We made it through 2020, folks. We did it! As a reward, we’ve got an absolutely stacked year ahead of us when it comes to 2021’s new horror books. There are already over 100 titles on our radar for this year, with more expected to be announced for publication in the fall and winter. New releases include Grady Hendrix, Rivers Solomon, Stephen Graham Jones, Brian Evenson, Cassandra Khaw, Richard Chizmar, Zoje Stage, Josh Malerman, Cynthia Pelayo, Gemma Files, Ramsey Campbell, Catriona Ward, Chuck Wendig, Jeffrey Ford, V. Castro, and many, many, many more.
We take a broad view of what counts as horror fiction – alongside traditional horror, here you’ll find all things gothic, dark, weird, and thrilling––and, hopefully, your next favorite scary book.
Please note that publication dates are subject to change – we’ll be updating the release dates below and adding new books as we hear of any changes, but the publisher’s website will always have the most up to date information. Some titles publishing later in the year don’t have concrete release dates yet – we’ve listed those at the bottom – and if the publisher doesn’t have a dedicated page for a book yet, we’ve linked to Goodreads or to the book announcement elsewhere. And don’t miss our monthly new release posts here!
Descriptions below are adapted from the publisher’s synopsis.
- Bloodline, Jess Lourey (Jan 1): In a tale inspired by real events, pregnant journalist Joan Harken is cautiously excited to follow her fiancé back to his Minnesota hometown. But something is off in the picture-perfect village. Her fiancé tells her she’s being paranoid. He might be right. Then again, she might have moved to the deadliest small town on earth.
- Scream to the Shadows, Tunku Halim (Jan 1): This collection of twenty shadowy tales from “Asia’s Stephen King” features frights across genres and themes, from the occult to human madness, and from modern technology to the deep history of Malay mythology.
- Taiping Tales of Terror, Julya Oui (Jan 1): A collection of stories that about the restless paranormal entities that walk among us that also serves as an homage to the author’s hometown and her favorite horror writers.
- Animal, Munish K. Batra, M.D. & Keith DeCandido (Jan 5): An enthralling crime thriller about a serial killer who targets those who brutalize innocent animals. Who is the real animal?
- Root Magic, Eden Royce (Jan 5): Eden Royce‘s middle grade debut arrives with a wondrous story of love, bravery, friendship, family, and the folk traditions of the Gullah people, filled to the brim with magic great and small.
- The Dangers of Smoking in Bed, Mariana Enriquez (Jan 12): Following the “propulsive and mesmerizing” Things We Lost in the Fire comes a new collection of singularly unsettling stories, by an Argentine author who has earned comparisons to Shirley Jackson and Jorge Luis Borges.
- A House at the Bottom of a Lake, Josh Malerman (Jan 19): From the New York Times bestselling author of Bird Box comes a haunting tale of love and mystery, as the date of a lifetime becomes a maddening exploration of the depths of the heart.
- In Darkness, Shadows Breathe, Catherine Cavendish (Jan 19): In a luxury apartment and in the walls of a modern hospital, the evil that was done continues to thrive. They are in the hands of an entity that knows no boundaries and crosses dimensions – bending and twisting time itself – and where danger waits in every shadow. The battle is on for their bodies and souls and the line between reality and nightmare is hard to define.
- In The Garden of Spite, Camilla Bruce (Jan 19): An audacious novel of feminine rage about the Widow of La Porte, one of the most prolific female serial killers in American history–and the men who drove her to it.
- The Route of Ice and Salt, José Luis Zárate (Jan 19): A reimagining of Dracula’s voyage to England, filled with Gothic imagery and queer desire. The cult vampire novella by Mexican author José Luis Zárate is available for the first time in English. Translated by David Bowles and with an accompanying essay by noted horror author Poppy Z. Brite, it reveals an unknown corner of Latin American literature.
- The Unwelcome, Jacob Steven Mohr (Jan 29): She should have known Lutz would never let her go so easily…. After a chance roadside meeting, Kaitlyn Brecker’s jealous ex-boyfriend pursues her into the Appalachian foothills, revealing the monster under his skin for the first time.
- A Dowry of Blood, S.T. Gibson (Jan 31): A lyrical and dreamy reimagining of Dracula’s brides, this is a story of desire, obsession, and emancipation.
- The Blood Prince of Langkasuka, Tutu Dutta (Feb 1): A vampire novel set against the political landscape of 12th century Southeast Asia, following a prince whose chance encounter with an irresistible woman leaves him craving blood.
