Of Tomes and Terror
The Literary Ruminations of Editor Vince Liaguno
Oops. Like an absentminded spouse who forgets an anniversary, I’m embarrassed to say that we here at Dark Scribe Magazine forgot our own one-year milestone. Seems hard to imagine, but it’s true. We out-and-out forgot our own anniversary.
When we officially launched last October 1st, we had one mission: to keep a single-minded focus on the printed word. One year later, I’m gratified to look back at our virtual content and realize that we met and exceeded our own expectations.
To date, we’ve published over 100 reviews. What’s more, we’ve maintained a purposeful balance between mainstream and small press titles — with forty-two books from mainstream publishers and forty-three books from small press companies receiving coverage in our magazine. We’ve also honored the venerable short story format with reviews of twelve anthologies, six single-author collections, and seven individual short stories. Thirty authors have graced our virtual pages in interviews, and we’ve even branched out and covered a screenwriter or two. We’ve managed to provide the occasional thought-provoking essay and some well-regarded guest columnists. We launched an annual awards program and honored some incredible dark genre works with the first ever Black Quill Awards.
And in an era of declining book sales and readership, I’m proud to say that we’ve grown DSM from a few hundred hits in those early days to several thousand unique visitors to our virtual pages each month. We’ve done that without benefit of film or video game-related content or other media tie-ins. We’ve done it without big corporate sponsors or annoying pop-up ads or even advertising.
We’re about celebrating all forms of the written word in the genres of horror, suspense, and thrillers.
We’re about those literary dames and dudes who dabble in the supernatural and paranormal, the thrilling and the chilling.
We’re about cozy afternoons cuddled up with King or Ketchum or Koontz and rainy nights spent looking over your shoulder while reading Langan or Laymon or Little.
We’re about books and primarily books —and pretty damn proud of it.
Happy Birthday to us.
And thanks to each of you for reading.
Vince A. Liaguno / Editor-in-Chief
First, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention our stable of loyal DSM scribes — Martel Sardina, Derek Clendening, Blu Gilliand, Michele Lee, Jeff Burk, and JG Faherty. Their contributions to the magazine have aided immeasurably in the quality of our content. In short, without them…I’d be one busy guy.
Second, to celebrate our belated first birthday, we’ve got an incredible, one-of-a-kind contest for our loyal readers. Curious? Only registered readers can access our ‘Contests’ page, so either login (if you’re already a registered reader) and click on the Contests link or take a minute to register today. Trust me, you don't want to miss this!
As a kid who grew up on horror, I have fond memories of the great horror magazines of my youth. I can still remember the anticipation of riding my bike to the local comic book shop in search of the newest Fangoria or Famous Monsters. With these treasures of terror wedged in between the latest copies of Justice League and Batman, I would peddle to my favorite reading spot and spend glorious summer afternoons devouring all the latest horror news. I’d find myself sweaty with anticipation as I read updates on John Carpenter’s newest film, wide-eyed as I stared at images of Tom Savini’s latest gore effects, and dizzy with delight when one of these magazine’s lavished the most recent obscure Canadian slasher movie with an extravagant spread belying both its budget and box office potential. Those magazines introduced me to Michael and Jason and Freddy and an offbeat second-generation actress with a slightly crooked smile named Jamie Lee Curtis who seemed to have an incredible lung capacity for screaming.
As I neared adolescence those reading experiences were supplemented by the dark works of Jack Ketchum, Richard Laymon, Peter Straub, and another guy named Stephen who wrote some wildly demented stuff about rabid dogs, killer cars, and a haunted pet cemetery – a book about which I was certain I had discovered a misspelling on the cover. And while I grew increasingly hooked on the bloody prose of these and other writers, I could find scarce little about them in my beloved horror magazines.
Flash forward two decades. Still hooked on works of horror, suspense, and thrillers even as my own first attempt at a novel entered the market, there were still very few publications that celebrated the creative forces behind these marvelous works of the macabre and fewer still whose sole focus was on dark genre literature.
Enter Dark Scribe Magazine. With a focus on horror, suspense, and thriller writers and their works, we’re hoping to create a brand new reading experience for dark genre bibliophiles of all ages. With each addition to our virtual pages, we’re endeavoring to bring you into the realm of these master scribes, as well as those of the editors, artists, retailers, publishers, and webmasters who support them with unflagging commitment.
So, welcome. Whether you’re a reader first discovering the world of dark genre literature or a bibliophile long enamored by the same, whether you’re a pedigreed writer or an aspiring author, we hope that you’ll grab your laptop and revisit your own favorite childhood reading spot with the latest virtual edition of Dark Scribe Magazine.
Vince A. Liaguno / Editor-in-Chief