Grimdark Magazine Issue #36 is here!

Last Updated on October 2, 2023

Welcome to issue #36 of Grimdark Magazine. In this issue, we are focused on telling longer stories vis-à-vis the novella or serialized short stories. Short story master T.R. Napper has given us an incredible novella-length story about a one-armed sword master.

Napper’s story, A Marked Man, has strong Japanese samurai and Western themes with a magic system based around tattoos. And since tattoos play a large part in the narrative as well as the overall aesthetic of the story, I wanted to incorporate a tattoo style into the cover that both encapsulated the feel of the story as well as being highly illustrative and immediately I knew that the Trash Polka style would suit it to a tee. Napper’s story is concise while creating a whole world and magic system. This brevity of words while remaining impactful is one of the defining qualities of well-written short-form fiction, and Napper has it down.

Additionally, we have three other stories that should feed your grimdark-loving soul: Ken Scholes, who has appeared in Grimdark Magazine multiple times, brings us That Old Time Religion. Author Michael R. Fletcher has two stories this month. These take place in the same world and involve a necromancer and a rotting swordsman. One we loved so much we bought it twice.

Also, we have some exciting interviews this month that span the gamut of fantasy and horror: Jim Butcher, Patrick Rothfuss, Stephen Graham Jones, Mariely Lares, and Thiago Abdalla.

So, kick back, pop a beer, and get ready to dive into some deliciously dark short stories. We hope you love them as much as we do.

The Grimdark Magazine Issue #36 cover by Carlos Diaz

We spoke a little bit about the gorgeous cover art for this issue last week, based on T.R. Napper’s short story. Now, here it is in it’s fully marked up glory!

The lineup

Hopefully that intro and that cover have you pretty excited! Here is the full line up for this quarter.


  • That Old Time Religion by Ken Scholes
  • Death at the Pass by Michael R. Fletcher
  • Death and Dignity by Michael R. Fletcher
  • A Marked Man by T.R. Napper


  • An Interview with Patrick Rothfuss by Beth Tabler and John Mauro
  • Review: Last To Leave the Room by Caitlin Starling
  • An Interview with Stephen Graham Jones by Robin Marx
  • A Love Letter to the Darkness of Final Fantasy by Aaron S. Jones
  • An Interview with Jim Butcher by Beth Tabler
  • Review: Sun of Blood and Ruin by Mariely Lares
  • An Interview with Mariely Lares

Read Grimdark Magazine Issue #36

Head over to our webstore to get your ePub or PDF version, or buy from Amazon below.


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Elizabeth Tabler

Elizabeth Tabler

Elizabeth Tabler runs Beforewegoblog and is constantly immersed in fantasy stories. She was at one time an architect but divides her time now between her family in Portland, Oregon, and as many book worlds as she can get her hands on. She is also a huge fan of Self Published fantasy and is on Team Qwillery as a judge for SPFBO5. You will find her with a coffee in one hand and her iPad in the other. Find her on:

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