A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Proposed Trade-Offs for the Overhaul of the Barricade July 30, 2014 A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Proposed Trade-Offs for the Overhaul of the Barricade John Chu Fighting Turbulence requires sacrifices. The Colonel July 29, 2014 The Colonel Peter Watts The hives are sleeping giants. <em>To Eternity</em> July 24, 2014 To Eternity Wesley Allsbrook and Barrie Potter If all things were normal, Stuart would be considered quite a catch. Brisk Money July 23, 2014 Brisk Money Adam Christopher It's hard out there for a robotic detective.
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Showing posts tagged: horror click to see more stuff tagged with horror
Apr 30 2014 9:00am
Original Story

The Mothers of Voorhisville

From multiple World Fantasy Award winner and Nebula, Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, Sturgeon, and British Science Fiction Award nominated author M. Rickert comes a gorgeous and terrifying vision of the Mothers of Voorhisville, who love their babies just as intensely as any mother anywhere. Of course they do! And nothing in this world will change that, even if every single one of those tiny babies was born with an even tinier set of wings.

This novella was acquired and edited for Tor.com by editor Liz Gorinsky.

[Read “The Mothers of Voorhisville” by Mary Rickert]

Apr 23 2014 9:00am
Original Story

The End of the End of Everything

“The End of the End of Everything,” by Dale Bailey, is an sf/horror story about a long-married couple invited by an old friend to an exclusive artists’ colony. The inhabitants of the colony indulge in suicide parties as the world teeters on the brink of extinction, worn away by some weird entropy.

Like some other stories published on Tor.com, “The End of the End of Everything” contains scenes and situations some readers will find upsetting and/or repellent. [—The Editors]

This novelette was acquired and edited for Tor.com by consulting editor Ellen Datlow.

[Read “The End of the End of Everything” by Dale Bailey]

Apr 21 2014 10:00am

Terror in the Thames: Murder by Sarah Pinborough

Sarah Pinborough Murder

Mayhem was “a moody whodunit with an horrific twist, set in London during Jack the Ripper’s red reign.” This was essentially set dressing, however.

Instead of simply reiterating that grisly business, as many such texts have been content to, Sarah Pinborough’s plot revolved around “another real life serial killer, namely the Thames Torso Murderer, and the factual figures who set out to apprehend him,” including Dr Thomas Bond, Police Surgeon, who returns—rather the worse for wear—in Murder.

Spoilers follow immediately for Mayhem, so beware.

[Read More]

Apr 9 2014 7:30am

Herbert for Horror

Welcome back to the British Genre Fiction Focus, Tor.com’s regular round-up of book news from the United Kingdom’s thriving speculative fiction industry.

Today, we begin with news of a new annual award for horror novels in honour of the late, great James Herbert, who passed away last March.

This week also saw the announcement of a brand new book by Kazuo Ishiguro. The Buried Giant will be his first full-length fiction since Never Let Me Go almost a decade ago.

Also figuring into this edition: the ghost of Kurt Cobain, Christopher Priest’s plans, talk of Tigerman by Nick Harkaway, a couple of new covers and the launch of an eclectic assortment of novels based on a new game by David Braben.

There’s all that and much more to come, of course.

[Read More]

Apr 7 2014 12:00pm

A History of Haunting: The Unquiet House by Alison Littlewood

The Unquiet House Alison Littlewood

Five months since her parents passed away, the bereaved, Emma Dean, inherits a house in West Fulford. Pleased to have a project to occupy her thoughts, she sets about renovating the place, but though Emma means to make Mire House magnificent once more, it seems the house has other plans for its mawkish new occupant. Days into her stay she ends up locked in a closet in an ordeal that takes its toll on the whole of Alison Littlewood’s sinister new novel.

It’s only thanks to the intervention of Charlie—a distant relative who really should have inherited the house—that Emma sees the light of day again. But has he come to help her? Or are his designs rather darker?

