Review: Nightmare Magazine Issue 45 June 2016

Nightmare Magazine, June 2016 (Nightmare Magazine, #45)Nightmare Magazine, June 2016 by John Joseph Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, wow, this is a great issue. I haven’t read a lot of horror short fiction in recent decades and I’ve been curious to see what writers are writing about. Thus, I’m a new subscriber; it has already been rewarding.

What interests me most about “Great Black Wave” by David Tallerman is the technology of modern and near-future warfare, and how it might provide a handhold for an ancient evil to ascend into the modern world. There are also elements in this story that remind me of one of my favorite Dean Koontz novels, Phantoms.

The surprise of “The Finest, Fullest Flowering” by Marc Laidlaw is how subtlety the tension builds in a story that doesn’t otherwise seem to have much horror in it. At first. The ending gave me a delicious and unexpected chill. The story is a very satisfying read.

“Things of Which We Do Not Speak” by Lucy Taylor is full of repressed awfulness that explodes into unsettling psychological horror. It’s a truly uncomfortable read but also a masterfully written examination of the darkness hidden inside people.

“Ruminations” by Rena Mason brings together contemporary reality and a vaguely science fiction and frightening future via a supernatural bridge. I love how genres mix in this story, but the mixing is grounded by two very captivating characters who make it seem all too real.

The nonfiction in this issue is interesting, though the “The H Word” column seems to continue a conversation of which I haven’t read previous installments. Joyce Carol Oates is interviewed and provides nice insights into the horror-writing side of her work.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet. His first published poem, "Roadside Freak Show," arrives on August 21, 2017 in Impossible Archetype.  His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (richardleis.com), on Goodreads (richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).