We have original fiction from James Rabb (“The Devil of Rue Moret”) and Nick Mamatas (“ The Spook School”), along with reprints by V.H. Leslie (“Senbazuru”) and Nalo Hopkinson (“Shift”). We also have award-winning author Gemma Files bringing us the latest installment of our column on horror, “The H Word,” plus author spotlights with our writers, a showcase on our cover artist, and a fiction review from Terence Taylor.
In This Issue: Aug. 2017 (Issue 59)
Be sure to read the Editorial for a run-down of this month’s chilling content. Plus, you don’t want to miss all our news and updates.
The boy grew up in the tangle of the bayou, in a township known as Rue Moret. His mother had married a farmhand, but his father wasn’t the same man. The boy told himself that these things happen when life loses its luster and we create complications to bear it. He wore a small woven hat wherever he went, and he went many places for a boy of his age. He walked to school most days, alone because his half-sister had been lost in childbirth. The boy still spoke to her.
Paper, scissors, rock. That’s the way we’ve always made decisions. And settled arguments, for that matter. Marriage is all about compromise after all; I put something forward, he puts something forward, and our hands do the rest. My husband jokes if only diplomacy were so easy. When we play we are back in the playground of St. Gabriel’s again, with the Catholic sisters hurrying us in opposite directions towards the boys and girls dormitories and my husband is my darling childhood Teddy.
Most often, we choose to invest ourselves in narratives because we feel a kinship with their protagonists, because we can recognize some element of our own experience in theirs . . . but the odd thing about people (or one odd thing, at any rate; one amongst many) is how few of us have any literal sympathy for each other’s joys, or victories, or pleasures. Happiness is discounted, even devalued; what’s that line about how all happy families are alike, while all unhappy families are unhappy in different—and far more interesting—ways?
It was the twenty-hour flight on which neither Gordon nor Melissa slept a wink, and the strong Greek coffee at the Athena Tavern they both chugged down at Melissa’s request, and the long-seeming walk in the plish across Kelvingrove Park at Gordon’s insistence that took them to the museum. A wayward cinder got into Melissa’s contact lenses, and she was exhausted, and jittery from the caffeine, and excited to finally be meeting her lover’s parents, and it was her first trip to Scotland.
“Did you sleep well?” she asks, and you make sure that your face is fixed into a dreamy smile as you open your eyes into the morning after. It had been an awkward third date; a clumsy fumbling in her bed, both of you apologizing and then fleeing gratefully into sleep. “I dreamt that you kissed me,” you say. That line’s worked before. She’s lovely as she was the first time you met her, particularly seen through eyes with colour vision. “You said you wanted me to be your frog.” Say it, say it, you think.
This month, Terence Taylor reads both Charlie Stross’ new novel,The Delirium Brief , and the new anthology Sycorax’s Daughters.