- The Dead Hours of Night, Lisa Tuttle (Feb 2): In a career spanning almost 50 years, Lisa Tuttle has proven herself a master of the weird tale, and now this new collection of twelve unsettling stories – some never previously collected – offers readers a chance to discover some of her finest work.
- The Loosening Skin, Aliya Whiteley (Feb 2): A gripping and strange story of shedding skins, love and moving on from the award-winning author of The Beauty. Includes an exclusive short story set in the world of The Loosening Skin.
- Spec Ops Z, Gavin G Smith (Feb 2): A handsome new re-issue of a high-octane military-SF, as Russian Spetsnaz commandos are turned into zombies in ‘80s New York.
- What Big Teeth, Rose Szabo (Feb 2): Rose Szabo’s YA debut is a dark and thrilling novel about a teen girl who returns home to her strange, wild family after years of estrangement, perfect for fans of Wilder Girls.
- The Children God Forgot, Graham Masterton (Feb 4): Forsake the living. Forget the dead. Fear the children. A brand new chilling page-turner from the master of horror
- The Burning Girls, C.J. Tudor (Feb 9): An unconventional vicar must exorcise the dark past of a remote village haunted by death and disappearances in this explosive and unsettling thriller from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man.
- Children of Chicago, Cynthia Pelayo (Feb 9): A modern-day homage to the fairy tale, as well a love letter to the underworld of Chicago. Chicago detective Lauren Medina’s latest call brings her to investigate a brutally murdered teenager in Humboldt Park. She recognizes the crime, and the new graffiti popping up all over the city, for what it really means: the Pied Piper has returned. When more children are found dead, Lauren is certain her suspicion is correct. She knows she must find out who has summoned him again, and why, before more people die.
- A Flood of Posies, Tiffany Meuret (Feb 9): When a storm of biblical proportions strikes, two wayward sisters are begrudgingly forced together as the rain waters rise, each attempting to survive both the flood, the monstrous creatures called Posies, and each other.
- Never Have I Ever, Isabel Yap (Feb 9): Spells and stories, urban legends and immigrant tales: the magic in Isabel Yap’s debut collection jumps right off the page, from the joy in her new novella, “A Spell for Foolish Hearts” to the terrifying tension of the urban legend “Have You Heard the One About Anamaria Marquez.”
- Rafael, Laurell K. Hamilton (Feb 9): Rafael, king of the wererats, must fight to the death to defend his crown. He wants Anita Blake, one of his closest allies, with him as he faces an opponent unlike any he’s faced before. He will ask Anita to risk everything to be at his side.…
- The Repeater Book of the Occult: Tales from the Darkside, ed. Tariq Goddard & Eugene Thacker (Feb 9): A selection of Repeater authors choose their favorite forgotten horror stories for this new anthology, with each also writing a critical introduction for the story of their choice.
- In That Endlessness, Our End, Gemma Files (Feb 15): Hot on the heels of her This Is Horror Award-winning short story collection Spectral Evidence, critically-acclaimed horror author Gemma Files compiles fifteen more of her most startling recent nightmares—a creepily seductive downward spiral of dark poetry and existential dread, entirely suitable to the slow apocalypse going on all around us.
- The Harrowed Paths, ed. David Annandale (Feb 16): Explore the darker, mysterious side of Warhammer Fiction with this great anthology of stories from Warhammer Horror. This collection features tales of the grim and uncanny by Graham McNeill, Jake Ozga, Lora Gray and more.
- The Searching Dead, Ramsey Campbell (Feb 16): On a school trip to France teenager, Dominic Sheldrake begins to suspect his teacher Christian Noble has reasons to be there as secret as they are strange. Meanwhile a widowed neighbour joins a church that puts you in touch with your dead relatives, who prove much harder to get rid of. As Dominic and his friends Roberta and Jim investigate, they can’t suspect how much larger and more terrible the link between these mysteries will become.
- The Bone Fire, György Dragomán (Feb 23): From the award-winning and internationally acclaimed European writer comes a chilling and suspenseful novel set in the wake of a violent revolution, about a young girl rescued from an orphanage by an otherworldly grandmother she’s never met.
- The Russian Cage, Charlaine Harris (Feb 23): Bestselling author Charlaine Harris is at her best in this alternate history of the United States where magic is an acknowledged but despised power in this third installment of the Gunnie Rose series.
