Tender Is the Flesh

Agustina Bazterrica, Pushkin Press, RRP£12.99

In this stomach-churning satire from Argentine novelist Bazterrica, humans are reared like cattle and slaughtered for consumption by other humans. The story of an abattoir worker who develops an unhealthy relationship with a female specimen of “livestock” is told with cool dispassion, and is all the more horrific for it.

Devolution

Max Brooks, Century, RRP£12.99

A tribe of Bigfoot attack a tiny eco-community deep in the woods of Washington state, and well-meaning humans prove no match for the primitive ferocity of these throwbacks. Brooks, best known for World War Z, has fun demonstrating how badly nature-lovers cope when nature does not reciprocate that love.

You Let Me In

Camilla Bruce, Bantam Press, RRP£12.99

Bestselling romantic novelist Cassandra Tipp committed murder twice and got away with it. In a posthumous confession, she reveals that she was the thrall of an evil faerie. Was she mad? Is it a lie? Or, scarier, is it the truth? Norwegian author Bruce’s spooky novel carries a powerful erotic charge.

Aliens: Phalanx

Scott Sigler, Titan, RRP£7.99

The insect-like, acid-for-blood Xenomorphs from the Alien movies lay siege to the remnants of a civilisation that has achieved only a medieval level of technological knowhow. This propulsive, spectacularly violent tale is tie-in fiction done right, unpicking the threads of a well-worn franchise and weaving something new from them.

By Force Alone

Lavie Tidhar, Head of Zeus, RRP£18.99

Plunging a broadsword into the heart of Arthurian legend, Tidhar’s novel depicts the Knights of the Round Table as a bunch of sweary, sweaty thugs. So much for the glories of a magical, mythical past. Britain, it seems, has forever been a land of factional infighting, presided over by a brutal, uncaring elite.

Summer Books 2020

All this week, FT writers and critics choose their favourites — from politics, economics, science and history to art, tech, food and wellness. Novels, poetry and audiobooks feature too

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