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About Adam Cesare
Adam Cesare is a New Yorker who lives in Philadelphia.
His books include Mercy House, Video Night, The Summer Job, and Tribesmen. His work has been praised by Fangoria, Rue Morgue, Publishers Weekly, Bloody Disgusting, and more. His titles have appeared on "Year's Best" lists from outlets like Complex and FearNet. He writes a monthly column for Cemetery Dance Online.
He also has a YouTube review show called Project: Black T-Shirt where he discusses horror films and pairs them with reading suggestions.
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Titles By Adam Cesare
Bram Stoker Award Winner for Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel
In Adam Cesare’s terrifying young adult debut, Quinn Maybrook finds herself caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress—that just may cost her life.
Quinn Maybrook and her father have moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs, to find a fresh start. But what they don’t know is that ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has cracked in half.
On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to have fun, make prank videos, and get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can.
Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.
YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults Nominee
It’s an all-new horror classic about what happens when the truth is the last thing we want to believe, from Bram Stoker Award–winner and master of thrills and chills, horror legend Adam Cesare.
After barely making it out of the Kettle Springs cornfields alive, Quinn’s first year away at college should be safe and easy. All she wants is to be normal again.
But instead, Quinn finds that her past won’t leave her alone when she becomes the focus of online conspiracy theories that claim the Kettle Springs Massacre never happened. It’s a deranged but relentless fantasy, and there’s nothing Quinn can do to get people to hear the truth—not even on her own campus or in her own dorm room.
So when a murderous clown attacks Quinn at a frat party while another goes after her father in Kettle Springs at the same time, Quinn realizes that the facts alone are never going to save her. Her only option is to go back into the cornfields, back where the nightmare began, to set the record straight the only way she knows how. Because when the truth gets lost in the lies, that’s when people start to die.
Clown in a Cornfield was 2020’s Bram Stoker Award Winner for Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel. Clown in a Cornfield 2: Frendo Lives is perfectly set to attract old and new fans to the series.
Billy and Tom are best friends, but each knows that at the end of the school year they'll be moving in different directions. But why not go out with a bang and throw one last video night? They can invite some girls over, order a pizza, then maybe try and fight the alien infection that's taken hold over their suburban town.
It's The Breakfast Club meets The Night of the Creeps in this slime-drenched '80s horror romp.
"Hit that first chapter. It’ll hook you, and the next time you look up, you’ll have swallowed the book. It’ll be nesting inside you like a seed, like an egg, like an invasion." -Stephen Graham Jones, author of Mongrels
"The momentum keeps building. The stakes keep escalating. The monsters just keep getting worse and worse, the catastrophic mayhem more juicy and hopeless. Best of all, the writing moves like a greased torpedo, compulsively readable as it rockets through your brain." -Fangoria
"If you put together the gore, action, monsters, and sense of excitement that made '80s horror movies so great, you'll only have about half of what makes Video Night a must-read tome for horror fans." -Horrortalk
"Not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach, the 19 stories in this new best-of annual anthology feature episodes of graphic gore and violence—including torture, dismemberment, self-mutilation, and home abortion—that are designed to push buttons as well as boundaries...strictly for hardcore horror fans."—Publishers Weekly
”...glutted with graphic scenes of torture, dismemberment, evisceration...” — Publishers Weekly (Volume 2)
Editors Randy Chandler and Cheryl Mullenax put the call out to horror writers and editors of extreme stories, the hardcore stuff that breaks boundaries and trashes taboos, the transgressive tales you can't "unread" (as Chuck Palahniuk says). We staked out our territory and nailed this to the wall to guide us:
