100 books like Metamorphosis

By Claire Fitzpatrick,

Here are 100 books that Metamorphosis fans have personally recommended if you like Metamorphosis. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Dead Sea Fruit

Matthew R. Davis Author Of Bites Eyes: 13 Macabre Morsels

From my list on Australian short story collections with real bite.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a horror writer to the core, always have been, so few things get me as interested as a great collection of short stories. I can remember a few corkers that really put the wind up me as a kid, and it seems I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since! Australia is my home, and it has a broad and diverse genre scene that deserves a lot more attention – I’ve befriended a great many authors of horror, fantasy, SF, and all points in between, and to a person they are lovely, generous, and talented. I’m doing my part to draw attention to the proliferation of vital voices down here.

Matthew's book list on Australian short story collections with real bite

Matthew R. Davis Why did Matthew love this book?

Kaaron is a heavy-hitting award winner and a regular in Ellen Datlow’s anthologies, and here are over two dozen reasons why.

Her stories hum with a dark, merciless truth that makes their often-outlandish nature all the more believable; the worlds we find here are weird indeed, the peoples who populate them lonely and unsatisfied, the fates that await them uncaring and memorable.

But the writing is far from dour, imbued with a wry humour and implacable intelligence, and while it ranges unrestrained across bizarre horror, grim fantasy, and deeply personal SF, Kaaron is always entirely in control.

Lend her your attention and she won’t steer you wrong – her imagination and integrity have been an inspiration to me for many years.

By Kaaron Warren,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dead Sea Fruit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Kaaron Warren


Book cover of Cut to Care: A Collection of Little Hurts

Matthew R. Davis Author Of Bites Eyes: 13 Macabre Morsels

From my list on Australian short story collections with real bite.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a horror writer to the core, always have been, so few things get me as interested as a great collection of short stories. I can remember a few corkers that really put the wind up me as a kid, and it seems I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since! Australia is my home, and it has a broad and diverse genre scene that deserves a lot more attention – I’ve befriended a great many authors of horror, fantasy, SF, and all points in between, and to a person they are lovely, generous, and talented. I’m doing my part to draw attention to the proliferation of vital voices down here.

Matthew's book list on Australian short story collections with real bite

Matthew R. Davis Why did Matthew love this book?

Much extreme horror presents us with cardboard characters who are ripped and torn with no real consequence – but Aaron gives us deeply felt people who pulse on the page, which means it really hurts me as a reader when he subjects them to brutal and unforgiving fates.

His fiction aches like unacknowledged truth, displaying an empathy that doesn’t gloss over the horrors of this world and the next, and feels intimately personal whether he's delving into family dramas, failed relationships, queer themes, or sophisticated splatter.

While his work mostly details the horrors we inflict upon each other, even with the best of intentions, it’s too broad to be kept in one box – and if it was, it would surely cut its way out and come for your heart next. 

By Aaron Dries,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cut to Care as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An agency that sends social workers into the homes of grieving families to impersonate dead loved ones... The kind old woman who saved a teenager's life but now finds herself haunted by the weight of a cheated suicide... And the daughter of a candlestick maker as she tries to survive a painful existence after her father's execution for making human chandeliers of drunken cowboys... These stories and more-ranging from supernatural to the frighteningly domestic, Splatterpunk to the weird and cosmic-stain the pages of Cut to Care: A Collection of Little Hurts by Aaron Dries. They serve as a timely reminder…


Book cover of Hard Places

Matthew R. Davis Author Of Bites Eyes: 13 Macabre Morsels

From my list on Australian short story collections with real bite.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a horror writer to the core, always have been, so few things get me as interested as a great collection of short stories. I can remember a few corkers that really put the wind up me as a kid, and it seems I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since! Australia is my home, and it has a broad and diverse genre scene that deserves a lot more attention – I’ve befriended a great many authors of horror, fantasy, SF, and all points in between, and to a person they are lovely, generous, and talented. I’m doing my part to draw attention to the proliferation of vital voices down here.

Matthew's book list on Australian short story collections with real bite

Matthew R. Davis Why did Matthew love this book?

Kirstyn is another stalwart of the Australian scene whom I have always admired, and this recent collection of her stellar short work is so overdue it’s almost insulting.

Like the best of our number, she delves deep into the heart of her characters to present tales that never feel rote or disengaged, and her tales have teeth in the most unexpected places.

