Crystal Lake, awarded Best Horror publisher of the year in 2013, and currently in the ring for a slew of Stokers, has picked up my new novel, Aletheia, to be released late in the year (cross fingers) as the first of a two book deal. Stoked for sure, and grateful to my agent, and to the kind, smart people in my corner who keep my eyes on the prize and my nose to the grindstone. Above all, pumped to be working with the tireless Joe Mynhardt and the CL team.
Go here now, if you want nine of the best weird books you’ll ever read. Ever. Here is a list, with selected reviews, and don’t forget, you can get these, all of these, thanks to the good folks at Lazy Fascist Press, and Story Bundle, and PAY WHATEVER YOU WANT, yeah that, at Story Bundle.
The Last Final Girl by Stephen Graham Jones
“Perhaps the smartest send-up of slashers ever, a brainier, brawnier, literary SCREAM; the ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN of the genre […] the greatest slasher movie never made. Yet.” – Jesse Bullington, Innsmouth Free Press
The Art of Horrible People by John Skipp
“The Art of Horrible People may very well be one the best collections published this year, and we certainly hope to read more by John very soon. By using the genres that made him a household name in Horror fiction, John Skipp’s stories transcend those genres, proving art is alive and well and exists in the first place you need to look.” – Bob Pastorella, This Is Horror
Skullcrack City by Jeremy Robert Johnson
“A nightmarish yet hilarious journey that begins in the ugly world of toxic mortgages and progresses to the slightly uglier world of brain-eating monsters lurking in dark alleys. You’re in for an entirely unpredictable ride, the tale spinning ludicrously out of control as the hero uncovers layer after grotesque layer of a vast macabre conspiracy. Skullcrack City is original, utterly insane, and a shitload of fun.” – David Wong, author of John Dies at the End
Animal Money by Michael Cisco
“Brilliant and demanding […] Simultaneously the strangest high-finance thriller ever and a rumination on value theory and the financial shituation (sic), it deserves to provoke as much excitement among philosophers of money as it does among aficionados of weird fiction.” – China Mieville, The Guardian
American Monster by J.S. Breukelaar
“The closest a book’s come to Samuel R Delany’s Dhalgren probably ever. Breukelaar is one of the best new writers around and I can’t wait for whatever comes next. Read this book. There’s really nothing else like it.” – Edward J. Rathke, The Best Indie Press Books I’ve Ever Read
The Last Horror Novel in the History of the World by Brian Allen Carr
“The Last Horror Novel is quick and strange, its pleasures diverse—from the poetic prose at the beginning, to its riffs on small town life and the horror genre, to the creep out of a swarm of hands. Unlike life in Scrape, it’s always exciting. And unlike the citizens of Scrape, it never stays in the same place for too long.” – American Book Review
The Pleasure Merchant by Molly Tanzer
“The Pleasure Merchant is a hilarious, sensuous, and ultimately ferocious quasihistorical novel about that most crucial of periods: the dawn of the modern era. The merchant class flexed its muscles, scientists turned their attentions to the workings of the human mind, sexual mores were challenged in public and in secret, and in every corner of society the unseen hand of the marketplace dominated all. Tanzer’s clever slicing of the era reveals every social stratum of her world-their conflicts, their compromises, and their kinks. Read this book to learn what you’ve been soaking in your whole life.” – Nick Mamatas, author of Love is the Law and I Am Providence
Where We Live and Die by Brian Keene
“…Last year, the modern-day dark-fiction icon released this particularly powerful collection of pieces ‘deconstruct[ing] the mystique of the writing life.’ Keene’s “metafictional” ghost story ‘The Girl on the Glider’—probably the most thought-provoking skeptical inquiry into the supernatural since WILL STORR VS. THE SUPERNATURAL nearly a decade ago—is the centerpiece, though the ensuing stories, poems, harangues and incitements do not disappoint.” – Shawn Macomber, Fangoria
Witch Hunt by Juliet Escoria
“Unrelenting, violent, often scary: Juliet Escoria’s debut collection of stories will likely have you begging and crying for salvation a few pages in. She’s just that good.” – Jason Diamond, Flavorwire
I read North American Lake Monsters once before, or most of it, but maybe I didn’t have time to absorb itit exactly, or all of it, but this time I did. I could get into the language and the way Balingrud twists up the tension, especially, in a story like Way Station, with the transitions. And the weirdness, which Balingrud knows from. After Way Station, the Crevasse has to be one of the North American Lake Monster tales that gnawed the deepest, but Sunbleached tore me apart. I’d read The Visible Filth around the new year, and, maybe because I didn’t go into it cold, was prepared for the ending, so I was able to allow the in media res disintegration of the main character to be my focus, let it chew at me for a while.
And Zero Saints, Gabino Iglesias’s debut novel. Lots of us know him from his reviews and non-fiction, which is always nuanced, self-aware, and funny as hell, so it’s no surprise to me that I’m loving the loco ride of Zero Saints, Iglesias’s control too, and, okay, it’s still on the pile, but not for long.
And Diana Spiotta’s Innocents and Others. I reviewed that for LitReactor, here.
This on Goodreads from Keith McCleary. It’s my blog, so I can brag if I want to – here’s the whole damn review. Thanks to Mr McCleary for taking the time. For getting it so completely. Please click the link to check him out.
Matt E. Lewis described this as “Under the Skin meets Mad Max with a sprinkle of The Road,” which is funny not because any of those references really occurred to me, but because when I was reading I also couldn’t help but attempt to process the story by way of combining things I already knew. I think what I came up with was “Species meets Netrunner with a sprinkle of Nicholas Sparks,” and since Matt’s references are much cooler you should listen to him, but the result is actually sort of the same.
So: an alien creature is sent to Earth to save its species by finding the perfect mate, and takes the form of a woman who kicks a lot of ass. The world she travels through is, by turns, either a pre-apocalypse or post-cyberpunk version of San Diego, which has become an urban sprawl called Spill City. She is driven by lust so deep that it’s tearing her body apart. There’s a lot of men in her life, but she’s looking for The One With The Perfect Horn (which is exactly what you think, because yes, it matters). The men she follows have their own stories– some bigger, some smaller. She lives in a trailer park and rescues an orphan and fights with the alien godmind in her head and tries, most of the time, not to be a horrible person despite not being a person at all. Read more