The Books of 2019 That Will Chill You To The Bone
2018 was one hell of a good year for me in terms of books and discovery of new (and new-to-me) authors and publishers. 2019 is shaping up to be even better, with plenty of hot titles on the way. Earlier, Logan Noble shared a handful of his most anticipated releases of the New Year, a few of which I’m quite excited for, too. I’ve avoided repeating titles listed in Logan’s piece, but rest assured I haven’t forgotten about Mallory O’Meara’s non-fiction debut The Lady from the Black Lagoon or S.P. Miskowski’s The Worst Is Yet To Come! Below, or any of the others Logan listed. If you haven’t already, make sure you check out his 9 in ‘19 to watch for. Below, you’ll find more than 40 upcoming releases that I’m excited about, books that I think you’ll enjoy and should be excited about to, as well as some info on additional upcoming releases from small press and indie authors you’ll want to keep an eye out for.
Let’s get started!
Where Stars Won’t Shine by Patrick Lacey
Grindhouse Press | Jan. 5, 2019
Dropping straight off into the New Year is Patrick Lacey’s latest, courtesy of Grindhouse Press. Grindhouse became a publisher to watch for me, based on the strength of releases like CV Hunt’s Cockblock and Bryan Smith’s Kill For Satan. I was excited at the prospect of Lacey joining forced with Grindhouse, and Where Stars Won’t Shine sounds promising as hell. On his Facebook page, Lacey describes it as a book about serial killer culture and a haunted town. A haunted town!? Oh hell yes!
SIX by Lucas Greaves
Jan. 6, 2019
Admittedly, I know absolutely nothing about SIX, but when Lucas showed off this Kealan Patrick Burke-designed cover on Twitter back in October, it immediately caught my eye. The book’s page on Lucas’s website teasingly offers only the following information: “A dark passenger has taken the reigns.” Awesome artwork and a plot shrouded in mystery. Greaves has both my curiosity and my attention. No word on when it officially releases, but I’ll be sure to grab a copy once it finally does launch.
The Coming Storm by Mark Alpert
St. Martin’s Press | Jan. 8, 2019
This near-future thriller is heavily influenced by present-day politics and cutting-edge scientific advancements. Check out that James Rollins quote, too; that ought to put a shiver down your spine. I was fortunate enough to read an ARC of The Coming Storm and my review post soon. For now, I’ll just say it’s one hell of a read, filled to the brim with crazy and frighteningly plausible ideas. Watch out for this one soon!
And Hell Followed: An Anthology
Death’s Head Press | Jan. 15, 2019
New publisher Death’s Head Press makes its big debut with their first release, an anthology of apocalyptic horror inspired by the Book of Revelation. Expect all sorts of bat-shit craziness from its contributors, which includes Wrath James White, Jeff Strand, Christine Morgan, Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason, Wile E. Young, and more, as they explore what would happen if the prophecies of Revelation were fulfilled today.
Vultures (Miriam Black #6) by Chuck Wendig
Saga Press | Jan. 22, 2019
Vultures is the sixth and final Miriam Black book. It’s the end of the road for our favorite tough chick who knows how you will die. Admittedly, I’m still three books behind on this series, but I’m sorely tempted to start a re-read and binge my way through the whole damn series.
The Satanic Rites of Sasquatch and Other Weird Stories by Nick Cato
Bizarro Pulp Press, an imprint of JournalStone | Jan. 25, 2019
Do you really need me to spell it out? That title! That cover! Hell yeah, The Satanic Rites of Sasquatch and Other Weird Stories is a 2019 must-read! Seriously, how could you possible not want to read that fucking thing immediately?
Vigilance by Robert Jackson Bennett
Tor | Jan. 29, 2019
A sci-fi novella depicting an America that has completely surrendered to gun violence. This doesn’t sound all that far-fetched, not even the television game show aspect of it.
The Hungry Ones (Book 2 of The Messy Man Series) by Chris Sorensen
Harmful Monkey Press | TBA (expected January 2019)
It should go without saying that I am good and truly looking forward to Sorensen’s next release, following his horror debut last year with the excellent The Nightmare Room. I liked that book so much, Chris pulled a blurb from my review to grace the cover of The Hungry Ones. I was fortunate to read the first couple chapters of this one and it looks like this book could be even better than the opening volume of his Messy Man series.
