31 Days of Horror – Day Two
Day Two of 31 Days of Horror brings us to a frozen wasteland in the arctic, with conditions so harsh one mistake could kill you. Add to the environment an alien entity that can mimic any living creature to such perfection that you can no longer trust anyone around you.
Based on the short novella, Who Goes There?, by John Campbell, I had the chance to read this a few years back and was so pleased to see that the source material held up so well after 80 years. It’s been lauded as “one of the finest science fiction novellas ever written” by the SF Writers of America, and is a short read I would highly recommend to anyone who hasn’t yet had the chance to read it. You can find my original review to the novella here, or better yet, pick it up on Amazon for a cool two bucks.
Of all things, this story and movie cemented in me the importance of setting, and how the surroundings wherein a story is told can be just as important as the story and conflict itself. It’s something I’ve tried to incorporate in my own writing, in utilizing the Amazon Rainforest as a setting within my series The Creation, and allowing that setting to dictate and inform so much of the story that occurs within those pages. And it doesn’t have to be a huge dramatic set piece to be utilized in this format. A single room within a house, if properly used, can have the same dramatic effect. The important thing is to treat your setting as if it’s a character unto itself, complete with a character arc–a living, breathing entity that can and will impact the characters that live within it.