Gabino Iglesias Reviews Road of Bones by Christopher Golden

Road of Bones, Christopher Golden (St. Martin’s Press 978-1-25027-430-3, $27.99, 240pp, hard­cover) January 2022.

Christopher Golden’s Road of Bones packs a mixture of horror and adventure its 240 pages that makes it feel like a 100-page novella. Full of memorable characters and taking place in a truly unique and inhospitable location, the narrative walks a fine line between an all-out horror story about impossible creatures threatening a group of ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews Spontaneous Human Combustion by Richard Thomas

Spontaneous Human Combustion, Richard Thomas (Keylight Books 978-1-68442-755-0, $29.99, 250pp, hc) February 2022.

Richard Thomas is a seasoned professional and one of the best short story writers out there. Spon­taneous Human Combustion might be his best yet. As dark as a pool of black ink at midnight on a moonless night, the fourteen stories that make up this collection bring together noir and horror in ways that explore humanity ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews Mickey7 by Edward Ashton

Mickey7, Edward Ashton (St. Martin’s 978-1-25027-503-5, $27.99, 304pp, hc) February 2022.

One of the most impressive things about genre fiction is its ability to surprise and entertain regardless of how long we’ve been reading it. Edward Ashton’s Mickey7, his third novel, is a multilayered, wildly entertaining story that takes readers into a human colony fighting to survive on a truly inhospitable planet of rock and extreme cold that ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews Flowers for the Sea by Zin E. Rocklyn

Flowers for the Sea, Zin E. Rocklyn (Tordot­com 978-1-25080-403-7, $13.99, 108pp, tp) October 2021.

Zin E. Rocklyn’s Flowers for the Sea is one of those rare narratives that somehow manages to be fantastical, smart, and hor­rific, all in just over 100 pages. An impressive debut, the latest from a strong, unique new voice in science fiction, this is the kind of novella that’s read in a single sitting not ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu

How High We Go in the Dark, Sequoia Naga­matsu (Morrow 978-0063072640, $27.99, 304pp, hc) January 2022.

Reading Sequoia Nagamatsu’s How High We Go in the Dark is not always a pleasurable experience. Emotionally gritty, uncomfortably plausible, and incredibly timely, this novel is packed with pain, grief, loss, and the kind of possibilities that make you want to forget how much you don’t know about the future. However, it’s also ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes

Dead Silence, S.A. Barnes (Tor Night­fire 978-1250819994, $27.99, 352pp, hc) Febru­ary 2022.

S.A. Barnes’s Dead Silence is a creepy and incredibly at­mospheric horror novel that bridges the gap between Gothic horror and extreme horror while simultaneously exploring the role that past trauma and PTSD can play when someone who suffers from them is exposed to fresh trauma.

Claire Kovalik is about to be forcefully retired and has no idea ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2021 by Gabino Iglesias

Well, the world didn’t stop burning and COVID refused to go away, but 2021 was slightly better than 2020, and it was a superb year for speculative fiction. It was also a year in which I found great balance while reading outstanding work from Big Four publishers, independent presses, and self-published authors. This matters because it speaks volumes about the quality of work out there and the fantastic way in ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling

The Death of Jane Lawrence, Caitlin Starling (St. Martin’s Press 978-1250272584, $27.99, 368pp, hc) October 2021. Cover by Colin Verdi.

Caitlin Starling’s The Death of Jane Lawrence is a horror Gothic with romance elements that relies on much more than atmosphere and a crumbling manor to hook readers and keep them glued to the pages. Between dark magic and gore, this is a novel with a historical angle that ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews The All-Consuming World by Cassandra Khaw

The All-Consuming World, Cassandra Khaw (Erewhon 978-1645660200, $25.95, 288pp, hc) September 2021. Cover by Ashe Samuels.