- The Upstairs House, Julia Fine (Feb 23): A provocative meditation on new motherhood—Shirley Jackson meets The Awakening—in which a postpartum woman’s psychological unraveling becomes intertwined with the ghostly appearance of children’s book writer Margaret Wise Brown.
- Shelter for the Damned, Mike Thorn (Feb 26): A scary, fast-paced horror novel that doubles as an unflinching study of suburban violence, masculine conditioning, and adolescent rage.
- Midnight Doorways, Usman T. Malik (February): From the winner of The British Fantasy Award and the Bram Stoker Award comes a short story collection highlighting the scope of speculative art and literature in Pakistan.
- Paradise Club, Tim Meyer (February): Welcome to Paradise. Sandy beaches. Crystalline waters. An all-inclusive resort with virtually everything you can think of. A true idyllic paradise, and now the site of a dangerous game pitting the hotel’s guests against a gang of bloodthirsty maniacs. A team of killers have been unleashed, and they won’t stop until every single guest is dead. Let the mayhem begin.
- A Broken Darkness, Premee Mohamed (Mar 2): The highly anticipated sequel to Beneath the Rising. It’s been a year and a half since the Anomaly, when They tried to force their way into the world from the shapeless void. Nick and Johnny are piecing their lives back together, but when more portals open to Them, they must risk everything to fight the darkness once more.
- Burning Girls and Other Stories, Veronica Schanoes (Mar 2): Veronica Schanoes crosses borders and genres with stories of fierce women at the margins of society burning their way toward the center. This debut collection introduces readers to a dark fantasist in the vein of Karen Russell and Kelly Link, with a voice all her own.
- Dead Space, Kali Wallace (Mar 2): An investigator must solve a brutal murder on a claustrophobic space station in this tense science fiction thriller from the author of Salvation Day.
- Down Comes The Night, Allison Saft (Mar 2): A snow-drenched romantic gothic fantasy full of magic and disease in a crumbling mansion that’ll keep you racing through the pages long into the night.
- Later, Stephen King (Mar 2): The son of a struggling single mother, Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But Jamie is no ordinary child. Born with an unnatural ability his mom urges him to keep secret, Jamie can see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn. But the cost of using this ability is higher than Jamie can imagine—as he discovers when an NYPD detective draws him into the pursuit of a killer who has threatened to strike from beyond the grave.
- Machinehood, S.B. Divya (Mar 2): From the Hugo Award nominee S.B. Divya, Zero Dark Thirty meets The Social Network in this science fiction thriller about artificial intelligence, sentience, and labor rights in a near future dominated by the gig economy.
- All the Murmuring Bones, A.G. Slatter (Mar 9): A harrowing and spellbinding tale of dark family secrets, grim magic, witches, and creatures of myth and the sea; of strong women and the men who seek to control them.
- Big Dark Hole, Jeffrey Ford (Mar 9): A Jeffrey Ford story may start out in the innocuous and routine world of college teaching or evenings on a porch with your wife. But inevitably the weird comes crashing in. Big Dark Hole is about those big, dark holes that we find ourselves once in a while and maybe, too, the big dark holes that exist inside of us.
- The Ghost Variations, Kevin Brockmeier (Mar 9): From the author of The Brief History of the Dead comes a collection of one hundred (!) short ghost stories, some funny, some poignant, and some terrifying.
- The Girls Are All So Nice Here, Laurie Elizabeth Flynn (Mar 9): Two former best friends return to their college reunion to find that they’re being circled by someone who wants revenge for what they did ten years before—and will stop at nothing to get it—in this shocking psychological thriller about ambition, toxic friendship, and deadly desire.
- Reality and Other Stories, John Lanchester (Mar 9): Ghost stories for the digital age by the Booker Prize–longlisted author of The Wall. Reality and Other Stories takes readers to a disquieting, uncanny world familiar to fans of The Twilight Zone or Black Mirror. Household gizmos with a mind of their own. Mysterious cell-phone calls from unknown numbers. Reality TV shows and the creeping suspicion that none of this is real…
- The Second Bell, Gabriela Houston (Mar 9): In this Slavic-inspired dark fantasy, a young striga ostracized as a monster by her community fights to harness the power of her second heart, while her mother sacrifices everything to stop her…
- Our Last Echoes, Kate Alice Marshall (Mar 16): Kara Thomas meets Twin Peaks in this supernatural thriller about one girl’s hunt for the truth about her mother’s disappearance. People have been vanishing from Bitter Rock for decades, leaving only their ghostly echoes behind. Sophia is the only one who can break the cycle–or risk becoming nothing more than another echo haunting the island.
