Horror & Dark Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

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Podcasts

Fiction

The Ease With Which We Freed the Beast

Me and Molly Bruin were lying on our stomachs atop a sea cliff overlooking Droughans Beach, fresh from a fuck and lolling there, our skins stuck with bits from the weeds and tall grasses that cloaked our sin, with the wind in our faces and our lives yet to be lived.

Fiction

On Murder Island

The north wind’s been spraying Mainland Runoff in our faces for days, but that’s nothing new, nothing worth complaining about. Here on Murder Island, we have a little saying: “If ever you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes and you’ll be murdered.” Or as the Weatherman likes to say: “Radar’s telling us to brace for more hot gusty winds, Mainland Runoff, and murder.” The forecast never changes.

Fiction

Foul Weather

Some things you can’t figure out. Not even with a whole heap of scratch paper and a ribbon of data from a chattering teletype machine. Not before time runs out. And time is like progress—she’s not stopping for anybody. The answer is out there, though, in the weather.

Fiction

Chop Shop

If only she could find the right words to thank him. As he cuts into her thigh, she wants to say something, some small word of gratitude, but her tongue is gone and so she keeps quiet—utters not even a mumble as he continues his work. The scalpel shaves off small slivers of flesh and the sensation is electrifying, little jolts that flash through the drug-haze, and when it’s all over she stares down with dull curiosity at her legs, flayed to the bone. There is a detachment there in which she luxuriates.

Fiction

At Lorn Hall

Randolph hadn’t expected the map to misrepresent the route to the motorway quite so much. The roads were considerably straighter on the page. The high beams roused swarms of shadows in the hedges and glinted on elongated warnings of bends ahead, and then the light found a signpost. It pointed down a lane to somewhere called Lorn Hall.

Fiction

Graves

I have this persistent sleep disorder that makes life difficult for me, but still I want to keep it. Boy, do I want to keep it. It goes back twenty years, to Vietnam. To Graves.

Fiction

Good Fences

He thinks at first the streetlight’s back on, but of course not. It’s been dark six weeks. There are already beer bottles piled on the sidewalk every morning from the dropout teenagers who surge in whenever there’s the littlest pool of darkness they can find, and then they smoke and drink and shout all night right under his window when he’s trying to sleep.

Fiction

Frontier Death Song

Night descended on Interstate-90 as I crossed over into the Badlands. Real raw weather for October. Snow dusted the asphalt and picnic tables of the deserted rest area. The scene was virginal as death.

Fiction

Property Condemned

The house was occupied, but no one lived there. That’s how Malcolm Crow thought about it. Houses like the Croft place were never really empty. Like most of the kids in Pine Deep, Crow knew that there were ghosts. Even the tourists knew about the ghosts. It was that kind of town.