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My Reading List for 2022

On the whole, I didn’t enjoy 2022, it had some wonderful moments, but overall it’s been a challenging year. One bright spot—as it always is—has been my reading. Still, it took me until this last week in December to surpass my goal of forty-two novels ending the year with a solid forty-four books read. That’s three and a half books a month, a decent number for a reader as slow as myself. I primarily focused on novels and a few novellas. Like last year, you won’t find many comics or short stories below, but I did read some, and they are listed out though I won’t be naming a favorite in either category.

As it does every year, this list correlates with my Goodreads 2022 Reading Challenge. Occasionally, you might find some slight differences between the two. (Not this year.) This list is all strictly reading for pleasure—I typically forgo listing any research/history books I’ve read for a project as I read those differently than I do fiction. This list is always enormous, so l skip reviews except for the standouts. However, I’d invite you to follow me on Goodreads, where I occasionally leave other reviews.

Most links will go to IndieBound—now more than ever, be sure to support your local bookstore. If possible, I am directly linking to each author’s website—if you’re on the list and I didn’t find your website, please let me know about it. (I won’t link to social media, sorry.)

📚 Novels & Novellas

  1. Nemesis Games (The Expanse #5)
    by James S. A. Corey
  2. The Bright Ages
    by Matthew Gabriele & David M. Perry
  3. Storm of Locust (The Sixth World #2)
    by Rebecca Roanhorse
  4. Crossroads
    by Laurel Hightower
  5. High-Rise
    by J. G. Ballard
  6. The Wicked Blade
    by Jason Vanhee
  7. Between Two Fires
    by Christopher Buehlman
  8. Piranesi
    by Susanna Clarke
  9. Rise of the Mages (Age of Ire #1)
    by Scott Drakeford
  10. The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York
    by Robert A. Caro
  11. The Final Girl Support Group
    by Grady Hendrix
  12. Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle #1)
    by Neal Stephenson
  13. Shorefall (The Founders Trilogy #2)
    by Robert Jackson Bennett
  14. Rivers Of Power: How A Natural Force Raised Kingdoms, Destroyed Civilizations, And Shapes Our World
    by Lawrence C. Smith, PhD.
  15. Sphere
    by Michael Crichton
  16. Mexican Gothic
    by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  17. The Forever Sea (Tales of the Forever Sea #1)
    by Joshua Phillip Johnson
  18. Bone White
    by Ronald Malfi
  19. Dead Silence
    by S.A. Barnes
  20. The Civil War, Vol. 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian
    by Shelby Foote
  21. The Shadow of the Torturer
    by Gene Wolfe
  22. Centennial: A Novel
    by James A. Michener
  23. Parable of the Sower (Earthseed #1)
    by Octavia Butler
  24. Three Moments of an Explosion
    by China Miéville
  25. Billy Summers
    by Stephen King
  26. The Hollow Places
    by T. Kingfisher
  27. Tigana …again
    by Guy Gavriel Kay
  28. The Thirteenth Hour (The Cruel Gods #1)
    by Trudie Skies
  29. The Devil Takes You Home
    by Gabino Iglesias
  30. Clown in a Cornfield
    by Adam Cesare
  31. Shōgun
    by James Clavell
  32. The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South
    by Michael W. Twitty
  33. Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim #1) …again
    by Richard Kadrey
  34. The Book of Koli (Rampart Trilogy #1)
    by M. R. Carey
  35. Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom
    by David W. Blight
  36. The Hollow Kind
    by Andy Davidson
  37. Dracula …again… but sequentially
    by Bram Stoker
  38. The Water Dancer: A Novel
    by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  39. House of Hunger
    by Alexis Henderson
  40. Black Helicopters (Tinfoil Dossier #2)
    by Caitlin R. Kiernan
  41. West of Innsmouth: A Cthulhu Western
    by Hideyuki Kikuchi
  42. The Gone World
    by Tom Sweterlitsch
  43. Fairy Tale
    by Stephen King
  44. Razorblade Tears
    by S. A. Cosby

🏆 Favorite Novel of 2022

Between Two Fires

by Christopher Buehlman

A gripping historical horror set in France during the Black Plague that is as bleak as it is intense. Buehelman beautifully builds out the hellish world of 1348 Avignon and populates it with empathetic, if not fraught, characters while weaving their journey into a much larger and significantly more epic tale. Angels. Demons. Redemption. Sacrifice. War in heaven and on Earth. I was absorbed from its harrowing beginning to its spectacular ending. I wish I could erase my brain and read it again for the first time— Between Two Fires has become not only my favorite this year but one of my favorites of all time.

🏅 Favorite Novel Runners-up of 2022

The Hollow Kind

by Andy Davidson

A southern gothic-cum-cosmic horror story that oozes atmosphere and dread with the turn of every page. Brilliantly written, The Hollow Kind weaves two tales of different generations of the Redfern family. Tragedy subsumes the story as each struggle with inner demons and even darker family secrets on their thousand-acre turpentine estate deep in the Georgia pines. A phenomenal book and Davidson’s best work to date.

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

by Robert A. Caro

Arguably one of the most extraordinary biographic explorations into an individual’s life and his incredible impact on the modern city. Moses is a complicated figure. Caro conveys a sprawling saga of a driven man who would stop at nothing to see his vision accomplished, shedding everything along the way, from his friends, family, and values, on a relentless quest for power and control over the city of New York. Gripped me from the outset.