Once in a while a debut novel comes along that deserves to be on every radar, and Cassandra Khaw’s The All-Consuming World is that kind of book. An explosive, lyrical, foul-mouthed science fiction novel in which tech­nological advances fail to silence the most basic human emotions, The All-Consuming World is an interstellar trip ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews The Seven Visitations of Sydney Burgess by Andy Marino

The Seven Visitations of Sydney Burgess, Andy Marino (Redhook Books 978-0316-62948-5, $16.99, 352pp, tp) September 2021.

Andy Marino’s The Seven Visitations of Sydney Burgess is a creepy, tense narra­tive that exists somewhere between vio­lent psychological thriller and supernatural horror novel. However, while most of the elements of those two subgenres are present here, the novel also delves deep into serious topics like guilt, substance abuse, and mental health. The ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews Midnight, Water City by Chris McKinney

Midnight, Water City, Chris McKinney (Soho Crime 978-1-64129-240-5, $27.95, 312pp, hc) July 2021. Cover by Vlado Krizan and Janine Agro.

What would happen if the world was turned upside-down and submerged in the ocean? That’s the first guiding question in Chris McKinney’s Midnight, Water City, an SF novel with one foot in whodunits and the other one in classic noir. There are more questions, of course, but that ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews Radiant Apples by Joe R. Lansdale

Radiant Apples, Joe R. Lansdale (Subterranean 978-1645240419, $40.00, 160pp. hc) November 2021. Cover by Ken Laager.

Two of the elements that make Joe Lansdale one of the best storytellers of our time are his ability to make a story flow with the ease of a large river after heavy rains and the way in which he mixes action, violence, and humor to deliver wildly entertaining narratives. Both of those ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews Body Shocks by Ellen Datlow

Body Shocks, Ellen Datlow, ed. (Tachyon Pub­lications 978-1-61696-360-6, $17.95, 384pp, tp) October 2021. Cover by John Coulthart.

Once in a while, an anthology comes along that demands we alter the standard review format. Body Shocks, edited by Ellen Datlow, is one of those rare books. Yes, there are stories that will get individual attention later, but this book accomplishes two things that deserve to be mentioned first. The ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews Near the Bone by Christina Henry

Near the Bone, Christina Henry (Berkley 978-0-59319-976-6, $17.00, 336pp, tp) April 2021. Cover by Spencer Fuller.

Christina Henry’s Near the Bone is a horror novel that brings together real life horrors and monsters that walk a fine line between the supernatural and the what-if world of cryptozoology. At once a narrative about abuse and survival and a tale of creatures stalking people up on a snow-covered mountain, Near the ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig

The Book of Accidents, Chuck Wendig (Del Rey 978-0-399-18213-6, $28.99, 544pp, hc) July 2021. Cover by Fritz Metsch.

More than about being great, writing is about consistently getting better, and Chuck Wendig’s latest, The Book of Accidents, shows that he’s not only great; he’s also really good at improving. A touching narrative about trauma, magic, and traveling to and from a series of collapsing alternate dimensions, The Book ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews Goblin by Josh Malerman

Goblin, Josh Malerman (Earthling 978-0-9962118-5-7, $50.00, 376pp, hc) October 2017. (Del Rey 978-0-593-23780-3, $28.00, 416pp, hc) May 2021. Cover by Deena Warner.

With Goblin, Josh Malerman joins the select group of authors who have given readers a memo­rable fictional town that will forever mark a spot in the literary map of our minds. Like Gabriel García Márquez’s Macondo or Stephen King’s Castle Rock, Malerman’s Goblin feels like a ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews Broken Fevers by Tenea D. Johnson

Broken Fevers, Tenea D. Johnson (Rosarium 978-1732638853, $14.95, 272pp, tp) March 2021.

Tenea D. Johnson’s Broken Fevers is a wildly imaginative short story collection that tackles some important topics with style and delivers a healthy heaping of meaning in each narrative, regardless of length. A solid mix of genres, this collection pulls readers into short stories that do a lot more than just entertain.

Johnson sets the atmosphere in ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews Later by Stephen King

Later, Stephen King (Hard Case Crime 978-1-78909-649-1, $14.95, 272pp, tp) March 2021. Cover by Paul Mann.