YEAR'S BEST HARDEST HORROR
Not your mama's best-of horror annual. This stuff comes from the edge of the abyss, stories you read at your own risk because you feel the abyss looking right back into you through the tainted lens of each twisted tale. Some of the stories you'll find here are loaded with very graphic descriptions of violence, sex and depravities, while others may contain only one shocking moment of brutality. In others, the hardcore aspect may be less graphic and subtler than you might expect. Some of these quieter tales offer the reader some time to recover from the more disturbing ones preceding. Most of the stories collected here are from small and specialty press anthologies, with a few from periodicals, like the prestigious Splatterpunk Zine in the UK and Thuglit here in the US. Bizarro is also represented with a couple of tales from the unlikely anthology Blood For You: A Literary Tribute To GG Allin from Weirdpunk Books. (If you're not familiar with the late GG Allin, you can find snippets from some of his outrageous and obscene punk shows online, which will increase your appreciation of those two tales.) So for now, forget about that neighbor you suspect is a serial killer, don't worry about the drunk driver that could take you out on your next trip to the store, push those troubling news stories to the back of your mind and immerse yourself in the imaginary horrors at hand. But don't be surprised if you sense something dark staring back at you from between the lines. That is to be expected when you enter these forbidding realms. With any luck, you may find something useful to help you survive the approaching Apocalypse.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction: The Year That Was
"Worth the Having" by Michael Paul Gonzalez
"Awakening" by Jeff Strand
"Readings Off The Charts" by Adam Cesare
"Reborn" by The Behrg
"What's Worst" by David James Keaton
"Dead End" by Kristopher Triana
"What You Wish For" by Lilith Morgan
"King Shits" by Charles Austin Muir
"Cleanup On Aisle 3" by Adam Howe
"Bath Salt Fetus" by Jorge Palacios
"Bored With Brutality" by MP Johnson
"Exposed" by Monica J. O'Rourke
"Eleanor" by Jason Parent
"The Scavengers" by Tony Knighton
"The Most Important Miracle" by Scott Emerson
"Hungry For Control" by Clare de Lune
"Clarissa" by Robert Essig & Jack Bantry
"Where The Sun Don't Shine" by Pete Kahle
"Blackbird Lullaby" by George Cotronis
It's only once she's in too deep that Claire discovers the real tourist trade that keeps the town afloat, it's then that her soul-searching in Mission becomes a fight for her life.
Crazed parties, dark rituals, and unexpected betrayals abound in this modern folk horror novel from the author of The Con Season and Video Night.
"The prologue of The Summer Job is one the best and scariest openings to a horror novel I've ever read...The rest of the novel is equally great." -LitReactor
"Cesare's latest is a knockout...There's a potent retro vibe running through Cesare's work, in general--he's the closest thing literary horror has to its own Jim Mickle or Ti West." -Complex
"The textbook definition of a nail-biter. The Summer Job is a kissing cousin to inbred classics from masters like Ketchum and Kilborn. Cesare's best novel yet." -Bloody Disgusting
Harriet Laurel notices the odor at Mercy House as soon as she sets foot inside, brought there against her will by her son, Don, and his wife, Nikki. In the early stages of dementia, Harriet has grown resentful of Nikki, blaming her daughter-in-law for failing to supply grandchildren. Yet even Harriet must admit that her mind becomes clearer as soon as she crosses the threshold. If it wasn’t for that annoying smell.
Arnold Piper is an eighty-five-year-old ex-Marine, a proud man who has cared for himself his whole life. But no longer. Betrayed by his aging body, Arnold is learning that the trials he survived long ago in war-torn Korea pale beside the daily indignities of growing old. Little does he know that his greatest nightmares are still ahead of him.
Sarah Campbell is an idealistic nurse whose compassion has been stretched to the breaking point at the chronically understaffed facility that is Mercy House. But now Sarah’s list of unpleasant duties is about to take a terrifying turn. For something wicked is brewing in Mercy House. Something dark and rotten . . . and deadly.
