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Talking Scared

Author: Neil McRobert

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Conversations with the biggest names in horror fiction. A podcast for horror readers who want to know where their favourite stories came from . . . and what frightens the people who wrote them.
38 Episodes
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This week the Queen of black horror is Talking Scared. Tananarive Due is bestowing her patronage on little ol’ me and I’m not quite sure what to do with myself.Tananarive ranks amongst the most respected horror writers of the 21st Century, from her breakout effort, The Between, to her British Fantasy Award winning collection, Ghost Summer and her magnum opus (so far at least) The Good House.  She took the time to talk me through her career, from breaking free of the MFA fixation on white guys and their naval-gazing, to the time she used good old rock ‘n’ roll to coerce Stephen King into blurbing her book. We also take in the volcanic impact of Jordan Peele and why black horror lit is ready to follow in film’s footsteps.If you are interested in horror generally then this is not a conversation to miss. Especially when Tananarive gets into her forthcoming novel, The Reformatory – seven years in the making, and inspired by her own ancestry and the bloody history of a brutal prison. Enjoy Books mentions in this conversation include: The Between (1995), by Tananarive DueThe Good House (2003), by Tananarive DueGhost Summer (2015) by Tananarive DueMy Soul to Keep (1997) by Tananarive DueDark Dreams (2004), edited by Brandon Massey“The Comet” (1920), by W.E. Dubois Support the show on Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/TalkingScaredPod Come talk books on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to talkingscaredpod@gmail.com. Thanks to Adrian Flounders for graphic design.
Do you ever feel you’re being watched? Ever caught a flicker from the corner of your eye that you can’t explain? Do you run out of milk more than you think you should?Maybe, just maybe, there is someone living in your house.It’s a worldwide phenomenon (just check google) and this week’s guest has turned it into a genre-bending novel that’s tipped as one of THE Gothic reads of 2021. A.J. Gnuse’s debut, Girl in the Walls is a literary chiller about grief, loneliness and what the word HOME really means. He joined me to talk through how the book came to be, why a conclusive ending was needed and how the spectre of Hurricane Katrina haunts his fiction. He also tell an especially creepy anecdote about a hidden door in his own home. Oh, and I tell a story about a woman who lived inside a stranger’s kitchen cupboard for a year. You can see the chilling footage of her reveal HERE.Enjoy! Girl in the Walls is published in the UK Fourth Estate and in North American by Ecco Books Support the show on Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/TalkingScaredPod Come talk books on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to talkingscaredpod@gmail.com. Thanks to Adrian Flounders for graphic design.
Jeff VanderMeer is our guest. Need I say more?First things first though, rest easy, the episode title doesn’t refer to either me or Jeff. We both make it out alive.Not everything does though. Listen on for the most on-the-nose display of savage nature, so perfect a backdrop to a conversation about animals, ecological crisis and the horror of extinction. What starts with the brave little hummingbird could end up killing us all.Jeff’s new novel, Hummingbird Salamander is an eco-noir, an accelerating ride to a point “ten seconds in the future” at the end of the world. It’s a deeply challenging book, both in style and message, and in a rare moment of seriousness, it brought our shared ecological plight and our wrongdoing home to me like nothing before. Jeff and I talk about how humanity can live with the peril of ecological disaster hanging over our heads, and how fiction can help bring that reality home. In lighter moments Jeff also tells me about how he thinks up stories involving giant flying bears, gives a lot of info on his upcoming collection of horror novellas, and horrifies me with the reason behind his phobia of cockroaches. Seriously … JESUS CHRIST JEFF!! Oh, and I introduce my new Patreon membership perks. Trust me, you wanna! Enjoy!Hummingbird Salamander was published in the UK by Fourth Estate Books and in North America by Farrar, Straus and Giroux on 6th April.Books discussed include:Annihilation (2014), by Jeff VanderMeerBorne (2017), by Jeff VanderMeerThe Rain Heron (2020), by Robbie Arnaut Support the show on Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/TalkingScaredPod Come talk books on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to talkingscaredpod@gmail.com. Thanks to Adrian Flounders for graphic design.
