All of the Terrifying Horror Books I Can’t Wait to Read in the Second Half of 2017

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Steph Auteri

Senior Contributor

Steph Auteri is a journalist who has written for the Atlantic, the Washington Post, Pacific Standard, VICE, and elsewhere. Her more creative work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, under the gum tree, Poets & Writers, and other publications, and she is the Essays Editor for Hippocampus Magazine. Her essay, "The Fear That Lives Next to My Heart," published in Southwest Review, was listed as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2021. She also writes bookish stuff here and at the Feminist Book Club, is the author of A Dirty Word, and is the founder of Guerrilla Sex Ed. When not working, she enjoys yoga, embroidery, singing, cat snuggling, and staring at the birds in her backyard feeder. You can learn more at stephauteri.com and follow her on Insta/Threads at @stephauteri.

Back in May, the first issue of Regression caught my eye, and I added it to my pull list. Then I stumbled upon Victor LaValle’s Destroyer. Next, a fellow Book Rioter recommended Winnebago GraveyardWhen I ran through all of those, I re-read the first volume of Wytches, just to scratch that same itch. And now I’m reading Victor LaValle’s recently-published The Changelingand still I want more. More creeping horror. More goosebumps running up and down my arms. More being afraid to go down into the basement by myself because, holy shit, what if there’s a wytch down there?!

Luckily, there’s plenty of new horror forthcoming in the second half of 2017. Here’s what’s on my mental TBR:

Regression Issue 1First of all, because all of those single-issue comics have left me hanging, I’m looking forward to the next few issues of Regression, Destroyer, and Winnebago Graveyard. Regression is about a man plagued with waking nightmares. In order to get to the bottom of what in heck might be causing them, he tries past life regression hypnotherapy…unleashing something dark and terrible from his past. The terrifying story (by Cullen Bunn) is accompanied by gorgeous artwork by both Danny Luckert and Marie Enger, making the most gruesome aspects of the protagonist’s nightmares that much more vivid.

Destroyer by Victor LaValleDestroyer, meanwhile, is brought to us by the same, capable horror writer who brought us The Devil in Silver, Lucretia and the Kroons and, most recently, The Changeling. Moving, however, from straight prose to the comic form, LaValle has joined up with a great team to tell the story of Frankenstein’s last descendant, and the lengths she’ll go to in order to reconnect with the son she lost.

As for Winnebago Graveyard, it’s about a family on a road trip who gets stranded in a small town, and there has only been one issue as of yet but it is so super creepy.

Moving on…

meddling kidsEdgar Cantero’s Meddling KidsTeen detectives reuniting years later to confront the last night they spent together in a haunted house. This horror/satire sounds like a whole lot of fun. Thank god it pubs right… about… NOW.

Benjamin Percy’s The Dark NetAccording to this book’s description, The Dark Net is about an “ancient darkness” gathering in the far reaches of the web that threatens to spread virally and engulf the world. Which sounds like an over-the-top PSA about the dangers of our tech-saturated world (and didn’t The Circle already cover that?), but Percy is known for his solid literary horror, and I do like my horror literary. This one pubs August 1.

Jac Jemc’s The Grip of ItA two-time reader of Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves, I was excited to see another novel about a young couple and their new (unfortunately haunted) home in a list of forthcoming releases. I look forward to reading about their torment as their home decays in front of their eyes, hinting at the building’s troubled history. Also drops August 1.

Jordie Bellaire and Vanesa R. Del Rey’s Redlands #1Coming to your local comic shop on August 9 is the first issue of a comic about a close-knit, old-fashioned town and the coven of killer witches who plan to take over. We’ve already established that I’m obsessed with horror, and I’m thrilled to see a two-woman team behind this one.

Christine Morgan’s Spermjackers from Hell. A fellow Book Rioter brought this one to my attention, and first I was like: wut. And then I read the description and I was like: what. the. hecking. heck. And then I moved it to the top of my wish list. Just a glimpse of the book description: “Let’s summon a succubus, they said. It’ll be fun, they said … We were wrong. Really fucking wrong.” (giggle-snorts) Snag this one August 15.

Valley of TerrorZhou Haohui’s Valley of Terrortranslated by Bonnie Huie. I really dig psychological horror in which the thing we must fear the most is inside us. In Haohui’s latest, the citizens of Longzhou, China are being scared to death by a “fear disease.” The book’s protagonist must track down the source of this epidemic. Read it August 29.

Cassandra Khaw’s A Song for QuietThis forthcoming novella is about two lost souls who happen to be carrying something evil deep inside themselves. They decide to pair up in order to find out the truth about what seems to be their inescapable fates. But will they survive? Also due out August 29.

Stephanie Perkins’s There’s Someone Inside Your HouseThis one’s a YA novel that’s been billed as Scream for young adults. Which makes me feel all sorts of nostalgic, so onto the list it goes. It pubs September 26.

Stephen and Owen King’s Sleeping BeautiesYou may have noticed—from the way I chronicle every new Stephen King adaptation trailer—that I’m a fan of the guy. His latest is a family affair, undertaken with his son Owen, and it’s about what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men. The description makes my antennae go up, as it mentions women who go feral and violent, and asks if the last remaining woman is actually a demon. Which is…excuse me? But maybe, in the end, men discover that the world is doomed without the extremely capable and awesome hands of women guiding it? Am I hoping for too much? This one drops September 26.

Strange Weather by Joe HillJoe Hill’s Strange Weather. Keeping it in the family, we have King’s other son, who in recent years has shown himself to be a worthy successor to the horror throne, with books that are oddly reminiscent in tone to his father’s. This particular collection contains four short novels, each of which looks closely at the darkness beneath our everyday lives. Perhaps in the same vein as his dad’s Different Seasons? You can check this one out in October, on the 24th.

Mira Grant’s Into the Drowning DeepI have been terrified in the past by scary stories that take place beneath the sea. I mean, it’s just so… claustrophobic. This one, out on November 14, is a YA novel about ancient sea creatures that reside down deep.

Which horror works are you most looking forward to?