🎈 Honorable Mentions of 2022

It took a lot of internal debate to last on those three. Overall, 2022 was a good reading year for me, and a lot stood out. So out of all that list, here are a few more I think you owe it to yourself to check out:

  • Nemesis Games by James S. A. Corey
    I read one of these a year, and every year, I walk away thinking it’s the best epic sci-fi series I’ve read in a long, long time. This book was one of the best.
  • The Wicked Blade by Jason Vanhee
    Beautiful and melancholy Arthurian fantasy told from the perspective of an elderly Morgan le Fay.
  • Rise of the Mages by Scott Drakeford
    A violent action fantasy with solid world-building, loads of combat, and a unique magic system.
  • Crossroads by Laurel Hightower
    Heartbreaking horror showing how far a mother would go for her child.
  • Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett
    A phenomenal continuation of Bennett’s Founders Trilogy, it builds on the plot from the first book and expands into a whole new direction.
  • Billy Summers
    Stephen King writes an engaging crime thriller about an assassin who is also interested in becoming and novelist.
  • Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
    A strange and beautiful fever dream about an endless house and the man who lives within.
  • Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes
    Space star-cruise horror—gripping and intense. Working salvage has never been this terrifying.
  • Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
    A fantastic and bleak post-apocalyptic story that explores faith and the formation therein.
  • The Book of Koli by M. R. Carey
    A fascinating look into a post-apocalyptic society faced with ecological terrors.
  • The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch
    Deep-space-multiverse-time-travel-adventure following a Navy Inspector hunting down a killer across time and the multiverse.
  • Razorblade Tears
    A violent and often thriller about a pair of old criminals who team up to avenge their murdered sons.

💥 Graphic Novels & 📜 Short Stories

Both comics and short stories played less of a role in my reading this year. As for comics, I’ve started running out of space to store them and switched to reading more digitally, so I hope that changes. With short stories, I find them more unsatisfying these days. It’s more the format than any writing. I always want to spend a little more time with the characters and get to know their world. They all end too soon, and I always feel a little disappointed. Since I didn’t read enough short stories or graphic novels, it’d be unfair to pick top choices. That said, I did enjoy everything on this list.

  1. Preacher: Book Four
    by Garth Ennis (Author) & Steve Dillon (Artist)
  2. Gideon Falls, Vol. 4: The Pentoculus
    by Jeff Lemire (Author) & Andrea Sorrentino (Artist)
  3. 86 Volts: The Dead Girl
    by Bryan J. L. Glass (Author) & Michael Avon Oeming (Author, Artist)
  4. Paper Girls, Vol. 3
    by Brian K. Vaughan (Author), Cliff Chiang (Artist)
  5. a quarter of an inch
    by Bill Bradbury
  6. Mayday
    by Manu Zolezzi

🎭 Poems

Ah, poetry. How I want to read more of you. I subscribed to the Poetry Foundations’ daily Poem of the Day newsletter list this year, which helped. It’s an excellent and easily digestible way to get a bit of daily poetry in your life. I didn’t record every poem I read, but standouts usually made this list. My goal next year is to double this list—50 poems in 2023. Let’s see how I do next year.

  1. “New Year’s Day”
    by Kim Addonizio
  2. “What Just Came Out of My Head”
    by John Dev
  3. To _____________
    by W. S. Merwin
  4. “Fog”
    by Carl Sandburg
  5. “The Solitude of Night”
    by Li Bai
  6. “Drink Your Tea”
    by Thich Nhat Hanh
  7. “Ashglory”
    by Paul Celan
  8. “Oread”
    by H. D.
  9. “Selected Legends of Andre the Giant”
    by Todd Kaneko
  10. “Summer”
    by Chen Chen
  11. “I want to drown in the past and call it the best decision of my life”
    by Laura Marie Marciano
  12. “The Lyric In A Time of War”
    by Eloise Klein Healy
  13. “[I met a man a dying man]”
    by Diane Seuss
  14. “The Red Wheelbarrow”
    by William Carlos Williams
  15. “The morns are meeker than they were – (32)”
    by Emily Dickinson
  16. “How it Escaped Our Attention”
    by Heid E. Erdrich
  17. “The Witch”
    by Elizabeth Willis
  18. “Proust’s Madeleine”
    by Kenneth Rexroth
  19. “Line in the Wordcaves”
    by Paul Celan
  20. “A Divine Image”
    by William Blake
  21. “Ghost-ship”
    by Christine Garren
  22. “Ode I. 11”
    by Horace
  23. “[little tree]”
    by E. E. Cummings

So, that concludes the revisit of my year in the written word. Much more good than bad. Much more enjoyable than not. When it comes to reading, I look back at 2022 with fondness and can’t wait to see what I read in 2023. Here’s to next year. Here’s to more poetry. Here’s to more graphic novels and perhaps even more short stories. Time will tell, stranger things have happened, and there’s much more to read.

How about you? What were the standout books, graphic novels, short stories, or poems you read this year? I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment and let me know!

Are you looking for a good book? Want to see my reading lists from previous years? Check any of the links below and see what I was reading in the bygone days of yore.

 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017 •

Next year, why not join me? Goodreads does a reading challenge every year, and I am an active participant. First, follow me on Goodreads (leave me a review while you’re there), and once the New Year arrives, participate in the Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2023.

Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. Alexander

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2022 in Ten Significant Photos

Strangely, this December has felt more harried than the usual holiday hustle and bustle. I can’t exactly put my finger on why. I usually get this post done before Christmas. But life, time, and schedules made assembling this post more difficult than it should have been. But here we are; it’s happening.

This is my annual post wherein I reflect on my last year through ten photos that marked significant places in my year. It’s a tradition here. A lot has happened; looking back, I saw a year with soaring highs and pretty tricky lows. It turns out we’re all figuring out how to reemerge from the pandemic, whether it affected us or not.

