Nightscript Volume 7 (Chthonic Matter, 2021). Cover by Jana Heidersdorf
I just finished complaining about the lack of modern horror and fantasy anthologies, and along comes Nightscript strictly to prove me wrong.
I don’t know much about Nightscript. But I know I love the creep-tastic cover of Volume 7, by Berlin artist Jana Heidersdorf. I first glimpsed it when a fellow dark fantasy enthusiast posted it on Facebook, and was intrigued enough to track down the publisher (C.M. Muller’s Chthonic Matter) and order a copy.
I’m glad I did. Nightscript is a very fine production indeed. Published “annually, during Grand October,” it’s clearly a small press labor of love, but it’s also a thoroughly professional piece of work. Over the last seven years it’s published original work by Steve Rasnic Tem, Simon Strantzas, Michael Wehunt, Jason A. Wyckoff, Charles Wilkinson, Damien Angelica Walters, Ashley Stokes, and many others.
[Click the images for nighttime versions.]
Some of the previous volumes: Nightscript 1, 5, and 6. Covers:
Theodor Kittelsen, Julius Sergius von Klever, and Yaroslav Gerzhedovich
Nightscript is edited by Muller, and published in hardcover, trade paperback, and digital formats. Here’s the complete table of contents for Volume 7.
Feast Your Eyes on the Yawning Monotony of Humdrum Rot — Clint Smith
The Passing — Joshua Rex
When Sleep At Last — Douglas Thompson
The Summer King’s Day — Timothy Granville
Roadkill — Elin Olausson
It Looked Like Her — Gordon Brown
Little Gods To Live In Them — David Surface
We Are The Gorillas — Douglas Ford
The Body Trick — Alexander James
Feed — Jason A. Wyckoff
’Neath The Mirror Of The Sea — Rhonda Eikamp
Clipped Wings — Steve Toase
The Cardboard Voice — Tim Major
The Validations — Ashley Stokes
A Perfect Doll — Regina Garza Mitchell
Madam and Yves — Marc Joan
The Delf — Danny Rhodes
Where the Oxen Turned the Plow — Charles Wilkinson
Feast of Fools: A Heartwarming Holiday Romance — LC von Hessen
I couldn’t find much in the way of online reviews, but I did find a brief summary by Bill Hsu at Goodreads. Here’s an excerpt.
My favorite [story] is easily Elin Olausson’s “Roadkill.” The young girl narrator’s voice has a caustic attitude… and enough is left unsaid so we can fill in the horrific details. I would quote the lovely ending, but you should really experience it yourself….
I loved the quiet, mysterious setup of Regina Mitchell’s “A Perfect Doll”… The narrator’s voice in [Marc Joan’s] “Madam and Yves” reminds me of older decadent weird fiction, but the story centers around 3D printing. Intriguing combo… Charles Wilkinson’s “Where the Oxen Turned the Plow” is gentle Brit folk horror…
Nightscript Volume 8 has already been announced (on the Nightscipt Facebook page); it will be published on October 1st. Here’s a peek at the cover.
Nightscript 8, coming in October. No idea who did the cover.
Here’s the impressive TOC for Nightscript Volume 8.
N is for Night — Steve Rasnic Tem
I Came Back — Christi Nogle
The Mythologization of Tymber Prescott in Five Selected Photos — Luciano Marano
Homecoming — Joshua Rex
The Abandoned — Jo Kaplan
Kindling — M.C. St. John
The Drums of Baron Ridge — John Garland Wells
Sophie Anne — Harrison Demchick
Ghosts of the Pantal — Daniel Braum
Hairberg — Sam Dawson
The Change — Justin A. Burnett
Queen Bee — Grace Lillie
Malocclusion — Dixon March
Limber Lost — K. Wallace King
Ghost Girl — J. S. Kuiken
This Night I Will Have My Revenge on the Cold Clay in Which We Lie — LC von Hessen
The Wardrobe — Gordon Brown
It Goes Without Saying — Patrick Barb
Nightscript Volume 7 was published by Cthonic Matter on October 1, 2021. It is 248 pages, priced at $27.99 in hardcover, $17.99 in trade paperback, and $7.99 in digital formats. The cover is by Jana Heidersdorf. See at the details at the Cthonic Matter website, and check out their Special Bundle Offer on all seven volumes.
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