Tom Doherty Associates, home to SFF publisher Tor Books and other genre imprints, is releasing its first print titles under the Nightfire name in September. “Tor has always published horror,” says Fritz Foy, president and publisher at TDA, citing long-established writers including Ramsey Campbell, Brian Lumley, and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. Today, he says, “there’s an incredibly diverse group of authors and artists creating new ways to share stories,” and the dedicated horror imprint is a way “to answer the call of a vocal and enthusiastic audience.”
In 2019, Nightfire released the audio-only horror anthology Come Join Us by the Fire, with 35 stories by Carmen Maria Machado, Paul Tremblay, Alyssa Wong, and others; a second installment followed in 2020. This fall brings Nightfire’s first round of print releases: trade paper reissues, including 2016’s Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and several new books.
Here’s a look at the first original titles in Nightfire’s debut line, plus three forthcoming releases from authors whose earlier works received starred reviews from PW.
Hendrix’s most recent release, The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, is a “powerful, eclectic novel,” per PW’s starred review, that “pays homage to the literary vampire canon and stands singularly within it.” In his new book, the author plays with the trope of the “final girl,” or last woman standing in a slasher flick. Lynnette Tarkington attends weekly therapy sessions with other massacre survivors to address their lasting trauma; when one of the group members goes missing, Lynnette fears the worst.
The Last House on Needless Street
Ted, who suffers from suspicious gaps in his memory, lives with his teenage daughter, Lauren, who is no longer permitted outside after a mysterious incident, and their cat, Olivia, who reads the Bible and is a keen observer of human nature. A new neighbor moves in next door, believing Ted is responsible for her little sister’s disappearance years earlier. PW’s starred review of Ward’s debut, 2017’s The Girl from Rawblood, said the author “perfectly balances sensory richness with the chills of the uncanny.”
In what PW’s starred review called an “audacious extravaganza,” 17-year-old Jade Daniels, who is of Blackfoot descent, draws on her deep knowledge of horror films to investigate a series of deaths in her gentrifying town. Jones “expertly mixes the frightening and the funny,” the review said, “in this no-holds-barred homage to classic horror tropes written under the heady influence of splatter films.” The author’s previous novels include 2020’s PW-starred The Only Good Indians.
In 1666, Abitha arrives in colonial Connecticut, betrothed to a stranger. Her new husband dies under shadowy circumstances soon after they’re wed, making her an outcast in her Puritan community. She turns to Slewfoot, a spirit (or possibly a demon), for help, setting off a battle between Puritan and pagan. Author-illustrator Brom intersperses his tale with two dozen dark, fantastical paintings.
This “outstanding third novel” earned Solomon their third PW starred review, and praise for “a breathtaking range of reference that will enable any reader, from horror geek to Derridean academic, to engage with this thrilling tale.” Vern, pregnant at 15, flees her religious compound for the woods, but a mysterious fiend and Vern’s strange bodily metamorphoses force her to leave her hiding place in search of answers.