- The Whispering House, Elizabeth Brooks (Mar 16): The Whispering House trades in secrets: of a son haunted by his family’s unsettling past, and a young woman uncovering the startling truth about her sister’s last days.
- I Would Haunt You If I Could, Sean Padraic Birnie (Mar 23): The debut short story collection from Sean Padraic Birnie is sown with seeds of sorrow and grief, and imbued with disquieting bodily horrors. These tales are the product of an uncanny and febrile imagination. Birnie’s writing balances on the knife’s edge of the horror and literary divide. Stories that cut and bleed. Stories that linger and haunt.
- The Lost Village, Camilla Sten (Mar 23): The Blair Witch Project meets Midsommar in this brilliantly disturbing thriller from Camilla Sten, an electrifying new voice in suspense.
- Your Turn to Suffer, Tim Waggoner (Mar 23): Lorelei Palumbo is harassed by a sinister group calling themselves The Cabal. They accuse her of having committed unspeakable crimes in the past, and now she must pay. The Cabal begins taking her life apart one piece at a time – her job, her health, the people she loves – and she must try to figure out what The Cabal thinks she’s done if she’s to have any hope of answering their charges and salvaging her life.
- Goddess of Filth, V. Castro (Mar 30): One hot summer night, five best friends hold a séance. It’s all fun and games at first, but their tipsy laughter turns to terror when the flames burn straight through their prayer candles and Fernanda starts crawling toward her friends and chanting in Nahuatl, the language of their Aztec ancestors. Over the next few weeks, shy, modest Fernanda starts acting strangely. The local priest is convinced it’s a demon, but Lourdes begins to suspect it’s something else—something far more ancient and powerful.
- The Silence That Binds, Paul Jessup (Apr 1): The world is cursed. A monstrous fog consumes and remakes all things infected with the black fog. A community of Seers push back against the curse. These seers are all women who have been orphaned. They live and train together in an ancient temple past the bone labyrinth. They perform elaborate and beautiful rituals to appease the ghosts of the world, and hold back the tide of the curse.
- Blessed Monsters, Emily A. Duncan (Apr 6): The startling conclusion to the bestselling Something Dark and Holy trilogy. The girl, the monster, the prince, the queen must unite once more to fight the dark chaos they’ve unleashed – but is it already too late?
- The Drowning Kind, Jennifer McMahon (Apr 6): From the New York Times bestselling author of The Invited and The Winter People comes a chilling new novel about a woman who returns to the old family home after her sister mysteriously drowns in its swimming pool… but she’s not the pool’s only victim.
- Poison Priestess, Lana Popovic (Apr 6): Book 2 in the Lady Slayers series, about French murderess and fortune teller Catherine Monvoisin. This entry, full of Black Masses and grisly murders follows Catherine’s ascent to notoriety as sorceress to the elite of Louis XIV’s royal court and her growing rivalry with an ambitious young magician.
- Whisper Down the Lane, Clay McLeod Chapman (Apr 6): Inspired by the McMartin preschool trials and the Satanic Panic of the ‘80s, Clay McLeod Chapman, author of the critically acclaimed The Remaking, delivers another pulse pounding, true-crime-based horror novel.
- The Helm of Midnight, Marina Lostetter (Apr 13): A legendary serial killer stalks the streets of a fantastical city in The Helm of Midnight, the stunning first novel in a new trilogy from acclaimed author Marina Lostetter.
- The Mary Shelley Club, Goldy Moldavsky (Apr 13): New York Times-bestselling author Goldy Moldavsky delivers a deliciously twisty YA thriller that’s Scream meets Karen McManus about a mysterious club with an obsession for horror.
- Near the Bone, Christina Henry (Apr 13): A woman trapped on a mountain attempts to survive more than one kind of monster, in a dread-inducing horror novel from national bestselling author Christina Henry.
- A Natural History of Transition, Callum Angus (Apr 27): A collection of short stories that disrupts the notion that trans people can only have one transformation. Like the landscape studied over eons, change does not have an expiration date for these trans characters, who grow as tall as buildings, turn into mountains, unravel hometown mysteries, and give birth to cocoons. Portland-based author Callum Angus infuses his work with a mix of alternative history, horror, and a reality heavily dosed with magic.
- To Drown in Dark Water, Steve Toase (April): A collection of dark, gritty, and uncompromising horror stories from Steve Toase.
