“The Best of the Best of”: HFR Editors in 2018 and Beyond


Jason Teal

For 2018 I charted a sort of reading renaissance, rethinking my art and how it’s made—which has me forging new connections and experiences within writing communities. This year has brought me nearer to spanking-new conversations … in horror writing. I read awesome contributions by Alana I. Capria, Orrin Grey, Gemma Files, Matthew M. Bartlett, Michael Wehunt, Paul Tremblay, Charlee Jacob, Victor LaValle, Nadia Bulkin, Brian Evenson, Jon Padgett, Letitia Trent, Caitlin R. Kiernan, duncan b. barlow, Jeff Jackson, John Langan, and Pam Jones—and plan to visit books by Selena Chambers, Mike Kleine, Carrie Laben, Craig Laurance Gidney, Livia Lewellyn, Clive Barker, Gabino Iglesias, Tobias Carroll, and Shane Jesse Christmass very soon.

My top picks for horror read in 2018, in no particular order:

In television, I watched and loved the weirdness of shows like Happy!, Channel Zero, Ash v. Evil Dead, and movies like Get Out.

Now, the self-congratulations: alongside Vol. 7’s debut and digitizing works from past issues, we ran killer reviews of books I need post haste, including contributions from Zuri Etoshia Anderson (The Death Scene Artist by Andrew Wilmot), Micah Zevin (Ruth Danon’s Word Has It), Maxwell Malone (Orrin Grey’s Guignol & Other Sardonic Tales), and Jesi Beull (All Roads Lead to Blood by Bonnie Chau).

More creative work from Freda Epum, Oliver Baez Bendorf, Debra Di Blasi, and Christopher Latin made lasting impressions at #NoMorePresidents.

And we finally put Jennfer H. Fortin’s sprawling essay “Marvel” online for everyone to peep. Plus, our Futures issue is close on the heels of 2019. Look for this brick soon.

Lastly, we had the pleasure of hosting writers solicited by Gabino Iglesias for our inaugural Haunted Passages call. Reigning villains include Esteban Rodriguez and Jarret Middleton.


Hillary Leftwich


“Pine America,” Vol. 1 Brooklyn: Sean H Doyle

“Recovering Cherokee Myths from His Grandfather’s Notebook,” Lit Hub: Brandon Hobson

“To the Teeth,” Entropy: Mairead Case



“Cannibal,” Split Lip Mag: Natanya Ann Pulley

“Trapt/$crewed Up (a series of mood logs),” Rigorous: Frankie Met

“The Taxidermy Museum,” Granta: Steven Dunn



Two Poems, Heavy Feather Review: Jill Khoury

Two Poems, Anti-Heroine Chic: Ahja Fox

“Shut up and dribble,” Heavy Feather Review: Tara Campbell



An Excerpt from Forcing His Body to the Water: Erika T. Wurth


Hayli M. Cox

I’ve got a to-read pile of books teetering over on my desk which my cat Mowgli has knocked over no fewer than fifteen times. In fact, I think he dedicated 2018 to eliminating anything that might distract me from offering pets or a game of chase. He pulls books from stacks and shelves and chews them to get my attention. As I undergo vision therapy, I am listening to more audiobooks than ever as I embark on audiostrolls. Still, I return to catastrophes in various forms. He gnaws cords to game systems and paws records as they turn. Just last week he shoved over and irrevocably damaged my turntable. Joke’s on him—I was going to buy a louder one anyway.

Despite Mowgli’s efforts, I have listened to or read several dozen books and have made attempts to keep up on record drops, podcasts, art galleries, readings, movies, and other non-feline activities. I have also read at least half of the journals that arrive in my physical and digital mailboxes. In no particular order, as I can’t even decide on a favorite color, I have listed a few of those bits of art from 2018 which managed to survive my cat and stand out to me as most memorable or enjoyable.

Community, Rebecca Louise Law 2018, Toledo Museum of Art Installation

Paper Darts Volume Seven Art & Lit, 2018

Sing Unburied Sing, Jesmyn Ward 2017

Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado 2017

Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi 2018

Boy Erased, Directed by Joel Edgerton 2018

White House, Donis Dayan Llago 2017, Oil on Canvas

Root 25, Noname 2018

Hill Climber, Vulfpeck 2018

Dirty Computer, Janelle Monáe 2018

“Tadow” Masego ft. FKJ 2017

“Lover Boy” Phum Viphurit 2018


Kailey Alyssa


The Opposite of a Great Truth Is Also True by José del Valle

My Boyfriend Says Poetry and NASCAR Are the Same by Amie Whittemore


William Lessard


Poet/Clark Coolidge

how do i net thee/Shira Dentz

The Boneyard, The Birth Manual: Investigations into the Heartland/Julia Madsen

Nicoque of the Early-Spring/Francis Ponge

Moon/Jennifer S. Cheng

Dear Angel of Death/Simone White

Of All Places In This Place Of All Places/Joe Milazzo

Lo Tercario, The Tertiary/Raquel Salas Rivera

The Scales/Adam Stutz

The Desert/Brandon Shimoda

Recombinant/Ching-In Chen

Dark Hour/Nadia de Vries

How to Tell If You Are Human/Jessy Randall



Belly Up/Rita Bullwinkel

Wild Milk/Sabrina Orah Mark

water & power/Steven Dunn

Evening in Paradise/Lucia Berlin

Your Love Alone Is Not Enough/Richard Froude

Coyote Songs/Gabino Iglesias

Crudo/Olivia Lang

Flights/Olga Tokarczuk

Destroy All Monsters/Jeff Jackson

In the Desert of Mute Squares/M. Kitchell



Ninth Street Women/Mary Gabriel

Playing Changes: Jazz for the 21st Century/Nate Chinen

Black and Blur/Fred Moten

Green-Wood/Allison Cobb

In the Flow/Boris Groys

Chalk: The Art and Erasure of Cy Twombly/Joshua Rivkin


Non-2018 Things I Loved in 2018

“Peace Piece”/Bill Evans

Misadventure/Nicholas Grider

Fabric/Richard Froude

Heaven Is All Goodbyes/Tongo Eisen-Martin

The Codex Mojaodicus/Steven Alvarez

Duty-Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War/Hito Steyerl

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) – called by many the greatest film performance, for Renee Falconetti’s performance as Joan. Called by me the most moving thing I have ever watched (full movie)

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