Horror & Dark Fantasy

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Artist Showcase: Sam Guay

Sam Guay is a freelance illustrator working and wandering in New England. Dreams, folktales, and bits of her woodland haunts weave themselves into the visuals and narratives of her watercolors. Between paintings she can be found fortune-telling, voraciously reading, and having tea parties with her corvid kin, the local flora, and her beloved feline companion. You can find her work at samguay.com.

Author Spotlight: Daniel José Older

The origin of the story is the line in the first paragraph—the bit about how high rates of drug abuse are for pet store workers. A friend of mine that worked at a pet store told me about that in high school and it always stayed with me for some reason—the idea of all these cynical, high teenagers taking care of small animals and being friendly to customers, or not, just demanded a story

The H Word: Horror and Halloween

Steve Schlozman, a psychiatry professor (known as “the zombie doc” for his ZOMBIE AUTOPSIES: SECRET NOTEBOOKS FROM THE APOCALYPSE), did an experiment to try to understand exactly why people enjoy horror, neurologically. He showed them a picture of a puppy. Then he showed them the image with cat’s eyes Photoshopped onto the puppy. t changed everything.

Author Spotlight: Charles L. Grant

What strikes me in re-reading “Old Friends” for the first time in many years is how perfectly it encapsulates his approach and style. The first story I read of his in that Arbor House collection was the oft-reprinted classic “If Damon Comes,” which has stylistic and thematic elements that are similar to “Old Friends.” I remember pressing it on friends (we’re talking 8th graders here) who just didn’t get it, and couldn’t dial in to the emotional unease and elliptical style of the story.

Editorial, September 2014

Check out the editorial for a run-down of everything we’ve got for you this month, as well as news and updates.

Author Spotlight: Sunny Moraine

The core of it is a decision I came to around this past New Year’s, which was to finally get brave enough to dig down into the core of what makes me frightened and angry and sad and drag it out and make words out of it. One of my favorite books on writing is Anne Lamott’s BIRD BY BIRD, and one of the points she stresses is the importance of doing that, that those painful, shameful things are where a lot of your most honest and powerful work can come from.

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.