- Prom House, Chelsea Mueller (May 4): What happens when the best night of your life turns into the worst? Full of menace and suspense, this is an unputdownable murder mystery set on a deadly prom weekend.
- Sorrowland, Rivers Solomon (May 4): Rivers Solomon’s Sorrowland is a genre-bending work of Gothic fiction. Here, monsters aren’t just individuals, but entire nations. It is a searing, seminal book that marks the arrival of a bold, unignorable voice in American fiction.
- Vampire: The Masquerade: Walk Among Us, Cassandra Khaw, Genevieve Gornichec, Caitlin Starling (May 4): One of the most popular role-playing properties in the world gets new life with this trio of horror novellas set in Vampire: The Masquerade’s World of Darkness by three brilliant talents: Genevieve Gornichec, Cassandra Khaw, and Caitlin Starling.
- The Whispering Dead, Darcy Coates (May 4): USA Today bestseller and rising queen of atmospheric horror Darcy Coates returns with a ghost story that will haunt you long after the final page. She hears them whispering…
- Unfortunate Elements of My Anatomy, Hailey Piper (May 7): Love twisted into horrific shapes, nightmares driven by cruel music, and a world where what little light remains fractures the sky into midnight rainbows in eighteen stories tracing the dark veins of queer horror, isolation, and the monstrous feminine.
- Goblin, Josh Malerman (May 18): Goblin seems like any other ordinary small town. But with master storyteller Josh Malerman as your tour guide, you’ll discover the secrets that hide behind its closed doors. These six novellas tell the story of a place where the rain is always falling, nighttime is always near, and your darkest fears and desires await.
- Screams from the Void, Anne Tibbets (May 18): For two years in deep space, the freighter Demeter and a small crew have collected botanical life from other planets. It’s a lesson in patience and hell. Mechanics Ensign Reina is ready to jump ship, if only because her abusive ex is also aboard, as well as her overbearing boss. It’s only after a foreign biological creature sneaks aboard and wreaks havoc on the ship and crew that Reina must find her grit – and maybe create a gadget or two – to survive… that is, if the crew members don’t lose their sanity and turn on each other in the process.
- For The Wolf, Hannah Whitten (Jun 15): The first daughter is for the Throne. The second daughter is for the Wolf. For fans of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale comes a dark, sweeping debut fantasy novel about a young woman who must be sacrificed to the legendary Wolf of the Wood to save her kingdom. But not all legends are true, and the Wolf isn’t the only danger lurking in the Wilderwood.
- Wendy, Darling, A.C. Wise (June 15): A lush, feminist re-imagining on what happened to Wendy after Neverland, for fans of Circe and The Mere Wife. Now a grown woman, a mother, a patient and a survivor, Wendy must follow Peter back to Neverland to rescue her daughter and finally face the darkness at the heart of the island…
- The All-Consuming World, Cassandra Khaw (June 22): A diverse team of broken, diminished former criminals get back together to solve the mystery of their last, disastrous mission and to rescue a missing and much-changed comrade… but they’re not the only ones in pursuit of the secret at the heart of the planet Dimmuborgir. Cassandra Khaw’s debut novel is a page-turning exploration of humans and machines that is perfect for readers of Ann Leckie, Ursula Le Guin, and Kameron Hurley.
- Moon Lake, Joe R. Lansdale (June 22): Edgar award-winning author Joe Lansdale returns with a standalone novel following the gripping and unexpected tale of the lost town and dark secret that lie beneath the glittering waters of an East Texas lake.
- The Queen of the Cicadas, V. Castro (June 22): In 1950s south Texas, Milagro, a farmworker from Mexico, is murdered. Her death is ignored by the town, but not the Aztec goddess of death, Mictecacíhuatl. The goddess hears the dying cries of Milagros and creates a plan for both to be physically reborn by feeding on vengeance and worship. 70 years later, the new owners of the farmhouse find themselves immersed in the legend of Milagros and realize it is part of their fate as well.
- Somebody’s Voice, Ramsey Campbell (June 22): Alex Grand is a successful crime novelist until his latest book is condemned for appropriating the experience of victims of abuse. In a bid to rescue his reputation he ghostwrites a memoir of abuse on behalf of a survivor, Carl Batchelor. Carl’s account proves to be less than entirely reliable; someone is alive who shouldn’t be. As Alex investigates the background of Carl’s accusations his grasp of the truth of the book and of his own involvement begins to crumble.
