After years of focusing on literary poetry and fiction, including completing my undergraduate education in creative writing and taking writing workshops, I’m finally embracing my original genre aspirations.
I’m joining the other Writers Studio Tucson teachers on Friday, October 18th at 6:00 PM at Antigone Books in Tucson, AZ for a public reading from our latest works that focus on “the unusual, the dark, and the unreal.”
In the 2019 Shadow Award from The Molotov Cocktail, one of my entries landed me on the short list.
I am so excited to announce that my proposal for a workshop on writing speculative fiction and poetry, including science fiction, fantasy, and horror, was recently approved, and the class is now listed and available for registration! This new 6-week workshop is titled “Crafting Fantastic & Imaginative Worlds” and it uses The Writers Studio method of persona writing and critiquing. It begins Saturday, July 27, 2019.
Assimilate isn’t the cheap and nauseating found-footage film the trailer led me to believe it would be, but instead an effective low-budget thriller that relies too much on jump scares but tempers these with earned emotions and suspense.
Horror 101: The Way Forward edited by Joe Mynhardt explores a tremendous territory of information, advice, and experience with essays written by many different creatives who work in the genre. These essays are organized into four main sections about the horror genre itself, the artistic opportunities in horror, writing horror, and building and maintaining a career in horror. There are some very useful commonalities to be found between various essays, but there are many differences, too, and even contradictory information. I love that. I found this mix especially inspiring because it underscores just how much room there is for you and me to explore the genre as singular readers, writers, artists, and enthusiasts. Even when I told myself I would absolutely *NOT* emulate what a particular essayist has done in their career, I loved learning about their experiences and how this only proves how wide open horror is.
The highlight of this issue is most definitely the interview with Joe Hill. I haven’t read any of his work yet, but I’m really interested now that I’ve read this interview.
Neil Gaiman’s “The Mushroom Hunters” was my personal favorite in the collection, along with Mary Soon Lee’s “Advice to a Six-Year-Old” and all her other poems, Linda D. Addison’s “Sycorax’s Daughters Unveiled”, Cislyn Smith’s “Hot”, and Shannon Connor Winward’s “The Raven’s Hallowe’en.”
Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney My rating: 4 of 5 stars There’s this moment after watching one of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers movies (there are four and I’ll have more to say about them later on in this review) when I think to myself “I really should read the original […]
Beyond the Gates movie poster Beyond the Gates (2016), directed by Jackson Stewart, written by Jackson Stewart and Stephen Scarlata My rating: 4 of 5 stars Beyond the Gates is one of those slow-burn horror films that may bore some viewers but the nostalgia and character building are going to make fans of the rest. Barbara […]
Nightmare Magazine, Issue 46 by Nightmare Magazine My rating: 3 of 5 stars I found some of the stories in Issue 46 of Nightmare Magazine to be a little opaque, making for interesting reading and leaving me to think about possible meanings. “Red House” by Gavin Pate begins with finding a girl lost in the […]
The Year’s Best Fantasy First Annual Collection by Ellen Datlow My rating: 5 of 5 stars It took me over a year to read this 1988 collection of short stories selected by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, but it wasn’t because of any problems I had with the anthology. I’m rating this 5 stars for […]
Nightmare Magazine, October 2012 by John Joseph Adams My rating: 5 of 5 stars I’m reading the most recent issues of Nightmare Magazine and also going back to the beginning to read every issue. “Property Condemned” by Jonathan Maberry is a great standalone story set in (according to the interview with Maberry in this issue) […]
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 […]
Phobos Magazine 3: Troublemake: weird | fiction by Luke St. Germaine My rating: 4 of 5 stars The poems and flash fiction in this issue tend to feature ornery characters, leading to lots of humor and dark twists. Something else besides the flower is in the gifted pot in “The Lovely Amaryllis,” leading to some […]
Phobos Magazine Issue Two: Emergence: weird | fiction by Amanda C. Davis My rating: 5 of 5 stars Several absolutely fantastic and often chilling flash horror, fairy tale, and science fiction stories. Some highlights: “The Hitchhikers” remind you to always look behind you. Or don’t. “Moonspots” waits for daddy to come home. “Questions For the […]
Phobos Magazine Issue One: Zugzwang by A.E. Decker My rating: 4 of 5 stars Deliciously weird short short stories and shorter, along with a couple poems. Promising first issue. On to issue two! View all my reviews
I remember fondly buying a few editions of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror anthologies edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling in the 1990s. I was in my twenties and while many of the stories and their level of craft were opaque to me at the time, I felt I had stumbled onto a magical tradition.