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Editorial, December 2022

It’s issue #123 and our last one of 2022. This year has been a wild ride for us at the magazine! We had two short stories nominated for Shirley Jackson awards: “Gordon B. White is creating Haunting Weird Horror,” by Gordon B. White, and “We, the Girls Who Did Not Make It,” by E.A. Petricone, and thrillingly, Petricone’s story won for best Novelette! On the work front, we’ve brought on new staff and submissions readers, and we’ve read so many scary stories our local haunted houses made us yawn.

But now it’s time to take a cue from the weather and bunker down under our blankets. Winter calls for inward reflection and turning our attention to home and hearth, and that’s just what we’re doing in this issue. It’s our Home Issue, and we’re hoping it’s just the blend of hygge and creep that you need.

Our short stories this month revolve around the home. We kick off the month with a zombie-meets-haunted-house story that will make you want to either deep-clean your house or burn it down: “Break the Skin if You Have To,” by writing trio Emma Osborne, Cadwell Turnbull, and Jess Essey. Mari Ness brings us a sadder story of life indoors in her unsettling tale “Wallers.” Our Horror Lab originals include “Three Symptoms of a Disaster,” a poem of grief and catastrophe from Angela Liu. Chris DiLeo shares his unsettling experiences with the death of loved ones in his micro personal essay “Still Breathing.”

As for our nonfiction, Adam-Troy Castro recommends a book and a movie to enjoy while you’re staying close to the fireplace, while Eric Raglin talks about heavy metal that scares in his “The H Word” essay. And of course we have author spotlight interviews with our short fiction writers to help you see what makes them tick. Plus, our ebook readers will also enjoy an excerpt from Erika T. Wurth’s novel, White Horse.

So light a few candles, put on something fuzzy, and get cozy with our December issue. We hope you enjoy it!

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Wendy N. Wagner

Wendy N. Wagner is the author of the horror novel The Deer Kings and the gothic novella The Secret Skin. Previous work includes the SF thriller An Oath of Dogs and two novels for the Pathfinder Tales series, and her short stories, poetry, and essays have appeared in more than fifty venues. She also serves as the managing/senior editor of Lightspeed Magazine, and previously served as the guest editor of our Queers Destroy Horror! special issue. She lives in Oregon with her very understanding family, two large cats, and a Muppet disguised as a dog.