Horror in the frozen wastes

Hello Friends & Colleagues,

It’s freezing here in the north lands. And as I’m a fan of horror fiction set in wintry climes, I was wondering if any of you had any recommendations for short horror fiction set in the icy expanses of the Arctic, Antarctic, or other winter lands?


  17 comments for “Horror in the frozen wastes

    • January 3, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      I second The Crevasse – fantastic story.

  1. Michael
    January 3, 2014 at 3:12 pm


    Yes, that’s a good one! Thanks!

  2. January 3, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    I’m going to assume you have read Laird Barron’s “Frontier Death Song” but just in case:

    And though it is seemingly unnecessary, I’ll third “The Crevasse” – powerful stuff!

    If the anthology THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS is ever released, lots of good snowy doom in there too.

  3. Michael
    January 3, 2014 at 3:40 pm


    Yes, I’ve read Laird’s story. It’s a good one.Also his tale The Beatification of Custer Ferragamo.

    Which anthology are you referring to?

  4. January 3, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    An anthology with a troubled history, I guess. I bought a copy via Amazon in April, but the book was soon made unavailable due to some contractual problems and has not been re-released yet. This is it:

    A few stories seemed rather uninspired to me, but I did enjoy most of them and a couple are real gems!

  5. Michael
    January 3, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Thanks for that, Sam. Will check it out.

  6. Michael
    January 3, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Dan Simmons’ novel, The Terror, is the opposite of short fiction, but it would be a good companion should you be snowed-in and had the time to enjoy a longer work while waiting to see who is going to fall asleep first.

    Though its been middle-schooled unto death, “To build a fire” is a great story. Dogs enjoy this one too if you like to read to pets.

    I want to jump on the snowpile and recommend “The Crevasse” and Laird Barron’s “Death Song.” I’ll finally throw, “A Colder War” by Charles Stross into the mix–great mythos story even if the cold in it is only metaphorical.

    And for my most inappropriate recommendation, I just recalled that Robertson Davies’ (Canadian too boot for extra-points) Deptford Trilogy begins with a rock hidden in a poorly aimed snowball. Keeping yourself company with Deptford and the whistling wind should guarantee that you are the last one in the cabin awake struggling with hunger and its suggestions .

    • Michael
      January 3, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      Thanks, Michael. All good recs.

  7. Rik Hunik
    January 3, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    I recommend “Winterland” by Rik Hunik, available in the ezine Wild Violet. Plenty of winter, snow, and freezing in that one.

    • Michael
      January 3, 2014 at 6:03 pm

      Thanks, Rik Hunik.

  8. Geordie Flantz
    January 3, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    I second The Terror. Remembering Kim Newman’s ‘Amerikanski Dead at the Moscow Morgue’ makes me cold. Also, try ‘The Hermit’s Story,’ by Rick Bass. It’s not horror, though it might be a kind of ghost story.

    • Michael
      January 4, 2014 at 6:40 am

      Thanks, Geordie!

  9. Tom Johnstone
    January 5, 2014 at 9:55 am

    “In Amunden’s Tent”: can’t remember who that’s by. I remember reading it in an August Derleth Four Square anthology at an impressionable age…
    “Who Goes There”, if you haven’t already read it, by John W. Campbell Jr.
    “And May All Your Christmases…” by Thana Niveau (in the 13 Ghosts of Christmas, from Spectral Press).
    If you’ve got the original 1990 Best New Horror, edited by Stephen Jones and Ramsey Campbell, there are two great tales of terror from the frozen wastes, Donald R. Burleson’s unnerving “Snow Cancellations”, and Stephen Gallagher’s classic “The Horn”, which was dramatised for radio.

    • Michael
      January 5, 2014 at 10:12 am

      Cheers, Tom! I’ve read “Who Goes There?”, to be sure. Will endeavour to find the others.

  10. Todd Treichel
    January 9, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    “In Amundsen’s Tent” is by a guy called John Martin Leahy. In WEIRD TALES originally.
    AC Doyle “The Captain of the Pole Star” is a classic.
    Brian Shower’s “The Snow Came Softly Down” is nicely done, by turns charming and frightening.
    James Cooper and Andrew Jury had a nice tale of a frozen lake in CEMETERY DANCE 57, “What Dread Hand”. Nice use of ice as a metaphor.
    Adam Golaskie’s “Andie” isn’t set in the wild but is very snowy and chilly, and outstanding.
    Stephen King’s “The Reach” hinges on winter weather – some think it’s too sentimental but I don’t think so; it’s beautiful.
    I’m not the biggest fan of Tim Lebbon’s “White” but it sure is snowy.
    I assume you’ve read Gemma File’s “Words Written Backwards” and “Cold to the Touch” by Simon S.

    • Michael
      January 9, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      Thanks very much, Todd! Yes, indeed, I’ve read a fair few of those, to be sure.

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