The Fright Stuff

Hi Ho, Scary Books! Away!

Hey‌ ‌there‌ horror fans, ‌I’m‌ ‌Jessica‌ ‌Avery‌ ‌and‌ ‌I’ll‌ ‌be‌ ‌delivering‌ ‌your‌ ‌weekly‌ ‌brief‌ ‌of‌ ‌all‌ ‌that’s‌ ‌ghastly‌ ‌and‌ ‌grim‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌world‌ ‌of‌ ‌Horror.‌ ‌Whether‌ ‌you’re‌ ‌looking‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌backlist‌ ‌book‌ ‌that‌ ‌will‌ ‌give‌‌ you‌ ‌the‌ ‌willies,‌ ‌a‌ ‌terrifying‌ ‌new‌ ‌release,‌ ‌or‌ ‌the‌ ‌latest‌ ‌in‌ ‌horror‌ ‌community‌ ‌news,‌ ‌you’ll‌ ‌find‌ ‌it‌ ‌here‌ in‌ ‌The‌ ‌Fright‌ ‌Stuff.

Welcome to another week of horror goodness, I hope your weekend treated you well, and that Monday finds you hydrated and ready to haunt. I’ve got some lovelies for you this week, from a beautiful bit of classic horror to bedeck your walls, to a creepy new middle grade haunted house story, to some wild and weird westerns to fill out your end of summer TBR.
So let’s get scary.

Bookish Goods

dracula literary print by beyondtheshelfshop

Dracula Literary Print by BeyondtheShelfShop

I love gorgeous prints, but I also have to confess that I’m in desperate need of wall art so you’ll probably be seeing a lot of horror-themed prints in the near future. Of all the classic horror novels, Dracula has to be my favorite. There’s something so compelling about Stoker’s novel even after 125 years. This subtle print on cream, with its beautiful Gothic illustration and accompanying quote from the novel, comes in a variety of sizes and multiple finishing options.

$16–$100 depending on size and material choices.

New Releases

cover of this appearing house by ally malinenko

This Appearing House by Ally Malinenko

I can already tell that Malinenko’s new middle grade horror is going to be one of those books that hits you right in the heart. It’s about a strange house that appears suddenly at the far end of a dead end road, and the young girl who finds her way inside. Jac’s only days away from the five year anniversary of her cancer diagnosis — only days away from finding out if she’s finally in the clear — when the mysterious house appears at the end of Juniper Drive. After a classmate dares Jac and her friend Hazel to enter the house, the girls find themselves trapped inside and it quickly becomes clear that, though she might not yet know what it wants, the house is there for Jac. And whatever it wants, it’s determined to get before Jac and Hazel can find their way out again.

cover of anybody home by michael j seidlinger

Anybody Home? by Michael J. Seidlinger

I am both intrigued by and terrified to read this book. I’ve seen amazing reviews from some of the biggest voices in the horror community, so there’s no doubt that this is going to be harrowing at the very least. Told from the perspective of a seasoned home invader recounting their own dark deeds while also trying to tutor the next generation of would-be criminals, the POV of Anybody Home? is a really disconcerting headspace to sink yourself into for the length of an entire book. And we’re all familiar with the home as a common and meaningful setting in horror, and with the violation of the home as a trope in a variety of forms from physical invasion to demonic infestation. But from everything I’ve heard, it sounds like Seidlinger has taken that feeling of violation and lack of safety and made it the heart of an entire book. Hello paranoia, my old friend.

Also, I think certain content warnings are kind of a given, considering the topic, so as always: readers proceed with caution.

For a more comprehensive list, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

cover of the magpie coffin by wile e young

The Magpie Coffin by Wile E. Young

So first of all, a quick plug for the publisher here, because The Magpie Coffin is actually one of a whole series of splatter westerns by Death Head’s Press, and they all have these gorgeously graphic, pulp-esque covers. Now splatter horror isn’t always my thing, but some stories just wouldn’t be the same without simply massive quantities of blood and gore. The Magpie Coffin is a historical horror western set in 1875 about outlaw Salem Covington, whose wartime exploits have earned him the nickname The Black Magpie. When his mentor is murdered, Salem vows to take revenge and sets out to find Dead Bear’s killers. Revenge is a classic trope of the western genre, and Salem’s is a particularly brutal, violent quest for vengeance.

cover a book of tongues by gemma files

A Book of Tongues by Gemma Files

This next book is a bit of a genre blend — which of course I love. Gemma Files A Book of Tongues is the first in the Hexslinger series, and a historical western that also blends in elements of horror and fantasy. And it’s queer, which is always a plus! In an alternative post-Civil War America, the outlaws of the West work dangerous magics, and one — Rook, a “hexslinger” — has come up with a desperate plan to unleash a pantheon of sleeping, bloodthirsty gods through whatever bloody means necessary. Hidden among Rook’s men is Ed Morrow, a Pinkerton in disguise whose mission is to discover the degree of Rooks power. He finds himself forced to team up with Rook’s lover and second-in-command, Chess, if he hopes to stand a chance of surviving whatever Rook has planned for himself, for Chess, and for the world.

Cover of The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis

The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis

This week’s last recommendation is another blend of genres, mixing elements of horror, sci-fi, and the western. The Good Luck Girls is set in the fictional country of Arketta, rather than the American West, but its roots are undeniable. It combines familiar genre tropes to create a story about a group of outlaws on the run, in pursuit of freedom, justice, and vengeance that is quintessentially western. The Good Luck Girls were sold as children to a “welcome house” where they were branded with cursed markings and destined for a life of prostitution, but when one of their number murders a man, the girls risk escape for a chance to finally be free.

Fresh From the Skeleton’s Mouth

Publishers Weekly has a Q&A with author Katherine Arden to celebrate the release of Empty Smiles, the final book in her middle grade horror quartet, Small Spaces.

Gwendolyn Kiste will be on the Talking Scared Podcast on the 23rd of this month for a conversation about intertextuality (my favorite thing), vampires (also my favorite), hippies, and more!

Speaking of podcasts, Gemma Files sat down with the Losers Club Podcast to talk all things found footage, haunted temporary spaces, and Cliver Barker.

As always, you can catch me on twitter at @JtheBookworm, where I try to keep up on all that’s new and frightening.