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Back You are here: Home Reports from Real Life Oh, The Things We've Seen! Dispatches From Thunder Road Dispatches from Thunder Road: Richard Thomas
Sunday, 20 February 2011 05:45

Dispatches from Thunder Road: Richard Thomas

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It appears a band of brothers (and a half-sister here and there) has set themselves a mission: draw the unfortunate lost souls back into the Dark. All the members of this posse make valid claims to the throne of Dark Lord. Nik Korpon told me to set out and find a man named Richard Thomas and made it sound like all mysterious. But of course Thomas was known to me already. As I know all about the Dark, I know all about Thomas.

Thomas’ novel Transubstantiate from last year made it clear as day that dark is the new sexy; a job well done. 

It doesn’t mean he’ll be resting after luring kingdoms into the shadows; his whispering was subtle, but it’s time to ram the point home. He descends deeper into a realm where light is a mere myth and wears his marching boots while doing so. His crusade continued with a story called “Stillness” that appeared in Shivers VI – Stephen King must have been thrilled when he found out he’d get published alongside Thomas. The feeling is mutual.

Also, “Victimized” appeared in Murky Depths with illustrations of the bizarre by Brian Typhair, and “Terrapin Station” was published in Pear Noir! #5. The only thing we need to really know now is when Disintegration, his second novel, will hit the cobbles. After that, turning back is no longer a real option. If you enjoy bunny rabbits, lollipops and balloon animals, you’d better stay away from these stories.

The members of The Brotherhood of the Bloody Hand at Night-time – or something similar sinister – all have a history with at least one of the The Velvet authors. Korpon. Ross. Dwyer. Thomas. Students of the neo-noir. The Phineas Poe trilogy as course book. Is The Velvet trio to be seen as the true instigator of this new wave that floods the literary landscape with the blackest ink? “If I could co-author with someone, my immediate reaction would be Baer. We’d be speaking the same language, I think,” Thomas says.

For such a dark prose writer, he is a remarkable kind person. You’d expect someone who writes a dystopian thriller to be an awkward fellow; sneaky, shifty, anti-social. Perhaps a hunchback with a monocle or something. Thomas is none of that. He’s the best family man you could think of. He also feels the literary world has given him so much that he needs to repay that imagined debt. Funny thing is that with his tales he already paid that debt twice over. Maybe it’s a good thing he doesn’t realise that yet though. He reviews novels for The Nervous Breakdown; he edits fiction for Sideshow Fables, a magazine founded by the notorious Paul Eckert, a.k.a. Pretty Pretty Pauly; he moderates The Cult’s writer’s workshop; and he pursues an MFA at Murray State. It looks like he excels in every little tasklet that is part of the world of literature.

Thomas follows the trends in that world he loves so well very carefully. Of course he writes what he wants to write without compromise whatsoever, but the archaic form of reading novels might be over any day and he’ll be on top of it the day it happens. “I originally didn’t like the idea of the eReader vs. a standard novel, but I get it now. It’s much like an iPod for portable music instead of carrying around ten CDs. Anything that will get more people to read, I’m all for it even though it’ll never replace the book you hold in your hands, in my opinion.”

He says he’s not a tech-savvy person (who is at that age?) though I think he’s mistaken or simply too polite. He’s online about twenty-six hours a day, collecting people around him so he won’t be sucked into isolation. Sure he has a better than good family supporting his every step, but he has found a second family. And a third. Not only does his online family at Write Club and other places keep him company, but the actual characters in his stories haunt him in the best sense of the word as well. These characters will haunt you as well: a pleasant drugsy kind of sensation that crawls under your skin, changes you. Thomas comes with more of his skin-churning tales soon, most notably the experimental “Splintered” in PANK.

I have no doubt Richard Thomas is a genius and will grow out of that label the minute someone coins a more suitable word. It pained me more than I care to admit when he misanswered my question. “So why eleven, RT?”

“Because it’s a symbiosis, a merging, a love affair. 1+1 doesn’t equal 2. 1+1=1.”

My hunt still isn’t over yet.

 

 

___

 

Richard Thomas is the author of the neo-noir thriller Transubstantiate that came out with Otherworld Publication in 2010. He was the winner of the “Enter the World of Filaria” contest at ChiZine Publications. His work is published in Shivers VI, 3:AM Magazine, Murky Depths, PANK, Pear Noir!, Gold Dust, Vain, Word Riot, Dogmatika, Cherry Bleeds and others. For more information visit whatdoesnotkillme.com or transubstantiate.net.




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Mlaz Corbier

Mlaz Corbier lives in the north of the nether-lands. When he’s not hunting for Thunderlings, he fills his days with laughing at commoners and carefully documenting the adventures of Jimmy Viper sobthat he won’t be forgotten. He instructs his chosen ones at www.red-puffin-tobacco.blogspot.com.

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