Horror & Dark Fantasy

Samhain Publishing

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Nonfiction

Artist Showcase: Brom

I wrote an entire novel on dear old Krampus … Hard not to love a figure that revels in putting naughty children in a sack and beating the snot out of them. In addition to his child minding, I enjoy his long history that extends far back to pagan times, long before Saint Nicholas came along and stole the holiday season from him. I love the idea of Krampus returning to reclaim Christmas, which is probably why it’s the premise of my novel.

Author Spolight: Seras Nikita

I work in visual effects (for film) as my day job, so I think that visual storytelling is always a big part of my writing. Narrating is kind of a cheat, in both worlds. It’s cheating to tell a reader what to think, and it’s bossy and flimsy and a lot can go wrong. Better to give them something physical to react to and trust that they’ll arrive at whatever you’re getting at by themselves.

The H Word: The Strange Story

We’ve heard a tremendous amount recently about the rising popularity of weird fiction. How much, or little, this “new weird” shares with the New Weird movement of a few years ago I’ll leave to the scholars to debate. The long and the short of it is that every few years a new thread of horror fiction is held up as being the next great thing, and currently that thing is a strain of weird fiction that draws its inspiration primarily (even if not obviously) from Lovecraft, as well as Chambers, Howard, Ligotti, and so on. We see it combined with other genres, diluted and distorted into various shapes, but at the end of the day, right now the “weird” is king.

Editorial, December 2014

For all the news , updates, and a run-down of this month’s content, make sure to read the Editorial.

Author Spotlight: Tim Lebbon

I live in a lovely part of the countryside, and scattered around where I live (South Wales) there are at least half a dozen pillboxes. These are buildings that were built in WWII—designed as heavily fortified machine gun emplacements—and they formed defensive lines across southern and eastern Britain in case of a German invasion. They weren’t designed to stop the enemy advance, just slow it down. They were always built in line of sight of the next pillbox, and though many have now vanished, there are still lots of these overgrown, solid buildings, usually made of cast concrete and brick. They’ve always interested me.

In Memoriam: Karen Jones, Nightmare Art Director

The Nightmare family is sad to report that our art director, Karen Jones, died suddenly in early November, of natural causes. In tribute to her, we offer these words of loving memory from two of her best friends in the field, Jennifer Heddle and John Picacio.

Interview: Leslie Klinger

While most horror authors are content to create chills, a handful are more interested in studying exactly how those chills are manufactured. Leslie Klinger is one of the genre’s most significant nonfiction experts. Although he began his nonfiction career annotating Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tales, Les has since become a major figure in the art of nonfiction horror, providing annotations for Dracula, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, and (released in October) twenty-two stories by H. P. Lovecraft.

Author Spotlight: David Morrell

In the 1970s, to research a novel called Testament, I spent thirty-five days on a survival course in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming. If anyone’s curious, the course was conducted by Paul Petzoldt’s National Outdoor Leadership School and trained its students in a variety of mountaineering skills. At the time, I lived in Iowa City, where I was a literature professor at the University of Iowa. After I descended from the mountains, I drove back home along Interstate 80, but my car developed engine trouble, and in the Nebraska panhandle, I had to leave the highway, hoping to find a mechanic. That’s when I came to this very unusual, very scary town.

The H Word: Horror Fiction of Tomorrow

A time-honored adage amongst writers of the macabre declares, “True horror is timeless.” Things and ideas that scared us centuries ago still retain the same deep-seated dread our ancestors faced: anything threatening us that is beyond our understanding or our control. Whether this be a repulsive creature or a psychological fear of abandonment, loss, or death, certain fears are hard-wired into our collective psyche.

Author Spotlight: David Sklar

A lot of things went into this story, but the main thing was reading a news article about transgender teens using online games to explore gender identity. At the time, I’d recently written a story in which a man takes on a female identity online for practical purposes so he could post things he perceived as “girly” without attracting attention. But it hadn’t occurred to me that an online gender swap could be such a powerful tool of self-discovery. So I wanted to explore that.