Review: The Dark Sire Magazine edited by Bre Stephens

The Dark Sire is a quarterly online and print magazine for short fiction, poetry, and art in the darker fantasy, horror, Gothic, psychological, and magical realism genres. As the title indicates, it is not opposed to vampire stories, which many publications shy away from these days.

The first issue debuted on Halloween, 2019 and featured 4 short stories, 6 poems, 2 works of art, and 2 novel serializations. My favorite of the short stories was “Grave” by W. C. Mallery, which was a Gothic tale inspired by the actor Christopher Lee. It provided a nice introduction to The Dark Sire’s aesthetic. I must say Gina Easton’s grisly “Tainted Love” stays with me, though, in a shudder-filled way. My favorite part of this issue, though, is Sarah Brown Wetzman’s introspective and beautiful poem, “Vampyre.” She uses lyrical insight to plumb the depths of the vampiric condition. 

Of course, after reading such an intriguing first issue, I was compelled to read the second edition released in January, 2020. At 91 pages, The Dark Sire’s Winter issue featured 5 short stories, 4 poems, 3 pieces of art, and 2 book serializations from authors and artists in the US, UK, and Finland. 

Kettering Hall by John Kiste is a humorous Gothic short story with hints at a rich back story and invites further installments. Carl Hughes’ The Mask features graphic justice. My favorite story was Amanda Crum’s allusive “A Metamorphosis.” Also included are author David Crerand and artist Paula Korkiamiki. 

Poets published in this issue include Bartholomew Barker, Ethan McGuire, and Clay Hunt, with my favorite of this issue, C. Christine Fair with “A Brother’s Revenge.”

Brenda Stephens and S.M. Cook’s serialized novels conclude The Dark Sire for the quarter, leaving readers hungry for Spring and the newest edition. 

To subscribe to the online publication or submit stories, poetry, or artwork that follows the darker vein, go to DarkSireMag.com or darksire.weebly.com or if you prefer physical copies to collect, they are for sale at the website or on Amazon.