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Happy publication day The Night Clock!

Today we publish Paul Meloy’s superb debut novel The Night Clock, a fantasy horror unlike anything else you’re likely to read this year, and boy are we excited.

You might know Paul from his award-winning short stories, and if your expectations are high for his first foray into long-form fiction, then you’re not going to be let down.

You can find out a little about Paul’s writing process in Upcoming4Me’s Story Behind The Night Clock, and check out some of the rave reviews below:

  • Kirkus “A shocking, roiling, but imitative quest to protect human dreams.”
  • Publisher’s Weekly “Skin-crawling dread is explored with relish, and creatures right out of a Bosch painting will please horror fans hungry for visceral terror, but the real entertainment of this novel lies in the juxtaposition of the wondrous and the grotesque.”
  • This Is Horror – “Meloy is a master – tense, tense, shocking and laugh-out-loud funny.
  • – “Meloy’s first novel is a complex, curling, nightmarish affair that, in weaker hands would snap under its own ambition.”
  • Books For The Trees – “I’ve never read a blend of fantasy and realism like that before.”
  • – “The Night Clock was wonderfully written. Meloy composes his sentences smoothly and with ease”

The Night Clock is out now!
Buy: UK|US|eBook

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Oliver’s ‘Orrors: The Weird

Our in-house horror hound, Editor-in-Chief and all-round top chap Jonathan Oliver finishes his trawl through the finest frightening fiction out there. Check out the previous instalments (the Slasher, the Creature Feature, the Ghost Story and the Haunted House) and don’t forget, there’s 50% off all our horror eBooks over in the Rebellion Store

The New Weird is the Old Weird. I think it was either China Mieville or M. John Harrison who coined the term New Weird, identifying a type of genre fiction that is hard to classify, taking and defying, as it does, many of genres tropes.

But while New Weird is a useful term, the weird in fiction is hardly new. (Seek out Jeff and Ann Vandermeer’s brilliant The Weird anthology for a history of the uncanny and strange in fiction, and many fine examples of such stories.) From Alice in Wonderland through the novels of Gormenghast, through to the genre bending works of China Mieville, the weird has been a force running through fiction for a long time.

Horror is an important part of the weird, and vice-versa. In fact, there is an argument to be made for horror being a tone, rather than a genre. You can find the discomfort and terror that horror provides in works that have never fallen under the label, and horror novels are frequently published merely under the banner Fiction.

The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien is one of my very favourite ‘horror’ novels. It was introduced to me by an old form tutor during my A levels, who noticed that I was reading William Hope Hodgson and recommended O’Brien’s deeply strange novel as something I would enjoy. I fell in love at first read and was delighted when it turned up on my university English course a few years later.

It’s so very difficult to sum up the plot of The Third Policeman, taking in, as it does, the strange philosophies of the mysterious de Selby, a rural comedy set in Ireland, the love a man has for his bicycle, policeman who are so attached to their bicycles they become bicycles themselves, and one of the most chilling and unique visions of hell ever to appear in literature.

Needless to say, what you should do is read The Third Policeman and let it work its disturbing charms on you.

Honourable Mentions
The Course of the Heart by M. John Harrison
From Blue to Black by Joel Lane
Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter
A Man Lies Dreaming by Lavie Tidhar
The New Girl by S.L. Grey

From Solaris
The Fictional Man by Al Ewing
Osama by Lavie Tidhar
Cannobridge by Jonathan Barnes 
Dream London by Tony Ballantyne
Wakening the Crow by Stephen Gregory

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Oliver’s ‘Orrors: The Slasher

The Slasher is such a well worn trope of horror, it’s arguably become a bit tired.

Of course, you have your classics like Halloween or Psycho, but when it comes to making the serial killer truly scary there are more misses than hits in the movies these days. In novels, however, the author is able to take us much deeper within the killer’s mind, making the murders that much more insidious and disturbing. You only have to look at the works of writers such as Lauren Beukes or Michael Marshall to see how much an essential part of genre the serial killer story still is.

Down River by Stephen Gallagher has everything a good serial killer novel should – it starts off slowly, lets us spend time with the characters, subtly suggesting the terrors to come, before Gallagher pulls out all the stops in what turns into a full-throttle, bloody thriller. Gallagher demonstrates an uncanny control in manipulating the elements of the story, building the plot carefully; there is not a wasted word and the set-pieces are thrilling and horrifying.

Gallagher understands that the story of a killer must also be a story about humanity’s capacity for evil. It’s no good just having a masked killed with a mysterious, and ultimately unexplained, motive. For a killer to be truly terrifying, he or she has to reflect something that we can identify with, that we wouldn’t wish to admit is within ourselves.