The rules. Pick ten photos from my past year that are the most significant to me: positive or negative—significance can be found in either. But it can’t be more; it can’t be less. Some moments will have to fall by the wayside—that’s intentional—culling is a part of this process. It helps create a more realistic and personal picture of the year. Some years will be more complicated than others, and sometimes you’ll need to discover significance in the smaller, quieter moments. This is the way.

Let’s get into it.

The Smith Tower (Left) – Kari-Lise and our friend Roxanna Walitzki (Center) – Kari-Lise with her parents and brother (Right)

We started the year off strong, celebrating Kari-Lise’s 40th birthday! We threw a big shindig for her by renting out a portion of the Smith Tower Observatory Bar in early January. Friends and family from far and wide came to participate. It was wonderful. The night was foggy, but the vibe was excellent, and after two follow-up after-parties that lasted well into the next morning, I think we all felt like we celebrated Kari-Lise properly.

Horace, the first day

We said goodbye to Horace. This little lovely buddy had been with us since 2013 (back when Instagram filters were a thing), when he wandered into our yard and our lives. We asked the neighbors and talked to various local vets and pet shops, but no one claimed him. So he stayed with us. Letting him go was hard. He was such a fastidious little fella, the opposite of Willa in many respects, more subdued and less gregarious but always friendly and eager to cuddle. We miss him every day.

The Ring of Brodgar on the Orkney Island of Mainland

We went back to Scotland! This trip had been intended to be my 40th birthday celebration, but the pandemic delayed things by about a year. Getting away was a welcome relief, and it was great to return to one of my favorite countries on earth. (Honestly, we’d love to move there.) We spent an extended time on Islay, bummed around Edinburgh, tasted over 43 varieties of single-malt scotch, took to the mountains, and explored the Orkney Islands. You can see and read much more about our experience in my Scotland 2022 Trip Report.

A very happy Victory Sage, photo by her mother, Aischa

The streak continues; since 2019 at least one new niece has arrived, and 2022 was no different. Not long after our trip to Scotland, my brother Anthony and his wife Aisha welcomed Victory Sage, their third little one, into the world and our lives. I can’t wait to meet her. (More on that later.) Victory is my sixth niece, and I know for a fact there’s another one coming next year. SO. MANY. NIECES.

What 500 miles will do to a pair of Adidas Terrex Free Hikers

I lost weight. Over 60 pounds now. Around January 3rd, I got tired of how much weight I had gained over the last few years and took control. I started counting my calories and walking, and I walked a lot. All over my neighborhood, hundreds of times, the results slowly but surely began to show. The last time I weighed what I do now was back in 2012, and in the next year, I plan on losing more. Feels good. I wrote about my weight loss journey back in June.

Mt. Rainier viewed from the top of Mailbox Peak

I somehow convinced Kari-Lise to hike Mailbox Peak for our 19th Anniversary. It was a stunning hike and a good challenge for a guy who had just lost a bunch of weight. Unfortunately, I slipped and nearly broke my ankle on the way down. The sprain was serious, something I didn’t realize since adrenaline had kicked in and I was still six miles from the trailhead. When I got home and took off my shoes, my ankle swelled three times in size and turned purple. The injury would stay with me for a while, and it took weeks before I was back walking like I was before—a rough way to spend the summer, don’t recommend it.

A hazy view from Stingeroo ridge

This year our good friends Steve and Sarah purchased a big parcel of land in Southern Washington overlooking the town of Longview and the Columbia River. They’ve dubbed it Stingeroo (a portmanteau of their surnames.) We’ve already been down there many times, and it’s a beautiful and relaxing getaway. Steve and I even did a hazy writing retreat down there this October (which is where this photo was taken), and it was the perfect place to reconnect with my writing. Expect to see more from Stingeroo in the future.

The Moment via the Seattle Mariners Instagram Account

Drought ended. This year, for the first time since the year 2000, the Mariners made it into the postseason ending the longest playoff drought in professional sport. I was thrilled. I didn’t become a Seahawks fan until I moved to Seattle, but I was a Mariners fan since I was a kid and followed the team from the Griffy era onward. It was exciting to see them finally make it this far, and I am thrilled for their future.

Hey, it’s me in the hospital

So yeah. This happened. At the end of October, I watched an old umbilical hernia I once had repaired as a kid return. It’s weird to see your belly button rise from your stomach in real-time and turn purple. The following pain was incredibly intense and debilitating, and Kari-Lise had to rush me to the emergency room. The doctors managed to push it back, relieving me of some pain, but they thought I needed surgery ASAP. It was a hectic two days. Abdominal surgery is no joke. It took a week and a half to feel normal-ish and several more weeks for full recovery, another injury derailing my weight loss momentum. I’m back at it, but it’s been a rough year injury-wise.

Ice encasing the branches of one of our Japanese maple trees

This was supposed to be the first year I celebrated Christmas with my family since the pandemic. I was excited. I’d meet my new niece, Victory, for the first time and see my siblings and all my other niblings again. Sadly the weather changed everything. Arctic air from the North Pole pushed down into the states, and freezing rain shut down first Seattle, the airport, and then the passes making travel to my folks impossible for the holidays. It was a bitter end to a challenging year for us, and while we managed to scrape together a celebration of our own, it was tinged with sadness.

So there are my ten significant photos representing some of the bright spots and some of the disappointments of the year. This year was a mixed year for us. Life and work felt harried and unceasing, and the moments of quiet never seemed sufficient.

