Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of being interviewed on The Lovecraft e-zine Podcast, which is one of my favorite weekly podcasts. Thanks to Mike Davis, Pete Rawlik, Phil Fracassi, Matt Carpenter, and Kelly Young for their hospitality and good conversation. If you’d like, you can listen to the broadcast here.
During the show, in conjunction with discussing my recent reviewing for Locus magazine, I mentioned a number of books that are well worth a look. Some of them appeared this past year, some are a bit older. I thought it would be a good idea to post links to them here. If you have a little disposable income, and want to read excellent novels and stories, you might want to check out a few (or all) of these.
Looming Low, eds. Sam Cowan and Justin Steele: This struck me as one of the major anthologies of 2017. It brings together a number of up and coming writers of weird fiction with more established writers in the field, and in the process offers fresh insights into the relationships between their work. (Pair it with Joe Pulver’s Walk on the Weird Side, and you have a nice overview of the state of the field.)
UBO, by Steven Rasnic Tem: Tem is one of the legends of the horror field, and his latest novel demonstrates why. It’s an alien abduction story, of a kind, in which monstrous insects spirit people from their beds to a strange planet where they’re strapped to strange machinery that drops them into the consciousnesses of some of (human) history’s greatest villains. Nothing else I read last year compared to it in terms of sheer weirdness and sheer humanity. (I also mentioned Tem’s collaboration with his late wife, Melanie, The Man on the Ceiling, which is one of my absolute favorite horror novels of the last decade plus.)
My reviews of S.P. Miskowski’s I Wish I Was Like You and Gwendolyn Kiste’s Pretty Marys All In a Row were posted at the Locus website, but I also wanted to recognize their recent collections, Strange is the Night and And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe, respectively. Kristi DeMeester had a two book year, as well, with her debut novel, Beneath, and collection, Everything That’s Underneath, establishing her as a strong voice in horror fiction. Nadia Bulkin’s She Said Destroy is a welcome collection of her searing stories; while Philip Fracassi’s Behold the Void contains one of my favorite recent horror stories, the novella, “Altar.”
Finally, during our conversation, I had a chance to mention the work of Thomas Tessier, whose werewolf novel, The Nightwalker, remains a favorite decades after I first came across it in a used bookstore after literally years of searching for it (based on Stephen King’s recommendation in Danse Macabre). It may be the horror novel I’ve re-read the most; certainly, it’s among the top three or four. Slender and elegant, Tessier’s novels are overdue a revival. If you like The Nightwalker, take a look at Finishing Touches or Phantom.