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Nadia Bulkin

Nadia Bulkin writes scary stories about the scary world we live in, three of which have been nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award. Her stories have been included in volumes of The Year’s Best Horror, The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror, and The Year’s Best Weird Fiction; in venues such as Nightmare, Fantasy, The Dark, and ChiZine; and in anthologies such as She Walks in Shadows (winner of the World Fantasy Award) and Aickman’s Heirs (winner of the Shirley Jackson Award). She spent her childhood in Indonesia with a Javanese father and an American mother, then relocated to Nebraska. She now has a B.A. in political science, an M.A. in international affairs, and lives in Washington, D.C.

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The 2012 Short Story Nominees for the Shirley Jackson Award

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These horror stories are so good that they’ve been nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award. Read all about them, then try to find them for yourself and figure out which one will be the winner before the awards are handed out at Readercon, July 12-15, 2012.

The Shirley Jackson Awards are awarded “for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.” They are one of my favorite awards each year, along with the World Fantasy Awards. The Shirley Jackson Aw... Read More

Magazine Monday: Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Issues 83 through 86

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My favorite email every other week is the one containing the new issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Each issue contains two stories of what the online magazine calls “literary adventure fantasy.” The quality of the stories has been high throughout the year or so I’ve been reading the magazine, but it seems to be getting even better with recent issues.

Issue #83, published December 1, 2011, opens with “The Gardens of Landler Abbey” by Megan Arkenberg. The tone and setting of the story remind the reader of Jane Austen or other Regency fiction, and the tale’s emphasis on issues of manners and class reinforces this initial impression. The major difference between this tale and anything Austen conceived of, however, is that a woman is the principal actor here, and more than that, she is a woman who served honorably in the military in her country... Read More

Magazine Monday: Phantasmagorium #2

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It took an act of faith for me to read the new issue of Phantasmagorium – the second in its run. The first quarterly issue, published in October 2011, was disappointing despite its lovely cover photograph, which suggests an angel taking flesh from a stone sculpture. A few stories were well-written, but not particularly original or frightening:  Scott Nicolay’s “Alligators,” Simon Strantzas’s “Strong as a Rock” and Stephen Graham Jones’s “No Takebacks.” They were overwhelmed by the inexplicable “Cardoons!” by Anna Tambour, a humorous fantasy story about dragons made soft by modern living, and the incoherent “And this is where I go down into the darkness,” a lengthy, stream-of-consciousness tribute to Thomas Ligotti by Joseph Pulver. Genevieve Valentine’s “Bufonidae,” ... Read More

She Said Destroy: A good introduction to Bulkin’s beautiful, creepy prose

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She Said Destroy by Nadia Bulkin

Nadia Bulkin’s horror stories are surreal, subversive, often political. 2017’s short story collection She Said Destroy offers 13 stories, some set in our world, some set in worlds almost exactly like ours and some set in strange, feverish landscapes unlike what we’ve seen before.

“Intertropical Convergence Zone” and “Red Goat, Black Goat,” are set in an imaginary country that looks more than a bit like Indonesia. (Bulkin writes many stories set in this place.) “Intertropical Convergence Zone” follows the country’s dictator, the General, as he ingests more and more magic. In the opening passages, he eats a bullet — literally. He eats a bullet that was used to shoot a man in the heart; it protects the General from bullets. The narrator, a faithful member of the inner circle, distrusts the dukun... Read More