This content material accommodates affiliate hyperlinks. When you purchase by these hyperlinks, we could earn an affiliate fee.
Short Stories for Dark Nights was initially printed in our horror e-newsletter, The Fright Stuff. Sign up for it right here to get the newest and biggest from the world of horror!
Generally, when you ask a horror fan what one of the best season of the yr for scary tales is, we’re in all probability going to say Halloween. It’s our season! The one time of yr when now we have license to be as scary as we wish, every time we wish, and it looks like everyone seems to be celebrating all issues horror with us. My mother refers to Halloween as my Christmas, since I am going all out with my celebrations on October the best way she does for Christmas in December.
But that doesn’t imply I don’t excitedly pull down my Halloween decorations in November and put together to interchange them with a tree, ornaments, tinsel garlands, and an abundance of lights. Because although I really like the crisp, autumn nights of the Halloween season, there is part of my horror-loving coronary heart that lives for the lengthy, darkish nights of winter. Especially round Christmas, after we’re simply barely previous the Solstice and nonetheless brief on daylight. It’s no marvel folks used to collect across the hearth this time of yr to inform scary tales, or that among the myths and legends surrounding this season are notably darkish and scary.
So within the spirit of season, I give you a collection of horror anthologies and collections with my heartfelt greatest needs for this delightfully liminal, ghostly season. Whether you learn these tales for your self, or learn them out to an appreciative viewers, could they make your darkish holidays a bit creepier.
Unfettered Hexes: Queer Tales of Insatiable Darkness ed by David Ring
May I give you some queer brief fiction in these making an attempt instances? No however critically, this anthology is every little thing that I need an anthology to be. Not solely is it filled with delightfully darkish tales, however nearly half of the thirty-some authors and artists who contributed to Unfettered Hexes are authors and artists of coloration, and two-thirds are ladies or nonbinary, or in any other case gender-nonconforming. You know there’s nothing I hate greater than a largely white, straight, cis anthology – I’ve by no means bothered to cover my frustration about that – and I went by simply a dozen anthologies for this listing looking for one which had really illustration in its TOC. Thankfully, I remembered that Unfettered Hexes exists. This assortment of darkish speculative fiction is numerous, scrumptious, witchy perfection, and also you couldn’t ask for a greater assortment of tales to fill out your midwinter evenings.
The Ghost Sequences by A.C. Wise
A.C. Wise’s 2021 new launch, Wendy, Darling, was the primary ebook of hers I’d ever learn, and it immediately made a fan of me. So once I discovered that considered one of my favourite indie horror presses, Undertow Publications, was publishing her new assortment of brief fiction (full with that completely beautiful cowl) I made certain to pre-order my copy asap. Wise is a type of authors whose work is so beautiful that it leaves you feeling starry-eyed whenever you end studying, such as you’ve simply emerged from a dream. The synopsis for The Ghost Sequences describes these tales as “profoundly and intimately human” even when brimming with horrors and darkness – and I truthfully couldn’t consider a greater technique to describe the attraction of Wise’s work. No matter the exterior monsters or risks her tales current, the actual coronary heart of her work will all the time be its humanity.
Never Have I Ever by Isabel Yap
Like a number of single creator collections – and a number of anthologies, truthfully – tales in Never Have I Ever veer freely to both aspect of the style traces, from sci-fi to horror to fantasy and again once more. Honestly that’s why I really like collections by authors of darkish fiction! You get one of the best of all doable variations. This is Yap’s debut assortment, and I’m truthfully so excited to see the place she goes from right here, as a result of each considered one of these tales was a gem. They’re a mixture of city legends and tales impressed by the legends of the Philippines, and plenty of of them additionally characteristic queer themes and/or characters. Which is all the time a plus! It’s such an awesome, creepy, artistic assortment that’s additionally suitably grotesque for people who need their horror tales to include a specific amount of viscera and monsters devouring youngsters.
Unfortunate Elements of My Anatomy by Hailey Piper
I truthfully can’t imagine that I haven’t advisable Hailey Piper’s new assortment but in The Fright Stuff. Someone ring the disgrace bell. I’ve made no secret of my adoration for Piper’s work. Her novella The Worm and His Kings continues to be considered one of my high horror reads, so clearly I used to be past excited to learn Unfortunate Elements of My Anatomy and get conversant in her brief fiction as nicely. There are 18 tales on this assortment, and so they cowl a variety of themes and subgenres, which suggests there’s a bit one thing for each type of horror reader. If you need extra queer horror in your life (and you understand you do) then I extremely advocate selecting up a duplicate of Unfortunate Elements of My Anatomy and filling your lengthy evenings with a group of tales that span every little thing from cosmic terror to terrifying fantasy.
For much more frights and delights, try the remainder of our horror content material.