We hope you’d like to be creeped out next month, because… there’s a lot of horror heading your way this month. You can choose from: a creepy house; a creepy reissue of a creepy Stephen King book; a creepy anthology about terrible things that might happen to you whilst flying; a creepy boarding school…
There are a few non-terrifying options as well, like a new book from Patrick Ness, a biography of Hayao Miyazaki, Mu Lafferty’s Solo novelization, and a beautiful collection of Philip Pullman’s essays, talks, and more. Still, the creepy stuff is calling…
Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
The Chrysalis—Brendan Deneen (September 4, Tor Books)
Barely employed millennials Tom and Jenny Decker have to grow up fast when they lose their cheap Manhattan apartment. Leaving the city is hard, but the blow is softened when they stumble upon a surprisingly affordable house in the suburbs. For Tom, the bills, the mortgage, and Jenny’s unexpected pregnancy add up to terror. Then he finds the thing in the basement. It makes him feel like a winner even as it scrambles his senses. A new job soon has him raking in the big bucks—enough that Jenny can start making her entrepreneurial dreams come true. The Deckers’ dream home conceals more than one deadly secret. As Tom’s obsession with the basement grows, Jenny realizes that to save her family, she must expose everything. Before it destroys them all.
The Land of Somewhere Safe—Hal Duncan (September 4, NewCon Press)
The Land of Somewhere Safe: where things go when you think, “I must put this somewhere safe,” and then can never find them again. The Scruffians: irreverent foul-mouthed street urchins, older than their years, waifs who have been Fixed by the Stamp, frozen so that they are immortal, providing perpetual slave labour. But now the waifs have nicked the Stamp and burned down the Institute that housed it, preventing any more of their number being Fixed and exploited. Peter and Lilly: two school kids orphaned by Nazi bombs, who find themselves thrown together by circumstance and evacuated from London during the Blitz. Sent far further north than intended, all the way to the Isle of Skye, they are taken in by Clan Chief Lady Morag MacGuffin of Dunstravaigin Castle. With them are the four Bastable children – a jolly queer bunch – who prove to be far more than they seem. The Reverend Blackstone: no real reverend at all, but an occultish Nazi spy determined to get his hands on the priceless Stamp, even if he has to raise hisself a demon to do so…
Shades Within Us—Susan Forest & Lucas K. Law, editors (September 8, Laksa Media)
Journey with twenty-one speculative fiction authors through the fractured borders of human migration to examine assumptions and catch a glimpse of the dreams, struggles, and triumphs of those who choose or are forced to leave home and familiar places. An American father shields his son from Irish discrimination. A Chinese foreign student wrestles to safeguard her family at the expense of her soul. A college graduate is displaced by technology. A Nigerian high school student chooses between revenge and redemption. A bureaucrat parses the mystery of Taiwanese time travellers. A defeated alien struggles to assimilate into human culture. A Czechoslovakian actress confronts the German WWII invasion. A child crosses an invisible border wall. And many more.
Worlds Seen in Passing—Irene Gallo, editor (September 4, Tor.com Publishing)
Since it began in 2008, Tor.com has explored countless new worlds of fiction, delving into possible and impossible futures, alternate and intriguing pasts, and realms of fantasy previously unexplored. Its hundreds of remarkable stories span from science fiction to fantasy to horror, and everything in between. Now Tor.com is making some of those worlds available for the first time in print. This volume collects some of the best short stories Tor.com has to offer, with Hugo and Nebula Award-winning short stories and novelettes chosen from all ten years of the program.
Flight or Fright—Stephen King & Bev Vincent, editors (September 4, Cemetery Dance)
Stephen King hates to fly. Now he and co-editor Bev Vincent would like to share this fear of flying with you. Welcome to Flight or Fright, an anthology about all the things that can go horribly wrong when you’re suspended six miles in the air, hurtling through space at more than 500 mph and sealed up in a metal tube with hundreds of strangers. All the ways your trip into the friendly skies can turn into a nightmare, including some we’ll bet you’ve never thought of before but now you will the next time you walk down the jetway and place your fate in the hands of a total stranger. Featuring brand new stories by Joe Hill and Stephen King, as well as fourteen classic tales and one poem from the likes of Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Roald Dahl, Dan Simmons, and many others.
