaste.
They’d been watching Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon on TV, Liza Minnelli’s scream after Arthur dies. God, it was as if her soul had been ripped out. How could he not
He explains the genesis of the idea:
Over the decades my weight has been up and down—I’ve been underweight and anemic, and I’ve been seriously overweight. I’ve lost and gained entire persons. I’ve continued to exercise through the pain of severe arthritis, and I’ve had the usual frustrations and confusions with diet. I’ve never written about any of that directly—it seemed about time.
Steve Rasnic Tem’s latest novel is Blood Kin from Solaris, his second novel for that publisher after Deadfall Hotel (2012). His two most recent collections are Celestial Inventories and Here with the Shadows. Upcoming are a novella, In the Lovecraft Museum, from PS Publishing, and 2015’s massive 225,000-word collection of uncollected horror from Centipede Press, Out of the Dark: A Storybook of Horrors.