Horror & Dark Fantasy

COSMIC POWERS

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Jul. 2014 (Issue 22)

We have original fiction from Lane Robins (“The Black Window”) and Mari Ness (“Death and Death Again”), along with reprints by Denis Etchison (“Talking in the Dark”) and Tom Piccirilli (“The Misfit Child Grows Fat on Despair”). 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 Del Howison of the legendary Dark Delicacies bookstore in Los Angeles.

In This Issue: Jul. 2014 (Issue 22)

Editorial

Editorial, July 2014

We have original fiction from Lane Robins (“The Black Window”) and Mari Ness (“Death and Death Again”), along with reprints by Denis Etchison (“Talking in the Dark”) and Tom Piccirilli (“The Misfit Child Grows Fat on Despair”). 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 Del Howison of the legendary Dark Delicacies bookstore in Los Angeles.

Fiction

The Black Window

The house looked like a sand castle after the tide had come in. Except sand suggested a crumbling grayness, and the tall, narrow house was a fresh white. A front porch was large enough for a swinging bench if I could bear that level of domesticity.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Lane Robins

Windows are great for isolation. Letting you look at other people, other worlds, and still be separate. They’re a barrier that teases. And of course, like a door, they have the potential of opening when you least want them to.

Fiction

Talking in the Dark

In the damp bedroom Victor Ripon sat hunched over his desk, making last-minute corrections on the ninth or tenth draft, he couldn’t remember which, of a letter to the one person in the world who might be able to help. Outside, puppies with the voices of children struggled against their leashes for a chance to be let in from the cold. He ignored them and bore down.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Dennis Etchison

My original title was “The Sources of the Nile.” My aunt and uncle once owned an ice cream shop called the Blue-and-White, the colors of Stockton High School across the street, which also happen to be the parts of the Nile River in Egypt that intersect at a place called Gezira, the fictional town in this story. I also remembered a certain editor in our field who used to make cross-country car trips specifically to visit fans who had written letters to his magazine.

Nonfiction

The H Word: Misunderstood Monsters

Misunderstood monsters—mindless evil or innocent creatures thrust into circumstances beyond their control? If we look at monster history, there are many monsters who harm, damage, or kill because they blood-lust and enjoy it, and because it feeds a hunger that can only be satisfied by the evil they perpetrate on others. But what about those monsters who, in their search for something else—whether it is love, acceptance, or fulfillment—hurt others in the process?

Fiction

Death and Death Again

That evening, she kills him again. This time, she works slowly, exquisitely slowly, taking frequent stops for food, for wine, for blood. Once or twice she even excuses herself to go to the bathroom, apologizing for leaving him alone.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Mari Ness

But the inspiration from those films tends to show up in my other work—the dark fantasy, retold fairy tales, and science fiction. Horror is different. When I write horror, like this piece, and I don’t do this often, it is almost invariably in response to some mundane horror, some minor hell that I feel I can’t get out of. It’s the mundane horrors of real life that brings forth the monsters.

Artist Showcase

Artist Showcase: Galen Dara

Artist Greg Ruth wrote a wonderful essay, published at Tor.com in May, about the value horror stories have for us as humans. There are many necessary things that “grim, gory, and scary” teach us, prepare us for. I find enormous worth in good storytelling, especially of the darker variety. I hope my illustrations do justice to the genre.

Fiction

The Misfit Child Grows Fat on Despair

Fate arrives disguised as choice. As if you could actually say, Screw this, I’m out of here, or just get down on your knees like everybody else. But John’s got to shrug and go, “Hmmm.”

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Tom Piccirilli

Ray Bradbury said that he wrote with thick drapes over his windows because he didn’t want to see when it was sunny outside because he had to stay in and write. I feel the same way. You need to prioritize writing at the head of your “things to do” list. So write, write some more, and then even more.

Nonfiction

Interview: Del Howison of Dark Delicacies Bookstore

Imagine a horror-specialty retail store that has not only survived for two decades but has helped shape the very genre it markets, and you’ll get some idea of why Dark Delicacies is one of horror’s (not so) hidden treasures. Located in the Magnolia Park area of Burbank, California (where Dark Delicacies’ success seems to have spawned neighboring stores with names like Halloween Town and Creature Features), Dark Delicacies was founded by Del Howison and Sue Duncan.