Look Out For… The Ballad Of Black Tom by Victor LaValle and Noctuidae by Scott Nicolay

BlackTom_covLook Out For… The Ballad Of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

“Scary, unpredictable and wonderfully evocative of the grimier side of the Jazz Age.”

People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn’t there.

Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father’s head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping.

A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break?

Why We’re Excited About This Book:

In 1925 H.P. Lovecraft published the story ‘The Horror At Red Hook’, in which a detective called Malone investigates eldritch happenings in one of the immigrant sections of of New York City, Red Hook. It’s perhaps the most explicit example of racism in Lovecraft’s fiction, and is a difficult read as a result.

Now author Victor LaValle has taken ‘The Horror At Red Hook’ and reimagined it for his own fictional purposes in The Ballad Of Black Tom. LaValle uses elements of Lovecraft’s fictional universe of dark gods for his own tale of sorcery and the supernatural. But the story is also a commentary on the racial politics of 1920s New York, told largely from the perspective of Charles Tester, a black street musician.

Scary, unpredictable and wonderfully evocative of the grimier side of the Jazz Age, The Ballad Of Black Tom looks set to be one of the most original Lovecraftian novels for a long time. Too bad it would probably cause the old boy himself to spin in his grave.

The Ballad Of Black Tom is available now from Tor.


noctuidaeLook Out For… Noctuidae by Scott Nicolay

“Nicolay stories use the supernatural and the uncanny to depict an alienating sense of weirdness in the world around us.”

An impromptu hike through an Arizona canyon leads a young woman into the paths of monsters both human and otherworldly.

“We are not in the presence of a callow and bullish youth, but a man of erudition and experience. Nicolay is one who has seen much, endured much, has undergone prolonged pressure and the result is a diamond among stones.” Laird Barron, author of The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All.

“Nicolay’s punch is grim and honest, his horizons vast, alluring, and keenly attuned to what unfurls in our darkest dreams.” Joseph S. Pulver, Sr, author of Blood Will Have Its Season.

Why We’re Excited About This Book:

Scott Nicolay’s debut short story collection Ana Kai Tangata was one of the most well received books of weird fiction in 2014. More recently his podcast The Outer Dark has featured interviews with several of the most important contemporary American writers of horror.

Now he returns with Noctuidae, a new novella from King Shot Press (for those not in the know, ‘noctuidae’ are a type of moth). It’s set in the wilderness of the American Southwest, and Nicolay has described Noctuidae as “my version of a Japanese kaiju story, as if perhaps written by Samuel Beckett”.

Nicolay stories use the supernatural and the uncanny to depict an alienating sense of weirdness in the world around us. His stories are evidence of a supremely skilled writer, and we at This Is Horror can’t wait to get our hands on Noctuidae.

Noctuidae is available to pre-order now from King Shot Press.



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