Master of Pain by Wrath James White and Kristopher Rufty
Death’s Head Press | Late January
Master of Pain might just have a lock on Most Suggestive Cover of 2019, but expect the insides to be even more provocative as two of the roughest writers in Extreme Horror join forces to explore BDSM in a story inspired by America’s first online serial killer. Death’s Head Press is prepping this for a wide-release in early 2019, and Necro Publications will be releasing a signed and lettered hardcover edition in January.
The Killer Collective by Barry Eisler
Thomas & Mercer | Feb. 1, 2019
I’ve been a big fan of Barry Eisler’s John Rain series for a long time now, and have fallen deeply in love with his newest protagonist, Livia Lone. The Killer Collective brings both of these flawed, intriguing antiheroes together in one book. I expect this one will get the blood pumping in short order and set your nerves on fire.
The Hard Goodbye by Chris Miller
Death’s Head Press | Feb. 1, 2019
Miller’s set to deliver what looks to be a work of hard-boiled horror. After pulling off the biggest job of their lives, John Savage’s crew starts turning up dead, their bodies badly mutilated.
Rose Blood by Chris Kosarich
Horrorgasms Press | TBA (expected mid-February)
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Chris Kosarch will be dropping Rose Blood on us. If that cover is anything to go by, WOW. It’s definitely giving me a Hot Blood vibe, which is no bad thing at all.
Skidding into Oblivion by Brian Hodge
ChiZine Publications | Feb. 19, 2019
I haven’t read much of Hodge’s work, but what little I’ve experienced I’ve enjoyed. Skidding into Oblivion is his fifth collection of short stories, and the entries included here all sound like they’re worth the price of admission.
Carnivorous Lunar Activities by Max Booth III
Feb. 22, 2019 | Fangoria
Don’t get too attached to this cover art - it’s a placeholder mock-up while Fangoria’s artist finishes up the final image. This one’s described a Southern Fried werewolf horror book that’s An American Werewolf in London by way of Bubba Ho-Tep. It reportedly has a lot of dick jokes, too. Sounds like things could get awfully hairy.
Winterbloom by Jessica Rydill
Kristell Ink | Feb. 28, 2019
A Daniele Serra cover art is always an easy way to pique my curiosity, and Winterbloom is no exception. Jessica Rydill has crafted a work of fantasy that sounds absolutely epic, spanning multiple worlds circa 1920s England. Sophie Vasilyevich has an unusual destiny - to be kidnapped at 16, and nobody can stop it. As an alliance of shamans, ghosts and gods assembles in a desperate attempt to recover Sophie and prevent the destruction of their worlds, they find that their only hope may lie in Sophie’s gift, and in a power older than time itself. Heady stuff to be sure!
Blood They Brought and Other Stories by Ed Kurtz
Journalstone | March 8, 2019
A new release from Ed Kurtz is always reason enough to add him to the must-read pile, and his 2018 novella collection, At the Mercy of Beasts, was a high point, also from JournalStone. Besides, take a gander at that cover! JournalStone’s art department is absolutely killing it, and they’ve been producing some of the most attention-grabbing covers of recent memory. This C.H.U.D. looking bastard fronting Blood They Brought is reason enough for me to plunk down cash on my pre-order. As with At the Mercy of Beasts, it’s looking like Blood They Brought will be a collection of various historical horror stories, including trips to medieval Scotland, Old West Texas, a Tsarist Russia. Hell yeah!
Will Haunt You by Brian Kirk
Flame Tree Press | March 14, 2019
Folklore tells of a dangerous and evil book, of a mysterious figure who torments those who read the book and terrorizes them in deeply personal and intimate ways. Safe to say, Will Haunt You earns it spot as to book to watch for based on its killer premise alone.
The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley
Saga Press | March 19, 2019
In the future, soldiers are broken down into light in order to transport them to the front-lines of the war on Mars. It’s a cool premise, and I’m a fairly recent Hurley convert having dug her The Stars Are Legion and Apocalypse Nyx collection. I expect this to be gritty, violent, and foul-mouthed - all the things I love in my science fiction.
