Horror & Dark Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

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Author Spotlights

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Dale Bailey

We’re at our most vulnerable when we’re sleeping. Any hidden space—an open door into the hall, a closet door standing just ajar—can serve to terrify us. The bed is worse because you’re right over that hidden space, in the eye of the abyss.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Brooke Bolander

I generally find it more difficult to write flash pieces, because the amount of information you have to pack into such a small space is obviously going to be extremely limited. That said, I’m also terrible at writing anything over 7,000 or 8,000 words, which is why my novel-in-progress generally gets to around 10,000 words on any given draft and then dies twitching on the table. This has been going on for five years and counting. Regimes have risen and fallen. Children have been born and learned to walk, dress themselves, and throw horrific tantrums over gadgets that didn’t exist when I started working on the very first draft. Feral cat genealogies across the same timeline run into the tens of millions.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Alaya Dawn Johnson

The autopsy report was very tricky, since I needed something that conveyed the relevant information without taking too long to get there (not to mention a reasonable medical cause of death).

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Megan Arkenberg

After reviewing your bibliography and biography all I can say is . . . Wow! Numerous publication credits in top markets, awards, and inclusion in “Best of” collections; attending grad school, writing both poetry and short fiction, and editing two online publications: Mirror Dance and Lacuna; a penchant for naming pocket-watches (Nemesis and Juggernaut); and a love of critical theory. […]

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Kaaron Warren

In “All You Can Do is Breathe,” the long men seem to be siphoning off what makes Stuart a survivor, or maybe his will to live. What do they want it for? The long man represents the way we react to a survivor. We treat survivors as heroes, and exalt them for a while. We […]

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Norman Partridge

Can you tell me a little bit about how “10/31: Bloody Mary” came to be? I’ve always loved post-apocalyptic stories, and I had an idea for a world where (basically) the things that go bump in the night crossed over one Halloween and took over. For me the best way to give that premise a […]

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Peter Straub

I had picked up a copy of Joseph Brodsky’s Less Than One: Selected Essays, and was reading his great piece on St. Petersburg, “A Guide to a Renamed City,” and realized with a kind of shock that I could write something similar (but more like a guidebook entry) about the city of my birth and childhood, Milwaukee. My feelings about Milwaukee are mixed and cloudy, and they veer back and forth between hostility and acceptance. I thought I could pack all kinds of feelings about the city into this story if I did not stick to the literal truth, to physical accuracy, but instead permitted myself to exaggerate and invent, and by those means perhaps to express another, deeper kind of truth.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: C.S. McMullen

The genesis of “The Nest” came from a brief phase I went through, where I decided that I wanted to create a small ant farm using an old television set. I did months and months of research, and became more than slightly obsessed. But the more research I did, the more I realized that any ant farm I built would be pitifully small, and that the ants would probably die after a few weeks. I didn’t really want to take them from their nice home in the ground, put them into a TV set, and then watch them slowly die. As fun as that whole process sounded, it’s not really my idea of a good time.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Linda Nagata

I get on planes all the time, quite calmly, but the morbid thoughts are there. This is ironic, because my dad was a pilot, and as a teen I flew with him up and down the island chain in little two and four-seater prop planes. That never bothered me. I guess I trusted my dad. The problem with being on a passenger jet is that there is literally nothing you can do except hold on if something goes wrong. Of course it’s really not a good idea to think too much about this when you’re 30,000-feet up over the biggest ocean in the world, and hours away from any landmass.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Clive Barker

Considering the opening salvo that is The Books of Blood (1984-1985), it’s easy to see why one could easily assume that Clive Barker was here to redefine horror fiction.