Bag of Bones—Stephen King (September 4, Scribner)
Reissue. Set in the Maine territory King has made mythic, Bag of Bones recounts the plight of 40-year-old bestselling novelist Mike Noonan, who is unable to stop grieving even four years after the sudden death of his wife, Jo, and who can no longer bear to face the blank screen of his word processor. Now his nights are plagued by vivid nightmares of the house by the lake. Despite these dreams, or perhaps because of them, Mike finally returns to Sara Laughs, the Noonans’ isolated summer home. He finds his beloved Yankee town held in the grip of a powerful millionaire, Max Devore, who twists the very fabric of the community to his purpose: to take his three-year-old granddaughter away from her widowed young mother. As Mike is drawn into their struggle, as he falls in love with both of them, he is also drawn into the mystery of Sara Laughs, now the site of ghostly visitations, ever-escalating nightmares, and the sudden recovery of his writing ability. What are the forces that have been unleashed here—and what do they want of Mike Noonan?
Solo: A Star Wars Story—Mur Lafferty (September 4, Del Rey)
Young Han dreams of someday soaring into space at the helm of his own starship and leaving his home, the gritty industrial planet Corellia, far behind. But as long as he’s trapped in a life of poverty and crime, reaching the distant stars seems impossible. When Han tries to escape with his girlfriend and partner-in-crime, Qi’ra, he makes it out—but she doesn’t. Desperate, Han enlists in the Imperial Navy—the last place for a rebellious loner who doesn’t play well with others. When the Empire clips his wings, Han goes rogue and plunges into the shady world of smugglers, gamblers, and con artists. There he meets the charming and cunning high roller Lando Calrissian, makes an unlikely friend in a cantankerous Wookiee called Chewbacca, and first lays eyes on the Millennium Falcon. To snag his piece of the outlaw pie, Han joins a crew of pirates to pull off a risky heist. The stakes are high, the danger is great, and the odds are slim. But never tell Han Solo the odds.
Miyazakiworld: A Life in Art—Susan Napier (September 4, Yale University Press)
Nonfiction. A thirtieth‑century toxic jungle, a bathhouse for tired gods, a red‑haired fish girl, and a furry woodland spirit—what do these have in common? They all spring from the mind of Hayao Miyazaki, one of the greatest living animators, known worldwide for films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and The Wind Rises. Japanese culture and animation scholar Susan Napier explores the life and art of this extraordinary Japanese filmmaker to provide a definitive account of his oeuvre. Napier insightfully illuminates the multiple themes crisscrossing his work, from empowered women to environmental nightmares to utopian dreams, creating an unforgettable portrait of a man whose art challenged Hollywood dominance and ushered in a new chapter of global popular culture.
And the Ocean Was Our Sky—Patrick Ness, illustrations by Rovina Cai (September 4, HarperTeen)
Young adult. With harpoons strapped to their backs, the proud whales of Bathsheba’s pod live for the hunt, fighting in the ongoing war against the world of men. When they attack a ship bobbing on the surface of the Abyss, they expect to find easy prey. Instead, they find the trail of a myth, a monster, perhaps the devil himself… As their relentless Captain leads the chase, they embark on a final, vengeful hunt, one that will forever change the worlds of both whales and men. With the lush, atmospheric art of Rovina Cai woven in throughout, this remarkable work by Patrick Ness turns the familiar tale of Moby Dick upside down and tells a story all its own with epic triumph and devastating fate.
H. P. Lovecraft: He Who Wrote in the Darkness—Alex Nikolavitch, Gervasio-Aon-Lee (September 4, Pegasus Books)
Graphic novel. Creator of the myth of Cthulhu, Arkham, and the sinister Necronomicon, Howard Phillips Lovecraft became known, after his death, as one of the most influential writers. Lovecraft had an unusual childhood marked by tragedy. His traveling salesman father developed a mental disorder and, in 1893, became a patient at the Butler Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, and there he remained until his death. A sickly child, Lovecraft became an avid reader. He loved the works of Edgar Allan Poe and developed a special interest in astronomy. As a teenager, he suffered a nervous breakdown and became a reclusive figure. During this time, he managed to start publishing short stories his inimitable form of horror fiction. As mythical as one of his own creations, his innumerable readers see him as having been a rather strange figure from another world. Who really was this recluse from Providence?
