B&N: A ghost story lives or dies on its creep factor, and Priest absolutely nails it, spinning a Southern Gothic tale of family secrets and avenging spirits with just enough humor sprinkled throughout to break the tension before racheting the suspense back up to heart-pounding levels.
Whether weaving family life and history into dark fiction or writing speculative Afrofuturism, American Book Award winner and Essence bestselling author Tananarive Due’s work is both riveting and enlightening.
In her debut collection of short fiction, Due takes us to Gracetown, a small Florida town that has both literal and figurative ghost; into future scenarios that seem all too real; and provides empathetic portraits of those whose lives are touched by Otherness. Featuring an award-winning novella and fifteen stories—one of which has never been published before—Ghost Summer: Stories is sure to both haunt and delight.
Tor.com: Priest has a striking prose style–she’s immensely readable–and a chilling ability to write really unnerving scenes. […] The pace is tight the whole way through, with tension that rises peak on peak up to the climactic crisis. […] The house itself is an incredible character. Place matters, here: matters deeply. One of the most notable things about The Family Plot, as a southern Gothic haunted house horror novel, is the sense of ever-increasing claustrophobia. It’s about interiors, both literal and metaphorical: the interior of the house, and the inside of a person’s mind and/or emotions. The inside of the home turned strange and threatening: the inside of the self exposed and forced into the light.
Simon Pulse has acquired, with Liesa Abrams to edit, We Are the Ants author Shaun David Hutchinson’s new YA book, The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, about a teen who was the first scientifically confirmed “virgin birth.” At 16 she discovers she can heal with a touch; simultaneously, people all over the world start disappearing in beams of light, making her wonder if she is bringing about the Apocalypse. Publication is scheduled for spring 2018; Amy Boggs at Donald Maass Literary Agency brokered the two-book deal for World English rights.
World Fantasy Award nominee Yoon Ha Lee’s story collection, to include the current short fiction from the Hexarachate setting of NINEFOX GAMBIT along with new previously unpublished stories, to be published in 2018, sold to Jonathan Oliver at Solaris via Jennifer Jackson.
Chuck Dutton built Music City Salvage with patience and expertise, stripping historic properties and reselling their bones. Inventory is running low, so he’s thrilled when Augusta Withrow appears in his office offering salvage rights to her entire property. This could be a gold mine, so he assigns his daughter Dahlia to personally oversee the project.
The crew finds a handful of surprises right away. Firstly, the place is in unexpectedly good shape. And then there’s the cemetery, about thirty fallen and overgrown graves dating to the early 1900s, Augusta insists that the cemetery is just a fake, a Halloween prank, so the city gives the go-ahead, the bulldozer revs up, and it turns up human remains. Augusta says she doesn’t know whose body it is or how many others might be present and refuses to answer any more questions. Then she stops answering the phone.
But Dahlia’s concerns about the corpse and Augusta’s disappearance are overshadowed when she begins to realize that she and her crew are not alone, and they’re not welcome at the Withrow estate. They have no idea how much danger they’re in, but they’re starting to get an idea. On the crew’s third night in the house, a storm shuts down the only road to the property. The power goes out. Cell signals are iffy. There’s nowhere to go and no one Dahlia can call for help, even if anyone would believe that she and her crew are being stalked by a murderous phantom. Something at the Withrow mansion is angry and lost, and this is its last chance to raise hell before the house is gone forever. And it seems to be seeking permanent company.
RT Book Reviews: Priest continues to cement her reputation as a master of modern gothic with a haunted house tale that’s a slow burn with an utterly addictive finale. Though it feels like more could be done with the ghosts of the Withrow house, the living characters do more than their fair share of lifting with interactions that are charming and funny. That said, fans and new readers should walk away satisfied and just a little bit worried when in the house alone.
Joy Peskin at Farrar, Straus Children’s has acquired award-winning playwright Mariah MacCarthy’s Squad, about a cheerleader who suddenly becomes alienated by her best friend and cheer squad and is set out to discover who she is without the things that always defined her. It’s planned to publish in Fall 2018; Katie Shea Boutillier of Donald Maass Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.
Simon Pulse has pre-empted, with Liesa Abrams to edit, world English rights to Feral Youth, a novel with 10 authors edited by Shaun David Hutchinson, in the same vein as his previous Violent Ends. The book is a modern YA retelling of The Canterbury Tales, set during the last three days at a survival camp for “troubled youth” with 10 teens trying to win $100 by telling the best story, with stories from Brandy Colbert, Tim Floreen, Ellen Hopkins, Justina Ireland, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Stephanie Kuehn, E.C. Myers, Marieke Nijkamp, and Robin Talley. Fall 2017 is the projected pub date.
NPR: But it was that rare ability of Kowal’s to make what could have been a completely goofy add-on to the British war effort into something that felt completely wedded and solid that sold me that spark of a great idea, well-executed. It is a story that just works. That lays out a presumption (ghosts are real), builds a plot architecture around it (they might be useful intelligence assets), and then grounds it with emotional weight (those forced to talk to the ghosts of the young and dead might not come out of it unscathed).