The Fright Stuff

Happy Tentacles Week!

Hey‌ ‌there‌ horror fans, ‌I’m‌ ‌Jessica‌ ‌Avery‌ ‌and‌ ‌I’ll‌ ‌be‌ ‌delivering‌ ‌your‌ ‌weekly‌ ‌brief‌ ‌of‌ ‌all‌ ‌that’s‌ ‌ghastly‌ ‌and‌ ‌grim‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌world‌ ‌of‌ ‌Horror.‌ ‌Whether‌ ‌you’re‌ ‌looking‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌backlist‌ ‌book‌ ‌that‌ ‌will‌ ‌give‌‌ you‌ ‌the‌ ‌willies,‌ ‌a‌ ‌terrifying‌ ‌new‌ ‌release,‌ ‌or‌ ‌the‌ ‌latest‌ ‌in‌ ‌horror‌ ‌community‌ ‌news,‌ ‌you’ll‌ ‌find‌ ‌it‌ ‌here‌ in‌ ‌The‌ ‌Fright‌ ‌Stuff.

I couldn’t help myself. There are just so many great horror books featuring tentacles/tentacle monsters that I feel duty bound to provide you with a sampling of wiggly, squiggly terror. So welcome to tentacle week!

Nothing says “I love you” like tentacles? Right?

Now I’m not here to judge, so if you prefer your cosmic horror tentacle free, you can go check out this list from Nightfire. They’ve got your back. With hands! Not suckers. But here on the Fright Stuff we love all our friendly neighborhood tentacle monsters and I can’t wait to introduce you to this week’s picks!

Speaking of “ifs”: If you’re looking for a new bookish podcast to add to your life, be sure to check out First Edition where co-founder Jeff O’Neal explores the wide bookish world. Subscribe to hear what’s new and exciting in the world of books and publishing, and stay to hear Book Riot’s editors pick the “it” book of the month.

Bookish Goods

3D watercolor tentacle bookmarks by wingsofthewest

3D Watercolor Tentacle Bookmarks by WingsOfTheWest

See, the thing I love about Etsy is that the question wasn’t “can I find a tentacle bookmark”, it was “how do I choose only ONE tentacle bookmark?” I was blessed with a wealth of choices! But when I saw these 3D tentacles crafted out of polymer clay and painted in eye-catching watercolors, I knew it just had to be this one. There are four different styles available, with variable prices, and you have your pick of all four colors for each style. May all your reading adventures be wiggly. $9+

New Releases

cover of at the end of every day by arianna reiche

At the End of Every Day by Arianna Reiche

Who had creepy collapsing theme park on their July new release bingo? Anyone? You win! Set in an amusement park referred to only as The Park, At the End of Every Day is an intense psychological roller coaster of evil death cults and questionable realities. Delphi is a longtime employer of The Park, where she ended up after fleeing her traumatic childhood and landing in California. But when an upcoming starlet is found dead in The Park, the decision is made to shut it down, and Delphi ends up with the responsibility of closing up shop. But the starlet isn’t the only one to die or disappear in The Park. There are a long string of employers who have vanished, never to be found. As Delphi goes about the process of shutting down The Park, she begins to unravel the dark mysteries at the heart of the once beloved theme park, and the question becomes not how will she leave The Park behind, but whether The Park will let her leave at all.

For a more comprehensive list, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

Cover of No One Will Come Back for Us by Premee Mohamed

No One Will Come Back For Us and Other Stories by Premee Mohamed

I would just like to say: This whole newsletter is Premee Mohamed’s fault. The gorgeous, eerie cover of her recent short fiction collection No One Will Come Back for Us (another beautiful book brought to you by the one and only Undertow Publications!) captivated me and I had to pay it tribute. Combining science fiction and dark fantasy with harrowing cosmic horror, the stories in No One Will Come Back for Us catapult readers from the forgotten realms of ancient gods deep beneath the sea to the vast, merciless depths of space.The only thing guaranteed is that monsters await in all the shadowed, forgotten corners of the world that Mohamed crafts. And they probably have tentacles.

Cover of The Book of Living Secrets by Madeleine Roux

The Book of Living Secrets by Madeleine Roux

I loved this weird, creepy, queer Lovecraft-inspired YA horror so much, and I am begging you to please read it and then come talk to me. Adelle and Connie are best friends and super fans of an obscure gothic romance novel called Moira. So much so that when offered the opportunity to be transported into the novel and experience the world of Moira for themselves, they decide to take the chance. But inside the pages of Moira, things have gone terribly wrong. Instead of a lush Gothic setting, dripping with romance and velvet, the two girls find themselves trapped in a horror story, surrounded by the creepy servants of the tentacle monster that’s squatting in the harbor, and entangled with the book’s characters in a desperate bid to save both themselves and the fictional world they love

Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw

If you love Cassandra Khaw’s more recent books, but have caught yourself thinking: “you know what The Salt Grows Heavy needs? More eyes and tentacles!” Oh jiminy do I have a book recommendation for you. Hammers on Bone, and its sequel A Song for Quiet, are an excellent mix of arcane monsters and hardboiled detective work. A bit Lovecraft, a bit noir, it’ll scratch all your cosmic horror itches (even the ones the tentacles can’t reach). John Persons is a P.I. with a talent for handling the ancient and abominable, being ancient and somewhat abominable himself. Which makes him the perfect person to hunt down the stepfather of his newest client, a man infected with a monstrous alien presence.

cover of wild spaces by s.l. coney

Wild Spaces by S.L. Coney (August 1)

My last pick of the week is S.L Coney’s forthcoming, Wild Spaces, a cosmic horror novel about an 11-year-old boy and a dark family secret. He lives with his parents and his dog on the remote South Carolina coast, and his childhood, though isolated, was not unhappy. Until the day his estranged grandfather turns up at the house, and his unwanted visit begins to expose the inconsistencies in the boy’s life that he cared to question before. Now it’s clear that his parents are and have been keeping secrets from him. Things they still refuse to explain. Things that, just maybe, have something to do with the strange and frightening changes happening to the boy’s body, transforming him into something new and monstrous.

As always, you can catch me on twitter at @JtheBookworm, where I try to keep up on all that’s new and frightening.