Book Haul – 22 to 28 November 2020

I’m going to be hanging out with the air conditioner this weekend. It’s currently 38 degrees and the forecast for tomorrow is 43! That’s 109.4 for those you of you who think in Fahrenheit. So, rather than face the melting tar and burning beach sand, I’m planning on reading until about Monday when it gets back to my kind of weather.

I finally met the new magpie baby on Wednesday. I’ve got better photos of the baby by itself but this is the whole family. We’ve known Mama for years and she’s one of my favourite birds. She has attitude but is also a sweetheart. She lets us know she’s in by jumping on the kitchen windowsill; if we don’t acknowledge her in what she deems an appropriate amount of time, she’ll either tap on the window with her beak or start squawking at us. She loves being hand fed and makes a purring noise when she’s happy. Buddy is her new partner. Papa relocated with their two babies from last season.

From top to bottom: Bub, Buddy, Mama

Word of the Week: Tsundoku, which definitely doesn’t relate to me at all. 😜

Bookish Highlight of the Week: Black Friday sales! The one I want to highlight is the Undertow Publications eBook sale. Every eBook is currently $1 (USD) and the bonus is that you get cheap books and you get to help feed people!

The sale is still active at the time I’m publishing this post but I don’t know how much longer you have to take advantage of it. If you click on the image below it will take you to Undertow Publications.

Recent Reads:


Kindle Black Hole of Good Intentions

“A few years ago, I found myself in A&E. 

I had never felt so ill. I was mentally and physically broken. So fractured, I hadn’t eaten properly or slept well, or even changed my expression for months. I sat in a cubicle, behind paper-thin curtains and I shook with the effort of not crying. I was an inch away from defeat … but I knew I had to carry on. 

Because I wasn’t the patient. I was the doctor.”

In this powerful memoir, Joanna Cannon tells her story as a junior doctor in visceral, heart-rending snapshots. 

We walk with her through the wards, facing extraordinary and daunting moments: from attending her first post-mortem, sitting with a patient through their final moments, to learning the power of a well- or badly chosen word. These moments, and the small sustaining acts of kindness and connection that punctuate hospital life, teach her that emotional care and mental health can be just as critical as restoring a heartbeat.

In a profession where weakness remains a taboo, this moving, beautifully written book brings to life the vivid, human stories of doctors and patients – and shows us why we need to take better care of those who care for us.


Super fans. Groupies. Stalkers.

These people will give anything for the idols they worship, be they rock stars, actors or authors. Or even serial killers.

Lori is just such a fanatic. Her obsession is with Edmund Cox, a man of sadistic cruelty who butchered more than twenty women. She’s gone so far as to forge a relationship with him, visiting him in prison and sending him letters on a regular basis. She will do anything to get close to him, so when he gives her a task, she eagerly accepts it.

She has no idea of the horror that awaits her.

Edmund tells her she must go to his cabin in the woods of Killen and retrieve a key to deliver to a mysterious figure known only as The River Man.

In her quest, she brings along her handicapped sister, and they journey through the deep, dark valley, beginning their trip upriver. The trip quickly becomes a surreal nightmare, one that digs up Lori’s personal demons, the ones she feels bonds her to Edmund. The river runs with flesh, the cabin is a vault of horrors, and ghostly blues music echoes through the mountains. Soon they will learn that The River Man is not quite fact or folklore, and definitely not human – at least, not anymore. And the key is just the beginning of what is required of Lori to prove she’s worthy of a madman’s love.


The staggeringly brilliant and astonishing debut collection by powerful stylist Sunny Moraine. A heady stew of dark fantasy, dystopia, terror, and transcendence. “Sex, oddity, horror, transfiguration: Sunny Moraine’s stories cut straight through to the heart of even the most complicated concepts, turning words inside out with truly offensive skill, wringing them for every last scrap of beautiful terror. They will make readers want to write and writers want to stop writing, on the grounds that any idea they might have has demonstrably been done before, and far better.” – Gemma Files, Author of Experimental Film


Acclaimed author Kathe Koja brings her expert eye and editorial sense to the second volume of the Year’s Best Weird Fiction. Contributing authors include Julio Cortazar, Jean Muno, Karen Joy Fowler, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Nick Mamatas, Carmen Maria Machado, Nathan Ballingrud, and more.

