Horror & Dark Fantasy

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Nov. 2022 (Issue 122)

Don’t miss this conversation between the team of editors and writers behind three amazing linked projects exploring the representation of women of Asian heritage in horror writing and their shared Asian heritage. The books discussed include: Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women, an anthology of Southeast Asian horror short fiction; Tortured Willows: Bent. Bowed. Unbroken, an anthology of Asian horror poetry; and Unquiet Spirits: Essays by Asian Women in Horror, a collection of personal essays forthcoming Feb. 2023.

In This Issue: Nov. 2022 (Issue 122)

Editorial

Editorial: November 2022

Welcome to November, a month I’ve always had mixed feelings about. It’s a time here in the Pacific Northwest when the trees finish transitioning from trees into sticks, when the insects have all tucked themselves away, and the air turns from the mellow gold of fall to the smoked blue of early winter. It is the time when the sepulchral takes hold of the world and our hearts, and reality skews weird. I use the word weird all the time, plus its allies uncanny and eerie. All three imply a state of affairs that are deeply uncomfortable or un-understandable by the human mind.

Fiction

Devil Take Me

The caveat is that I’m going to lie to you. That’s how confessions work, isn’t it? There are those things that even though we want to confess, we can’t confront, and so we talk around. Lying isn’t even second nature; it’s our primary condition. The best I can do is tell you the truth about when I’ve lied. Let’s start at the beginning. I come from a deep and worn-out notch on the Bible Belt, the only child of Peter and Trudy Cadigan. Well, no. You’d need only look at the graves to know that’s not entirely true.

Author Spotlight

Fiction

Ant Twin

When you learn a fact like the one that opens this piece—that all the ants on Earth add up to the same weight as all the people—you want that to mean something, to have some consequence. This story is the consequence that fact imposed on my mind, the body horror it implied. If it makes your skin crawl, I hope you’re reminded of your own Ant Twin out there somewhere: its skin, too, is crawling.

Nonfiction

The H Word: Sole Survivor

“Ernest Hemingway once wrote, ‘The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.’ I agree with the second part.” These are Detective Lieutenant William Somerset’s final words in the psychological horror film SE7EN. To the unblemished mind, they may ring hollow—a bleak consolation in light of the events that have transpired. Having just watched an unrepentant psychopath methodically murder five innocent people, we follow as our heroes—the jaded William Somerset and his idealistic partner David Mills—are lured out into an open field.

Fiction

Only When You Laugh

Twenty-four hours to go. The Ultus Theater was all lit up, the marquee emblazoned with his name, glowing in the haze of the heavy rain. Laffing Farm Final Show: Mitch Williams! He chuckled to himself. Mitch, Mitch, born in a ditch . . . The last time he was outside in a downpour was ten years ago, that night by the lake after his treatment. He had been jittery with withdrawal, teeth chattering in his head, as loud as the waves crashing against the shore. Look at him now. 2,800 seats, sold out.

Author Spotlight

Poetry

For You Were Strangers in Egypt

This poem is one in my @notaleptic series of poems where the Twitter bot of the same name provides the first line or lines. I wanted to put a Jewish hero into one of my “creepy off-planet work assignment” poems, with the help of a Jewish sensitivity reader. I’m very pleased with what resulted.

Nonfiction

Panel Interview: Lee Murray, Geneve Flynn, Angela Yuriko Smith, Christina Sng, Rena Mason, and K.P. Kulski

Don’t miss this conversation between the team of editors and writers behind three amazing linked projects exploring the representation of women of Asian heritage in horror writing and their shared Asian heritage. The books discussed include: Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women, an anthology of Southeast Asian horror short fiction; Tortured Willows: Bent. Bowed. Unbroken, an anthology of Asian horror poetry; and Unquiet Spirits: Essays by Asian Women in Horror, a collection of personal essays forthcoming Feb. 2023.