Nightmares: A New Decade of Modern Horror by Ellen Datlow, editorIn Nightmares, award-winning editor Ellen Datlow presents the 24 short stories she liked best during the decade from 2005 to 2015. Each entry presents a skillful and subtle rendering of dread, penned by authors such as Caitlin R. Kiernan ("Interstate Love Song (Murder Ballad No. 8)"), Margo Lanagan ("The Goosle"), Garth Nix ("Shay Corsham Worsted"), Gene Wolfe ("Sob in the Silence"), and Lisa Tuttle ("Closet Dreams"). In a starred review, Booklist calls this "the perfect discovery tool for readers looking for the very best of modern horror."
Normal by Warren EllisIn this futuristic psychological thriller, specialists assigned to forecast the future by gazing into "the abyss" may experience psychological breakdowns. After foresight strategist Adam Dearden overloads on the abyss, he checks into a special facility for those who suffer from "abyss gaze." But instead of respite and recovery, he finds chaos after a neighboring patient disappears from his locked and sealed room, his body replaced by a 200-pound pile of live insects. Because he's the most recent arrival, Adam's the automatic suspect; he must form a defensive alliance with other patients when the government investigators arrive. Horror fans will appreciate Normal's forecast regarding the future: "Be very afraid!"
The Apartment: A Novel by S.L. GreySuffering from anxiety after a home invasion, Mark and Steph, a married couple from Cape Town, decide on a getaway to Paris, using a house-exchange website to reduce the cost of the trip. But the Paris apartment has more in common with a haunted house than an idyllic retreat -- and that's before they discover the horror concealed in a closet. Returning to Cape Town (where the Parisian couple never showed up), Mark and Steph's already-shaky relationship worsens as Mark's visions of a dead girl intensify. Authored by Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg under the pseudonym S.L. Grey, The Apartment offers a cinematically descriptive combination of bad-trip vacation and terrifying madness.
Only the Dead Know Burbank: A Novel by Bradford TatumAfter the end of the Great War, a Berlin teenager named Maddy Ulm wakes up undead in a hastily dug grave. After working in a circus for a time, thrilling audiences with her ability to survive deadly injuries, she discovers Berlin's film studios, then works her way to Hollywood and a career as a horror expert for the movies. Only the Dead Know Burbank's cast of characters includes historical figures Lon Chaney and Boris Karloff, as well as early horror directors James Whale and Tod Browning. Readers who enjoy being scared and early fright-film buffs should pick up this "bitingly witty and darkly vibrant" (Publishers Weekly) depiction of Maddy's existence in Hollywood's studios.
Mayhem by Sarah PinboroughInspired by the Victorian-era serial murder case known as the Thames Torso murders, Mayhem explores the grim and gory back streets of London, where Dr. Thomas Bond helps police investigate the killings. Bond (based on a historical figure involved with the original cases) copes with the gruesome scenes by frequenting an opium den, but he's determined to track down the killer and banish the insane menace from London. Acclaimed author Sarah Pinborough's gripping tale may appeal to historical true crime fans as well as horror fiction aficionados, so share it with your friends!
Bellman & Black: A Novel by Diane SetterfieldIn this gothic tale reminiscent of both Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens, bestselling author Diane Setterfield portrays a brilliant young man who excels in the business world and enjoys a happy family -- until a series of unexplained deaths changes everything. Not knowing why his family and friends are dying, William Bellman makes a deal with a mysterious Mr. Black, moving to London to open a store catering to the funeral business. Bellman & Black offers a leisurely paced, atmospheric narrative of growing dread set in Victorian England and reminding readers that evil comes from unexpected sources.
The Forbidden by F.R. TallisIn The Forbidden, 19th-century Parisian doctor Paul Clément is eager to learn the secrets of the afterlife. Studying methods of resuscitation via electricity, he decides to try it on himself -- with horrifying consequences. Drawing on Christian traditions about Hell, Caribbean zombie mythology, and historical accounts of medical experiments with reviving the dead, author F.R. Tallis spins a fast-paced, chilling plot that will keep you turning the pages until the end.
The Daylight Gate by Jeanette WintersonIn the early 17th century, when James I ruled Britain, Catholicism and witchcraft were equally illegal -- and punishable by death. Award-winning author Jeanette Winterson starkly portrays these times in The Daylight Gate, based on the 1612 Lancashire witch trial and featuring Alice Nutter, a character inspired by a real-life victim of the witch hunt. The fictional Alice doesn't believe in witchcraft, and she risks her fortune and her own life to defend a group of poor women accused of practicing satanic magic. Winterson vividly reimagines Alice, Old Demdike (the accused women's leader), and various historical figures in this gripping and gory exploration of the 17th century's political and social evils.
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