August 2021: A Month in Horror


If my Twitter feed is anything to go by, the most talked-about horror film of the month is the new version of Candyman, which has clocked up 85% at Rotten Tomatoes. In an ordinary year I’d have rushed out to the cinema to see it, but this year — well. Hopefully I’ll be able to see it soon.

Of course, if we use a slightly broader definition of “horror”, then Candyman loses its most-talked-about title to The Suicide Squad. Certainly, some found it horrific, as evidenced by a certain “superversive” tweet that went viral for the wrong reasons.

In award news, this month saw Killercon Austin take place, and with it the Splatterpunk Awards. Wile E. Young’s The Magpie Coffin took Best Novel. Other winners were Samantha Kolesnik, whose novella True Crime and edited anthology Worst Laid Plans each won; and Silver Shamrock, a publisher represented by Wesley Southard’s short story “My Body” and Ronald Kelly’s collection The Essential Sick Stuff. The judges’ impartiality was apparently unaffected by the recent controversy in which Silver Shamrock managed to annoy a significant chunk of the horror community through its flip-flopping stance on trigger warnings.

The Shirley Jackson Awards were also handed out. The big winner was Stephen Graham Jones, who won in the novel and novella categories for The Only Good Indians and Night of the Mannequins respectively. The other winners were J. Ashley-Smith’s novelette “The Attic Tragedy”, R. A. Busby’s short story “Not the Man I Married”, Kathe Koja’s collection Velocities: Stories and the anthology Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women.

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