This week, I bring you MOAR monsters!!! Our guest is Christina Henry, whose new novel, Near the Bone fits so nicely as the unofficial second part to a cryptozoology-inflected series that began with Danielle Trussoni last week. Don’t worry, I’m not talking about the Loch Ness Monster for an hour, but the novel does feature a monster, some cryptid hunters and the very violent evils of both man and beast. Christina does manage to get me off the subject of monsters for a while, to give some insight into her surprisingly relaxed approach to writing, to her love of the outdoors and running (and how that provides a backdrop for her horror stories. And we even dip a toe into the pressing question of the age – CAN HORROR TAKE PLACE IN SPACE??We ask who determines what a horror novel is, and whether YouTube and the discovery channel have changed monsters forever. Oh, and I get the chance to reminisce about the time I nearly got eaten by a bear (sort of. It looked at me at least!) Enjoy!Near the Bone was published by Titan Books on April 13th. Other books discussed in this episode include:Ghost Tree (2020), by Christina HenryThe Girl in Red (2019), by Christina HenryLeave the World Behind (2020), by Rumaan AlamEarthlings (2018), by Sayaka MurataThe Girl With All the Gifts (2014), by M.R. CareyChristine (1983), by Stephen KingEyes of the Dragon (1984), by Stephen KingCome talk books on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to talkingscaredpod@gmail.com.
When was the last time a story took you completely by surprise? Danielle Trussoni’s The Ancestor ambushed me into loving it. What seems a standard Gothic fiction turns into something wholly weirder … and wilder … as a young American woman inherits a creaky European castle, and the monstrous baggage that comes with it.Dani came on the show – somehow finding time between writing her new novel and being the New York Times’ horror columnist – to talk about The Ancestor’s paperback release. We tiptoe around the book’s many, many secrets, and somehow find ourselves all the way to a discussion about Bigfoot. It’s that kind of chat.We also discuss how her own roots and heritage inspired the novel, why there are so many double standards about women authors and horror, how she fits existing myth and lore into her stories so well … and I regale her with one of my favourite pieces of British legend. She’s kind enough to pretend that she doesn’t obviously know more about horror than me – and she also exposes me as someone who mentions that I have a degree a little too much.It’s interesting, enlightening, and more than a little bit shocking. Enjoy!The Ancestor is out in paperback from Custom House on April 13th.Other books we discussed include:Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places (2016), by Colin DickeyThe Unidentified: Mythical Monsters, Alien Encounters and our Obsession with the Unexplained (2020), by Colin DickeySapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (2011), by Yuval Noah HarariFlowers in the Attic (1979), by V.C. AndrewsThe Historian (2005), by Elizabeth KostovaSupport the show by donating: https://ko-fi.com/talkingscaredpod Come talk books on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to talkingscaredpod@gmail.com.
Welcome to the Green Mountain State, lovely, liberal . . . haunted!!Our guest is to ghost-stories what Ben and Jerry are to ice cream – Vermont’s resident ghost-writer-in-chief, Jennifer McMahon. Her new novel, The Drowning Kind takes us back to the small towns, local stores and eerie histories typical of her fiction, but with an added turning of the screw – it’s not the house that’s haunted, it’s the pool out back. If that sounds cheesy, it ISN’T. The Drowning Kind is an alternative type of ghost story – how alternative, and whether what lurks in the pool is even a ghost – are both subjects we dive into. Jen tells me about why she finds such darkness in Vermont’s pleasant green hills, and I get very excited to talk to someone about the state’s folklore! Oh, and there are index cards. Many, many index cards. For the technique-geek, or the aspiring novelist, this is some serious insight into the creative process of a master plotter. As promised in the show, here is some further detail on her system. Enjoy!The Drowning Kind is out from Gallery Books on April 6th. Other books we discussed include: The Invited (2019), by Jennifer McMahonThe House Next Door (1978), by Anne River SiddonsThe Haunting of Hill House (1959), by Shirley JacksonWe Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962), by Shirley Jackson“The Monkey’s Paw” (1902), by W. W. JacobsCome Closer (2003), by Sara GranCome talk books on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to talkingscaredpod@gmail.com.Thanks to Adrian Flounders for graphic design.