Praise for Mercy House
“Mercy House is the kind of novel you sprint through, eating up the pages as fast as you can turn them, and yet it lingers in the mind like a haunting memory, or the ghost of a smell. Cesare is poised to take the reins of the new generation. Looking for the new face of horror? This is it right here.”—Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award–winning author of The Dead Won’t Die and Dead City
“Mercy House is 100% distilled nightmare juice. Adam Cesare notches up the horror to nigh-unbearable levels. Even my skin was screaming by the end of this book.”—Nick Cutter, author of The Troop
“Adam Cesare makes his presence felt with Mercy House. A no-holds-barred combo of survival horror and the occult.”—Laird Barron, author of The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All
“This is extreme horror at its best, so don’t step into this book with an uneasy stomach. You must wait sixty minutes after eating before opening up Mercy House.”—LitReactor
“Mercy House is the kind of no-holds-barred thrill ride that horror junkies like us love to find.”—The October Country
“What would happen if you took Bubba Ho-Tep with its old folks home backdrop, then replaced the oddball comedy with the most hair-raising, blood-curdling moments of The Evil Dead? Well, you might wind up with Mercy House. . . . If visceral, unvarnished horror is your preferred reading experience, you’ve got a good one here.”—Wag the Fox
“[Cesare] has implemented a style that is highly cinematic, merciless in its execution and leaves you hanging on for dear life wondering what he'll do next.
"Sometimes everything goes wrong, in the best possible way. Think Snuff and Cannibal Holocaust meeting at a midnight movie. And then give one of them a camera, the other a knife." - Stephen Graham Jones, author of MONGRELS and THE LAST FINAL GIRL
Thirty years ago, cynical sleazeball director Tito Bronze took a tiny cast and crew to a desolate island. His goal: to exploit the local tribes, spray some guts around, cash in on the '80s Italian cannibal cinema craze.
But the vengeful spirits of the island had other ideas. And before long, guts were squirting behind the scenes, as well. While the camera kept rolling...
TRIBESMEN is Adam Cesare's blistering tribute to Eurohorror, Ruggero Deodato, and Lucio Fulci: an irreverent glimpse into grindhouse filmmaking, stuffed inside a rocket of non-stop tropical mayhem.
By turns terrifying and hilarious, Dead Bait 4 is an anthology about the fears that dwell beneath the surface — and within the human heart. Lake monsters, lamprey invasions, and humanoid fish from the deep are only some of the strange encounters in this collection of twenty-two stories of aquatic horror. From splatterpunk to horror comedy to literary surrealism, Dead Bait 4 is as wide-ranging as the bodies of water that encompass this planet.
When the fish come out, you’d better believe there will be consequences.
No: this is not the world’s best math problem, it’s Exponential the rollicking, brutal, gory, and strangely poignant horror novel from Adam Cesare.
Criminals and screw-ups need to face down science run amok in this literary tribute to films like Tremors and The Blob.
“Exponential is an excellent novel, one of the best creature features I’ve read in years…”
—Horror After Dark
“Adam Cesare’s mix of grim violence and old school horror movie references make for a great read.”
"Exponential is fast-paced fun, a rollicking monster movie in 200 quick-moving pages." —Ain'tItCool
To cap off years of questionable financial and personal decisions, Clarissa accepts an invitation to participate in a “fully immersive” fan convention. She arrives at an off-season summer camp and finds what was supposed to be a quick buck has become a real-life slasher movie.
Deep in the woods of Kentucky with a supporting cast of B-level celebrities, Clarissa must fight to survive the deadly game that the con’s organizers have rigged against her.
A demented, funny, bloody, and strangely-poignant horror novel from the acclaimed author of Tribesmen, Zero Lives Remaining, and Mercy House.
“Cesare is poised to take the reins of the new generation. Looking for the new face of horror? This is it right here.”—Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award–winning author of The Dead Won’t Die and Dead City
“[Cesare] has implemented a style that is highly cinematic, merciless in its execution and leaves you hanging on for dear life wondering what he'll do next.”— Horror Talk on Mercy House