There was still so much to my 2022 that this post didn’t cover—a cold trip to Victoria with friends to celebrate Steve’s birthday. Island escapes. Walks around the neighborhood with other friends. Writing retreats. Moth & Myths explorations into classes and then doing an incredible installation downtown. A Valentines Day dinner on the 50-yard line of Lumen Field. Returning to the office. Becoming a Godfather. A fantastic visit from my folks. A family trip to Port Angeles. Art openings! Spooky theater shows. Spending time with Kari-Lise’s brother and his family. Backyard BBQs. Baseball and soccer games. So much more, and as with every year, this list could be so much longer.

So, how about you? What did you experience in 2022? What are your ten photos? Assemble them and leave a comment with a link! Let us all know about the significant events in your year.

I’ve been doing this since 2014, and even in challenging years, I’ve found it beneficial. Interested in revisiting my photos of past years? Just click on any link below and check out my selection from that specific year.

2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017 
• 2018 • 201920202021

Want to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to ensure it’s not spammy and contains interesting and relevant information. Sign Up Today →

Old Haunts: Alleyway Holiday

📍 The Terraces
🌃 Level Four
🕢 Early-Evening

“I passed under more Auseil branches and banners, and street-level window displays peppered with the Zann hymns of jubilant holiday revelers. As I walked, the lamps mounted in the ceiling above began to dim. Dusk in Lovat.”

—Waldo Bell, Red Litten World


“Good King Wenceslas” by Godfrey Malcolm & Fredrico (1943)
Other audio and video from original, licensed, and public domain sources.

This is just one of many.

You never know what you’ll discover in the twisted streets, quiet alleys, and busy warrens of Lovat. Enjoy these “Old Haunts”, a series of vignettes and visions presented in Glorious Monochrome® by Waite™ Radio Pictures, Inc.

Want to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to ensure it’s not spammy and contains interesting and relevant information. Sign Up Today →

Raunch Review – Beast Wars: Transformers

Raunch Reviews is a series about profanity. Not real profanity, but speculative swearing. Authors often try to incorporate original, innovative forms of profanity into our own fantastical works as a way to expand the worlds we build. Sometimes we’re successful. Often we’re not. In this series, I examine the faux-profanity from various works of sci-fi and fantasy, judge their effectiveness, and rate them on an unscientific and purely subjective scale. This is Raunch Reviews. Welcome.

The Authors: Larry DiTillio & Bob Forward

Work in Question: Beast Wars: Transformers

The Profanity: “Slag”

This piece of faux-profanity is interesting, being both very much faux-profanity and very much a real slur—at least if you live in the United Kingdom. But we’re going to skip out on British slut-shaming today and, instead, focus on robots in disguise.

“Slag” is a catchall Transformers profanity first appearing in the original series episode, “Return of Optimus Prime, Part 2,” but later, its use was expanded extensively within the Transformers: Beast Wars sub-franchise, in particular the Beast Wars: Transformers animated series. (Funny enough, I put this together well before the title of the upcoming Transformer film series, Rise of the Beasts, was announced. Kismet, I suppose.)

Now, I realize this is not the only profanity within the Transformers universe, “frag,” “mudflap,” “actuator,” “diode,” and many more machine-specific terms are also used within the franchise and I wouldn’t but surprised if we revisit this universe in the future. That said, “slag” is undoubtedly the most dominant, used by both Maximals and the Predacons throughout the Beast Wars series and spreading broadly in the franchises and sub-franchises that followed. It’s used as an expletive on its own or inserted into phrases such as “what the slag!” “holy slag!” and the ever-popular “I’ll blow your slaggin’ heads off!”

A slaggin’ supercut for your viewing pleasure

It’s easy to see why the mineral by-product of smelting would carry a vulgar connotation on Cybertron. But it’s odd that “slag” becomes the general expletive, especially with other profane words existing and readily available. It fits well within the universe, keeping it interesting, but the overuse holds it back. What we have isn’t a traditional censor slip, but its use within the dialog as that of a one-note go-to replacer is disappointing. This, unfortunately, lessens its impact and turns what could have been a decent instance of faux profanity into more of a joke.

Final Score: 3.0

🤬 Previous Raunch Reviews

Have a suggestion for Raunch Reviews? It can be any made-up slang word from a book, television show, or movie. You can email me directly with your recommendation or leave a comment below. I’ll need to spend time with the property before I’ll feel confident reviewing it, so give me a little time. I have a lot of books to read.

The 2022 Cosmic Horror Holiday Gift Guide

Welcome, friends. We gather together once again, having circled the burning orb another year and finding ourselves back in the same place whence we last marked this moment. The same dark scar, the same gloom-ridden spot, the same soiled stain where we as a species have been eternally doomed: Black Friday. The dimmest of western holidays. Yet even in this shadowed place burns a light of deliverance. All is not lost. I’m delighted to introduce my ninth annual List of Lists for 2022. As with previous years, you’ll find a plethora of paraphernalia for the weird-fiction fanatic, cosmic-horror connoisseur, or mythos maniac in your life. I’ve worked to assemble a list of exceptional items for all ages and budgets. I hope you enjoy it.

The Annual Notes: All book links point to IndieBound where possible. Please do what you can to support your locals. They can get you anything the big box stores can, and it’ll help out your community, and you’ll meet cool people. Author links go to their web pages and blogs and sometimes Wikipedia. I try to avoid Amazon links, but occasionally I’ll need to link there, and I will let you know if I do—I avoid affiliate links. If you see one, let me know, and I’ll fix it. I spend 40+ hours putting this together, and it’s common for me to share my creations alongside things I find. If you want to support me, buy something of mine. If not, that’s okay too. While I’ve ordered these by price, all prices and availability are subject to change. Shipping and stock are out of my control. I’m just sharing cool stuff made by the community.

