Head below for a list of genre-blending titles – horror, mystery, short fiction collections, and more – available to you in June!
Keep track of all new SFF releases here. All title summaries are taken and/or abstracted from the copy provided by the publisher. Release dates are subject to change. Check out Tor Nightfire for a more comprehensive list of horror, dark fantasy, and weird fiction titles released this month, including anthologies, collections, and reissues.
Week 1 (June 7)
Buffalo is the new Buffalo — Chelsea Vowel (Arsenal Pulp Press)
“Education is the new buffalo” is a metaphor widely used by Indigenous peoples in Canada to signify the importance of education to their survival and ability to support themselves, as plains nations once supported themselves in as buffalo peoples. The assumption is that many pre-contact lifestyles are gone forever, so adaptation is needed. But Chelsea Vowel asks, “Instead of accepting that bison and our ancestral ways will never return, what if we just make sure they do? Inspired by classic and contemporary speculative fiction, Buffalo Is the New Buffalo explores science fiction tropes through a mixed-race lens: a 19th-century two-spirited (shapeshifter) rougarou tries to solve a murder in his community and joins the nêhiyaw- pwat (Iron Confederation) in order to successfully halt Canadian colonial expansion in the West. A mixed-race man is gored by a radioactive bison, gaining super strength, but losing the ability to be called back by anyone not related to him by blood. Nanites chat with cry babies, virtual reality teaches transformation, foxes take on human form and wreak havoc on hearts, buffaloes roam free, and beings grapple with the thorny issue of healing from colonialism.
Woman of Light — Kali Fajardo-Anstine (One World)
Tea leaf reader and laundress Luz “Little Light” Lopez is left on her own after her older brother, Diego, a snake charmer and factory worker, is chased out of town by a violent white mob. As Luz navigates 1930s Denver, she begins to experience visions that transport her to her native homeland in nearby Lost Territory. Luz remembers where her ancestors came from, how her family flourished, and how they were threatened. She bears witness to the sinister forces that have devastated her people and her homeland for generations. In the end, it’s up to Luz to save her family stories from fading into oblivion.
From the bottom — Darcy Coates (Poison Pen Press)
Years ago, the SS Arcadia disappeared without a trace while on a routine voyage. Although a strange and garbled emergency message was broadcast, neither the ship nor any of its crew could be found. Sixty years later, her wreckage was finally discovered more than three hundred miles off her intended course…a silent graveyard deep in the surface of the ocean, eagerly awaiting the first sign of life. Cove and his dive team have been granted permission to explore the rusting hull of the Arcadia. Their goal is simple: examine the wreckage, film everything and, if possible, find out how and why the supposedly unsinkable ship disappeared. But Arcadia hasn’t had its fill of death yet, and something dark and hungry is watching from below. With limited oxygen and the ship slowly closing around them, Cove and his team will have to fight their way free from the unspeakable horror that is desperate to claim them.
Garden of terrestrial bodies —Sally Oliver (Overlook Press)
Months after her sister’s death, Marianne wakes up to find a growth of thick black hair along her spine. They defy his attempts to suppress them, instead proliferating, lengthening. The hair, Marianne’s doctor tells her, is a reaction to trauma, developed following the loss of her sister, Marie. Her doctor recommends Marianne visit Nede, a modern, New Age rehabilitation center in a remote forest in Wales, where patients attend unorthodox therapy sessions and commune with nature. However, something strange happens to Marianne and Nede’s other patients: a sort of metamorphosis. As the hairs on his back continue to grow, the past begins to intertwine with the present and the boundaries of his consciousness threaten to disintegrate. She finds herself compulsively drawn to the memory of Mary, obsessed with the impulse that dragged her sister to death and shattered her family. As Marianne’s memories threaten to overwhelm her, Nede offers her freedom from this cycle of memory and pain, but only at a terrible price: that of identity itself.
Cries of the dark — ed. Ellen Datlow (Nightfire)
From werewolves and vampires to demons and aliens, the monster is one of horror’s most recognizable figures. But what makes something, or someone, monstrous? Award-winning and up-and-coming authors like Richard Kadrey, Cassandra Khaw, Indrapramit Das, Priya Sharma and many more try to answer this question. These all-new stories range from traditional to modern, from mainstream to literary, from familiar monsters to the unknown…and the unimaginable. This spooky collection has something to please and terrify everyone, so lock your doors, hide under your covers and try not to scream. Contributors include: Ian Rogers, Fran Wilde, Gemma Files, Daryl Gregory, Priya Sharma, Brian Hodge, Joyce Carol Oates, Indrapramit Das, Siobhan Carroll, Richard Kadrey, Norman Partridge, Garry Kilworth, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Chikodili Emelumadu, Glen Hirshberg, AC Wise, Stephen Graham Jones, Kaaron Warren, Livia Llewellyn, Carole Johnstone, Margo Lanagan, Joe R. Lansdale, Brian Evenson, Nathan Ballingrud, Cassandra Khaw, Laird Barron, Kristi DeMeester, Jeffrey Ford and John Langan.
