• duncanralston

Free & Cheap Horror for Self-Quarantine

Updated: Mar 17

Before I get started with all these free and cheap horror links, I have a quick story about an epidemic we went through in Toronto and elsewhere nearly 20 years ago. Feel free to skip it, if you like.


I graduated college for Television Broadcasting the year SARS happened. It was the same year Arnold Schwarzenegger, as governor of CaleeFORnya, tried to terminate the Canadian film and TV industry. With this one-two punch, I ended up working as a baker at Tim Hortons for a year while plastering resumes everywhere I could, mostly in my hometown of Toronto.


Me in 2003/2004


SARS in "Hollywood North" was in full swing that spring. Pretty much the same thing happening all across the globe right now was happening there: market drops, events canceled, travel canceled, face masks, hand sanitizer and self-quarantining. The only major differences were you could get a pack of toilet paper without having to suck it out of a garden hose behind the dollar store, and social media was not much more than MySpace and Live Journal. Also, the "Wuhan handshake" was probably just called the "foot shake dance."


After a while it kind of became routine. I was handing out resumes one day and happened to walk by St. Mike's Hospital downtown - only then realizing that it was one of the hospitals that had been quarantined for SARS patients. I did the only thing I could do: I held my breath like a superstitious kid driving by a cemetery and walked by all the commotion at Emerg.


After a while it all blew over and in July we got SARSstock, which was pretty cool except for all the people passing out from heat stroke because the venue was an old air base with no shade and others thought it would be funny to throw bottles filled with piss at Justin Timberlake. Great show, though.


Anyway, what I'm saying is: this too shall pass. It looks like we've all mostly got this under control, aside from the hoarding and what I expect will be the most viral St. Patrick's Day since the 1300s. And I'm starting to think despite the tragedy this might make a positive difference in the world. Maybe we'll all learn to be more respectful to each other and to the vulnerable and realize we're all in this together.


In that respect, a lot of folks in the horror community have come out with some free books to help ease us through this trying time. We're all losing money and work and hopefully not loved ones, and if you're like me, horror is a comfort. So without further ado, here are plenty of links for your horror fix:



FREE BOOKS


- DEATH'S HEAD PRESS is giving away most of their books for free. They've got a ton of great stuff, such as Kenzie Jennings's RECEPTION, Wrath James White's MASTER OF PAIN and the DIG TWO GRAVES anthologies (my short story "Head" is in Vol. 1). Get them here.


- Extreme horror author Shaun Hupp is giving away all of his books this weekend as well, including his MANIACS WITH KNIVES series. You can get them here.


- Terry M West has a bunch of freebies on Amazon, including CECIL & BUBBA MEET A SUCCUBUS. Grab them here.


- Lydian Faust (author of the excellent FOREST UNDERGROUND) has dark poetry free here.


- Chris Kosarich's CLOWNING AROUND is free. Grab it here.


- Philip Fracassi (author of BEHOLD THE VOID) has his book SUCCULINI for free on his site.


- Claire C. Holland's I AM NOT YOUR FINAL GIRL is free on Amazon. Get it here.


- Tim Lebbon (author of THE SILENCE) has a bunch of freebies. You'll have to go searching a bit but you can grab them here.


- Terry M. West (whose latest novella TRANSFER blew my mind) has a ton of freebies. Get them here.


- Glenn Rolfe's BECOMING is free. Get it here.


- Dallas Mullican's A COIN FOR CHARON is free until the 21st. Grab it here.


- TONS of free audiobooks available from Free Audiobook Codes, along with some of mine (although most of my US codes have been used). Get them here.



FREE WITH SIGNUP


- J.Z Foster is giving away his book DEMON WEED for subscribing to his site. Get it here.


- Thomas S Flowers (author of PALACE OF GHOSTS) has a free for signing up to his site. Grab it from the popup here.


- Chad A. Clark is giving away a collection of dark fiction for subscribing. Get it here.


- A MASSIVE LIST of horror books here, each free with sign-up, including books from Eleanor Merry, Michealbrent Collings, Ken Preston and D.I. Russell. Grab them here.


- You can get nearly 300 pages of free dark fiction for subscribing to this site, including my novella WHERE THE MONSTERS LIVE, which Hunter Shea (author of THE MONTAUK MONSTER) called "an absolutely brutal novella that had me squirming in my chair." Or you can download these stories permafree from Amazon.



CHEAP BOOKS


- Extreme horror author Matt Shaw always has a ton of great books on for 99 cents, including his HOW MUCH TO...? series and FERTILITY. Grab some here.


- Sonora Taylor has marked down her books LITTLE PARANOIAS and WITHOUT CONDITION to 99 cents. Get them here.


- Michael Patrick Hicks has a bunch of 99-cent books on Amazon (starting Monday), including THE RESURRECTIONISTS. Grab some here.


- Christopher Golden's PROWLER series is just 99 cents. Grab it here.


- Silver Shamrock Publishing has put up most of their stuff for 99 cents. Grab them here.


- Alisha McAdoo's Fear Collection is on sale for 99 cents each. Grab them all here.


- Chad Lutzke's SKULLFACE BOY is 99 cents. Praised by none other than Stephen Graham Jones (author of MONGRELS). Grab it here.


- Gerald Dean Rice (author of DEAD TIL DAWN) has a bunch of books on for 99 cents and free. Grab them here.


- Adam Cesare (author of the upcoming CLOWN IN A CORNFIELD) has marked down all of his books to 99 cents, as well. Grab them here.


- Steve Stred's excellent RITUAL and PIECE OF ME are on sale for 99 cents. Get them here.


- Darcy Coates's acclaimed THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR is 99 cents. Grab it here.


- Tons of HP Lovecraft books are super cheap because of lapsed copyright. Find some here.


- Same goes for Edgar Allen Poe and Algernon Blackwood.


- The awesome Books of Horror Facebook group put together a great collection of horror which is currently just 99 cents. Grab it here.


- Melissa Prusi and Stephen Hopstaken's STOKER'S WILDE from Flame Tree Press is 99 cents. Grab it here.


- Glenn Rolfe's BLOOD AND RAIN is 99 cents. Get Rofled here.


- D.E. McCLuskey's THE TWELVE is 99 cents. Get it here.


- Robert McCammon's MYSTERY WALK is $1.99. Grab it here.


- Erik Henry Vick's DEMON KING is just 99 cents, the first in the Bloodletting series. Get it here.


- My debut horror collection GRISTLE & BONE is 99 cents. Legendary horror author Jack Ketchum called them "intelligent, character-driven horror tales." I hear you can "upgrade" to the audio version for a low additional fee as well. You can get it here, along with several other free stories (300 pages of free dark fiction in all, as mentioned above).



If you know of any more, feel free to share this and add your freebie/cheapie links. Or message me and I'll add them to the post.


Stay safe, stay healthy and happy reading!


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