Happy shopping!

• Books • Music • Apparel • Games •
• Housewares • Miskatonic •

❄️ Books ❄️

The Tindalos Asset by Caitlin R. Kiernan
$14.99 + Shipping (Paperback) $9.99 (eBook)

The third in Kiernan’s Tinfoil Dossier series of novellas reunites the reader with The Signalman. While he and a former Dreamland agent begin to explore horrors rooted in Frank Belknap Long’s seminal Hounds of Tindalous, Kiernan takes use to much weirder and wilder places.

Chills by Mary Sangiovanni
$15.00 + Shipping (Paperback) $1.99 (eBook)

If you’re looking for an icy tale of cultic horror this winter, you can’t go wrong with Sangiovanni’s 2016 novel Chills. Dead bodies marked with strange symbols appear in the small isolated community of Colby. With a winter storm bearing down, Detective Jack Glazier and pals must find the reason behind the murders before it’s too late.

Jawbone by Mónica Ojeda
$16.95 + Shipping (Paperback) $8.98 (eBook)

Leaning into the weird in weird fiction, with a heavy dose of transgressive literature, Jawbone is a multifaceted story following the lives of two twins, both seeking extremes, their school-mates, and a teacher slowly losing her grip on reality. This novel won’t be for everyone, but it is a simmering psychological horror that will give back to those willing to put in the time.

Gleam Upon the Waves by K. M. Alexander
$16.99 + Shipping (Paperback) $5.99 (eBook)

The fourth book in my Lovecraftian urban fantasy series The Bell Forging Cycle arrived last year. Caravan Master Waldo Bell finds himself outward bound on an enormous floating casino en route to the canals of Empress, the mysterious capital of the hermit-nation Victory. There Wal will discover darkness runs deeper than he ever thought possible; reality is not what it seems, and a new apocalypse is closer than anyone predicted.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
$17.00 + Shipping (Paperback) $13.99 (eBook)

Set in Mexico after the Mexican Revolution, this novel follows Noemí Taboada as she seeks to help her recently married cousin Catalina in the forboding High Place—a creepy English-Manor in Mexico occupied by a strange sort. The plot quickly moves from mystery to thriller and, ultimately, horror blending aspects of gothic and cosmic in a delicious and unsettling way.

A Black and Endless Sky by Matthew Lyons
$19.99 + Shipping (Paperback) $10.49 (eBook)

Jonah and Nell, brother and sister, embark on a road trip across the American Southwest back to their hometown of Alberqueue, New Mexico. But along the way, unsettling events befall the siblings, and disturbing visions plague Nell. As an impending sense of doom begins to distort their reality, a strange figure pursues them, and they know more about Nell’s condition than they’ll let on.

The Night Before Christmas by Jason Ciaramella
$19.99 + Shipping (Board Book)

The minds behind C is for Cthulhu, and the recently released Counting, Colors & Cthulhu, retells the story within Clement Clarke Moore’s classic poem “Night Before Christmas” but adds a Lovecraftian twist. It’s cute, delightful, and perfect for any young cosmic-horror fan. (And yes, there are plushies.)

West of Innsmouth by Hideyuki Kikuchi
$20.00 + Shipping (Paperback) $10.99 (eBook)

From the mind behind Vampire Hunter D comes a tale of the old west with a distinctively cosmic-horror twist. Shooter, a bounty hunter, pursues the “Dreams Made Flesh,” four outlaw gunslingers born from the fleeting thoughts of Cthulhu through the badlands of Kansas and, ultimately, history itself.

The Hollow Kind by Andy Davidson
$28.00 + Shipping (Hardcover) $14.99 (eBook)

In recent years, Davidson has become a favorite writer of mine, and his latest novel has been a standout this year. When a Nellie is willed a thousand-acre turpentine estate owned by her great-grandfather, she packs up her car and son and flees an abusive marriage. But things at Redfern Hill aren’t any better, and she discovers a monstrous evil lurking in the dark recesses of her family history. Phenomenal.

Out of Space and Time by Clark Ashton Smith
$4,000 + Shipping (One Copy Available—Sold via AbeBooks)

A rare first-edition 1942 hardcover of what Clark Ashton Smith considered some of his best work can be yours! Own a piece of cosmic-horror history, Arkham House only printed 1054 copies, making this collection of short stories extremely rare (and quite expensive).

No book catches your interest? Check out the books featured in one of the previous guides.
• 2014 Books • 2015 Books • 2016 Books • 2017 Books •
2018 Books • 2019 Books 2020 Books 2021 Books •


❄️ Music & Audio ❄️

Lovecraft Investigations by BBC Radio 4
Free (Digital Download/Streaming)

Presented as a Serial-like production following a team of investigators delving into a mystery. It starts with the strange case of one Charles Dexter Ward but quickly spins into a larger conspiracy. Well-acted and incredibly produced, this series, written by Julian Simpson as part of his “Pleasent Green” universe, takes the original Lovecraft tales into new and compelling places while maintaining their cosmic horror character. Loads of fun and free!

At the Mountains of Madness by Cosmic Nightmares
$4.00 USD (Digital Download)

If you love horror—especially horror movies—you’re familiar with synth and the synth-wave sound. It’s the music of classic 80s horror, led primarily by composer (and filmmaker) John Carpenter. So it fits that Argentinian-based Cosmic Nightmare has stepped up and produced a compelling synth album based on Lovecraft’s icy tale of arctic terror, and they do a damn fine job of it along the way.

