100 books like Can You Sign My Tentacle?

By Brandon O'Brien,

Here are 100 books that Can You Sign My Tentacle? fans have personally recommended if you like Can You Sign My Tentacle?. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Hammers on Bone

Victor Manibo Author Of The Sleepless

From my list on blending speculative fiction and noir fiction.

Who am I?

My debut novel, The Sleepless, is a sci-fi noir story born out of my passion for both speculative fiction and crime fiction. I grew up devouring Marvel comics and Ray Bradbury and Agatha Christie, and those were some of my strongest influences when I finally decided to write my own stories. As a queer immigrant and a person of color, I was also influenced by the lives of people who live these identities, as much as I was influenced by my career as a lawyer in the immigration, criminal, and civil rights fields. 

Victor's book list on blending speculative fiction and noir fiction

Victor Manibo Why did Victor love this book?

Noir can sometimes be hard to identify, but most readers are familiar with the tropes: the put-upon private investigator, the case that he can’t walk away from, the hunt for leads, the twists and double-crosses. With Hammers on Bone, we get all the aesthetics of a hardboiled detective story but also: Lovecraftian monsters. Noir stories lay bare individual and collective moral failings, and in adding eldritch horrors, the book further externalizes those ills, showing how monstrous humans can be.

Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw is a novella that melds the hardboiled detective novel with Lovecraftian monsters. Our private dick, John Persons, is hired by a ten-year-old kid to off his abusive stepfather. From this classic noir setup, to the character voice and dialect, to the shady characters, to the twists and reversals, this book really keys into the strengths of the genre, and amplifies them even further with…

By Cassandra Khaw,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Hammers on Bone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Cassandra Khaw bursts onto the scene with Hammers on Bone, a hard-boiled horror show that Charles Stross calls "possibly the most promising horror debut of 2016." A finalist for the British Fantasy award and the Locus Award for Best Novella!

John Persons is a private investigator with a distasteful job from an unlikely client. He’s been hired by a ten-year-old to kill the kid’s stepdad, McKinsey. The man in question is abusive, abrasive, and abominable.

He’s also a monster, which makes Persons the perfect thing to hunt him. Over the course of his ancient, arcane existence, he’s hunted gods and…

Book cover of The Ballad of Black Tom

Barbara Cottrell Author Of Darkness Below

From my list on character-driven horror with a heart.

Who am I?

I’ve always been attracted to strange things. When I was a kid, I loved to picnic in graveyards and make up stories about the people buried there. I think I gravitate toward the strange because it’s an escape from the gray every day. The best horror writing fills readers with wonder, opens the door to that magical question, ‘what if?’ But being truly engaged depends on caring about what happens to the characters in a book. That’s why I chose Horror with A Heart as my theme. I like horror with well-developed characters, people that matter to me. People who I could imagine as my friends.

Barbara's book list on character-driven horror with a heart

Barbara Cottrell Why did Barbara love this book?

The Ballad of Black Tom rocked my world.

I was already writing stories inspired by H.P. Lovecraft but I wasn’t sure I had a place in the genre. Then Victor LaValle took one of Lovecraft’s most racist works, The Horror At Red Hook, and produced an alternate version.

Black Tom touches on the events of Lovecraft’s original story but tells the tale from the point of view of a black musician named Tommy Tester. LaValle’s reimagining of Lovecraft is a revelation.

He showed me that I didn’t have to be like Lovecraft to write in his world. And LaValle perfectly captures the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, a world that Lovecraft’s racism prevented him from seeing, even though he lived in New York City at the time.

By Victor LaValle,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Ballad of Black Tom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn't there.

Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father's head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic…

Book cover of Winter Tide

S.R. Algernon Author Of Cooling Season

From my list on science fiction that will change your perspective.

Who am I?

I am an American author and have been an avid reader of science fiction for nearly forty years. I studied science fiction in college, along with biology and other subjects. My undergraduate honors thesis was a discussion of postwar Japanese science fiction that included a translation from the original. I have a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology and have published papers on learning in machines, humans, and humpback whales. I have taught and studied in Japan and Singapore, and critiqued fiction for several years with critters.org. I have published many science fiction stories from various perspectives. The Hugo finalist, "Asymmetrical Warfare" tells the story of an alien invasion of Earth from the invader’s perspective.

