Horror & Dark Fantasy

The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination

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In This Issue: Oct. 2012 (Issue 1)

Editorial

Editorial, October 2012

Welcome to issue number one of Nightmare! We’ve got a great issue for you, so click through to see what we have in store for you this month and in future issues.

Fiction

Property Condemned

The house was occupied, but no one lived there. That’s how Malcolm Crow thought about it. Houses like the Croft place were never really empty. Like most of the kids in Pine Deep, Crow knew that there were ghosts. Even the tourists knew about the ghosts. It was that kind of town.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Jonathan Maberry

As much as I make a living writing about things that go bump in the dark, I don’t particularly fear them. Ghosts have very little track record for doing much harm, and I’m not afraid of a spirit that would slam a door or change the temperature in a room. Big yawn. Fictional spirits are different in that they are vehicles in which we can tell different kinds of stories.

Fiction

Frontier Death Song

Night descended on Interstate-90 as I crossed over into the Badlands. Real raw weather for October. Snow dusted the asphalt and picnic tables of the deserted rest area. The scene was virginal as death.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Laird Barron

I’ve always been interested in world mythology, especially Norse. Late in 2011, I packed up my faithful hound Athena and drove an old truck pretty much non-stop from Montana to New York State. The story came to me as I visited a rest stop in Wyoming—two a.m. and a winter breeze rolling out of the Bad Lands.

Nonfiction

The H Word: The Other Scarlet Letter

Welcome to the “The H Word,” our monthly dissection of the horror genre. In it, we take the beast apart, piece by twitching piece, in an effort to see what makes it tick . . . to see what works and what doesn’t.

Fiction

Good Fences

He thinks at first the streetlight’s back on, but of course not. It’s been dark six weeks. There are already beer bottles piled on the sidewalk every morning from the dropout teenagers who surge in whenever there’s the littlest pool of darkness they can find, and then they smoke and drink and shout all night right under his window when he’s trying to sleep.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Genevieve Valentine

A story of any sort has a psychology, and beyond that it’s just a matter of degrees.

Artist Spotlight

Artist Showcase: Jeff Simpson

It’s difficult to explain why I’m attracted to things that are aesthetically on the darker or more somber and atmospheric side. I think it’s because I like to see things that have a little bit of mystery to them. I think sometimes it is difficult to separate mystery from fear or horror.

Fiction

Afterlife

Mary Hogan wrote the word Afterlife in red chalk while the children whispered. There was an urgency to their words, like spoken prayers. “Now, now. Pay attention.” Mary’s prim voice bounced against the dusty attic walls. She was forty-five years old. The time was now. The place was her mother’s townhouse in Astoria, Queens, from which she’d soon be evicted. Magic lived here. So did monsters.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Sarah Langan

I wrote this story about eight years ago, and, though I loved the premise, couldn’t make it work. Then, about three months ago, I realized the problem. I’d been skating the line between psychological and true horror—I’d never answered whether it was all in Mary’s head, or a true haunting. Once I answered that question, I could move forward.

Nonfiction

Interview: Peter Straub

I see the passage into death as an immense transition from the temporal into the eternal. I think there’s a tremendous focused power involved in that particular moment. Dead bodies for a while, I think, still have some of that force. So the idea of people who went around habitually murdering other people solely for the experience of murdering them, that is, participating in this great process—in an evil way, of course—from an unappetizing, mentally-ill manner, they couldn’t help but be interesting to me.

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