At the moment I’m reading The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher, and by god it is one of the most terrifying things I’ve read for a long time. It took me a little while to get used to Kingfisher’s writing style, which is a unique mixture of casual humor, and absolutely devastating terror. But it is a seriously disturbing and compelling read. I’m in a rush to finish it, as I’m very much invested in the central characters’ safety.
From what I’ve picked up so far, The Hollow Places is inspired by Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows, which is another one of the creepiest things ever. There’s a fantastic BBC reading by Roger Allam, which I urge you to check out.
I’m bashing through The Valancourt Book of World Horror Stories. Favorites so far include Senor Ligotti by Bernardo Esquinca, and Down, in Their World by Flavius Ardelean. A brilliantly strong collection, and Valancourt deserve a lot of praise for this incredible achievement. When’s the next edition coming?
I got the latest batch of Nightjar chapbook releases. As always, I’m savoring them, but Hilaire’s The Red Suitcase really impressed me. So unsettling, and you know I love being unsettled.
I’m very impressed by Eugen Bacon’s short story collection, The Road to Woop Woop. A mixture of horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and literary fiction, and Bacon pulls off every genre with ease. It’s hard to believe each story has the same author; what versatility!
So, what’s next? Well, the pile keeps growing! Thank to NetGalley, I’ve got The Rib King by Ladee Hubbard, Octavia E. Butler’s Library of America collection, and Sarah Langan’s Good Neighbors. I’m so incredibly excited about all of these.
I took advantage of Book Outlet’s pre-Black Friday sale and am awaiting a book stack to die for (Christina Henry, Tananarive Due, Angela Carter, Kij Johnson, to name a few). Less than $40 for eight books? Yes, please!
I have to mention The New Abject: Tales of Modern Unease, from Comma Press. They held a fantastic virtual Q&A last week (which luckily coincided with my lunch hour here in California), with Ramsey Campbell, Lucie McKnight Hardy, and Matthew Holness, who all contributed stories to this awesome new anthology. So far I’ve only read a couple of stories (the aforementioned McKnight Hardy, and Mark Haddon) and I’m incredibly impressed. Comma Press do excellent work.
And I’m not obsessed with Lucie McKnight-Hardy, but on the Q&A, she mentioned her short story collection, Dead Relatives, is coming out next year from Dead Ink Books! So excited. If you have not read her fantastic novel, Water Shall Refuse Them. Those comparisons to Shirley Jackson are completely justified.
There are a few books out in the UK that I’d like to get my hands on, that either have delayed US releases, or currently have no release date at all.
- The Apparition Phase – Will Maclean
- Contacts – Mark Watson
- The Haunting of Alma Fielding – Kate Summerscale
- Best British Short Stories 2020
- Witch Bottle – Tom Fletcher
I suppose that will do for now. I’m off to register for all the amazing events the Hay Festival Digital Winter Weekend have to offer.