Horror & Dark Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

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Jan. 2014 (Issue 16)

This month, we have original fiction from Adam Howe (“The Mad Butcher of Plainfield’s Chariot of Death”) and Tim Pratt (“Ghostreaper, or, Life After Revenge”), along with reprints by Jonathan Maberry (“Whistlin’ Past the Graveyard”) and Lucy Taylor (“Walled”). 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 bestselling author Christopher Golden. And, finally, as a bonus for our ebook readers, we have an excerpt from the novel Hoad’s Grim by author (and Nightmare podcast host) Jack Kincaid.

In This Issue: Jan. 2014 (Issue 16)

Editorial

Editorial, January 2014

This month, we have original fiction from Adam Howe (“The Mad Butcher of Plainfield’s Chariot of Death”) and Tim Pratt (“Ghostreaper, or, Life After Revenge”), along with reprints by Jonathan Maberry (“Whistlin’ Past the Graveyard”) and Lucy Taylor (“Walled”). 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 bestselling author Christopher Golden. And, finally, as a bonus for our ebook readers, we have an excerpt from the novel Hoad’s Grim by author (and Nightmare podcast host) Jack Kincaid.

Fiction

The Mad Butcher of Plainfield’s Chariot of Death

Gibbons swigged from his hipflask, driving one-handed as he followed the caravan of carny vehicles barreling along the interstate toward tonight’s show. As the booze burned through him, he bared his teeth, glaring in the rearview at the tarp-shrouded shape of the car hooked to his truck.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Adam Howe

The real Bunny Gibbons was quoted as saying, “People want to see this kind of thing.” And you only have to look at today’s thriving, serial killer cottage industry to see that the guy was way ahead of his time. Murderabilia is a big business, and I shudder to think what Ed’s car would be worth today.

Fiction

Walled

It was just after the twenty-second anniversary of her confinement in Dunlop House Hospital on Glasgow’s Carrick Glenn Road that Plush awoke one night and heard the sound of something mewling, trapped inside the wall. She thought at first it was a young child crying, and, for an instant, it felt as though her heart stuttered to a stop. She lay there, mesmerized by the sound, which wrenched at her guilt-filled heart with notes as keen and piercing as a shard of bone.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Lucy Taylor

It was also during [a] trip [to Scotland] that I first heard of the medieval practice of walling up a sacrificial victim at the end of a construction project to ensure good luck for the building and its occupants. Whether or not this was actually practiced in Scotland, I don’t know for sure, but references to the immurement of people and animals appear in folk tales and legends in many parts of Europe.

Nonfiction

The H Word: Horror Needs New Monsters

For generations, the monsters populating horror fiction have, with very few exceptions, belonged to the scary trinity: vampires, werewolves, and zombies. For every aswang, a dozen Draculaesque vampires sip bodily fluids. For every huli jing, a score of humans transform into their wolfish selves under a full moon. For every draugr, a horde of reanimated corpses out of central casting shambles by looking for brains.

Fiction

Ghostreaper, or, Life After Revenge

I’d used duct tape to attach one end of a garden hose to the exhaust pipe, and the other end of the hose ran in through the crack at the top of the passenger-side window, pumping sweet poison into the interior. I took a last swig from the bottle between my knees, the liquor burning its familiar path down my throat. I closed my eyes and waited for a sleep that would be forever untroubled by bad dreams—for the final closing of the unbalanced account of my life—when something tapped against the glass beside my left ear.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Tim Pratt

Revenge is appealing in theory, toxic in practice. I love stories about revenge […] and tales of escalating responses and counter-responses are great in fiction. Personally, though? I think living well is the best revenge. Let your enemies gnaw their guts in misery while you shine, shine, shine; be content in knowing they think about you often, seething with resentment, letting their minds be poisoned by your presence there, while you scarcely spare them a thought at all, because you have better things to do.

Artist Showcase

Artist Showcase: Mike Worrall

Mike Worrall is a UK-born, self-taught fine artist. Now based in Australia, his massive oil paintings depicting dreamlike surreality hang in private collections and gallery shows worldwide. His work is exhibited in one-man shows biannually, the latest of which was at the Richard Martin Gallery in Woollahra, New South Wales, from November 23rd to December 11th. Find him online at www.mikeworrall.com.

Fiction

Whistlin’ Past the Graveyard

He had six different names. It was Francisco Sponelli on his birth certificate, but even his parents never called him that. They called him Little Frankie most of his life. A kid’s name that, once hung on him, made sure he’d never quite grow up. His father wasn’t even Big Frankie. Dad was Vinnie. Big Frankie was an uncle back in Sicily but who wasn’t called Big Frankie in Sicily; just when people talked about him. Big Frankie never set a goddamn foot on American soil.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Jonathan Maberry

Small towns often hold big secrets. Because there are fewer people in a small town, people tend to know—or want to know—each other’s secrets, and that tends to instill in some of the population a strong desire for privacy. Or secrecy. Secrets are often dangerous things. Like cancers, hidden things tend to grow in the dark. That’s the vibe I had in mind when I sat down to begin plotting out the Pine Deep novels.

Nonfiction

Interview: Christopher Golden

Surely there are few authors who can match Christopher Golden in terms of both the astonishing amount of acclaimed work he has produced, and the number of different genres and forms he has mastered. His first novel, Of Saints and Shadows, was published by Berkley in 1994 and inaugurated his series of urban fantasies centering on the vampiric hero Peter Octavian; other popular series include the “Prowlers” and “Body of Evidence” books.