Spooktastic Reads: 13 days of dark fantasy

Spooktastic Reads: a Wyrd & Wonder mini-event

Autumn is creeping up on us with its promise of arboreal colour, cosy sweaters, and dark nights perfect for curling up with a book that sets our hearts racing. As ever, your Wyrd & Wonder team are here to help! Spooktastic Reads will be back to dare the darker side of fantasy in the 13 days and nights leading up to Hallowe’en.

What’s all this then?

Wyrd & Wonder celebrates the fantastic, inviting like-minded genre lovers to spend each May revelling in the magic of other worlds. Spooktastic Reads is Wyrd and Wonder’s autumnal shadow, 13 days (because of course) in which we seek out the stories that thrive in the shadows between between fantasy and horror. We’ll be reading and watching and chattering as we go, and we’d love company (just don’t creep up behind me unless you want to see how fast a bookworm can relocate from sofa to ceiling).

What counts as a Spooktastic Read?

Spooktastic Reads came about in part because we like the idea of Hallowe’en but aren’t very good at horror. This year, I’ll be focusing on haunted forests and contemporary vampires, unnerving legends and atmosphere so thick I can spread it on toast.

So what might you read? If you have the constitution for horror, dive right in, it’s that time of year! If pure fantasy is more your speed, look for cross-over tropes. Shapeshifters? Sure. Witchcraft? You bet. Underworlds? Definitely. Necromancy? Absolutely. We’re firm believers that gates don’t need keepers, so a Spooktastic Read can be anything from a Gothic novel to an urban fantasy thriller, or a contemporary fantasy that just happens to have some ghosts in it.

Two of my favourite reads this year so far are fantastic candidates: Just Like Home (Sarah Gailey) is a haunted house x serial killer drama; while Dead Water (CA Fletcher) sees an ancient curse wreak its terrible, timeless revenge on an isolated Scottish island. There’s also two on my wishlist that I might just have to buy and add to my October TBR because they’re perfect: Saint Death’s Daughter (CSE Cooney) is a political fantasy about necromancers; and Small Angels (Lauren Owen) features another haunted forest, about to disrupt a perfect day.

In spite of the bookish name, Spooktastic Reads is not limited to books – Lisa is planning a movie night or two (livetweet those scares!) and we welcome musings on music, games or anything else that takes your fancy. Which reminds me, I need a theme for my spooktastic Top Ten…

How do I take part?

We’ll be celebrating Spooktastic Reads for the 13 days starting October 19th until Hallowe’en. Spooktastic Reads is a casual mini-event with no sign up and no schedule – just tag #SpooktasticReads or @WyrdAndWonder if you post on Twitter or Instagram, or link back to one of the co-hosts when you post to your blog. No read-alongs – but watch out for a prompt a day to inspire your reading, blogging or other posts.

Your hosts are Annemieke of A Dance With Books (to whom a big thanks for our spooktastic banner this year!), Ariana of The Book Nook, Jorie Loves A Story and (in the back seat this year) Lisa of Dear Geek Place and imyril here at There’s Always Room One For More.

Will you venture into the dark with us?