Recommended Reads for Halloween 2016!

CB - Orbit - Mar - The Last Days of Jack Sparks CB - Jul - The Scarlet Gospels
CB - Orbit - Apr - Fellside
CB - SB - Aug - Shakespeare vs Cthulhu CB - DR - Aug - Infernal CG - Re - Sep - Misty CG - SMH - Ghost Stories of an Antiquary CN - Sep - Zombies A Cultural History CN - Oct - The Penguin Book of the Undead

 

Another day of the year or time to dress up and party? Whatever your take Halloween can’t be far from anyone’s mind as the end of October approaches conjuring for many of us, amongst other thoughts, the notion of shutting the door on the dark outside and curling up with something appropriately… spooky? Eerie? Macabre? Chilling?

Well whether you’re a book reader or a book seller, we think we’ve got all of that covered with some of the great publishing from the latter half of the year for your at-home and in-store shelves and tables: Fiction, Graphic Novels… and Non-Fiction as well – we hope you like!

NB. Description is from our monthly recommend page in question. We believe in supporting bricks and mortar and independent stores. ISBN’s are included for retailers and we’re in the process of updating with HIVE links for independent book shops alongside our Waterstone’s links.

 

FICTION

CB - Go - Jul - The Hatching
THE HATCHING
Boone, Ezekiel
9781473215177
HB
£12.99
Gollancz
Jul 2016
Old school disaster-monster creature-feature SF that kicks off with a flesh-eating mass devouring American tourists and an “accidental” nuclear own goal by the Chinese in THE HATCHING. Featuring a male FBI agent and a female US President, this screams crossover appeal / mainstream hit to us and it would be hard not to imagine at least one person in Hollywood rubbing their hands gleefully upon coming across it… Update: we’ve just seen the author’s Twitter page. The publisher didn’t mention spiders.
Buy from Waterstones

 

CB - Orbit - Mar - The Last Days of Jack Sparks
THE LAST DAYS OF JACK SPARKS
Jason Arnopp
9780356506852
PB
8.99
Orbit
Jul 2016
We did have a sense that The Last Days of Jack Sparks, being the found-footage account of a now-deceased journalist investigating the occult, was probably something a little special, conjuring recollections of the Blair Witch Project along with George RR Martin’s The Armageddon Rag. It was an instant inclusion in our March recommends in Trade Paperback, later being plucked out by The Bookseller magazine as one of their Ones to Watch of the same month. We’re still looking to read it but some of our top-rated creators got straight down to it and had the following to say:
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‘This classic supernatural thriller takes a frenetic and self-obsessed modern world in its confident stride. The Last Days Of Jack Sparks gives us ingenious and funny diabolism, repurposed for the 21st Century. A magnificent millennial nightmare’ – Alan Moore
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‘Wow. Seriously hard to put down…Chilling and utterly immersive’ – M. R. Carey, author of The Girl With All the Gifts
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‘This is The Omen for the social media age’ – Chris Brookmyre, author of the Jack Parlabane thrillers
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‘Wittier than the lovechild of Stephen Fry and Charlie Brooker, scarier than watching The Exorcist in an abandoned asylum’ – Sarah Lotz, author of The Three
Buy from Waterstones

 

CB - Jul - The Scarlet Gospels
THE SCARLET GOSPELS
Clive Barker
9781447266990
PB
£7.99
Pan
Jul 2016
From speculative manufactured hells to fantastical classic ones in The Scarlet Gospels: the legend that is Clive Barker returns to his most iconic character, the Cenobite Hell Priest Pinhead! We imagine the plot is entirely incidental to anyone buying or stocking this but mortal PI Harry D’Amour is bound for Hell itself if he’s going to save his blind medium partner: she’s been kidnapped by Pinhead to chronicle his takeover of it. Included in the Bookseller’s July Topsellers.
Buy from Waterstones

 

The Girl with all the Gifts Poster
THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS
M. R. Carey
9780356507231
PB
8.99
Orbit
Aug 2016 
Well not a brand new title but we could hardly not mention The Girl with all the Gifts being reissued in its film tie-in format. Author Mike Carey’s been on our radar for many years for his sterling comics work, then for his Felix Castor Urban Fantasy series but this was a fantastic selling title even before the film – scripted by Mike while he wrote the book – was confirmed. We don’t have an actual confirmed cover yet but we’re guessing it’s not unlike the film poster which we’re using here in lieu. #NoSpoilers but #Zombies, an adult and affecting – and widely acclaimed and selling – post-apocalyptic thriller. The film hits screens in September.
Buy from Waterstones