[Read More]

Apr 7 2014 10:25am

Pan Macmillan Announces The James Herbert Award for Horror

For anyone who loves horror there are a couple of stalwarts of the genre that you won’t have missed reading—and James Herbert is one of them. With novels like The Rats, The Fog, and The Secret of Crickley Hall, he kept a whole generation and more enthralled with his supernatural stories of things that went ‘bump’ in the middle of the night. As a teenager he was one of my stable of horror authors along with Stephen King and I was so thrilled to have been able to meet him a few times after joining Pan Macmillan. We were all devastated by his loss last year.

Many of you will know that Pan Macmillan has a proud history of publishing horror from its Pan Book of Horror Stories through to August Derleth winner Adam Nevill. I personally, have a huge passion for horror so I can’t tell you how I excited I am to be involved with this particular project which we announced this morning!

[Read More]

Mar 28 2014 4:00pm

Catch Daniel José Older Discussing “Anyway: Angie” with Nathan Barnsford

Did you read Daniel José Older's skin-crawling short story “Anyway: Angie” earlier this week? Want to know where he got his twisted ideas?

You can catch him (@djolder) discussing the story with author Nathan Bransford (@NathanBransford) tomrrow, March 29th, at 4:00pm on Twitter! Check out their timelines, or follow the story at #AnywayAngie.

Mar 26 2014 5:00pm

Roses Are Red: A Love Like Blood by Marcus Sedgwick

A Love Like Blood review Marcus Sedgwick

I’ve often heard it said that the littlest things in life can have the biggest impact—an assertion evidenced by Charles Jackson, a Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps whose subsequent career in the field of haemophilia springs from something seemingly insignificant. Celebrating the liberation of Paris from the hands of the Nazis, he hunkers down in a bunker, only to half-see something weird: someone gulping blood from the warm body of a woman.

A vampire? Perhaps. But more likely a mere madman. “It was ludicrous; it was, as I’ve said, something I should not have seen, something wrong. Not just violence, not just murder, but something even more depraved than those acts.” Absent any evidence that a crime has been committed, Charles does his level best to dismiss this wicked thing he’s witnessed. But the damage is done, and the unsettling story told in A Love Like Blood begun.

[Read More]

Mar 26 2014 9:00am
Original Story

Anyway: Angie

Reza’s job has put her in the face of every kind of death. Thanks to her guns, her car, and her dapper style, she came through The Bad Years alive, but since losing Angie things haven’t been right. Tonight’s job threatens to bring the worst terrors of that time skittering back to life. “Anyway: Angie” is a new urban fantasy story with more than a touch of horror from rising star Daniel José Older, set in the world of his upcoming Bone Street Rumba series.

This short story was acquired and edited by acquiring editor Carl Engle-Laird.

[Read “Anyway: Angie,” by Daniel José Older]

Mar 25 2014 12:00pm

Short Fiction Spotlight: The Science of the Supernatural

The Elivs Room Stephen Graham Jones

Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a weekly column dedicated to doing exactly what it says in the header: shining a light on the some of the best and most relevant fiction of the aforementioned form.

The sixth in a series of darkly fantastic chapbooks bearing the This Is Horror hallmark, ‘The Elvis Room’ by Stephen Graham Jones is an unsettling exploration of the science of the supernatural.

[Read More]

Mar 19 2014 7:30am

British Fiction Friction

Folio Prize

Welcome back to the British Genre Fiction Focus, Tor.com’s regular round-up of book news from the United Kingdom’s thriving speculative fiction industry.

I was AFK last week, celebrating my thirtieth birthday, so there’s lots to talk about today, beginning with the question alluded to in the header: is British writing in decline? Say it ain’t so! Alas, a leading academic believes exactly that.

Later on, join me in riding the Red Eye by way of a new fiction list which promises to satisfy the same itch Point Horror did, then in Cover Art Corner, a look at Smiler’s Fair—the first secondary-world epic fantasy Hodder has ever published—and our first peek at Charlaine Harris’ new series.

