Autumn is here with its darkening days, and with them come the inspiration to turn inward and indulge our imaginations. On Talk of the Bay Monday, Christine Barrington welcomes Rick Kleffel, host of Narrative Species, to take you through a spine-tingling tour of chilling and scary books you can enjoy to evoke the Halloween spirit. Rick brings excerpts from previous interviews with each of the featured authors, which are sure to set the mood and spark your curiosity. Join us and get creeped out!
Ben Percy: The comet Trilogy. The third book in Percy’s innovative and acclaimed Comet Cycle, The Sky Vault, follows an investigation of a mysterious weather phenomena in Fairbanks, Alaska, and a government secret buried since WWII. The comet, Cain, came from beyond our solar system, its debris containing elements unknown. Now, in the isolated region of Fairbanks, Alaska, the skies shift and stretch as an interstellar dust cloud seeds the atmosphere. When a plane shudders its way through pulpy, swirling, bruise-shaped clouds, lit with sudden cracks of lightning, the sky opens and the aircraft vanishes…but only for a minute. The answer to the comet’s origin is about to be unveiled, and its impact on Earth is more treacherous and sublime than humanity could imagine.
Ray Russell and Rosalie Parker: Literary Hauntings: A Gazetteer of Literary Ghost Stories Literary Hauntings identifies and describes the real-life locations that have inspired the best fictional ghost stories of Britain and Ireland. This comprehensive gazetteer, consisting of 271 entries by experts and exponents in the genre is designed to help readers track down landscapes, monuments, cities, towns and villages that have haunted writers of ghost stories for at least the last two hundred years. The gazetteer is also a celebration of the insight and craft that goes into writing a really good ghost story, a genre that is still sometimes overlooked today.
Stephen Graham Jones: The Lake Witch Trilogy: My Heart Is a Chainsaw and Don’t Fear the Reaper. Winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel. In her quickly gentrifying rural lake town Jade sees recent events only her encyclopedic knowledge of horror films could have prepared her for in this latest chilling novel that “will give you nightmares. The good kind, of course” (BuzzFeed) from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, Stephen Graham Jones.
Tananarive Due: The Wishing Pool: In her first new book in seven years, Tananarive Due further cements her status as a leading innovator in Black horror and Afrofuturism. “Tananarive Due is the master of Black horror, even teaching a class where Jordan Peele guest-lectured. So her new collection, The Wishing Pool, out in mid-April, is a major treat, full of major scares. Due excels at twist endings but also brilliantly creates an atmosphere of creeping dread in which you know something terrible is coming. The Wishing Pool is helpfully divided into four sections, and each feels like a movement in a symphony. There are classic tales of horror, then a series of stories set in a Florida town where the swamp tends to swallow people up; the final two sections shift to science fiction about post-apocalyptic futures. (These last sections include pandemic stories, written before 2020, which hit harder now.) Due shows just how much territory she can cover in one short book and just how versatile terrifying tales can be.”
Richard Kadrey: The Secrets of Insects, Short Story Collection. The Pale House Devil, a gripping, snappy creature feature from the master of horror noir about two detectives—one dead, one living—hired by an embittered old landowner to banish a bloody cosmic monster from his ancestral home, perfect for fans of Cassandra Khaw, Charles Stross and Lucy A. Snyder. Ford and Neuland are paranormal mercenaries—one living, one undead; one kills the undead, the other kills the living. Heading west to look for work and wait for the heat from their last job to cool down. There Tilda, a young woman, hires them to track and kill a demon haunting a mansion in remote northern California for wealthy landowner, Shepherd Mansfield. As Ford and Neuland investigate the creature they uncover a legacy of blood, sacrifice and slavery in the house. Forced to confront a powerful creature unlike anything they’ve faced before, they come to learn the biggest monster in this story might just be the person paying them.
Cassandra Khaw: Nothing But Blackened Teeth. A USA TODAY BESTSELLER • A Bram Stoker, Shirley Jackson, British Fantasy, and World Fantasy Award Finalist! • An Indie Next Pick! • An October LibraryReads Pick! • 2022 RUSA Reading List: Horror Winner! Cassandra Khaw’s Nothing But Blackened Teeth is a gorgeously creepy haunted house tale, steeped in Japanese folklore and full of devastating twists. A Heian-era mansion stands abandoned, its foundations resting on the bones of a bride and its walls packed with the remains of the girls sacrificed to keep her company. It’s the perfect venue for a group of thrill-seeking friends, brought back together to celebrate a wedding. A night of food, drinks, and games quickly spirals into a nightmare as secrets get dragged out and relationships are tested. But the house has secrets too. Lurking in the shadows is the ghost bride with a black smile and a hungry heart. And she gets lonely down there in the dirt.
From Kadrey and Khaw: The Dead Take the A Train: New York Times bestselling author Richard Kadrey and Cassandra Khaw have teamed up to deliver a new dark story where Neil Gaiman meets Jessica Jones with magic, monsters, and mayhem. Julie Crews is a coked-up, burnt-out thirty-something who packs a lot of magic into her small body. She’s trying to establish herself as a major Psychic Operative in the NYC magic scene, and she’ll work the most gruesome gigs to claw her way to the top. Desperate to break the dead-end grind, Julie summons a guardian angel for a quick career boost. But when her power grab accidentally releases an elder god hellbent on the annihilation of our galaxy, the body count rises rapidly. The Dead Take the A Train is a high-octane cocktail of Khaw’s cosmic horror and Kadrey’s gritty fantasy―shaken, not stirred.
Nick Cutter and Andrew Sullivan: The Handyman Method A chilling domestic story of terror for fans of Black Mirror and The Amityville Horror. When a young family moves into an unfinished development community, cracks begin to emerge in both their new residence and their lives, as a mysterious online DIY instructor delivers dark subliminal suggestions about how to handle any problem around the house. The trials of home improvement, destructive insecurities, and haunted house horror all collide in this thrilling story perfect for fans of Nick Cutter’s bestsellers The Troop and The Deep.
Andrew F. Sullian:The Marigold “This impressively bleak vision of the near future is as grotesquely amusing as it is grim.” ― Publishers Weekly. In a near-future Toronto buffeted by environmental chaos and unfettered development, an unsettling new lifeform begins to grow beneath the surface, feeding off the past. The Marigold, a gleaming Toronto condo tower, sits a half-empty promise: a stack of scuffed rental suites and undelivered amenities that crumbles around its residents as a mysterious sludge spreads slowly through it. Public health inspector Cathy Jin investigates this toxic mold as it infests the city’s infrastructure, rotting it from within, while Sam “Soda” Dalipagic stumbles on a dangerous cache of data while cruising the streets in his Camry, waiting for his next rideshare alert. On the outskirts of downtown, 13-year-old Henrietta Brakes chases a friend deep underground after he’s snatched into a sinkhole by a creature from below.