Here’s a small selection of the horror and genre news that caught our eye during the last week …
1931, New Galveston, Mars: Fourteen-year-old Anabelle Crisp sets off through the wastelands of the Strange to find Silas Mundt’s gang who have stolen her mother’s voice, destroyed her father, and left her solely with a need for vengeance. Since Anabelle’s mother left for Earth to care for her own ailing mother, her days in New Galveston have been spent at school and her nights at her laconic father’s diner with Watson, the family Kitchen Engine and dishwasher as her only companion. When the Silence came, and communication and shipments from Earth to its colonies on Mars stopped, life seemed stuck in foreboding stasis until the night Silas Mundt and his gang attacked.
At once evoking the dreams of an America explored in Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles and the harder realities of frontier life in Charles Portis’ True Grit, Ballingrud’s novel is haunting in its evocation of Anabelle’s quest for revenge amidst a spent and angry world accompanied by a domestic Engine, a drunken space pilot, and the toughest woman on Mars. Available to pre-order now in hardcover, eBook and audiobook, you can guarantee your copy here.
There are people out there trying to do the right thing. It might not be the right thing, but they are trying. Trying to rebuild. Trying to rekindle what was lost. Refusing to let go, hopefully rediscover themselves along the way.
“Tell me a story,” she’d say, “A new one” and he’d reply “We’re already in it.”
Wayne Fenlon’s debut horror/thriller novel The Black Cabin is a twisting tale of love, loss, and hope. Available now in eBook and paperback editions, you can pick up your copy here.
A mother and daughter negotiate the Oregon Trail with grisly results; an elementary teacher watches the carnage of The Challenger explosion spill over into her own classroom. A possible prospector traveling west is drawn to an isolated inn where no one walks away hungry; a 1950s housewife shares the gruesome repertoire of behavior expected of a proper lady. Prohibition and women’s suffrage, the Civil War and the Vietnam War, the JFK assassination conspiracy and the Y2K hysteria: the annals of American history are reimagined with a side order of cannibalism by twenty of the biggest names writing horror fiction today. Available now in eBook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook editions, you can grab your copy here.
Since 2004, Adam Nevill has been responsible for some of the most terrifying fiction ever created. His eleven novels of supernatural horror have garnered multiple awards and cemented his reputation as a leading author in the genre. Dreams and Shadows is an exploration of those novels, an examination of their themes and techniques in order to elucidate what it is that makes them masterpieces of horror. Available now in eBook, paperback and hardcover editions, you can get your copy here.
Robin Wood was and remains one of the greatest writers about film. He had an abiding interest in horror as an expression of radicalism. In 1979 he and his partner Richard Lippe curated a programme of sixty horror films at the Toronto International Film Festival, and they provided an accompanying monograph, American Nightmare: Essays on the Horror Film. In his novel Where the Nightmare Ends Wood made his own contribution to the genre. “Normality is threatened by the monster” was his famous formulation for the field. It’s designed to raise questions, and so is this novel, where an assorted group of folk as flawed as us are trapped on an island where a search for perfection has created something monstrous. How do we define normality and the monstrous? Wood suggests many answers as he leads us through psychological unease to suspense and dread and ultimately outright horror, not soon forgotten. No admirer of his work, and no horror aficionado, should miss his novel. This hardcover edition, edited and with a foreword by Ramsey Campbell, is available now, here.
You know that office bromance: two of a kind, always taking their lunch together, always wearing the same sly grin. Only ever a hair away from a cold joke about how spreadsheets are a living hell; about taking a bullet if it means going home early on Friday. Sometimes in these fantasies, they’re heroes being hauled out on a stretcher. Sometimes they’re the ones pulling the trigger.
Now, say these guys discover a loophole that makes some days less real than others—less permanent—and start to act out their violent fantasies without fear of reprisal. Why shouldn’t they? Tomorrow, everything will go back to normal, with no one the wiser but them.
They’ll always remember what it felt like to act on their basest impulses. They’ll know how it could feel to do it again. Maybe you don’t know these guys. Maybe you don’t want to. Soft Targets is a reality-bending novella about malignant malaise; the surrender to violence; and the addictive appeal of tragedy as entertainment. Available for pre-order now in eBook and paperback editions, you can guarantee your copy here.