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Category Archives: nick mamatas

Welcome to the “Behind the Shadows” series of blog posts, where every week we will share a peek inside the minds of our authors and learn about the inspirations behind their contributions. First up is Nick Mamatas with his story, “Χταπόδι Σαλάτα.”


My inspiration was a simple one, the Greek Town Riot of 1909. Greek-American “whiteness” is a moveable feast, mostly secure but still occasionally contingent. This is reflected on how occasionally Greeks are mistaken for other ethnicities—often Arabs in the immediate wake of 9/11, sometimes Rom (so-called “gypsies”) and the like. And vice versa too: “Greek” was the ethnicity of choice for a significant fraction of light-skinned African-Americans passing as white.

Today, for the most part, being Greek-American is only occasionally a minor inconvenience: the bank manager who makes a joke about what diner you work in, endless questions about the language or the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and of course plenty of references to taking it up the ass. It’s shocking to meet someone today with any real animosity against Greek-Americans, but the closer one is to Greece, the more one worries about it. My mother hung a Greek flag out by her farm stand once, and my father took it down, concerned that some passer-by might have a problem with Greeks. So I wanted to go back to 1909, and to 1949, and see what it would be like. And also kill a lot of people.


Nick Mamatas is the author of several novels, including Love is the Law and The Last Weekend, and the Lovecraftian titles Move Under Ground and The Damned Highway (with Brian Keene). His fiction has appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Weird Tales, and in a number of Lovecraftian anthologies including Future Lovecraft, Lovecraft Unbound, and New Cthulhu. Many of these tentacular stories are collected in The Nickronomicon. Nick also works as an editor and anthologist—with Masumi Washington he co-edited the non-fiction Battle Royale Slam Book and Phantasm Japan, both from VIZ Media.

Nick’s story appears in Shadows Over Main Street from Hazardous Press, available now:

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