Horror & Dark Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

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June 2013 (Issue 9)

This month, we have original fiction from Lynda E. Rucker (“The House on Cobb Street”) and Carrie Vaughn (“Fishwife”), along with reprints by Laird Barron (“Shiva, Open Your Eye”) and Joe R. Lansdale (“God of the Razor”). We also have the latest installment of our column on horror, “The H Word,” plus author spotlights with all of our authors, a showcase on our cover artist, and a feature interview with Robert McCammon.

In This Issue: June 2013 (Issue 9)

Editorial

Editorial, June 2013

This month, we have original fiction from Lynda E. Rucker (“The House on Cobb Street”) and Carrie Vaughn (“Fishwife”), along with reprints by Laird Barron (“Shiva, Open Your Eye”) and Joe R. Lansdale (“God of the Razor”). We also have the latest installment of our column on horror, “The H Word,” plus author spotlights with all of our authors, a showcase on our cover artist, and a feature interview with Robert McCammon.

Fiction

The House on Cobb Street

The house itself was razed, its lot now surrounded by a high fence bearing a sign that announces the construction presumably in progress behind it as the future offices of Drs. Laura Gonzales and Didi Mueller, D.D.S. The principal witnesses in this case did not respond to repeated enquiries, and in one case, obtained a restraining order against this author. And the young woman in question is said by all to have disappeared, if indeed she ever existed in the first place.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Lynda E. Rucker

The story came from a few different places. One was an actual hypnagogic hallucination I had—which I am normally not prone to. I “woke up” but was frozen and I could hear creepy little girls whispering behind me, and could picture them as well.

Fiction

Shiva, Open Your Eye

The human condition can be summed up in a drop of blood. Show me a teaspoon of blood and I will reveal to thee the ineffable nature of the cosmos, naked and squirming. Squirming. Funny how the truth always seems to do that when you shine a light on it.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Laird Barron

In a horror story, there’s always the choice to reveal the monster, or monstrous, or leave it to the imagination. I chose the latter as one’s imagination will often supply a far more dire vision than a cold description on paper. If nothing else, whatever is under the tarp signifies the narrator’s connection, and obeisance, to a dread and awful power.

Nonfiction

The H Word: Lovecraftian Horror

When we think of Lovecraftian horror, or the Lovecraft Mythos (as it exists in Lovecraft’s works alone), we need to differentiate those stories from what has come to be called the Cthulhu Mythos, a name invented by August Derleth. Lovecraftian horror incorporates aspects of the Cthulhu Mythos (which oozed forth from Lovecraft’s influence), but Lovecraft’s horror fiction is much more than cosmic entities that filter to our planet and corrupt our dreams and sanity.

Fiction

God of the Razor

Richards arrived at the house about eight. The moon was full and it was a very bright night, in spite of occasional cloud cover; bright enough that he could get a good look at the place. It was just as the owner had described it. Run down. Old. And very ugly. The style was sort of Gothic, sort of plantation, sort of cracker box. Like maybe the architect had been unable to decide on a game plan, or had been drunkenly in love with impossible angles.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Joe R. Lansdale

You can choose to ride the train, and once on it seems impossible to get off, or you can turn away from the depot. But the God also represents the darker desires of humanity, a kind of built in self-destruct. From what I can tell, we don’t learn much from history, or at least we seldom learn.

Artist Showcase

Artist Showcase: Soufiane Idrassi

Soufiane Idrassi is a twenty-two-year-old freelance digital artist from Meknes, Morocco. Four years ago, Soufiane began teaching himself Adobe Photoshop—still his weapon of choice for his creations—and has become expert enough that his technique was explored in the January 2013 issue of Advanced Photoshop Magazine. He is currently expanding into 3D character creation and 2D concept art with his startup company, CG Pro Technology.

Fiction

Fishwife

The men went out in boats to fish the cold waters of the bay because their fathers had, because men in this village always had. The women waited to gather in the catch, gut and clean and carry the fish to market because they always had, mothers and grandmothers and so on, back and back.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Carrie Vaughn

The story owes pretty much its entire existence to the Stuart Gordon film Dagon. While watching it, I felt like I finally got what Lovecraftian fiction was all about, a feeling I hadn’t gotten from any other story, or even any of Gordon’s other Lovecraft-inspired films. It really is horrifying, it never quite crosses that line into gross or silly, and the resulting madness the main characters fall into feels genuine rather than contrived. I just loved it. But of course, given my own quirks, I wasn’t interested in the main characters’ story, I was interested in the villagers, and how they got to where they are from what they had been before.

Nonfiction

Interview: Robert McCammon

My inspirations were books about supposedly true hauntings and the fact that there was a “haunted house” in my neighborhood . . . right next door, as a matter of fact. But I actually was a big fan of science fiction, and I was doing those kind of stories too, as well as “war stories” starring kids in my classes. Those made me fairly popular because everybody either wanted to survive or die as heroes, and I had their fates in my hands.