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Nightmare #1 - October 2012
Edited by John Joseph Adams
Cover Artist: Jeff Simpson
Review by Sam Tomaino
Nightmare Magazine / eZine  
Date: 23 November 2012

Links: Nightmare Magazine / Pub Info / Table of Contents /

Here's the first issue of Nightmare Magazine, from the publisher and editor-in-chief of Lightspeed. The focus here is on horror. It is also an online magazine with stories by Jonathan Mayberry, Laird Barron, Genevieve Valentine, and Sarah Langan, along with Author Spotlights on all of them (and Artist Spotlight on cover artist Jeff Simpson). Also included are a Feature Interview with Peter Straub by John Langan and the first installment of a regular monthly feature, "The H Word: The Other Scarlet Letter" by R.J. Sevin.

Here's the first issue of Nightmare Magazine, from the publisher and editor-in-chief of Lightspeed. It is an online horror magazine. The first issue has four original stories. Subsequent will have two original and two reprints. You can find the issue and how to pay (or not) for it at http://nightmare-magazine.com/.

Here are my reviews of the four new stories in this issue.

The first story is "Property Condemned" by Jonathan Mayberry. Malcolm Crow is a young boy growing up in the small town of Pine Deep, Pennsylvania in 1974. The town has a reputation for being haunted and the most haunted location is the Croft place. It's an ancient, evil-looking house. Crow and his friends Val (a girl), Stick, and Terry approach the Croft place and, eventually, go in. They meet horrors there beyond their imagining. According to the Author Profile that accompanies it, this story is connected to Mayberry's Pine Deep trilogy with the early lives of characters in it and, one assumes foreshadowing of events in those novels. This story provides a reason to check those out.

"Frontier Death Song" by Laird Barron draws heavily on old Norse myth and the legend of the Hunt. Our narrator interrupted the Huntsman and his dogs eviscerating a friend named Steven Graham during an Iditarod back in 1992. He did a lot of damage to the Huntsman and escaped with his life. As years went by, his life deteriorated and a few days ago, his old friend Graham, the new Huntsman showed up and gave him a warning to start running. Our narrator, with his faithful dog, Minerva, is running to the home of a friend, Jeffrey Fort, who has offered assistance. This one has quite an ending, an one that is decidedly not subtle or quiet.

In "Good Fences" by Genevieve Valentine, Alan lives in a bad neighborhood where punks hang around on street corners and the police never appear. Alan is increasingly withdrawn and will not even call the police about a car on fire because he does not want to get involved. The description of existential horror in the Author Spotlight is dead on. This could not be more different from the previous story. Valentine is one of our best new writers and shows that here.

The stories conclude with "After Life" by Sarah Langan. Mary Hogan lives with her hoarder mother Corinne and the ghosts of abused children who died and remained around because Limbo was closed. The world is closing in on her. She and her mother are being evicted. Where will the go? This one was very unsettling.

The first issue of Nightmare Magazine is a good one, with a real mix of different kinds of horror stories. You can access the stories for free. Check out their web site and support them, if you want to, in some way.

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