He’s not what you think he is. Maybe you’re not what you think you are either. The town you once knew has shifted, grown colder. The clouds overhead draw near. This month’s genre-bending releases are full of spooky, twisty plots and long buried secrets. Fall in love and explore what it means to be human with Frankisstein by Jeanette Winterson; walk the land of a dystopian New Mexico in Trinity Sight by Jennifer Givhan; and enjoy new speculative stories from celebrated author Nino Cipri in Homesick!
Head below for the full list of genre-bending titles heading your way in October!
Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
WEEK ONE (October 1)
Frankissstein—Jeanette Winterson (Grove Atlantic)
Lake Geneva, 1816. Nineteen-year-old Mary Shelley is inspired to write a story about a scientist who creates a new life-form. In Brexit Britain, a young transgender doctor called Ry is falling in love with Victor Stein, a celebrated professor leading the public debate around AI and carrying out some experiments of his own in a vast underground network of tunnels. Meanwhile, Ron Lord, just divorced and living with his mom again, is set to make his fortune launching a new generation of sex dolls for lonely men everywhere. Across the Atlantic, in Phoenix, Arizona, a cryogenics facility houses dozens of bodies of men and women who are medically and legally dead… but waiting to return to life. What will happen when homo sapiens is no longer the smartest being on the planet?
The Twisted Ones—T. Kingfisher (Gallery/Saga Press)
When Mouse’s dad asks her to clean out her dead grandmother’s house, she says yes. After all, how bad could it be? Answer: pretty bad. Grandma was a hoarder, and her house is stuffed with useless rubbish. That would be horrific enough, but there’s more—Mouse stumbles across her step-grandfather’s journal, which at first seems to be filled with nonsensical rants… until Mouse encounters some of the terrifying things he described for herself. Alone in the woods with her dog, Mouse finds herself face to face with a series of impossible terrors—because sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real, and they’re looking for you. And if she doesn’t face them head on, she might not survive to tell the tale.
Trolls—Stefan Spjut (Faber & Faber)
What if our forests are inhabited by beings we do not understand, creatures neither animal nor human, living there in the shadows… In Stefan Spjut’s Trolls, an uncannily large wolf escapes its captors. A mysterious cult leader breaks out of psychiatric care. A disillusioned woman is forced to end her self-imposed exile. Trolls is a thriller, it is horror fiction, it is suspense. It is storytelling that feeds on fairy tales, myths, and our deepest folklores. Set ten years on from hit novel Shapeshifters, it revisits the far-north world of Susso Myrén, whose life once again risks being turned inside out.
Trinity Sight—Jennifer Givhan (Blackstone Publishing)
Is the Earth planning her rebirth—or her revenge? Anthropologist Calliope Santiago awakens to find herself in a strange and sinister wasteland, a shadow of the New Mexico she knew. Empty vehicles litter the road. Everyone has disappeared—or almost everyone. Calliope, heavy-bellied with the twins she carries inside her, must make her way across this dangerous landscape with a group of fellow survivors, confronting violent inhabitants, in search of answers. Long-dead volcanoes erupt, the ground rattles and splits, and monsters come to ominous life. The impossible suddenly real, Calliope will be forced to reconcile the geological record with the heritage she once denied if she wants to survive and deliver her unborn babies into this uncertain new world.
Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead: Typhoon—Wes Chu (Skybound Books)
In the aftermath of a horrifying outbreak, the last remnants of the Chinese government have estimated that one billion walkers (called jiangshi) are currently roaming the country. Across this desolate landscape, large groups of survivors have clustered together for safety in settlements that have been built to protect against the unceasing wave of jiangshi. In one of these settlements, Beacon of Light, scavengers of vastly different backgrounds struggle to provide supplies for the survival of thousands. But with the settlement’s 3,000 mouths to feed and the scavengers having to travel further and further in search of food, Zhu ends up at his home village, where he is shocked to find survivors. Does he force them to join the settlement or keep their existence a secret? Meanwhile, a veritable typhoon of walkers is headed towards the Beacon of Light. When the conniving leader of the Beacon, Secretary Guo, tasks Hengyen with rounding up all survivors in the area for a desperate last stand, the military man sees it for the foolish, futile directive that it is. Ever the patriot, though, he will stand with his compatriots to the very last. But Zhu finds himself caught between his love for Elena, his duty to the Beacon, and his desire to flee with the villagers. With time running out and the stakes higher than ever, these three survivors must figure out how to live with the overwhelming odds against them.
WEEK TWO (October 8)
Before the Devil Fell—Neil Olson (Hanover Square Press)
Will Connor returns to his hometown, a village north of Boston, to care for his injured mother. He’s kept his distance from the town since high school, but once home he finds himself reexamining a horrific incident that took place during one of his mother’s “spirit circles.” His mother had embraced the hippie generation’s fascination with New Age and the arcane, but the unexpected death of a close friend put an end to the meetings of the modern-day coven. Or did it? As Will looks deeper into his family’s history he discovers that her practices weren’t so much a passing fad but the latest link in a long tradition of New England witchcraft, which still seems to hold a strange power over the town. Will hopes that unearthing the facts about the death will put his questions to rest, but there are those willing to resort to violence to keep those secrets buried.
Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts—Kate Racculia (HMH)
Tuesday Mooney is a loner. She keeps to herself, begrudgingly socializes, and spends much of her time watching old Twin Peaks and X-Files DVDs. But when Vincent Pryce, Boston’s most eccentric billionaire, dies—leaving behind an epic treasure hunt through the city, with clues inspired by his hero, Edgar Allan Poe—Tuesday’s adventure finally begins. Puzzle-loving Tuesday searches for clue after clue, joined by a ragtag crew: a wisecracking friend, an adoring teen neighbor, and a handsome, cagey young heir. The hunt tests their mettle, and with other teams from around the city also vying for the promised prize—a share of Pryce’s immense wealth—they must move quickly. Pryce’s clues can’t be cracked with sharp wit alone; the searchers must summon the courage to face painful ghosts from their pasts (some more vivid than others) and discover their most guarded desires and dreams.
Dark Ink—Gary Kemble (Titan Books)
When washed-up journalist Harry Hendrick wakes one morning with a hangover and a strange symbol tattooed on his neck, he shrugs it off as a bad night out. But soon more tattoos appear: grisly, violent images which come accompanied by horrific nightmares—so he begins to dig deeper. Harry’s search leads him to a sinister disappearance, torment from beyond the grave, and a web of corruption and violence tangled with his own past. One way or another, he has to right the wrongs.
WEEK THREE (October 15)
Soon—Lois Murphy (Titan)
On winter solstice, the birds disappeared, and the mist arrived. The inhabitants of Nebulah quickly learn not to venture out after dark. But it is hard to stay indoors: cabin fever sets in, and the mist can be beguiling, too. Eventually only six remain. Like the rest of the townspeople, Pete has nowhere else to go. After he rescues a stranded psychic from a terrible fate, he’s given a warning: he will be dead by solstice unless he leaves town—soon.
Suicide Woods—Benjamin Percy (Graywolf)
A boy in his uncle’s care falls through the ice on a pond and emerges in a frozen, uncanny state. A group of people in therapy for suicidal ideation undergoes a drastic session in the woods with fatal consequences. A body found on a train and a blood-soaked carpet in an empty house are clues to a puzzling crime in a small town. And in a pulse-quickening novella, thrill seekers on a mapping expedition into the “Bermuda Triangle” of remote Alaska are stranded on a sinister island that seems to want them dead. In story after story, which have appeared in magazines ranging from the Virginia Quarterly Review and Orion Magazine to McSweeney’s and Ploughshares, Percy delivers haunting and chilling narratives that will have readers hanging on every word. A master class in suspense and horror, Suicide Woods is a dark, inventive collection packed to the gills with eerie, can’t-miss tales.
Homesick—Nino Cipri (Dzanc)
Dark, irreverent, and truly innovative, the speculative stories in Homesick meditate on the theme of home and our estrangement from it, and what happens when the familiar suddenly shifts into the uncanny. In stories that foreground queer relationships and transgender or nonbinary characters, Cipri delivers the origin story for a superhero team comprised of murdered girls; a housecleaner discovering an impossible ocean in her least-favorite clients’ house; a man haunted by keys that appear suddenly in his throat; and a team of scientists and activists discovering the remains of a long-extinct species of intelligent weasels.
WEEK FOUR (October 22)
From Hell to Breakfast—Meghan Tifft (Unnamed Press)
Lucinda’s boyfriend Dracula claims to be the Dracula―he sleeps in a coffin, hunts pigeons for blood, and only goes out at night. But is he really? Unsettlingly, there has been a spate of recent disappearances and Dracula may be connected. Lucinda doesn’t know for sure or which is more dangerous: dating an immortal vampire or a UPS driver with a night shift who thinks he’s one? While Dracula sleeps, Lucinda works at a smoothie shop where her boss is a creep, and their neighbor is always either belting out Whitney Houston or yelling in Russian through the walls. Lucinda focuses on the play she’s written that’s being produced by the community theatre and a pair of sibling actors, Rory and Lauren, she’s met there. Rory is clearly infatuated with Lucinda, and while she is out all day Dracula ruminates on next steps. Their other neighbor is a bicycle cop who clearly has it out for him, the landlord claims to have never seen Lucinda, and Lucinda’s brother Warren is constantly asking for Dracula’s help killing birds for his art. As the play’s premiere draws nearer, sinister forces are at work, though it may just be the fault of amateur actors. Meghan Tifft creates an alternate small town America, one brimming with strange delights and dark curiosities, where you can be whoever you want, thought not really, and somebody’s dinner is always another person’s breakfast.