[Read More]

Mar 18 2014 2:00pm

The Author And The Box: Her Husband’s Hands and Other Stories by Adam-Troy Castro

Her Husband's Hands short story collection Adam-Troy CastroI came to the works of Adam-Troy Castro quite late. Specifically, the first story I remember of his is “Of a Sweet Slow Dance in the Wake of Temporary Dogs” in the excellent dystopian anthology Brave New Worlds, edited by John Joseph Adams. (This anthology ended up being my springboard to a number of other great authors, but that’s another story.) Shortly after I read that collection, the author’s name popped up on the Nebula short list a few times, for “Her Husband’s Hands” and “Arvies.”

I’m bringing this up because I believe that, based on the three stories I’ve mentioned so far, there may be many people who labor under the misapprehension that Castro only writes short fiction that is so extraordinarily dark that it borders on the disturbing. In the afterword for his newest collection, Her Husband’s Hands and Other Stories, the author explains at length that he has also written many optimistic, entertaining and uplifting stories and novels, and that he is “not just a sick bastard.” Well, sure. I’ll take his word for it. However, you really couldn’t tell from the stories in this collection, which is as grim as it is brilliant.

[Bad people doing evil things]

Mar 13 2014 2:00pm

Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher

The Burning Dark Adam Christopher reviewAll Captain Abraham Idaho “Ida” Cleveland and his robotic knee want is to retire with honor. The Fleet has other ideas, however, and shunt him off to a space station orbiting a toxic purple star on the outer reaches of charted space to supervise its disassembly.

When he arrives, he’s met with derision and mocking rather than respect and praise. The marines on the U-Star Coast City decide he’s lying about his great victory against the Spiders, a race of planet-destroying sentient machines in arachnoid shape. Ida sulks but doesn’t dwell. Instead he seeks solace in Izanami, a medic left behind to tend to the few and far between crew, and his hobby of building space radios from scratch.

[“In the dark she burned.”]

Mar 5 2014 4:00pm

Sign of the Serpeant: Blood Kin by Steve Rasnic Tem

Blood Kin review Steve Rasnic Tem

Folks are rarely as forthright in life as they are in literature.

Communicating the truth of the human condition would make for some messy stories, so even the most deftly developed characters are at best partial pictures of the people they’d really be. After all, we wear different faces each day, don’t we? We wear one at work, another at home; one in the company of our mothers, another alongside our lovers.

Blood Kin by Steve Rasnic Tem is a book about the conflicting legacies we leave which deals with death and depression and disability whilst trading in tension and frequently intolerable terror to excellent effect.

[Read More]

Feb 28 2014 12:30pm

Fearsome Felines: Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss

Lynne Truss Cat Out of Hell

Fun fact: I do most of my reading with a cat on my lap.

She came into her name—Page—by interposing herself between book and user from birth, basically; by sleeping in, on and under the many novels lying around in the library; and by chewing her way through on a fair few too. This latter habit hardly made me happy, but she’s been treated like a Queen in any event. Despite resolutions arrived at when she was a bitty little kitty that I wouldn’t make the mistake of spoiling her... well, I have, haven’t I? She’s irresistible, really.

But with rather alarming regularity, she appears in the periphery of my vision—paws primed to pounce; frenzied eyes fixed on mine; tail wagging to say she’s acquired a target; ready, by all accounts, to eat me, or at the very least mistreat me. So I have had call to wonder why even the cutest cats seem to harbour such hatred. In her first full-length fiction for in excess of a decade, Lynne Truss offers a potential explanation.

[Read More]

Feb 28 2014 11:00am

The Devil You Know: A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain by Adrianne Harun

There is more than one kind of devil in this world. The kind that arrives out of the blue like a summer thunderstorm, severe, inescapable, and over in a flash. The kind that lives on the edge of town, seeping their poisonous hate into the groundwater, gradually destroying everything in their radius. The kind that seems innocent enough until your throat is already slashed, a mouth full of kind words spoken over sharp teeth.

