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Editorial: October 2021

Welcome to Nightmare’s 109th issue! It’s wonderful to have a birthday in the spookiest month of the year, and this month we’re turning nine. Nine years of deliciously dark content? That’s something to scream for!

This month, I have to confess to you all that I am a very poorly traveled person. I didn’t take my first flight until I was twenty-five, and since then I’ve only flown a few more times. Part of this is due to economy, and part of this is because for about a decade my husband refused to fly. When his brother got married in Michigan, he had to leave on a train four days before my daughter and I left to enjoy our flight. But I love flying! As the plane launches itself off the tarmac, I like to think about all the scientists and inventors whose work went into solving the mystery of flight. When the plane hits patches of turbulence, I like to imagine experiencing the texture of the air the way a bird might, feeling the different textures and streams of air moving against my feathers.

My love of birds and flight made itself apparent when I was gathering the pieces of this month’s issue, all of which have something to do with flying. For those of you who are Hitchcock fans, you will appreciate WC Dunlap’s modern take on a The Birds-like apocalypse, “Caw.” Don’t expect this story to take the same turns as the film or du Maurier’s novelette, however! This one is creepy in a whole newly feathered way. Our second short story is from Jon Padgett, who brings a little cosmic horror to the act of travel. Those catching “Flight 389” should prepare themselves for a very, very weird journey. Our Horror Lab pieces include an eerie poem by Sonya Taaffe (“Every Night and All”) and a flash story about spiritualism by Dale Bailey (“I Summon You”).

In this month’s nonfiction, we of course have author spotlight interviews with our short fiction writers, and Terence Taylor has written another one of his insightful book reviews. And Lisa Morton returns to the H Word with an essay about the Final Girl and women in horror.

I don’t know if we’ve ever had an issue with such a delightful mix of newcomers (welcome to the family, WC Dunlap and Jon Padgett!) and old hands. Sonya Taaffe contributed a poem to our 2015 Queers Destroy Horror! special issue; Dale Bailey first appeared in our pages in our fifth issue (Feb. 2013), and Lisa Morton appeared in our sixth (Mar. 2013). It’s wonderful to be working with such a nightmarish bunch.

I’ve been remiss in interviewing our staff the last few weeks, but don’t worry! Next month I’ll be back at it.

In the meantime, thank you for flying Air Nightmare Magazine. I hope the flight’s a scream!

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.