“Thin Air proves a more than worthy follow up to Dark Matter.”
The Himalayas, 1935.
Kangchenjunga. Third-highest peak on earth. Greatest killer of them all.
Five Englishmen set off from Darjeeling, determined to conquer the sacred summit. But courage can only take them so far–and the mountain is not their only foe.
As the wind dies, the dread grows. Mountain sickness. The horrors of extreme altitude. A past that will not stay buried.
And sometimes, the truth does not set you free.
Why We’re Excited About This Book:
Michelle Paver’s Dark Matter was one of those perfect books that made you wonder how she could possibly follow it. An assured, subtle, scary ghost story set in the Arctic circle, Dark Matter was a deservedly bestseller.
Thin Air: A Ghost Story shares with Dark Matter more than just a subtitle; both books tell of people undergoing a gruelling ordeal, one which drives repressed secrets to the surface in the form of memories … and maybe something more corporeal. Thin Air is based around an attempt to conquer the Kangchenjunga mountain in the Himalayas and it will come as little surprise that the quest to reach its peak does not go exactly to plan.
Paver vividly captures the physical challenges faced by the mountaineers. And their exhaustion and altitude sickness heighten the ambiguity of the supernatural element: is there anything ghostly occurring other than in their minds?
Powerful, creepy, evocative–rest assured, Thin Air proves a more than worthy follow up to Dark Matter.
“Like many of the best authors of the weird, Barron’s finest work is often found in his short stories.”
Laird Barron’s fourth collection gathers a dozen stories set against the backdrops of the Alaskan wilderness, far-future dystopias, and giallo-fueled nightmare vistas.
All hell breaks loose in a massive apartment complex when a modern day Jack the Ripper strikes under cover of a blizzard; a woman, famous for surviving a massacre, hits the road to flee the limelight and finds her misadventures have only begun; while tracking a missing B-movie actor, a team of man hunters crashes in the Yukon Delta and soon realise the Arctic is another name for hell; an atomic-powered cyborg war dog loyally assists his master in the overthrow of a far-future dystopian empire; following an occult initiation ritual, a man is stalked by a psychopathic sorority girl and her team of horrifically disfigured henchmen; a rich lunatic invites several high school classmates to his mansion for a night of sex, drugs, and CIA-funded black ops experiments; and other glimpses into occulted realities a razor’s slice beyond our own.
Combining hardboiled noir, psychological horror, and the occult, Swift to Chase continues three-time Shirley Jackson Award winner Barron’s harrowing inquiry into the darkness of the human heart.
Why We’re Excited About This Book:
Laird Barron is one of the most important of the current crop of American horror authors. With a style that merges the cosmic horror of his predecessors with noir, giallo, and the scope of Cormac McCarthy, his is a distinctive voice. And like many of the best authors of the weird, his finest work is often found in his short stories.
The stories in Swift To Chase are partially linked, taking place in a distinctively Barron-esque Alaska. His character Jessica Mace appears in three of the tales, and another features her mother. And if you’re bored of horror authors tossing the names ‘Cthulhu’ or ‘Carcosa’ into their stories to give them unearned resonance, then never fear; in the backdrop of Swift To Chase, Barron builds up a whole new mythos, with entities known as ‘Vellum’ and ‘Tooms’ lurking against the black Alaskan sky.
Who knows, in a hundred years’ time maybe writers will be using those names as references in their work; Barron’s work is certainly good enough to ensure it will still be around.
Support This Is Horror Podcast on Patreon
- For $1 you get early bird access to all our podcasts and can submit questions to guests.
- For $3 you get access to our patrons-only podcast Story Unboxed: The Horror Podcast on the Craft of Writing.
- For $4 you get the full interview, no two-parters.
The best way to support This Is Horror is via Patreon. How much will you pledge? Go on. Be awesome.
This Is Horror Books
This Is Horror Books on Kindle Unlimited and Amazon
- They Don’t Come Home Anymore by T.E. Grau
- A House at the Bottom of a Lake by Josh Malerman
- The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud
- The Elvis Room by Stephen Graham Jones
- Water For Drowning by Ray Cluley
- Chalk by Pat Cadigan
- Roadkill by Joseph D’Lacey