by Becky Walton, MLIS, Collection Development
Every year when September rolls around, people start thinking of cooler weather, snuggly sweaters, and leaf peeping, but my thoughts turn to Halloween, my favorite holiday! Since I’m a fan of horror literature and film, I was asked to write a blog post about horror fiction. Let’s look behind that creaking door together, shall we?
If you or your library patrons are Stephen King fans, this year has been a big one. In addition to movie adaptations of It, Gerald’s Game, and The Dark Tower, he published Gwendy’s Button Box with Richard T. Chizmar in May, and he has a book coming out this month with his son Owen King. Sleeping Beauties is a fantasy in which all the women of the world fall asleep. So far, it has scored one starred review and another highly favorable one. King’s other son Joe Hill’s Strange Weather will be published next month.I read a galley of Strange Weather and loved all four of the stories. They’re not horror per se, but they are very weird and captivating. I’m delighted to watch Hill’s writing skills as they grow and mature. His voice is both reminiscent of his father’s and uniquely his own.
You will definitely want copies of Nights of the Living Dead, edited by Jonathan Maberry and George A. Romero. As horror fans know, Romero, who directed the classic film on which these stories are based, passed away this July. Romero wrote one of the stories in the collection (“John Doe”), and he wrote an introduction. Zombies fans will most assuredly want to read this.
Speaking of zombies, I just finished Guts: The Anatomy of the Walking Dead by Paul Vigna, the Wall Street Journal's Walking Dead columnist. This nonfiction title considers the show’s popularity and provides information about the history of its production. Vigna also recaps each of the seven seasons that have aired so far. As he states in the book’s introduction, spoilers abound. (And yes, he does address the infamous Glenn-and-the-dumpster-in-the-alley scene.)
Two of my favorite authors have books out late summer/early fall. The first is Benjamin Percy, who authored the wonderful werewolf tale Red Moon.His new novel takes the concept of computer viruses to a whole new level! Dark Net is a wild cyberride that imagines a conflict of good and evil, with the baddies staging a world takeover via Internet connections. The characters are well fleshed-out, and you’ll know almost immediately who you’ll be rooting for.True zombie fans will remember David Moody’s “Hater” trilogy. One of Us Will be Dead by Morning, a fourth title set in that universe, will be released later this year. Moody fans will be familiar with his themes of fear, paranoia, rage, and mass hysteria.
The second is Mike Carey, who gave us The Girl with All the Gifts and The Boy on the Bridge (written under the name M.R. Carey). The first three novels in his Felix Castor series will be rereleased in trade paperbacks in 2017 leading up the first U.S. release of books four and five in the series. The whole series will be new to many readers, and the timing of the release is perfect for fans who want binge read a new favorite.
One of the major themes of Halloween is death. Although these two authors haven’t written horror novels, their titles would be great recommendations for your horror fiction fans who have read everything and are looking for something new and different. Caitlin Doughty, the creator of the “Ask a Mortician” YouTube channel, follows up Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematorywith From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death, a look at how various cultures around the world mourn and dispose of their dead. British mortician Carla Valentine shares her career path from pathology autopsy technician to the curator of Barts Pathology Museum in London in The Chick and the Dead: Life and Death Behind Mortuary Doors.
If you are of a certain age and grew up reading horror (I’m looking at you, readers of Flowers in the Attic!), you will thrill at Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction by Grady Hendrix. The author of the very quirky novels Horrorstor and My Best Friend's Exorcism delivers an irreverent walk down memory lane for those who sharpened their baby vampire teeth on the pulp horror novels of the 1970s and ‘80s.
I’ve run out of room and had to “slash” some of my favorite new titles, but you can find the titles that I shared above and many more in this ipage list.
Now get out there and have the best October and Halloween ever! We’ll be sharing our Halloween hijinks on social media using #hallowingram.
Title links go to ipage®, Ingram's online ordering system. Some of the titles mentioned in this post will not publish before Halloween 2017, but librarians serving horror fans will want to know about them and consider them for their collection.
If you do not have an Ingram ipage® account, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org give us a call. We’d love to help!