When I invite writers to submit to an anthology I’m editing, I include a line asking people to recommend writers they think might have something special to offer the project. One of my invitations went out to a very talented writer named Trent Zelazny. Although circumstances prevented Trent from submitting a story, he recommended that I send an invitation to Gene Mederos. Gene came up with a wonderfully chilling piece called “A Touch of Frost.”
I was fortunate enough to meet Gene at Bubonicon back in August. We had a great discussion while sipping an exquisite Armagnac. Sadly, I can’t offer to share a bottle over the web, but I hope you’ll enjoy hearing Gene’s thoughts just the same.
Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice. Can’t say I’ve ever minded the heat.
I was born in Cuba and immigrated to the USA with my parents at the age of two. We lived in Brooklyn, in a basement apartment. Carny folks from Coney Island shared the basement apartment in the building next door, among them a bearded lady and a tattooed man, back before everybody wore tattoos. They were very nice to me, one of them even gave me my first comic book. But one winter their landlord tossed them out into the cold.
Since my father was the superintendent, responsible for the building’s maintenance, we shared our basement with the utility and the boiler room. New York City is subject to temperatures well below zero, but I never felt the cold. Not with the massive boiler for an entire five story building a few rooms down from my own.
No, I never felt the cold, not until years later when, as an adult, I took an apartment in the Bronx. On the top floor of a seven story building, because it was farthest from the basement. But they don’t maintain buildings as well nowadays as my father once did. The boiler broke, in winter, and the landlord wasn’t in a hurry to fix it. One night the temperature dropped to minus 20 something degrees. The water in the toilet froze and so did I. Even with all three cats under the blanket, the cold was painful.
So when David asked me to write a horror story set in space, it wasn’t hard to figure out what would scare me in space. Space is cold. And sometimes, so are people.
Currently I’m working on a western/ horror story and a screenplay. When I’m not writing I teach digital editing and film making at the Santa Fe Community College and run my own video production company. My next video project is an update of the famous 1970’s pollution / crying Indian commercial for the Keep America Beautiful foundation with actor Wes Studi (Avatar, Geronimo) in the starring role.
– Gene Mederos