by Travis Green*
As a long-time aficionado of speculative and horror fiction, a fan of works by authors ranging from Kurt Vonnegut and Ira Levin, to modern masters Jack Ketchum and Stephen King, I have been pleasantly surprised at my recent discovery of the so-called “indie horror” scene. For those unaware, the indie horror scene is a thriving industry, with no signs of slowing down. Small independent publishers (that is, not affiliated with the traditional “Big Four” of New York publishers) such as Death’s Head Press, Silver Shamrock Publishing, Weirdpunk Books, and Grindhouse Press have been offering an enticing line-up of short story collections, novellas, and novels for some time, penned by an impressive stable of talent. Recently, the Scares That Care Charity Weekend was held in Williamsburg, Virginia, with many of these lesser-known horror authors in attendance.
As I am still navigating this fresh world of the speculative-horror underbelly, I encourage fellow readers of the strange and macabre to check out some of the popular indie titles offered in our catalogue. One book (We Need To Do Something) has recently been made into a feature film, produced by Josh Malerman of Bird Box fame. Another title (Kill Creek) garnered praise from Joyce Carol Oates, and was chosen as the American Library Association’s Horror Book of 2017. One is a crime-infused, modern retelling of the Pied Piper fairy tale (Children of Chicago), while another is a wildly original take on the vampire story set in 1980’s Texas, and was a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award (In the Valley of the Sun).
Many of these titles are available in ebook format and may be accessed through our website, via the Libby and Hoopla reading apps—including right to your tablet or smartphone, for easy, on-the-go reading. Here are a few of the exciting new titles, as well as some other overlooked gems of our collection:
KIN by Kealan Patrick Burke
KILL CREEK by Scott Thomas
WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING by Max Booth III
CHILDREN OF CHICAGO by Cynthia Pelayo
HEARTS STRANGE AND DREADFUL by Tim McGregor
THINGS HAVE GOTTEN WORSE SINCE WE LAST SPOKE by Eric LaRocca
UNFORTUNATE ELEMENTS OF MY ANATOMY by Hailey Piper
NIGHT OF THE MANNEQUINS by Stephen Graham Jones
SOUR CANDY by Kealan Patrick Burke
HORRORSTOR by Grady Hendrix
IN THE VALLEY OF THE SUN by Andy Davidson
PAPERBACKS FROM HELL: THE TWISTED HISTORY OF ‘70s AND ‘80s HORROR FICTION by Grady Hendrix
*Travis Green works at the New-Bern Craven County Library and is currently working on a horror novel.