Season of the Witch: 5 Horror Reads for Fall

Fall comes at you pretty fast. If you don’t stop and smell the pumpkin spice, you could miss it…

Summer’s end is always a bit of a downer, but for some of us, falling leaves and harvest moons herald the most wonderful time of the year. Autumn is usually seen as the perfect time for new horror releases. Whether that’s actually true or just an outdated marketing ploy is arguable; I read excellent horror year-round. Still, I’d rather be inundated with good books than gourd-infused lattes, or, Cthulhu forgive, Christmas sales.

This fall sees a grab-bag of debut fiction, anxiety-inducing anthologies, and a love letter to horror that, actually, were you an enterprising and early bookworm, would make a pretty perfect gift for the horror fan on your list, be it for Halloween or some other, less fun holiday.

 

The Doll’s Alphabet by Camilla Grudova

Skewing ...

Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View is the Mashup You’ve Been Looking For

Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View book review

The new trailer for The Last Jedi was not the only exciting Star Wars news this past week. In celebration of A New Hope’s 40th anniversary, Del Rey has published an anthology of 40 stories that weave in and out of the original film. Whether it’s Greedo, Antilles or the red droid (you know the one), A New Hope is bursting at the seams with weird and fantastic side characters. Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View hands those characters over to 43 weird and fantastic authors. The set-list alone is amazing: scifi heavyweights (Nnedi Okorafor, Ken Liu), seasoned SW veterans (Jason Fry, Jeffrey Brown), comic book writers (Kelly Sue DeConnick, Kieron Gillen), and media luminaries (Griffin McElroy, Mallory Ortberg) offer up a diverse range of tone, form, and lore.

There’s nothing new under two suns in a sprawling franchise that’s celebrating its 40th year. What ...

Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View book review

The Gods of War: Tool of War by Paolo Bacigalupi

Paolo Bacigalupi’s Tool of War, the third book in the Ship Breaker trilogy, following Ship Breaker and The Drowned Cities, follows the augmented soldier Tool in his attempt to find and fight his creators. Tool’s journey has been a violent, angry one, and in this final book, we meet him as he is leading an army of child soldiers win the war in the semi-submerged cities along the Atlantic coast. Tool’s new pack have been helping him take control of the area, crushing the other warlords with just as much violence as they’ve inflicted over the years. Tool is suddenly faced with something he’s never known—relative peace, and a need for his leadership in rebuilding the drowned cities.

But Tool’s plans to create something new from the ruins are barely more than a thought when his creators make a massive, excessively violent attempt to neutralise him. The gods ...

The Gods of War: Tool of War by Paolo Bacigalupi

Paolo Bacigalupi’s Tool of War, the third book in the Ship Breaker trilogy, following Ship Breaker and The Drowned Cities, follows the augmented soldier Tool in his attempt to find and fight his creators. Tool’s journey has been a violent, angry one, and in this final book, we meet him as he is leading an army of child soldiers win the war in the semi-submerged cities along the Atlantic coast. Tool’s new pack have been helping him take control of the area, crushing the other warlords with just as much violence as they’ve inflicted over the years. Tool is suddenly faced with something he’s never known—relative peace, and a need for his leadership in rebuilding the drowned cities.

But Tool’s plans to create something new from the ruins are barely more than a thought when his creators make a massive, excessively violent attempt to neutralise him. The gods ...

Radio Waves and Miracles: All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

The Colorado desert is a place for miracles and for science. The Soria cousins—Daniel, Beatriz, and Joaquin—are all aware of this in their own separate ways. Miracles are a family tradition, a trade practiced for generations in Mexico and then moved across the border during the Revolution, but in All the Crooked Saints the youngest generation must decide for themselves how to carry that tradition properly. Fear and need, speech and silence: Stiefvater’s lyrical foray into magical realism offers a unique perspective on the dualities of meaningful connection.

Stiefvater is a writer more than capable of constructing both long and short narratives. Her recently concluded series The Raven Cycle, as discussed at length here, is a massive tale spanning four novels—but The Scorpio Races (2011) is a well-regarded standalone novel. All the Crooked Saints falls into the second category.

Spoilers.

“On the night this story begins, both a ...

Radio Waves and Miracles: All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

The Colorado desert is a place for miracles and for science. The Soria cousins—Daniel, Beatriz, and Joaquin—are all aware of this in their own separate ways. Miracles are a family tradition, a trade practiced for generations in Mexico and then moved across the border during the Revolution, but in All the Crooked Saints the youngest generation must decide for themselves how to carry that tradition properly. Fear and need, speech and silence: Stiefvater’s lyrical foray into magical realism offers a unique perspective on the dualities of meaningful connection.

Stiefvater is a writer more than capable of constructing both long and short narratives. Her recently concluded series The Raven Cycle, as discussed at length here, is a massive tale spanning four novels—but The Scorpio Races (2011) is a well-regarded standalone novel. All the Crooked Saints falls into the second category.

Spoilers.

“On the night this story begins, both a ...

Lotus Petals: The Stone in the Skull by Elizabeth Bear

With The Stone in the Skull Elizabeth Bear returns to the world of the Eternal Sky for another grand tale. The previous novels set in this universe—Range of Ghosts (reviewed here), Shattered Pillars (reviewed here), and Steles of the Sky (reviewed here)—followed a band of royal and not-so-royal individuals through their efforts to consolidate kingdoms and prevent a vast evil from overtaking their world.  The same general formula returns in The Stone in the Skull but the setting and the cast are quite different: our protagonists are a Gage, a Dead Man, one young rajni and another middle-aged.

The Gage and the Dead Man are traveling through contested territories in the Lotus Kingdoms—once a grand empire, now a set of smaller sometimes-warring states—with a message from the Eyeless One, a great wizard in Messaline. Arriving lands them in the middle of a war between four branches ...