I was pretty excited by Mark Morris’ New Fears last year. It was a terrific horror anthology, with brand new stories by Alison Littlewood, Angela Slatter, Nina Allan, Chaz Brenchley, Ramsey Campbell, Adam Nevill, Muriel Gray, Kathryn Ptacek, Christopher Golden, and many others.
I kept an eye out for the second one in the series, and it arrived right on schedule from Titan Books last month. New Fears 2 looks even better, with 21 stories by the most acclaimed writers in the genre, including Priya Sharma, Robert Shearman, Gemma Files, Tim Lebbon, Brian Hodge, V. H. Leslie, Brian Evenson, Steve Rasnic Tem, Aliya Whiteley, John Langan, Paul Tremblay, and many others.
But anthology series are a tough sell in today’s market, as we’ve talked about here a few times (see “Is the Original SF and Fantasy Paperback Anthology Series Dead?” for some extensive discussion on the topic) So I was dismayed, but not too surprised, to see a public plea from Morris last week for support for his new series.
On Sunday New Fears picked up the British Fantasy Award for Best Anthology. The reviews for the book have been overwhelmingly positive, with a couple of reviewers even saying that it’s the best horror anthology they’ve read for years… And as with New Fears, the reviews for New Fears 2 have been phenomenally good.
Despite all these accolades, New Fears simply hasn’t sold enough copies for Titan, at this time, to recommission the series… However if sales pick up, and the first two volumes earn out their advances, then there’s a possibility they make pick the series up again at a later date.
If you want New Fears as a series to continue, what I need you to do, therefore, is simply to buy the books. If you’ve been planning on buying them but haven’t got around to it yet, then please do so… I’m really passionate about New Fears. I think we’ve proved that there is definitely a need out there for an annual, non-themed horror anthology that acts as a showcase for the very best fiction being produced in the horror genre — not only by established authors, but also by relative newcomers, or even complete unknowns who are producing great work but haven’t, up to now, had the platform to display it.
I plan to pick up a copy of New Fears 2 this week at the World Fantasy Convention, and I hope that, wherever you are, you’ll do the same. The day after his original post, Mark reported “On Amazon volumes one and two shot back up the Horror Anthology chart to numbers 14 and 3 respectively… people saw the posts and ordered the books.” I’ve been in the publishing business long enough to know how much difference a word of mouth campaign can make.
Every dollar you spend is a vote for the books you love — make yours count.
Here’s the complete Table of Contents for New Fears 2.
Introduction by Mark Morris
“Maw,” Priya Sharma
“The Airport Gorilla,” Stephen Volk
“Thumbsucker,” Robert Shearman
“Bulb,” Gemma Files
“Fish Hooks,” Kit Power
“Emergence,” Tim Lebbon
“On Cutler Street,” Benjamin Percy
“Letters from Elodie,” Laura Mauro
“Steel Bodies,” Ray Cluley
“The Migrants,” Tim Lucas
“Rut Seasons,” Brian Hodge
“Sentinel,” Catriona Ward
“Almost Aureate,” V. H. Leslie
“The Typewriter,” Rio Youers
“Leaking Out,” Brian Evenson
“Thanatrauma,” Steve Rasnic Tem
“Pack Your Coat,” Aliya Whiteley
“Haak,” John Langan
“The Dead Thing,” Paul Tremblay
“The Sketch,”y Alison Moore
“Pigs Don’t Squeal in Tigertown,” Bracken MacLeod
New Fears 2 was published by Titan Books on September 18, 2018. It is 383 pages, priced at $14.95 in trade paperback and $7.99 for the digital version. Order copies right from the Titan website.
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