Horror & Dark Fantasy

COSMIC POWERS

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May. 2014 (Issue 20)

We have original fiction from Damien Angelica Walters (“This Is the Way I Die”) and Adam-Troy Castro (“In the Temple of Celestial Pleasure”), along with reprints by Chesya Burke (“I Make People Do Bad Things”) and Miranda Siemienowicz (“Dress Circle”). 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 Nancy Holder. For our ebook readers, we have an excerpt from the novel THE BLUE CLASSROOM by Rod Labbe.

In This Issue: May. 2014 (Issue 20)

Editorial

Editorial, May 2014

We have original fiction from Damien Angelica Walters (“This Is the Way I Die”) and Adam-Troy Castro (“In the Temple of Celestial Pleasure”), along with reprints by Chesya Burke (“I Make People Do Bad Things”) and Miranda Siemienowicz (“Dress Circle”). 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 Nancy Holder. For our ebook readers, we have an excerpt from the novel THE BLUE CLASSROOM by Rod Labbe.

Fiction

This is the Way I Die

I want to be broken, to be shattered, then reshaped into something new. Something with bulletproof skin, eyes that can see in the dark, lungs that can breathe in water as well as air, and an impenetrable heart. I want to be made monstrous, beautiful, frightening.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Damien Angelica Walters

I’ve written quite a few stories with unnamed protagonists, and I honestly thought this was going to be one of them. Then the issue of her name came up within the context of the story, so I knew I couldn’t leave her nameless, but I also knew I couldn’t just give her any name. I wanted something that whispered, but didn’t scream, sadness. Lola is the diminutive form of the name Dolores, which is Spanish for sorrows, and Mae is a Hebrew name meaning bitter.

Fiction

Dress Circle

The musty smell of old carpet filled the corridor, hot with the press of the crowd. In the half darkness, Laura fingered the pair of tickets in her bag. She felt defiant to be here alone. They had been a gift for Markus, for the two of them to use together. The line jostled forward.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Miranda Siemienowicz

The first image that came to me when putting this story together was the lipstick scene, and the idea of make-up as body modification or even physical abuse. There seemed to be a natural extension from this to the idea of stage make-up, so housing the imagery of the story in the setting of a theatre helped support that process. Theatre is an art form that recreates physical reality in a way that is tangible and living but still never quite real.

Nonfiction

The H Word: That Oldest Fear

We’re faced with an eternal conflict. We don’t want to die, but deep down we know it’s inevitable. We also know our loved ones will die, but we don’t want them to come back after they do. Horror helps us come to terms with that, to finally accept it. Through horror we see that, as Lugosi told us in DRACULA, “There are far worse things awaiting man than death.”

Fiction

In the Temple of Celestial Pleasures

Jin left the last of his life’s concubines sobbing in shallow water. It was sad. He had loved the sweet girl as much as he was capable of loving any woman, which is to say that he had sometimes found himself giving thought to her wishes in the occasional circumstances where that did not conflict with his own.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Adam-Troy Castro

For years, I had been toying with the idea of a science fictional brothel that afforded human beings the opportunity to virtually experience the sex acts of creatures from other worlds. It didn’t work as space-faring science fiction, especially when my first few attempts centered on multiple dalliances culminating in total, irreversible surfeit … I then had the epiphany: what if there was only one transcendent experience, and anybody who sought it had to sacrifice everything, including his future?

Artist Showcase

Artist Showcase: Márcio Martins

Márcio Martins is a photographer and digital illustrator living on the south coast of Portugal. His work has been featured at juxtapoz.com and streetanatomy.com. Find him on Behance: www.behance.net/MarcioM.

Fiction

I Make People Do Bad Things

Old Sam was dying. He had been dying for approximately twenty-seven years, by Queenie’s account. Exactly the amount of time since hell had frozen over and God had relinquished the title on His throne, if the old man thought she was gonna let him slide by on another number without paying her proper due.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Chesya Burke

“I Make People Do Bad Things” is a historical story set in the late 1920s, early 30s. It’s based on the real historical figures of Madam Stephanie St. Clair and Bumpy Johnson. I enjoy blending genres, especially in historical or alternate history pieces, because it allows for re-imagining these eras through limitless realms.

Nonfiction

Interview: Nancy Holder

The 1980s and ’90s may have seen a horror explosion, but female voices often seemed to be drowned out in that sonic boom. One of the few exceptions was Nancy Holder. Although she wrote and published romance novels prior to her horror work, Holder soon established herself as an exciting new presence in the genre with a series of short story appearances in the influential Shadows anthologies, edited by Charles L. Grant. In 1991, she became the first female author to win the Bram Stoker Award for Short Fiction.