Horror & Dark Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017



Artist Showcase

Artist Showcase: Mike Worrall

Mike Worrall is a UK-born, self-taught fine artist. Now based in Australia, his massive oil paintings depicting dreamlike surreality hang in private collections and gallery shows worldwide. His work is exhibited in one-man shows biannually, the latest of which was at the Richard Martin Gallery in Woollahra, New South Wales, from November 23rd to December 11th. Find him online at www.mikeworrall.com.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Tim Pratt

Revenge is appealing in theory, toxic in practice. I love stories about revenge […] and tales of escalating responses and counter-responses are great in fiction. Personally, though? I think living well is the best revenge. Let your enemies gnaw their guts in misery while you shine, shine, shine; be content in knowing they think about you often, seething with resentment, letting their minds be poisoned by your presence there, while you scarcely spare them a thought at all, because you have better things to do.


The H Word: Horror Needs New Monsters

For generations, the monsters populating horror fiction have, with very few exceptions, belonged to the scary trinity: vampires, werewolves, and zombies. For every aswang, a dozen Draculaesque vampires sip bodily fluids. For every huli jing, a score of humans transform into their wolfish selves under a full moon. For every draugr, a horde of reanimated corpses out of central casting shambles by looking for brains.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Lucy Taylor

It was also during [a] trip [to Scotland] that I first heard of the medieval practice of walling up a sacrificial victim at the end of a construction project to ensure good luck for the building and its occupants. Whether or not this was actually practiced in Scotland, I don’t know for sure, but references to the immurement of people and animals appear in folk tales and legends in many parts of Europe.


Editorial, January 2014

This month, we have original fiction from Adam Howe (“The Mad Butcher of Plainfield’s Chariot of Death”) and Tim Pratt (“Ghostreaper, or, Life After Revenge”), along with reprints by Jonathan Maberry (“Whistlin’ Past the Graveyard”) and Lucy Taylor (“Walled”). We also have the latest installment of our column on horror, “The H Word,” plus author spotlights with our authors, a showcase on our cover artist, and a feature interview with bestselling author Christopher Golden. And, finally, as a bonus for our ebook readers, we have an excerpt from the novel Hoad’s Grim by author (and Nightmare podcast host) Jack Kincaid.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Adam Howe

The real Bunny Gibbons was quoted as saying, “People want to see this kind of thing.” And you only have to look at today’s thriving, serial killer cottage industry to see that the guy was way ahead of his time. Murderabilia is a big business, and I shudder to think what Ed’s car would be worth today.


Interview: Joe R. Lansdale

Few writers can authentically claim to be their own distinct genre, but there’s no question that Joe R. Lansdale is a category unto himself. He’s written award-winning horror, mystery, suspense, westerns, graphic novels and comics, media tie-ins, screenplays, and mainstream literature, yet each new work fits recognizably into the East Texas-slang-filled, fast-paced, fluid storytelling style that defines the Joe R. Lansdale genre. His most recent works include the novel The Thicket (which critics have compared to some of Mark Twain’s books), and the feature film Christmas With the Dead, which Lansdale’s son Keith adapted from Joe’s short story of the same name (Lansdale also served as producer on the film). Lansdale’s novel Cold in July has also recently been adapted into a movie starring Michael C. Hall, Don Johnson, and Sam Shepard.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: David J. Schow

Q: In “A Home in the Dark,” the horror seems to be more about the stifling and destructive lifestyle of the narrator than the creature in the canyon. Was that your intent? A: It is an interior story about an exterior event, which casts the reliability of the narrator into deep doubt. This follows a more vintage horror form—a detailed rendering of a single event leading to what Poe called the “effect” (the essence of horror), which may be a fever dream or hallucination.

Artist Showcase

Artist Showcase: Lukasz Jaszak

Łukasz Jaszak is a thirty-six-year-old self-taught photographer and graphic designer living and working in Krakow, Poland. He made his start in this dark discipline when approached to do album art for a friend’s metal band, eventually doing work for acts like Blood Red Throne, Decapitated, The Vision Bleak, Vomitory, and Behemoth. A visual perfectionist who enjoys making something from nothing, Jaszak cuts no corners: for his photoshoots, every item is carefully selected or created, right down to building his own sets and performing taxidermy for animal props. This stringency aside, Jaszak does not force himself to produce, but waits for his twisted muse to come to him. His work can be found at www.jaszak.net.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Conrad Williams

In 2002, my wife and I bought a crumbling, old (but very beautiful) farmhouse in southwest France, near Cognac. The first time we were shown around the place by the estate agent, we found a dead owl in the attic. Owls lived in a number of the outbuildings and you could hear them at night when they went out hunting. We’d done a lot of driving around in search of the perfect property, and on some of the roads were these “fantômes,” black, person-sized cut-outs that stood at the edge of the tarmac, signifying a death by road traffic accident. Pretty sobering. Some of them had jagged red fractures in their heads. The story came out of those two elements.