5 Cosmic Horror Books You Should Drop Everything and Read Right Now
by Tim Meyer
To celebrate the publication of his latest novella 69: A Short Novel Of Cosmic Horror, I’m delighted to welcome Tim Meyer to Kendall Reviews. Here Tim shares some of his favourite cosmic horrors.
I feel like cosmic horror is a subgenre that really unites us horror folk. The following books are just some of my favorites, a list of delightful tales you should seriously drop everything and read right now.
5 – The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay – This book. THIS book. Oh my. It starts with a bang and never lets up. The novel centers around a little girl and her two dads as their vacation is cut short when a group of weapon-wielding weirdos show up, demanding they need help to “save the world.” Although, “saving the world” means to make an impossible choice, therefore shattering what was once a peaceful, loving family. I won’t delve into the dirty details, but this is a book that really surprised me. I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first, but the book has stuck with me, grown on me over time, and I find myself thinking about it quite often, which is usually the mark of an excellent story. It’s filled with prophecies and unknown terrors, and the scares are subtle, perfect for someone who wants to ease into the cosmic horror genre.
4 – Thrall by Mary SanGiovanni – I love the game Silent Hill, and maybe I love the first movie adaptation even more. Okay, I definitely love the first movie adaptation more. Mary SanGiovanni’s Thrall stirs up a lot of the same emotions I had while playing that game and watching that movie. It follows a guy who returns to his weird hometown in New Jersey to find a daughter he previously didn’t know he had. And things get strange. Crazy. There are monsters. So many monsters. I love Thrall for its fleshed-out characters, smooth writing, and of course – the monsters. It’s exactly what every cosmic horror fan loves about the genre.
3 – Sefira and Other Betrayals by John Langan – I haven’t read Langan’s celebrated novel The Fisherman yet (I know, I know, I’ll get on it soon!), but I did check out this collection recently and fell in love. The stories within are all fantastic, and most of them could qualify as cosmic horror. The monsters within are horrific, and some of them are human. I loved these stories and can’t recommend it enough.
2 – The Imago Sequence by Laird Barron – Scroll through any cosmic horror recommended reading list on Google and you’re likely to find Laird’s books there. He’s the guy. Seriously though, his work is stellar. Everything he writes is gold and if I ever become a fraction of the talented writer he is, then I’ll be pretty satisfied. The Imago Sequence is a collection of weird, cosmic horror stories that will follow you into your dreams and never leave. Honestly, I could have put any of Barron’s books on here, as they all more than qualify, but Imago is a swell place to start. Dig it.
1 – The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky by John Hornor Jacobs – I read this last year when it was released on its own, and it appears that, on October 8th, it will be re-released in a two-novella collection titled A Lush and Seething Hell. Holy shit – that name. It’s awesome. And even though I own the first novella, I’m damn sure picking up the two-pack. It was one of the best things I’ve read in the last few years and I can’t recommend it enough. A rich character piece set in a historical backdrop, this short little tale builds and builds, and the ending does not let you down. It’s definitely a story best read under candlelight. Mark your calendars. October 8th, 2019. Be there.
This was a tough list to pull together. There were so many other novels and collections I could have put on here, everything from Thomas Ligotti to Brian Hodge, Gemma Files to Caitlyn R. Kiernan (look up those names and indulge). I included the stuff that really grabbed me, and I hope it grabs you too. The writers mentioned above have influenced my work in some way, especially 69: A Short Novel of Cosmic Horror.
What are some of your favorite cosmic horror books?
KR: You can read the Kendall Review for 69: A Short Novel Of Cosmic Horror HERE
69: A Short Novel Of Cosmic Horror
“Everything is sixty-nine.”
It happened suddenly. Overnight. Inside Spring Lakes Assisted Living, seven residents – sixty-nine years of age – died mysterious deaths. Only… they aren’t really dead. Their bodies remain still, their staring eyes void of life; yet their hearts continue to beat, their lungs fight for oxygen, and somewhere within their petrified bodies their souls cling to life. No one has a rational explanation for what’s happening. Three investigators from the CDC are dispatched to the facility in hopes of finding answers, but what they discover is far beyond human comprehension. Something terrifying has come to town. An unseen entity that leeches off the living, the dead, and everything in between.
Tim Meyer dwells in a dark cave near the Jersey Shore. He’s an author, husband, father, podcast host, blogger, coffee connoisseur, beer enthusiast, and explorer of worlds. He writes horror, mysteries, science fiction, and thrillers, although he prefers to blur genres and let the story fall where it may.
You can find out more about Tim by visiting his Official Blog www.timmeyerwrites.com
You can follow Tim on Twitter @timmmeyer11