2016 proved to be a great year for new and exciting horror novels. The genre seems to be having somewhat or a renaissance as of late, giving readers plenty of writers old and new to be on the look out for. Whittling the shortlist down proved to be quite tricky, but nonetheless, here are our personal top 5 horror novels of 2016:
5. Hex – by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Ten-year-old Sydney is about to have his first strung ball inserted, by having a cube of his own flesh removed in order to attach the strung ball. Once a strung ball is inserted, it must never be taken out. But what are the supposed consequences if your strungballs are removed?
What is a strung ball? Well, to be honest I’m still not entirely certain (even with the help of the impressive front cover artwork), and I’m sure my imaginative brain has conjured up a completely unique vision of how these look when attached to a person. However, it’s this bizarre thinking that keeps you reading on to try and get any further clues as to what these strung balls are all about. (more…)
“We’ll be in Shrewsbury soon” said the driver. Gordon had hitched
a lift from Manchester with nothing but a guitar on his back and a
feather in his cap – finally escaping the crime-ridden council estate
he’d lived in all his life. Gordon was a precocious musical talent with
a natural sense of rhythm – learning his trade by hitting pots and pans
with wooden spoons. In his teenage years he discovered an aptitude
for the guitar and the piano – attributing his musical prowess to his father
who played the drums in a jazz band. All the gigs he’d played, the
recording sessions he’d been involved in and the useful contacts he’d made
in the city, all seemed futile now. Without the offer of a record deal the
Iain Rob Wright has quite a bibliography under his belt already, with over a dozen novels already available. He certainly knows how to entice readers in, by offering a fantastic starter pack of FOUR FREE bestselling novels, including a short story that was banned from general sale.
In exchange for this fantastic offer, all you need to do is to subscribe to his reader group (which you can unsubscribe at any time). If you’re a fan of getting to know authors as well as their stories, then Iain’s newsletters offer a great insight into his passion for storytelling.
The first novel in the collection, Sea Sick, is an apocalyptic zombie horror like no other. Just when you think you’re going to be reading a generic zombie novel, it then suddenly flips a whole new concept into the mix that is both unexpected (if you do not read the blurb before) and refreshing. It’s a fast-paced story that you’ll eat up in no time.
I haven’t had a chance to read the other three novels as of yet, but will be doing so very soon and no doubt be diving into his many other releases as well.
So what are you waiting for? CLICK HERE to get signed up and start reading!
He had always been fascinated by money, from as early as he could remember. It seemed like a magic thing to him, the way little bits of metal and pieces of paper could buy things. Payment in kind made sense, the barter system made sense; you do my plumbing, I give you potatoes. Simple and elegant. But the whole money thing seemed like an act of faith, a party trick that everyone would see through one day. What made this bit of paper twice as valuable as another? Or this one five times more valuable than that one? They were about the same size, had pretty much the same pictures. What if everyone woke up and decided it was the other way around? (more…)
Texas, USA, ten days ago…
Fretlock bucked and whinnied as Kansas tried to bring him under control. He was a small horse but ‘My Gaaad, what spirit!’ the seasoned handler mused. “Where d’ya get this ‘un from, Auguss?” he asked his brother, as Fretlock stubbornly stomped dust.
“He was tooken from some place in Englan’, Kansas. The Duke brung him over laass week.”
“The Duke? That feller giives me the heeby jeebies… Whooooaaaah!” Fretlock had bucked again.
“You ain’t wrong, Kansas. But he always got goood produc’. This howss is one uncommon creature. You see that physique? I ain’t never seen anythin’ like it, not in awl mah days.”
“He sure is funny lookin’ alright. Should fetch a faaahn price at stud.” Fretlocked neighed strangely. “Such unusuality.”
Berkshire, England, twelve years ago…
Anxiety wasn’t the word to describe how Freddy felt. Adrenaline and noradrenaline and more adrenaline coursed through his veins till his body was fit to burst and he nearly fell feinted down the stairs. He tried to breathe, to regain his composure. He walked falteringly down and into the sitting room where his unsuspecting parents were reading the papers.
“Mmmum, Dad…” He heroically supressed an impulse to vomit. This was his worst fear; the thing he’d dreaded and put off for the last four years. But this was the time. This time, he’d tell them, no matter what. What was the worst that could happen? ‘A heart attack of my own.’ offered his brain.
“I… I’ve… I’ve got something to tell you.” (more…)
Everyone calls Dunce ‘Dunce’. Everyone thinks that Dunce is an idiot. I used to think so too but not any more.
Dunce is completely bald and has a really pointed head so the temptation to get him paralytic on his thirtieth birthday, carry him to the tattooist’s and get a nice big ‘D’ smack bang in the middle of his forehead was too much for me. Trouble is he can’t afford to have it removed so he wears a big plaster over it. Gangs of children tease him.
‘What’s underneath the plaster, mister? Show us!’
They swear he has a third eye under there.
“Mommy! Is that woman talking to herself?” asked a curious Jeff to his busy mother.
Startled by the interruption in her tank top perusal, she tried to ignore him, hoping he would let it go.
But Jeff wouldn’t comply. “Mommy! Why is that woman talking to herself?!”
Annoyed, she replied without shifting her gaze from the tops, “She has an invisible friend. Someone only she can see, she’s probably talking to him.”
Jeff was slightly taken aback. “Well if only she can see her friend, then how do you know it’s a him?”
Sadly, Jeff had pulled the last straw. “Be quiet Jeff! Mommy has to shop. Besides, it’s not a good idea to look at people talking to themselves.”
“Jeff! Another word out of you about the woman and you’re grounded for the week!”
Unconvinced, yet left without a choice, Jeff continued to look the other way quietly. (more…)
As a new year is rapidly driving its way forward, destined to reach the next, we are, as always, on the look out for new and exciting short stories to share.
Details on how to submit can be found here: Story Submissions (more…)