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.
  • Last One at the Party, Bethany Clift (May 11): It’s December 2023, and the world as we know it has ended. The human race has been wiped out by a virus called 6DM (‘Six Days Maximum’ – the longest you’ve got before your body destroys itself). But somehow, in London, one woman is still alive. A woman who has spent her whole life compromising what she wants, hiding how she feels and desperately trying to fit in. A woman who is entirely unprepared to face a future on her own. Now, with only an abandoned golden retriever for company, she must travel through burning cities, avoiding rotting corpses and ravenous rats on a final journey to discover if she really is the last surviving person on earth. And with no one else to live for, who will she become now that she’s completely alone?
  • 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.
  • The Pleasure Merchant, Molly Tanzer (May 25): When apprentice wig-maker Tom Dawne’s greatest creation is used as part of a revenge scheme against a powerful gentleman, he is dismissed by his embarrassed master and forced to abandon his dreams of completing his training, setting up a shop of his own, and marrying his master’s daughter. Determined to clear his name, Tom becomes the servant of the man he suspects set him up. Tom finds himself caught up in a web of ambition, deceit, mesmerism, sex, and power…and at its center, a man able to procure pleasure for anyone—for a price—and a woman whose past has been stolen.
  • A Pretty Mouth, Molly Tanzer (May 25): A faithful valet is forced into the service of a decadent lord. A young writer of erotica returns to the family estate after many years in exile. A pair of twins conspires to explore the most eldritch and macabre debaucheries. A troupe of soldiers face off against unimagined barbarity. A young man determines to be part of the in crowd… at any cost.
  • Rumbullion, Molly Tanzer (May 25): In the aftermath of a party gone terribly, fatally wrong, nobleman Julian Bretwynde strives to make sense of the evening’s events, interrogating those in attendance, including the mysterious Count of Saint Germain, the Lady Nerissa, and a servant named Dionysios. As Julian attempts to excavate the truth from wildly disparate stories, he finds that truth may be far stranger—and deadlier—than he imagined.
  • Zeroland, Ryan Winters (May 28): Inspired by his time working in the Arctic and spurred on by our current political climate, Ryan Winters’ Zeroland follows a group of characters, each with pasts they’d prefer stay buried, doing all they can to survive in a world where life has become defined by environmental devastation. Under the eye of shadowy governmental oversight, the intertwined fates of these people—and perhaps the world—are on the line.

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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