Vitsk​ä​r S​ü​den by Vitsk​ä​r S​ü​den
$7.00 (Digital Download)

Rooted in dark fantasy and cosmic horror, this psychedelic prog-rock album from 2020 resonated with me when I first listened to it earlier this year. Layers of melodic sound work together in unexpected yet captivating ways, and the tales woven therein build upon a mythos that is fresh yet all too familiar.

Heathen Hof by Sons of Perdition
$7.00 (Digital Download)

How to describe this one? Okay, so take an experimental atmospheric sound, but blend it with a narrative Americana and murder-ballad folk. On top of that, add a healthy dose of doom druids but mix them with a doom-rock, gothic-country influence, and you’ll get close to describing the sound of Sons of Perdition. Or you won’t. It could be the madness talking.

People of the Black Circle by People of the Black Circle
10.00 ($10.27 USD) + Shipping (CD) (Digital Download Avl.)

I’ve appreciated this resurgent in cosmic-horror-influenced psychedelic rock, especially if it’s willing to blend the metal, synth, and dark ambient sounds that have defined Lovecraftian music. People of the Black Circle and this self-titled album (named after a Robert E. Howard Conan story) is a phenomenal and compelling cohesion of those sounds. Engaging as it is haunting.

Bog Phosphors by The Cube of Unknowing
$11.00 + Shipping (Cassette) $7.00 (Digital Download)

This is the year of weird-fiction synth, and this release under composer Franic Heely’s Cube of Unknowing project focuses on the bogland plains of Ireland’s county Galways and the inherent cosmic otherworldliness one can experience therein. It’s a resonant grounding of astral dread in a real-world local, as engaging and personal as it is haunting as esoteric.

Haunted by Confusion Master
€16 ($16.64 USD) + Shipping (Vinyl) (Digital Download Avl.)

Suppose you’re a fan of the early-70s Black Sabbath but want an even grungier, doomier, and sludgier feel. Well, I am happy to say the German rock quartet Confusion Master is here to fill that void and add a healthy dose of cosmic horror to the mix. It works in that warmly nostalgic and strangely maddening feel. (The price above reflects the standard vinyl edition. There are loads to choose from here.)

Not finding any music or audio that interests you? Check out one of the previous guides.
• 2014 Music • 2015 Music • 2016 Music • 2017 Music •
 2018 Music • 2019 Music 2020 Music 2021 Music •


❄️ Apparel ❄️

Cthulhu Sleep Mask
$16.99 + Shipping

More like cute-tulhu, am I right? (I am.) This super soft, cotton fabric mask will help you keep you dreaming in comfort even through the brightest light. You don’t even need to be buried in a dead city to appericate it! (Slumber may not be protected from New Zealand-based and terrified armored steam-yacht crews.)

Cthulhu Slippers
$34.99 + Shipping
(Limited Availability)

It’s cold deep beneath the ocean, so why not be cozy with these sleeper slippers? Few will mess with you when you come stumbling out of the bedroom adorned in these grumpy recently-awoken fellas. Recommended fit is men’s sizes 9-12. (If they sell out here, google ’em, they’re available all over.)

The Shadow Out of Time Mechanical Pocket Watch
$45.00 + Shipping

This mechanical pocket watch is created by and for Lovecraftian fans, anyone intrigued by ancient astronauts, the mysteries of the cosmos, and the universe in general. Inspired by the Great Race of Yith introduced in H. P. Lovecraft’s short story “The Shadow Out of Time,” this 46.5 mm “antique” pocket watch is inscribed with mysterious totems and scripts that may be the devices used by the Yithians to travel across time. Mysterious yet delightfully elegant.

Cthulhu Baby Gift Set
$61.93 + Shipping

Suppose you’re looking for a great little gift for the wee one in your life that pays proper tribute to the greatest of great old ones, the Great Dreamer, the Sleeper of R’lyeh. Well, look no further. Not only do you get a (customizable) organic cotton body suit, but you also get a super adorable crocheted rattle to compliment (and possibly call) Ol’ Mr. Cthulhu himself.

Carcosa Tie Clip
($77.00 USD) + Shipping

Most of us aren’t wearing ties daily anymore. But for those times when one wants to gussy up, why not let a little classy cosmic horror don your visage? Borrowing from the True Detective King in Yellow aesthetic, this sterling silver tie clip is elegant enough to blend in but strange enough to catch the eye.

Re-Animator Sweater
$84.99 + Shipping

Like it or not, everyone expects an ugly holiday sweater at this time of year. It’s become a tradition as much as trees and lights and cookies. So when you get invited to your next ugly sweater party, at least lean into your cosmic horror fandom and choose Herbert West. (HR may get upset at the reverse side, but that’s on you, pal.)

Cthulhu Masquerade Mask
$125 + Shipping (Limited Availability)

This heavily textured and quite disturbing masquerade mask features Mr. Deathy Dreaming himself front and center, but from his horrible visage, corruption spreads. Made from a variety of recyclable parts and materials. Give yourself time for this order. It’ll be worth it. (Missed this particular mask? There’s plenty more to choose from.)

The Shadow Over Innsmouth Boots
$157.99 + Free Shipping (US)

The boots are made for walkin’… away from your musty hotel room and out of town as quickly as possible! Are those FISH PEOPLE? Made of vegan leather, these lace-up combat boots feature everyone’s favorite Oberlin alumn on one side and the strange inhabitants of Devil’s Reef on the other. If Innsmouth isn’t to your liking, the shop features a few other Cthulhu-themed boots as well.

