Next SFF Author: Tim Horvath
Previous SFF Author: Anthony Horowitz

Series: Horror


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The Death of Jane Lawrence: This one just wasn’t for me

The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling

Caitlin Starling’s 2022 novel The Death of Jane Lawrence got enthusiastic critical reviews and was nominated for a Stoker Award, so clearly people loved it. In spite of an interesting premise, the book was a disconnect for me. Your mileage may vary.

Jane Shoringfield is an orphan raised by a kind couple after her parents were killed in a war. She is impoverished, and no longer willing to be a drain on the resources of her guardians, she decides to arrange a marriage.


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Camp Damascus: Demonic possession meets summer camp horror

Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle 

Camp Damascus (2023) starts off as a demonic thriller and ends up as a plucky-kids-fight-humancentric-evil story, in Chuck Tingle’s first non-erotica novel. The author, who had a large audience on X/Twitter, came to the attention of many of us during the 2016 Hugo awards (all scandals aside, don’t say the Hugos never did anything nice for us). Previously known for men/men (or in some cases, men/dinosaur) erotica online, with Camp Damascus Tingle successfully makes the jump to horror,


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My Darling Dreadful Thing: I bought the romance in this gothic horror love story

My Darling Dreadful Thing by Johanna Van Veen

Johanna Van Veen’s My Darling, Dreadful Thing (2024) is a gothic horror love story set in the 1950’s Netherlands. Lush descriptions and an original, creepy take on spirit companions made this story a seductive, engaging read.

Roos Beckman has had a spiritual companion named Ruth since she was a little girl, when she was first pressed into service by the woman she calls Mama to help fake seances. Crouched in a cubby under the floorboards, Roos pulled ropes and pushed levers to create the effects of spiritual visitation.


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Lone Women: The past is complicated

Lone Women by Victor LaValle

Victor LaValle’s Lone Women (2023) is brilliant. It’s about connections, family, secrets, guilt and love. Yes, there is a monster in it. Yes, it is suspenseful, and yes, it is gory, and those are both horror trademarks, but Lone Women is filled with hidden history and restored triumphs. Is it horror? That depends on your definition of “monster.”

In 1915, Adelaide Henry flees her family farm in Lucerne Valley, California. She leaves behind a burning farmhouse and her two dead parents;


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Bird Box: Whatever you do, don’t look

Bird Box by Josh Malerman 

Bird Box, published in 2014, was Josh Malerman’s first novel. Malerman came out of the music scene, breaking into fiction with this moody story of psychological horror. A woman and two four-year-olds take a journey down river, blindfolded, in a world where what you see can literally kill you.

In the opening sentences, Malorie decides that today’s the day. The big house is dark, every window and door covered. Even a trip out to the well,


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Ghost Station: A dead-planet creepfest

Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes 

Ghost Station, by S.A. Barnes (2024), is a mix of haunted-house and The-killer-is-among- us horror, with a generous ladling of body horror to round it out. The standout of this space-horror novel is the setting, a deserted habitat on a dead and snowy planet, where psychologist Dr. Ophelia Bray is supposed to be observing the Reclamation and Exploration Team who had a team member die mysteriously on an earlier assignment. Bray’s specialty is Eckhart-Reisner Syndrome (ERS),


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What Feasts at Night: This Easton outing is less creepy, more scary

What Feasts at Night by T. Kingfisher

Alex Easton, protagonist of T. Kingfisher’s 2023 novella What Moves the Dead, is back with a second adventure in 2024’s What Feasts at Night. Joining Easton is loyal batman Angus and the unflappable British mycologist Miss Potter. This go-round, Easton and company face less of the science and more of the supernatural.

Alex Easton is Gallacian by nationality (a small imaginary country somewhere in central Europe). Easton is a “sworn soldier,” anatomically female but living as a man as part of the military.


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The Butcher of the Forest: Unsettling, bittersweet, and worthy

The Butcher of the Forest by Premee Mohamed

The Butcher of the Forest (2024) is a dark fantastical novella by Premee Mohamed that hearkens back to the original old folktales by refusing to sand off the edges of the genre to make it safe or cozy. More faerie than fairy, as much horror as fantasy, it is as unsettling and bittersweet a read as it is a worthy one.

The tale is set in an empire ruled by The Tyrant, “the man with a thousand names and a thousand cities under his bootheel … bringer of death,


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The Void Ascendant: Cosmic horror that leaves us with a breath of hope

The Void Ascendant by Premee Mohamed

The Void Ascendant (2022) follows Nick Prasad as he tries to reconcile himself to a universe dominated by the Ancient Ones. The book brings to a close Premee Mohamed’s magnificent VOID trilogy.

This review contains spoilers for the two previous books, Beneath the Rising and A Broken Darkness.

Seven years have passed since Earth was destroyed, and Nick escaped into another world, one ruled by the chaotic,


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Lute: A wonderfully written take on folk horror

Lute by Jennifer Thorne

There are many words I could use to describe Lute by Jennifer Thorne. I could say words like “atmospheric” or “haunting.” I could also say “beautiful” or “terrifying.” Lute is a book that evokes many descriptors, but none really captures the story in its totality. The blurb from Tor Nightfire says “Wickerman meets Final Destination.” That description is about as accurate as it gets. 

Lute is an island off the coast of Scotland,


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Next SFF Author: Tim Horvath
Previous SFF Author: Anthony Horowitz

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