Horror & Dark Fantasy

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Nonfiction

Interview: Daniel Knauf

For two seasons, Carnivàle followed a Depression-era carnival across a bleak American landscape, but was really about the eternal battle between light and darkness, as represented respectively by Ben, a farm boy with healing powers (played by Nick Stahl) and a preacher, Brother Justin (Clancy Brown), who is accessing far more sinister abilities. As unusual as Carnivàle was, the story behind the story was equally rare in Hollywood: the series was created and produced by a first-timer in his forties.

Author Spotlight: Simon Strantzas

I often write stories about characters who are ignorant or oblivious to the truths that surround them. The unreliable narrator is a favourite tool of mine and particularly effective in the horror genre for creating a sense of dread and uncertainly about how the narrative will play out. I suspect there are very few of us who, when confronted with the sort of peculiar situations most horror story protagonists find themselves in, would be aware of what’s going on and why.

Artist Showcase: Reiko Murakami

I’m interested in capturing a character’s internal struggle. Over the course of the years I found it feels more appropriate to let my characters free from regular human bodies. I don’t necessarily try to make their bodies look scary. The design is a result of my attempt to capture their emotions.

Author Spotlight: Ben Peek

Traditionally, a sin-eater had two functions. First, he/she existed to free a family of shame, and secondly, he/she existed to ensure that the soul of the recently dead did not wander the world in purgatory, or some such thing. As for modern day desires to wash away the sins of the dead, I suspect it is a complex issue, arising from a mix of the original reasons sin-eaters existed, to politeness, and empowerment, and legacy.

The H Word: The Intersection of Science Fiction and Horror

Science fiction and horror share many of the same genre roots; science fictional motifs wind through horror like strands of DNA, and horror’s tentacles have slithered into many works that are otherwise squarely science fiction. If science fiction is the literature of ideas, and horror is the literature of fear, there’s plenty of room for the two to blend.

Author Spotlight: Tia V. Travis

But there’s a poetry in music much like the poetry in writing. You can develop an ear for it if you slow down and listen. “The spaces between the notes,” as a band mate of mine used to refer to them, is something I’m much more conscious of now than I used to be. That is, it’s not simply the words themselves that have significance, but the meaning and emotion that lie between those words.

Editorial, August 2014

Welcome to issue 23! Check out the editorial for a rundown of what appears in this issue and for news and notes.

Author Spotlight: Desirina Boskovich

“Dear Owner” was in fact inspired by real life, as I personally spent several months being rudely awakened at 4:30 a.m. by an inconsiderate engine-revver parked outside my bedroom window. (As I later discovered from some neighbors, said engine-revver was not just disturbing me, but everyone in my twelve-unit building. Like you said: daily horrors.) I’m typically an extremely even-tempered person. But rouse me from a peaceful slumber and I’m instantaneously filled with murderous rage.

Interview: Del Howison of Dark Delicacies Bookstore

Imagine a horror-specialty retail store that has not only survived for two decades but has helped shape the very genre it markets, and you’ll get some idea of why Dark Delicacies is one of horror’s (not so) hidden treasures. Located in the Magnolia Park area of Burbank, California (where Dark Delicacies’ success seems to have spawned neighboring stores with names like Halloween Town and Creature Features), Dark Delicacies was founded by Del Howison and Sue Duncan.

Author Spotlight: Tom Piccirilli

Ray Bradbury said that he wrote with thick drapes over his windows because he didn’t want to see when it was sunny outside because he had to stay in and write. I feel the same way. You need to prioritize writing at the head of your “things to do” list. So write, write some more, and then even more.