100 books like Occultation and Other Stories

By Laird Barron,

Here are 100 books that Occultation and Other Stories fans have personally recommended if you like Occultation and Other Stories. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Teatro Grottesco

Adam Washington Author Of The Misophorism Trilogy

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

Why am I passionate about this?

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 Kiss Kiss

Tamel Wino Author Of Ékleipsis: the Abyss

From my list on story collections that gnaw at your subconscious.

Why am I passionate about this?

Tamel Wino is a Canadian fiction writer from resplendent British Columbia whose works focus largely on the degeneration of sanity and morality. He studied Health Sciences and Psychology, which only furthered his interest in human nature. With inspirations including Shirley Jackson, Cormac McCarthy, Clive Barker, Margaret Atwood, and Edgar Allan Poe; Tamel’s expositions are strongly grounded in traditions of dark fiction. Yet, with his bold narrative voice and incisive plot construction, Wino is paving a new movement within the space.

Tamel's book list on story collections that gnaw at your subconscious

Tamel Wino Why did Tamel love this book?

Roald Dahl, who's mostly known for his writings of children’s literature, also wrote a plethora of brilliant adult short works of fiction. The author is relentlessly masterful in conjuring up bizzare, macabre stories. Subtle yet profound, these tales will be burrowed deep inside the reader's subconscious, lurking and writhing...

By Roald Dahl,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Kiss Kiss you will find eleven devious, shocking stories from the master of the unpredictable, Roald Dahl.

What could go wrong when a wife pawns the mink coat that her lover gave her as a parting gift? What happens when a priceless piece of furniture is the subject of a deceitful bargain? Can a wronged woman take revenge on her dead husband?

In these dark, disturbing stories Roald Dahl explores the sinister side of human nature: the cunning, sly, selfish part of each of us that leads us into the territory of the unexpected and unsettling. Stylish, macabre and…


Book cover of The October Country

Tyler Paterson Author Of Dark Satellites

From my list on transport to the heart of spooky season.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an October baby born during a full moon, into a small New England town notorious for their connection to the Salem Witch Trials. My house was for sure haunted growing up, I’ve had a lot of nightmares over the years, and I found solace in the horror genre. Though my true background is in comedy having studied with Second City Chicago, the experience afforded me the opportunity to explore the more pained and shadowed sides of myself as a tool to write relevant material. I learned to focus those explorations into narratives and create stories with a lot of heart that highlight my own quest to uncover inner peace.

Tyler's book list on transport to the heart of spooky season

Tyler Paterson Why did Tyler love this book?

Though often overlooked in Bradbury’s canon of masterpieces, The October Country is such a fantastic treat. I recommend it every chance I get and often quote his descriptions of Autumn. “It was September. In the last days when things are getting sad for no reason.” I mean…right?? How heartbreakingly beautiful is that?

The book comes together as a collection of short stories that take place in a world of perpetual autumn, where trees drop their fiery leaves one by one, lakes become still, and darkness creeps in earlier each day.

I swear, if I could wrap myself in a cocoon of this feeling, I’d be a happy camper. Plus, touches of the supernatural? Yes. All day. Count me in. Forever and ever. Amen.

By Ray Bradbury,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The October Country is Ray Bradbury’s own netherworld of the soul, inhabited by the horrors and demons that lurk within all of us. Renowned for his multi-million-copy bestseller, Fahrenheit 451, and hailed by Harper’s magazine as “the finest living writer of fantastic fiction,” Ray Bradbury proves here that he is America’s master of the short story.

This classic collection features:

The Emissary: The faithful dog was the sick boy’s only connection with the world outside—and beyond . . .
The Small Assassin: A fine, healthy baby boy was the new mother’s dream come true—or her worst nightmare . . .…


Book cover of The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies

Tamel Wino Author Of Ékleipsis: the Abyss

From my list on story collections that gnaw at your subconscious.

Why am I passionate about this?

Tamel Wino is a Canadian fiction writer from resplendent British Columbia whose works focus largely on the degeneration of sanity and morality. He studied Health Sciences and Psychology, which only furthered his interest in human nature. With inspirations including Shirley Jackson, Cormac McCarthy, Clive Barker, Margaret Atwood, and Edgar Allan Poe; Tamel’s expositions are strongly grounded in traditions of dark fiction. Yet, with his bold narrative voice and incisive plot construction, Wino is paving a new movement within the space.

Tamel's book list on story collections that gnaw at your subconscious

Tamel Wino Why did Tamel love this book?

A powerhouse collection, familiar and innovative, at times agonizingly devastating and horribly entertaining. After reading John Langan's novel The Fisherman, I just had to pick up this one. A profoundly, gratifying dark read. With such a sublime and unwavering collection, Langan rises in my book as one of the most fascinating in the contemporary, horror writer circle.

