Horror & Dark Fantasy

Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017

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Feature Interviews

Nonfiction

Interview: Chris Kullstroem

Before her 2017 book Drawn to the Dark: Explorations in Scare Tourism Around the World, author Chris Kullstroem had written books about Halloween celebrations and how to throw great murder mystery parties, and had blogged about Halloween haunts (and the haunters who stage them). But then she decided to try something completely different: she quit her job, gave up her apartment, stashed her possessions, and traveled the world for a year to see how other cultures celebrate monsters and the art of the playful scare.

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Interview: S.P. Miskowski

Three-time Shirley Jackson Award nominee S.P. Miskowski was raised in Decatur, Georgia, but later moved to the Pacific Northwest. After receiving an M.F.A. from the University of Washington and two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, she seemed poised for a career as a writer of mainstream fiction (she cites Flannery O’Connor as an early influence), but instead found her way into the horror genre. She debuted with Knock Knock, the first of a series of books set in the fictional town of Skillute.

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Interview: Josh Malerman

In 2014, a horror novel by a young writer named Josh Malerman was released by HarperCollins’ Ecco Press imprint to starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. Malerman had never been published before, because (talk about dream day jobs!) he’d been touring for years as frontman for the band the High Strung, who scored when their song “The Luck You Got” was chosen as the theme song for the Showtime series Shameless. Since Bird Box, Josh has published an impressive array of short stories, novellas, introductions, and—just released in May—his second novel, Black Mad Wheel.

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Interview: Stephen Graham Jones

Mongrels may be the first Stephen Graham Jones novel published by a major house (William Morrow) and his first Bram Stoker Award nomination in the Novel category, but to those who have followed the author’s work for years it’s a natural step for one of the horror genre’s most unusual voices. Jones, a native of West Texas who now lives and teaches in Colorado, has authored over 250 short stories; his earlier novels include Demon Theory, Zombie Bake-Off, The Last Final Girl, and Growing Up Dead in Texas. Forthcoming in June from Tor.com is the novella Mapping the Interior.

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Interview: Norman Prentiss

In 2010, a story called “In the Porches of My Ears” (originally published in Postscripts 18), won the Bram Stoker Award for Short Fiction, appeared in two “Year’s Best” anthologies, and marked the arrival of a significant new voice in horror fiction: Norman Prentiss. In the seven years since, Norman has continued to produce acclaimed fiction, poetry, novellas (Invisible Fences), and collections (Four Legs in the Morning). In 2016, he submitted his cross-genre novel Odd Adventures with Your Other Father, to Amazon’s Kindle Scout program and won publication.

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Interview: J. Lincoln Fenn

In 2013, a previously unknown writer named J. Lincoln Fenn won Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel contest in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror novel with Poe, a hybrid of horror, mystery, and young adult that involves spiritualism, haunted houses, and the Russian mystic Rasputin. The novel garnered almost universal praise, and marked Fenn as one of the horror genre’s most promising new voices. In 2016, Fenn published her second novel, Dead Souls, with Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books imprint; as with Poe, Dead Souls mixes genres in a story about a young woman, Fiona Dunn, who makes a deal with “Scratch”.

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Interview: Seanan McGuire

Since her first novel Rosemary and Rue was published in 2009, Seanan McGuire has written scores of short stories, non-fiction essays, songs, and nearly two-dozen novels . . . and that’s just under her own name. As Mira Grant, she has written the popular Newsflesh and Parasitology series, which include more medical horror than the works attributed to Seanan McGuire. A fan of both science and folklore, Seanan’s books include ten volumes in the October Daye urban fantasy series, the Incryptid series (which explores cryptozoology), the Wayward Children series from Tor, and the Velveteen Vs. superhero stories.

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Panel Discussion: Penny Dreadful

Pop culture journalist Theresa DeLucci joins Nightmare’s very own Christie Yant, as well as Angela Watercutter, writer and Wired editor, to discuss the TV series Penny Dreadful.

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Interview: Jack Ketchum

There’s a famous quote about Jack Ketchum that goes like this: “Who’s the scariest guy in America? Probably Jack Ketchum.” The author of that quote? Just some guy named Stephen King. Ketchum—who, in person, is amiable and personable enough to have once been a successful literary agent (he managed the career of literary icon Henry Miller, among others)—has always walked a unique line between mass market author and cult object. His first novel, Off Season, was released by Ballantine Books in 1980; in his introduction to a later reprint, Douglas Winter called the tale of a group of cave-dwelling and cannibalistic savages who prey on vacationing New Yorkers “raw and risky.”

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Interview: Victor LaValle

Victor LaValle is the author of the short story collection Slapboxing with Jesus, three novels, The Ecstatic, Big Machine, and The Devil in Silver, and two novellas, Lucretia and the Kroons and The Ballad of Black Tom. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Whiting Writers’ Award, a United States Artists Ford Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Shirley Jackson Award, an American Book Award, and the key to Southeast Queens.