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Nightmare Magazine 49: October 2016. People of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror! Special Issue

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NIGHTMARE was founded on the core idea that all horror is real horror. The whole point of this magazine is that horror fiction is vast. It is inclusive. Horror is about all people and for all people. The People of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror! special issue exists to relieve a brokenness in the genre that’s been enabled time and time again by favoring certain voices and portra NIGHTMARE was founded on the core idea that all horror is real horror. The whole point of this magazine is that horror fiction is vast. It is inclusive. Horror is about all people and for all people. The People of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror! special issue exists to relieve a brokenness in the genre that’s been enabled time and time again by favoring certain voices and portrayals of particular characters. Here we bring together a team of POC writers and editors from around the globe to present horror that explores the nuances of culture, race, and history. This is horror for our present time, but also—most of all—for our future. People of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror! is 100% written and edited by people of color, and is lead by guest editor Silvia Moreno-Garcia, with editorial contributions from Tananarive Due, Maurice Broaddus, Arley Sorg, and others. It features four original, never-before-published short stories, from Valerie Valdes, Nadia Bulkin, Gabriela Santiago, and Russell Nichols. Plus, there’s four classic reprints by Nisi Shawl, Priya Sharma, Terence Taylor, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz. On top of all that, we also have an array of nonfiction articles and interviews, from Alyssa Wong, Chesya Burke, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, and Chinelo Onwualu, as well as original illustrations by Kimberly Wengerd, SainaSix, Maggie Chiang, and Reiko Murakami. Enjoy the destruction!


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NIGHTMARE was founded on the core idea that all horror is real horror. The whole point of this magazine is that horror fiction is vast. It is inclusive. Horror is about all people and for all people. The People of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror! special issue exists to relieve a brokenness in the genre that’s been enabled time and time again by favoring certain voices and portra NIGHTMARE was founded on the core idea that all horror is real horror. The whole point of this magazine is that horror fiction is vast. It is inclusive. Horror is about all people and for all people. The People of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror! special issue exists to relieve a brokenness in the genre that’s been enabled time and time again by favoring certain voices and portrayals of particular characters. Here we bring together a team of POC writers and editors from around the globe to present horror that explores the nuances of culture, race, and history. This is horror for our present time, but also—most of all—for our future. People of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror! is 100% written and edited by people of color, and is lead by guest editor Silvia Moreno-Garcia, with editorial contributions from Tananarive Due, Maurice Broaddus, Arley Sorg, and others. It features four original, never-before-published short stories, from Valerie Valdes, Nadia Bulkin, Gabriela Santiago, and Russell Nichols. Plus, there’s four classic reprints by Nisi Shawl, Priya Sharma, Terence Taylor, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz. On top of all that, we also have an array of nonfiction articles and interviews, from Alyssa Wong, Chesya Burke, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, and Chinelo Onwualu, as well as original illustrations by Kimberly Wengerd, SainaSix, Maggie Chiang, and Reiko Murakami. Enjoy the destruction!

30 review for Nightmare Magazine 49: October 2016. People of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror! Special Issue