Patient X: The Case-Book of Ryunosuke Akutagawa—David Peace (September 4, Knopf)
Haunting and evocative, brutal and surreal, these twelve connected tales evoke the life of the Japanese writer Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927), whose short story “In the Grove” served as an inspiration for Akira Kurosawa’s famous film Rashōmon, and whose narrative use of multiple perspectives and different versions of a single event influenced generations of storytellers. Writing out of his own obsession with Akutagawa, David Peace delves into the known facts and events of the writer’s life and inner world—birth to a mother who was mentally ill and a father who died shortly thereafter; his own battles with mental illness; his complicated reaction to the beginnings of modernization and Westernization of Japan; his short but prolific writing career; his suicide at the age of thirty-five—and creates a stunningly atmospheric and deeply moving fiction that tells its own story of a singularly brilliant mind.
The Lost Queen—Signe Pike (September 4, Touchstone)
In a land of mountains and mist, tradition and superstition, Languoreth and her brother Lailoken are raised in the Old Way of their ancestors. But in Scotland, a new religion is rising, one that brings disruption, bloodshed, and riot. And even as her family faces the burgeoning forces of Christianity, the Anglo-Saxons, bent on colonization, are encroaching from the east. When conflict brings the hero Emrys Pendragon to her father’s door, Languoreth finds love with one of his warriors. Her deep connection to Maelgwn is forged by enchantment, but she is promised in marriage to Rhydderch, son of a Christian king. As Languoreth is catapulted into a world of violence and political intrigue, she must learn to adapt. Together with her brother—a warrior and druid known to history as Myrddin—Languoreth must assume her duty to fight for the preservation of the Old Way and the survival of her kingdom, or risk the loss of them both forever.
A Room Away from the Wolves—Nova Ren Suma (September 4, Algonquin Books for Young Readers)
Young adult. Bina has never forgotten the time she and her mother ran away from home. Her mother promised they would hitchhike to the city to escape Bina’s cruel father and start over. But before they could even leave town, Bina had a new stepfather and two new stepsisters, and a humming sense of betrayal pulling apart the bond with her mother. Eight years later, with trouble on her heels, Bina finds herself on the side of the road again, the city of her dreams calling for her. She has an old suitcase, a fresh black eye, and a room waiting for her at Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, a vow of confidentiality, and dark, magical secrets. There, Bina is drawn to her enigmatic downstairs neighbor Monet, a girl who is equal parts intriguing and dangerous. As Bina’s lease begins to run out, and nightmare and memory get tangled, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will cost for her to leave …
The Silence of the Girls—Pat Barker (September 11, Doubleday)
The ancient city of Troy has withstood a decade under siege of the powerful Greek army, who continue to wage bloody war over a stolen woman—Helen. In the Greek camp, another woman watches and waits for the war’s outcome: Briseis. She was queen of one of Troy’s neighboring kingdoms, until Achilles, Greece’s greatest warrior, sacked her city and murdered her husband and brothers. Briseis becomes Achilles’s concubine, a prize of battle, and must adjust quickly in order to survive a radically different life, as one of the many conquered women who serve the Greek army. When Agamemnon, the brutal political leader of the Greek forces, demands Briseis for himself, she finds herself caught between the two most powerful of the Greeks. Briseis is just one among thousands of women living behind the scenes in this war—the slaves and prostitutes, the nurses, the women who lay out the dead—all of them erased by history. With breathtaking historical detail and luminous prose, Pat Barker brings the teeming world of the Greek camp to vivid life.
The Biggerers—Amy Lilwall (September 11, Oneworld)
Everybody became a bit mean. A bit individual. Units. That’s all humanity could say for itself—well, it couldn’t actually, because it was made up of too many, um, units. And then there were the elderly, who could never bear to be so isolated, yet isolated they were. It was cruel, really it was. And kids—not that many people had them any more—they seemed to be born sitting in one of those egg-shaped chairs, only seeing what was right in front of them. So, the government asked a doctor, that famous one, to get a team together and figure it all out. He did. Everyone got a playmate. Well, everyone who wanted one, could buy a playmate. About a foot tall, they stood, naked (except in winter), very affectionate, not too intelligent. Mute, but cute—exactly what every home needs. Something to love, little units of love. The Biggerers is set in a dystopian future where our two heroes, Bonbon and Jinx, spend their days gathering stones and feathers for their basket, and waiting to be fed by their owners. But it’s not long before getting sick, falling in love and wondering why they can’t eat with a spoon pushes them to realize they are exactly the same as their owners … only smaller.
The Echo Room—Parker Peevyhouse (September 11, Tor Teen)
Young adult. Rett Ward knows how to hide. He’s had six years of practice at Walling Home, the state-run boarding school where he learned how to keep his head down to survive. But when Rett wakes up locked in a small depot with no memory of how he got there, he can’t hide. Not from the stranger in the next room. Or from the fact that there’s someone else’s blood on his jumpsuit. Worse, every time he tries to escape, he wakes up right back where he started. Same day, same stranger, same bloodstained jumpsuit. As memories start to surface, Rett realizes that the logo on the walls is familiar, the stranger isn’t a stranger, and the blood on his jumpsuit belongs to someone—or something—banging on the door to get in.
CoDex 1962—Sjon (September 11, MCD)
Josef Löwe, the narrator, was born in 1962—the same year, the same moment even, as Sjón. Josef’s story, however, stretches back decades in the form of Leo Löwe—a Jewish fugitive during World War II who has an affair with a maid in a German inn; together, they form a baby from a piece of clay. If the first volume is a love story, the second is a crime story: Löwe arrives in Iceland with the clay-baby inside a hatbox, only to be embroiled in a murder mystery—but by the end of the volume, his clay son has come to life. And in the final volume, set in present-day Reykjavík, Josef’s story becomes science fiction as he crosses paths with the outlandish CEO of a biotech company (based closely on reality) who brings the story of genetics and genesis full circle. But the future, according to Sjón, is not so dark as it seems. In CoDex 1962, Sjón has woven ancient and modern material and folklore and cosmic myths into a singular masterpiece—encompassing genre fiction, theology, expressionist film, comic strips, fortean studies, genetics, and, of course, the rich tradition of Icelandic storytelling.
The Good Demon—Jimmy Cajoleas (September 18, Amulet)
Young adult. Clare has been miserable since her exorcism. The preacher that rid her of evil didn’t understand that her demon—simply known as Her—was like a sister to Clare. Now, Clare will do almost anything to get Her back. After a chance encounter with the son of the preacher who exorcised her, Clare goes on an adventure through the dark underbelly of her small Southern town, discovering its deep-seated occult roots. As she searches for Her, she must question the fine lines between good and evil, love and hate, and religion and free will. Vivid and sharp, The Good Demon tells the unusual story of friendship amid dark Gothic horror.
We Sold Our Souls—Grady Hendrix (September 18, Quirk Books)
In the 1990s, heavy metal band Dürt Würk was poised for breakout success—but then lead singer Terry Hunt embarked on a solo career and rocketed to stardom as Koffin, leaving his fellow bandmates to rot in obscurity. Two decades later, former guitarist Kris Pulaski works as the night manager of a Best Western—she’s tired, broke, and unhappy. Everything changes when a shocking act of violence turns her life upside down, and she begins to suspect that Terry sabotaged more than just the band. Kris hits the road, hoping to reunite with the rest of her bandmates and confront the man who ruined her life. It’s a journey that will take her from the Pennsylvania rust belt to a celebrity rehab center to a music festival from hell. A furious power ballad about never giving up, even in the face of overwhelming odds, We Sold Our Souls is an epic journey into the heart of a conspiracy-crazed, pill-popping, paranoid country that seems to have lost its very soul…where only a lone girl with a guitar can save us all.
New Fears II: Brand New Horror Stories by Masters of the Macabre—Mark Morris, editor (September 18, Titan Books)
Twenty-one brand-new stories of the ominous and terrifying from some of the horror genre’s most talented writers. In ‘The Dead Thing’ Paul Tremblay draws us into the world of a neglected teenage girl and her younger brother and the evil that lurks at the heart of their family. In Gemma Files’ ‘Bulb’ a woman calls in to a podcast to tell the terrifying story of why she has escaped off-grid. And Rio Youers’ ‘The Typewriter’ tells in diary form of the havoc wreaked by a malevolent machine. Infinitely varied and beautifully told, New Fears 2 is an unmissable collection of horror fiction.
Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens—Marieke Nijkamp, editor (September 18, Farrar, Straus & Giroux Books for Young Readers)
Young adult. This anthology explores disability in fictional tales told from the viewpoint of disabled characters, written by disabled creators. With stories in various genres about first loves, friendship, war, travel, and more, Unbroken will offer today’s teen readers a glimpse into the lives of disabled people in the past, present, and future. The contributing authors are awardwinners, bestsellers, and newcomers including Kody Keplinger, Kristine Wyllys, Francisco X. Stork, William Alexander, Corinne Duyvis, Marieke Nijkamp, Dhonielle Clayton, Heidi Heilig, Katherine Locke, Karuna Riazi, Kayla Whaley, Keah Brown, and Fox Benwell. Each author identifies as disabled along a physical, mental, or neurodiverse axis—and their characters reflect this diversity.
Daemon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling—Philip Pullman (September 18, Knopf)
Nonfiction. From the internationally best-selling author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, a spellbinding journey into the secrets of his art—the narratives that have shaped his vision, his experience of writing, and the keys to mastering the art of storytelling. One of the most highly acclaimed and best-selling authors of our time now gives us a book that charts the history of his own enchantment with story—from his own books to those of Blake, Milton, Dickens, and the Brothers Grimm, among others—and delves into the role of story in education, religion, and science. At once personal and wide-ranging, Daemon Voices is both a revelation of the writing mind and the methods of a great contemporary master, and a fascinating exploration of storytelling itself.
Through Darkest Europe—Harry Turtledove (September 18, Tor Books)
Senior investigator Khalid al-Zarzisi is a modern man, a product of the unsurpassed educational systems of North Africa and the Middle East. Liberal, tolerant, and above all rich, the countries and cultures of North Africa and the Middle East have dominated the globe for centuries, from the Far East to the young nations of the Sunset Lands. But one region has festered for decades: Europe, whose despots and monarchs can barely contain the simmering anger of their people. From Ireland to Scandinavia, Italy to Spain, European fundemantalists have carried out assassinations, hijackings, and bombings on their own soil and elsewhere. Extremist fundamentalist leaders have begun calling for a “crusade”, an obscure term from the mists of European history. Now Khalid has been sent to Rome, ground zero of backwater discontent. He and his partner Dawud have been tasked with figuring out how to protect the tinpot Grand Duke, the impoverished Pope, and the overall status quo, before European instability starts overflowing into the First World. Then the bombs start to go off.
Burning Sky—Weston Ochse (September 25, Solaris)
Everything is dangerous in Afghanistan, nothing more so than the mission of a Tactical Support Team or T.S.T. All veterans, these men and women spend seasons in hell, to not only try and fix what’s broken in each of them, but also to make enough bank to change their fortunes. But seven months later, safely back on American soil, they feel like there’s something left undone. They’re meeting people who already know them, remembering things that haven’t happened, hearing words that don’t exist. And they’re all having the same dream… a dream of a sky that won’t stop burning.
Zion’s Fiction: A Treasury of Israeli Speculative Literature—Sheldon Teitelbaum & Emanuel Lottem, editors (September 25, Mandel Vilar Press)
This anthology showcases the best Israeli science fiction and fantasy literature published since the 1980s. The stories included come from Hebrew, Russian, and English-language sources, and include well-known authors such as Shimon Adaf, Pesach (Pavel) Amnuel, Gail Hareven, Savyon Liebrecht, Nava Semel and Lavie Tidhar, as well as a hot-list of newly translated Israeli writers. The book features: an historical and contemporary survey of Israeli science fiction and fantasy literature by the editors; a foreword by revered SF/F writer Robert Silverberg; an afterword by Dr. Aharon Hauptman, the founding editor of Fantasia 2000, Israel’s seminal SF/F magazine; an author biography for each story included in the volume; and illustrations for each story by award winning American-born Israeli artist, Avi Katz.