Horror & Dark Fantasy



Editorial, August 2015

Welcome to issue thirty-five of Nightmare!

We have some good awards news to share with you this month: Both Lightspeed generally and our Women Destroy Science Fiction! special issue specifically have been nominated for the British Fantasy Award! (Lightspeed is nominated in the Periodicals category, while WDSF is nominated in the Anthology category.) Huge congrats to Christie Yant and the rest of the WDSF team, and thanks to everyone responsible for selecting these nominations—it’s a huge honor! The winners will be announced on October 25 at FantasyCon 2015 in Nottingham, England. You can find the full list of finalists at britishfantasysociety.org.

In other awards news, the World Fantasy Award nominations were also announced recently, and I’m pleased to report that I have been once again nominated in the “Special Award, Professional” category. I am extremely honored to be nominated again (now for the seventh time overall, including three Anthology nominations), and I will be in Saratoga Springs, New York for the World Fantasy Convention (November 5-8) when the awards are presented (where I look forward to losing to Gordon Van Gelder in person). The full list of finalists is available at worldfantasy.org/awards.

And finally, this year’s Hugo Awards will be presented at Sasquan, the 73rd annual World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), which is being held August 19-23 in Spokane, Washington. As you probably recall, Lightspeed is again up for Best Semiprozine (which won last year), and this year we also have a nominee in the Novelette category—“The Day the World Turned Upside Down” by Thomas Olde Heuvelt. The Lightspeed team will be there in person and will report back in September after the convention. (And of course we will update you on social media as soon as the winner in our categories are announced.)

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Releasing this month is a new anthology I co-edited with Daniel H. Wilson called Press Start to Play. It includes twenty-six works of fiction that put video games — and the people who play them — in the spotlight. Whether these authors are tackling the humble pixelated coin-op arcade games of the ’70s and ’80s, or the vivid, immersive form of entertainment that abounds today, you’ll never look at phrases like “save point,” “first-person shooter,” “dungeon crawl,” “pwned,” or “kill screen” in quite the same way again. With a foreword from Ernest Cline, bestselling author of Ready Player One, Press Start to Play (which releases August 18) includes work from: Daniel H. Wilson, Charles Yu, Hiroshi Sakurazaka, S.R. Mastrantone, Charlie Jane Anders, Holly Black, Seanan McGuire, Django Wexler, Nicole Feldringer, Chris Avellone, David Barr Kirtley, T.C. Boyle, Marc Laidlaw, Robin Wasserman, Micky Neilson, Cory Doctorow, Jessica Barber, Chris Kluwe, Marguerite K. Bennett, Rhianna Pratchett, Austin Grossman, Yoon Ha Lee, Ken Liu, Catherynne M. Valente, Andy Weir, and Hugh Howey. Visit johnjosephadams.com/press-start to learn more.

And in September, look for Loosed Upon the World, the definitive collection of climate fiction. These provocative stories explore our present and speculate about all of our tomorrows through terrifying struggle and hope. Join bestselling authors Margaret Atwood, Paolo Bacigalupi, Nancy Kress, Kim Stanley Robinson, Jim Shepard, and over twenty others as they presciently explore the greatest threat to our future. Visit johnjosephadams.com/loosed to learn more; available September 15.

Then in October comes the debut of Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, part of the prestigious Best American series. In it, guest editor Joe Hill and I present the top twenty stories of 2014 (ten science fiction, ten fantasy). It’ll be available starting October 6. Learn more at johnjosephadams.com/best-american.

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With our announcements out of the way, here’s what we’ve got to scare you with this month:

We have original fiction from Nathaniel Lee (“Where It Lives”) and Megan Arkenberg (“And This is the Song it Sings”), along with reprints by Steve Rasnic Tem (“The Men and Women of Rivendale”) and Molly Tanzer (“Qi Sport”).

In our latest installment of our monthly column, “The H Word,” award-winning author Seanan McGuire gets serious about the Black Plague. We’ve also got an interview with horror legend Clive Barker, and of course, author spotlights with our authors, and a showcase on our cover artist.

It’s another great month for nightmares, so thanks for reading!

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John Joseph Adams


John Joseph Adams is the series editor of Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy and is the bestselling editor of more than thirty anthologies, including Wastelands and The Living Dead. Recent books include A People’s Future of the United States, Wastelands: The New Apocalypse, and the three volumes of The Dystopia Triptych. Called “the reigning king of the anthology world” by Barnes & Noble, John is a two-time winner of the Hugo Award (for which he has been a finalist twelve times) and an eight-time World Fantasy Award finalist. John is also the editor and publisher of Lightspeed and is the publisher of its sister-magazines, Fantasy and Nightmare. For five years, he ran the John Joseph Adams Books novel imprint for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Find him online at johnjosephadams.com and @johnjosephadams.