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jamesboggie

    I found this special issue of Nightmare magazine as a bound anthology. It includes original fiction, reprint fiction, art, and nonfiction. The purpose of the anthology is challenging exclusionary conceptions of horror. Like all anthologies, the quality of the entries varies. Still, I enjoyed this work. I feel it successfully expanded my understanding of horror. Original Short Fiction “Wish You Were Here” – Nadia Bulkin "Wish You Were Here" is a slow story about the horror of guilt. It follows an Am I found this special issue of Nightmare magazine as a bound anthology. It includes original fiction, reprint fiction, art, and nonfiction. The purpose of the anthology is challenging exclusionary conceptions of horror. Like all anthologies, the quality of the entries varies. Still, I enjoyed this work. I feel it successfully expanded my understanding of horror. Original Short Fiction “Wish You Were Here” – Nadia Bulkin "Wish You Were Here" is a slow story about the horror of guilt. It follows an American tour group and guide in Bali. The afterlife hangs heavily over the story. I wish the characters had not been so unpleasant. 3/5 “None Of This Ever Happened” – Gabriela Santiago "None Of This Ever Happened" is a tedious stream of consciousness. Santiago experiments with negation to create an ambiguous story. The subtlety of the ending paragraph redeems it somewhat. While I still do not enjoy the story, the interview later in the anthology makes me appreciate the experimentation. I am interested to read more by Gabriela Santiago. 2/5 “A Diet of Worms” – Valerie Valdes "A Diet of Worms" is immediately one of my favorite short stories ever. It is an intense distillation of the fear of being stuck in a dead end job. For a fear that is so widespread and so intense, stories about it are usually depressing. Valerie Valdes manages to craft a horrifying story from this fear. 5/5 “The Taming of the Tongue” – Russel Nichols "The Taming of the Tongue" is a slave story that illustrates that sometimes supernatural monsters are preferable to the everyday horrors suffered by people of color. That is a revelation to me, and I find it equally horrifying and embarrassing. I really liked the main character, and felt frustrated that her post-bellum life was so similar to antebellum slavery. 4/5 Reprint Fiction “Cruel Sistah” – Nisi Shawl “Cruel Sistah” is a standard ghost story. It is basic but well-executed. 3/5 “The Show” – Priya Sharma "The Show" is a horror story about a ghost hunting show gone wrong. Unsurprisingly, this time the ghosts are real. Martha is adequately likable, and the progression is well-handled. The ending is a little confusing, as there is a not clearly identified supernatural entity and a twist that I found to be inadequately set up. 3/5 “Wet Pain” – Terence Taylor "Wet Pain" is an intensely uncomfortable story. The central fear is discovering an unknown dark side in someone you trusted, rendered in the particular form of a white friend turning out to be a racist. This is a common fear among PoC in the US. Watching Dean transform from a good friend to a brutally violent racist is chilling. The cause is uncertain. The tension builds well, and the payoff is good. 4/5 “Monstro” – Junot Diaz I did not like this story. Diaz managed to ruin a great premise with pretentious and undisciplined execution. The premise was fantastic. An ignored epidemic among poor Haitians turns on the rich and privileged of the world. That premise has great potential for horror. This premise hits a familiar shared experience with a visceral fear. It is grounded in the very real complacency toward issues of poverty. It demands the reader acknowledge the uncomfortable truth of injustice. It pricks the conscience of the reader, and promises punishment for all too common misdeeds. How could such a premise not produce a powerful work of horror? Junot Diaz manages to render his own native slang as forced and pretentious. It feels like Diaz wanted to show off how authentic and cool he is by overusing slang. It is clearly artificial because the use of slang suddenly and completely stopped during the climax. That’s not natural. The interview confirms my suspicions, as Diaz admits he wanted to imitate the use of fake jargon in science fiction works. The narrator is awful. I immediately hated him. He is obnoxious to the extreme. He is purely selfish. He starts with a racist joke, and continues being a generally awful person. The slang doesn’t do him any favors. He seems to be showing off and joking while people suffer from an epidemic. I did not want to keep reading. More than a third of the length is devoted to the unrelated escapades of the narrator’s rich friends. I think Diaz was trying to contrast wealth and privilege with extreme poverty and disease. This might not have been so bad if it had not stalled the story for five straight pages. Instead, I would have alternated sections describing the development of the disease with what the narrator and his friends were doing. It certainly would have been less self-indulgent than writing pages about a crush on some hot Dominican chick. Nonfiction “Interview: Victor LaValle” – Maurice Broaddus This is a short interview with LaValle about his views on horror and his writing. I was interested in his thoughts. I think I will pick up The Ballad of Black Tom because of this interview. 4/5 “The H Word: The Darkest, Truest Mirrors” – Alyssa Wong I like Alyssa Wong. She is the only author in this collection that I have read before. This essay is about why she writes horror. I needed to read it several times to absorb her message. She seems to argue that the world is horrific, so horror is the most accurate and truthful way of representing it. I am not sure I can agree, but I am glad she writes. 3/5 “Terror, Hope, Fascination, And Fear in Filipino Horror” – Rochita Loenen-Ruiz This essay provides a few nice insights into Filipino horror. The author lists some examples of horror in the Philippines, and speculates about the causes of the genre’s strength. I only wish there had been a little more depth. 3/5 “Horror, Inside Out” – Jayaprakash Satyamurthy This is a good essay. Satyamurthy analyzes, compares, and contrasts several horror stories set in India. The central theme of the essay is criticism of stories that use the fear of the other in racist ways. I appreciated the comparison that gives examples of good and bad rendering of other cultures. 4/5 “The Thing We Have to Fear” – Chinelo Onwualu This essay is more academic in tone than the others. Onwualu cites sources to support claims that Western horror is fixated on the fear of blackness. She provides a powerful challenge to what Western readers find scary. I am glad to have my conceptions of the genre expanded. 4/5 “Horror Is . . . Not What You Think or Probably Wish It Is” – Chesya Burke I would describe this essay as a bitter tirade about white horror fans excluding people of color from the genre. Burke defines horror as any work that produces emotions of horror or terror. She says many works by people of color meet that definition, but are ignored or argued away by white horror fans. Burke ends by saying these white fans have no place in the genre. Honestly, I agree with her about including people of color (I did pay for this anthology) but I did not enjoy the angry and accusatory tone. 2/5 Artists Gallery This section includes eight pieces of art. The art is supposedly horror related, but only one piece seems appropriately horrific to me. 1/5 Author Spotlights This section includes an interview with each other included in the first two sections. These interviews are short (maybe too short) and focused on the stories included in the anthology. I appreciated the insight provided by these interviews. I recommend reading each interview immediately after the relevant story. 4/5