Does your child draw pentagrams? Have you noticed the neighbours hanging their robes over the washing line? Worst of all, have they started listening to …. HEAVY METAL??You may be experiencing a satanic panic. Worry not, our guest, Clay McLeod Chapman can diagnose this for you. Clay’s new novel, Whisper Down the Lane is both a homage to the horror of the 80s, and an exploration of how that decade's battle with truth, memory and Satan(!!) lives on today. His story riffs on the very real scandal at the McMartin Preschool, as well as the wider hysteria that led to people being sacked, vilified and even imprisoned based upon absolute bulls*t.As you’ll hear, it’s a darker tale than I had imagined, but it’s also jam-packed with references, easter-eggs and allusions to the horror that made the decade. Along the way Clay talks to me about how the satanic panic never really went away, how it ties into our very modern sense of ‘truth’ and he tells me why he never wants his kids to read his stories. On my part, I tell him the world is ok and other unconscionably optimistic things!Oh, and I’m convinced that Clay orchestrated Lil Nas X’s ’Satan Shoes’ to help him sell more copies. Enjoy!Whisper Down the Lane is published by Quirk Books on April 6th 2021. Other books we discussed this week include:Rosemary’s Baby (1967), by Ira LevinGeek Love (1989), by Katherine DunnNothing But Blackened Teeth (2021), by Cassandra KhawCome talk books on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to talkingscaredpod@gmail.com.Thanks to Adrian Flounders for graphic design.
We’ve covered our share of plagues on this show during our all-too-real year of sitting indoors and waiting for the pandemic to sod off. Do you have the guts for one more? You should, but you may empty them.Our guest is V.L. Valentine and her debut novel The Plague Letters transports us to London in 1665. The Great Plague is scouring the population, with only the barest medical expertise to hold it at bay. Into this ghastly furnace comes a killer, hiding in plain sight.It’s a fantastic premise for a novel and Vikki does the idea great service. In this episode you’ll hear my general dislike of historical detective fiction – and how The Plague Letters is a very different beast. We also talk Ebola, c-sections, lockdown ethics, and the problem with passive characters – as well as wondering what the serial killers are doing during social distancing. This is not for the faint-hearted, or the weak of stomach. Enjoy!The Plague Letters is published by Viper Books on April 1st, 2001.Come talk books on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to talkingscaredpod@gmail.com.Thanks to Adrian Flounders for graphic design.
This is a big one. The Last House on Needless Street may be the best pure horror novel I’ve read this decade. Okay, the decade is only 3 months old, but check back with me in 9 years and I may still be saying the same.I’m delighted to speak to the author of this latter-day classic, Catriona Ward, about secrets and lies and how the hell you begin to describe a book that is one big spoiler!  Once Cat and I work out how to even talk about the novel without ruining for everyone, we then spend a happy hour navigating the nooks and crannies of the book and its titular house. We start with Ted Bundy, end with Ed Gein, and in between we cover why cats are inscrutable, how you write mental illness responsibly, and Cat tell us about the times a ghost pushed her out of bed. It’s been a long wait to discuss this book, and I’m delighted I finally can. If you have read it get in touch. I’m dying to know what other’s think. Enjoy!The Last House on Needless Street is published by in the UK on Mrch 18th by Viper Books. It will be published in North America on Septmeber 28th by Tor Nightfire.Other books discussed in this episode include:Rawblood (2015), by Catriona WardLittle Eve (2018), by Catriona WardThe Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper (2019), by Hallie RubenholdSpider (1990), by Patrick McGrath Come talk books on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to talkingscaredpod@gmail.com.Thanks to Adrian Flounders for graphic design.
Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there was a young woman, bad men, and some homicidal mermaids. It’s fairy tale time.Our guest is Angela Slatter, who’s new novel All the Murmuring Bones turns the fairy stories that comforted you as a child, into a horrid tale of murder, inheritance, death, sex and entrapment. In this world Hansel and Gretel would be a very tasty pie-filling. Angela has spent years studying the fairy tale tradition and turning it against her readers. All the Murmuring Bones is her first full length novel taking place in the dark world he has created. This conversation is half about her book, and half about the tradition as a whole. Think of it as a compact university course without the fees, the homework or the risk of STIs. We talk about the darker versions of old tales, why all fairytales seem inherently feminist, and why they are coming back into force. I also make a big mistake about mythical creatures that makes me sound more than a little creepy, until rectified. Enjoy!All the Murmuring Bones is published by Titan Books on March 9th in Australia and North America, and on March 29th in the UK.Other books mentioned in this episode include:Sourdough and other Stories (2010), by Angela SlatterThe Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings (2014), by Angela SlatterThe Once and Future Witches (2020), by Alex HarrowKissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins (1993), by Emma DonoghueThe Bloody Chamber  (1979), by Angela CarterThe Faery Handbag  (2004), by Kelly LinkFrom the Beast to the Blond: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers (1994), by Marina WarnerCome talk books on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to talkingscaredpod@gmail.com.Thanks to Adrian Flounders for graphic design.