Her weirdness is never dispassionate, her horror never tame, and she returns from the darkness with gifts of many hues.

These are modern fairy tales for the grimy backstreets and dimly lit suburban kitchens down here at the bottom end of our haunted globe.

By Kirstyn McDermott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Kirstyn McDermott's prose is darkly magical, insidious and insistent. Once her words get under your skin, they are there to stay." -Angela Slatter, author of All the Murmuring Bones and The Path of Thorns


Hard Places collects the very best of Kirstyn McDermott's short fiction written over the past twenty years along with a previously unpublished novella. From unsettling obsessions and brutal body horror to unexpected monsters and ghosts drifting through suburbia, these stories run the gamut of horror and the contemporary gothic. By turns harrowing, provocative and poignant, this collection will haunt you long after the last page is…


Book cover of The Gulp

Matthew R. Davis Author Of Bites Eyes: 13 Macabre Morsels

From my list on Australian short story collections with real bite.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a horror writer to the core, always have been, so few things get me as interested as a great collection of short stories. I can remember a few corkers that really put the wind up me as a kid, and it seems I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since! Australia is my home, and it has a broad and diverse genre scene that deserves a lot more attention – I’ve befriended a great many authors of horror, fantasy, SF, and all points in between, and to a person they are lovely, generous, and talented. I’m doing my part to draw attention to the proliferation of vital voices down here.

Matthew's book list on Australian short story collections with real bite

Matthew R. Davis Why did Matthew love this book?

Alan is less interested than the preceding authors in distracting poesy and deep characterisation – which is not to say that he is without sophistication, but rather that he prefers to twist the throttle hard and race through his stories like he has a metal gig to catch.

His two-fisted prose pulls no punches in this collection of five linked novellas about an odd Aussie country town, delivering bold thrills, shiversome delights, and wince-worthy kills.

Alan sets an example for myself and other local writers with his upstanding, no-shit attitude and open generosity, and those who don’t have the pleasure of knowing him personally will nonetheless feel welcomed into his world whenever they crack the covers of his books.

By Alan Baxter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Gulp (Tales From The Gulp #1)

Strange things happen in The Gulp. The residents have grown used to it.

The isolated Australian harbour town of Gulpepper is not like other places. Some maps don't even show it. And only outsiders use the full name. Everyone who lives there calls it The Gulp. The place has a habit of swallowing people.

A truck driver thinks the stories about The Gulp are made up to scare him. Until he gets there.
Teenage siblings try to cover up the death of their mother, but their plans go drastically awry.
A rock band…


Book cover of Dawn

Anna McFarlane Author Of Cyberpunk Culture and Psychology: Seeing through the Mirrorshades

From my list on body horror birth.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lecturer in medical humanities at the University of Leeds in England and I’m currently writing a book about the portrayal of traumatic pregnancy in fantastic literature (science fiction, horror, fantasy…). ‘Medical humanities’ is a field of study that looks at medical issues using the tools of the humanities, so it encompasses things like history of medicine, bioethics, and (my specialty) literature and medicine. Thinking about literature through the lens of traumatic pregnancy has led me to some fascinating, gory, and philosophical books, some of which I’m including on this list. 

Anna's book list on body horror birth

Anna McFarlane Why did Anna love this book?

I couldn’t finish this list without including one of the most famous examples of pregnancy in science fiction.

Humanity comes face-to-face with an alien species, the Oankali, who use gene editing, cloning, and mating to refresh their gene pools. The focus is on Lilith, a black woman taken hostage by the aliens who must learn about their plans for her and strategize her responses.

I really appreciate the way Butler’s work manages to speak to the legacy of slavery, particularly through a scene where the aliens create the circumstances for Lilith to breed with a human man in aid of their experiments. Lilith’s refusal to succumb to this animalistic treatment confronts the legacy of breeding humans during slavery.

I find Lilith (like many of Butler’s other characters) a driven character who deals with outlandish situations and the potential invasion of her own body with a pragmatic determination that invites me,…

By Octavia E. Butler,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Dawn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'One of the most significant literary artists of the twentieth century' JUNOT DIAZ

'Octavia Butler was playing out our very real possibilities as humans. I think she can help each of us to do the same' GLORIA STEINEM

One woman is called upon to reconstruct humanity in this hopeful, thought-provoking novel by the bestselling, award-winning author. For readers of Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison and Ursula K. Le Guin.

