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.

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.

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.”

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 […]

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) […]

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 […]

The Year's Best Fantasy, First and Second Annual Collections

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.