Horror & Dark Fantasy

Trouble Department




Editorial: December 2021

If you’re in the northern hemisphere, welcome to winter. Winter, that long dark season of hardship and despair. It is a season that strips life from the world around us and leaves our bodies enervated and fragile. Even in our modern era, we can’t help but feel exposed in these harsh months. There’s a reason humanity turns to history and ritual in this time—we desperately need the reminder that we have faced the cold before.


Editorial: November 2021

Welcome to Nightmare’s 110th issue! To live in human society is to wrestle with secrets and to learn to live with lies. Because the bulk of human existence is predicated on fitting in with others, we patrol ourselves and our behaviors, making rules to help us better live together. But we all slip up. Even […]


Editorial: October 2021

This month, I have to confess to you all that I am a very poorly traveled person. I didn’t take my first flight until I was twenty-five, and since then I’ve only flown a few more times. Part of this is due to economy, and part of this is because for about a decade my husband refused to fly. When his brother got married in Michigan, he had to leave on a train four days before my daughter and I left to enjoy our flight. But I love flying! As the plane launches itself off the tarmac, I like to think about all the scientists and inventors whose work went into solving the mystery of flight.


Editorial: September 2021

I spend a good chunk of time every day outside alone or with only my dog, and I like it a lot. When I’m in the garden or taking a run, I feel completely absorbed in the world, connected to the creatures I see and the plants I’m near. I never feel lonely when I’m out in nature. The same cannot be said for the time I spend with other people. There are times when a person can be surrounded by friends and still feel deeply, deeply lonely.


Editorial: August 2021

To be alive is to be constantly confronted by loss, and a large measure of who we are stems from our responses to it. When you’ve lost something you care about, how do you respond? How do you keep loss from hollowing you into a shell? Do you let it make you mean? Do you turn hard, or do you crumble and find yourself adrift? Do you count your scars, and if you do, do you revel in them or do you gently massage vitamin E into their silvery tissues? This month’s issue features four very different snapshots of loss and human response to it.


Editorial: July 2021

Here in Oregon, we’re facing a statewide drought, and authorities are already concerned about the potential of violent clashes over water rights. Homicide has hit levels not seen in Portland for twenty-five years. And the elastic in my favorite running shorts is starting to give out. But enough about the bad stuff! Is horror literature smoking hot this year, or what?!?


Editorial: June 2021

Welcome to issue 105 of Nightmare, and welcome to summer! Summer is the perfect time to strip off some layers—to risk revealing a bit more than you might in winter’s chill. When we first take off our sweaters and long-sleeved tees, our skin is pale and tender, like a grub exposed from its rocky shelter. Thin and pasty, it chaps quickly in the breeze. Our hearts quiver at the new sensations on our delicate flesh.


Editorial: May 2021

Sometimes you need to feel bad. Really bad. Like, you just broke up with your significant other (who took your pets and the coffee maker), and now you have to put on The Cure’s Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me and cry on your bedroom floor. Because sometimes the only way to feel better is to feel a whole lot worse. If you’ve ever been there—and I imagine most of us have—then you know what I mean.


Editorial: April 2021

Welcome to issue 103 of Nightmare! I don’t set out to create a theme for each issue, but as I read submissions and compare new pieces to stories I’ve bought along the way, I find that stories tend to have a distinct “taste” that compels me to group them together. Sometimes I’m not even sure what that flavor is until I’ve put together the issue and sat down at my desk to write the editorial—and then the flavor leaps out at me, as obvious as the blood on a murderer’s hands.


Editorial: March 2021

Welcome to issue 102 of Nightmare! In the Northern hemisphere, March is the first month of spring. Where I live, it’s the month when the dead gray sticks surrounding the house suddenly transform into living trees, all green leaves and pink flowers. Perennials spring up from the dull muddy earth, turning brown to viridian. It is a season of transformation, when magic feels possible, and anything might happen. The work in this month’s issue all touches on transformation and change.