Honourable Mentions
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
Path of Needles by Alison Littlewood
The Face that Must Die by Ramsey Campbell
No One Gets Out Alive by Adam Nevill
Kiss it Away by Carol Anne Davis

From Solaris and Abaddon (don’t forget there’s currently 50% off all horror titles in the Rebellion store!)
Plastic by Christopher Fowler
Ritual Crime Unit: Disturbed Earth by E.E. Richardson
The Happier Dead by Ivo Stourton
Cold Warriors: Ghost Dance by Rebecca Levene
Talus and the Frozen King by Graham Edwards

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Oliver’s ‘Orrors: The Creature Feature

Our Editor-In-Chief continues his trawl through the annals of classic horror fiction as part of our month-long Halloween celebrations (speaking of which, don’t forget there’s currently 50% of all our horror eBooks in the Rebellion store). This week: the creature feature…

Everybody loves a good monster movie, but when it comes to horror novels, a good monster is harder to pull off. Erm… so to speak. Certainly, one cannot underestimate the influence of the works of H.P. Lovecraft on monsters in fiction. You can barely move for tentacles these days. But to make monsters scary in literature is actually no mean feat.

Adam Nevill is a modern master of terror (and also a model of a modern major general)* and when it comes to ‘proper’ horror Adam cannot be beat. He brings a brutal sensibility to his books, an uncompromising vision of gruelling terror, touched with a lyrical and spiritual sensibility worthy of writers such as Robert Aickman or Arthur Machen. The Ritual is, for me, one of Adam’s best books.

Four friends go on a hiking holiday in Scandinavia, and things go from bad to worse as they stumble across a site of terrible occult power. Nevill builds the tension brilliantly and the pay-off is one of my favourite ‘big horror’ moments of recent years.

Also, there’s a terrifying scene in an attic which will stay with me forever. It’s incredibly grim and gritty stuff, though while Nevill may be riffling on modern horror movies and the trope of the terrifying cult, this vision is uniquely his.

And what have we learnt from this? Go for the beach holiday next year instead. Adventure holidays only end up in being eaten.

*May have made that up.

Honourable Mentions
The Hunger by Whitley Streiber
The Nightwalker by Thomas Tessier
Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite
IT by Stephen King

From Solaris and Abaddon
Pax Britannia: Evolution Expects by Jonathan Green
Dreams of Shreds and Tatters by Amanda Downum
Dream London by Tony Ballantyne
Tomes of the Dead: I, Zombie by Al Ewing
The Night Clock by Paul Meloy

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Happy publication day The Sea Hates A Coward!

Brace yourselves, maties, for today is the day that The Sea Hates A Coward, Nate Crowley’s unholy voyage into the realms of the undead, is unleashed upon an unsuspected public (that’s you, FYI).

We discovered Nate via the saga of Daniel Barker’s birthday (Now collected as “The Death and Life of Schneider Wrack”!

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Oliver’s ‘Orrors: The Haunted House

In celebration of Halloween, our most esteemed Editor-In-Chief – and in-house horror hound – Jonathan Oliver is giving you lucky people a rundown of the greatest horror novels ever to have scared the pants of the general public.

This week, he’s starting with the haunted house, and an absolute classic from Shirley Jackson…

It really is a no brainer. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson is one of the definitive haunted house novels, and one of the greatest novels in American literature, period. This was a really easy choice to make as Jackson’s chilling and incisive novel has stood the test of time.

It’s a genuinely terrifying read, but on a closer examination there may not be any ghosts in the story at all. All of the tension in the novel comes from the very human inhabitants of Hill House, with Eleanor at the centre of events. Really, the horror, the building sense of dread comes from Eleanor’s inner conflicts and her personality butting up against the other (living) residents of the house. It is a story about Eleanor trying to pull away from an abusive relationship with her domineering mother, about Eleanor refusing to come to terms with her sexuality (which makes the tension between her and Theo all the more spiky), and about Eleanor using Hill House as an excuse not to face any of these realities.

The best haunted house stories happen when a haunted person (or persons in this case) meets a haunted place, and Jackson absolutely understands that the human protagonists must be at the centre of any good haunted house story. As ever, Jackson’s characters are wonderfully portrayed and the dialogue is all about what is not being said, the meaning in the breath taken before the next line.

It’s very encouraging to see Jackson coming back into vogue with the reprints of many of her titles, as she really is one of the towering greats of both the modern horror novel and American literature. Hill House is a place I will revisit over and over, drawn there by Jackson’s seductive prose, her dysfunctional characters, and the promise that whatever walks there “walks alone.”

Honourable Mentions
Audrey’s Door by Sarah Langan
The House of Small Shadows by Adam Nevill
The Shining by Stephen King
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
The House on Nazareth Hill by Ramsey Campbell

From Abaddon and Solaris – don’t forget, there’s currently 50% off all horror in the Rebellion shop!
Deadfall Hotel by Steve Rasnic Tem
The Waking that Kills by Stephen Gregory
Tomes of the Dead: Stronghold by Paul Finch
Nyctophobia by Christopher Fowler
The Concrete Grove by Gary McMahon

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50% off all horror in the Rebellion store!

It’s October, and we all know what that means – a month long celebration of Halloween, naturally!

We were busy covering the office in a thick layer of fake spider’s webs and sniffing pumpkin spice, and decided that the only real way to celebrate this glorious month of ghosts and ghouls is with a massive sale on all our horror titles.

And massive really is the word – we’ve slashed the prices of our horror eBooks like knife-wielding maniacs, carving 50% off no less.

Head over to the store now and grab books by the likes of Chuck Wendig, Rebecca Levene, Weston Ochse, Al Ewing, Chris Fowler and loads more, for mere pennies. PENNIES WE TELL YOU.