Isolation is a bitch, but it could be worse!Our guest is Bethany Clift and her debut novel is  Last One at the Party – a pandemic novel that reminds you that at least we have Netflix, facetime and the chance to call our friends. Beth’s novel follows an unnamed woman, the last survivor of a global plague that has emptied out the world in just a few weeks. As she struggles through the ruins of a posta-apocalyptic Britain, she also confronts the wreckage of her life in the ‘before times’. If that all sounds dreadfully grim, and not at all what you want to read in our current plight, then remember three things: 1)     WE have a vaccine (and it’s working)2)     This book is also laugh out loud hilarious3)     There is a dog called Lucky that you will love with all your heart. Beth and I have a bit of laugh on this one – perhaps inappropriately so considering we’re discussing the end of the world – but we also cover what it’s like to actually write about Covid-19 in retrospect, why ‘stroking the dog’ is not a euphemism, but a very clever trick, and whether we still have space for apocalyptic glee in our reading.Forgive the title of the episode, all will make sense when you listen … and read the book.Enjoy! Last One at the Party was published in the UK by Hodder on 4th Feb 2021 and will be published in other territories soon.Other books discussed include:The Stand (1978), by Stephen KingThe Long Walk (1979), by Stephen KingI Am Legend (1954), by Richard MathesonThe Road (2006), by Cormac McCarthy Come talk books on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to talkingscaredpod@gmail.com.Thanks to Adrian Flounders for graphic design.
If you’ve been homeschooling, in labour, or generally responsible for the life of a small human during lockdown, then this episode is for you. There are people out there, writers with great skill and empathy, who share your pain, and know how you feel.This week’s guest is Julia Fine, the author of Bram Stoker Award Nominated What Should Be Wild, and now the postpartum nightmare, The Upstairs House.Julia’s novel is about new motherhood, societal expectation, the horror of lost self, and ghosts. Really weird ghosts, of literary figures who demand she write their story, or else they may take her child.During our conversation we cover a whole host of things, from the lack of literary representation for postpartum sufferers, to the haunting legacy of famous children’s authors … oh, and I also inadvertently compare Julia’s child to my puppy – and I await the rage of any listeners with a new baby. But yeah, this is a good book that raises a lot of questions, and a good chat that answers some of them really well.Enjoy!The Upstairs House is published on February 23rd by Harper.Other books discussed in this episode include:The Bloody Chamber (1979), by Angela CarterThe Yellow Wallpaper (1892), by Charlotte Perkings GilmanHouse of Leaves (2000), by Mark Z. DanielewskiFever Dream (2014), by Samantha SchweblinCome talk books on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to talkingscaredpod@gmail.com.Thanks to Adrian Flounders for graphic design.
Hands up who wants a holiday! Sarah Pearse’s The Sanatorium could be just the thing to purge your lockdown travel desires. It will either transport you to the ice-white peaks of the Swiss Alps, to luxuriate in the views inside your mind. Or, it’ll make you never ever want to stay in a hotel again.The Sanatorium is Sarah’s debut thriller, a novel that sits uncomfortably (in the best possible way) between crime, mystery and horror – with a hospital-cum-hotel that would rank VERY low on TripAdvisor.Cleanliness = 5*Location = 5*Facilities = 5*Chance of survival = 1*Sarah and I discuss the tussle to define a debut novel, we share stories of living in Switzerland and ponder what it is about all that beauty that chills the bone, and we pick apart the comparisons to Stephen King and Agatha Christie.The Sanatorium is published Feb 2nd in North America by Pamela Dorman and Feb 18th 2021 in the UK, by Bantam Press.Stick around after the interview to hear all the big news about what’s coming to Talked Scared later this year. I’m excited, I hope you are.Enjoy! Books discussed in this episode include:The Shining (1977), by Stephen KingThe Little Stranger (2009), by Sarah WatersThin Air (2016), by Michelle PaverDark Matter (2010), by Michelle Paver Come talk books on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to talkingscaredpod@gmail.com.Thanks to Adrian Flounders for graphic design.
