“Churel,” by John Kratman
“Dreams are simply reality in waiting” is a quotation by Bailey Hunter, publisher of Dark Recesses Press (DRP). Apparently, according to Ms. Hunter’s vision, so are nightmares. Ah, but what splendidly presented nightmares, inhabiting the dark recesses of writers’ minds, await devotees of the macabre, spine-tingling thrills and assorted, sordid mayhems of the soul in this magnificent zine.
Heretofore, DRP has been a quarterly zine that I would characterize as semi-free-access. One may read the current issue online (in superbly presented PDF format). However, the print function has been disabled online, meaning that if one prefers to read stories in the comfort of one’s recliner or bed (or in, er, other circumstances) one must buy the CD version, available from the DRP website for a not unreasonable price of $5.99. This seems also to be true for all back issues featured in the zine’s archives.
Apparently, DRP will no longer be an online publication. (I say “apparently” as there seems to be conflicting information presently on the site regarding this consideration. On the page soliciting donations, Ms. Hunter notes that she is presently working on converting the zine to a bi-annual print publication and a tri-annual PDF publication. However, in the preface to Issue 8, the current issue, Ms. Hunter notes that this will be the last PDF digital issue.) Beginning in January, 2008, DRP will make the transition to a bi-annual print publication, bucking the recent trend of publications converting in the opposite direction. This will most decidedly be the online community’s loss, as I find it impossible to be sufficiently praiseful of Ms. Hunter’s efforts—along with those of Chief Editor Vincent VanAllen’s and staff’s—in presenting quality horror and dark fiction. DRP is truly one of the finest zines I have yet to investigate and probably the best genre zine I’ve yet seen.
Every story I’ve read from Issue 8, from Joel Arnold’s delightfully mischievous flash piece “Telephone,” to Liam Rands’ psychic hustler gets his comeuppance story, has been from good to excellent; ranging from classic to cutting edge samples of this dark genre. DRP offers fiction in the form of short stories ranging from 500 to 5000 words, though there is some wiggle room allowed on the latter side. The magazine also offers non-fiction, including interviews with editors and authors involved with the horror genre, as well as extremely good art and photographs which grace the covers of each issue and illustrate every presented story within them. Click to continue: