We’ve already done our upcoming books to look forward to for the last half of 2017. There will be an upcoming post talking about books we’re looking forward to in the beginning of 2018. This may have some crossovers, but not necessarily all. Instead, we’re going to talk about the books that our on our winter reads list for various reasons. This does not include books that we’re already in the process of reading.
What We’ll Be Reading This Winter
Tipping Point by Terry Tyler
‘I didn’t know danger was floating behind us on the breeze as we walked along the beach, seeping in through the windows of our picture postcard life.’
The year is 2024. A new social networking site bursts onto the scene. Private Life promises total privacy, with freebies and financial incentives for all. Across the world, a record number of users sign up.
A deadly virus is discovered in a little known African province, and it’s spreading—fast. The UK announces a countrywide vaccination programme. Members of underground group Unicorn believe the disease to be man-made, and that the people are being fed lies driven by a vast conspiracy.
Vicky Keating’s boyfriend, Dex, is working for Unicorn over two hundred miles away when the first UK outbreak is detected in her home town of Shipden, on the Norfolk coast. The town is placed under military controlled quarantine and, despite official assurances that there is no need for panic, within days the virus is unstoppable.
In London, Travis begins to question the nature of the top secret data analysis project he is working on, while in Newcastle there are scores to be settled…
Lilyn: I’ve recently read Patient Zero, which is a short story collection by the author set in the Project Renova universe, and am now determined to read Tipping Point. I was really impressed with what I saw, and hope that it is just as good!
Symphony by Charles L. Grant
The First Horseman of the Apocalypse is Death. Soon after a preacher discovers that he has the power to heal, he finds he will need all of this new ability to counter the effects of a strange car that arrives in town. The driver is definitely a murderer and possibly a demon. When the preacher reluctantly takes a stand to try to save a young girl, the battle against evil is joined and the countdown to the millennium begins.
GraciKat: I love Charles. L. Grant’s ‘Oxrun Station stories and books and I have long wanted to read his Millennium Quartet series. What better way to say goodbye to the old year than with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?
The Cackle of Cthulhu
TOP AUTHORS POKE FUN AND PAY TRIBUTE TO H.P. LOVECRAFT’S CTHULHU MYTHOS.
Exactly! I’ve come to tickle your funnybone.
Oh, and also to eat your soul.
In 1928, Weird Tales debuted “The Call of Cthulhu” by H.P. Lovecraft, and the Cthulhu Mythos was born. In the 90 years since, dozens of writers have dared play within HPL’s mind-blowing creation—but never with such terrifyingly funny results. Now top authors lampoon, parody, and subvert Lovecraft’s Mythos. See Cthulhu cut short his nap at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to invade North Korea! Watch the Unspeakable Eater of Souls solve crimes on the pulpy streets of Innsmouth! And speaking of largish Elder Gods, listen to a plastic Elvis doll dispense folksy advice straight from the heart of the Emperor of Dread! Again Ol’ Tentacle-Face is confronted by frail humans who dare defy the Incarnation of Ultimate Evil—but this time not by brave monster hunters and terrified villagers, but by fan fiction writers, clueless college students, and corporate lawyers (okay, we realize it’s hard to know who to root for in that confrontation).
Twenty-three mirthful manifestations within the Cthulhu Mythos from best-selling and award-winning authors Neil Gaiman, Mike Resnick, Esther Friesner, Ken Liu, Jody Lynn Nye, Laura Resnick, Nick Mamatas, and many more!
Guaranteed to leave you howling. Because if you look at it just right, there’s nothing funnier than a soul writhing in cosmic horror before a tentacled maw of malevolence. As HPL himself saith: “From even the greatest of horrors irony is seldom absent.”
Lilyn: Look, let’s face it, we all know I’m probably going to hate this book. It takes a lot to tickle my funny bone. But, it’s called the Cackle of Cthulhu and it has a horrible knock-knock joke in the synopsis. I can’t say no!
The 12 Terrors of Christmas by Claudette Melanson
Award-winning author Claudette Melanson offers eleven new and original stories to make your skin crawl at any time of the year. This horror anthology also includes an original short by Amazon International Best-Selling Author, Lynn Lamb, titled Bring Me Flesh and Bring Me Wine. A special bonus story is also included by Melanson, Mislead, previously published only on the Halloweenpalooza blog. Grab a cup of cocoa and make sure the windows and doors are locked tight as you settle in by the fire to enjoy these tales of terror, but be warned…locks have never been succeeded at keeping Santa from gaining entry. If you enjoy a slice of horror with your holiday cheer, this collection of Christmas horror shorts will satisfy all your dark cravings during the holidays…and beyond.
