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Blog Tour Review - Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Blog Tour Review - Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky To fix the world they first must break it further. Humanity is a dying breed, utterly reliant on artificial labor and service. When a domesticated robot gets a nasty little idea downloaded into their core programming, they murder their owner. The robot then discovers they can also do something else they never did before: run away. After fleeing the household, they enter a wider world they never knew existed, where the age-old hierarchy of humans at the top is disintegrating, and a robot ecosystem devoted to human wellbeing is finding a new purpose. There is so much to love in Service Model, but one of the things I most love about it is the peculiar blend of charming innocence and insightful cynicism. Uncharles the domestic robot is such a simple soul (though he would state that he has no soul and this is an inaccurate description). He approaches the end of the world with optimism and hope, or whatever equivalent to these emotions h

Guest Post Most Fables are Anchored in Fact by Jill Baguchinsky

Guest Post:


By Jill Baguchinsky

Author of “All Bitterness Burned Away”


I have something very cool to share with you today! As part of the Black Crow PR blog tour for the amazing new anthology, Into the Forest, I have a guest post from one of the authors, Jill Baguchinsky, talking about the origins of fables. This looks like a fascinating book, a series of stories by some of the best women horror writers about one of the quintessential women in folk horror, Baba Yaga. Expect to see a review of it here soon!

And don't forget to check out the rest of the blog tour, with lots more author features to come.

Learning to process fear is a common rite of passage. When it comes to things that go bump in the night, we’re taught to reason and dismiss, to disbelieve. Remember that slasher film you watched without permission when you were young, the one that left you with nightmares of hockey masks and blood-splattered blades?

Go back to sleep. It’s just a movie.

Or maybe you stayed up late reading a horror novel, priming your imagination to turn every creak and sigh of a settling house into footsteps or whispers or the ragged breathing of something lurking just around the corner.

Don’t worry about it. It’s just a story.

And for the most part, they are just stories. Legends. Tales told at slumber parties or around campfires, each creeping detail another thread woven into a strangely cozy blanket of faux fright. 

Deep down, we know there’s nothing to fear from those stories. They let us thrill in the resulting shocks and shudders and adrenaline rushes without ever posing a threat.

Just stories. Fictions. Fables.

As the main character in “All Bitterness Burned Away” notes, though, “Most fables are anchored in fact.” Part of INTO THE FOREST: TALES OF THE BABA YAGA, a women-in-horror anthology from Black Spot Books, “All Bitterness” is a witch-of-the-woods tale told by the witch herself, who’s quite aware that she’s inspired legends like that of the Baba Yaga. She’s a story parents might tell to keep children from wandering into the forest alone—don’t go too far, now, or she’ll snatch you up and eat you for dinner!

When we were young, the thought of her might have made us shiver with fear-spiked delight. 

She couldn’t actually exist, but it was fun sometimes to pretend that she did, to shriek and run and stay just out of reach of her bony fingers as she chased us home. We assumed she was the villain of any tale she inhabited.

Then we grew up, and we were met with reality. We saw news stories, or we read articles—so many of them, each darker and more gut-twisting than the last—and even the most sheltered among us realized that some children would likely be better off with the witch. The alternative was worse.

There’s another misplaced assumption in “All Bitterness,” along with a correction that might ring true for those of us who’ve been cornered, trapped, harassed, or hurt. The real villain isn’t always a story’s most obvious suspect, but sometimes we can’t see that until we dust off the surface of an old fairy tale and get a good look at the bones beneath. Then we move beyond the fun frights and confront the kinds of things that truly scare us—not in fables, but right here in the all-too-real world. Those are the monsters that actually exist.

After all, most fables are anchored in fact.

But isn’t it satisfying when those fables also give us the power to confront and defeat? To nourish our need for a fitting comeuppance? We yearn for a sense of fairness that’s all too often missing in reality. Sometimes, by twisting fact into fable, we can find that justice, if only for a moment.

In that way, stories can be fiercely cathartic, as vicious as a mythical witch of the wood, and there’s nothing fictional about that.

Into the Forest, out 8th Nov 22 is edited by Lindy Ryan and with a foreword by Christina Henry, features twenty-three new and exclusive stories inspired by the Baba Yaga—the witch of Slavic folklore—written by some of today’s leading women-in-horror and is published by Black Spot Books.


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