 

CB - Orbit - Apr - Fellside
FELLSIDE
M. R. Carey
9780356503608
PB
7.99
Orbit
Aug 2016
Even allowing for the sense of tie-ing in a paperback release to a film edition it’s one of the fastest shifts from Hardback to Paperback for Mike’s latest, the evocatively titles Fellside. Here Mr Carey puts down the corporeal ‘undead’ and turns to the non-corporeal with something truly disturbing. A woman is incarcerated as a child-killer, a crime she has no memory of, in the titular maximum security prison – only to be visited by the ghost of the dead child in question who needs her help…
Buy from Waterstones

 

CB - SB - Aug - Shakespeare vs Cthulhu
SHAKESPEARE VS CTHULHU
Jonathan Green
9781909679863
PB
£8.99
Snowbooks
Aug 2016
A very special mention as well to a very special project and anthology. It’s the year of the bard, so what better time for a collection of inspired modern mash-ups of Shakespeare life and plays and Lovecraftian Horror Cthulhu style?
Includes dramatic speculations by James Lovegrove, Graham McNeill, Jan Siegel, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Jonathan Green. Update: also Adrian Chamberlin, Ed Fortune, Andrew Lane, Josh Reynolds, Guy Haley, Jonathan Oliver. Second update: With Poetry by Nimue Brown and Danie Ware! *** The title launch is at Forbidden Planet on the 13th August, 1-2 pm ***
(I might humbly add that there’s a tale from myself, not in the anthology but as a digital bonus to the Kickstarter backers, and possibly downloadable soon to readers everywhere: Lovecraft’s Labour’s Lost (and Wonne))
Buy from Waterstones

 

CB - DR - Aug - Infernal
INFERNAL
Mark de Jager
9781785033346
HB
16.99
Del Rey
Aug 2016
Then it’s Mark de Jager’s debut with Infernal from Del Rey. Now be honest: even if the man-without-a-memory conceit is well established can we really resist it? Especially when this anti-hero boasts supernatural strength and magic – and more especially when it’s a GOLDSBORO BOOKS BOOK OF THE MONTH. Well if Goldsboro say so I can’t see us not reading this…
Buy from Waterstones

 

CB - Go - Oct 16 - Waking Hell
WAKING HELL
Al Robertson
9781473203433
TPB
£16.99
Gollancz
Oct 2016 
Also from Gollancz and just in time for Halloween – being likewise of a science fictional nature though delightfully freakish and apt enough in its setting aside from its title to warrant being so noted – is Al Robertson’s follow up to Crashing Heaven, Waking Hell. We return to Station, the dystopian space… station where Jack Forster was faced with investigating the death of old friends before the freaky wooden puppet AI that was grown in his head takes over his mind as a result of unbending corporate law. This is a manufactured world of corporate gods and the digital ghosts (fetches) formed of the memories of dead humans. The sequel appears to be similarly investigative in style, and similarly high concept cyberpunk in tone, a young woman aiming to solve a murder which necessitates a journey into the artificial hell-realm where non-haunting ghosts are stored…
Buy from Waterstones

 

GRAPHIC NOVELS

CG - Re - Sep - Misty
MISTY
Pat Mills, Malcolm Shaw, Brian Delaney, John Armstrong, Shirley Bellwood
9781781084526
PB
£14.99
2000 AD
Sep 2016
An unusual one from 2000 AD but one long awaited by many. Boy’s comics came to dominate the UK but girl’s comics were big first. Amongst them was Misty, a title which is raised with tremendous fondness in numerous panels we’ve attended, an anthology of the creepy and weird for young ladies. Mr Pat Mills created Misty having already created 2000 AD itself and it was his sheer enthusiasm that got Rebellion’s Head of Books and Comics Ben Smith to seek out the material. Now here are two of those strips collected in one volume, Moonchild, the story of a girl with a moon-shaped mark faced with the temptations of using her telekineses against the school bully, and The Four Faces of Eve, with amnesiac eve haunted by nightmares about the deaths of three girls… *** Check out our casual interview A COFFEE WITH PAT MILLS on Carabas here ***
Buy from Forbidden Planet

