Spooky season is officially here! No, I don’t want to hear your arguments about how it’s still technically summer–it’s chilly enough for me to wear sweatpants and the current month ends in “-ber,” and that’s enough for me.
What’s even more exciting, though, is the slate of new horror books coming this month, from authors like Eric LaRocca, John Langan, Aliya Whiteley, Lee Mandelo, and more. And while we here at Nightfire obviously love all horror books, we’re finally (finally!) going to be able to start shouting about Nightfire titles hitting shelves this month, from Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Brom, Thomas Olde Heuvelt, and Catriona Ward. Nightfire books below are in bold–and trust me, you’re not ready.
Also, a note: we’re continuously updating release dates and newly announced books both here and on our 2021 horror releases master post.
September’s new horror titles:
- Bodies Full of Burning, ed. Nicole M Wolverton (Sept 1): Menopause can be hell. With Bodies Full of Burning, Nicole M. Wolverton has selected 16 stories which show how deadly the change of life can be. From state-sanctioned surgeries to transformative encounters with mythical creatures; strained relationships to fiery vengeance, these tales offer thoughtful insights into a topic rarely viewed through the lens of horror.
- The Strange Thing We Become & Other Dark Tales, Eric LaRocca (Sept 1): The debut short story collection from LaRocca, author of the acclaimed novella Starving Ghosts in Every Thread.
- The All-Consuming World, Cassandra Khaw (Sept 7): 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.
- The Art of Space Travel and Other Stories, Nina Allan (Sept 7): A stunningly inventive collection from multi award-winning author, Nina Allan. Unsettling, dark and brilliantly astute, these weird and wonderful tales take us on journeys through time and space to explore enduring questions of memory and loss. Her worlds are recognizably our own but always closer to the edge, on the slant – and sharply unexpected. These stories are an unmissable insight into a writer at the top of her game.
- 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)
- Grievers, adrienne maree brown (Sept 7): Grievers is the story of a city so plagued by grief that it can no longer function. Dune’s mother is patient zero of a mysterious illness that stops people in their tracks—in mid-sentence, mid-action, mid-life—casting them into a nonresponsive state from which no one recovers. Dune must navigate poverty and the loss of her mother as Detroit’s hospitals, morgues, and graveyards begin to overflow. As the quarantined city slowly empties of life, she investigates what caused the plague, and what might end it. In anguish, she follows in the footsteps of her late researcher father, who has a physical model of Detroit’s history and losses set up in their basement. She dusts the model off and begins tracking the sick and dying, discovering patterns, finding comrades in curiosity, conspiracies for the fertile ground of the city, and the unexpected magic that emerges when the debt of grief is cleared.
- Grimoire of the Four Impostors, Coy Hall (Sept 7): Journey into the Occult, where history is horror: presented in six tales, Grimoire of the Four Impostors takes readers on a dark tour of the 17th century, where corners of the world stand in shadow. Here grimoires possess secrets, impostors beguile the unwary, temptation turns macabre, and the night is no friend.
- The House of Ashes, Stuart Neville (Sept 7): For fans of Gillian Flynn and Tana French, a chilling story of a Northern Irish murder sixty years buried Sara Keane’s husband, Damien, has uprooted them from England and moved them to his native Northern Ireland for a “fresh start” in the wake of her nervous breakdown. When a blood-soaked old woman beats on the door, insisting the house is hers before being bundled back to her care facility, Sara begins to understand the house has a terrible history her husband never intended for her to discover. As the two women form a bond over their shared traumas, Sara finds the strength to stand up to her abuser, and Mary—silent for six decades—is finally ready to tell her story . . .
- The Mammoth Book of Folk Horror, ed. Stephen Jones (Sept 7): Welcome to a landscape of ancient evil… with stories by masters of horror Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, H. P. Lovecraft, M. R. James, Ramsey Campbell, Storm Constantine, Christopher Fowler, Alison Littlewood, Kim Newman, Reggie Oliver, Michael Marshall Smith, Karl Edward Wagner, and more!
- The Peculiarities, David Liss (Sept 7): From popular historical fiction author David Liss (A Conspiracy of Paper) comes the tale of a clueless young man embroiled in a deadly supernatural mystery in Victorian London. Rooted in strange conspiracies and secret societies, this absurdist comedic romp combines strange bedfellows with murderous creatures, resulting in an unexpectedly delightful consequences.
- Weird Women Volume 2: 1840-1925, ed. Lisa Morton and Leslie S. Klinger (Sept 7): Following the success of Weird Women: Volume 1, acclaimed anthologists Lisa Morton and Leslie S. Klinger return with another offering of overlooked masterworks from early female horror writers, including George Eliot, Zora Neale Hurston, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Edith Wharton.
- Floaters, Garrett Boatman (Sept 10): London 1890s. Out of the Thames’ fetid depths, the undead rise to feast upon the living. While the beleaguered police and the Queen’s army battle twin plagues—human and inhuman—London’s criminal youth gangs join forces to save their city. Will these violent youths be able to put aside their rivalries long enough to get the job done?
- Among the Lilies, Daniel Mills (Sept 14): The long-awaited new collection of short stories from Daniel Mills, whose literary antecedents include Poe, Hawthorne, Vernon Lee, and John Darnielle. A visionary and poetic stylist. Contains the long out-of-print novella “The Account of David Stonehouse, Exile,” and two new stories written expressly for this collection.