Terror One: Who is Santa really? Does something sinister lurk beneath the red suit and apple-cheeked visage? More importantly, what does Santa want for Christmas?
Terror Two: It is said that every wish bears a cost…even a wish of good intent. What do Detective Talbot and his son, Mallory, stand to lose when the pair seek to right a wrong on Christmas Eve?
Terror Three: Christmas can be a time for great joy…but also for heart-wrenching regret. Can the magic of Christmas Eve turn back the clock before time runs out for Morana and her family?
Terror Four: Snow falls white and clean, seeming to purify the small town of Moon, Pennsylvania, but the woods behind Vaughn’s home have taken on a sinister cast. The snow keeps falling in record-breaking depths, but does evil lay hidden beneath its seemingly-innocent luster?
Terror Five: As his elves scurry to fill the toy orders for the busy season, unknown terror creeps toward the workshop intent on releasing an evil meant to cancel Santa’s yearly deliveries forever.
Terror Six: A well-meaning elf casts a spell which could inadvertently reveal the dark truth about Santa’s workshop and its inhabitants. The world’s children may end up paying a terrifying price, proving that the path of good intention oftentimes does indeed lead to hell.
Terror Seven: A scary twist on a classic Christmas poem
Terror Eight: Santa’s sleigh plummets to the ground, tearing all hope of a merry Christmas to bits and pieces. Will the elves be able to employ enough magic to stitch together some sort of solution? Or will their efforts only deliver greater horror and loss?
Terror Nine: Trinette is preparing to celebrate her first Christmas in love. Her boyfriend says he found the perfect gift for her but beneath the shiny red paper and ribbon lies a secret he’s kept hidden during all the months of their courtship…
Terror Ten: The world’s population explosion means business is booming at Santa’s workshop, with the need to expand making a difficult excavation below the permafrost necessary. But the elves should use caution lest they dig up an evil best left buried.
Terror Eleven: A special holiday treat for Maura DeLuca fans! Riptide ended on a happy note, but how did Maura’s extended family celebrate Christmas? Could it be that the holiday didn’t quite play out the way the vampires planned?
Terror Twelve: It’s a dangerous time to call oneself a non-believer. Those who scoff at Santa’s existence are melting all over the world. But could the benevolent head elf turn out to be the murderer?
Vampires, ghosts, demons, elves, werewolves, serial killers and a rampaging Krampus are just a few of the monsters creeping amongst the pages of The 12 Terrors of Christmas. Are you brave enough to venture inside to experience the flip side of the typical Hallmark-themed Christmas?
GracieKat: I have had this on pre-order and can’t wait to read it to get me in the right holiday ‘spirit’.
Welcome to Battleschool.
Growing up is never easy. But try living on the mean streets as a child begging for food and fighting like a dog with ruthless gangs of starving kids who wouldn’t hesitate to pound your skull into pulp for a scrap of apple. If Bean has learned anything on the streets, it’s how to survive. And not with fists—He is way too small for that—But with brains.
Bean is a genius with a magician’s ability to zero in on his enemy and exploit his weakness.
What better quality for a future general to lead the Earth in a final climactic battle against a hostile alien race, known as Buggers. At Battleschool Bean meets and befriends another future commander—Ender Wiggins—perhaps his only true rival.
Only one problem: for Bean and Ender, the future is now.
Lilyn: My love for Ender’s Game is something I frequently talk about. However, I had no clue that Ender’s Shadow even existed. I recently found out about it, and now that I have, I have to read it! Bean was an awesome character, and I look forward to seeing him explored in Ender’s Shadow.
Hell Girl – Volume 1 by Miyuki Eto
SHE’S COMING FOR YOU. . . .
When you thirst for revenge, there’s a surefire way to get it: Simply go to the strange website that appears only at midnight, and enter the name of your enemy. The Hell Girl will appear to drag your tormentor to eternal damnation. But you will have to pay a price . . . your soul!
GracieKat: I want to start reading more manga this year and what better place to start than with Ai Enma. I’m hoping it will give me more to her story than the anime does.
Dead Sea by Brian Keene
The streets of the city are no longer safe. They are filled with zombies – the living dead, rotting predators driven only by a need to kill and eat. For Lamar Reed and a handful of others, their safe haven is an old ship out at sea. But it will soon become a deathtrap, and they’ll learn that isolation can also mean no escape.
Lilyn: I’ve already read this book, and the ending sticks with me years later. However, I want to give it a proper read through again. Actually, I just want to re-experience Keene’s works again so that I can write them up for the site. He’s a fantastic writer with a talent for disturbing imagery that haunts your mind.
Ghosts by Gaslight edited by Jack Dann and Nick Gevers
Modern masters of the supernatural weave their magic to revitalize the chilling Victorian and Edwardian ghostly tale: here are haunted houses, arcane inventions, spirits reaching across the centuries, ghosts in the machine, fateful revelations, gaslit streets scarcely keeping the dark at bay, and other twisted variations on the immortal classics that frighten us still.
GracieKat: I can never seem to get interested in a novel length steampunk book but I thought a good way to ease into the genre would be ghostly short stories.
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous…you’ll recognize it immediately.
Lilyn: I own this, and have owned it for a while. But I’ve never read past the first couple of pages. There’s really no excuse for that. This book isn’t terribly long, and it’s a much-loved book in the genre, so I definitely intend on getting it read one of these long winter nights.
Black Cathedral (Department 18 #1) by L.H. Maynard and M.P.N. Sims
At an old manor house on a remote Scottish island, six managers of a large corporation arrive for a week-long stay. Within days they will all suffer horrifying deaths and their bodies will never be found. The government assigns the case to Department 18, the special unit created to investigate the supernatural and the paranormal. However this is no mere haunted house. The evil on this island goes back centuries, but its unholy plots and schemes are hardly things of the past. In fact, while the members of Department 18 race to unravel the island’s secrets, the forces of darkness are gathering and preparing to attack.
GracieKat: I read this once, quite a long time ago and really liked it. I had no idea at the time that it was part of a series. Since then I’ve gotten the sequel so nw I want to give the series a go. I’d like to try a few more series this coming year, provided they’re reasonably short of course! Hopefully it’s as good as I remember it.
What about you? What’s on your winter reading list this year?
Lilyn G is the founder of Sci-Fi & Scary, and leader of the Coolthulhu Crew. She does book and film reviews for both genres the site focuses on. Her tastes run towards creature features, hard science fiction, and lots and lots of action. She also has a soft spot for middle-grade fiction that rears its head frequently.
Though no longer involved with Ladies of Horror Fiction due to other responsibilities and a too-full plate, she was one of the original 4 co-founders.
Feel free to chat her up on Twitter as long as you aren’t hitting her up to review your book.
Good luck with your steampunk adventures in ‘Ghosts by Gaslight’.
I have read ‘Snow Crash a few times. I really like that book. I like all of Stephensons stuff up until the last three books…
The Orson Scott Card novel reminded me of another three name shyster, oops, I mean author, named Walter Jon Williams. Have you read any of him?
I haven’t read Walter Jon Williams! Will have to look him up.
The one sci-fi/fantasy book in the reading pile at the moment is B. Catling’s “The Vorrh,” which I have to admit to picking up because the sequel in my bookstore looks good. And V. E. Schwab’s third book in her series before I go to the Arisia sci-fi/fantasy con in Boston in January, where she will be one of the guests of honor.
That said, assuming that probate doesn’t eat up all my time and we don’t get another winter from Niflheim, finishing off the current blog story (already complete, but being posted weekly) and writing a story of publication quality are must-dos for the winter.
V.E. Schwab is a good writer. I haven’t heard of The Vorrh! Good luck on your writing.
I should get to “The Vorrh” this coming month. Will tell you how it goes.
I was looking for some holiday reads. See a few horror ones I like too. Can’t go wrong with Brian Keene. He always has such great covers. And Symphony looks good too. Got to go check some of these out now.
Brian Keene is (or at least was – haven’t read him in a while ) one of the best horror writers out there.
I agree with Teri on Tipping Point. 🙂 (Must get to Patient Zero in the not too distant future).
Yes, you really do need to get to Patient Zero!!
Tipping Point is a thrilling read – the second in the series just as good.
I’ve not heard anything bad about Tipping Point. Always good to hear positive reviews from people I trust 🙂
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