When Lilith lyapo wakes in a small white room with no doors or windows, she remembers a devastating war, and a husband and child long lost to her.

She finds herself living…


Book cover of The Rust Maidens

Andrea Blythe Author Of Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale

From my list on women reclaiming their own power.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated fairy tales, folklore, and horror since I was a child, drawn to these strange stories in which wondrous and terrifying things happen. In many of these tales, the women often lack a sense of agency or control over their lives and work for a better life within the limitations of their situation. The act of retelling these stories provides space to explore this lack of power and how these women might find clever or unusual ways to reclaim it. In particular, I’m interested in the ways characters might make use of the danger or darkness around them to carve their own path in the world. 

Andrea's book list on women reclaiming their own power

Andrea Blythe Why did Andrea love this book?

Set in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1980, The Rust Maidens is about a sudden change that overcomes several teenage girls in the community. Out of nowhere a metamorphosis begins to take place, the teens’ bodies transform into rusted metal and broken glass—reflecting the decaying factories and communities around them. As word of the transformations spread, the event takes on the power of an urban legend, but the girls have their own secret plans, which they share only with themselves.  

What is beautiful and striking about this book is that the body horror at its center becomes a means for these girls to find their own power. Despite the fear of suddenly finding their bodies shifting into a form they cannot recognize as their own, the transformation also provides a means of escape and defiance against a community that would balk at them being anything other than what they are expected to…

By Gwendolyn Kiste,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Rust Maidens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Something’s happening to the girls on Denton Street.

It’s the summer of 1980 in Cleveland, Ohio, and Phoebe Shaw and her best friend Jacqueline have just graduated high school, only to confront an ugly, uncertain future. Across the city, abandoned factories populate the skyline; meanwhile at the shore, one strong spark, and the Cuyahoga River might catch fire. But none of that compares to what’s happening in their own west side neighborhood. The girls Phoebe and Jacqueline have grown up with are changing. It starts with footprints of dark water on the sidewalk. Then, one by one, the girls’ bodies…


Book cover of I Will Rot Without You

Roland Blackburn Author Of Seventeen Names for Skin

From my list on body horror to rot your mind.

Why am I passionate about this?

Obsession and mania have never been far from my heart, and with that has always come the certainty that everything we build can fall apart. I’ve always been fascinated by our frail bodies; what they can do, what they can’t, and the limits we can all be pushed to. People are forced to their extremes, day after day, and that this can happen to anybody at any time has always attracted my imagination. Something shatters. Bones break. Flesh twists. And, in itself, the incident is never the end. Afterward, what’s left? This question haunts me through every word that I write.

Roland's book list on body horror to rot your mind

Roland Blackburn Why did Roland love this book?

Crawling with cockroaches, mold, and touching moments, this dark love story of a protagonist unable to move on and his neighbor whose boyfriend is so controlling he’s stitched himself to her is a bizarro classic. I’ve lived with both pretty abhorrent apartments and breakups, and the grotesque escalation of the novel as both the protagonist and their dwelling fall apart get under my skin in the best way possible. Full of nightmarish yet recognizable characters (maybe this says a lot about me), the plot propels itself forward through so many twists and turns that the ending is a true surprise. Slater’s ability to fascinate and repulse in equal measure is on full display as he explores the nightmare side of relationships, and I can’t help but sympathize with the protagonist as their heartbreak causes a brutal and irrecoverable decay.

You can’t know where this one is going. Even as the…

By Danger Slater,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Will Rot Without You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WHEN THE WORLD FALLS APART AND YOUR BODY STARTS TO ROT, LET THE ROACHES LEAD.

Meet Ernie. His life is a mess. Gretchen's gone, and the apartment they once shared in this grey, grim city is now overrun with intelligent mold and sinister bugs.

Then his neighbor Dee shows up, so smart and lovely. If he can just get past the fact that her jealous boyfriend could reach out of her blouse and punch him in the face at any moment, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Unfortunately for all involved, a Great Storm is coming and…


Book cover of The Troop

Alan Baxter Author Of Blood Covenant

From my list on novels set outside of America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a horror fan since I first read The Fog by James Herbert at much too young an age. Being British-born and now Australian, the horror I write is almost always set outside America (and the UK more and more often), and I’m always on the lookout for good horror fiction set in different places. I’m fascinated by cultural folklore and mythology and how people create stories to understand the world. For three years, I was President of the Australasian Horror Writers Association.

