Horror & Dark Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

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Nonfiction

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Margo Lanagan

What drew me to “Hansel and Gretel” was a Yiddish word, “gunsel,” that I happened upon in the dictionary. One of its several definitions went something like, “a youth, particularly a homosexual one, kept by a tramp.” So there’d been a time and place in which tramps commonly kept boys for sexual purposes—so commonly that there was a word for it? I immediately wanted to set a story there, and to tell it from the point of view of a gunsel.

Editorial

Editorial, February 2013

Welcome to issue number five of Nightmare! We’ve got another great issue for you this month; read the editorial to see what we’ve got on tap.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Sarah Langan

I find that I want to be good at everything I do, but it’s impossible. Every day, I fail someone I love, on some level, and that includes failing at my own career ambitions. But that’s life. I can’t be good at half the jobs I have.

Nonfiction

The H Word: Choosing Gruesome Subjects

It’s not the first time that I’ve been asked, “Why do you write that stuff?” It’s typically been voiced by those who are friendly to me but not particularly close: colleagues at the school where I teach; the parents of my younger son’s classmates; the people who stop to talk to me at bookstores or libraries or conventions, when I’m signing books or after I’ve finished giving a reading or sitting on a panel. After years of hearing this, I still don’t have a good answer.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Lucius Shepard

Stories just come to me, sometimes over a period of years, sometimes over a few days. I’m not into self-analysis, so I don’t explore their origins, but in this case it was obvious. I was an abused child, and a very angry teenager and young man. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over being angry—so in this case I was more or less blending some autobiographical stuff with fantasy. When I was a kid, I believed anger was magic of a kind, power, and I wanted to convey that feeling in the main character. I got angry when I was writing it.

Artist Showcase

Artist Showcase: Chelsea Knight

I discovered photography when I was around fourteen. I used a throw-away camera first and discovered that my mother had a very simple digital camera. From then on I saved my money to purchase my own Canon. My dad gave me his old Canon F-1 film camera and, ever since, photography has grown into my primary artistic passion.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Tamsyn Muir

It’s easy to write a WWII story, especially one set in Germany, and have it be an easy-out in terms of insta-setting. It evokes an immediate response of pain and despair. But that doesn’t mean WWII is not what it is, a giant psychic scar, and thus an opening for horror and the numinous. Just because the war’s over doesn’t mean the scar is gone.

Nonfiction

Interview: Ellen Datlow

To me [horror is] the genre of unease. It makes me feel really uneasy and it gives me kind of a creepy feeling. It can border on wanting to look away, it can border on disgust—but that’s a type of horror. Horror can be any genre. There’s science fiction horror, there’s dark fantasy that’s really really dark, there can be mysteries that converge on horror. It depends on how far you want to go down the path of darkness.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Lisa Tuttle

I often draw on experiences from my own life for inspiration, but as a writer of fiction I am not bound to stick to things that really happened. Dreams, daydreams, music, art, books, other people’s lives—these things and more give me ideas for what to write.

Editorial

Editorial, January 2013

Happy new year, and welcome to issue number four of Nightmare! We’ve got another great issue for you this month; read the editorial to see what we’ve got on tap.