No longer the purview of esoteric readers, weird fiction is enjoying wide popularity. Chiefly derived from early 20th-century pulp fiction, its remit includes ghost stories, the strange and macabre, the supernatural, fantasy, myth, philosophical ontology, ambiguity, and a healthy helping of the outre. At its best, weird fiction is an intersecting of themes and ideas that explore and subvert the Laws of Nature. It is not confined to one genre, but is the most diverse and welcoming of all genres.


Dark Miracles. Black Comedies. In an astonishing debut collection of short stories, Eric Schaller invites you to unlock the gates of horn, to ascend the bridge of sighs, and to meet him in the middle of the air. There you’ll encounter Edgar Allan Poe cavorting with Marilyn Monroe; intimate insects and blood red roses; apes and automata; and urban witches, parasites, and zombies. Explore the secret nightlife of the Oscar Wildes. Join the Sparrow Mumbler onstage. March in the menagerie of madness and mayhem. Just don’t look down because all that’s holding you aloft is … air.


Edited by Simon Strantzas, “Aickman’s Heirs” is an anthology of strange, weird tales by modern visionaries of weird fiction, in the milieu of Robert Aickman, the master of strange and ambiguous stories. Editor and author Strantzas, an important figure in Weird fiction, has been hailed as the heir to Aickman’s oeuvre, and is ideally suited to edit this exciting volume. Featuring all-original stories from Brian Evenson, Lisa Tuttle, John Langan, Helen Marshall, Michael Cisco, and others.


Showcasing the finest weird fiction from 2015, Volume 3 of the Year’s Best Weird Fiction is our biggest and most ambitious volume to date. 
Acclaimed editors Simon Strantzas and Michael Kelly bring their keen editorial sensibilities to the third volume of the Year’s Best Weird Fiction. The best weird stories of 2015 features work from Robert Aickman, Matthew M. Bartlett, Sadie Bruce, Nadia Bulkin, Ramsey Campbell, Brian Conn, Brian Evenson, L.S. Johnson, Rebecca Kuder, Tim Lebbon, Reggie Oliver, Lynda E. Rucker, Robert Shearman, Christopher Slatsky, D.P. Watt, Michael Wehunt, Marian Womack and Genevieve Valentine.

No longer the purview of esoteric readers, weird fiction is enjoying wide popularity. Chiefly derived from early 20th-century pulp fiction, its remit includes ghost stories, the strange and macabre, the supernatural, fantasy, myth, philosophical ontology, ambiguity, and a healthy helping of the outre. At its best, weird fiction is an intersecting of themes and ideas that explore and subvert the Laws of Nature. It is not confined to one genre, but is the most diverse and welcoming of all genres. 


The stunning new collection of weird fiction from visionary writer D.P. Watt. The foolish wisdom of forlorn puppets. A diabolical chorus in many voices. Shadowy shapes emerging from the strange blueness. Dreamers of other truths. The delicate craft of filial love. You – and some other you. Creatures in the hedgerows. Cold rime creeping across darkened windows. The numinous night pool. A hive of pain. These and other nightmares await.

DP Watt has real talent. It touches on and reflects the world we know, but as in a glass darkly.” – Reggie Oliver


A brilliant new short story collection from award-winning writer and editor Conrad Williams, featuring two brand new short stories and previously uncollected work. A devastating and profoundly moving collection that explores the tangled skein and woven bones of the human condition that surrounds us. Intricate, intimate, and shocking. A masterpiece.


