Horror & Dark Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

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Apr. 2016 (Issue 43)

We have original fiction from Ian Whates (“Reaper’s Rose”) and Rahul Kanakia (“The Girl Who Escaped From Hell”), along with reprints by Kaaron Warren (“Death’s Door Cafe”) and P.D. Cacek (“The Grave”). We also have the latest installment of our column on horror, “The H Word,” plus author spotlights with our authors, a showcase on our cover artist, and a feature interview with author David J. Schow.

In This Issue: Apr. 2016 (Issue 43)

Editorial

Editorial, April 2016

Be sure to check out the Editorial for all our news, updates, and a run-down of this month’s content.

Fiction

Reaper’s Rose

Unpleasant? No, I wouldn’t say that. In fact, quite the opposite. You know the smell of pot? Well of course you do, you’re a policeman . . . No, I didn’t mean anything by that. It’s just that in your line of work you’re bound to have come across it, that’s all. What I’m trying to say is that this smells a bit like pot but without that horrible sweatiness; you know, it has a sort of oily, herbal smell, less acrid and a lot more floral and, well, nicer than pot. Sorry, I know I’m doing a terrible job of describing this.

Author Spotlight

Fiction

Death’s Door Café

Theo thought of the pain in his veins as the clawing of bats, the smell in his nose their guano, the rawness of his throat torn by their smoke. It was this, the pain in breathing, that made him climb out of his car at last and walk a block to the Dusseldorf Café. The large purple door had a suburban brass knocker and a spy hole. A plaque beside the door read The Soldier. In larger text: b1922 d1946.
Up close, he could see dark stains in the wood.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

The H Word: The Monstrous Intimacy of Poetry in Horror

indulgent and masturbatory, though usually for very different reasons. The horror author is labeled a decadent: she’s a sadomasochist, someone for whom physical suffering and mortal terror are both bread and caviar. The poet is stereotyped as a different kind of pervert, one who enjoys the depths of his own navel and the taste of his own toes, and furthermore, one who wants everyone to know this about him.He too is considered a sadomasochist, obsessing about his tortured existence and taking everyone else into his private Hell.

Fiction

The Girl Who Escaped From Hell

I thought when they handed over a kid there’d be some complex system of interlocking safeguards, like they use to transport a nuclear warhead across the country, but her mom just plopped the girl into my car. I asked if I needed to register her with someone, and my ex looked at me like I was crazy, so I hopped on I-80 and drove west, out into the desert. Abby was six years old, a mini-person, and she could talk in full sentences and everything.

Author Spotlight

Artist Showcase

Artist Showcase: Yana Moskaluk

Yana Moskaluk was born in 1984 in Siberia, and moved to Moscow at nineteen to work at the Art.Lebedev Studio. Yana loves to travel, and draws inspiration from medieval art, ancient sculptures, old towns, legends, and fairytales. She takes the mood and atmosphere projected by such stories and items and recreates them in her own art within a modern context.

Fiction

The Grave

It was as if someone had suddenly wrapped a thick layer of cotton around her. Things that had been ordinary and familiar became muted and removed. If she hadn’t been so frightened, she might have even laughed at the feeling. Not that it was an entirely unpleasant sensation. She could still hear the birds singing in the thick, autumn-bright canopy above her and identify each sweet trill and warble, caw, churr, chirp and whistle. She could smell the moss and moisture from the stream as it gurgled through the shallows.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Interview: David J. Schow

David J. Schow hasn’t just consistently produced great horror fiction and nonfiction for decades, he’s also managed to stay exciting, fresh, and relevant. Although he’s known primarily as a screenwriter (The Crow, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning) and award-winning short horror fiction author, he’s also written several acclaimed novels (The Shaft, The Kill Riff), edited the influential 1988 anthology Silver Scream, and is probably the world’s leading expert on The Outer Limits. His latest collection, DJSturbia, was released in March by Subterranean Press.