Buy F&SF • Read F&SF • Contact F&SF • Advertise In F&SF • Blog • Forum • RSS

Interview: Rich Larson on “Contagion’s Eve at the House Noctambulous.”

Tell us a bit about “Contagion’s Eve at the House Noctambulous.”

“Contagion’s Eve” is a gothic science fiction story about twisted aristocrats in a barren future.


Rich LarsonWhat was the inspiration for this story, or what prompted you to write it?

It was inspired by a piece of artwork that I’ve since lost, a grayscale scene of a forest at night with someone in a bird mask turning over their shoulder to look at someone leveling an old-fashioned rifle at them from behind. I saved the image, but only to my laptop, and that laptop met its demise in Portugal. I’d love to find it again and find out who the artist was.


What was the most difficult aspect of writing this story, and what was the most fun?

I had fun using a more flowery style than usual, giving the story a kind of Poe-ish vibe, and also coming up with spooky futuristic Halloween-type decorations. It wasn’t particularly difficult to write — it follows a pretty basic plot — but the ending did take some tweaking to make Burgewick’s final act believable and horrifying.


Why do you write?

To impress people at parties.


What are you working on now?

I’m currently struggling through a large-scale rewrite of Cypher, the sequel to my debut novel Annex. After that I have plenty of short stories to write, including a cabin-in-the-woods cosmic horror piece, a Mesoamerica-inspired fantasy, and a futuristic action thriller about warring arcologies.

“Contagion’s Eve at the House Noctambulous” appears in the March/April 2019 issue of F&SF.

You can buy a copy of the issue here:

You can subscribe to the print edition of F&SF here:

You can subscribe to the electronic edition of F&SF at the following links:

Weightless Books (non-Kindle):

Amazon US (Kindle edition):

Amazon UK (Kindle edition):

Visit the author’s Patreon page:


Leave a Reply

If this is your first time leaving a comment, your comment may enter the moderation queue. If it doesn't appear right away, don't panic; it should show up once site administrators verify you're not a spambot. After you successfully post a comment, future comments will no longer be moderated.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Copyright © 2006–2020 The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction • All Rights Reserved Worldwide
Powered by WordPress • Theme based on Whitespace theme by Brian Gardner
If you find any errors, typos or anything else worth mentioning, please send it to

Designed by Rodger Turner and Hosted by:
SF Site spot art