- Star Eater, Kerstin Hall (June 22): In this dark fantasy debut novel, an order of cannibal nuns pay an unimaginable price in order to preserve their magical bloodline, but Elfreda wants out, whatever the cost. A phantasmagorical indictment of hereditary power, Star Eater takes readers deep into a perilous and uncanny world where even the most powerful women are forced to choose what sacrifices they will make, so that they might have any choice at all.
- Cinders of Yesterday, Jen Karner (June 29): Paranormal Hunter Dani Black wants nothing more ardently than she does revenge. A year ago, the rogue Necromancer Spectre murdered her partner during a hunt gone wrong, and she’s been looking for a way to kill him—and keep him dead—ever since. When rumors of a weapon capable of killing anything surfaces in Dawson Maryland, she sets out on a mission to get her hands on it.
- Survive the Night, Riley Sager (June 29): It’s November 1991. George H. W. Bush is in the White House, Nirvana’s in the tape deck, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer.
- Escape from Puroland, Charles Stross (Jul 13): Regular readers of Charles Stross’s Laundry Files might have noticed Bob Howard’s absence from the events of The Nightmare Stacks, and his subsequent return from Tokyo at the start of The Delirium Brief. Escape from Puroland explains what he was doing there.
- The Taking of Jake Livingston, Ryan Douglass (Jul 13): Get Out meets Danielle Vega in this YA social thriller where survival is not a guarantee.
- A Touch of Jen, Beth Morgan (Jul 13): Ottessa Moshfegh meets David Cronenberg in this viciously funny and terrifying debut novel about a love triangle so toxic that it breaks the order of the universe and unleashes a literal monster.
- The Final Girl Support Group, Grady Hendrix (Jul 13): Hendrix’s homage to slasher films follows six girls who belong to a survivors’ support group that has been meeting for nearly two decades.
- The Book of Accidents, Chuck Wendig (Jul 20): A family returns to their hometown—and to the dark past that haunts them still—in this masterpiece of literary horror by the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers.
- Come With Me, Ronald Malfi (Jul 20): A masterful, heart-palpitating novel of small-town horror and psychological dread from a Bram Stoker nominee.
- Small Favors, Erin A. Craig (Jul 27): From the bestselling author of House of Salt and Sorrows comes a mesmerizing and chilling novel that’s The Village meets Needful Things, about what lurks in the shadows of the people you think you know.
- All’s Well, Mona Awad (Aug 3): From the critically acclaimed author of Bunny, a darkly funny novel about a theater professor suffering chronic pain, who in the process of staging a troubled production of Shakespeare’s most maligned play, suddenly and miraculously recovers.
- The Dead and the Dark, Courtney Gould (Aug 3): Courtney Gould’s thrilling YA debut is about the things that lurk in dark corners, the parts of you that can’t remain hidden, and about finding home in places—and people—you didn’t expect.
- The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell, Brian Evenson (Aug 3): In this new short story collection, Brian Evenson envisions a chilling future beyond the Anthropocene that forces excruciating decisions about survival and self-sacrifice in the face of toxic air and a natural world torn between revenge and regeneration. Combining psychological and ecological horror, each tale thrums with Evenson’s award-winning literary craftsmanship, dark humor, and thrilling suspense.
- A Lesson in Vengeance, Victoria Lee (Aug 3): For fans of Wilder Girls and Ninth House: a dark, twisty, atmospheric thriller about a boarding school haunted by its history of witchcraft and two girls dangerously close to digging up the past.
- The Woods Are Always Watching, Stephanie Perkins (Aug 3): A traditional backwoods horror story set–first page to last–in the woods of the Pisgah National Forest in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Two girls go backpacking in the woods. Things go very wrong. And, then, their paths collide with a serial killer.
- Mark of the Wicked, Georgia Bowers (Aug 10): A young witch tries to unravel the mystery of who is framing her for dark magic in Georgia Bowers’ creepy YA debut fantasy, Mark of the Wicked.
- Chasing the Boogeyman, Richard Chizmar (Aug 17): The New York Times bestselling coauthor of Gwendy’s Button Box brings his signature “thrilling, page-turning” prose to this story of small-town evil that combines the storytelling of Stephen King with the true-crime suspense of Michelle McNamara.
- Dagger Hill, Devon Taylor (Aug 17): Stranger Things meets One of Us Is Lying in this creepy paranormal mystery about four friends who find themselves hunted by a malevolent presence in their sleepy hometown.
