Horror & Dark Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

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Author Spotlights

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Ramsey Campbell

Hints and suggestions—I always found those a powerful way of conveying horror, especially once I encountered the tales of M. R. James in quantity—Machen and Lovecraft too. I think Stone is reliable enough, except perhaps in not understanding what’s happening to him, but few of us might in those circumstances.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Anaea Lay

This [story] is still my favorite, and is probably going to be hard to displace. It does everything I really want my fiction to do—the prose is pretty, the characters are unquestionably “bad guys,” and I get away with presenting something brutal and depressing as if it’s a happy ending. I hope that in the future when they’re writing papers about obscure 21st century spec fic writers, this is the kind of story I’m known for.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Maria Dahvana Headley

In my mind, this story looks like the original Evil Dead poster as painted by William Blake. It came out of my ongoing volcano obsession, which led me to the notion of observatories in reverse: essentially looking down into the center of the earth through a volcano.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Brit Mandelo

There’s a lot of overlap between different forms of trauma, physical or psychological or both, and how they destabilize a person’s identity and self-concept.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Carrie Vaughn

The story owes pretty much its entire existence to the Stuart Gordon film Dagon. While watching it, I felt like I finally got what Lovecraftian fiction was all about, a feeling I hadn’t gotten from any other story, or even any of Gordon’s other Lovecraft-inspired films. It really is horrifying, it never quite crosses that line into gross or silly, and the resulting madness the main characters fall into feels genuine rather than contrived. I just loved it. But of course, given my own quirks, I wasn’t interested in the main characters’ story, I was interested in the villagers, and how they got to where they are from what they had been before.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Joe R. Lansdale

You can choose to ride the train, and once on it seems impossible to get off, or you can turn away from the depot. But the God also represents the darker desires of humanity, a kind of built in self-destruct. From what I can tell, we don’t learn much from history, or at least we seldom learn.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Laird Barron

In a horror story, there’s always the choice to reveal the monster, or monstrous, or leave it to the imagination. I chose the latter as one’s imagination will often supply a far more dire vision than a cold description on paper. If nothing else, whatever is under the tarp signifies the narrator’s connection, and obeisance, to a dread and awful power.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Lynda E. Rucker

The story came from a few different places. One was an actual hypnagogic hallucination I had—which I am normally not prone to. I “woke up” but was frozen and I could hear creepy little girls whispering behind me, and could picture them as well.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Neil Gaiman

In [the] story, the moment of horror, people just sort of chug along with the story, and then the first moment they become uncomfortable is the moment that they realize that the observation has gone beyond simply the observation of somebody standing and having an unrequited love. The moment they realize that the person talking has been in your room, has been looking on your computer, the moment in that letter where the narrator, the letter writer starts talking about “Your password is . . .” and people realize Oh my god, you’ve read all their emails.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Tanith Lee

Q: Do you see “Doll Re Me” as a story about punishment for hubris? A: No, I see it as the punishment for wasteful cruelty, which the main character so lavishly displays towards both people and things.