I’ve been a victim of rock and roll daydreams going back to well before I wrote that first novel, Heart-Shaped Box… the one that was named after a Nirvana song and featured a burnt-out heavy metal musician in his late fifties as the lead character. So I’m unsurprisingly amped to have my very first LP on the way, in stores on 4/20. “Dark Carousel” is a vinyl-first audiobook read by Nate Corddry (who plays Duncan Locke in the still-brewing Locke & Key series!).

It’s the story of four teenagers in the 1990s, who hit the boardwalk for a drunken whirl on the seaside Merry-Go-Round… and find themselves on the run from the nightmare creatures that leap off the carousel to follow them home. The vinyl edition comes with more than that, though. In addition to the short story, you also get Matthew Ryan’s wrenching cover of the Stones classic, “Wild Horses.” That’s on the record as a bonus track — and only on the record.

My thanks to everyone who hits their local record store or favorite online vendor to give this one a chance.

Want to hear me read some of “Dark Carousel” myself? Keep checking in on the Water Street Books website for information about the event we’ll be doing in Exeter, New Hampshire, on the night of April 25th.

I was delighted to learn that Strange Weather won a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Collection, which is both a terrific honor, and also probably the coolest looking prize in genre fiction. Seriously, you could spend an hour looking at this thing; there’s an eldritch Easter Egg in every window.

My thanks to all the HWA voters, whether they cast their ballot for Strange Weather, or one of the tremendous books it was up against: And Her Smile Will Untether The Universe by Gwendolyn Kiste, Goblin by Josh Malerman, The Carp-Faced Boy and Other Tales by Theresa Matsuura, and Writing Madness by Patrick McGrath.

Why don’t you pick one of these collections up if you get a chance? You’ll be treating yourself to some good grisly horror stories, and you’ll be supporting short fiction while you’re at it… a double win in my book.

Anyone dying for my movie/TV/book/comic recommendations? Yeah? Really? Oh, man, all right… if you insist.

THE SHOWThe Good Place, Season One. That final episode of the first season will rock your mind in a way you just don’t think a 22-minute sitcom can manage. This is Rick & Morty level headfuckery. I can’t wait to start huffing season two.

THE FILMMute. I’ll never understand why the critics weren’t on board with this knotty, intricate, neon-splashed leap into a William-Gibson-esque future, where lap dances from robots are all the rage, and Paul Rudd has unforgettable facial hair.

THE COMIC: Fucking SAGA all ready. As far as I’m concerned this is the very best example of binge TV in this decade. It just happens to be on paper instead of on a screen. The most recent six-issue arcs were absolutely heart-breaking and holy fuck is Staples doing some of the most mind-bogglingly beautiful pages out there. Can’t someone put Duncan Jones (director of Mute) in the same room with Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (geniuses behind Saga)?

THE BOOKThe Likeness by Tana French, which is basically The Secret History fan fiction. I’m almost ashamed to admit I liked it better than the Donna Tartt novel though. The mechanics of the plot are ludicrous when you really think about ’em, but I didn’t give a shit: I ate it up. No one writes better about being drunk on the spring and your own youth like Tana French.

THE SONG: “You Worry Me” by Nathaniel Rateliff. Sometimes I think he’s the last chance for rock and roll.

(I say this about a song or an album or a musician almost once a month. It’s important for me, personally, to pretend rock is always right on the edge of extinction. It juices me up that much more to act as if the genre just fought its way out of the corner, bloodied but still standing. The alternative viewpoint — that rock and roll is doing just fine, but has lost its centrality to pop culture, and is now just one niche genre of many — is probably more accurate but way less satisfying.

But hey — let me throw it to the group! Is rock over, almost over, or hanging in there? If rock and roll has one hope left, what is it? Let me know via email: response@joehillfiction.com. I might repost some of the more interesting suggestions in the next newsletter.

I don’t know why I put this whole section in parenthesis.)

Whoa, would you look at that cover!? Is that great or what?

A few months ago my Dad told me he was working on this collection with his friend Bev Vincent, and asked if I thought I had a scary story about flying in me. As it happened, I did. I wrote a thing called “You Are Released” and wound up so happy with it, I’ve been reading a slightly condensed version of it at public appearances ever since. If you can’t catch me at one of my readings though, or if you want to see “You Are Relased” in all its uncensored, unabridged glory, you’ll have to order yourself a copy of Flight or Fright, which you can do right here. What with a new story from my old man, and fiction from the likes of Bradbury, Dahl, Bierce and Matheson, the line up is stacked. Buckle your seats.

My apologies if the newsletter is a little light this time out. That 5,000 word essay comparing the we-say-fuck era of Star Trek to Dr Who: The Capaldi Years has yet to be written. Man, I gotta get a comic strip going in this thing. Four panels, every issue. I’ll get that started by the end of 2018, I almost-but-not-quite promise you.