Horror & Dark Fantasy

Trouble Department

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Editorial

Editorial: November 2021

Welcome to Nightmare’s 110th issue!

To live in human society is to wrestle with secrets and to learn to live with lies. Because the bulk of human existence is predicated on fitting in with others, we patrol ourselves and our behaviors, making rules to help us better live together. But we all slip up. Even the most law-abiding citizen jaywalks sometimes or overlooks a rounding error when they’re filing their taxes. And when those mistakes happen, we sign our tax returns knowing full well we’re not telling the complete truth about our nickels and dimes.

This issue is about secrets—how difficult they can be to keep, and how hard they can be to contain. Adam-Troy Castro returns to our pages with a fun thought problem: If you knew someone had a secret, a really juicy one, and you could discover it with just the touch of a button, how hard would it be to resist finding out? Don’t miss the original short story “Glimpses in Amber” to see how Castro’s protagonist fares in such a situation.

When I first got a tattoo, I kept it secret from my parents for a few months because I wasn’t sure what they’d think. In Julianna Baggott’s new story, “Inkmorphia,” a new tattoo tries to get its bearer to recall a long-forgotten and very terrible secret.

In the Horror Lab, we have a new poem, “Crossroads,” by Tiffany Morris, which blends secrets with words from the Mi’kmaw language—to a very special and very eerie effect. Our flash piece, “Murder Tongue,” by Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, also explores the tensions between using language and keeping secrets.

Our author spotlight team brings you interviews with our writers, and Lisa Morton returns with a feature interview with Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson, scholars of women writing in horror fiction. Our H Word essay is a very philosophical one from Jason Marc Harris, and discusses the role of the monstrous in epistemology.

It’s another terrific issue—and that’s no secret!

Wendy N. Wagner

Wendy N. Wagner is the author of the horror novel The Deer Kings and the gothic novella The Secret Skin. Previous work includes the SF thriller An Oath of Dogs and two novels for the Pathfinder Tales series, and her short stories, poetry, and essays have appeared in more than fifty venues. She also serves as the managing/senior editor of Lightspeed Magazine, and previously served as the guest editor of Nightmare‘s Queers Destroy Horror! special issue. She lives in Oregon with her very understanding family, two large cats, and a Muppet disguised as a dog.