Paul McNamee, Captain of the New England Company of Frontier Partisan Rangers, has done committed another authorin’ — a short story in the anthology CONTACT 2: Blood & Steel by Screaming Banshee Press. Let me just go on the record that Screaming Banshee Press is one badass publisher name.
Paul’s story ventures into the realm of Fennario at the very end of the 19th Century, as the U.S. was plunging into wars of frontier and empire… But we’ll let Paul tell it:
Last year, I was asked to contribute a military action horror story to an upcoming anthology. At the time, the editor was seeking historical settings. (I think you can infer from the cover art that perhaps he still included some stories with modern settings.)
I’d had an idea for a Spanish-American War tale for a long while. It was the opportune moment. The subtitle, Blood & Steel, was perfect. Steel/iron against the supernatural. Fix bayonets!
I researched the basics of the war, and read SPRINGFIELD IN THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR by Walter W. Ward. The book is a first-hand account, from mustering to shipping out to fighting to shipping home, of army and naval companies from Massachusetts. I always find such accounts valuable and fascinating. (In the past few years, I’d also read Elmore Leonard’s novel, CUBA LIBRE.)
The war was short. The plague of yellow fever was far more debilitating to the US forces after Spain had surrendered. As many men mustered home, hospital volunteers stayed behind to tend the sick. That gave me a window where, perhaps, I could be a bit loose with tactics, protocol, and chain of command. (I haven’t served in the military, and I have heard about writers getting the ‘class’ interactions of officers and enlisted men wrong.)
A bit of M*A*S*H*, a bit of THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS, a helping of history, and me & my writer-brain. Once those elements all fell together, the story took off well.
I hope you’ll check out the anthology – especially if you enjoy military horror.