(Click here to jump[scare] straight to the booklist.)
Welcome to October, fellow readers. With Halloween coming up, I think it’s a good time for spooky diverse reads.
For much of modern horror history, difference often was the horror. Now, diverse writers are turning those tropes on their heads and giving us nuanced takes on fear and monstrosity without all that pesky cultural othering.
For example, there’s Ahmed Saadawi’s Frankenstein in Baghdad, which moves the doctor and his famous monster to war-torn Iraq. Stephen Graham Jones writes a lot of excellent horror but if you’ve never had the pleasure, start with The Only Good Indians, which centers a group of Indigenous men going up against a creature that has no business being as scary as it is. Tamsin Muir’s Locked Tomb series, starting with Gideon the Ninth, is simultaneously grim, hilarious, and queer(in all senses of the word).
Want something classic, with big scares? Check out Black horror pioneer Tananarive Due’s The Good House. Something small and psychologically unsettling? That’s Banana Yoshimoto’s Hardboiled and Hard Luck. Something gory, gross, and freaky? Check out Agustin’s Bazterrica’s Tender Is the Flesh, which I recently read. Another recent read is Alex Jenning’s The Ballad of Perilous Graves, which isn’t technically horror but does feature haints, hoodoo, and some pretty tense and scary moments.
I have an entire booklist of thrills, chills, and jump scares in the Equal Opportunity Bookshop, if you need recs. Tell me what you plan to read in the comments!
I, however, am a yellow-bellied jelly-kneed chicken so I will not be–ok ok, fine. I will read at least one horror book this month–or I’ll try to, at least. Any suggestions?
(I’ll keep it quick this time, fellow readers. If you use any links in this post to buy books, I’ll get paid. Peace!)