The new book market in September looks to be another month’s worth of few books of note while the world waits for the bigger releases that October promises. While the major publishing houses do not have a lot of new books to catch my interest, the independent press once again comes through to salvage the month and provide some great books for those starving for good fiction.
DarkFuse lights up September with four releases. “Mutator” by Gary Fry is the story of a man who buys his dream house only to discover that the dream may be a nightmare when he discovers a secret room in the basement. Jennifer Loring’s “Conduits” is a chilling tale of a young woman who must confront not only the ghosts that haunt the most haunted place in Washington State but also those that lurk in the depths of her mind. “Bloodeye” by Craig Saunders tells the tale of a man who thought he got past, if not over, the mysterious death of his wife years earlier only to discover that the terror behind her murder is still lingering in his life. While those three novellas are enough to satisfy even the most fanatic of horror fans, DarkFuse gives its readers a real treat with its featured novel of the month: “Sunblind” by Michael McBride. The novel tells the story of both a group of illegal immigrants being hunted by an ancient evil in the American Southwest and the border patrol agent that is trying to piece together the mystery of their disappearance. “Sunblind” is truly a masterwork of horror and is one of the few books in recent years that has scared me with its mix of physical and psychological horror. “Sunblind” is sure to be the scariest book published this year and is sure to be one of the top contenders for my favorite book of the year.
ChiZine Publications will also publish three books in September beginning with “Imaginarium 2014: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing.” This anthology, edited by Sandra Kasturi and Helen Marshall, collects the best speculative short stories written by Canadian authors in 2012. Helen Marshall also has a collection of short stories scheduled in September with the ChiZine release of “Gifts for the One Who Comes After” in which Marshall brings her surreal fiction to focus on the things that parents pass on to the next generation. ChiZine will also publish another short story collection with Robert Sherman’s “They Do the Same Things Different There.” Short story collections and anthologies have become something of a rarity in recent years and readers are lucky to have a publisher like ChiZine to publish some of the great short fiction that many other publishers pass over.
The only book of note from the mainstream publishers on September 2nd is “Personal” by Lee Childs. This is the 19th book in the Jack Reacher series for Childs and the series never seems to disappoint. September 9th is also sparse and the one book of note is the first new story starring Hercule Poirot in Sophie Hannah’s “The Monogram Murders.” This is the first time that there will be a novel starring one of Agatha Christie’s famous detectives authorized by the author’s family and I am interested to see if the novel can live up to its predecessors. The only other book that really catches my interest in September is on the 30th with the release of “Burn” by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge as they return to the world of Detective Michael Bennett.
September is looking a little bleak for the releases from the major publishers but the independent press will more than make up for that as will the promise of upcoming books from such writers as Anne Rice, John Grisham, and Stephen King in the coming couple months. If you only read one book this month, it is easy for me to say that one book to go with is “Sunblind.” This is truly a great horror novel in the vein of Jack Ketchum or Richard Laymon and deserves to be recognized as such. Michael McBride is one of the best horror writers today and this book is a testament to his talent. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up as quickly as you can. You may want to by some sleeping pills, as well, since this book is sure you keep you up all night jumping at every sound you hear.