Permafrost by Alastair Reynolds
Tor Books | March 19, 2019
Time Travel. The Arctic Circle. Global ruin. Alastair Reynolds. A Tor novella. Yup, this one ticks all the right boxes to get my interest.
Motherland by Lauren Beukes
Mulholland Books | April 1, 2019
A new Lauren Beukes book landing on April 1? From the looks of things, Motherland ain’t going to be one to fool around. I flat out loved both The Shining Girls and Broken Monsters, the former of which put Beukes on my radar and earned her Day 1 Must Buy status. Somewhat reminiscent of the comic book series Y: The Last Man, Motherland posits a future America that has seen the male population decimated by a super virus. A desperate mother is on the run, hoping to build a new life for herself and her son, Motherland promises to blend psychological suspense and American noir, as well as return Beukes to her publishing roots of science fiction (her fiction debut was the cyberpunk dystopian Moxyland back in 2008).
The Last by Hanna Jameson
Atria Books | April 9, 2019
After the world descends into nuclear war, twenty survivors at a Swiss hotel discover they have a murderer in their midst. Turns out, the hotel has its share of murders and suicides in its history, too. A secluded resort, a nuclear apocalypse, a killer, maybe some ghosts? Sounds like a must-read to me!
Ghosts of Gotham by Craig Schaefer
47North | April 9, 2019
A debunker of supernatural frauds investigating a lost Edgar Allan Poe manuscript making waves in New York City’s literary underworld is enough to get me excited for this one. Secret history, lost manuscripts, murder, and the paranormal? Oh hell yes. Count me in.
The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz
Flame Tree Press | April 11, 2019
Over the course of 2019, Flame Tree Press is slated to release the entirety of Jonathan Janz’s out of print backlist, but in April they’re taking a small break to issue his newest work, The Dark Game. This one involves a group of writers on a summer writing retreat. I’m sure everything will just be peachy-keene, bonds will be forged, lifetime friendships made, summer love, all that jazz. Or, you know, things will go horribly wrong and there will be lots and lots of grisly deaths and kinky sex. Whatever. All I need to know is that Janz wrote it and I’m in line to read it.
The Pandora Room by Christopher Golden
St. Martin’s Press | April 23, 2019
Christopher Golden won the 2017 Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel with Ararat. Given the ending to that book and the background of its central protagonist, Ben Walker, it seemed like a sequel would be a no-brainer. The Pandora Room trades Ararat’s high-altitude arctic extremes for hot, barren desert extremes in what promises to be one hell of an awesome follow-up.
The Invited by Jennifer McMahon
Doubleday | April 30, 2019
I have yet to read Jennifer McMahon’s novel, but she’s been on my radar after the enormous amount of praise she received for The Winter People. The Invited looks to provide a neat twist on the haunted house tale as a couple begin building their dream home on tainted land, inadvertently conjuring the ghosts of the past.
We Live Inside Your Eyes by Kealan Patrick Burke
A new collection of stories from the consistently excellent Kealan Patrick Burke, with an incredible and evocative cover designed by Kealan Patrick Burke. This dude is a wonder.
Do Not Go Quietly: An Anthology of Victory in Defiance
Edited by Jason Sizemore and Lesley Conner
Apex Book Company | April 2019
Apex Books ran a highly successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the publication of this Resistance anthology, which I proudly backed. The anthology will include such writers as A. Merc Rustad, Rebecca Roanhorse, Maurice Broaddus, Nayad Monroe, Karin Lowachee, Brooke Bolander, John Hornor Jacobs, Laird Barron, Brian Keene, Cassandra Khaw, Sheree Renée Thomas, Catherynne M. Valente, Seanan McGuire, Fran Wilde, Rich Larson, Sarah Pinsker, Tal M. Klein, Dee Warrick, Bianca Spriggs, Russell Nichols, and J.F. Gonzalez (co-writing with Lesley Conner). Sounds like a no-brainer Must Read to me.
Inside the Asylum by Mary SanGiovanni
Kensington (Lyrical Underground) | May 7, 2019
Inside the Asylum is the third, behind Chills and Behind the Door, featuring occult detective Kathy Ryan. I’m a huge fan of Ryan, and the cover gives me hope that the Hands of Terror so popular with Leisure Books might be making a return between this one and Behind the Door. If the title is anything to go by, fans of Chills should be in for a treat.