By John Langan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"I want to be like John Langan when I grow up, okay? He blends meticulously crafted traditional narratives with joyous genre-bending and narrative rule-breaking. His stories are fiercely smart, timely, timeless, heartbreaking, and of course, flat-out scary. Langan fearlessly commits to his monsters, his characters, his readers, to his vision of the horror story and the messed-up, broken, frightening world we inhabit. Wide, Carnivorous Sky, indeed."-Paul Tremblay, author of The Little Sleep and Swallowing a Donkey's Eye.

John Langan has, in the last few years, established himself as one of the leading voices in contemporary horror literature. Gifted with a…


Book cover of The King in Yellow

Lisa Morton Author Of Haunted Tales: Classic Stories of Ghosts and the Supernatural

From my list on collections of classic ghost stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been a fan of ghost stories. As a kid, I loved horror movies and the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, and H. P. Lovecraft; later on, I discovered movies like The Innocents (based on Henry James's The Turn of the Screw) and The Haunting (adapted from Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House). As a ghost historian and editor, I've discovered dozens of brilliant tales from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; these are stories that remain relevant, entertaining, and frightening.

Lisa's book list on collections of classic ghost stories

Lisa Morton Why did Lisa love this book?

Robert Chambers (1865-1933) was one of the bestselling authors of the early twentieth century for novels - now largely forgettable - about shopgirls and adventurers. His fame in our century rests entirely on this book, which includes the four terrifying stories that make up the "King in Yellow" mythos, as well as several other haunted and haunting tales. This edition includes an introduction by Nic Pizzolatto, who included references to the book in his magnificent series True Detective.

By Robert W. Chambers,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The King in Yellow is a book of short stories by American writer Robert W. Chambers, first published in 1895. The book is named after a play with the same title which recurs as a motif through some of the stories.

The first half of the book features highly esteemed weird stories, and the book has been described by critics as a classic in the field of the supernatural. There are ten stories, the first four of which ("The Repairer of Reputations", "The Mask", "In the Court of the Dragon", and "The Yellow Sign") mention The King in Yellow, a…


Book cover of Diaspora

Eric Schwitzgebel Author Of The Weirdness of the World

From my list on blow your mind about the weirdness of the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

What I love about philosophy (I’ve been a philosophy professor at the University of California, Riverside, since 1997) is not its ability to deliver the one correct answer to the nature of the world and how to live but rather its power to open our mind to new possibilities that we hadn’t previously considered; its power to blow apart our presuppositions, our culturally given “common sense” understandings, and our habitual patterns of thinking, casting us into doubt and wonder. The science writing, fiction, and personal essays I love best have that same power.

Eric's book list on blow your mind about the weirdness of the world

Eric Schwitzgebel Why did Eric love this book?

In the 1990s, I stopped reading science fiction to focus on more “serious” writing. In 2008, someone recommended this book to me, and my appreciation of science fiction changed forever.

In Diaspora, science fiction is an exploration of the deepest existential questions we can face: In a post-scarcity world, where people can duplicate themselves, back themselves up, and radically alter their personalities and values at will, what can and should we want?

Egan guides us through a diverse landscape of possibilities, from biologically enhanced apes to AI systems that derive immense joy from proving mathematical theorems to creators of multidimensional experimental art and beyond. 

By Greg Egan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A quantum Brave New World from the boldest and most wildly speculative writer of his generation. "Greg Egan is perhaps the most important SF writer in the world."-Science Fiction Weekly "One of the very best "-Locus. "Science fiction with an emphasis on science."-New York Times Book Review

Since the Introdus in the twenty-first century, humanity has reconfigured itself drastically. Most chose immortality, joining the polises to become conscious software. Others opted for gleisners: disposable, renewable robotic bodies that remain in contact with the physical world of force and friction. Many of these have left the solar system forever in fusion-drive…


Book cover of Axiomatic: Short Stories of Science Fiction

Mario Barbatti Author Of One Billion Faces: Short Stories

From my list on where reality dissolves into strangeness and wonder.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was ten. Every Sunday morning, I sat in front of the TV with a notepad to take notes while watching Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. As a teen, I devoured every of Kafka’s books. The wonder of science and the strangeness of our existence have co-habited within me since then. Today, I’m a professional physicist and theoretical chemist. But I’m also a fiction writer. My fiction allows me to spill my science background into topics that wouldn’t be welcome in technical writing. For instance, wondering how life could re-emerge in the far future after all stars burned.

Mario's book list on where reality dissolves into strangeness and wonder

Mario Barbatti Why did Mario love this book?

Your older self writes a diary and sends it back in time to you. It reveals that between two pathways, you will take a right. You arrive at that crossroads, and no matter how willing you are to defy your unveiled fate, you can’t avoid choosing right again. I often find this type of super-deterministic scenario in science fiction, invariably raising philosophical questions about free will. Nevertheless, Egan is the only author to offer a satisfactory psychological solution to why the protagonist can’t change their fate. And this is just the first of the short stories in this collection. Axiomatic is hard SciFi stretching scientific concepts into their ethical and human limits.