Have you ever had a book scare you so much that part of you wishes you hadn’t read it? That’s the experience I had reading Gemma Files’ latest collection, In That Endlessness, Our End. I don’t know how Gemma does it, but with each story she finds a psychological pressure point that feels specifically mine, and the presses down on it hard with her pen. On more than one occasion I had to stop reading this book because it freaked me out too much. And I mean that as the highest praise.  In That Endlessness, Our End is full of stories of multimedia gone mad, sensory overload, mad gods and strange houses, and an alleyway that may take your child and give you something else in return. Gemma is a wealth of fact and opinion on horror. In our conversation we go deep, into the mechanics of horror writing as well as the inspiration behind some of the tales. We get into night terrors, how you evoke panic on the page, and how neurodiversity informs her unique brand of horror. But despite all this fear and intensity, we also have a good laugh. Gemma even takes the time to tell us as fairytale!!Enjoy!In That Endlessness, Our End is published by Grimscribe Press on 15th February 2021. Other books we mention include:The Elementals (1981), by Michael McDowellAncient Images (1989), by Ramsey CampbellEvery House is Haunted (2013), by Ian RogersBurnt Black Suns (2014), by Simon StrantzasGrotesquerie (2020), by Richard GavinCome talk books on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to talkingscaredpod@gmail.com.Thanks to Adrian Flounders for graphic design.
When your guest calls herself the “Master of the Bitch” you do wonder what you’re getting into. Courtney Summers, by her own admission, wants to upset people. Yet she’s a delight! To kick of Women in Horror week we discuss her new novel, The Project, which follows a young woman as she investigates the New York based cult that has swallowed up her sister. This is FAR from your standard cult novel. As Courtney explains, she wanted to get away from the exploitation and the obvious horrors and instead consider why people search for belonging in such dark places, and whether we would be impervious to The Project’s allure. We also talk about her penchant for ‘unlikeable’ female protagonists, and whether there’s a double standard in how fiction treats challenging women. We celebrate Biden’s inauguration, I tell her about my worst ever spider encounter, and she takes me to school for dissing YA fiction. Enjoy!The Project was published by Wednesday Books on February 2nd 2021.Other books mentioned include: Sadie (2018), by Courtney SummersRedder Days (2021), by Sue RainsfordThe Children of Red Peak (2020), by Craig Di LouieThe Need (2019), by Helen PhillipsCome talk books on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to talkingscaredpod@gmail.com.Thanks to Adrian Flounders for graphic design.
Let’s get Gothic! Our guest this week is Laura Purcell, doyenne of the dark, heiress of historical fiction (and other alliterative titles). Laura blew away the cobwebs wrapped around spooky period fiction with her breakout smash, The Silent Companions in 2017. She followed up with The Corset and Bone China and now she’s back with her newest Gothic novel, The Shape of Darkness.  The novel examines all the wrinkles and crannies in the Victorian underbelly, from spirit mediums, to mesmerism, and the uncanny art of silhouette portraits. Trust me, you’ll want one for yourself.We talk about the line between gothic and horror, why writing historical fiction can be a way to sneak your horror under the radar, and whether the stereotypes of the period make it frustrating to write about Victorian women. After all, how many times a day can a woman swoon?In an unrelated anecdote, Laura also divulges her secret terror of sloths. Oh, and I waffle on about the history of gothic fiction cos I just can’t resist lecturing people.Other books discussed include:The Residence (2020), by Andrew PyperThe Haunting of Alma Fielding (2020), by Andrew PyperShadowland, or Light From the Other Side (1897), by Elizabeth d’Esperance“The Blue Lenses,” in The Breaking Point (1959), by Daphne du Maurier“The Mezzotint”, “A View From A Hill” and “Oh Whistle and I’ll Come To You My Lad”, found in The Collected Ghost Stories of M.R. James Enjoy!The Shape of Darkness was published by Raven Books on January 21st 2021.Come talk books on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to talkingscaredpod@gmail.com.Thanks to Adrian Flounders for graphic design.
In a week in which the White House becomes a little less orange, it’s hard to dwell on the nasty side of life. But this is Talking Scared and we can find the grim and creepy on even the most optimistic days.Our guest is C.J. Tudor – the current queen of the British thriller. She sits quite comfortably on the cusp of horror and crime, and we get into the subject of exactly where that borderline is. Her new novel, The Burning Girls continues her blending of the fast-paced American thriller, with the folk-tradition of the British horror story. A tale about a vicar, who moves with her daughter to a small Sussex town, with a terrible history of child sacrifice, and a more recent taste for murder and suicide – what’s not to like? C.J and I talk in depth about the perils of causing offence in your fiction, how to write a vicar protagonist, and what it felt like when Stephen King said he liked her book! Oh, and I may cause a bit of controversy when I give Kubrick’s adaption of The Shining a good kicking.The Burning Girls is published by Michael Joseph Books on January 21st 2021. Other books discussed include:The Chalk Man (2018), by CJ TudorThe Other People (2020), by CJ TudorThe Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (2018), by Stuart TurtonThe Last (2019), by Hanna JamesonIf It Bleeds (2020), by Stephen KingThe Shining (1977), by Stephen King Come talk books with us on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to talkingscaredpod@gmail.com.Thanks to Adrian Flounders for graphic design.