Splintered by Jon McGoran
Holiday House | May 14, 2019
The Splice series is McGoran’s first run at Young Adult fiction, with Splintered being book two. I haven’t read Spliced yet, but the set-up involving back alley genetic modifications and legislation poised to declare chimeras non-human and stripped of their rights sounds like a potent combination.
Shark Beach by Chris Jameson
St. Martin’s Paperbacks | May 28, 2019
Chris Jameson (Bram Stoker-winning author Christopher Golden’s shark writing pseudonym) scores a hat trick with the publication of this third shark-centric entry to kick off beach reading season. I dug the hell out of Shark Island and Devil Sharks, so you bet your ass I’ll be sitting down with Shark Beach this year. After a Florida hurricane lets loose sharks being used for military research, you might be questioning the wisdom of going for a swim. Me, I’ll be reading this one on dry land far away from any open bodies of water.
Recursion by Blake Crouch
Crown Publishing | June 11, 2019
Dark Matter was one of the best of 2016, and Recursion sounds like Crouch is aiming for an even more ambitious scope in this sci-fi thriller that allows users of a new technology to not only preserve their own memories but to rewrite them entirely.
The Sol Majestic by Ferrett Steinmetz
Tor Books | June 11, 2019
I’m more than a bit ashamed to admit I haven’t read Ferrett’s work since his debut novel, Flex, with Angry Robot Books a few years back. I briefly met the man at the Michigan fan-run SF/F convention ConFusion as few years back thanks to my editor and bought all his books in that series, each of which look absolutely gorgeous. The Sol Majestic caught my eye as a must-read of 2019 for a few reasons. First, Ferrett said on his website that he believes this to be the best book he’s ever written. Considering how damn good Flex was, well, checking out this new one is a no-brainer. He also said his initial pitch for the book was “Anthony Bourdain meets space opera,” and how the hell could I not want to read that? I was and am a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain, going back to his days on No Reservations, and his death still saddens me. In fact, I suspect his suicide is one I’ll long remember, as he died on my birthday. The day I turned 39, I woke up to news of his passing. If this far-flung foodie fantasy can serve as an intergalactic tribute to Bourdain, then all the more reason to spend time in Steinmetz’s new world and absorb it all. I also greatly enjoyed what I’ve read of Matt Wallace’s Sin du Jour series, an urban fantasy foodie series about caterers serving the underworld. Put something like that into outer space and I’m freaking sold! Plus, I’m just genuinely curious about Ferrett’s approach to food in space! Airplane food tastes funny because of the altitude, so how will things be in the vacuum of space? Will there be alien ingredients? How does the chef get his groceries? Is the Kitchen Confidential rule of never ordering fish at a restaurant on Monday back in fashion? I’ve got questions, man, and I want answers!
A Dangerous Man by Robert Crais
G.P. Putnamn’s Son | June 18, 2019
I’m currently four books behind when it comes to releases from Robert Crais, but I’m aiming to catch up in 2019. Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are my hands-down favorite PI pairing. This eighteenth outing sounds like it’s going to be one hell of a case for tough-guy Pike and smart-ass Cole, as they investigate “a twisted family story that involves corporate whistleblowing, huge amounts of cash, the Witness Relocation Program, and a long line of lies” following the disappearance of a woman whose life Pike saved.
Ward by Kealan Patrick Burke
TBA June 2019
2019 is bringing us not one but two - TWO! - brand-new books from Kealan Patrick Burke. The exact date of release hasn’t been firmed up yet, but Burke informed me he roughly expects to release Ward in June. It might be sooner, it might be later, but rest assured it’s coming. Frankly, I was excited about this just for being a prequel to Sour Candy, but that cover. Good lord, that cover. Wa
Wanderers by Chuck Wendig
Del Rey | July 2, 2019
An apocalyptic doorstopper epic from Chuck Wendig in which America is plagued by an epidemic of sleepwalkers. I WANT IT NOW PLEASE THANK YOU.
They Kill by Tim Waggoner
Flame Tree Press | July 11, 2019
I don’t know much about Waggoner’s forthcoming Flame Tree Press novel, but I expect plenty of horrific weirdness. Fingers crossed a certain pink devil makes another appearance!
