Fabulist Fiction is a sub-genre growing in popularity and it’s easy to understand why! This genre combines the best of all worlds including science fiction, fable, fantasy, horror, realism, and fairytale. Fabulist Fiction usually consists of short tales, however can include longer novels, and they often can involve animals or mythological creatures. Unlike the horror or fantasy genres on their own, Fabulist fiction always leaves the reader with a moral lesson. Below are some great Fabulist fiction novels worth reading!
By Robert Shearman
A husband’s packaged heart…still beating, a not so loving Santa Clause, the ghost of Hitler’s pet dog, paranormal activity taking place in a house at the center of the Garden of Eden, the face of a loved one growing over their own, super-sized spiders, killer angels, and more! A horrifying world of fantasy is brought to you in the novel Remember Why You Fear Me, written by Robert Shearman, published in 2012. Read if you dare, and find out why Shearman is an award-winning author and master of his craft!
By Stephen King
The master of horror is also a master of Fabulist as well. Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, published in 1983, focuses on Louis Creed and his family when they move into a home in Maine after Louis accepts a position at a student medical center. Upon arrival, Louis meets neighbor Jud Crandall, who advises Louis to keep his children away from the road which can be a dangerous place to play. But it isn’t just the road Louis and his family need to worry about, it’s a local cemetery as well, where pets are buried… and don’t always stay dead.
This novel focuses on a deeper theme; loss, a grieving father who has buried more than just a pet.
By Helen Oyeyemi
Similar to Pet Sematary, is Helen Oyeyemi’s White is for Witching, published in 2009.
Miranda, the main character in this story, lives with her brother and father. Miranda’s mother was a photojournalist who met her untimely death on a mission in Haiti. Miranda struggles with an eating disorder called Pica, where she finds herself eating strange things such as chalk. The house where Miranda and her family live is across from a cemetery full of unknown graves. While there is a supernatural element to this novel, the themes of mental health, myth, emotions, and memory, create a mystical and thought provoking story line.
By Karen Russell
Vampires in the Lemon Grove, written by Karen Russell, published 2013, is a collection of eight short stories. In the story titled Vampires in the Lemon Grove, a husband and wife who both happen to be vampires, live in Italy where they have learned to survive off feeding on lemons. However, soon enough they learn the hard way that they cannot sustain this and their true nature presents itself. Dive into a fantasy world of vampires like you’ve never read before and explore the true horrors nature’s darkest creatures.
By Johanna DeBiase
Mama and the Hungry Hole by Johanna DeBiase, published in 2015, is perhaps argued one of the best Fabulist novels on this list. A young girl Julia is taken to a secluded village in New Mexico by her mother who battles depression. Due to her mother’s mental health, Julia is often neglected and begins to romanticize her reality. One day, an odd hole opens up and threatens to swallow their home. This is a great novel filled with realism, horror, romanticism, and pure fantasy!