Sanitarium Magazine Issue #20

Posted: May 1, 2014 in Reviews, Uncategorized
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I have been a huge fan of horror fiction for a while, but I am only now beginning to discover the world of horror and dark fiction magazines. Sure, I was familiar with the great horror mags like Fangoria and Rue Morgue, but I had no idea that there was a whole community of magazines dedicated to publishing original works of horror fiction until recently. Sanitarium is one of the very first literary magazines I discovered while checking out one of my Goodreads group’s “magazine” section, so I was pretty excited when Sanitarium publisher Barry Skelhorn got in touch and offered to send me the latest issue. Sanitarium is a monthly literary magazine that features between 8-10 short stories, dark verse, interviews and reviews. Not only is the magazine loaded with great content, the design is stunning as well and embodies the spirit and persona of the horror genre.

Each story is preceded by a title page that displays the author and title of the work on a battered case file from “Clayton Hill Sanitarium” complete with a physician name and code number. The stories themselves are displayed on weathered looking paper and shows an attention to detail that really makes the magazine stand out. What makes literary magazines like Sanitarium great is that it introduces horror fans to talented authors they may not otherwise discover.

Issue #20 had some really awesome stories, but Adam Kennedy’s “Twenty-Four & A Bottle of Rye” was easily my favorite of this issue. “Twenty-Four & A Bottle of Rye”  is the unique story of Maxwell, a Marin County coroner who is responsible for picking up the bodies of those who jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. Maxwell seems to describe his profession with a sense of detachment, but it is clear his work has left a mark on his life. He is haunted by the image of a girl he couldn’t save, which causes his life to spiral out of control and he tries to get rid of the images by drinking himself into a stupor, but it never lasts for long. Kennedy’s brief but powerful imagery of the spirit that haunts Maxwell made for a captivating and creepy read. Also included in this issue is an awesome interview with novelist Shaun Hutson and a “Where The Horror Happens” feature with David Flora, who details his writing process and gives readers a glimpse of where he crafts his novels.

After reading and enjoying my first issue of Sanitarium, I will be definitely looking forward to future issues! I highly recommend picking up an issue (Issue #20 is on sale now, #21 should be out near the end of May) and discovering what Sanitarium has to offer. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Sanitarium Magazine – Official Website


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