Riffle Editor's Choice: Essential Horror Books for October 2017
October is the Halloween month.
October is the month when the sheer volume of horror novels, anthologies, short stories, comic books, and e-books published practically triples. Not all horror published in October is Halloween related but they are timed to come out near that holiday that gives everyone -- including the timid and the disdainful -- permission to pick up a horror book or two and read if only to get into the spirit of the holiday.
Also published throughout the month of October 2017 are the ebooks in The Halloween Carnival Anthology Series book list. This is a five-volume anthology series of Halloween themed short stories and novellas.
For more Halloween themed horror novels and anthologies, try my Halloween Horror book list.
To see additional Essential Horror Books lists, check out the links below:
If you have any suggestions, feel free to mention them in the discussion section below the list.
This book list is a work in progress. Check back occasionally for more updates. Published: 9/15/2017.
Updated: 9/18/2017 added another book.
"Haunted Nights" (A Horror Writers Association Anthology) edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton. This anthology collects sixteen never before published stories about Halloween and a few other closely related holidays.
1 / 12
"Strange Weather: Four Short Novels" by Joe Hill. One of the best horror writers today, especially in short form stories, returns with a book of four horror novellas: "Snapshot", "Aloft", "Rain" and "Loaded".
2 / 12
"Deadlands: Boneyard" by Seanan McGuire. This novel is based on the hit Weird West tabletop role-playing game called 'Deadlands'. The Blackstone Family Circus and Travelling Wonder Show sets up in The Clearing, a community in the Oregon wilderness, in hopes of reaping enough profit to get through the winter. But the Clearing has secrets as does circus performer Annie Pearl, the mistress of monsters.
3 / 12
"The Handyman" by Bentley Little. Years ago, when Daniel Martin was a child, his family retained a handyman named Frank Watkins who built the Martin family a Summer home. Even in adulthood, Daniel remembered Frank Watkins' eyes...his unnatural eyes that searched for understanding in the incomprehensible human behavior they observed. Daniel did not know what Frank was, nor did he suspect there were more of them.
4 / 12
David L. Golemon
"In the Still of the Night: The Supernaturals II" by David L. Golemon. Accused of fakery in the Summer Place investigation, the ghost hunters called the Supernaturals broke up. Five years later, they're brought back together to save the President. To do that they travel to Moreno, California -- a ghost town, where they encounter a deadly entity which is drawing them back into time -- to Halloween day, 1963.
5 / 12
"The Lovecraft Squad: Waiting" by Stephen Jones. Earlier this year, The Lovecraft Squad, a shared world series created by horror editor Stephen Jones, premiered with the tale "All Hallos Horror" by John Probert. Now Jones steps in with the events that created the squad and gave them their mission -- to protect the Earth from the cosmic horror of otherworldly invaders.
6 / 12
"In the Footsteps of Dracula: Tales of the Un-Dead Count" edited by Stephen Jones. This Dracula centered anthology collects 34 short stories and poems including the prologue to the play Bram Stoker wrote based upon his novel Dracula. Each story revolves around Dracula spanning his existence from the origins to tales set in a dystopian future. If you love vampires, you'll want to read this.
7 / 12
"What the Hell Did I Just Read: A Novel of Cosmic Horror" (John Dies at the End #3) by David Wong. Humorist, Cracked.com editor and novelist David Wong (not his real name) has made millions (not really) off the 'John Dies at the End' series (If David wrote this story under a fake name, does that make this a fake horror novel?) about Dave, John and Amy (not real people) who return here (which may not be a real book).
8 / 12
"It Devours!: A Welcome to Night Vale Novel" by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor. Return to Night Vale -- because you don't have a choice. Logical Nilanjana is an employee of Carlos the Scientist and faithful Darryl is a member of the Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God. Their mutual attraction and trust are tested when Nilanjana suspects that the Congregation may bring about the end of Night Vale, if not the world.
9 / 12
Joe R. Lansdale
"Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers" by Joe R. Lansdale. Before he broke his hip and wound up in a retirement home, Elvis Presley was part of a secret team of battle hardened warriors, led by his manager Colonel Parker ad answerable to President Nixon himself -- or one of his doubles. Together they must fight an invasion of shape-shifting, hive-minded vampire-like monsters in a junkyard in New Orleans.
10 / 12
BONUS BOOK: "Blackwater: The Complete Saga" by Michael McDowell. Originally published in 1983 in six small volumes, the entire Blackwater Saga has finally been collected into one mighty volume of horror. In 1919 beautiful but mysterious Elinor Dammert arrives in Perdido, Alabama and marries Oscar Caskey. It seems like a fairy tale come true. Except that in the Perdido River, Elinor becomes something inhuman . . .
11 / 12
BONUS BOOK: "Clive Barker's Hellraiser Omnibus" (volume #1) by Clive Barker and Mark Miller. Collects Clive Barker’s Hellraiser #1-20 and Hellraiser Annual #1 for over 500 pages of illustrated Cenobite horror.
12 / 12