Not finding apparel you like? Check out the apparel on one of the previous guides.
• 2014 Apparel • 2015 Apparel • 2016 Apparel • 2017 Apparel •
 2018 Apparel • 2019 Apparel2020 Apparel 2021 Apparel •


❄️ Games ❄️

Blackout: The Darkest Night
(Digital Download – PC/Mac) $5.99 (Kindle)

You have been part of something terrible, something so unspeakable that caused you to blackout and forget all recent events. Now you have the choice of pursuing this dark truth or trying to bury it in the past in this non-linear interactive fiction game set in a dark modern universe. (Also available in a choose-your-own-adventure style Kindle eBook.)

Gates of Delirium
$9.00 + Shipping

Take on the role of a researcher, seeking the truth behind the scattered tomes that speak of evil monstrosities. Travel worldwide in this cut-throat card game that pits you against 2-3 other players. Discover lost manuscript pages and ancient maps that reveal more of the ancient evil while you struggle not to be driven mad in the process.

The Great Old One: Playing Cards
$15.00 + Shipping

Created by and for Lovecraftian fans. This 54-card poker deck features exclusive Cthulhu-themed artworks based on Lovecraftian characters and scenes depicted. Beautifully designed, featuring less noisy artwork, giving the cards a classier overall look that’s still rich in details. The background mimics old textured paper and adds a vintage touch. Poker night? Solitaire? Cribbage?

Tiny Cthulhu
$17.99 (PDF Download) $24.99–34.99 (Physical Formats)

Face off against unknowable horrors as classic Lovecraftian protagonists in this cosmic-horror-focused ruleset from Gallant Knight Games’ popular “Tiny” series of tabletop RPGs. Using a minimalist D6-focused ruleset allows you to spend more time fighting the denizens of the darkness and less time pouring over complex rules.

Grey Dawn
(Digital Download – PC)

Christmas Eve in 1920, Father Abraham seeks to solve the mystery of a missing altar boy while confronting the face he might be the man who killed him in the first place. A first-person puzzle-focused psychological (and often very weird) thriller set in a gothic-inspired Eastern European world that is as beautiful as it is horrifying.

Shadows Over Normandie
$39.97 + Free Shipping (Amazon)

It’s 1944, and the heroes of the Allied forces are about to face an unexpected threat. Fanatic cultists from the Order of the Black Sun are laboring to unleash demonic forces on Normandy’s World War II battlefields. Only a battalion of Rangers and their heroic allies can stop them and save the world from an endless era of despair. Compatible with Heroes of Normandie.

Empty Faces: The Woods Box Set
$99.99 + Shipping

In the isolated forests of West Virginia, a young woman from a family of witches lies unconscious, afflicted by an ancient evil. Comb through her possessions and correspondence to figure out what happened to her and reconstruct her life in the months before she fell ill. (Includes all five episodes. No subscription required.)

Not finding a game you’d enjoy? Check out the games on one of the previous guides.
• 2014 Games • 2015 Games • 2016 Games • 2017 Games •
 2018 Games • 2019 Games 2020 Games 2021 Games •


❄️ Housewares & Collectables ❄️

Lovecraft-Inspired Vintage Postcard Set
$8.63 + Shipping (Limited Stock)

I’m a sucker for beautifully designed ephemera. So, I was drawn to this set of postcards based on Lovecraft’s most famous locations. The sort of thing one might happen across in an out-of-the-way store in a remote part of Essex County. Seven postcards are included: Arkham, Arkham Asylum, Miskatonic University, four views of Miskatonic University, Dunwich, Innsmouth, and Innsmouth Harbour, with a suitable vintage rear side.

Cedric's Eatery 11oz. Mug

Cedric’s Eatery 11oz. Mug
$16.00 + Shipping

The weather outside is frightful, and you need a new mug for a warm beverage. Why not pick up a classic diner mug from Lovat’s own Cedric’s Eatery, located in the entresol between Levels Three and Four. (Breakfast served all day.) An in-between place for in-between folks. Waldo Bell’s favorite hangout. Fill your mug with 11 oz. of lousy coffee, your favorite tea, or something more substantial. [From the pages of the Bell Forging Cycle.]

Mythos Inspired Hot Sauce Bundle
$17.98–$26.97 + Shipping

“You Will Not Survive.” Terrorize your tastebuds with these mythos-inspired hot sauces. Do you dare experience the Caribbean flavors of the mild King in Yellow Habanero pepper sauce? Or perhaps you prefer the boldness mid-spice level of the Dagon-themed unhallowed jalapeño sauce? Or maybe you are willing to face madness and partake of the over 500,000-Scoville-unit ghost pepper-infused Cthulhu Mind Flayer? Only you can decide.

Moth & Myth ‘Kraken’ Octopus Set
$18.00 + Shipping

This beautiful 6″x5″ Caribbean Reef Octopus features a brilliant display of colors each octopi holds in life. Each cephalopod is accompanied by two tiny babies, just beginning their transformations into one of the most unique creatures in the sea. The Moth & Myth Wunderkammer Ornament series comes on a beautiful 5.5″x8.5″ backing, double-sided on pearlescent card stock. These are perfect for safekeeping or shared as a lovely gift.

Cthulhu Cocktail Bar Stirring Spoon
$19.99 + Shipping

Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn! In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits, mixing a mean martini and a sublime sazerac. Rumor has it he can whip up a nifty negroni as well. (Yay, cocktail-themed alliteration!) So, join the High Priest of Great Old One mixology and make your drinks, using his likeness to stir the elements with this 12″ long cocktail spoon.

Cthulhu Chia Pet
$21.99 + Free Shipping (Amazon)

How can you tell that cosmic horror has gone mainstream? Well, one surefire way is checking to see if the primary mascot has a chia pet version. Well, lucky for us, that’s finally happened. Now weird fiction fans can grow our favorite eldritch terror. It’s easy! Just spread the seeds, water, and watch the cosmic chaos grow.

