Horror & Dark Fantasy

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Jan. 2020 (Issue 88)

We have original fiction from Meg Elison (“Familiar Face”) and Brian Evenson (“Elo Havel”), along with reprints by Stephen Graham Jones (“The Floor of the Basement Is the Roof of Hell”) and S. P. Miskowski (“Alligator Point”). In our column on horror, “The H Word,” author Caitlin Starling talks about haunted houses. Plus we have author spotlights with our authors, and a media review from Adam-Troy Castro.

In This Issue: Jan. 2020 (Issue 88)

Editorial

Editorial: January 2020

Be sure to check out the editorial for a run-down of this month’s skin-crawling content—and to get all our news and updates.

Fiction

Familiar Face

Your camera thinks it spotted a familiar face. “Cameras don’t think,” Annie said, looking down at her phone. “Who taught this thing to identify specific faces? Who thought that was a good idea?” “Ok, neuromantic,” Jonah scoffed at her, looking over. “Not everything is a part of the panopticon. Calm your tits.” “It’s just weird that it thinks,” Annie continued, loading more Diet Cokes into the communal fridge. “And why does that make me a new romantic?”

Author Spotlight

Fiction

The Floor of the Basement Is the Roof of Hell

The contractor’s name was Terry. He hadn’t been on Candy and Jason’s initial shortlist, but she’d seen his company truck the next block over, at the Martindales’, and copied the number down. Now here they were at dinner, which Terry insisted on paying for since he could business-expense it. Before getting into the particulars of their situation, he introduced himself and his business via a story from his childhood, about dropped nails on his father’s construction projects.

Nonfiction

The H Word: Picture a House

Picture a house. It’s an old house. Stately, with two quarter-moon windows perched above a balcony, or a rundown farmhouse far out in the countryside, overlooking a bent, ancient tree. It’s something with history to it, history that’s not your own, but that doesn’t matter: the keys are in your hand. You own it. You are going to build a life there. You bring your family inside, and fill it with what is yours, and claim every room, every hallway. Except the attic

Fiction

Elo Havel

It is good of you to write, and I thank you for it: I am glad at last to hear from another of my kind—and, above all, to have another of my kind acknowledge me. I have indeed, since my return, heard many voices, seen many faces, but the individuals to whom they belong neither hear nor see me in return. I shake them, shout in their ears, but they do not respond. It is as if, for them, I do not exist. But why then, I wonder, would I exist for you? What is different about you? To put it bluntly, what is wrong with you?

Author Spotlight

Fiction

Alligator Point

When the Grand Prix stopped kicking up rooster tails of red dust at every junction Helen announced they had left Georgia behind and were officially on their first vacation. Following beat-up signs and billboards, the rest of the drive would take them further south to the Gulf Coast of Florida. In the back seat, Helen’s twin daughters Julie and Debbie had been arguing for the last forty miles. The girls were out of Planter’s Peanuts and Pepsi-Cola, bored with playing “I Spy,” and sick of variations on Barbie and Francie ensembles.

Nonfiction

Media Review: January 2020

This month, reviewer Adam-Troy Castro takes a look at the new novella “In the Tall Grass”—written by father and son horror giants Stephen King and Joe Hill. But first, he watched the Netflix film adaptation. So how do the two compare to each other?