Horror

5 New Horror Books for Dark October Nights

October is in full swing, delivering us a tide of pumpkins, terrifying lawn decorations, and frigid nights so cold and quiet that you can hear weird noises three streets away. It is, in other words, the perfect atmosphere for reading horror. This month brings with it a bevy of new releases in the genre, from brilliantly creepy anthologies to a strange work by a European master of horror. In celebration of this dark month’s dark books, here are five new and forthcoming releases guaranteed to set the appropriate October mood.

I Am Behind You

I Am Behind You

Hardcover $28.99

I Am Behind You

John Ajvide Lindqvist

Hardcover $28.99

I Am Behind You by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Between a disturbing imagination, deep dives into his characters’ truly twisted psyches, a generous helping of body horror, and a glorious mastery of the incongruent use of pop music (especially that last part), Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist has established himself as a major force in horror. His new novel I Am Behind You brings all his talents to bear in an unsettlingly odd work of cosmic-horror. Four families on a camping holiday go to sleep in a caravan park and awake in a vast green field; a cloudless blue sky floats above, with nary a sign of trees, sun, or other living creatures to be found, and where only music by pop singer-songwriter Peter Himmelstrand plays on the radio. While this is all sort of cheerily unnerving, the field shortly begins to bring out the worst in its temporary inhabitants, forcing them to revisit their past misdeed and misfortunes in nightmarish detail. While Lindqvist hints that the campers’ torment might be divine or alien in nature, he keeps the terror intimately focused on his cast’s inner landscapes and pasts, even as they clash in the present day.

I Am Behind You by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Between a disturbing imagination, deep dives into his characters’ truly twisted psyches, a generous helping of body horror, and a glorious mastery of the incongruent use of pop music (especially that last part), Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist has established himself as a major force in horror. His new novel I Am Behind You brings all his talents to bear in an unsettlingly odd work of cosmic-horror. Four families on a camping holiday go to sleep in a caravan park and awake in a vast green field; a cloudless blue sky floats above, with nary a sign of trees, sun, or other living creatures to be found, and where only music by pop singer-songwriter Peter Himmelstrand plays on the radio. While this is all sort of cheerily unnerving, the field shortly begins to bring out the worst in its temporary inhabitants, forcing them to revisit their past misdeed and misfortunes in nightmarish detail. While Lindqvist hints that the campers’ torment might be divine or alien in nature, he keeps the terror intimately focused on his cast’s inner landscapes and pasts, even as they clash in the present day.

Strange Ink

Strange Ink

Paperback $14.95

Strange Ink

Gary Kemble

In Stock Online

Paperback $14.95

Strange Ink by Gary Kemble
Harry Hendrick, a washed-up investigative journalist who covers flower shows for a local Brisbane paper, wakes up after a stag night with a strange tattoo on the back of his neck. While at first he thinks he just had a night worthy of  The Hangover, the tattoo seems to carry with it strange nightmares of war-torn Afghanistan, making him there’s more to the mystery. Even as more tattoos and psychic dreams appear, Harry is stalked by a sinister biker gang and uncovers a conspiracy surrounding a politician’s military service record.He must get to the bottom of all this weirdness before he loses either his sanity or his life. Kemble manages a surprisingly realistic portrait of a man losing his grip on reality even as the supernatural influences become more and more real. It’s a ghost story with classic flavor, sharp teeth, and a modern twist.

Strange Ink by Gary Kemble
Harry Hendrick, a washed-up investigative journalist who covers flower shows for a local Brisbane paper, wakes up after a stag night with a strange tattoo on the back of his neck. While at first he thinks he just had a night worthy of  The Hangover, the tattoo seems to carry with it strange nightmares of war-torn Afghanistan, making him there’s more to the mystery. Even as more tattoos and psychic dreams appear, Harry is stalked by a sinister biker gang and uncovers a conspiracy surrounding a politician’s military service record.He must get to the bottom of all this weirdness before he loses either his sanity or his life. Kemble manages a surprisingly realistic portrait of a man losing his grip on reality even as the supernatural influences become more and more real. It’s a ghost story with classic flavor, sharp teeth, and a modern twist.

Alice Isn't Dead (Signed Book)

Alice Isn't Dead (Signed Book)

Hardcover $17.99 $19.99

Alice Isn't Dead (Signed Book)

Joseph Fink

Hardcover $17.99 $19.99

Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink
Night Vale Presents has grown over the years from a small, listener-supported network into a juggernaut of surreal fiction podcasts, each more unusual and the last. The star of these new shows has been Alice Isn’t Dead, an unusual mix of magical realism, liminal horror, and subtle paranoia that crisscrosses the highways and byways of America. The book follows a similar but much expanded plotline: Keisha Taylor, desperate for answers to her wife Alice’s disappearance and sudden reappearance in the background of news reports on accidents and major disasters, gets a gig driving big rigs for the Bay and Creek Shipping Co., hoping to retrace Alice’s steps and figure out why she mysteriously vanished. The lonely atmosphere soon morphs into slow-building dread as Keisha uncovers evidence of a supernatural war that has been waged since the beginning of time. The dreamlike disorientation of the podcast (which is presented as Keisha’s first-person CB radio broadcasts) translates to the printed page despite a shift in perspective and a much expanded cast. It’s bound to give those who listened to the series a fuller view of Fink’s haunted America; newer readers, too, will enjoy an eerie experience that will linger long after they close the book.

Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink
Night Vale Presents has grown over the years from a small, listener-supported network into a juggernaut of surreal fiction podcasts, each more unusual and the last. The star of these new shows has been Alice Isn’t Dead, an unusual mix of magical realism, liminal horror, and subtle paranoia that crisscrosses the highways and byways of America. The book follows a similar but much expanded plotline: Keisha Taylor, desperate for answers to her wife Alice’s disappearance and sudden reappearance in the background of news reports on accidents and major disasters, gets a gig driving big rigs for the Bay and Creek Shipping Co., hoping to retrace Alice’s steps and figure out why she mysteriously vanished. The lonely atmosphere soon morphs into slow-building dread as Keisha uncovers evidence of a supernatural war that has been waged since the beginning of time. The dreamlike disorientation of the podcast (which is presented as Keisha’s first-person CB radio broadcasts) translates to the printed page despite a shift in perspective and a much expanded cast. It’s bound to give those who listened to the series a fuller view of Fink’s haunted America; newer readers, too, will enjoy an eerie experience that will linger long after they close the book.

The Best of the Best Horror of the Year: 10 Years of Essential Short Horror Fiction

The Best of the Best Horror of the Year: 10 Years of Essential Short Horror Fiction

Paperback $17.99

The Best of the Best Horror of the Year: 10 Years of Essential Short Horror Fiction

Ellen Datlow

In Stock Online

Paperback $17.99

The Best of the Best Horror of the Year edited by Ellen Datlow
While the title really means this needs no introduction, it’s still worth discussing: for a decade, The Best Horror of the Year has provided a platform for the blacker side of fantastic fiction—everything from ethereal ghost stories about strange lights in the woods, to a gruesome class-based twist on The Masque of the Red Death; from the real, to the surreal, and back again. In this volume, legendary horror impresario Ellen Datlow collects the standout stories from 10 years of the best horror. The result is a collection that sets OG dark fiction writers alongside newer upstarts, organized in a way that seems to flow seamlessly from horrifying scene to horrifying scene. And while there are a few names here you already know, you’re guaranteed to meet an author for the first time, and that alone is worth the price of admission. Plus, an afterword listing notable horror novels of the past decade will further help you build out your reading list.
Standout Stories: “In A Cavern, In A Canyon,” “The Man from the Peak,” or anything listed here

The Best of the Best Horror of the Year edited by Ellen Datlow
While the title really means this needs no introduction, it’s still worth discussing: for a decade, The Best Horror of the Year has provided a platform for the blacker side of fantastic fiction—everything from ethereal ghost stories about strange lights in the woods, to a gruesome class-based twist on The Masque of the Red Death; from the real, to the surreal, and back again. In this volume, legendary horror impresario Ellen Datlow collects the standout stories from 10 years of the best horror. The result is a collection that sets OG dark fiction writers alongside newer upstarts, organized in a way that seems to flow seamlessly from horrifying scene to horrifying scene. And while there are a few names here you already know, you’re guaranteed to meet an author for the first time, and that alone is worth the price of admission. Plus, an afterword listing notable horror novels of the past decade will further help you build out your reading list.
Standout Stories: “In A Cavern, In A Canyon,” “The Man from the Peak,” or anything listed here

The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2018 Edition

The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2018 Edition

Paperback $19.95

The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2018 Edition

Paula Guran

In Stock Online

Paperback $19.95

The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2018 edited by Paula Guran
Literary critic and accomplished editor Paula Guran has also done a good job hitting that dark-fic sweet spot over the past eight years of The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror anthologies, showcasing the best from heavy hitters like Holly Black and Margo Lanagan as well as names further outside mainstream, like Steve Rasnic Tem. This year’s compilation contains an upsetting story from purveyor of absurdist nightmare fuel Robert Shearman, Stephen Graham Jones’s terrifying novella Mapping the Interior, and a disturbing tale from M. Rickert about the cult following that arises in the wake of a young woman’s death. It’s wide-ranging anthology, stretching into shadowy corners that might otherwise remain obscured (one of the sources it pulls from is Undertow Press, a name to know if you have a taste for weird, dark, and generally unclassifiable fiction). Altogether, a very solid compilation of stories, perfect for dark nights.
Standout Stories: “Everything Beautiful Is Terrifying” by M. Rickert, “The Swimming Pool Party” by Robert Shearman

The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2018 edited by Paula Guran
Literary critic and accomplished editor Paula Guran has also done a good job hitting that dark-fic sweet spot over the past eight years of The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror anthologies, showcasing the best from heavy hitters like Holly Black and Margo Lanagan as well as names further outside mainstream, like Steve Rasnic Tem. This year’s compilation contains an upsetting story from purveyor of absurdist nightmare fuel Robert Shearman, Stephen Graham Jones’s terrifying novella Mapping the Interior, and a disturbing tale from M. Rickert about the cult following that arises in the wake of a young woman’s death. It’s wide-ranging anthology, stretching into shadowy corners that might otherwise remain obscured (one of the sources it pulls from is Undertow Press, a name to know if you have a taste for weird, dark, and generally unclassifiable fiction). Altogether, a very solid compilation of stories, perfect for dark nights.
Standout Stories: “Everything Beautiful Is Terrifying” by M. Rickert, “The Swimming Pool Party” by Robert Shearman

What spooky books are you picking up this month?