S.R.'s book list on science fiction that will change your perspective

S.R. Algernon Why did S.R. love this book?

I have always been a fan of Lovecraft, but the unfathomable remoteness of his fearsome creations left me dissatisfied. Ruthanna Emrys flips the Lovecraftian script on its head and tells tales within Lovecraft’s universe from the perspective of the characters that Lovecraft vilified. In a world that celebrates diverse perspectives far more than in Lovecraft’s day, Winter Tide gives readers a chance to appreciate the richness and creativity of Lovecraft’s world through the eyes of its marginalized characters.

By Ruthanna Emrys,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Winter Tide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two decades ago the U.S. government rounded up the people of Innsmouth and took them to a desert prison, far from their ocean, their Deep One ancestors, and their sleeping god, Cthulhu. Only Aphra and Caleb Marsh survived the camps, emerging without a past or a future.

Now it's 1949, and the government that stole Aphra's life needs her help. FBI Agent Ron Spector believes that Communist spies have stolen dangerous magical secrets from Miskatonic University, secrets that could turn the Cold War hot in an instant and hasten the end of the human race.

Aphra must return to the…

Book cover of The Fisherman

Brandon R. Grafius Author Of Lurking Under the Surface: Horror, Religion, and the Questions that Haunt Us

From my list on horror and religion.

Who am I?

I’ve been a fan of horror since I got sucked into Scooby-Doo as a three-year-old. When I started my academic career, I kind of kept that passion tucked inside as something to be embarrassed about – after all, I wanted to do serious work, and horror movies aren’t serious, right? Graduate school made me rethink that assumption, and pushed me towards seriously considering the engagement of horror and religion. I wrote my dissertation on a chapter of the Book of Numbers as a slasher narrative, and I haven’t looked back since.

Brandon's book list on horror and religion

Brandon R. Grafius Why did Brandon love this book?

Langan’s novel is gripping from the start, and weaves a beautifully tangled web of stories-within-stories.

But it’s in the novel’s conclusion, where the whole universe breaks open, that it becomes truly jaw-dropping. After I finished reading it, I was thinking not only about the book I had just read – but about what it implied about the universe, and my place in it.

By John Langan,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Fisherman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In upstate New York, in the woods around Woodstock, Dutchman's Creek flows out of the Ashokan Reservoir. Steep-banked, fast-moving, it offers the promise of fine fishing, and of something more, a possibility too fantastic to be true. When Abe and Dan, two widowers who have found solace in each other's company and a shared passion for fishing, hear rumors of the Creek, and what might be found there, the remedy to both their losses, they dismiss it as just another fish story. Soon, though, the men find themselves drawn into a tale as deep and old as the Reservoir. It's…

Book cover of Singularity

Mike Dubisch Author Of The Earthlings

From my list on thought provoking science fiction.

Who am I?

I am a lifelong reader of science fiction and fantasy from all eras, coming from a family that was obsessed with both science and speculative fiction. I am the co-creator of Forbidden Futures magazine, the world’s only full color, fully illustrated genre fiction periodical, and I have been writing and publishing science fiction and horror comics, art, and stories for over four decades. I have contributed to the worlds of Star Wars, Aliens VS Predator, Dungeons and Dragons, DC and MARVEL comics, and The Wheel Of Time. I am an instructor teaching fantasy illustration, comics, and graphic novel writing at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Mike's book list on thought provoking science fiction

Mike Dubisch Why did Mike love this book?

Twin boys arrive at their late uncle’s cabin ahead of their parents and make a remarkable discovery: When their dog gets into the metal lined one room outbuilding on the property, the boys discover the animal long dead inside, and they realize that, while in the sparce little room, time moves much faster.

When the two brothers, already at odds, begin a rivalry over the neighbor girl, one twin decides to spend a night in the room, a decision that will change their lives forever.

This is one of those stories that stays with you, and makes you ask what you would have done in the same situation as the characters in the book. Add to that a dash of cosmic horror, the fear of the unknown creeping up on you while you question the nature of time and the definition of self.