- Getaway, Zoje Stage (Aug 17): A cinematic and terrifying new thriller from the bestselling author of Baby Teeth and Wonderland, about three friends who hike into the wilds of the Grand Canyon—only to find it’s not so easy to leave the world behind.
- It’s Your Funeral, Kathy Benjamin (Aug 17): Put the fun back in funeral with this hilarious yet practical guide to planning the funeral of your dreams! From selecting your burial outfit to your funeral theme, guided-journal elements and worksheets will help you think outside the coffin.
- My Heart is a Chainsaw, Stephen Graham Jones (Aug 31): In her quickly gentrifying rural lake town, Jade sees recent events only her encyclopedic knowledge of horror films could have prepared her for in this latest novel from horror master Stephen Graham Jones.
- Certain Dark Things, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Sept 7): From Silvia Moreno-Garcia, the bestselling author of Mexican Gothic, comes a beautiful new reissue of Certain Dark Things, a pulse-pounding neo-noir that reimagines vampire lore. (A Nightfire title)
- The City Beautiful, Aden Polydoros (Sept 7): Death lurks around every corner in this unforgettable Jewish historical dark fantasy about a city, a boy, a dybbuk, and the shadows of the past that bind them together.
- Flowers for the Sea, Zin E. Rocklyn (Sept 7): Survivors from a flooded kingdom struggle alone on an ark. Resources are scant, and ravenous sea beasts circle. Among the refugees is Iraxi: a commoner who refused a prince, she’s pregnant with a child that might be more creature than human. Her fate may be darker and more powerful than she can imagine.
- To Break a Covenant, Alison Ames (Sept 7): Debut voice Alison Ames delivers with a chilling, feminist thriller, perfect for fans of Wilder Girls and Sawkill Girls. New Basin, an ex-mining town, relies on its haunted reputation to bring in tourists, but there’s more truth to the rumors than most are willing to admit, and the mine disaster still has a hold on everyone who lives there. The people of New Basin start experiencing strange phenomena—sleepwalking, night terrors, voices that only they can hear. And no matter how many vans of ghost hunters roll through, nobody can get to the bottom of what’s really going on. Which is why four girls decide to enter the mine themselves.
- Empire of the Vampire, Jay Kristoff (Sept 14): Twenty-seven years have passed since the last sunrise, and for almost three decades, the creatures of the night have walked the day without fear. Once, humanity fought bravely against the coldblood legions, but now, we exist only in a few scattered settlements—tiny sparks of light in a growing sea of darkness.
- From The Neck Up, Aliya Whiteley (Sept 14): The new collection of beautiful, strange and disarming short stories from the award-winning author of The Beauty, The Loosening Skin, and The Arrival of Missives. In 16 stories, Whiteley deftly unpeels the strangeness of everyday life through beguiling gardens, rebellious bodies ,and journeys across familiar worlds, with her trademark wit and compassion.
- Slewfoot, Brom (Sept 14): Set in Colonial New England, Slewfoot is an illustrated tale of magic and mystery, of triumph and terror as only dark fantasist Brom can tell it. (A Nightfire title)
- Hex, Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Sept 21): A new edition of Olde Heuvelt’s cult favorite novel of a cursed town’s descent into darkness. (A Nightfire title)
- The Last House on Needless Street, Catriona Ward (Sept 28): A gripping psychological horror novel that delivers twist after twist, The Last House on Needless Street by Shirley Jackson award-winning author Catriona Ward is a shocking exploration of the lengths we’ll go to protect ourselves from dark truths. (A Nightfire title)
- Summer Sons, Lee Mandelo (Sept 28): Lee Mandelo’s debut Summer Sons is a sweltering, queer Southern Gothic that crosses Appalachian street racing with academic intrigue, all haunted by hungry ghosts.
- Cackle, Rachel Harrison (Oct 5): The second novel from the author of 2020’s The Return, about a woman who learns to empower herself after befriending a witch.
- Echo, Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Oct 12): This hotly anticipated new novel from Hex author Thomas Olde Heuvelt follows Nick Grevers and his climbing buddy Augustin, who are drawn to the Maudit, a remote mountain peak in the Swiss Alps. Documentation on the mountain is scarce, its slopes are eerily quiet, and when they enter its valley, they get the ominous sense that they are not alone. Something is waiting for them. (A Nightfire title)
- Reprieve, James Han Mattson (Oct 12): Threading together trial transcript excerpts, evidence descriptions, and individual narratives, Reprieve tells the story of The Quigley House murder, a killing that takes place at a full-contact haunted escape room in Lincoln, Nebraska.
