“Leer Reel,” REEL DARK, and the Fincherverse

Okay, as I say in my editor’s intro, you don’t even have to read my story “Leer Reel” in REEL DARK to get your money’s worth. However, I am grateful people are reading… and are having a serious “WTF did I just read” reaction.

Although I won’t try to touch scariest–my kudos still go to Amy Grech in that category (you freaked me out, so I can’t wait to meet you!)–or even list the folks who beat me for most provocative, I don’t think anyone would bother challenging me for most viscerally extreme (feel free, co-authors, as I’m out of the editor’s seat now). “Leer Reel” is fucking disgusting; it shocked me while I wrote it, yet I came to understand what mad narrator Louis Jardin was up to, making media references (which from Dickens to rock lyrics appear in almost every sentence) secondary to structuring his ravings according to movie protocols. As I said to a friend, yeah, there’s a story there, but it’s so much less important than the onslaught of imagery that people understanding it is not the point.

However, people DO like stories, and furthermore, the three of you who follow my work might like to know where “Leer Reel” fits. So I’m going even further. All the dates are fake and may be contradicted by story details because I was too lazy to look up what I’d written (I am not that lazy when crafting the fiction itself!), but here is the clearest key to my fictional world I have ever shared (fyi, I am not including all stories published and unpublished linked to the Fincherverse, just those essential):



By Andrew

L. Andrew Cooper specializes in the provocative, scary, and strange. His current project, The Middle Reaches, is a serialized epic of weird horror and dark fantasy on Amazon Kindle Vella. His latest release, Records of the Hightower Massacre, an LGBTQ+ horror novella co-authored with Maeva Wunn, imagines a near-future dystopia where anti-queer hate runs a program to "correct" deviants. Stains of Atrocity, his newest collection of stories, goes to uncomfortable psychological and visceral extremes. His latest novel, Crazy Time, combines literary horror and dark fantasy in a contemporary quest to undo what may be a divine curse. Other published works include novels Burning the Middle Ground and Descending Lines; short story collections Leaping at Thorns and Peritoneum; poetry collection The Great Sonnet Plot of Anton Tick; non-fiction Gothic Realities and Dario Argento; co-edited fiction anthologies Imagination Reimagined and Reel Dark; and the co-edited textbook Monsters. He has also written more than 30 award-winning screenplays. After studying literature and film at Harvard and Princeton, he used his Ph.D. to teach about favorite topics from coast to coast in the United States. He now focuses on writing and lives in North Hollywood, California.

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