- 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.
- Mordew, Alex Pheby (Sept 14): God is dead, his corpse hidden in the catacombs beneath Mordew. A young boy from the slums called Nathan Treeves is sold by his desperate mother to the mysterious Master of Mordew, who derives his magical power from feeding on the corpse of God. But Nathan, despite his fear and lowly station, has his own strength — and it is greater than the Master has ever known. Great enough to destroy everything the Master has built. If only Nathan can discover how to use it.
- 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)
- Stalking Shadows, Cyla Panin (Sept 14): 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.
- White Smoke, Tiffany D. Jackson (Sept 14): Pitched as Get Out meets The Haunting of Hill House, White Smoke is about a girl and her blended family who move into a newly renovated, picture-perfect home in a dilapidated Midwestern city and are haunted by what she thinks are ghosts, but might be far worse
- 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)
- To Break a Covenant, Alison Ames (Sept 21): 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.
- Followers, Christina Bergling (Sept 24): Sidney, a single mother with a dull day job, has big dreams of becoming a full-time horror reviewer and risqué gore model. She’s determined to make her website a success, and if her growing pool of online followers is any indication, things are looking good for her Elvira-esque aspirations. But when Sidney is attacked on a dark trail late one night, it becomes clear that the horror she loves is bleeding into her real life.
- Whitesands, Johann Thorsson (Sept 26): Detective John Dark’s daughter has been missing for two years. In his initial frantic and unfruitful search for her, John Dark overreached and was reprimanded and demoted. Now suddenly back into the homicide department, Dark is put on a chilling case – a man who killed his wife in their locked house and then dressed the body up to resemble a deer, but claims to remember none of it. A few days later an impossibly similar case crops up, connecting the suspects to a prep school and a thirty year old missing persons’ case. Just as he is getting back into his old groove, a new lead in his daughter’s disappearance pops up and threatens to derail his career again.
- Horseman: A Tale of Sleepy Hollow, Christina Henry (Sept 28): In this atmospheric, terrifying novel that draws strongly from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” the author of Alice and The Girl in Red works her trademark magic, spinning an engaging and frightening new story from a classic tale.
- Hyde, Craig Russell (Sept 28): From the internationally acclaimed author, a stunning gothic reimagining of the Jekyll and Hyde story in which Captain Edward Hyde, chief detective of Victorian Edinburgh, investigates a gruesome murder that may unmask his own darkest secret.
- 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)
- The Liar of Red Valley, Walter Goodwater (Sept 28): Don’t trust the Liar. Don’t go in the River. Do not cross the King. In Red Valley, California, you follow the rules if you want to stay alive. But even that isn’t enough to protect Sadie now that she’s unexpectedly become the Liar: the keeper and maker of Red Valley’s many secrets.
- No One Goes Alone, Erik Larson (Sept 28): From New York Times bestselling author Erik Larson comes his first venture into fiction, an otherworldly tale of intrigue and the impossible that marshals his trademark approach to nonfiction to create something new: a ghost story thoroughly grounded in history. Pioneering psychologist William James leads an expedition to a remote isle in search of answers after a family inexplicably vanishes. Was the cause rooted in the physical world . . . or were there forces more paranormal and sinister at work? Available only on audio, because as Larson says, ghost stories are best told aloud.
- The Seven Visitations of Sydney Burgess, Andy Marino (Sept 28): From a thrilling new voice in horror comes the haunting tale of a woman whose life begins to unravel after a home invasion. She’s told she killed the intruder. But she can’t remember, and no one believes her…
- 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.
- When Things Get Dark: Stories Inspired by Shirley Jackson, ed. Ellen Datlow (Sept 28): Legendary editor Ellen Datlow collects today’s best horror writers in tribute to the genius of Shirley Jackson. Featuring Joyce Carol Oates, Josh Malerman, Paul Tremblay, Richard Kadrey, Stephen Graham Jones, Elizabeth Hand and more.
- The Kindly Ones, Cliff James (September): After a disaster, two families encounter each other in a deserted village within a vast forest. In the beginning, their attempt to co-exist together in this isolated setting seems successful, and a social contract is collectively agreed and various relationships between the two communities develop over time. Differences of belief between the two groups soon intensify, and as the social contract is overturned and replaced by a theocracy, the community descends into chaos. Mindful of myths and fairytales, the forest that encircles the village in The Kindly Ones is a dark and menacing environment, inhabited by unknown beasts that represent the dangers that lurk beyond the edges of civilization.
- Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters, John Langan (September): John Langan’s long out-of-print first collection, in a beautiful new edition.
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.
4 thoughts on “This Month in New Horror Books: September 2021”
Isn’t THE LIVING DEAD from Romero and Kraus and Nightfire also coming out on the 7th?
Yes, in paperback – we generally don’t include paperback releases of books that were previously in hardcover on these lists, just because it’s logistically overwhelming!
Ahh. Got it. ::thumbsup_all
How to Survive a Human Attack
A Guide for Werewolves, Mummies, Cyborgs, Ghosts, Nuclear Mutants, and Other Movie Monsters by K.E. Flann