Week 2 (June 14)
The Swan Maker — Paraic O’Donnell (Tin House)
In the middle of the night, shots ring out on the grounds of a vast English estate. Eustace, the world-weary butler, recognizes the shooter – his longtime employer, Mr. Crowe – and knows he must think and act quickly. Who is the man lying dead on the lawn? Who is the woman in his company? Can he clean up his master’s mess like he always did before? Or will it bring a new type of calculation? Mr. Crowe was once famous for his gifts, inexplicable gifts known only to members of a secret order. Protected and privileged, he was courted by countesses and great men of letters. But he has long since retired from this glittering world, living alone but for Eustace and Clara, his mysterious young ward. He was content to live quietly, his great library gathering dust and his once-beautiful gardens growing wild. He left the past behind him. So far. Because there are rules, even for Mr. Crowe and his ilk, that cannot be broken. And that single night of passion and violence will have consequences, stirring the shadows of the past and threatening those he now cares about. He and trusty Eustace will be tested like never before. So will Clara, whose extraordinary gifts remain hidden, even from herself. If she wants to save them all, she must learn to use them quickly and unlock the secret of who she is. It’s an unimaginable secret. A secret that will change everything.
Boys, beasts and men —Sam J Miller (Tachyon)
Despite his ability to control the surrounding digital cloud, an adoptive teenager falls in love with a clever con man. Luring bullies into a career, a boy takes a clearly enumerated revenge through unnatural powers of suggestion. Following a shapeshifting alien invasion, a survivor fears he may have brought something from the Arctic to infect the rest of the world. A rebellious group of queer artists create a new identity that transcends even the anonymity of death.
Week 3 (June 21)
No new titles.
Week 4 (June 28)
The measurement — Nikki Erlick (William Morrow)
It feels like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee and leave. But today, when you open your front door, a small wooden box is waiting for you. This box contains your destiny: the answer to the exact number of years you will live. From suburban thresholds to desert tents, every person on every continent gets the same box. In an instant, the world is thrown into a collective frenzy. Where do these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there any truth in what they promise? As society comes together and falls apart, everyone is faced with the same shocking choice: do they wish to know how long they will live? And, if so, what will they do with this knowledge?
Our twisted hearts — Melissa Albert (Flatiron Books)
Seventeen-year-old Ivy’s summer vacation begins with an accident, punishment and mystery: a stranger whose appearance in the middle of the road, in the middle of the night, heralds a series of events in increasingly disturbing. As the days pass, Ivy grapples with strange offers, corroded memories, and a secret she always knew: her mother Dana is more than meets the eye. Dana has always been insightful. And the summer she turns sixteen, with the help of her best friend and an ambitious older daughter, her gifts blossom into a heady adventure with the supernatural. As the trio’s aspirations darken, they find themselves accelerating towards a violent breaking point. Years after the start, Ivy and Dana’s shared history will come down to a reckoning between a daughter, a mother, and the dark forces they should never have toyed with.
thrust —Lidia Yuknavich (Riverhead)
Lidia Yuknavitch has an unparalleled gift for capturing stories of people on the margins – vulnerable humans leading lives of challenge and transcendence. Today, Yuknavich delivers an imaginative masterpiece: the story of Laisvė, a late 21st-century motherless girl who learns her power as a carrier, a person who can harness the power of meaningful objects for wear over time. Sifting through the detritus of a fallen city known as Brook, she discovers a talisman that will mysteriously connect her to a series of characters from the past two centuries: a French sculptor; an American underworld woman; the daughter of a dictator; an accused murderer; and a squad of workers at work on a national monument. Through intricately intertwined stories, Laisvė must dodge law enforcement raids and find her way to the present day, then, finally, to the early days of her flawed country, to forge a connection that could save their lives – and their shared dream of freedom. A dazzling novel of body, mind and survival, Thrust will leave no reader unmoved.