Horror & Dark Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

Advertisement

Apr. 2017 (Issue 55)

We have original fiction from Eric Schaller (“Red Hood”) and Jenn Grunigen (“Figs, Detached”), along with reprints by Premee Mohamed (“The Adventurer’s Wife”) and Molly Tanzer (“But Only Because I Love You”). In the latest installment of our column on horror, “The H Word,” John Langan discusses the influence of Shirley Jackson on the genre. We also have author spotlights with our authors, and a feature interview with Stephen Graham Jones.

In This Issue: Apr. 2017 (Issue 55)

Editorial

Editorial, April 2017

Be sure to read the Editorial for the run-down on this month’s terrifying content, as well as all our news and updates.

Fiction

Red Hood

There was a young girl whose grandma loved her fiercely, and so made for her a suit of skin. Her grandma brined the skin, scraped it free of fat and flesh, and soaked it in a brainy mash until it was soft and milky as a baby’s breath. She crafted an opening in the suit with leather cords to tie the flaps. “Promise me,” said the girl’s grandma, while she adjusted the fit, “that you’ll always wear this when you go outside.” The girl shook her arm and the skin waggled. “It’s still loose.” “That way you won’t outgrow it. Now promise me . . .”

Author Spotlight

Fiction

The Adventurer’s Wife

It was not till after the adventurer had been interred that we learned that the man had been married. My editor, Cheltenwick, did not even let the graveyard mud dry decently on his boots before he dispatched me to the widow’s house with instructions for a full interview, which I had no doubt he would embellish even more than his wont. “Delicate sighs, Greene,” he said, hurrying me into a cab and pushing a fresh notebook into my hands. “A crystal-like droplet that rolls down her wan face. I want that, and a most particular description of the house, and don’t botch it up!”

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

The H Word: Powerful Visions of Suffering and Inhumanity

In the run up to the 2016 World Fantasy Convention, an interesting conversation took place online. 2016 marked one hundred years since the birth of Shirley Jackson, author of “The Lottery,” The Haunting of Hill House, and other stories and novels. The convention seemed an appropriate venue at which to celebrate her life and work. Despite this, when the preliminary schedule for the convention was released, it included only one panel on Jackson. In contrast, some eight or nine panels addressed the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft and his circle.

Fiction

Figs, Detached

I ate the child and fell in love with the mother; I didn’t want to, but I didn’t know, I was new to town. The placenta tasted like raw ahi fed only on honey and dandelion. Inside it was pomegranate, was roe, was blood orange, was lymph. If I could regurgitate his love (my love, our love?) I would, but I can’t. Lacticifer sold his children at the Tenhen farmers market. I was hungry from moving into the house on the hill and rode down on my bike, the brake pads worn thin and worthless. He was short and wore mismatched socks, clogs, and Carhartt overalls.

Author Spotlight

Fiction

But Only Because I Love You

The sky above is impossibly blue, striped with bright bands of clouds tinged pink and orange with the coming sunrise. There are a few stars still sparkling in the heavens, and the moon, bigger than it looks beyond the borders of this land, hangs low and near. The pack of spotted jackals is also near. Their baying is a goad. If we do not find some shelter, some escape, we are done for. The wind whips our scent into their long noses, maddening them. They will tear us to pieces if they catch us. I am not worried. I have no reason to be. Not yet.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Interview: Stephen Graham Jones

Mongrels may be the first Stephen Graham Jones novel published by a major house (William Morrow) and his first Bram Stoker Award nomination in the Novel category, but to those who have followed the author’s work for years it’s a natural step for one of the horror genre’s most unusual voices. Jones, a native of West Texas who now lives and teaches in Colorado, has authored over 250 short stories; his earlier novels include Demon Theory, Zombie Bake-Off, The Last Final Girl, and Growing Up Dead in Texas. Forthcoming in June from Tor.com is the novella Mapping the Interior.