Editor-in-Chief: James R. Beach
Art Director/Managing Editor: Jason V Brock
Design and Layout: Jasunni Productions, LLC.
Published by: James R. Beach/Dark Discovers Publications
Where to buy:
Thing From Another World
Hello Ghouls and Boils,
It is rare that I crawl out of the crypt early on a weekend. I popped awake at 7:30 this morning and I couldn’t fall back to sleep. I brewed some coffee and started my Sunday with Dark Discoveries Magazine. (This might have to become a new tradition. It was a great way to start the day.) I met Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of DD, James R. Beach, at the 2009 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and Cthulhu Con. (Though I am sure we met in passing at previous festivals, this is the first time we talked at length.) He and Art Director/Managing Editor, Jason V Brock, asked if I would give Dark Discoveries a read and talk about it with you all. After flipping through a couple of issues, I was only happy to say yes. I won’t keep you waiting any longer; here are my thoughts on DD. Enjoy my fiends!
Sarah L. Gerhardt
Dark Discoveries is a seasonal quarterly magazine dedicated to presenting fiction, non-fiction, interviews and reviews in the horror and dark fantasy genres. The first issue debuted in 2004 and they have been evolving nicely ever since. As of 2008 all of the issues have been themed and in 2009 they made the move from a black & white magazine to color. The issues average around 60 pages and are loaded with content. The short fiction collected in these magazines range from previously unpublished or out-of-print works of the greats to original works from newcomers and legends alike. The list of interviewees is impressive to say the least, with interviews from people like Ray Bradbury, William F. Nolan and Joe R. Lansdale to name but a few. The non-fiction articles are all quite interesting if you are an avid horror fan. If you are not well-versed and would like to learn more about the genre, they are very informative.
SNS received 3 issues (Fall 2008 and both Spring & Summer 2009) to look over. It was interesting to see the progression in the quality of production and content over this past year. There is distinct difference in the overall style from Fall ’08 to Summer ’09. If you are reading through the back issues – some of the more significant changes can feel jarring at first. The publisher kept enough of the features consistent, that the changes didn’t affect the overall feel of the magazine. I think Dark Discoveries may have found its footing. I imagine it will only continue to improve and grow.
So far, one of my favorite pieces is a work of short fiction in the Spring ’09 issue titled “The Girl That Nobody Liked”, by Christopher Conlon. The story is about a one-night stand gone horribly wrong. We follow a character named Mitchell who wakes up next to his latest bar vixen – a woman that claims she is dead. This short was scary, raw and intense. I had not read anything by Mr. Conlon previously, but I certainly would like to read more now.
The interviews have been well conducted. I thoroughly enjoyed reading more about two of my personal heroes, William F. Nolan and Joe R. Lansdale (Fall ’08). I also really like Henry Covert’s column Re:discoveries: Comics, Film, Literature and Culture. I find it both enlightening and entertaining.
The Summer ’09 issue was a special to mark the 50 year anniversary of the Twilight Zone. There is a previously unpublished teleplay by William F. Nolan – based on Charles Beaumont’s story – Free Dirt, a short story by Richard Matheson, interviews and essays based on the Zone, and so much more. If you are even a casual fan of the show, this issue is a must have.
Dark Discoveries is a labor of love. You can tell that everyone involved has a deep admiration and respect for the genre and the horror community as a whole. The production quality is improving (admirably printed in a plant running on wind power) and the content is abundant and compelling. I think they might finally be moving beyond the “growing pains” stage of a new magazine and settling into solid territory. I will keep reading, and I am certainly looking forward to seeing how they fare over the next year. I recommend this magazine to anyone who enjoys Horror, Strange Tales or Dark Fantasy – and also for those who would like to learn more about the genres. I give Dark Discoveries Magazine a 3 out 5 (with room to grow).
A personal note:
Magazines, especially genre magazines that publish short fiction, are a dying art form. I encourage you to support this industry. It is important to keep genre publications alive. If it weren’t for “pulp” magazines, the world may have never known masters like H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert Bloch and more. Go forth and buy a magazine today! Give it a shot, what could it hurt… who knows, you may be reading the next Lovecraft.