Horror & Dark Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

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Feb. 2014 (Issue 17)

This month we have original fiction from Adam-Troy Castro (“The Totals”) and Kat Howard (“Dreaming Like a Ghost”), along with reprints by Gary Braunbeck (“We Now Pause for Station Identification”) and Tanith Lee (“The Gorgon”). 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 legendary master of horror Dean Koontz.

In This Issue: Feb. 2014 (Issue 17)

Editorial

Editorial, February 2014

We have original fiction from Adam-Troy Castro (“The Totals”) and Kat Howard (“Dreaming Like a Ghost”), along with reprints by Gary Braunbeck (“We Now Pause for Station Identification”) and Tanith Lee (“The Gorgon”). 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 legendary master of horror Dean Koontz.

Fiction

The Totals

Clutch has killed somebody recently. This goes without saying. For as long as Clutch can remember, he has always killed somebody “recently.” If not within the last few hours, then certainly within the last few days. He may have gone as long as a couple of weeks without, from time to time, when circumstances conspired against him. But never as long as a month, no, not for living memory.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Adam-Troy Castro

I like to surprise myself. I like to surprise my readers. I want every story to be different from the story before it. I want to avoid the existence of a “typical” Adam-Troy Castro story. So I don’t just change genres. I change styles.

Nonfiction

The H Word: H for Honesty

Whenever anyone who creates horror fiction says they don’t, it simply confirms me in my commitment to the field. No doubt they have their reasons, but I have mine, which is to support the kind of fiction I’ve loved pretty well ever since I can remember.

Fiction

The Gorgon

The small island, which lay off the larger island of Daphaeu, obviously contained a secret of some sort, and, day by day, and particularly night by night, began to exert an influence on me, so that I must find it out.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Tanith Lee

Ideas just come to me, and this one did. I think the grimace on the gorgon masks (especially the ancient Rome variety) may have influenced me with some ideas of pain, and frustration. The hero is an American … But the rest simply … arrived.

Fiction

We Now Pause for Station Identification

So if there’s anyone listening at this god-awful hour, tonight’s topic is the same one as this morning, this afternoon, and earlier this evening . . . in fact, it’s the same topic the whole world’s had for the last thirteen days, if anyone’s been counting: Our Loved Ones; Why Have They Come Back from the Dead and What the Fuck Do They Want?

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Gary Braunbeck

Yes, I have an idea what his life was like, but in the microcosm of the story, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is how this man reacts to the current circumstances, whether or not he rallies or crumbles … it’s what his reactions in the moment reveal about his true Stuff.

Artist Showcase

Artist Showcase: Jel Ena

Find a way to do what you love, never give up and be insanely persistent about it to make it happen. I am living my dream: I make art, I live from it, I support my family by doing what I love the most to do, and I hope for it to continue ‘til the day I die . . . and after.

Fiction

Dreaming Like a Ghost

If I tell you to think about a ghost story, you will probably imagine that it takes place in the dark. Perhaps your mind will conjure up the darkness of a campfire, the scent of wood smoke and burned sugar from making s’mores, the crackle of the wind in the trees.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Kat Howard

I think death and grief are huge things, and when there is something huge, it can break language. We all know that, “I’m so sorry for your loss,” no matter how genuinely meant, no matter how much love is beneath those words, is never enough.

Nonfiction

Interview: Dean Koontz

But I’ve always said I’ve never written a vampire story and I’ve never written a werewolf story, and I when I’m doing supernatural, I’m trying to look for some different thing, some new approach to it that you haven’t seen before. And in this book the supernatural entities are something you haven’t seen before…