Horror & Dark Fantasy

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Nonfiction

Nonfiction

The H Word: Lovecraftian Horror

When we think of Lovecraftian horror, or the Lovecraft Mythos (as it exists in Lovecraft’s works alone), we need to differentiate those stories from what has come to be called the Cthulhu Mythos, a name invented by August Derleth. Lovecraftian horror incorporates aspects of the Cthulhu Mythos (which oozed forth from Lovecraft’s influence), but Lovecraft’s horror fiction is much more than cosmic entities that filter to our planet and corrupt our dreams and sanity.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Laird Barron

In a horror story, there’s always the choice to reveal the monster, or monstrous, or leave it to the imagination. I chose the latter as one’s imagination will often supply a far more dire vision than a cold description on paper. If nothing else, whatever is under the tarp signifies the narrator’s connection, and obeisance, to a dread and awful power.

Editorial

Editorial, June 2013

This month, we have original fiction from Lynda E. Rucker (“The House on Cobb Street”) and Carrie Vaughn (“Fishwife”), along with reprints by Laird Barron (“Shiva, Open Your Eye”) and Joe R. Lansdale (“God of the Razor”). We also have the latest installment of our column on horror, “The H Word,” plus author spotlights with all of our authors, a showcase on our cover artist, and a feature interview with Robert McCammon.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Lynda E. Rucker

The story came from a few different places. One was an actual hypnagogic hallucination I had—which I am normally not prone to. I “woke up” but was frozen and I could hear creepy little girls whispering behind me, and could picture them as well.

Nonfiction

Interview: Steve Niles

Q: You once said, “There’s a true innocence about monsters.” Is there something innocent about the monsters (vampires) in 30 Days of Night? A: In a way, I suppose. They are very pure and honorable among their own kind. They have about as much respect for us as we do cows, so killing humans doesn’t make them any less innocent than us for eating cows and chickens. I think animals and children under two years old are the only innocents left in this world. Monsters are often treated like animals, so . . .

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Neil Gaiman

In [the] story, the moment of horror, people just sort of chug along with the story, and then the first moment they become uncomfortable is the moment that they realize that the observation has gone beyond simply the observation of somebody standing and having an unrequited love. The moment they realize that the person talking has been in your room, has been looking on your computer, the moment in that letter where the narrator, the letter writer starts talking about “Your password is . . .” and people realize Oh my god, you’ve read all their emails.

Artist Showcase

Artist Showcase: Benjamin König

Born in 1976, Benjamin König has been enamored with drawing and painting since his earliest years, when countless beautifully and creepily illustrated children’s books led a trail of breadcrumbs to his passion. Despite attempting several other professions (audio engineer, conservator, etc.), Benjamin always returned to his first love: drawing. He is now a freelance illustrator in Upper Bavaria, near Munich.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Tanith Lee

Q: Do you see “Doll Re Me” as a story about punishment for hubris? A: No, I see it as the punishment for wasteful cruelty, which the main character so lavishly displays towards both people and things.

Nonfiction

The H Word: Domestic Horror

But there was one story that disturbed me in the more complicated way I would only later come to realize as a hallmark of the true genius of horror fiction. While the other stories left me with a kind of moonlit Halloween glow, this one put a spade into my settled earth and overturned it. I felt weirdly sick after reading it. I felt injured in some obscure way, as though it had betrayed a trust. The story was “The Monkey’s Paw,” by W.W. Jacobs.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Caitlín R. Kiernan

Steinbeck was actually a tremendous formative influence. I began reading him in high school, and he was one of those eye-opening authors for me. He’s one of the writers who taught me invaluable lessons about characterization; that stories, novels, are not about events. They’re about people. When they stop being about people, you’re writing shit.