It was Goth Chick who introduced me to the novels of Ania Ahlborn, with her advance review of The Neighbors (which she said “lies somewhere near the intersection of Blue Velvet and Basic Instinct due to its psychological suspense and ever-mounting terror”). Goth Chick interviewed Ania just a few months later, and teased a tale of childhood horror out of her involving a Ouija board and a couple of porcelain dolls (“These things, I swear… they’d change position in the night.”) When The Neighbors was released in November 2012, Ahlborn confided to us that “My fingers are crossed that I get at least a few dozen marriage proposals.” The bio on the back of her latest book says she’s married, so I hope that worked out for her.
It was Goth Chick who introduced me to Ania, but it was Andrew Liptak at The Verge who tipped me off to her new novella collection Apart in the Dark, in his report on the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy in January of this year. Here’s Andrew:
If you’re looking for a pair of shorter reads, Ania Ahlborn’s new book is a pair of supernatural novellas, “The Pretty Ones” and “I Call Upon Thee.” In the first, New York City is gripped with fear in the midst of the Son of Sam murders, and when her best friend is murdered, Nell Sullivan knows that there’s something else responsible. In the other, Maggie Olsen spent her childhood stalked by a shadow, and years later, she’s forced to return home to confront her past.
Both stories were previously published as digital novellas; this is their first appearance in print. Both are very nearly novel length — “The Pretty Ones” is 142 pages, and “I Call Upon Thee” is 210. I bought a copy a few weeks ago, and so far I’m enjoying it. Any book that opens with a Robert Bloch quote (“The man who smiles when things go wrong has thought of someone to blame it on”) is okay in my book.
Apart in the Dark was published by Gallery Books on January 16, 2018. It is 365 pages, priced at $16 in trade paperback. There is no digital edition. The cover was designed by Anna Dorfman.