Are you in the mood for a good scare this Halloween? How about some female horror writers to digest with your candy cache? And what can be better than a day to dress up in costume and read female authored spec lit?
Female authored horror short stories of course. Here’s a list of stories you can pick up and read today, just in time to finish before bed. These 5 Female Horror Writers and their short fiction will delight, terrify and surprise. *This is not a complete list of female horror writers. The stories listed below were compiled because they are available free and online. For greater racial diversity in the horror genre, take a look at Sumiko Saulson’s compiled lists of 60 Black Women in Horror.
Octavia Butler- Octavia Butler wrote more than novels. “Bloodchild” is a story about aliens unlike anything you’ve ever read. Her horror in this piece stems from gender and consent. You can also find this story in the collection, Bloodchild and Other Stories.
Anne Rice- Though best known for her Vampire Chronicles series (Interview with the Vampire being the first novel), she also writes short pieces. To take a bite out of Rice’s short vampire fiction, here’s “The Master of Rampling Gate“.
Shirley Jackson- Even if you’ve already read “The Lottery“, please read it again. There’s nothing more horrifying than Jackson’s suspense and wondrously crafted mob mentality.
Edith Wharton- Maybe you’ve read The Age of Innocence, or Ethan Frome in school. But did you know Wharton also wrote horror? Her entire collection, Tales of Men and Ghosts is available for you to read free today.
N.K. Jemisin- “Read Riding-Hood’s Child” received an Honorable Mention in The Year’s Best Horror 2010. Read (and listen! the link is to a podcast) above. For more of Jemisin’s work, check out her bibliography for links to more of her short stories.
Sarah Monette (AKA Katherine Addison)- Any of the Kyle Murchison Booth stories, really (collected in The Bone Key: The Necromantic Mysteries of Kyle Murchison Booth). One of Monette’s influences is H.P. Lovecraft. Can you tell? Listen to her read her story: “Elegy for a Demon Lover“. All her fiction and essays that are available online are compiled on her livejournal.
Happy reading and good luck sleeping tonight.