  2. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Gordon

    A short horror tale about a murderous sister that jumps perspectives and ends with a chilling musical scene. Perhaps closer to a 2.5. Even though it was a short story, I would have liked to hear more of the sister's motives in killing her kin. Merged review: A Diet of Worms is a frightening tale of a young man working his shift at a movie theater who gets stuck in a time fluctuation and lives out most of his life over the course of that shift. Why? Who knows! But the story of his aging and his su A short horror tale about a murderous sister that jumps perspectives and ends with a chilling musical scene. Perhaps closer to a 2.5. Even though it was a short story, I would have liked to hear more of the sister's motives in killing her kin. Merged review: A Diet of Worms is a frightening tale of a young man working his shift at a movie theater who gets stuck in a time fluctuation and lives out most of his life over the course of that shift. Why? Who knows! But the story of his aging and his sudden memories of things that could not have possibly happened in the time frame of a single shift was a spooky as hell read. The imagery of the gummy worms was oddly effective as a horror prop as well.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dean Simons

    Interesting stories. First time I had read Nightmare. Highlights: A Diet of Worms - in my opinion probably the best of the bunch this issue. Juicy horror. "Wet Pain" and "Monstro" are both strong contenders - the characterisation and world building sets these apart. Definitely worth a read. Lowlights: "The Show". It felt a touch too generic for my tastes. "Horror is..." article a frustrating read. Felt more like a rant than an article. Could have achieved more if fleshed out. Interesting stories. First time I had read Nightmare. Highlights: A Diet of Worms - in my opinion probably the best of the bunch this issue. Juicy horror. "Wet Pain" and "Monstro" are both strong contenders - the characterisation and world building sets these apart. Definitely worth a read. Lowlights: "The Show". It felt a touch too generic for my tastes. "Horror is..." article a frustrating read. Felt more like a rant than an article. Could have achieved more if fleshed out.

