It’s another Book Cover Smackdown! The theme this time around is short horror fiction books hitting shelves in June 2014.

Your mission (should you choose to accept it): play art critic!

Tell us what grabs your attention! What appeals to you? What works and what doesn’t work? Do any of them spark your interest?

A Mountain Walked edited by S.T. Joshi
(Centipede Press | March 18, 2014 | Cover illustration artist: unknown)

There is no bigger name in horror fiction than H.P. Lovecraft. This new collection of fiction assembles a handful of reprints and over a dozen new stories inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and his Cthulhu Mythos. Authors include T.E.D. Klein, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Gemma Files, Lois Gresh, Thomas Ligotti, Patrick McGrath, and many others. Loaded with illustrations by David Ho, Thomas Ott, Denis Tiani, and John Kenn Mortensen, this is an oversized, gorgeous clothbound book.

Shadows & Tall Trees: Volume 6 edited by Michael Kelly
(ChiZine Publications | June 3, 2014 | cover illustration artist: Santiago Caruso)

Shadows & Tall Trees is the flagship publication of Undertow Publications (UP), a small press based near Toronto. In 2010 and 2013 the journal was a finalist for the British Fantasy Award for Best Periodical/Magazine. Peter Straub has called Shadows & Tall Trees “A beautiful and courageous journal.” Stories published in Shadows & Tall Trees have been selected for reprint in The Best Horror of the Year; The Best British Stories; The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror; Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing; The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror; and Wilde Stories: The Best Gay Speculative Fiction. Many notable authors have graced the pages of Shadows & Tall Trees, including Robert Shearman, Steve Rasnic Tem, Alison Moore, Nicholas Royle, and Nina Allan.

(Penguin Classic | March 25, 2014 | cover illustration artist: unknown)

A much-awaited collection of prose and poetry from one of the great cosmic masters of the supernatural

Not just any fantasy, horror, and science fiction author could impress H. P. Lovecraft into calling him “unexcelled by any other writer, dead or living” or compel Fritz Lieber to employ the worthy term sui generis. Clark Ashton Smith—autodidact, prolific poet, amateur philosopher, bizarre sculptor, and unmatched storyteller—simply wrote like no one else, before or since. This new collection of his very best tales and poems is selected and introduced by supernatural literature scholar S. T. Joshi and allows readers to encounter Smith’s visionary brand of fantastical, phantasmagorical worlds, each one filled with invention, terror, and a superlative sense of metaphysical wonder.

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