The fiction contest is particularly special this month because we finally finished paying off our debt to the golem mob (if I never see another serrated rock knife stuck in my back, it will be too soon) so the contest results are no longer rigged! Huzzah! Oh, and there was also the thing about this being a special horror-only issue with a guest judge, Michael R. Collings, who is a Stoker-nominated horror writer himself.
Whichever excites you most.
This special horror issue was quite successful, which made it nice and hard to pick the winners. We love a tight race. Here are the winners of the October 2013 Fiction Contest:
First Place – Windows, by Ben Pienaar
This story is a fantastic example of how horror doesn’t necessarily mean gore and monsters. Sometimes the most delightful things can bring us the most anguish. The psychological horror in this piece is well done, and it’s all the more entertaining for breaking out of the traditional “dark and dreary” setting of horror.
Second Place – Blood or Black Tears, by Jennifer Loring
Forget what we just said; dark and dreary can still be really, really good. Just take Jennifer’s story, which follows a woman who made promises she shouldn’t have, and others are paying the price. It’s eery and oppressive in all the right ways, and the imagery really caught our imaginations.
Third Place – Finale in Blue, by Alexandra Grunberg
It’s hard to differentiate between insanity and ambition sometimes, as this story so aptly shows. The world of abstract art will never look the same to us after Alexandra made paintings so unsettling. We’ll need to take our security blankies with us to the next art show we attend.
Congratulations to the winners of this contest, and thanks to all our authors for helping us put out a great issue. Next month we return to our old habits, namely science fiction and fantasy, but you can still expect to see the occasional horror story in there somewhere. You know, maybe a zombie astronaut or something.