Alan's book list on novels set outside of America

Alan Baxter Why did Alan love this book?

I love horror novels that center on a group of characters, in this case, a scout troop in the wilds of an island off Canada. I enjoy the dynamics that can be explored when an ensemble cast like this is set against a terrible threat.

Despite my usual preference for supernatural horror, I also enjoyed this one for its scientific explanations of what the troop faces. It was a clever and disturbing exploration of where science can sometimes lead to awful outcomes.

By Nick Cutter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'THE TROOP scared the hell out of me, and I couldn't put it down. Not for the faint-hearted' STEPHEN KING

He felt something touch his hand. Which is when he looked down.

For the scouts of Troop 52, three days of camping, hiking and survival lessons on Falstaff Island is as close as they'll get to a proper holiday.

Which was when he saw it.

But when an emaciated figure stumbles into their camp asking for food, the trip takes a horrifying turn. The man is not just hungry, he's sick. Sick in a way they have never seen before.…


Book cover of Poor Things

Anna McFarlane Author Of Cyberpunk Culture and Psychology: Seeing through the Mirrorshades

From my list on body horror birth.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a lecturer in medical humanities at the University of Leeds in England and I’m currently writing a book about the portrayal of traumatic pregnancy in fantastic literature (science fiction, horror, fantasy…). ‘Medical humanities’ is a field of study that looks at medical issues using the tools of the humanities, so it encompasses things like history of medicine, bioethics, and (my specialty) literature and medicine. Thinking about literature through the lens of traumatic pregnancy has led me to some fascinating, gory, and philosophical books, some of which I’m including on this list. 

Anna's book list on body horror birth

Anna McFarlane Why did Anna love this book?

Recently adapted as a film by Yorgos Lanthimos and starring Emma Stone, Alasdair Gray’s novel of birth and creation is another example of the complicated and horrific birth stories that I find so fascinating.

When the dead body of a young, pregnant woman is pulled from the River Clyde in Glasgow, a local scientist, Godwin Baxter, takes it upon himself to create a new life, by installing the unborn baby’s brain in its mother’s head and bringing the new creation to life.

Gray’s grisly premise leads to a satire on education and complacency in light of social injustice. It's funny, and there are plenty of sly postmodern comments on reality and how we understand the past. Gray illustrated his own books, and his image of Bella as ‘Bella Caledonia’ is, I think, a brilliant image of a strong woman that has become iconic in Scotland and beyond.

By Alasdair Gray,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What strange secret made rich, beautiful, tempestuous Bella Baxter irresistible to the poor Scottish medical student Archie McCandless? Was it her mysterious origin in the home of his monstrous friend Godwin Baxter, the genius whose voice could perforate eardrums? This story of true love and scientific daring whirls the reader from the private operating-theatres of late-Victorian Glasgow through aristocratic casinos, low-life Alexandria and a Parisian bordello, reaching an interrupted climax in a Scottish church.


Book cover of The Cipher

Paul Jessup Author Of Glass House

From my list on horror that will blow your mind (kaboom).

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved weird horror from a young age, and that passion only grew as the years went on. It all started when I was ten, and I got an anthology of classic horror for my birthday. Inside I read The White People by Machen, Cast the Runes by MR James, and The Colour Out of Space by Lovecraft, and I was hooked. Ever since then I chased that same thrill of the horror that is so out there and strange it just breaks your brain and changes you inside out. I have a feeling I’ll be chasing that obsession until the end of my days.

Paul's book list on horror that will blow your mind (kaboom)

Paul Jessup Why did Paul love this book?

A very dark turn in my list, indeed. A hole opens up in their apartment, who knows who or why? It doesn’t matter. They dub it the funhole, and would do what any of us would do, and start sticking things inside of it. Things get dark, fast.

If you want to be up all night, unable to sleep, give this book a whirl.

By Kathe Koja,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Kathe Koja's classic, award-winning horror novel is finally available as an ebook.

Nicholas, a would-be poet, and Nakota, his feral lover, discover a strange hole in the storage room floor down the hall - "Black. Pure black and the sense of pulsation, especially when you look at it too closely, the sense of something not living but alive." It begins with curiosity, a joke - the Funhole down the hall. But then the experiments begin. "Wouldn't it be wild to go down there?" says Nakota. Nicholas says "We're not." But they're not in control, not from the first moment, as…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in body horror, epilepsy, and Australia?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about body horror, epilepsy, and Australia.

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