Don't Make Me Tell You Twice

Some 2019 recommendations

Yesterday I wrote a little screed about a certain best-of list. I’m in a slightly better mood today, but my point still stands: it is inexcusable, in 2019, to publish a list of books by authors that is 78% male and entirely white.

After yesterday’s newsletter, I started compiling a list of horror published in 2019 not written by white men. Here’s what I came up with - without even breaking a sweat, because believe it or not, this isn’t actually rocket science.

  1. The Twisted Ones - T. Kingfisher

  2. Five Midnights - Ann Dávila Cardinal

  3. The Haunted - Danielle Vega

  4. Hollow Kingdom - Kira Jane Buxton

  5. A Spectral Hue - Craig Laurance Gidney

  6. The Bone Weaver's Orchard - Sarah Read

  7. Salvaged - Madeline Roux

  8. Theme Music - T. Marie Vandelly

  9. Ormeshadow - Priya Sharma

  10. For He Can Creep - Siobhan Carroll (free to read on Tor.com)

  11. Petra’s Ghost - C.S. O’Cinneide

  12. Last Ones Left Alive - Sarah Davis-Goff

  13. Inside the Asylum - Mary SanGiovanni

  14. In the Shadow of Spindrift House - Mira Grant

  15. Here There Are Monsters - Amelinda Bérubé

  16. The Devouring Gray - Christine Lynn Herman

  17. Things We Say in the Dark - Kirsty Logan

  18. Gideon the Ninth - Tamsyn Muir

  19. The Tenth Girl - Sara Faring

  20. The Invited - Jennifer McMahon

  21. The Warlow Experiment by Alix Nathan

  22. A Forest, or A Tree - Tegan Moore (free to read on Tor.com)

  23. A Sick Gray Laugh - Nicole Cushing

  24. Little Darlings - Melanie Golding

  25. The Need - Helen Phillips

  26. Bunny - Mona Awad

  27. Black Wings - Megan Hart

  28. If You See Her - Ania Ahlborn

  29. His Hideous Heart: 13 of Edgar Allan Poe's Most Unsettling Tales Reimagined - edited by Dahlia Adler, with stories by Kendare Blake, Rin Chupeco, Tessa Gratton, Fran Wilde, & more

  30. The Bone Houses - Emily Lloyd-Jones

  31. Rules for Vanishing - Kate Alice Marshall

  32. Collision - J.S. Breukelaar

Plus I’ve already talked to you about The Monster of Elendhaven, Wilder Girls, and The Luminous Dead, so that brings the total up to 35.

You may notice that this is still a pretty white list - unfortunately, most of my favorite horror authors of color didn’t have anything new this year (if I missed any that you know of, shoot me a note and I’ll add them to the next newsletter), but not to worry - let me point you to Elle Maruska’s list of 25 non-white horror writers you should know:

And for good measure, here are some 2019 horror books I loved that WERE written by white dudes, who are always going to be a good and interesting voice in the room (they just need to not be, you know, the ONLY voice in the room):

  1. A Lush and Seething Hell - John Hornor Jacobs

  2. The Reddening - Adam Nevill

  3. The Remaking - Clay McLeod Chapman

  4. The Saturday Night Ghost Club - Craig Davidson


We’ll be back to your regularly scheduled programming soon, but while we’re here, permit me a quick “stuff I wrote” plug, because I’ve been busy:


Final Girls:

  • Paperbacks From Hell: Wave Two [Valancourt Books]: Valancourt, in partnership with Grady Hendrix, has been releasing limited runs of long-out-of-print horror titles, and their second set of books is here - you can buy the physical books or subscribe to receive the ebooks for a frankly VERY reasonable price, which is what I’ve been doing.

  • Here Are the 10 Most Frightening Stories You Will Ever Hear [Jezebel]: Jezebel’s annual scary true story contest is here again - these always fuck me up real bad, so read at your own risk if you’re within three hours of bedtime.


Nightmare Fuel is a newsletter about scary books and related nonsense. Questions? Comments? Reply to this email, or get at me on Twitter @emilyhughes. If you’re reading this on the web, or someone forwarded this email to you, consider subscribing to have future editions delivered directly to your inbox every week or two, sent from the shadows outside your bedroom window.