I avoid making qualitative judgements about the literary journals and genre magazines I use in my series of ongoing reviews, but I’ll make an exception this time — I really like this one.

LampLight is an independent quarterly magazine of dark fiction.

What They Say About Themselves: “We are a literary magazine of dark fiction, both short stories and flash fiction. We want your best. But then, doesn’t everyone? No specific sub-genres or themes, just good stories. For inspiration, we suggest “The Twilight Zone”, “The Outer Limits.”…

We go for stories that are dark, literary; we are looking for the creepy, the weird and the unsettling.”

Issue Reviewed: Volume 9, Issue 3 (April 2021)

Genre: Speculative fiction with a dark flavor

One Story I’ll Remember Not to Forget: Several to choose from, but I’ll go with “Directions to Joe Langley’s House (And How to Avoid What Descends on Sunbeams,” by Victor Sweetser. While giving directions to his rural Alabama home, the first-person narrator warns the reader about mysterious and malevolent creatures who hunt humans during daylight and moonlight. A clever take on the quest story, in which the journey is far more interesting, and deadly, than the destination.

Exploding HelicoptersFour Explosions. Plenty of external threats in the stories, each of them combined with interior threats within the characters.

Profanometer: Gee Willikers. Not a single f-bomb in the entire issue! Further proof that you don’t have to use colorful language to display strong emotion or create suspense.


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