The Other Mrs. Miller by Allison Dickson
Random House | July 16, 2019
Allison Dickson, author of the indie horror novel Strings, makes her big publishing debut in July with this domestic thriller that asks how well you know your neighbors. After a seemingly perfect family moves in next door, Phoebe Miller suddenly feels like she’s being watched, a suspicion that is all but confirmed when threatening notes begin appearing on her doorstep.
The Extinction Agenda by Michael Laurence
St. Martin’s Press | Aug. 27, 2019
Michael McBride, author of the Unit 51 series, adopts a new pen-name for this thriller centering around an FBI agent attempting to take down a shadow organization before they can commit an act of mass genocide by unleashing a killer virus upon the world. If you’ve read McBride before, you’ll know to expect plenty of horrifyingly plausible science alongside heady doses of history and conspiracy. If you haven’t read McBride yet, do yourself a favor and get on that ASAP.
Hex Life: Wicked New Tales Of Witchery
Titan Books | TBA
Editors Christopher Golden and Rachel Autumn Deering (Husk), Hex Life is an all-women anthology featuring stories from Theodora Goss, Kat Howard, Angela Slatter, Kelley Armstrong, Sarah Langan, Mary SanGiovanni, Rachel Caine, Jennifer McMahon, Kristin Dearborn, Hillary Monahan, Ania Ahlborn, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Tananarive Due, Amber Benson, Chesya Burke, Helen Marshall, and Alma Katsu. This is one hell of a bewitching anthology, and when Golden announced it on his social media pages just a few days before Christmas I became immediately enamored. This is the anthology to watch for. And for all those editors out there whining about how difficult it is to find women authors and represent diverse writers - suck it. You’ve just been called out big-time, and the results look fucking glorious.
Pestilent: A Novel by Rachel Autumn Deering and Matt Hayward
Rachel Autumn Deering made her debut in 2016 with Husk, originally released as a part of Brian Keene’s limited edition set of hardcovers through his Maelstrom imprint at Thunderstorm Books. Her comic book work has won her nominations for both the Eisner and Harvey Award, although she’s left the comic book world behind to focus solely on prose work. In 2018, she published a pair of short stories in two of that year’s finest anthologies, Welcome to the Show and Lost Highways: Dark Fictions From the Road. In 2019, her and Matt Hayward (The Faithful) will be releasing the result of their collaboration in the form of Pestilent: A Novel. I don’t know a damn thing about this book, but I desperately want to read it simply because of the authors involved and because of the striking cover, designed by Rachel. I want it, and I want it bad.
Drago Descending by Greg F. Gifune
Down & Out Books | TBA
Drago Descending - a noir occult thriller from Greg F. Gifune. What the hell more needs to be said? This book was originally published in 2002 but has been out of print for a while. Down & Out Books is reissuing this new Authors Preferred Edition sometime in 2019, and includes a new introduction from the author.
Tales from the Crust: An Anthology of Pizza Horror
Edited by David James Keaton and Max Booth III
Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing | TBA
Pizza. Horror. A whole anthology of crusty, cheesy horror, suspense, and (presumably) occultism. I’d like to have this delivered to my door immediately, but with no word on a street date just yet, it looks like I’m forced to wait. In the meantime, I’ll be eyeballing the hell out of this George C. Cotronis cover art.
Ninth Step Station
Created by Malka Older
Serial Box | TBA 2019
Serial Box seriously caught my attention in 2018 with the Brian Keene-created Silverwood: The Door, Season 1 and the Dread Central-led Exquisite Corpse. Ninth Step Station sounds like it’s going to be an extraordinary work of serialized sci-fi set in a deeply divided Tokyo. From Serial Box’s description, we can expect black market body modifications, drone surveillance, resistance fighters, and murder over the course of its eleven episodes. The story will rotate between authors Malka Older, Fran Wilde, Jacqueline Koyanagi, and Curtis C. Chen.
Created by Dan Koboldt
Serial Box | TBA 2019
The other Serial Box original to catch my eye is The Triangle. Created by Dan Koboldt, who will also share writing duties with Sylvia Spruck Wrigley, and Mindy McGinnis, the story will revolve around the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle. After several ships and airplanes go missing, leaving behind only bizarre radio transmissions, a group of investigators go on a hunt to solve the Triangle’s secrets. Instead, they end up stranded on a remote, unmapped island. I’m a sucker for Bermuda Triangle mysteries, and this one sounds like it might have some shades of LOST thrown in for good measure.
