Horror reveals what truly scares us, or provides an escapism as powerful in its own way as any work of portal fantasy. See our picks for top new horror books in June 2022.
Screams from the Dark: 29 Tales of Monsters and the Monstrous edited by Ellen Datlow
Publisher: Tor Nightfire
Release date: June 7
Den of Geek says: Several stories in this anthology have set themselves in stone as some of our most memorable reads this year, with Fran Wilde and Stephen Graham Jones adding particularly remarkable entries to the anthology. With this many stories there are inevitably ups and downs, but that also means there’s probably some flavor of monstrous for everyone.
Publisher’s summary: From werewolves and vampires, to demons and aliens, the monster is one of the most recognizable figures in horror. But what makes something, or someone, monstrous?
Award-winning and up-and-coming authors like Richard Kadrey, Cassandra Khaw, Indrapramit Das, Priya Sharma, and more attempt to answer this question. These all-new stories range from traditional to modern, from mainstream to literary, from familiar monsters to the unknown … and unimaginable.
This chilling collection has something to please―and terrify―everyone, so lock your doors, hide under your covers, and try not to scream.
No Good for Maidens by Tori Bovalino
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Release date: June 21
Den of Geek says: The poem “The Goblin Market” has been a subject of wide interpretation since its 1862 publication. Bovalino’s queer retelling is technically YA, but promises some inventive gore and body horror enough to put it solidly in the horror category.
Publisher’s summary: Beneath the streets of York, the goblin market calls to the Wickett women―the family of witches that tends to its victims. For generations, they have defended the old cobblestone streets with their magic. Knowing the dangers, they never entered the market―until May Wickett fell for a goblin girl, accepted her invitation, and became inextricably tied to the world her family tried to protect her from. The market learned her name, and even when she and her sister left York for Boston to escape it, the goblins remembered.
Seventeen years later, Lou, May’s niece, knows nothing of her magical lineage or the twisted streets, sweet fruits, and incredible jewels of the goblin market. But just like her aunt, the market calls to her, an echo of a curse that won’t release its hold on her family. And when her youngest aunt, Neela, is kidnapped by goblins, Lou discovers just how real and dangerous the market is.
To save her, both May and Lou will have to confront their family’s past and what happened all those years ago. But everything―from the food and wares, to the goblins themselves―is a haunting temptation for any human who manages to find their way in. And if Lou isn’t careful, she could end up losing herself to the market, too.
Aurora by David Koepp
Release date: June 7
Den of Geek says: This near future horror blends sci-fi and the dark side of a suburb. It has drawn both comparisons to Under the Dome and praise from Stephen King.
Publisher’s summary: In Aurora, Illinois, Aubrey Wheeler is just trying to get by after her semi-criminal ex-husband split, leaving behind his unruly teenage son.
Then the lights go out—not just in Aurora but across the globe. A solar storm has knocked out power almost everywhere. Suddenly, all problems are local, very local, and Aubrey must assume the mantle of fierce protector of her suburban neighborhood.
Across the country lives Aubrey’s estranged brother, Thom. A fantastically wealthy, neurotically over-prepared Silicon Valley CEO, he plans to ride out the crisis in a gilded desert bunker he built for maximum comfort and security.
But the complicated history between the siblings is far from over, and what feels like the end of the world is just the beginning of several long-overdue reckonings—which not everyone will survive …
Aurora is suspenseful storytelling—both large scale and small—at its finest.
From Below by Darcy Coates
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Release date: June 7
Den of Geek says: The ocean is both a very literal danger and an evocative symbol for the unknown. And on a deep-sea dive is no time to run into trouble …
Publisher’s summary: Years ago, the SS Arcadia vanished without a trace during a routine voyage. Though a strange, garbled emergency message was broadcast, neither the ship nor any of its crew could be found. Sixty years later, its wreck has finally been discovered more than three hundred miles from its intended course…a silent graveyard deep beneath the ocean’s surface, eagerly waiting for the first sign of life.
Cove and her dive team have been granted permission to explore the Arcadia’s rusting hull. Their purpose is straightforward: examine the wreck, film everything, and, if possible, uncover how and why the supposedly unsinkable ship vanished.
But the Arcadia has not yet had its fill of death, and something dark and hungry watches from below. With limited oxygen and the ship slowly closing in around them, Cove and her team will have to fight their way free of the unspeakable horror now desperate to claim them.