Horror & Dark Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

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Author Spotlights

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Norman Partridge

As a writer I don’t always like to answer all the questions a story presents, or every question readers might have. Of course, I want the logic of the story to operate . . . but I want to leave room for a few mysteries, too. To me, that’s a key element to much of the horror fiction I enjoy—the questions that keep readers coming back to a piece, especially the ones that might make them see it a little differently the next time they read it.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Ted Kosmatka

The premise was drawn, as you might expect, from my experiences trying to deal with a toddler in church. When you are getting glared at by a hundred old people, your mind begins searching for any escape, and somehow this story kind of appeared in my head during the course of one very traumatizing baptism.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Margo Lanagan

What drew me to “Hansel and Gretel” was a Yiddish word, “gunsel,” that I happened upon in the dictionary. One of its several definitions went something like, “a youth, particularly a homosexual one, kept by a tramp.” So there’d been a time and place in which tramps commonly kept boys for sexual purposes—so commonly that there was a word for it? I immediately wanted to set a story there, and to tell it from the point of view of a gunsel.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Sarah Langan

I find that I want to be good at everything I do, but it’s impossible. Every day, I fail someone I love, on some level, and that includes failing at my own career ambitions. But that’s life. I can’t be good at half the jobs I have.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Lucius Shepard

Stories just come to me, sometimes over a period of years, sometimes over a few days. I’m not into self-analysis, so I don’t explore their origins, but in this case it was obvious. I was an abused child, and a very angry teenager and young man. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over being angry—so in this case I was more or less blending some autobiographical stuff with fantasy. When I was a kid, I believed anger was magic of a kind, power, and I wanted to convey that feeling in the main character. I got angry when I was writing it.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Tamsyn Muir

It’s easy to write a WWII story, especially one set in Germany, and have it be an easy-out in terms of insta-setting. It evokes an immediate response of pain and despair. But that doesn’t mean WWII is not what it is, a giant psychic scar, and thus an opening for horror and the numinous. Just because the war’s over doesn’t mean the scar is gone.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Lisa Tuttle

I often draw on experiences from my own life for inspiration, but as a writer of fiction I am not bound to stick to things that really happened. Dreams, daydreams, music, art, books, other people’s lives—these things and more give me ideas for what to write.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Matt Williamson

The story reads, at times, like something for children, but it’s unwholesome even apart from its violence—and that confusion of tone and subject matter seems video-gamey to me. The story as a whole is like a weird dream someone might have after playing Grand Theft Auto while listening to an audiobook of Peter Pan on loop for twenty hours.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Daniel H. Wilson

It’s terrifying to contemplate violent weather wrecking your plane. But I think the real horror of “Foul Weather” goes deeper than that. We all know that Mother Nature is trying to kill us, usually via the weather, but the understanding is that it’s not personal. Mother Nature is Mother Nature—she’s not good or evil. This story wonders whether that’s true. Is there a deeper evil that permeates the hidden dimensions? Could it reach us from beyond the veil in the form of wind and rain and thunder?

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Tananarive Due

This story is most definitely about the challenges of parenting, especially parenting alone. I’m lucky enough not to be a single mother or have long separations from my husband, but I think all mothers have a moment when they think, “Wow, this is way more challenging than I expected.” And all of my supernatural stories are metaphors for true life challenges and observations.