From Our Small Press Friends:
From Word Horde suggests we keep an eye out for Carrie Laben's A Hawk in the Woods (February), Brian Hauser's Memento Mori: The Fathomless Shadows (April), and Craig Gidney's A Spectral Hue (June).
Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing will be releasing George Daniel Lea’s Born in Blood (a story collection split into two volumes), Michael David Wilson’s The Girl in the Video (novella), W.P. Johnson’s The Eight Eyes That Watch You Die (collection about spider-themed horror).
Apex Book Company has a number of releases scheduled for 2019 beyond their Do Not Go Quietly anthology, including Brian Keene’s Hole in the World (a prequel to his Lost Level series), Pimp My Airship by Maurice Broaddus, Ren Warom’s Coil, and Ration by Cody T. Luff. You can read up on these releases and see what else Apex’s editors have in store at their blog.
Alien Agenda Publishing debuted in 2018 and don’t appear to be resting on their laurels in the New Year. Keep an eye out for Paradise, Maine, short novel by Jackson R. Thomas, Survive with Me, a charity anthology featuring a lot of my favorite inde writers, and hopefully a late spring-early summer release for Waiting for Darkness, a sequel to Glenn Rolfe’s werewolf thriller Blood and Rain.
Bloodshot Books just might be having their strongest year ahead of them with new releases from Tim Curran, Greg F. Gifune, and Brian Fatah Steele. I’m most excited for Curran’s Dead Sea Chronicles featuring new stories spinning out of his epic work of sea terror, Dead Sea. But, really, any new release by Curran is cause for excitement, as far as I’m concerned. Here’s what to expect from Bloodshot Books, courtesy of publisher Pete Kahle.
January - Bleed Away the Sky by Brian Fatah Steele
February - The Devil Virus by Chris DiLeo
March - What Sleeps Beneath by John Quick
April/May - The Cryptids by Elana Gomel
May/June - Dead Sea Chronicles by Tim Curran
June/July - Midnight Solitaire by Greg F. Gifune
July/August - Dead Branches by Benjamin Langley
August/September - The October Boys by Adam Millard
September/October - Clownflesh by Tim Curran
Even more to watch for!
Rachel Autumn Deering, mentioned above as co-editor of Hex Life and co-author of Pestilent: A Novel, unveiled cover art for a new solo novel, Wytchwood Hollow on her website way back in August 2017. It looks like 2019 is the year it finally releases. I have no information on this book, but I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for it.
J.H. Moncreiff has two books releasing over the course of 2019: Valley of the Sasquatch will be released by Severed Press this spring, followed by Those Who Came Before, from Flame Tree Press, in October.
Christine Morgan is set for two releases, as well, but may have more in the queue. Look for Lakehouse Infernal, an Edward Lee approved sequel to Lucifer’s Lottery, from Deadite Press, and Dawn of the Living-Impaired and Other Messed Up Zombie Stories from Death’s Head Press.
Matt Hayward has three releases slated over the course of 2019: a new novel titled From Up Here, a collection of stories called Various States of Decay, and A Penny For Your Thoughts co-written with Robert Ford.
John Hornor Jacobs will be releasing My Heart Struck Sorrow, a Southern historical horror and second in his two-novella deal with Harper Voyager. The first, The Sea Dreams It Is The Sky, released as an ebook this past October and was one of my favorite reads of 2018. My Heart Struck Sorrow will release over the summer in ebook and as part of a hardcover, titled A Lush and Seething Hell, that collects both The Sea Dreams It Is The Sky and My Heart Struck Sorrow. Expect an audiobook to accompany the collection as well.
Also in Summer 2019 is the fifth and final book in Edward Lorn’s Bay’s End series. No Home For Boys sees the return of Trey Franklin to the small Ohio town he grew up in. Over the course of this series, Lorn has been seeding in one hell of an overarching cosmic horror mythos that should all boil over to an epic finale.
What books are you most looking forward to in 2019? We want to know! Sound off below and let us know what’s on your radar!