Horror & Dark Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

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Jul. 2015 (Issue 34)

We have original fiction from Alison Littlewood (“Wolves and Witches and Bears”) and Nate Southard (“The Cork Won’t Stay”), along with reprints by Lisa Tuttle (“Replacements”) and Christopher Golden (“Under Cover of Night”). In our latest installment of our monthly column, “The H Word,” author Paul Tremblay explores the political in horror. Plus, we’ve got author spotlights with our authors, a showcase on our cover artist, and a panel interview on horror podcasts, featuring Kc Wayland and David Cummings.

In This Issue: Jul. 2015 (Issue 34)

Editorial

Editorial, July 2015

Be sure to read the Editorial for all our announcements, news, and a run-down of this month’s creepy content.

Fiction

Wolves and Witches and Bears

The hike hadn’t been Ella’s idea. Of course it hadn’t; nothing about this holiday was. It was Nick who’d chosen the destination, Nick who’d chosen the hotel. It was Nick who wanted to go walking, though the day was hot, the sun already furious. At least, she thought as she pulled on the new hiking boots he’d insisted she buy, it would be cooler under the trees. This part of Croatia was thick with them, the trunks tight-packed, keeping out the light.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Alison Littlewood

Travel is often inspiring to me, because it makes me more aware of the unique atmosphere and properties of a particular setting. We stayed in a beautiful place, and I remember being out on a trip and seeing bullet holes in some of the buildings, and finding it incongruous to think of a war happening in a place that was so sunny and peaceful. One of our trips was actually over the border into Slovenia, to a national park that had signs around the place warning of bears.

Fiction

Replacements

Walking through gray north London to the tube station, feeling guilty that he hadn’t let Jenny drive him to work and yet relieved to have escaped another pointless argument, Stuart Holder glanced down at a pavement covered in a leaf-fall of fast-food cartons and white paper bags, and saw, amid the dog turds, beer cans, and dead cigarettes, something horrible.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Lisa Tuttle

My preference is to set my stories very much in the real world — so the fantasy element comes as an intrusion. It’s easier for me to visualize places I actually know, so I tend to set my stories in places I have been. When I wrote “Replacements” I had been living in rural Scotland for almost a year, but I chose to set my story in London, where I had lived for almost a decade before moving to Scotland — so it was quite easy to call on vivid memories of those city streets.

Nonfiction

The H Word: The Politics of Horror

To riff on a George Orwell quote: no literary, film, or artistic mode or genre is free from political bias. That said, the political baggage of horror is considerable, and oftentimes, problematic. Many a smart person has argued, and convincingly so, that the horror genre is a conservative/reactionary one, too often with the ugliest political shades on display; misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, ruling class re-imaginings of the other as invading monsters. From Freud’s uncanny to the gender politics of the final girl, perhaps no other genre is as fraught with such political anxiety.

Fiction

The Cork Won’t Stay

Hand in hand, your family and some friends stand in a circle around your father. Ten seconds have passed since his last breath, and you’re counting, wondering if it was his last breath or his last breath. Your eyes lock on his face, and you try to remember when he last opened his eyes and looked around. Days, at least. The memory blooms in your head, something like a flower or a drop of ink expanding in water.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Nate Southard

To me, it all boils down to grief. “The Cork Won’t Stay” really lives and breathes in grief, and grief just strips away everything else and leaves you really raw. When you reach that level of emotional exhaustion . . . I’m not sure if it goes beyond monster and victim, or if it just leaves you too tired to care. It does weird things to you. It’s this colossal sadness, but it gives you this hair trigger.

Artist Showcase

Artist Showcase: Dennis Carlsson

Dennis Carlsson is a tattoo artist born in 1986 in Sweden. He’s been drawing all his life, and is self-taught. After discovering Photoshop, a cheap tablet was bought, and now he mainly paints digitally. He never thought that art would be his livelihood, but today he runs his own tattoo studio, DC Tattoo, outside of Borås, Sweden.

Fiction

Under Cover Of Night

Long past midnight, Carl Weston sat in a ditch in the Sonoran Desert with his finger on the trigger of his M-16, waiting for something to happen. Growing up, he’d always played army, dreamed about traveling around the world and taking on the bad guys — the black hats who ran dictatorships, invaded neighboring countries, or tried exterminating whole subsets of the human race. That was what soldiering was all about. Taking care of business. Carrying the big stick and dishing out justice.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Christopher Golden

In high school, I seriously considered the Navy for about a day and a half, but then I was reminded that I’ve always had a problem with authority, and would probably get my ass kicked every day. I have the utmost respect for those who have served or are serving now, including members of my family and some very dear friends. I hope that comes through.

Nonfiction

Interview: Kc Wayland & David Cummings

Kc Wayland is the writer and director of the zombie horror podcast We’re Alive, a full-cast audio drama that has racked up over 32,000,000 downloads. David Cummings is the host and producer of The NoSleep Podcast, an award-winning anthology series of original horror stories. He has also appeared on the Pseudopod horror podcast and The […]