Lanternfish Press

Rare & Strange

"What are you going to be?"

Advait Ubhayakar

The signs are all around us. And they are spreading — orange gourds sit outside doors; the innocuous lamp over a favorite café sprouts fangs overnight; at the local library, children carve out faces of terror and glee. As you read this, the H-word is also infiltrating popup ads and emails that promise speedy delivery of ready-made costumes by week’s end. 


If you’re like us, you inhabit characters all year long. For readers, role playing is not a once-a-year activity but a perennial bug that draws us in search of stories. The plots and the voices wait for us, whether we’re riding to work on the bus or curled up snug in our beds. (How great are the days when we have nothing to do but roam wild amid the forests of words!) 

Still, it is really cool to have a day where we can all dress up in public, showing off the personas we’ve slid into in the privacy of pages. This year at Lanternfish Press, we’ve decided to dress up as the contents of our first book ever: The Afflictions. There’s a lot to pick from — this faux-encyclopedia contains over 49 disorders of the mind, body, and soul. (That’s a lot of body paint.) Expect to see us infecting the internet over the course of this week!

As the great (and greatly afflicted) DFW once said, good fiction’s job is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. We hope getting into character(s) can become timely proof of this dual role of fiction. A game of inhabiting another, and letting an other inhabit us. 

If you’ve ever stayed in with a book, you already know this: As much as fiction is an affliction, it is also a cure.

A trick. And a treat. 

This Halloween, look to your bookshelves for inspiration and share your literary avatars with the world! 

Join us as we #getafflicted.