Horror & Dark Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

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Oct. 2015 (Issue 37): Queers Destroy Horror!

Our special issue for 2015 is Queers Destroy Horror!, guest edited by Wendy N. Wagner, with nonfiction editor Megan Arkenberg and poetry editor Robyn Lupo. This double-issue features new work from Chuck Palahniuk, Matthew Bright, Lee Thomas, Alyssa Wong, and Sunny Moraine, as well as reprints from Kelley Eskridge, Caitlín R. Kiernan, and Poppy Z. Brite. You’ll also be treated to a very special selection of dark poetry reprints and nonfiction that takes a hard look at queer achievements and challenges in the horror genre.

In This Issue: Oct. 2015 (Issue 37): Queers Destroy Horror!

Editorial

On the Destruction of Horror: Notes from Your Queer Editors

The editors of Queers Destroy Horror! — Wendy N. Wagner, Megan Arkenberg, and Robyn Lupo — talk about their vision for this special double-issue, and share thoughts about working in the genre as queer creators.

Fiction

Golden Hair, Red Lips

I’m not in the photograph. I was off to the side, picture of disinterest, smoking a cigarette, watching passers-by. That was how I passed my days in that part of the century, hovering on the street corner in sight of all those colours. I remember the photographer—button-down shirt, round glasses, mussed hair, the look of someone born away from this city. He was beautiful. The men were clenched around the window, where the sign had been taped.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Matthew Bright

I have a disturbing weakness for the Victorian gothic, and if you’re playing in that wheelhouse, Dorian Gray is as queer as they come. Oscar Wilde was a genius, Dorian is his finest creation, and if you’re going to steal, steal from the best.

Fiction

Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers

As my date—Harvey? Harvard?—brags about his alma mater and Manhattan penthouse, I take a bite of overpriced kale and watch his ugly thoughts swirl overhead. It’s hard to pay attention to him with my stomach growling and my body ajitter, for all he’s easy on the eyes. Harvey doesn’t look much older than I am, but his thoughts, covered in spines and centipede feet, glisten with ancient grudges and carry an entitled, Ivy League stink.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Alyssa Wong

For this story, I wanted to write about a variety of queer Asian American ladies. Luckily, I know many queer Asian American ladies, and our myriad experiences—both the commonalities and the differences—helped me put together a number of characters whose lives I felt were plausible in this setting. They’re not meant to be representative of Every Queer Asian American Woman, because I believe that the idea of an extant One True Narrative is total bullshit.

Nonfiction

The H Word: A Good Story

Earlier this year, I asked Facebook friends to leave comments if they (or those they love to read) are queer horror authors. It was a popular post. While remarks like “Me! I’m gay!” or “Heck yes! Clive Barker is my favorite!” dominated the thread, there were also several comments like this: “I don’t care about the author’s sexuality; I just want a good story.” A good story. Doesn’t every reader of popular fiction want that?

Fiction

The Lord of Corrosion

Josh Hagee took a chair as the school counselor composed herself on the other side of the desk. He noted the dandelion yellow file folder, too thick for the average five-year old, and blanched internally when the woman reached out plump fingers to open the cover. Her lip twitched and her mouth set in a slight smile that was meant to project tolerance and patience. She gazed at him over the frames of her glasses, and then returned her attention to the file.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Lee Thomas

One insidious aspect of prejudice is the effect it has on a person’s self-worth. That’s the metaphor behind “The Lord of Corrosion.” Not only does the title represent a monster, but it also represents the cultural messaging that can eat away at a person’s self-esteem. For a child like Sofia, she has no concept of being different, because her fathers didn’t raise her to think in prejudicial terms.

Artist Showcase

Artists’ Spotlight: Five Queer Artists Destroying Horror Art

Queer horror art is the tl;dr of our most disturbing moments. We who let our subconscious bleed onto canvas, paper, and clay are compelled to remark upon the world with our hands and voices. At least for us, the darkness in our history is an orchard of inspiration. It’s a history I like to see flayed and stitched back together in different iterations, examining the unique ways in which we understand the sickness in the human condition.

Fiction

Dispatches from a Hole in the World

I’m standing in the elevator. The elevator isn’t moving. Neither am I. It seems, for the moment, like simply staring at what’s in front of me is the simplest and therefore the best immediate project. Far simpler than the dissertation that’s supposed to start here. But I can’t avoid it forever. I’m not sure what I expected, but the place is small. It’s tucked into three floors of a generic office building a few blocks from the Library of Congress. From the outside it doesn’t look like much of anything; they probably wanted it like that.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Sunny Moraine

I think writing about frightening things is a very primal way in which we cope with them; we’ve probably been telling horror stories since we first began telling stories at all. But for people who face oppression and marginalization and daily peril because of who they are, I think fiction is even more powerful, because telling stories is a form of resistance.

Nonfiction

Queers Destroy Horror! Roundtable Interview

What is it like to be a queer horror writer in 2015? We caught up with four up-and-coming writers of the dark, surreal, and horrific — Meghan McCarron, Brit Mandelo, Rahul Kanakia, and Carrie Cuinn — to ask about their experiences in the genre. Here, they offer their insights into genre, identity, and the strange attractions of fear.