Horror & Dark Fantasy

Latest Fiction

Wish You Were Here

“Tell us a ghost story,” said one of the women, the pouty one, the one named Melissa. She was the nice, friendly one for now, the one asking questions, the one who wanted to stop at every little roadside fruit stall and pose next to every possibly rabid monkey, but Dimas knew this kind of tourist. Eventually, she was going to exhaust herself, and then—fueled by a high metabolism and the vengeance of unmet expectations—she was going to become his worst enemy.

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Latest Nonfiction

Interview: Victor LaValle

Victor LaValle is the author of the short story collection Slapboxing with Jesus, three novels, The Ecstatic, Big Machine, and The Devil in Silver, and two novellas, Lucretia and the Kroons and The Ballad of Black Tom. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Whiting Writers’ Award, a United States Artists Ford Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Shirley Jackson Award, an American Book Award, and the key to Southeast Queens.

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A Diet of Worms

You’re not the kind of person who shows up late to work, but today was a piece of shit, so it’s seven thirty and your mom is finally dropping you off at the movie theater. It’s a weeknight, only one person in the box office selling tickets, so you shame-walk past a line of your fellow high school grads enjoying their last summer break before college. You hope you can sneak in without anyone noticing and grab some popcorn, because you missed dinner and you’re starving. Nope.

Cruel Sistah

“You and Neville goin out again?” “I think so. He asked could he call me Thursday after class.” Calliope looked down at her sister’s long, straight, silky hair. It fanned out over Calliope’s knees and fell almost to the floor, a black river drying up just short of its destined end. “Why don’t you let me wash this for you?” “It takes too long to dry. Just braid it up like you said, okay?” “Your head all fulla dandruff,” Calliope lied. “And ain’t you ever heard of a hair dryer? Mary Lockett lent me her portable.”

The Show

The camera crew struggled with the twisting, narrow stairs. Their kit was portable, Steadicams being all the rage. They were lucky that the nature of their work did not require more light. Shadows added atmosphere. Dark corners added depth. It was cold down in the cellar. It turned their breath to mist, which gathered in the stark white pools shed by the bare bulbs overhead. Martha smiled. It was sublime. Television gold. Tonight there’d been a crowd. Word had got out.

(available on 10/26) Buy Issue

More Nonfiction

On the Destruction of Horror: Notes from Your People of Colo(u)r Editors

The editors of People of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror! — Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Tananarive Due, and Maurice Broaddus — talk about their vision for this special double-issue, and share thoughts about working in the genre as creators of color.

The H Word: The Darkest, Truest Mirrors

I am eleven years old when my mother asks me, Why do you have to write such dark stories? Why can’t you write something edifying? At the time, I have no answer for her, and I mistake the tight line of her mouth for disapproval. I miss the concern in her eyes, the distress in the set of her shoulders. I think about her question for many years. But at the time, I remember wondering, What is edifying about stories that don’t reflect the real world?

Horror Is . . . Not What You Think or Probably Wish It Is

Too often, when it comes to Black and minority writers, this definition of horror is often twisted and contorted until it is no longer acceptable. Or more bluntly, Black and other minority writers are not allowed to simply create a “horrific emotion” within their (white horror) readers and be welcomed into the fold, instead there are always more and higher hoops that these writers must jump through (hoops dictated and controlled by the mainly white male readers and writers) seemingly with the sole purpose of excluding them.

(available on 10/26) Buy Issue