You might think things in publishing get quiet at the end of the year, but as any good horror fan knows, the quiet is what allows you to hear the scrabble of claws in the far corner under your bed, or the gentle rattle of the doorknob downstairs. This month, don’t miss new books from Rachel Harrison, V. Castro, Luke Dumas, Ellen Datlow, Christina Sng, and more!
December’s new horror titles:
- Mine: An Anthology of Body Autonomy Horror, ed. Roxie Voorhees & Nico Bell (Dec 1): Bodily transformation. Possession of the body. Forced disembodiment. A baby consumes its mother in utero. Unrealistic postpartum expectations turn deadly. A witch avenges the voiceless. These 16 original horror stories explore the ownership and control—or lack thereof—that we have over our bodies. All profits from this anthology go to National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) to support reproductive freedom, access to birth control and abortion care, paid parental leave, and protection from pregnancy discrimination.
- The Gravity of Existence, Christina Sng (Dec 5): A collection of tiny terrors from Bram Stoker Award ® winner Christina Sng. The Gravity of Existence is a weight lifted, a monster freed, a princess with sneakers, a spell for a better world. From one of the leading voices in dark verse, this collection delights in the misunderstood, putting a new spin on werewolves, basilisks, sirens, ghosts, aliens, pandemics, fairy tales and myths. Sng gives new voice to classic heroines and the result is terrifying, magical, and fantastic.
- All the Prospect Around Us, C.S. Humble (Dec 6): Upon their arrival to Black Wells, CO, a mysterious symbol seen on the sign of a homeless panhandler leads two young men down into the town’s darkest secrets and toward a harrowing, supernatural event that will threaten the soul of one and the life of the other. Book 2 in the Black Wells series.
- Bad Dolls, Rachel Harrison (Dec 6): In this stunning new collection of four horror stories, award-winning author Rachel Harrison explores themes of body image, complicated female friendship, heartbreak, and hauntings.
- A History of Fear, Luke Dumas (Dec 6): Grayson Hale, the most infamous murderer in Scotland, is better known by a different name: the Devil’s Advocate. The twenty-five-year-old American grad student rose to instant notoriety when he confessed to the slaughter of his classmate Liam Stewart, claiming the Devil made him do it. When Hale is found hanged in his prison cell, officers uncover a handwritten manuscript that promises to answer the question that’s haunted the nation for years: was Hale a lunatic, or had he been telling the truth all along? A History of Fear is a propulsive foray into the darkness of the human psyche, marrying dread-inducing atmosphere and heart-palpitating storytelling.
- The House on the Brink, John Gordon (Dec 6): Originally published for teenage readers, The House on the Brink (1970) has earned a reputation over the years as a classic of ghostly fiction in the M. R. James mode that will appeal to readers old and young alike. Long out of print and scarce on the secondhand market, John Gordon’s chilling novel returns at last to haunt a new generation of readers.
- Out of Aztlan, V. Castro (Dec 6): An ancient goddess rises up from an inverted temple in a lake of blood to purify the earth. Two pearl divers plot revenge against the Spanish merchants who enslave them. A mutant species of jellyfish fueled by garbage heaps wreaks havoc on beachgoers. Aided by mermaids, a pirate known as The Scorpion and her all-female crew challenge a corrupt king. And back on dry land, a mother avenges the daughters of her community with a very special batch of ancho chili salsa. V. Castro’s spirited characters come alive in her uniquely playful, fiery style, from a vengeful lobster to a mother willing to put her life on the line for justice. In these and other stories, the descendants of Aztlan—the mythical homeland of the Aztec people—work to overthrow their oppressors and usher in the dawn of a new world.
- Extinction Hymns, Eric Raglin (Dec 15): A vengeful owl haunts the man who poached her. A desperate entrepreneur holds a ghost hostage for profit. An addict finds hope and terror in an imprisoned angel. A father and son search their dying world for something to eat other than human flesh. Eric Raglin, author of Nightmare Yearnings, returns with his second collection of horror and weird fiction. Strange, terrifying, and tender, these eighteen stories explore what happens when extinction comes for us all.
- The Best Horror of the Year Volume Fourteen, ed. Ellen Datlow (Dec 20): From Ellen Datlow (“the venerable queen of horror anthologies”–New York Times) comes a new entry in the series that has brought you stories from Stephen King and Neil Gaiman comes thrilling stories, the best horror stories available.
- Holy Ghost Road, John Mantooth (Dec 20): Some roads are haunted by the past. Some by ghosts. Some are even haunted by demons. The one Forest must travel is haunted by all three. When she discovers Pastor Nesmith praying to a demonic entity in her family’s barn, Forest knows she must run. Enraged at the possibility of having his true allegiance exposed, Nesmith pursues Forest as she flees on foot, hoping to reach the one person who will believe her—her grandmother. Unfortunately, Granny is forty miles away, and Forest has no car, no phone, and no friends. To reach her, Forest will have to learn to see the world true, even as the demonic and the sacred wage war for her soul.
As always, if we missed anything, let us know in the comments!