I always take a moment of pause when I type “her” instead of “him.” I think about how often we speak of authors as “she” and not “he” and it’s not nearly enough. I wonder what women will become a part of the masters of horror lists we are so adept at rattling off when provoked? I think, most annoyingly, when will publishers stop encouraging female authors to abbreviate their names, as to not deter male readers?
These thoughts inevitably bubble to the top of the mind during February, AKA Women in Horror month, although they lurk just out of sight in the subconscious. While it is a chance to celebrate those who’ve opened doors and paved pathways for all women who work in the genre, it’s an even better opportunity to celebrate those who’ve not yet become household names.
These authors all have books coming out this month and appropriately so. Support them by buying their work. Encourage them by reviewing it and sharing it with others who might like it.
But most importantly of all, remember their names.
The Bone Weaver’s Orchard by Sarah Read
Known for her short stories, this is Horror Writers Association member Sarah Read’s debut novel. Orchard tells the story of Charley, an overly curious boy keen on discovering just where his peers go when they “run away from home.” The reviews for this are already excellent and with about 170 pages, it should be a manageable read for even the busiest of creepsters.
Kill, My Darlings: A Collection of Horror by Christy Aldridge
This collection is Aldridge’s deep dive into horror. Having several anthologies under her belt, it’s no doubt that she’s mastered the short story and now aims to terrify. Exploring as many different tropes and sub-genres as possible, it’s a tome for any type of fan.
The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan by Caitlin R. Kiernan
I said it once, I’ll say it again; if you’re a horror fan and you’re not reading Kiernan, you’re messing up. Bound in gorgeous cover art, the title says it all. It’s a comprehensive selection and great for both new readers and weathered admirers.
The Worst is Yet to Come by S.P. Miskowski
Shirley Jackson and Bram Stoker Award nominee Miskowski’s newest book promises a combination of coming-of-age story and violent, otherwordly discovery. Two of her short stories have been included in anthologies edited by the best in the biz, Ellen Datlow (Haunted Nights and The Best Horror of the Year Vol. 10). Need I say more?
The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor
After the immense success of her first novel, The Chalk Man, Tudor’s next thriller has earned her a reputation of crisp character crafting and the sharpest twists. In The Hiding Place, a teacher returns back to his old school to settle scores and face the scariest truths.