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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Novus Monstrum The Midnight Zone Book 1 Edited by Douglas Gwilym & Ken MacGregor + giveaway

These monsters are never-before-seen.
These monsters bite, and don’t let go.
These monsters aren’t your grandparents’ boogeymen, but they are not tame, and they want to climb right down into your nightmares and make you their own.

Novus Monstrum The Midnight Zone Book 1
Edited by Douglas Gwilym & Ken MacGregor
Genre: Weird Creature Horror Anthology

“Mysterious, merciless, mirthful. New favorites await you in this superb anthology.”
-Johnny Compton (author of Spite House, Esquire best horror book of 2023 and Stoker longlister)
This may look like just a book, but NOVUS MONSTRUM could infect your brain, shake your sense of what’s real, change you forever. This is twenty-two all-original new monster tales from the greats: Jonathan Maberry, Joe R. Lansdale, Gabino Iglesias, Gemma Files, Gaby Triana, Ramsey Campbell, Jeffrey Thomas, Gwendolyn Kiste, and Lucy A. Snyder, plus thirteen stories from new names (see below) destined to become some of your favorite authors.

These monsters are never-before-seen. These monsters bite, and don’t let go. These monsters aren’t your grandparents’ boogeymen, but they are not tame, and they want to climb right down into your nightmares and make you their own.

Welcome to the new anthology series The Midnight Zone.

Ken MacGregor, editor of the Shirley-Jackson-Award-nominated anthology Stitched Lips and the uproarious Burnt Fur, teamed up with Bram-Stoker-Award-nominated short story author Douglas Gwilym, editor of Appetites and Harmony & Dissonance, to take you to strange and dark new places. They’ll ask you to go deeper and weirder than The Twilight Zone, to a place (like the real-world midnight zone, a mile beneath the ocean’s surface) where no sunlight penetrates. Join us as we explore the inhospitable, surprising, uncomfortable, bizarre, and otherworldly.

Go on. Dive in. Lose yourself to The Midnight Zone.

Also Featuring:
Amanda M. Blake
Joshua Bartolome
Matt Brandenburg
R.A. Busby
Marco Cultrera
E.C. Dorgan
Douglas Ford
Sarah Hans
Jamie Lackey
Donna J.W. Munro
Frank Oreto
Tim Pieraccini
Pris Sears

A Grace of Finer Form - Post-apocalyptic survival tale. The monsters are mutants: amalgams of living creatures, one so enormous it rivals the Titans of myth.

Brother Bone - A giant, living skeleton that feeds on the skeletons of its victims (by ripping away the flesh and meat) and using the bone fragments to expand itself, in return granting its family effective immortality.

First Day Jitters at Slappy’s - The monsters are living theme-park mascot characters. It’s far more disturbing than it sounds. This one is bonkers.

God Damn You to Hell, John Glenn - The monster is a massive, mutated, extremely hungry…sea monkey.

I Clean the Monster that Killed My Husband Every Morning - A vicious anti-pollution tale, the monsters are creatures that come up from below the earth and violently destroy any machine that creates pollutants, and whomever happens to be using them at the time.

Lizard War - Translucent giant lizards swarming across the alien landscape. The “astronauts” are all women, and the main character, Eliza, who was the cook before everything changed but is now in charge, loses her lover Joan in a climactic scene. She floats out into space, “her blood hanging in drops around her like falling rose petals, her hair fanned out like a peacock’s tail….”

Mother Ship - Machine/organic spaceship and her godspawn child.

The Path of Skulls - Sexless, cube-headed simulacra and deep arcane mystery.

Song of the Devil Trumpet - Quite lovely trees that trick you into eating their fruit so they can take over your body and repurpose you.

Wonce was a Woman - The monsters are human female/office machine hybrids. A woman goes looking for a mythical monster woman who is foretold as a sort of savior–and ultimately finds it is herself.

