Horror & Dark Fantasy


Oct. 2014 (Issue 25) – Women Destroy Horror! Issue

This month, we have our Women Destroy Horror! special issue, with a special guest-editor at the helm: none other than the legendary editor-queen of the macabre, Ellen Datlow! This special issue, which contains twice the amount of regular fiction as a regular issue of NIGHTMARE, was entirely written (and edited by) women, and features original fiction by Livia Llewellyn, Pat Cadigan, Gemma Files, Katherine Crighton, Catherine MacLeod, along with reprints by Tanith Lee, A.R. Morlan, and Joyce Carol Oates. All that plus an array of destructive nonfiction, including feature interviews with the aforementioned Ms. Oates and American Horror Story’s Jessica Sharzer. (Take that, Horror!)

In This Issue: Oct. 2014 (Issue 25) – Women Destroy Horror! Issue


Editorial, October 2014: Women Destroy Horror!

Welcome to issue twenty-five of NIGHTMARE MAGAZINE — Women Destroy Horror!, a special double issue that celebrates the women writing and editing horror. For this issue, we’ve brought on a special guest editor to run the show: the multi-award-winning Ellen Datlow. She and Nonfiction Editor Lisa Morton have lined up an impressive array of chilling reads. Check out the Editorial for their perspectives on the issue.



Welcome to issue twenty-five of NIGHTMARE! You may have noticed that this issue is a little heftier than usual—that’s because it’s Women Destroy Horror!, a special double issue that celebrates the women writing and editing horror.


This Is Not for You

Three potential sacrifices, just as Phoibe’d predicted, blundering through the woods like buffalo in boots. Mormo broke cover first, naked and barefoot, screaming, with the boys following after, whooping and hollering, straight into the gauntlet, too lust-drunk to see where they were going. Pretty little thing, that Mormo, with a truly enviable lung capacity; the best lure they’d had by far in all the time Gorgo’d been attending these odd little shindigs.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Gemma Files

Mythology is something that’s fascinated me since childhood, especially the ways in which societal power-shifts can cause myths to mutate. The worship of Persephone, for example, was a mystery religion long before Dionysus came on the scene, one reserved specifically for women, and if you trace the Persephonean myth back far enough, you’ll find that she transmutes into a sort of “death queen” goddess who actually pre-dates both her supposed husband, Hades, and the sacrificial son-lover figure of Dionysus or Attis.


. . . Warmer

Before Edan Westmisley faxed his summons to my agent, my only legitimate (as in you could see my face) claim to semi-demi-fame was the Steppe Syster’s “Love Victim” video where I licked the tattoo of the chest of their lead guitarist, Cody Towers. Yeah, that was me. Not that anyone makes the connection between the big-hair, tits-swaying-in-a-bikini-top, thong-bottomed retro pre-AIDS bimboid slithering up the paint-drizzled riser towards Cody’s semi-desirable, love-handled bare torso, tongue out and lashing against candy-apple lips.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: A.R. Morlan

I used mythology in this work as a metaphor for the type of power some people have in regard to their wealth and the attributes of theirs which helped them achieve that degree of wealth and power in the first place. That level of power would, I thought, culminate in a desire to not only control, but totally dominate another living creature . . . and in this situation, I thought the ultimate show of power would be to bring down and thoroughly subdue a being (or beings) more inherently powerful than the man of power.


The H Word: The H is for Harassment (a/k/a Horror’s Misogyny Problem)

It’s well known within the field that horror, in both movies and novels, has a long history of often (perhaps too often, some would argue) being misogynist, relying on extreme rape as a plot device. Although the victims sometimes seek revenge in a one-dimensional pursuit, more frequently it’s used to prove the masculinity of the male protagonist or to offer him a revenge motive. Other times it is simply used for shock value.


It Feels Better Biting Down

“What’s with the lawnmower. No one mows this early in spring.” “It’s June,” I reply. “Spring should be long gone.” My twin sister rolls over onto her back, rubbing the afternoon sleep from her eyes with ten long, pale fingers and two long, pale thumbs. I’m lying next to her in our nest of pillows on the living room carpet, holding a book with hands that look just like hers, pale and strange, the extra finger curving into each palm.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Livia Llewellyn

would like to destroy this notion that some editors have that there seems to be a lack of women writing horror (not “dark fiction.” I mean horror. Real. Damn. Horror.), or that they’re unable to find new and different women writers to contribute to their various anthologies, which is why they can only invite the same two or three women to contribute to their anthologies…. Well, I guarantee that more than two or three women are writing horror—women all over the world are writing the fuck out of horror and knocking it out of the ballpark.

Artist Showcase

Artists Showcase: Five Women Artists Who Are Destroying Horror Art

I love artists. They are the best kind of people. I highly recommend you take any opportunity you can to find yourself in a room full of them (preferably when they happen to have sketchbooks in hand). When I was asked if I could find a few amazing women to do the artwork for the Women Destroy Horror! issue of NIGHTMARE, I happened to be attending the Illustration Masters Class. I looked up from my laptop, glanced around the studio I was working in, and immediately emailed back “Why yes, I think I can.”


Unfair Exchange

Dear Future Me: I haven’t been myself lately and neither have you. I don’t even know if I’ll understand that or remember anything of what happened. TBI—traumatic brain injury—is dicey and unpredictable. Did you know you could fall down a flight of stairs, hit a concrete landing head-first, and after spending a week comatose in intensive care with a subdural hematoma, wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with nothing more than some minor gaps in your memory and a tendency to get headaches in rainy weather?


Interview: Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates is not only one of the most acclaimed authors of our time—her more-than-forty novels, novellas, plays, short stories, poetry, and nonfiction works have earned her a National Book Award, two O. Henry Awards, the National Humanities Medal, and a Pulitzer Prize nomination—but she’s also an acclaimed horror and suspense author who is a multiple winner of the Bram Stoker Award, a recipient of the World Fantasy Award, and the first female author to receive the Horror Writers Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.