Updated: May 2
A cannibal DJ, left to freely roam the wasteland, cackles along the highway; his radio show a desperate attempt to connect with a dying world as he revels in sharing macabre stories of horror. These yarns were spun and passed onto him from a time before, his memory an opaque lens into a generation lost. These cautionary tales may no longer be applicable to the everyday survival of those left with beating hearts, but his imaginary legion of fans wait on bated breath for the next drop of the needle... But where did this manic anthology idea spawn from?
At the height of entertainment's nostalgic focus on the 1980s, TV series' revivals of the classic anthology format came to fruition, with Shudder releasing Creepshow, a modern-day revival of the popular Stephen King penned horror classic, as multiple others came to life at roughly the same time: CBS' The Twilight Zone and AMCs' revered Tales from the Crypt - which is yet to grace the small screen.
These anthology projects rose to recent prominence with Netflix's Black Mirror, where the format explored bleak technological tales of woe whilst reflecting on our increasing societal reliance - some may say obsession - with technology. This elevated the format, providing key social commentary and visualising a new terror exclusive to the modern anxieties of the 21st Century.
The inspiration behind these popular TV shows rests in literature - from short story collections by world-renowned authors, to the penny dreadfuls distributed to the masses in the 19th Century. As new media absorbs many of these stories to tell in admittedly exciting formats, we cannot help but feel unburdened by the weights other mediums carry; short fiction is the perfect vehicle to tell experimental stories unable to be told on the silver screen, prioritising great storytelling, prose and reflective thought on our identities, struggles and tribulations as we navigate an ever-changing landscape, characterised by our own perspectives.
Bringing Great Fiction to the Forefront
“Short fiction is the perfect vehicle to tell experimental stories unable to be told on the silver screen, prioritising great storytelling, emotion and reflective thought on our identities, struggles and tribulations”
Whilst we adore the age-old format of print, The Needle Drops... embraces experimentation, featuring a mixed selection of flash fiction, illustration and short fiction, intended to be also be available as an interactive e-book, with planned forays into other formats such as a podcast, essays and poetry. All-in-all, it strives to be a showcase of the best undiscovered creative minds out there today.
A Cannibal DJ
The narrator - or host - of such an anthology needs to incorporate the mood and vision of the collection as a charismatic tether between fiction and reality. Inspired by various talk show hosts - including MonsterVision's Joe Bob Briggs - whilst also adopting character traits from staple horror genre classics. Our resident DJ introduces each tale, suggesting further thought toward key concepts and ideas, as well as slowly building the ongoing mythology of The Needle Drops... that will spread across several volumes.
The Scope & Tone
"The narrator - or host - of such an anthology needs to incorporate the mood and vision of the collection as a charismatic tether between fiction and reality."
Embracing the pulp feel often attributed to the genre, The Needle Drops... plans to feature a variety of fiction that varies in tone, enabling us to explore all aspects of the horror genre without restriction. Horror frequently achieves an emotive connection with the reader, often letting us explore our own fears and The Needle Drops... plans to continue this trend, inviting a large variety of direction to where our authors can take us.
Engage with us across social media - and if you are so inclined, submit to us to get involved in an exciting project. We plan to share far more detail in the coming weeks, including interviews with our artists, authors, a look behind-the-scenes, and the ability to pre-order the first Volume.