With an introduction by the amazing Jamie Flanagan, screenwriter for Haunting of Bly Manor, Midnight Mass, Creepshow, and Fall of the House of Usher, and original cover art by the astonishing Trevor Henderson, internet cult phenomenon, creator of Siren Head, and weaver of monsters!

I Clean the Monster that Killed My Husband Every Morning

“Everybody knows where they were [that day]. If you don’t, it’s because you died…. The monsters came from underground, digging their way out fast as lightning. Dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions….Of course, the first thing on everybody’s mind was an alien invasion. Alien soldiers waiting under the surface deep enough that humanity never spotted them, buried by some extraterrestrial civilization eons ago, biding their time until humanity was deemed worthy of conquest…. The trouble with that theory was that they targeted only machines. Yes, billions died, but just because they were inside them, around them, holding them or on the path to them.”

“Shoulders… tight and broad, they are the widest part of its body. If you look at them from a foot away, the black skin appears thick, and impossibly smooth, like leather stretched on a kettledrum… the densest muscles ever to hang on the skeleton of a living creature. The smoothness is also an illusion. Even the gentlest drag of my fingertips reveals that the skin is made of tiny fibers parallel to each other, curving around the body.”
“It’s the subtle stickiness, like a layer of molasses a few atoms deep, that makes lifting your fingers off take an extra moment.”

“Bullet holes are the only marks on the monster’s body left from the attack, but they don’t go deep, a quarter of an inch at most. The experts on the radio have explained that the blood flowing inside the monster turns to acid in contact with metal, dissolving [a bullet] before it can do harm.”

“Sounds of machine gun bursts made me look outside the window and I saw the monster, my monster, for the first time, all seven feet of deadly force. It had just killed Mr. Donovan and was charging our house.”

“The monster stopped in front of me, its dark skin smeared in grime, with drops of thick liquid falling off and blotching my living room carpet. Its head turned, and I saw its eyes, two deep holes ending in yellow sparks…. [T]he monster began smashing through the floor with its blades, opening a direct path to the furnace in the basement.”

“I arrived at the front door just in time to see the monster plunging into the trunk of George’s car, which had only made it halfway through the driveway. The blades [of the monster’s hands] cut my husband in half, on their way to the front engine. The car exploded, engulfing the monster in flames. I didn’t move an inch, until all that could burn had burned, leaving the monster standing still in the wreckage…. I found the monster’s eyes just before the sparks faded to black.”

“In the first hour of the attack, waves of monsters, all the same shape as mine, but some as tall as a three-story building, targeted all the power plants burning fossil fuel, with no distinction between oil, carbon or natural gas.”
About the Editors
Douglas Gwilym has been known to compose a weird-fiction rock opera or two. His short story “Year Six” is on Ellen Datlow’s recommended reading list for Best Horror 14. He edited Triangulation for four years and now co-edits The Midnight Zone—forthcoming edition, Novus Monstrum, a collection of never-before-seen monsters, featuring original stories by greats, and new voices, in strange, dark fiction. He reads classics of the proto-Weird on YouTube and has been guest staff at Alpha Young Writers workshop. His short fiction appears in LampLight, Lucent Dreaming, Novel Noctule, Shelter of Daylight, Tales from the Moonlit Path, Penumbric Speculative Fiction Magazine, and Tales to Terrify.

 Ken MacGregor has written three story collections, an award winning young adult novella (Devil’s Bane), and has co-authored a novel (Headcase). He is a member of the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers and an active member of the Horror Writers Association. He’s also written TV and radio commercials, sketch comedy, a music video, a one-act play, a scattering of poems, and a zombie movie. Ken has curated three original anthologies, one of which (Stitched Lips) was a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award. His third anthology, Novus Monstrum, was co-edited with Douglas Gwilym. It is the first installment in the Midnight Zone series for Dragon’s Roost Press.

Ken is also a part-time literary assassin: he will write you into an original short story and kill you for money. Ken drives the bookmobile and lives with his kids, a fierce-but-cuddly tiger cat, and the ashes of his wife.

He can be found at

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