Horror & Dark Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

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Nonfiction

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Gwendolyn Kiste

I spent five years in university research labs, coding and analyzing surveys. That probably sounds boring to a lot of people, but the analytical part of my mind really loved it, and I thought it would be fun to write a piece with a psychology questionnaire as a framing device. It took a while and a couple false starts to find the right story to tell this way.

Nonfiction

The H Word: H is for Haunted Houses

Every house is haunted. The question is, by what? Walk into a new house; some are happy, some are not. Like a fine wine, old houses are much more complex. In the summer of 2013, I was sent to Ireland to serve as the resident faculty member for the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing program. I was grateful for the chance to travel and eager for the experience, but I have to confess that prior to arrival, Ireland had never been on my bucket list.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Richard Christian Matheson

I’m a runner and its endorphin trance gives rise to ideas. During a very long run, I began to think about the nightmarish film version of THE RED SHOES, based on Hans Christian Anderson’s bizarre fairy tale. I was also thinking about obsessive types who run 100-mile marathons and about the toxic ambitions that fuel much of L.A. The story began to fall together.

Editorial

Editorial, September 2015

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

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Vajra Chandrasekera

I wanted to write about a particular time and place, but in a short story you don’t have space to actually explain the history and if it’s not one of the handful of historical contexts you can generally expect a broad anglophone readership to be familiar with, then you might as well write it as an SFnal secondary-world fantasy. So I did.

Nonfiction

Interview: Clive Barker

Most people never expected me to go back to Pinhead in literary form; the expectation was that I would go back to him in a movie. That never felt right to me. Pinhead is a rather literary figure. He speaks with a Shakespearean cadence, so I wanted to make sure that was in the performance, if you will, of his farewell, and I couldn’t do that on a movie screen.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Molly Tanzer

“Qi Sport” is set in the same world as my novel VERMILION, and shares a character — Lou Merriwether. Lou’s a professional psychopomp, which is rather like being a Ghost Buster, in that she escorts, or compels in some cases, lingering undead to leave our world and move into the afterlife. She deals with ghosts and shades, and also geung si, which are a Chinese monster sort of somewhere in between a vampire and a zombie.

Artist Showcase

Artist Showcase: Carlos Villa

Carlos Fabián Villa is a professional artist living in Mexico. His work can be found at antiherobrush.com and zano.deviantart.com. First off I’d like to ask you a question in the spirit of Nightmare: What scares you the most? My biggest nightmare — and the most boring answer I can give you — is of course waking up […]

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Megan Arkenberg

I don’t think that I, personally, am very susceptible to haunting. I love mysteries — I’ll devour any online article titled “Five Weird Unsolved Mysteries!” or “Ten Events Science Can’t Explain!” — but while that kind of thing creeps the hell out of me in the moment, it doesn’t stick with me for long. Having said that, the two “real-life ghost stories” that I have are both included in “And This is the Song it Sings.” I’ll leave it to readers to guess which they are.

Nonfiction

The H Word: Following the Symptoms

Have you heard of the Black Death? I’d be willing to wager that you have, since it’s taught as a major part of European history, and European history is one of those subjects that’s virtually impossible to avoid (although the Black Death did enormous amounts of damage in Asia and the Middle East as well as in Europe; this was not a disease which respected borders). Most people know it as another name for the bubonic plague, that flea-borne disease that still haunts the West Coast of the United States.