And, it’s not content, so much — describe his work by content, and you pretty much get ‘horror’ –it’s the shape of his stories, how they kind of wyrm their way into the back of your brain, and spell it like that while they’re doing it, which is somehow worse, and better, and more permanent…

For me, what horror hopes to do is scare the reader, to instill dread or terror, to plant a seed of fear in them that they can’t shake. Which is very honorable. Those few times you zing your arrow past all the baffles and obstacles and get it right in the reader’s head, such that they leave the lights on at night? That’s what it’s all about You’ve changed them, you’re a part of them now, and, and: horror, I wonder if it’s one of those genres that’s functionally incomplete without closing the circuit, without getting a reader? I mean, if I write something, it’s not scary until it scares somebody, right? Anyway, horror’s dynamic, its intent, it’s similar to weird fiction’s, I think, but … I think what weird fiction tries to do, it’s unsettle you to some degree. But it also wants to make the world bigger than you ever thought it was, or could be. And, sure, Lovecraft’s the standard-bearer for all this, but it’s still happening, too. Just in less tentacly ways. And sometimes with tentacles intact.

Stephen Graham Jones, from his interview with Weird Fiction Review

In Less Tentacly Ways

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