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Also noted


This is not meant to be all inclusive but merely a sampling of dark fiction available in 2010.

H. P. Lovecraft’s the Old Ones make another devastating appearance in Melinda Snodgrass’s The Edge of Ruin, sequel to The Edge of Reason (Tor). The Lovecraftian is also present in the reissue by Hippocampus Press of H. B. Drake’s 1928 novel The Shadowy Thing, with an Introduction by S. T. Joshi. Charles Stross’s The Fuller Memorandum (Ace) is a Lovecraftian dark fantasy in his Laundry Files series.

Zombies are still popping up all over—as in Mira Grant’s Feed (Orbit), first of a trilogy about life fifteen years after the outbreak. Linda Watanabe McFerron’s Dead Love is an international thriller taking place mostly in a Japan rife with yakuza and global conspiracy (Stone Bridge Press). Night Shade published Amelia Beamer’s first novel The Loving Dead, about a group of jaded hipsters living in Oakland, and the mashup, Harrison Geillor’s The Zombies of Lake Woebegotten. Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen (Orbit) is about a couple breaking up in the midst of the zombie apocalypse. In Robin Becker’s Brains: A Zombie Memoir (Eos) the zombie protagonist just wants to bring peace to zombies and humans. Chasing the Dragon, a short novel by Nicholas Kaufmann (Chizine Publications), has zombies in it too, although these are animated by a dragon that reincarnates over many lifetimes and is always hunted by a “George” (of St. George and the Dragon). This George is female and a mess—a junkie who can barely keep herself together, let alone save the world. Pulpy fun, full of viscera. Bob Finger-man, whose Bottomfeeder was a clever satiric take on vampires, has now written Pariah (Tor), a novel about zombies coming to New York. Dust by Joan Frances Turner (Berkley) is about a fifteen-year-old girl killed in a car accident. Seven years later she’s a member of a zombie “family” that hunts, fights, and takes care of one another. Desperate Souls by Gregory Lamberson (Medallion) is a zombie mystery set in New York. Jonathan Maberry’s YA novel Rot and Ruin (Simon & Schuster) is about a teenage boy trying to survive in a world taken over by zombies. No Flesh Shall Be Spared by Carnell (ZED Presents) is about zombie pit fighting. Paul Is Undead by Alan Goldsher (Gallery) posits three of the Beatles as zombies, Ringo as a ninja. Stephen Jones creates his own Zombie Apocalypse! (Robinson/Running Press) with the help of nineteen writers who build a novel of interlocking parts via emails, blogs, letters, diaries, and transcripts. Play Dead by Ryan Brown (Gallery) is a humorous novel about a high school football team brought back from the dead in order to play for the championship.

Werewolves still roam the bookshelves—The Frenzy Way by Gregory Lamberson (Medallion) features a police procedural in a New York City overrun by werewolves. Left for Undead by L. A. Banks (St. Martin’s Press) is the sixth in the author’s Crimson Moon series. Francesca Lia Block’s The Frenzy (Harper Teen) is about a teenage werewolf. Jonathan Maberry provided the novelization of The Wolfman movie (Tor). Overwinter: A Werewolf Tale by David Wellington (Three Rivers) is a sequel to his novel Frostbite. A newly turned werewolf must survive hunters and the dangerous snow and ice in the Canadian Northern Territories.

Tom Fletcher’s The Leaping (Quercus) is about what happens when a young woman buys an old, mysterious ruin in the British countryside and gives a house party that quickly goes out of control.

Vampire fiction remains as popular as ever as shown by the reception given Justin Cronin’s The Passage, a bestselling and critically acclaimed first novel of a forthcoming trilogy. There were plenty of other vampire novels out in 2010 including Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Fall (HarperCollins/Morrow), a sequel to The Stain, about a viral vampire plague. Blood Prophecy by Stefan Petruchka (Grand Central) is about a vampire seeking a cure for his condition during the Napoleonic period. Mario Acevedo’s Werewolf Smackdown (Eos) combines both werewolves and vampires as a vampire detective investigates a werewolf gang war. Christopher Farnsworth’s Blood Oath (Penguin) is the first book in a series about a secret agent who has protected American presidents for over 140 years. Vintage Soul by David Niall Wilson (Eclipse) is a mystery about the abduction of a three-hundred-year-old vampire and the investigator called in to find her.

