Horror & Dark Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

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Nonfiction

Nonfiction

The H Word: The Darkest, Truest Mirrors

I am eleven years old when my mother asks me, Why do you have to write such dark stories? Why can’t you write something edifying? At the time, I have no answer for her, and I mistake the tight line of her mouth for disapproval. I miss the concern in her eyes, the distress in the set of her shoulders. I think about her question for many years. But at the time, I remember wondering, What is edifying about stories that don’t reflect the real world?

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Nisi Shawl

The entire story, not just the song, is inspired by “Cruel Sister.” There are many, many songs on the same theme, by many different titles. What attracted me was the plain, unalloyed, chilling hatefulness of the crime and the equally chilling retribution—though I carried that part a bit further in my story. The song “Cruel Sister” ends with the ghostly accusation, as does most of its ilk, but I wanted to show the aftereffects of the murderer’s horrific action. The song in “Cruel Sistah,” by the way, is loosely based on W.C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues.”

Editorial

On the Destruction of Horror: Notes from Your People of Colo(u)r Editors

The editors of People of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror! — Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Tananarive Due, and Maurice Broaddus — talk about their vision for this special double-issue, and share thoughts about working in the genre as creators of color.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Valerie Valdes

It felt right to tell a story about a service-industry worker in the second person because such people are frequently ignored or dehumanized in their daily lives. When I worked in a movie theater, customers would walk up to the concession stand and start barking orders at me like I was a kiosk instead of a human being. So I wanted the reader to, as you say, inhabit the character more fully than first or third person would allow. There’s an immediacy and intensity that comes from second person when it’s done well.

Nonfiction

Panel Discussion: Witches in Horror

Author Grady Hendrix and author-slash-witch historian Katherine Howe join Theresa DeLucci, television and horror fiction reviewer, to discuss the role of witches in the horror genre.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

The H Word: The People of Horror and Me

The horror fiction field most often reminds me of a particular comic strip from the long-running series Cathy. I was never a huge fan of the strip, but this one stuck with me: Cathy has an epiphany. She doesn’t actually have that many bad hair days; she has a perception problem. One time, a decade prior, she looked in the mirror and her hair was utterly perfect. That apex one-time-only great hair day became in her mind what she looked like on average, and thus she was constantly bedeviled by bad hair days.

Author Spotlight

Editorial

Editorial, September 2016

Be sure to read the Editorial for a run-down of this month’s skin-crawling content, as well as all our news and updates.