The Blade Between
I wrote THE BLADE BETWEEN to help process all my messy, complex feelings about the transformation of my home town of Hudson, NY. And I was excited (and scared) to engage in dialogue with other folks who call it home – the ones who go back generations as well as the new arrivals.
But because the book dropped in December of 2020, pandemic restrictions meant public events were impossible.
So I am super happy to share details on an AN ACTUAL IRL reading and Q&A I’m giving on Monday, 3/28, to celebrate the book’s paperback release. If you’re in or around Hudson, come through! If not – you can still tune in! It’s a hybrid event; you can attend on Zoom.
Would love to see you there – in person or on a screen.
Here’s some delightful insanity: almost eight months after publication, THE BLADE BETWEEN is a bestseller, according to Library Journal.
In fact, it’s #2 on the Bestseller List in the Horror category, ahead of some of my very favorite recent scary books (and Shirley Jackson, wtf), including the amazing anthology Tiny Nightmares, which has a story of mine!
My shock is not false modesty. It’s unusual for a book to hit the lists so long after publication without some big visible event, and as far as I can see there’s been nothing.
And – ask any author who had a book drop during the COVID-19 lockdown – it’s been a difficult year for book sales, with libraries and stores unable to do the vital work they do, connecting readers with new authors. So it’s incredibly gratifying, and surprising, to see readers connecting with my monster baby so long after birth.
Big big love to everyone who has read and talked about it!!
I was crazy honored to speak with two of my favorite writers, Charlie Jane Anders and Annalee Newitz, on their magnificent podcast “Our Opinions are Correct.” Which, if you’re not subscribed to, correct that mistake immediately!
Episode 84, “The Eldritch Horror of Gentrification,” is out now. An incredible opportunity to talk with two brilliant minds about an issue that obsesses me, and is at the heart of my new horror novel.
“Recently there’s been a rise in horror stories that deal with gentrification. We talk about real-life urban displacement, and the fictional tales that turn it into cosmic incursions and body-swapping nightmares. Plus, we talk to Sam J. Miller about his new novel The Blade Between, and how he used monsters to explore what happens when a small town in upstate New York gets taken over by urban hipsters and techies.”
This crazy-good review has got me completely verklempt. I could totally just quote the whole thing here because there’s so much awesome stuff about this crazy haunted mess of a book, but I’ll keep it brief and encourage you to go read the whole thing!!
“The Blade Between is a book about broken people. The creepy atmosphere and ghosts make it horror, but the drug abuse, evictions, cheating, and destroyed lives make it noir. Also, Miller’s writing and vivid imagery, especially when describing dreams, make it poetry. . . . Miller pulls readers into a universe where the banality of everyday life in a small town and the extraordinary weirdness of the supernatural collide. . . . The Blade Between is more than a dystopian sci-fi thriller with a dash of poetry; it’s an explosive narrative about a small town caught between the decaying ghosts of the past, the shattered dreams and mediocre lives of its residents, and the monster of gentrification that threatens to erase it all under shiny new buildings and fancy coffee shops. That Miller manages to discuss all three while also exploring the interstitial spaces between homosexuality, technology, and class privilege and resentment is a testament to his storytelling skills, and a powerful reason to read this haunting tale.”“‘The Blade Between’ Walks the Boundary of Horror and Noir.”
On Tuesday, December 1st, my fourth novel THE BLADE BETWEEN was released.
It’s a twisted little horror thriller about gentrification, ghosts, hate, homophobia, and the complex meaning of home. Plus whales!
One reviewer even called it “James Baldwin meets Stephen King,” and honestly it’s the greatest compliment I’ve ever gotten.
Launching a book under lockdown, in a wild and weird horror movie of a year like 2020, feels… wrong? Bizarre? But I’m excited to be telling tough stories about history and resistance in a time when resistance feels more important than ever.
Here’s some more nice stuff people had to say:
“Supernatural and uncomfortably human forces threaten to rip a failing town apart…. An unsettling and visceral journey: powerful, twisted, and grim but ultimately uplifting.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“The Blade Between is as addictive and brutal as it is smart and challenging. Miller unflinchingly confronts the sins of our past and present. The horrors here are rooted in there being no easy answers despite our individual and collective souls being ultimately at stake. Plus whales!” – Paul Tremblay, author of The Cabin at the End of the World and Survivor Song
“[A] gripping mashup of psychological suspense and horror….The novel lifts off toward an exciting conclusion. Insightful social commentary is a bonus. Thriller fans will welcome Miller as a fresh new voice.” – Publishers Weekly
“Miller takes on cosmic horror with chillingly realistic results…. Filled with intense dread and unease…. This is a great example of how a century-old subgenre can still speak directly to today’s readers.” – Library Journal
“Miller’s sprawling novel encapsulates the complex web of feelings brought on by witnessing the destruction of a town that made adolescence hell for a gay or trans teen…. Raw and volatile…. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a queer-themed, sea salt–laced dark fantasy.” – Booklist (starred review)
“The book is full of moments of slowly rising dread that end in shocking revelations, all of them building to a nightmarish town festival where the growing horror finally reveals its true face and intent.” – Nightmare Magazine
My new novel THE BLADE BETWEEN just got its first trade review, a lovely one from Publishers Weekly, which says in part:
“[A] gripping mashup of psychological suspense and horror….The novel lifts off toward an exciting conclusion. Insightful social commentary is a bonus. Thriller fans will welcome Miller as a fresh new voice.”