Color Out of Space Candle
$37.24 + Free Shipping

The indescribable color is probably paired with an indescribable smell, right? But what if it isn’t? What if that strange color smelled like rhubarb and black plum? Delicious, yeah? And what if I told you that smell could be contained in this 35-hour+ burning soy candle? You’d think me mad. But, reader, I am soberly lucid. Decorated with tentacles and floral shapes, this candle makes a perfect gift for any horror fanatic or mythos enthusiast!

‘Welcome to Arkham’ Wooden Sign
$85.00 + Shipping

Arkham, Massachusetts, a bustling academic town, home to Miskatonic University and the site of many strange, unsettling, and inexplicable occurrences. Arkham has revealed many dark secrets over the years, and it certainly has more to tell. Available in a variety of colors. The perfect piece to decorate your home, confuse your neighbors, or attract mysterious strangers. (Innsmouth signs are also available if you lean more Esoteric Order and less Miskatonic booster.)

Call of Cthulhu Classic Gamer Prop Set
$109.00 + Shipping

HPLHS always makes quality stuff, and this collection of deluxe, ultra-realistic props was assembled to celebrate Call of Cthulhu’s® 40th anniversary and help add an air of authenticity to your next classic tabletop RPG campaign. The complete set includes all 94 props named in the classic supplements, plus a whole bunch more! Over 120 individual props, all organized into handy folders with full instructions.

Cthulhu Lamp
$139.00 + Shipping
(Limited Availability)

This 4.25″ x 5.75″ resin lamp is perfect for your creepy castle wall, your more secret sanctum sanctorum, or your very ordinary bathroom. Perhaps those are all the same place. You do you. We don’t judge in this gift guide. No matter where you need light, this lamp is there to provide it, in all its sorta-creepy glory.

Who Goes There? Deluxe Edition
$735.00 + Free US Shipping
(Limited to 50 copies)

The John W. Campbell book that became John Carpenter’s horror classic The Thing is back in a VERY limited edition. This run of 50 is half-bound in cold blue book cloth with a blind emboss and supple tan leather spine. Each is stored in a custom-designed and cloth-bound portfolio containing a triptych of Antarctica with notes and sketches from the expedition and holding five frame-ready letterpress prints from the story. Embedded in the portfolio’s cover is a distinctive hand-cast, painted resin medallion of the expedition’s emblem—a true collectors edition. Angel Bomb’s attention to detail is masterful.

Not finding a houseware item you like?
Check out the housewares from one of the previous guides.
• 2016 Housewares • 2017 Housewares • 2018 Housewares •
2019 Housewares 2020 Housewares 2021 Housewares •


❄️ Miskatonic University ❄️

Miskatonic University Library Staff Pin
$9.95 + Shipping

The stacks are filled with treasures, and only one group knows the ins and outs of the strange, sometimes alien system in which every tome is organized. Join the ever-diligent Library Staff of Miskatonic University and show your school spirit with this 1.25″ soft enamel pin with double pin-back rubber backing and remember, knowledge above all!

Personalized Miskatonic University Diploma Set
$29.99 + Free Shipping

I’ve seen a lot of Miskatonic Diploma Sets, but none has yet to go as far to feel as authentic as this. Not only does this diploma look like an actual diploma, including foil seals, but it also includes the alums’ personalized name, studies, and graduation year. A purchase here also consists of a lifetime listing of the Alumni on the Miskatonic University website. (See the full listing on Etsy for details.)

Miskatonic Cocktail Club Work Shirt
$44.99 + Shipping

Even cultists take a break for a cocktail or two. Look sharp in this red and black work shirt. The front pocket features the Miskatonic Cocktail Club insignia in white. The back is printed with a larger version in white with the phrase “the stars are always right… for a drink”. This black work shirt is accented with side panels in red for an eye-catching pop of color. Perfect for poker night. Or bowling. Or esoteric investigations.

Miskatonic Tibetan Hoodie
$50.00 + Shipping

Miskatonic is a university willing to send its faculty and students to strange, far places in its relentless pursuit of knowledge. You may not know much about M.U.’s 1926 expedition to Tibet, but you will once you own this garment – it comes with two props that bring clarity to the expedition’s goals and its outcome. The hoodie proudly displays the expedition’s logo on the front left breast.

Miskatonic 3.0 Hockey Sweater
$119 + Shipping

Geeky Jerseys has been making a Miskatonic University hockey sweater for a while now, and I’ve featured them in the past. This third rendition takes ol’ MU in a new direction while maintaining that modern college hockey feel. Every Geeky Jersey will feature high-quality embroidered crests, sublimated patterns, plus a custom cut and stitched name and number. (In this case, “Cthulhu” and the #28—someday I hope we can make these custom.)

Not finding any Miskatonic University gear you like?
Check out the Miskatonic University items from one of the previous guides.
• 2014 Miskatonic • 2015 Miskatonic • 2016 Miskatonic • 2017 Miskatonic •
2018 Miskatonic • 2019 Miskatonic 2020 Miskatonic 2021 Miskatonic •


 ❄️ Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays! ❄️

Whelp, there we have it, folks. All good things must eventually end. The ninth annual List of Lists is in the bag. Hopefully, you found a few necessaries and were able to check a few people off your shopping list.

As always, thank you to everyone who has suggested items in the past to help me pad out this list. Your efforts are welcome. I always appreciate the help. Do you have a book, game, album, or other weird fiction-related items I should feature in 2023’s Cosmic Horror Holiday Gift Guide? Leave a comment below with links to your favorite goodies for others to see, or send me an email as a potential submission for next year!

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