Other monsters: The Curse of the Wendigo, a YA novel by Rick Yancy (Simon & Schuster) is a sequel to the author’s The Monstrumologist. Dr. Pellinore Warthrop and his apprentice travel from Canada to New York City in search of who—or what—is responsible for a gruesome series of murders. Killer plants are the monsters in The Caretaker of Lorne Field by Dave Zeltserman (The Overlook Press). Frankenstein’s Monster by Susan Heyboer O’Keefe is a sequel to Mary Shelley’s classic (Random House/Three Rivers Press). Adam Nevill’s Apartment 16 might not be the best flat to inhabit in London (Pan, UK) judging from its history. But of course, an innocent inherits it from her possibly mad aunt and chooses to live there anyway. John Everson’s Siren is about a grief-stricken man seduced by a mythical creature. A Gathering of Crows by Brian Keene (Dorchester/Leisure) is about demonic creatures that feed on a small town. Sparrow Rock by Nate Kenyon (Leisure/Bad Moon Books) sports mutant monsters after a nuclear war. Mr. Monster by Dan Wells (Tor), sequel to I Am Not a Serial Killer, is about what happens in a small town after a demon was killed. Empire of Salt by Weston Ochse (Abaddon Books) is about what comes out of the sea in the California town of Bombay Beach. If you’re afraid of clowns, you might want to avoid Terry Dowling’s Clowns at Midnight (PS Publishing). Lady Lazarus by Michele Lang (Tor) is about a woman descended from witches who, during WWII, might be all there is between us and a Nazi takeover of the entire world.

Bentley Little’s The Disappearance (Penguin/Signet) is about a student who disappears at a Burning Man celebration. Michael Shea’s The Extra (Tor) is a clever novel about a Hollywood director who discovers just how popular killing extras (for real) on screen is when making monster movies. Hell Hollow by Ronald Kelly (CD) is about a Southern town with an ancient secret. Black Hills by Dan Simmons (Little Brown/Reagan Arthur Books) is about a Sioux boy haunted by the ghost of Custer. Dog Blood, the second of the Hater trilogy by David Moody (St. Martin’s Press), is about a plague of sudden rages and killings. In Alexandra Sokoloff ’s Book of Shadows (St. Martin’s Press) a detective investigates a ritualistic murder. No Sleep Till Wonderland by Paul Tremblay (Henry Holt) is the fine sequel to The Little Sleep, about a narcoleptic detective. Ramsey Campbell had a new novel out from PS called The Seven Days of Cain about a photographer who starts getting email from a serial killer. Kaaron Warren’s second novel Walking the Tree (Angry Robot) is about a massive tree that takes up most of an island and its hold on the community that lives around it. The House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle (Henry Holt) is a prequel to Wuthering Heights and speculates on the childhood of Heathcliff. Sideshow by William Ollie (Dark Regions Press) is about a dark carnival that draws in two young boys.

Some notable debuts: The Dead Path by Stephen M. Irwin (Doubleday) of Australia is about a man cursed with second sight. Black and Orange by Benjamin Kane Ethridge (Bad Moon Books) is about the real purpose of Halloween. The Castle of Los Angeles by Lisa Morton (Gray Friar Press) is about a haunted theater and its new owner. Spellbent by Lucy A. Snyder (Del Rey) is about a young mage who, after barely surviving a fight with a demon, journeys to rescue her lover, who may be in Hell. Madigan Mine by Kirstyn McDermott (Picador Australia) is about a young man haunted (or possessed) by a woman who committed suicide.


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