By William Sleator,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Singularity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

Identical twins Barry and Harry Krasner are house-sitting at their great-uncle's Midwest farm.  It's peaceful at first, but soon they realize there's something about the farmhouse that makes locals stay far away.  The twins are sure that the locked shed out back is their reason why – but what they find there is more shocking than anything they could have imagined.

Book cover of Lovecraft Country

Jill Hand Author Of White Oaks

From my list on Southern Gothic that are dark and twisted.

Who am I?

I’m a lifelong New Jerseyan married to a man whose family comes from Georgia. It gave me an opportunity to observe the white, Southern, upper-class weltanschauung, up close. To hear them talk, you’d think the Civil War had ended just a few days earlier, and if the Yankees had only respected states’ rights, none of that mess would have happened. My book is about a dysfunctional Georgia family who has far too much money than is good for them. Hijinks ensue.

Jill's book list on Southern Gothic that are dark and twisted

Jill Hand Why did Jill love this book?

I first read H.P. Lovecraft when I was in college. His Cthulhu Mythos instantly grabbed my imagination. Lovecraft was a large part of the reason I started writing horror. Even back then, his disdain for foreigners and Black people and anyone else whose ancestors didn’t come over on the Mayflower, the way his did, was apparent. In recent years, Lovecraft’s racism has become a hot topic. That’s why I like this book: because it urns the usual Lovecraft trope of evil monsters from another dimension on its head by bringing the monsters closer to home, in the form of the horrors of the Jim Crow era. 

By Matt Ruff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lovecraft Country as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, 22-year-old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George - publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide - and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite - heir to the estate that owned one of Atticus's ancestors - they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.

At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal…

Book cover of The Graveyard Shift: A Horror Comedy (24/7 Demon Mart Book 1)

Rick Gualtieri Author Of Bill The Vampire

From my list on if you want to “die laughing”.

Who am I?

I’ve always loved both horror and comedy. So imagine my delight discovering the two could be blended together into a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. Movies such as Ghostbusters, Army of Darkness, and Big Trouble in Little China are perfect examples. In each, you have a potentially terrifying situation, coupled with characters who are too full of themselves to play the victim – yet not quite competent enough to be the hero either. It’s inspired me to spend countless hours behind my computer crafting my own horrific worlds, coupled with characters who simply refuse to take it seriously. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Rick's book list on if you want to “die laughing”

Rick Gualtieri Why did Rick love this book?

There should be no doubt for anyone who follows me that I love any tale that involves an underdog loser forced to either save the world or die trying. Even better if it involves rampaging tentacle beasts and other Lovecraftian horrors. Throw in a talking cockroach with a serious attitude problem, and you have a perfect recipe for that succulent dish known as horror/comedy. Definitely, a must-read for anyone who enjoys a good laugh in between their screams.

By D.M. Guay,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Graveyard Shift as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One loser, one talking cockroach, and one karate-chopping bombshell are all that stand between YOU and hell on earth.

Lloyd Wallace is the most clueless crossing guard the intersection of hell and earth has ever seen. So clueless, that he doesn't even realize the beer cave in the corner store where he works is the gateway to hell. The gate needs a hero, but Lloyd's a zero, a loser with a capital L. He's ten thousand dollars in debt and lives with his parents. He's been fired from every job he's ever had. He was the first thing his ex-girlfriend…

Book cover of The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan

Paul StJohn Mackintosh Author Of Blowback

From my list on modern Lovecraftian horror.

Who am I?

I believe that H.P. Lovecraft, only now appreciated at his full stature, has spawned a whole generation of equally brilliant writers who make modern weird horror the most vibrant, confrontational, and relevant of all current genres. He looms over today’s literature and pop culture like Cthulhu looms over the sea, and his heirs include some of the best writers of their generation. As a much-travelled Scottish writer, I’ve needed tools to tackle the chaotic, disorienting contemporary experience, as well as the darkest, most imaginative strains of my own Celtic legacy. Lovecraftian horrorthrough HPL’s explicit mythos or simply his implicit sensibility—served up the palette I needed to do that. 

Paul's book list on modern Lovecraftian horror

Paul StJohn Mackintosh Why did Paul love this book?

Caitlín R. Kiernan is one of the most prolific, versatile, inventive dark fantasy and horror writers living. Her unique transgressive perspective has won her multiple awards, and her repertoire of styles is as vast as her prose is dazzling. From cosmic horror thrillers to twisted romance, she deepens and enriches every genre she engages with. This collection is an excellent sample across her wide range—and a lure to hook you and draw you deeper into her work.

