Horror & Dark Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

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Artist Spotlight

ARTIST SHOWCASE: Robert Emerson

Robert Emerson is a self-taught artist. Born in 1959, he worked in the traditional mediums of oils, water colors, pastels, pencils, pens and inks, until a broken blood vein in his brain left him without the use of his right arm. Having lost the precision of his dominant hand, he discovered photo compositing as an alternate means of artistic expression. Through trial and error, reading, and watching countless Youtube “how to” videos, Robert slowly began to learn the art of photo manipulation. He never imagined it to be anything more than a hobby–however, in the past year he has had five book covers published and various other art-related offers. He currently lives in Lufkin, Texas, with his wife and three children. He thanks the Lord for his abilities and spends time every day seeking out new inspiration for his art.

First off I’d like to ask you a question in the spirit of Nightmare: What scares you the most?

Spiders! Can’t stand them, I hate them . . . If they were put on Earth just so birds would have something to eat, then we need more birds.

What is your favorite medium to work with and why?

I used to work in pen and ink, pencils, pastels, and oils but lost the use of my right arm/hand. On my journey to being left-handed, I’ve learned to work exclusively in digital mediums, which I truly love.

What made you want to become an artist? Can you remember a defining moment where you knew this was what you wanted to do?

I’ve been interested in art my entire life. I’ve had a pencil in my hand since I was old enough to hold one. However, I’ve never worked in the field of art; it was always just a hobby. I’m not sure I would enjoy it if I did it for a living.

Tell us about this month’s cover image, Nevermore. Who is the woman and what is she doing?

She is a woman who has discovered the ability to summon/control animals and birds. She is just discovering her powers and has much to learn. Whether her power is good or evil is at the discretion of the viewer.

[DeviantArt user Kirilee served as the model for the illustration. —eds.]

What do you imagine scares the woman in Nevermore the most?

She doesn’t know the extent of her abilities and is unsure of herself. She’s a “Carrie” that isn’t pissed off . . . yet.

Your DeviantArt profile states that Ansel Adams is your favorite photographer. What is it about his photography that speaks to you?

The way he captures light and shadows. There is nothing wrong with color photos, but when you remove the distractions of the colors you’re left with textures, shadows and light. I see textures in black and white that I don’t notice in color.

Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not (or why are you unsure)?

I believe that all mankind possesses a spirit. I believe there is a whole unseen realm that exists around us, I believe in God and I believe there is a devil. There are ghosts. I don’t seek an audience with them but I believe they exist.

Do you have any special hobbies you’d like to share with us?

I enjoy photography (hard to find a good left-handed camera). I’m always looking for something to photograph that can be used to make an entirely new scene in a photo manipulation. I enjoy music, and killing spiders!

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Marina J. Lostetter

Marina Lostetter

Marina J. Lostetter’s short fiction has appeared in venues such as InterGalactic Medicine Show, Galaxy’s Edge, and Writers of the Future. Her most recent publications include a tie-in novelette for the Star Citizen game universe, which was serialized over the first four months of 2014. Originally from Oregon, Marina now lives in Arkansas with her husband, Alex. She tweets as @MarinaLostetter. Please visit her homepage at lostetter.net.