Later, Stephen King’s latest, is a horror story – something the narrator reminds readers of from time to time – but it’s one dressed up like a thriller with supernatural ele­ments, and it has all the working parts of a pulpy crime novel. King has been known to walk the interstitial ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews The Sentient by Nadia Afifi

The Sentient, Nadia Afifi (Flame Tree Press 978-1-787-58432-7, $14.95, 304pp, tp) Septem­ber 2020.

Nadia Afifi’s debut novel The Sentient is the kind of science fiction narrative that comfortably inhabits the realm of plausi­bility. There is superb technology on display here, including ways of dealing with trauma that would be very useful today, but human suffering, stress, death, and the dark side of religious fanaticism are at the core of ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews Ink by Jonathan Maberry

Ink, Jonathan Maberry (St. Martin’s Griffin 978-1250765888, $17.99, 464pp, tp) November 2020. Cover by Jonathan Bennett.

People are the amalgamation of their memo­ries and experiences, and Jonathan Maber­ry’s Ink explores what happens when we lose our most important memories. A sprawling, dark narrative made up of the interwoven stories of a set of misfits that struggle to get by, Ink is a moody horror novel that deals with grief, ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews Disease by Sarah Tolmie

Disease, Sarah Tolmie (Aqueduct Press 978-1619761933, 120pp, $12.00, tp) August 2020.

Sarah Tolmie’s Disease is a strangely funny book about fictitious diseases and psychological conditions. Presented in a scholarly tone that resembles a series of academic case studies, this book looks at some bizarre ailments that range from scavenging, a psychological affliction in which people compulsively move into old houses, to a poor guy who developed an allergy to ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews Fishing for Dinosaurs and Other Stories by Joe R. Lansdale

Fishing for Dinosaurs and Other Stories, Joe R. Lansdale (Subterranean Press 978-15960-6993-0, $40.00, 384pp, tp) November 2020. Cover by Timothy Truman.

“It’s no secret that I like to write stories in a variety of genres, and my favorite of those is the Lansdale genre.” That’s the opening line of the introduction Joe Lansdale penned for his own Fishing for Dinosaurs and Other Stories, and it gets to the ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

Remote Control, Nnedi Okorafor (Tordotcom 978-1-250-77280-0, 160pp, $17.99, hc) January 2021. Cover by art by Greg Ruth.

Nnedi Okorafor’s Remote Control is a dark fantasy with Africanfuturistic elements that explores life, death, and loneliness while chronicling a few years in the early life of young girl who becomes the Angel of Death. Easy to read, emotionally gritty, and wildly imaginative, this is a short novel that takes readers into ...Read More

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Horrific Year, Superb Horror by Gabino Iglesias

We all know 2020 was a horrific year, but it was also a superb year for horror. As the world struggled through the pandemic, readers stuck at home turned to horror narratives as much – if not more so – than they regularly do because fictional horrors offer us an escape from real ones. As always, the genre delivered.

The greatness started early with Andy Davidson’s The Boatman’s Daughter, ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark

Ring Shout, P. Djèlí Clark ( Publishing 978-1-250-76702-8, $19.99, 192pp, hc) October 2020. Cover by Henry Sene Yee.

P. Djèlí Clark’s Ring Shout is a wildly imaginative, superbly written narrative about friendship, magic, and fighting racism that occupies a strange interstitial space between historical fiction, fantasy, and body hor­ror. It is also a smart reimagining of history that pushes current racial tensions to the forefront and forces readers to ...Read More

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GABINO IGLESIAS is a writer, journalist, professor, and book reviewer living in Austin TX. He is the author of Zero Saints and Coyote Songs and the editor of Both Sides. His work has been nominated to the Bram Stoker and Locus Awards and won the Wonderland Book Award for Best Novel in 2019. His short stories have appeared in a plethora of anthologies and his non-fiction has appeared in ...Read More

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