 

CG - SMH - Ghost Stories of an Antiquary
GHOST STORIES OF AN ANTIQUARY (VOLUME 1)
Leah Moore, John Reppio, Dan Lockwood (Ed), Alisdair Wood, Aneke, Kit Buss, Fouad Mezher. Cover by Francesco Francavilla.
9781910593189
PB
£9.99
Self Made Hero
Oct 2016 
And then just another for the last day of the month if not before / the rest of the year, ie. a last Halloween offering. Husband and Wife team John Reppion and Leah Moore have adapted four of MR James works for this first haunting volume: Canon Alberic’s Scrapbook, Lost Hearts, The Mezzotint, and The Ash Tree. One of those titles that should appeal to non-traditional comics readers…
Buy from Forbidden Planet

 

NON-FICTION

CN - Sep - Zombies A Cultural History
ZOMBIES: A CULTURAL HISTORY
Roger Luckhurst
9781780236698
PB
£9.99
Reaktion Books
Sep 2016
From a series of current inordinate popularity to the same for a genre-spanning trope and / or a subgenre in its own right. Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead – at least the TV adaptation thereof has elevated the zombie to mainstream stardom alongside Game of Thrones itself. In September Reaktion bring the affordably priced paperback of Roger Luckhurst’s Zombies: A Cultural History so the more casual reader can enjoy the macabre cultural reality (if not the scientific one as above) of the undead celebrity from mythos to mass media. Quite a neat jacket too in our opinion.
Buy from Waterstones Logo - Buy from hive.co.uk

 

CN - Oct - Goth
GOTH
Emma Baxter-Wright, Chris Roberts and Hywel Livingstone
9781780978864
PB
£14.99
Carlton Books
Oct 2016 
On to another subculture and authors Baxter-Wright, Roberts and Livingstone are taking us on a tour of Goth, to the ‘dark heart of the ever-adaptable subculture’ through the lens of film, art, music, fiction, even ecclesiastical architecture… and fashion of course. Don’t be surprised if you encounter Dracula, HP Lovecraft, Poe and The Cure. Something for everyone then, quite aside from those who so identify…
Buy from Waterstones

 

CN - Oct - The Penguin Book of the Undead
THE PENGUIN BOOK OF THE UNDEAD
Scott G Bruce (Ed)
9780143107682
PB
£11.99
Penguin
Oct 2016 
And we round off Non-Fiction with a pair of titles that are certainly apt for the last day of the month (or any day of the year for many of us, especially if we happen to be picking up that Goth title we touted earlier). First up Penguin – their Classics department to be specific – are unleashing their latest compilation which happens to be on the undead, taking on ghosts and corporeal revenants from the Levant to Northernmost Europe there’s a truly macabre treat for those who choose to open these pages.
Buy from Waterstones

 

CN - Oct - Zombies Run
ZOMBIES, RUN! KEEPING FIT AND LIVING WELL IN THE CURRENT ZOMBIE EMERGENCY
Naomi Alderman
9780241256442
PB
£14.99
Penguin
Oct 2016
And then it’s Naomi Alderman’s Zombie’s Run! from Penguin general, based on the bestselling app of the same name which she co-created. I confess the app and her name are new to me (enjoying SFF / creating websites and being a card-carrying late-adopting luddite are, it might surprise you, in no respect mutually exclusive). But aside from ZR! the app she’s an Orange Prize winner, Professor of Creative Writing and, amongst other books, has a Dr Who novel under her belt. Actually what she and London-based indie games developer Six to Start have done here and are doing with this and their other games is really pretty cool. It’s a narrative app which, from your selection of a number of genres, frames your exercise in a mission or task. In other words a business based in encouraging health through entertainment – brilliant stuff. Perhaps unsurprisingly in this era of zombie fandom ZR! is the world’s most successful smartphone fitness game ever and the book will readily find a readership in this era and from this accolade. Still this luddite is rather intrigued by their apps (no promises mind), the next of which, The Walk, is a thriller to appeal to a wider audience which has been funded by the UK Department of Health and designed with and for the NHS. Again, brilliant stuff guys…
Buy from Waterstones

 

Tim Bayley

@timbayley1

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Hope some or all of that’s of interest / help! Do also check out our monthly highlights of 2016 via the links below…

JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER & DECEMBER

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JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE

 

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