This Month in New Horror Books: May 2021

This summer’s slate of new horror books is going to be one for the ages, and we’re already ramping up to it this month: May brings a schedule of new books from Rivers Solomon, Hailey Piper, Josh Malerman, Samantha Kolesnik, and many more!

Also, a note: we’re continuously updating release dates and newly announced books both here and on our 2021 horror releases master post.


May’s new horror titles:

  • The Birds, Frank Baker (May 4): Frank Baker’s avian apocalypse novel The Birds (1936) went largely unnoticed when first published, but after the release of Alfred Hitchcock’s film in 1963, Baker threatened to sue, believing the director had borrowed from his book. The text of this definitive edition of Baker’s classic is taken from his own copy of the book, in which he made hundreds of changes and corrections, never published until now. This edition also features an introduction by Hitchcock scholar Ken Mogg.
  • Hour of the Witch, Chris Bohjalian (May 4): A young Puritan woman–faithful, resourceful, but afraid of the demons that dog her soul–plots her escape from a violent marriage in this riveting and propulsive novel of historical suspense from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Flight Attendant.
  • 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.
  • The Twisted Tree, Frank Baker (May 4): The extremely rare first novel by Frank Baker (1908-1983), best known for his avian apocalypse novel The Birds (1936) and his classic fantasy Miss Hargreaves (1940). A story that one critic said might have been “written by the ghost of D. H. Lawrence seated on the grave of Mary Webb,” Baker’s brooding Gothic drama is an important rediscovery that remains a gripping and powerful read.
  • 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.
  • Black Water Sister, Zen Cho (May 11): A reluctant medium discovers the ties that bind can unleash a dangerous power in this compelling Malaysian-set contemporary fantasy.
  • Far From Home: An Anthology of Adventure Horror, ed. Samantha Kolesnik (May 15): A new anthology of short stories around the theme of adventure, from mountaineering and cave diving to treasure hunting and arctic expedition, featuring stories from Ali Seay, Cynthia Pelayo, Hailey Piper, and many more.
  • 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.
  • Madam, Phoebe Wynne (May 18): A riveting, modern gothic debut with shades of The Secret History, The Stepford Wives, and a dash of Circe, set at a secretive all girls’ boarding school perched on a craggy Scottish peninsula. They want our silence. They want our obedience. Let them see our fire burn.
  • 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.

As always, if we missed anything, let us know in the comments!

View our 2021 new horror release masterlist here, and view previous monthly new releases posts here.



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