By Caitlin R. Kiernan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Very Best of Caitlín R. Kiernan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Pure genius."—New York Times

“Lyrically compelling tales that are nearly impossible to stop reading...fans of weird writers like Carmen Maria Machado, Jeff VanderMeer, and China Mieville will be glad to find this volume and thereby discover a writer who inspired them all.”

Caitlín R. Kiernan is one of dark fantasy and horror’s most acclaimed and influential short fiction writers. Her powerful, unexpected stories shatter morality, gender, and sexuality: a reporter is goaded by her toxic girlfriend into visiting sadistic art exhibits; a countess in a decaying movie theater is sated by her servants; a collector offers his greatest achievement…

Book cover of Teatro Grottesco

Adam Washington Author Of The Misophorism Trilogy

From my list on depressive reads that are free of platitudes.

Who am I?

Since I was young, I’ve suffered from Major Depressive Disorder, coupled with chronic pain that surfaced when I was in middle school. Being in constant pain—mental and physical—obviously drains the spirit. I found no hope whatsoever in phrases such as, “It gets better.” When you have chronic pain, that statement means nothing, because you know it won’t. These books, however, offered me something that I hadn’t encountered before: someone acknowledging that, although it may never get better, there is still something for me here, whatever form it takes. These books do not shame depressives, they console (and even commiserate) with them, and I hope you find them as fulfilling as I have.

Adam's book list on depressive reads that are free of platitudes

Adam Washington Why did Adam love this book?

Similar to Cioran, Ligotti has a profoundly dark worldview, but not one that is unearned.

Ligotti’s own experiences with anhedonia and despair seep through his writing. I cannot get enough of it. Through his prose, he creates his own world wherein doom is assured and life seems like a poorly written, performed, and directed play that is in profoundly bad taste.

It may seem like work like this would depress you, but for me, it gives me a sense of understanding. Someone out there, even if it’s just Ligotti’s characters, has felt that gloom.

By Thomas Ligotti,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Teatro Grottesco as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Thomas Ligotti is often cited as the most curious and remarkable figure in horror literature since H. P. Lovecraft. His work is noted by critics for its display of an exceptionally grotesque imagination and accomplished prose style. In his stories, Ligotti has followed a literary tradition that began with Edgar Allan Poe, portraying characters that are outside of anything that might be called normal life, depicting strange locales far off the beaten track, and rendering a grim vision of human existence as a perpetual nightmare. The horror stories collected in Teatro Grottesco feature tormented individuals who play out their doom…

Book cover of Night Winds

Dana Fredsti Author Of Plague Town

From my list on series that I’ve re-read at least a half dozen times.

Who am I?

There are books and series I’ve loved that I’ve only read once, with no need to re-open those particular pages. There are other books that I can re-read every year or so without exactly remembering the details of the plot and enjoy them just as much the second (sometimes tenth) time around. They all inspired me to write, plus they all provided me with awesome entertainment.  So, in no particular order…. Five books/series that I’ve re-read at least a half dozen times!

Dana's book list on series that I’ve re-read at least a half dozen times

Dana Fredsti Why did Dana love this book?

Ooooh, my goodness. Kane is possibly the best anti-hero ever created, and the combination of cosmic horror, swords, sorcery, action, and awesome storytelling make these books/story collections stand out for me. Kane is an immortal, cursed by a mad god to wander the Earth “until he is destroyed by the violence that he himself has created,” and is a take on the biblical Cain, but a lot more fun. Kane inspired one of the characters in my book series and he may just edge out Conan as my favorite lead in the sword & sorcery genre.

By Karl Edward Wagner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Night Winds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Where once the mighty Kane has passed, no one who lives forgets. Now, down the trail of past battles, Kane travels again. To the ruins of a devastated city peopled only with half-men and the waif they call their queen. To the half-burnt tavern where a woman Kane wronged long ago holds his child in keeping for the Devil. To the cave kingdom of the giants where glory and its aftermath await discovery. To the house of death itself where Kane retrieves a woman in love.

The past, the future, the present - all these are one for Kane as…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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