By Greg Egan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Wonderful, mind-expanding stuff, and well written too."-The Guardian

Axiomatic is a wonderful collection of eighteen short stories by Hugo Award-winning author Greg Egan. The stories in this collection have appeared in such science fiction magazines as Interzone and Asimov's between 1989 and 1992.

From junkies who drink at the time-stream to love affairs in time-reversed galaxies; from gene-altered dolphins that converse only in limericks to the program that allows you to design your own child; from the brain implants called axiomatics to the strange attractors that spin off new religions; from bioengineering to the new physics; and from cyberpunk to…


Book cover of The Girl with Ghost Eyes

Rebecca Buchanan Author Of Asphalt Gods, and Other Pagan Urban Fantasy Tales

From my list on fantasy and science fiction for Pagans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up with a serious passion for mythology and fairy tales. By the time I reached college, I knew that would be my path in life: honoring the Old Deities, honoring the earth, and writing new myths and fairy tales. To that end, I have published numerous short stories, novellas, and poems (the majority with a Pagan focus), serve on the board of directors of a Pagan publisher and a Pagan non-profit organization, and edit a Pagan literary ezine.

Rebecca's book list on fantasy and science fiction for Pagans

Rebecca Buchanan Why did Rebecca love this book?

Most urban fantasy is very firmly fixed in the modern world, and the protagonists are overwhelmingly Caucasian. Boroson’s The Girl with Ghost Eyes is a wonderful change of pace. Not only is our hero a Chinese woman in 19th century San Francisco, but she is also a trained Daoshi priestess — who cannot take over her father’s practice precisely because she is a woman. The Girl with Ghost Eyes deftly deals with sexism, racism, labor exploitation, and immigration, while also introducing the audience to traditional Chinese beliefs and practices about magic, shapeshifters, spirits, and the afterlife. A terrific reminder that tradition can simultaneously strengthen and imprison us. 

By M. H. Boroson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The Girl with Ghost Eyes is a fun, fun read. Martial arts and Asian magic set in Old San Francisco make for a fresh take on urban fantasy, a wonderful story that kept me up late to finish."
#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs

It's the end of the nineteenth century in San Francisco's Chinatown, and ghost hunters from the Maoshan traditions of Daoism keep malevolent spiritual forces at bay. Li-lin, the daughter of a renowned Daoshi exorcist, is a young widow burdened with yin eyes the unique ability to see the spirit world. Her spiritual visions and…


Book cover of Almost Infamous

Fiona J. R. Titchenell Author Of Pinnacle City: A Superhero Noir

From my list on superhero comic book fans.

Why am I passionate about this?

Novels are my medium and my first love, but I’m a huge fan of comic books too. Even though visual arts have never been my strength, I adore how many different things are possible in superhero stories. Sci-fi and epic fantasy and all different kinds of horror coexist in these enormous fictional universes. You’ve got comedic, child-friendly mysteries and pitch-black serial killer thrillers and deep meditations on love and family all going on at once. Comic book tropes and general disregard for genre boundaries definitely inform my writing style, and I love when I discover other novelists who incorporate comic book inspiration in various ways.

Fiona's book list on superhero comic book fans

Fiona J. R. Titchenell Why did Fiona love this book?

Almost Infamous was the precursor to Pinnacle City. It’s by my partner, Matt Carter, and I’m so, so happy to have gotten to play in this universe, because this book is a gloriously nerdy yet pretty cutting take on a whole lot of corners of superhero comics. It’s about this disgruntled upper middle-class high school boy who decides to become a supervillain, and ends up drafted into Project Kayfabe, a forced league of supervillains controlled by the so-called superheroes to push the public narrative in whatever direction the “heroes” want. Thankfully, Project Kayfabe is made up of all sorts of villains who ended up there for all sorts of reasons, so they’re able to learn from each other, become better people, and come together to foil the heroes’ plot.

By Matt Carter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Salt isn't a superhero. With his powerful (and unpredictable) telekinetic abilities he could be one if he wanted to, but he doesn't. He's unambitious, selfish, and cowardly, and he doesn't want to have to deal with all the paperwork required to become a professional superhero. But since the money, fame, and women that come with wearing the cape are appealing, he decides to become the first supervillain the world has seen in more than twenty years: Apex Strike.

However, he soon finds villainy in a world where the heroes have long since defeated all the supervillains. While half…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in steampunk, grimdark, and dystopian?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about steampunk, grimdark, and dystopian.

Steampunk Explore 91 books about steampunk
Grimdark Explore 17 books about grimdark
Dystopian Explore 557 books about dystopian