So, a momentary humblebrag in which I note Wanderers was mentioned at the Washington Post yesterday as some of the year’s best horror — which is a kind declaration and I’m obviously beaming to be in such good company. But! I didn’t actually give the post much of a read yesterday, as it’s been a bit busy around these parts, and again, while I’m super pleased to be in such wonderful company… I also note that all too often, genre lists, especially horror, tend to exclude writers who are not, well, white dudes.
But, that sucks, because it misses so much.
So, here are some of my favorite scary reads (horror, or horror-adjacent) of late that white dudes did not write. (I do not guarantee these were all published in 2019, mind you, and I apologize for this temporary breach.) These are hasty, capsule reviews, as I’m buried under stuff right now (er, not literally, OR AM I), so forgive the brevity, and just buy these books.
The Luminous Dead, Caitlin Starling — Creepy space caving! The Descent, except on another planet! Twisty and turny like cave tunnels! Also, Madeline Roux has a new one out called Salvaged (more cool creepy shit in space) that I haven’t read yet because I’m really way way behind on my reading, for instance I’ve not yet read Annalee Newitz’s latest (The Future of Another Timeline), which sounds kinda like a cool near-future sci-fi riff on The Shining Girls, maybe? I dunno, I need more time to read, and less house to unpack, and fewer… like, responsibilities?
The Twisted Ones, T. Kingfisher — Starts off cool and chill and not that scary and then OH FUCK WHAT THE FUCK.
The Hunger, Alma Katsu — a supernatural lens on the Donner Party? Hell yeah. Reads like a classic horror novel, strong assertive prose.
Beneath the Rising, Premee Mohamed — weird cosmic horror coupled with occult adventures and science-fiction and just a pulp blender of good stuff with meticulous attention to character. Er — not out yet! Coming out in 2020, because I’m a jerk who taunts you.
The Book of M, Peng Shepherd — hey what happens when your shadows go away and then you forget things and the things you forget also go away, oh it’s the end of the world. Not horror really but still… unsettling, to say the least.
Into the Drowning Deep, Mira Grant — fuck yeah, murderous mermaids. Greant (aka Seanan McGuire) is no stranger to tense creepiness and creepy tension and it’s on full display in this monster movie novel. Is there a sequel coming?
Coyote Songs, Gabino Iglesias — dang, the writing in this is is like a Swiss Army knife opening to all its blades and widgets and then all those blades and widgets are used to cut you in different ways — killer horror-crime on display here.
Certain Dark Things, Silvia Moreno-Garcia — I’ve not read her newest yet (Gods of Jade and Shadow), but this is the book that will remind you that anybody who says vampire fiction is “over” is wrong as hell, and can close the door on a book like this
The Changeling, Victor Lavalle — a NYC fairy tale wrought with horror, rife with twisting knives
Her Body, Herself, Carmen Maria Machado — an impactful gut-kick of a short story from 2016 refreshed with an audio version from Nightfire (Tor’s new horror imprint)
Rupert Wong Cannibal Chef, Cassandra Khaw — I mean I feel like the name kind of sells itself, but also consider this is connected to the Gods & Monsters books, one of which I wrote (as did Hilary Monahan)
Sarah Lotz, The White Road — love the sub-sub-genre of CREEPY MOUNTAIN CLIMBING NOVELS, and this is one worth checking out — don’t miss Lotz’s earlier stuff, either, which is sublime — also wait p.s. what the fuck, she has a new book out as of September?! Missing Person? Publishers you need to get better about letting people know about awesome books you’re publishing, JFC — I literally just found out about White Road this year and that was released in 2017, for fuck’s sake, and I only stumbled upon it accidentally, also p.p.s. Amazon your recommendation algorithms are legit terrible, I mean, damn.
ANYWAY, that is a way too brief list, but I gotta go do stuff, because life is irritating.
HABBY HORRORWEEN, SKULL FRIENDS, buy some books, read some scary shit.