Horror & Dark Fantasy

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Nonfiction

Artist Showcase: Tran Nguyen

Tran Nguyen is a Georgia-based gallery artist and freelance illustrator. Born in Vietnam and raised in the States, she is fascinated with creating visuals that can be used as a psycho-therapeutic support vehicle, exploring the mind’s landscape. Her paintings are created with a soft, delicate quality using colored pencil and acrylic on paper. Nguyen has worked for clients such as Playboy, Tor, McDonald’s, Chateau St. Michelle Winery, and has showcased with galleries in California, New York, Spain, and Italy.

Author Spotlight: Christopher Barzak

When we accept the exploitation of various classes and minorities (like children in Victorian England) for the profit of the powerful, that we tend to see “the world” as inherently unjust and cruel, when it’s actually a particular group of people creating and enforcing that world. If you think, for instance, about some of the most resonant horror stories, you can see this too.

The H Word: You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby –The Female Protagonist in Horror

Fortunately, horror fiction in the twenty-first century has expanded past those traditional roles (remember when the catch-phrase “You’ve come a long way, baby” referred to a cigarette targeted at women?). Along the way, the most interesting horror fiction has reflected society’s changing views . . . and in a few cases (see below), may even have helped push those changes.

Author Spotlight: Norman Partridge

I’ve always believed in tossing the reader into the water and making them swim. Sometimes the water is deep. Besides, explanations are overrated. I find as a reader that authorial explanations by their very nature often take me out of a story. Too much opportunity to stop and consider, and all of a sudden I’ll start asking questions that expose cracks in the setup. So I do try to operate with authority, and I keep things moving.

Editorial, January 2015

Read the Editorial for all our news, updates, and a run-down of this month’s content.

Author Spotlight: Kat Howard

I’m generally fascinated with stories that involve a trip to the Underworld, and one of the things that happens fairly often in those stories is that someone goes to the Underworld to rescue someone else. And we all think, “Yes, great! A Get Out of Hell Free card!” And we don’t often think, “hmm, I wonder if the person in the Underworld maybe wanted to stay there.” So I wanted to write a story where that seemingly great rescue was twisted all the way around.

Interview: Robert Shearman

Robert Shearman has written five short story collections, and between them they have won the World Fantasy Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, the Edge Hill Readers Prize, and three British Fantasy Awards. His background is in the theatre, and he is resident dramatist at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter and regular writer for Alan Ayckbourn at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough; his plays have won the Sunday Times Playwriting Award, the Sophie Winter Memorial Trust Award, and the Guinness Award in association with the Royal National Theatre. He regularly writes plays and short stories for BBC Radio, and he has won two Sony Awards for his interactive radio series, “The Chain Gang.” But he’s probably best known for reintroducing the Daleks to the BAFTA winning first season of the revived DOCTOR WHO.

Author Spotlight: Michael Marshall Smith

Once in a while a graphic depiction of violence is exactly what’s required: all of us, from time to time, will be suddenly and shockingly confronted with the visceral reality of the fact that we’re not disembodied minds, but inhabited bodies, to which bad and terminal things can happen. This violence can also stand in symbolically for harsh mental cataclysms of the type that life hands us. But I’ve always found darkness and eeriness and unease far more interesting and compelling than gore in the long run.

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.