Short story writer Adrianne Harun pulls the devil out of the realm of fantasy and into the real world with her debut novel A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain.

[“If they come here, don’t hesitate. They won’t.”]

Feb 25 2014 1:01pm
Original Story

Burning Girls

Burning Girls by Veronica Schanoes

“Burning Girls” by Veronica Schanoes is a fascinating dark fantasy novella about a Jewish girl educated by her grandmother as a healer and witch growing up in an increasingly hostile environment in Poland in the late nineteenth century. In addition to the natural danger of destruction by Cossacks, she must deal with a demon plaguing her family.

This Nebula-nominated novella was acquired and edited for Tor.com by consulting editor Ellen Datlow.

[Read “Burning Girls” by Veronica Schanoes]

Feb 18 2014 1:00pm

Japan’s Manga Contributions to Weird Horror Short Stories

Remina Junji Ito

A big, fat short story anthology is the perfect solution when I’m torn between wanting short bites of fiction that I can squeeze in between tasks, and wanting my reading pleasure to never end. My recent favorite has been Ann and Jeff VanderMeer’s The Weird (2012), a lovingly curated history of Weird fiction from 1907 to the present, which, at 1,126 pages, has lasted me through many cycles of thick and thin. I find the collection eye-opening for two reasons. First, it places people like Kafka and Lovecraft in the context of their less famous influences and contemporaries. This has helped me to finally see which of the characteristics I always associated with the big names were really their original signatures, and which were elements already abroad in the Weird horror but which we associate with the big names because they’re all we usually see. Second, it’s refreshingly broad, with works from many nations, continents, and linguistic and cultural traditions.

But as a lover of Japanese horror, I can’t help but notice how Japan’s contributions to the world of Weird aren’t well represented, and for a very understandable reason. The collection has great stories by Hagiwara Sakutarō and Haruki Murakami, but the country that brought us The Ring also puts more of its literature in graphic novel format than any other nation in the world.

[Read more about Japan’s Weird]

Feb 4 2014 5:00pm

Got the World On a String: Hang Wire by Adam Christopher

Hang Wire Adam Christopher reviewEarly in Hang Wire, Adam Christopher’s new urban supernatural thriller, a San Francisco blogger named Ted is sitting in a Chinese restaurant with some of his friends and colleagues, enjoying a meal. They have gathered to celebrate Ted’s birthday and exchange pleasantries and bask in one another’s company. The friends go around the table and open their fortune cookies, one after another, and read them aloud, performing the dinner ritual. Finally they get to the birthday boy, Ted, and he picks up his fortune cookie and opens it and it literally explodes in his hands, like a crunchy hand grenade with enough force to knock Ted to the floor and overturn the dinner table.

Ted, eerily unharmed, finds himself flat on his back, not entirely sure what just happened to him. He is not especially disturbed by the event nor, importantly, does he seem to have enjoyed his cookie much. This is a fair approximation of the impact of Hang Wire itself.

[Read More]

Jan 24 2014 3:00pm

Inspiration, Interrupted: Chiliad: A Meditation by Clive Barker

Chiliad Clive Barker

For more than twenty years, Clive Barker was terrifically prolific. During that period, a year without a new novel by the author seemed—to me at least—incomplete. Sadly, when Barker started work on the Abarat, that was that. Since the first part of the series was released in 2002 we’ve seen, for various reasons, just two sequels and one short novel in the form of Mister B. Gone.

That may change in 2015 with the belated publication of The Scarlet Gospels: a return to Barker’s beginnings by many measures. A sequel, indeed, to one of his very earliest novellas—no less than The Hellbound Heart, which found fame later when it became the basis of the film Hellraiser. Before that, though... this: an amoral meditation on humanity’s spiralling history of violence which certainly whet my appetite for more from the man who helped define dark fantasy.

[Read More]