Horror & Dark Fantasy




Editorial, March 2017

Welcome to issue fifty-four of Nightmare!

We have original fiction from Nate Southard (“Things Crumble, Things Break”) and Kathleen Kayembe (“You Will Always Have Family: A Triptych”), along with reprints by Nadia Bulkin (“Seven Minutes in Heaven”) and Robert Shearman (“Alice Through the Plastic Sheet”).

We also have the latest installment of our column on horror, “The H Word,” plus author spotlights with our authors, and a feature interview with Norman Prentiss.

Awards News

Awards season is officially upon us, and it looks like 2016 was another terrific year for our publications. The first of the major awards have announced their lists of finalists for last year’s work, and we’re pleased to announce that “Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea” by Sarah Pinsker and “Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station│Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0” by Caroline M. Yoachim are finalists for the Nebula Award this year. Congrats to Sarah and Caroline and to everyone else on the Nebula ballot! That brings Lightspeed’s lifetime Nebula nomination total to eighteen since we launched in June 2010. We’ve currently lost sixteen in a row, so here’s hoping Sarah and/or Caroline breaks the streak! (Though of course, Alyssa Wong’s story, “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers,” from Nightmare won the Nebula last year, making us 1-for-1.) You can find the full slate of nominees at sfwa.org. The Nebulas will be presented at the 2017 Nebula Awards Conference, held this year in Pittsburgh, PA, May 18-21.

We told you last month how my horror anthology co-edited with Douglas Cohen, What the #@&% is That?, had two stories—“Only Unclench Your Hand” by Isabel Yap and “The Bad Hour” by Christopher Golden—on the Preliminary Stoker Awards ballot for best Short Fiction. I’m now pleased to announce that “The Bad Hour” made the final ballot, so big congrats to Christopher for that honor. You can find the full slate of what made the final ballot at horror.org. The Stoker Awards will be presented at StokerCon 2017, which is being held in Long Beach, CA, April 27-30.

The Locus Awards are now open for voting. Several stories from Lightspeed and Nightmare made the recommended reading list, though the Locus Award has a write-in ballot, so you can also disregard the recommendations and vote for whatever you like instead. Voting closes April 15, 2017. To vote, visit locusmag.com.

And, finally, just a reminder that the nomination period for this year’s Hugo Awards closes March 17. Anyone who became a voting member of the 2016, 2017, or 2018 Worldcons by January 31, 2017 is eligible to nominate. If you need some help remembering which stories from Lightspeed or Nightmare (or were otherwise edited by/associated with me) fit into which categories, I put together a list of all of the material I worked on that is eligible for this year’s award, which you can find at bit.ly/hugos2017.

Best-of-the-Year Reprints

Several stories from Nightmare, Lightspeed, and the Destroy special issues have also been selected for reprint in several best-of-the-year volumes. They’re listed below, with the original venue and then the best-of-the-year editor(s)’s name following in parenthesis:

  1. Whose Drowned Face Sleeps by An Owomoyela & Rachael Swirsky (Nightmare | Guran)
  2. Wish You Were Here by Nadia Bulkin (Nightmare | Guran)
  3. The Finest, Fullest Flowering by Marc Laidlaw (Nightmare | Guran)
  4. Redking by Craig DeLancey (Lightspeed | Horton, Dozois)
  5. I’ve Come to Marry the Princess by Helena Bell (Lightspeed | Horton)
  6. A Good Home by Karin Lowachee (Lightspeed | Clarke)
  7. Those Brighter Stars by Mercurio R. Rivera (Lightspeed | Dozois)
  8. Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed | Clarke)
  9. The Jaws That Bite, The Claws That Catch by Seanan McGuire (Lightspeed | Guran)
  10. Fifty Shades Of Grays by Steven Barnes (Lightspeed | Horton, Dozois)
  11. Red Dirt Witch by N.K. Jemisin (Fantasy | Strahan, Guran)

We’ll update this list if we uncover any additional such honors!

Locus Recommended Reading List / Locus Awards Voting

Locus Magazine released their annual recommended reading list, and we’re pleased to report Nightmare has five stories on the list, Lightspeed has fifteen stories, and my anthology What the #@&% is That? has two stories:

  • “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” Dale Bailey (Nightmare)
  • “Fifty Shades of Grays” Steven Barnes (Lightspeed)
  • “Salto Mortal” Nick T. Chan (Lightspeed)
  • “Ghost Pressure” Gemma Files (What the #@&% Is That?)
  • “Little Widow” Maria Dahvana Headley (Nightmare / What the #@&% Is That?)
  • “Red Dirt Witch” N.K. Jemisin (Fantasy)
  • “The One Who Isn’t” Ted Kosmatka (Lightspeed)
  • “The Finest, Fullest Flowering” Marc Laidlaw (Nightmare)
  • “Sparks Fly” Rich Larson (Lightspeed)
  • “A Good Home” Karin Lowachee (Lightspeed)
  • “Those Brighter Stars” Mercurio D. Rivera (Lightspeed)
  • “Angel, Monster, Man” Sam J. Miller (Nightmare)
  • “Unauthorized Access” An Owomoyela (Lightspeed)
  • “The Red Thread” Sofia Samatar (Lightspeed)
  • “Vulcanization” Nisi Shawl (Nightmare)
  • “Wednesday’s Story” Wole Talabi (Lightspeed)
  • “Dragon Brides” Nghi Vo (Lightspeed)
  • “Secondhand Bodies” JY Yang (Lightspeed)
  • “Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station | Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0” Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed)

Congratulations to our authors, and to everyone who made the list!

The release of the Recommended Reading List also means that voting for the Locus Awards is now open. Anyone is eligible to vote. Visit locusmag.com to cast a ballot or learn more. Voting closes April 15, 2017.

John Joseph Adams Books News

I’m pleased to announce a new novel acquisition for John Joseph Adams Books: Peter Cawdron’s Retrograde, a hard SF novel about an international colony of astronauts on Mars, who have been prepared for every eventuality of living on another planet except one: What happens when disaster strikes Earth? Retrograde is scheduled for publication in September.

In July, we’ll be publishing two books: (1) Carrie Vaughn’s novel, Bannerless—a post-apocalyptic mystery in which an investigator must discover the truth behind a mysterious death in a world where small communities struggle to maintain a ravaged civilization decades after environmental and economic collapse; and (2) Sand by Hugh Howey, a reissue of his acclaimed indie-published novel.

In October, we’ll be publishing Machine Learning: New and Collected Stories by Hugh Howey, a short story collection including three stories set in the world of Hugh’s mega-hit Wool and two never-before-published tales, plus fifteen additional stories collected together for the first time.

In November, we’ll be publishing Molly Tanzer’s Creatures of Will and Temper—a Victorian-era urban fantasy inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, in which an épée-fencing enthusiast and her younger sister are drawn into a secret and dangerous London underworld of pleasure-seeking demons and bloodthirsty diabolists, with only her skill with a blade standing between them and certain death.

A bit farther out, in Spring 2018, we’ll have The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp, about a magician with a talent for finding lost things who is forced into playing a high-stakes game with the gods of New Orleans for the heart and soul of the city.

That’s all the JJA Books news to report for now. More soon!

• • • •

Well, that’s all there is to report this month. 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.