  4. 4 out of 5

    PerishTheThought

    Not usually a horror fan, but this was part of the Kickstarter I backed. Really enjoyed the Victor LaValle interview and Alyssa Wong's essay. Nadia Bulkin's Wish You Were Here stayed with me a long time after I read it. I think you call that haunting. :) Diaz's Monstro was another fav. Will definitely seek out more from the authors I didn't know. Not usually a horror fan, but this was part of the Kickstarter I backed. Really enjoyed the Victor LaValle interview and Alyssa Wong's essay. Nadia Bulkin's Wish You Were Here stayed with me a long time after I read it. I think you call that haunting. :) Diaz's Monstro was another fav. Will definitely seek out more from the authors I didn't know.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Eva

    This is unsurprisingly one of the best issues of Nightmare Magazine--I loved several of the short stories in both the original and reprints section, and the interviews included were also very interesting to read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shane

    My favourite story from the recent Nightmare Magazine special edition - People Of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror! A great little roll of creepy dread that wouldn't be out of place in a Ligotti collection. My favourite story from the recent Nightmare Magazine special edition - People Of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror! A great little roll of creepy dread that wouldn't be out of place in a Ligotti collection.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Corinne

    So far only listened to: -- A Diet of Worms by Valerie Valdes - DNF I wasn't loving the narrator nor the subject matter. A "loser" stuck in his lame movie theater job starts to see advertisements that don't make sense. Like movie 2 is playing but movie 1 just came out. That is as far as I got. People seem to comment with praise for the story but I couldn't stick around. I guess the worms are "gummy" worms. He found an unopen box while cleaning up. So far only listened to: -- A Diet of Worms by Valerie Valdes - DNF I wasn't loving the narrator nor the subject matter. A "loser" stuck in his lame movie theater job starts to see advertisements that don't make sense. Like movie 2 is playing but movie 1 just came out. That is as far as I got. People seem to comment with praise for the story but I couldn't stick around. I guess the worms are "gummy" worms. He found an unopen box while cleaning up.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rain

    The Destroy! series is so wonderfully consistent in quality while also being diverse in perspectives and style. This collection introduced me to several writers whose work I will be seeking out ASAP, as well as some who I now know are not for me. The spotlight interviews are absolutely invaluable for a writer, too. My favorite stories were Wish You Were Here by Nadia Bulkin A Diet of Worms by Valerie Valdes Cruel Sistah by Nisi Shawl Wet Pain by Terrence Taylor

  9. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Piña

    He leído la serie Destroy a lo largo de varios Barrifest del Terror y siempre me llevo una grata sorpresa. Todas estas historias tienen algo muy diferente del horror "normal" pero que igualmente funcionan de maneras muy efectivas. Aunque en general todas las historias (menos la de J. Díaz) me gustaron, A diet of worms me quedó en la mente y probablemente es la que más recordaré bde este número. He leído la serie Destroy a lo largo de varios Barrifest del Terror y siempre me llevo una grata sorpresa. Todas estas historias tienen algo muy diferente del horror "normal" pero que igualmente funcionan de maneras muy efectivas. Aunque en general todas las historias (menos la de J. Díaz) me gustaron, A diet of worms me quedó en la mente y probablemente es la que más recordaré bde este número.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Excellent collection w/ great choice of new fiction and reprints along with non-fiction essays and author profiles/interviews. Well worth a read

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    Excellent collection of stories!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  13. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  15. 5 out of 5

    Devan

  16. 4 out of 5

    Katrina Sandefer

  17. 4 out of 5

    Richard Gerlach

  18. 4 out of 5

    Callie Need

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jaa

  20. 4 out of 5

    Luz

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura Bailey

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Carter

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ricky

  24. 4 out of 5

    Abbey

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stuart MacDoogurt

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bridget Mckinney

  27. 4 out of 5

    MollyK

  28. 5 out of 5

    Keith

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nita

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