The enthralling new short story collection from acclaimed writer Mike O’Driscoll, featuring the powerful and moving original novellas ‘The Dream Operator,’ and ‘Beasts of Season.’ Unflinching, uncompromising, and unforgettable. Featuring a heady mix of horror, crime, noir, fantasy, and the supernatural, O’Driscoll draws you in and doesn’t let go.


Showcasing the finest weird fiction published 2016, Volume 4 of the Year’s Best Weird Fiction is our biggest and most ambitious volume to date.

Acclaimed editors Helen Marshall and Michael Kelly bring their editorial acumen to the fourth volume of the Year’s Best Weird Fiction. The best weird stories of 2016 features work from Dale Bailey, Gary Budden, Octavia Cade, Indrapramit Das, Malcolm Devlin, Jeffrey Ford, Camilla Grudova, Daisy Johnson, Katie Knoll, Usman T. Malik, Sam J. Miller, Irenosen Okojie, Aki Schilz, Johanna Sinisalo, and Sarah Tolmie.


The debut short story collection from acclaimed U.K. writer Priya Sharma, “All the Fabulous Beasts,” collects 16 stunning and monstrous tales of love, rebirth, nature, and sexuality. A heady mix of myth and ontology, horror and the modern macabre.


Showcasing the finest weird fiction published in 2017, Volume 5 of the Year’s Best Weird Fiction is the final, triumphant volume in the acclaimed series. Editors Robert Shearman and Michael Kelly bring their knowledge and skill to this fifth and final volume of the Year’s Best Weird Fiction. 


Nothing is Everything is the masterful new collection from acclaimed Canadian author Simon Strantzas. With elegant craftsmanship Strantzas delicately weaves a disquieting narrative through eerie and unexpected landscapes, charting an uncanny course through territories both bleak and buoyant, while further cementing his reputation as one of the finest practitioners of strange tales.


This House of Wounds is the devastating debut short story collection from British Fantasy Award-winning author Georgina Bruce. Haunting and visceral tales for the lost and the lonely. An emotional and riveting debut, with 4 brand new stories.


British Fantasy Award-winning author, and Shirley Jackson Award finalist, Laura Mauro delivers a remarkable debut collection of startling short fiction. Dark tales of beauty, strangeness, and transformation told in prose as precise and sparing as a surgeon’s knife. A major talent! Featuring “Looking for Laika,” winner of the British Fantasy Award.


Distilled through the occluded lens of weird fiction, Michael Kelly’s third collection of strange tales is a timely and cogent examination of grief, love, identity, abandonment, homelessness, and illness. All cut through with a curious, quiet menace and uncanny melancholy.


“Shadows & Tall Trees is a smart, soulful, illuminating investigation of the many forms and tactics available to those writers involved in one of our moment’s most interesting and necessary projects, that of opening up horror literature to every sort of formal interrogation. It is a beautiful and courageous series.” – Peter Straub

“Shadows & Tall Trees epitomises the idea of and is the most consistent venue for weird, usually dark fiction. Well worth your time.” – Ellen Datlow


Welcome to Richard Gavin’s “grotesquerie,” where fear and faith converge in eerie and nightmarish tales of transcendent horror from a truly visionary writer. The highly anticipated new collection of macabre delights, that explores dark realms of the fevered, fecund mind, and visits strange landscapes and vistas. These are grim and grotesque tales of terror – modern Mysterium Tremendums – that open new doors of perception and reality.


Welcome to the new pulp! Weird Horror magazine is a new venue for fiction, articles, reviews, and commentary. We expect to publish twice-yearly. Long live the new pulp!

FICTION: Shikhar Dixit; Steve Duffy; Inna Effress; John Langan; Suzan Palumbo; Ian Rogers; Naben Ruthnum; and Steve Toase.

NON-FICTION: Tom Goldstein; Orrin Grey; Lysette Stevenson; and Simon Strantzas.

COVER ART: Sam Heimer

INTERIOR ART: David Bowman; and Nathaniel Winter-Hebert

DESIGN: Vince Haig; and Nathaniel Winter-Hebert


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