Features

Author Spotlight: Lawrence Van Hoof

“My trip to hell started around four o’clock at the St. Andrew subway station. I wanted to beat the crush of people heading north on the Yonge branch or at least have the luxury of sitting down. My stomach didn’t feel great and had bothered me all day. I hoped it was just the flu because I didn’t want to be pregnant again. That was what the Pill was for. The guy had used a condom too, just like the one from last year, but I didn’t know what he was until it was too late. Angels are real considerate that way.
You’d figure I’d have learned to watch out for them by now. They’re always too good to be true, too beautiful, too charming, kind of like some gay men I’ve met. Amazing, except for one little thing.”

Author Spotlight: Misty Dahl

There are fifty(!) contributors to A Darke Phantastique.  Our next spotlight is on Misty Dahl. Her flash fiction piece, “Forgetting”, begins: “Chet Baker’s ‘My Funny Valentine’ wafts through the café courtyard and he starts to remember. The memory always finds him around this time of year. The way she looked shuffling her papers in […]

Author Spotlight: Don Webb

Nothing had gone right in the week before the Con.

Edgar Wagner’s son Mike had come out as gay, and Edgar could handle that, he really could. Mike also decided to leave Stanford mid-semester and live with his lover. Edgar’s wife of twenty years asked that “they take a break.” Edgar’s doctor was not happy about his blood pressure or his bad cholesterol. Edgar’s latest novel Those Outside had a mixture of a couple of bad reviews—and worse still NO reviews from some of the big newspapers that had lauded him for the last decade. There were big stacks of the book at various dealers tables at World Horror, and the adoring lines of fans asking for an inscription had died down to the few asking for an autograph as a possible E-bay investment. Edgar was wondering what it would be like to go back to teaching at his age.

It was fall and it was Providence, Rhode Island so it meant that every other panel Edgar was on had to do with Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937). Every writerly virtue (‘My god his imagination!’) and every writerly vice (‘Do you really need to use the word eldritch twenty three times in one story?’) of Mr. Lovecraft was being discussed again and again. But Edgar Scott Wagner was not getting the panel he needed. He needed the panel called ‘What do you do if you have an idea for four horror novels and you are writing your ninth?’ It was late afternoon and Edgar walked out of the hotel and took off his badge and headed downtown. He always loved to walk. There was lots of walking in his books. He wrote a novella about walking, called “Walking” which (as almost every reviewer pointed out) owed a great deal to Stephen King’s The Long Walk. There were four things that Edgar Wagner loved: walking, pawn and thrift shops, history, and horror stories.

Author Spotlight: Erinn L. Kemper

Over the hill and into town he came. He walked, bent and straining. Behind him a sled scraped deep gouges in the earth, stacked with leather bags, rasping along. His beard covered most of his face, touched his belt. He muttered as he trudged along the bleak, rock-strewn tundra, sled harnessed to his chest. He turned his head, looking side to side, swatting the air around him.
He was dressed in the tattered remains of old clothing he had sewn together in a jigsaw of filth-encrusted denim and animal skin. Scrapes on his arms trailed up under his sleeves, scabbed over and black. A rope held up his makeshift trousers, and tucked under the rope was a crude tool, its wooden handle tapping his leg with each step.
He stopped where the general store rose from the muddied boardwalk, hefting a leather bag, cashing in.