Horror & Dark Fantasy



Editorial: January 2022

Welcome to Nightmare’s 112th issue! And welcome to the new year. We have no idea what 2022 will be like, but if it follows the trend of the last seven or eight years, it will probably be totally and completely f*cked up.

And without further ado, that’s the theme of this month’s issue.

I know, I usually try to make these editorials all personal and chatty, possibly even with a whiff of meaning or depth, but once you dive into this issue, you’ll see why I’m throwing off the gloves. Let’s just take a look at our first story of the month, which is a terrific piece about a house that’s not quite haunted, but is certainly otherworldly in the creepiest possible fashion. Oh, and it’s maybe about being stalked via an app.

And it’s called “Dick Pig.”

Yeah, Ian Muneshwar knocks it totally out of the baseball park and straight into Messed Up Town, and I hope you get totally freaked out reading it (I know I did).

We also have a retelling of the same Japanese folk story that brought you Sailor Moon, but if you think this dark fantasy story is going to be full of cute kittens and skimpily clad teenage girls, I am sorry. Kiyomi Appleton Gaines’ story “The Elements of Her Self” is a lovely work that also happens to be deeply powerful and horribly unwholesome. It’s a great companion to Susan Calvillo’s nautical-themed poem “if the ghosts haunt you, bind them in ink,” which is like an eerie cousin of 2020’s sea shanty craze. Plus, Jordan Shiveley brings us a flash story called “New Meat™,” which is a pretty gross little title—as is the story.

Our nonfiction includes an interview with the up-and-coming Eric LaRocca and spotlight interview with our fantastic writers. Our H Word column is from Brazilian writer Dante Luiz, and delves into what fear looks like when you live in Brazil. I think it’s a deeply important and timely read.

It’s another terrific, albeit bizarre and twisted, issue, and I hope you all enjoy it. Or scream in horror and run away from it, which is one of the best responses a horror magazine could ask for.

Wishing you and yours a safe and not entirely messed up new year—no matter what it may bring!

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.