- The Death of Jane Lawrence, Caitlin Starling (Oct 19): From the author of The Luminous Dead comes a Crimson Peak-inspired gothic horror novel about a young woman who makes a marriage of convenience and soon finds herself trapped in her new husband’s decrepit and possibly haunted mansion, and spirals down a dangerous path of ritual magic in an effort to save them both.
- Nothing But Blackened Teeth, Cassandra Khaw (Oct 19): Cassandra Khaw’s Nothing But Blackened Teeth is a gorgeously creepy haunted house tale, steeped in Japanese folklore and full of devastating twists. (A Nightfire title)
- Comfort Me With Apples, Catherynne M. Valente (Oct 26): A terrifying new thriller from bestseller Catherynne M. Valente, for fans of Gone Girl and Spinning Silver. Sophia’s life is perfect. Her husband is perfect. Their home together in Arcadia Gardens is perfect. Everything is perfect. But sometimes Sophia wonders about things. Dark things. Like the locked basement she is never allowed to enter. And whenever she asks the neighbors, they can’t quite meet her gaze…
- Boys in the Valley, Philip Fracassi (Oct 31): St. Vincent’s Orphanage for Boys. Turn of the century, in a remote valley in Pennsylvania. Here, under the watchful eyes of several priests, 30 boys work and learn and worship. Peter Barlow has made a new life here. Then, late one stormy night, a group of men arrive at their door, one of whom is badly wounded, his body covered with occult symbols carved into his flesh. Upon his death, an ancient evil is released that infests St. Vincent’s and the children within. Now Peter and those dear to him must choose sides of their own, each of them knowing their lives — and perhaps their eternal souls — are at risk.
- Dark Stars, ed. John Taff (Nov 2): A tribute to horror’s longstanding short fiction legacy, featuring 12 terrifying original stories from today’s most noteworthy authors, with an introduction by bestselling author Josh Malerman and an afterword by Ramsey Campbell. (A Nightfire title)
- The Night, Rodrigo Blanco Calderon, trans. Daniel Hahn & Noel Hernández (Nov 2): Recurring blackouts envelop Caracas in an inescapable darkness that makes nightmares come true. Real and fictional characters, most of them are writers, exchange the role of narrator in this polyphonic novel. They recount contradictory versions of the plot, a series of femicides that began with the energy crisis. The central narrator is a psychiatrist who manipulates the accounts of his friend, an author writing a book titled The Night; and his patient, an advertising executive obsessed with understanding the world through word puzzles.
- Second Spear, Kerstin Hall (Nov 30): In the thrilling follow-up to the genre-bending Nommo Award finalist The Border Keeper, the warrior Tyn, estranged from her role guarding her ruler and grappling with knowledge of her identity, unleashes her frustrations on all the wrong people. When an old enemy returns wielding an unstoppable, realm-crushing weapon, Tyn is swept up in the path of destruction.
Publication Date TBA
- Queen of Teeth, Hailey Piper (summer): A new novel from Piper, the author of The Worm and His Kings and Benny Rose, the Cannibal King.
- The Deer Kings, Wendy N. Wagner (summer): A new novel from Wagner, the incoming editor-in-chief of Nightmare Magazine.
- Beneath a Pale Sky, Philip Fracassi (summer): Eight stories of horror, including an original novella, that will take you from the high-security ward of a mental hospital to the top of a Ferris Wheel on an ocean pier. Combining old-school horror with the modern weird, Beneath a Pale Sky will take you places you’ve never been before, and show you sights you won’t soon forget.
- The World Ends Here, Rory Power (summer): A new standalone YA from the author of Wilder Girls and Burn Our Bodies Down, about ex-girlfriends raised at a remote, icy research institute, and what happens when they uncover the nightmarish discovery that their families are protecting there.
- The Secret Skin, Wendy N. Wagner (fall): A new novella from Wagner, the incoming editor-in-chief of Nightmare Magazine.
- Stalking Shadows, Cyla Panin (tbd): A gothic, feminist fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast. To protect her sister, Marie laces perfumes with honeysuckle to mark victims for Ama to hunt when she transforms into a beast at night. But when a child in their town is killed, Marie is forced to acknowledge that she might be losing control of Ama—and must instead find a cure for this curse.
- The Women Could Fly, Megan Giddings (tbd): The new novel from the author of Lakewood.
Did we miss anything? Which 2021 horror books are you most excited for?