Horror & Dark Fantasy

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Nonfiction

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Alison Littlewood

So often in life, there are no explanations. We encounter people every day and have no idea of their background or where they’re headed or why. Things can’t always be wrapped up with a neat little bow.

Artist Showcase

Artist Showcase: Chris B. Murray

Chris B. Murray had a hunger for art from his earliest years, growing up in a small town in upstate New York. Having ambitiously exhausted his autodidactic options, he then majored in illustration at Rochester Institute of Technology. He now practices in Philadelphia, where he lives with his girlfriend, Emily, and their dog, Chunk. His work has been awarded or recognized by the likes of The Society of Illustrators, Juxtapoz, Hi-Fructose, and Illustration Age, among many others. He has done editorial and promotional illustration for many high-profile publications such as The New Yorker, Boys’ Life, and XXL. Recently, his Adirondacks-exploration series “ADKS” showed at Chicago’s Rotofugi Gallery. His work can be found at chrisbmurray.com and facebook.com/CBMArtworks.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Melanie Tem

Often I know the genre of a story before I start writing, just as I know whether it will be a short piece or a novel or a play. Often, too, I consider taking stories in any of a number of directions. When I teach writing, I invite students to try writing a story in several genres and see how it morphs when written as a science fiction story, a romance, a crime story. Part of the germination process for “Dhost” was determining which “side of the line” would best serve the story.

Nonfiction

The H Word: And Then the Zombie Killed the Vampire

Horror fans may have hammered the final stake! The general consensus is: zombies are in, vampires out. Whether or not that is true, zombies have definitely surged to the fore while vampires have seemingly faded into the mist. Which begs the question—Why?

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Dale Bailey

We’re at our most vulnerable when we’re sleeping. Any hidden space—an open door into the hall, a closet door standing just ajar—can serve to terrify us. The bed is worse because you’re right over that hidden space, in the eye of the abyss.

Editorial

Editorial, November 2013

This month, we have original fiction from Brooke Bolander (“The Beasts of the Earth, the Madness of Men”) and Alison Littlewood (“Waiting for the Light”), along with reprints by Dale Bailey (“Hunger: A Confession”) and Melanie Tem (“Dhost”). We also have the latest installment of our column on horror, “The H Word,” plus author spotlights with our authors, a showcase on our cover artist, and a feature interview with bestselling author Dan Simmons.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Brooke Bolander

I generally find it more difficult to write flash pieces, because the amount of information you have to pack into such a small space is obviously going to be extremely limited. That said, I’m also terrible at writing anything over 7,000 or 8,000 words, which is why my novel-in-progress generally gets to around 10,000 words on any given draft and then dies twitching on the table. This has been going on for five years and counting. Regimes have risen and fallen. Children have been born and learned to walk, dress themselves, and throw horrific tantrums over gadgets that didn’t exist when I started working on the very first draft. Feral cat genealogies across the same timeline run into the tens of millions.

Nonfiction

Interview: Margo Lanagan

Writers rarely achieve international and multi-genre renown on the basis of just one short story, but that was exactly what happened with Margo Lanagan and “Singing My Sister Down,” which appeared in her collection Black Juice (published by Gollancz in 2004 and HarperCollins in 2005). “Singing My Sister Down” is written from the point of view of a boy watching the slow execution of his sister, and is a spectacular example of how Lanagan’s work provides “a glimpse into weird, wondrous, and sometimes terrifying worlds” (from the starred review for Black Juice in School Library Journal). In 2008, her novel Tender Morsels defied easy categorizations, melding European fairy tales with her own brand of dark fantasy, and once again achieved extraordinary cross-genre success. She has since published three more collections (including Cracklespace in 2012), and the novel The Brides of Rollrock Island, which expanded an earlier novella, Sea Hearts. She is a native of Australia.

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Alaya Dawn Johnson

The autopsy report was very tricky, since I needed something that conveyed the relevant information without taking too long to get there (not to mention a reasonable medical cause of death).

Artist Showcase

Artist Spotlight: Peter Mohrbacher

Peter Mohrbacher, a concept artist and illustrator working in San Francisco, is best known for his work on Magic: The Gathering, and is the Art Lead for Dragons of Atlantis. He’s been honored with work in Spectrum annuals 18, 19, and 20. He also offers a mentorship program for artists seeking to hone and develop their skills through a gauntlet of evaluations and feedback. He can be found online at vandalhigh.com, deviantArt, Facebook, and Tumblr.