MalevolentDark.com Top 10 Extreme Horror Fiction of 2020
1. The Magpie Coffin by Wile E. Young
2020 was the year of the Splatter Western, and Young’s contribution to that horror subgenre is among the best of the bunch so far. Set in 1875, The Magpie Coffin is told in first person by an outlaw on a quest for vengeance against the people who murdered his Comanche shaman mentor while also trying to stay ahead of his bloody past.
2. True Crime by Samantha Kolesnik
Drawing comparisons to Jack Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door, True Crime is a bleak novella about a girl who kills her abusive mother then embarks on a cross-country killing spree with her mentally challenged brother. While no longer in print because the author retired from writing horror, it remains a powerful character study on the tragic effects of childhood trauma.
3. The Essential Sick Stuff by Ronald Kelly
Called “the undisputed king of Southern horror” by Splatterpunk Awards cofounder Brian Keene, Kelly assembles a collection of 23 tales that combine his three Extreme Horror collections into one edition. Includes an entertaining introduction by Kelly on how the Splatterpunk movement of the late 1980s and early 1990s pushed him to jump on the “blood-and-guts bandwagon.”
4. Worst Laid Plans: An Anthology of Vacation Horror edited by Samantha Kolesnik
This Bram Stoker Award-nominated anthology features 14 terrifying and twisted tales of summer vacation gone wrong. Includes stories by V. Castro, Hailey Piper, Patrick Lacey, Scott Cole, Laura Keating, Malcolm Mills, Jeremy Herbert, S.E. Howard, Chad Stroup, Kenzie Jennings, Waylon Jordan, Greg Sisco, Asher Ellis, and Mark Wheaton. Features a foreword by Sadie Hartmann who edited the Bram Stoker Award-nominated anthology Human Monsters: A Horror Anthology.
5. Gone to See The River Man by Kristopher Triana
An atmospheric novel about a woman’s obsessive relationship with a serial killer who at his behest embarks on a journey with her handicapped sister to retrieve a key from a cabin in the woods and deliver it to the mysterious figure known only as The River Man. By the two-time Splatterpunk Award-winning author of Full Brutal and The Night Stockers (with Ryan Harding).
6. The Slob by Aron Beauregard
A neat freak of a woman takes a job selling vacuums door-to-door after discovering she’s pregnant with her disabled husband. All goes well until she arrives on the steps of an evil that resurrects the ghastly memories of her past, leading to some extreme horror. By the two-time Splatterpunk Award-winning author of Playground and Beyond Reform (with Jon Athan and Jasper Bark).
7. Rhapsody in Red by Peter Molnar
Subtitled Two Novellas of The Damned, this collection features “The Remainders: A Revenge Fantasy” about a former medium who makes a deal with a vengeful spirit to restore her powers, and “Dallas Teller’s Kill List” about a guidance counselor who seeks the truth of a student’s decision to bring a gun and kill list of students and faculty to his school.
8. Cerberus Rising by M. Ennenbach, Chris Miller, and Patrick C. Harrison III
Three authors use three prompts – Cabin Fever, Letters, and Chaos – to write nine novelettes and take the reader on a journey through nine different levels of Hell.
9. Chew on This! edited by Robert Essig
An anthology of 16 tales about creepy restaurants, forbidden feasts, and more. Featuring stories by Kristopher Triana, K. Trap Jones, Nikki Noir, Mark C. Scioneaux, Vivian Kasley, Chad Stroup, John McNee, Victorya Chase, Armand Rosamilia, Sarah Johnson and Robert Bose, S.C. Mendes, Shenoa Carroll-Bradd, Sylvia Anne Telfer, Tonia Brown, Ronald Kelly, and Chad Lutzke.
10. Slaughter Box by Carver Pike
Subtitled A Diablo Snuff Story, this standalone novel features a tormented man named Kong whose life mission is to hunt down the evil entity known as Diablo Snuff. Trying his hand at a normal life, Kong asks his best friend’s sister out on a date to the grand re-opening of the 5-Star Movie Plex downtown … and then all hell breaks loose.