Ready for the first GREAT book you’ll read this year? Our guest this week is Will Dean, calling all the way from the middle of a Scandinavian forest to talk about his new novel, The Last Thing To Burn.I’ve been banging on about this book since I read it in December. It’s a latter-day masterpiece, a read-in-one-sitting, this-has-to-be-a-movie kind of book. Think Misery, think Room and then think how much worse could the horrors be. The truth, a lot worse.Will and I talk about off-grid living, both his bucolic existence and his protagonist’s torment. We talk about the difference between writing the English and Swedish landscapes, and why the English fens are much scarier than the Scandi woods. We also talk about how you capture a monster’s voice, and whether you know you are going too far in a novel. It’s a great conversation, and you’ll end up inspired you to quit your job, build a house, and live in it! If you want advice on how to do it, or just to peer into his idyllic life, you can find Will on Youtube @ Will Dean Forest Author Along the way we discuss a range of classic novels, including: Misery (1987), by Stephen KingOn Writing (2000), by Stephen KingRoom (2010), by Emma DonaghueThe Collector (1963), by John FowlesThe Road (2006), by Cormac McCarthyAsylum (1996), by Patrick McGrath Enjoy!Come talk books with us on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to talkingscaredpod@gmail.com.Thanks to Terry Smith Audio for sound editing and Adrian Flounders for graphic design.
I like this year better than last year already. Ok, we may be plunged back into lockdown 3.0 and it may be cold, and the cinemas may still be shut. But we have a vaccine, Trump looks like he’s got nappy rash … and there’s a whole year of horror fiction to look forward to. Unfortunately for you, there’s no guest this week. Instead, you’re stuck with me as I talk you through the highlights and predicted hits of horror fiction 2021. I’ve already read two books that are fighting their way into my ALL TIME BEST HORROR list, could there be more.We have new books from the likes of Grady Hendrix, Stephen Graham Jones, Christina Henry, Cassandra Khaw, Laura Purcell, Catriona Ward, Richard Chizmar, Zoje Stage, Zakiya Dalalila Harris, Chuck Wendig and more. Listen, consider, argue, rant, email me and tell me I’m wrong. But get ready to take the horror out of the nightly news and back into your bedtime reading.Enjoy!Come talk books with us on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to talkingscaredpod@gmail.com.Thanks to Terry Smith Audio for sound editing and Adrian Flounders for graphic design.
2020 is nearly behind us (woohoo!) but we have time for one more interview with a master of horror. Our guest this week is Michael Marshall Smith the genre polymath and man of a thousand pseudonyms (all of them involving ‘Michael’.)He is joining me to discuss his new career retrospective, The Best of Michael Marshall Smith, published in a beautiful volume by Subterranean Press. It’s a huge collection of stories, covering Michael’s 30 years of writing, from his recent work, all the way back to his debut story “The Man Who Drew Cats” – which won the British Fantasy Award. Along the way we talk about living and writing on both sides of the Atlantic, our shared love of Stephen King and why Michael writes about cats so much. We also establish that I’m a dog person. And just to make sure we cover all the bases, we also devote a few minutes to discussing the orange baby currently tantrum-ing his way out of the White House, cos it is 2020 still, after all. Lastly, if that isn’t enough for you, I run through the first “Talking Scared Top-Ten Horror of the Year” list. Next year there might be prizes, who knows. It’s been an astonishing year for horror and the first few months of this show have exposed me to writing and thinking that I may otherwise have missed. I can only hope it’s done the same for some of you.So, see you in 2021, when the skies will be blue, the birds singing, and the ghosts moaning a bit more cheerfully.Enjoy!Come talk books with us on Twitter @talkscaredpod, on Instagram, or email direct to talkingscaredpod@gmail.com.Thanks to Terry Smith Audio for sound editing and Adrian Flounders for graphic design.
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