Horror Fiction: Recommendations & Favorites

Bigphoot2

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I remember my nan telling me many years ago that she had challenged her very sceptical brother to read a certain ghost story then spent ten minutes sitting on his own in a dark room. By her own words, the story terrified her (and she’d lived in a house that was haunted).

Her brother had even gone (sceptically) to a seance where a table apparently floated up and pinned in against the wall with no hands touching it, and still wasn’t afraid, or so he said after. (Well, he would!)

Anyway, he couldn’t do the thing. He was out in under 5 minutes, to nan’s great delight.

It must have been an old book, maybe pre 1940’s. Nan said it was the only story she’d ever read that frightened her. The names so far listed don’t ring any bells, as even though it was long ago I’d think I would remember James or Poe or Lovecraft as she would have said. There may or may not have been a nun in it, or I might be conflating that with a different conversation I had with her about ghosts. Still, I’ve always wanted to read the only ghost story that frightened my nan!
Something by M.R. James perhaps.
 

escargot

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Yes, the embossed foliage of the wallpaper animates to form the face. That foliage-forming-a-face is a green man - well, one type.
Did you share that acid with @Coastaljames by any chance? :chuckle:

Yup, I see, part of the wallpaper is shaded to represent a face. I thought you meant it moved like the Devil'd Advocate wall.
 

GNC

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This could be a recommendation if it's ever published:
News story

Long story short, John Steinbeck penned a werewolf novel when he was unknown, and tried and failed to get it published under a pseudonym. It still exists, but the owners of his estate are refusing to put it out, frustratingly. I've read Of Mice and Men, and that's brutal, so who knows what this would be like? Not enough people, that's who.
 

Spookdaddy

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I freely admit that I post the following as someone who is much more interested in writing than I am in Horror fiction. (I was going to post it in the James Herbert thread, but would have been too much of a tangent).

Four seminal writers at a point in time which must have represented some sort of peak in the genre: the year that Kubrick's version of The Shining was released; a year after the publication of Ghost Story; a couple of years after Dawn of the Dead; seven years after the release of The Exorcist (older in comparison, but still totally infamous at the time of this interview).

Well worth the watching, I think:


Edit - Sorry, just realised that I randomly threw in The Exorcist without it having any specific link to the characters interviewed - just thought of it as an obvious datum in regard to the subject matter. Levin's, Rosemary's Baby was almost in it's teens by the time this interview, but I think it too probably still had a similar aura of infamy clinging to it at this time.
 
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brownmane

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I freely admit that I post the following as someone who is much more interested in writing than I am in Horror fiction. (I was going to post it in the James Herbert thread, but would have been too much of a tangent).

Four seminal writers at a point in time which must have represented some sort of peak in the genre: the year that Kubrick's version of The Shining was released; a year after the publication of Ghost Story; a couple of years after Dawn of the Dead; seven years after the release of The Exorcist (older in comparison, but still totally infamous at the time of this interview).

Well worth the watching, I think:


Edit - Sorry, just realised that I randomly threw in The Exorcist without it having any specific link to the characters interviewed - just thought of it as an obvious datum in regard to the subject matter. Levin's, Rosemary's Baby was almost in it's teens by the time this interview, but I think it too probably still had a similar aura of infamy clinging to it at this time.
Interesting to note that Stephen King did work with two (Romero and Straub) of the three other interviewees. I’ve seen and read both projects.
 

Yithian

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ramonmercado

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Coming From Jason Colavito The critical acclaim showered on the book had me excited to read Final Girl, and when I finished it, it was … fine saying the book is fine is high praise indeed.

I was not surprised when HBO Max announced only a week after the publication of Grady Hendrix’s new novel The Final Girl Support Group that it would turn the story of a mad killer picking off the “final girl” survivors of previous slasher rampages into a TV series. The premise is irresistible. Indeed, when I first heard about the book, I made the effort to sit down a read it—a major undertaking with my hectic work schedule and a rambunctious toddler taking up most of my waking hours. The critical acclaim showered on the book had me excited to read Final Girl, and when I finished it, it was … fine.

Final Girl tells the story of Lynette, one of the survivors of a classic 1980s-style massacre, now a paranoid, isolated middle-aged woman holed up in a fortified apartment, terrified of a repeat. She is part of the title support group with the final girls from other slasher events, all of whom are psychologically damaged in various ways. In this world, mad slasher are media events, and each inspired a movie franchise that provides that celebrity and the income that the women rely on. ...

https://jasoncolavito.substack.com/p/slash-and-burn
 

Jim

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"Dark Light" a solid horror thriller in which a women house is the gateway for some prehistoric humanoids (thought to be long extinct). The creatures are somewhat similar to an energy vampire. The mother try's desperately to find her daughter "who's been take by the beasties" while trying to convince the local police that she's not a murderous nut job. 9/10 (IMO).
 

ramonmercado

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Colavito casts a jaundiced eye over My Heart Is a Chainsaw .

Some Thoughts on "My Heart is a Chainsaw"​

Stephen Graham Jones's new novel is a love letter to slasher movies, but its postmodern pastiche barely conceals a nonsensical story.​


I probably would have finished Stephen Graham Jones’s new novel My Heart Is a Chainsaw a lot sooner if I had been more invested in it. It took me a long time to crawl through it, mostly because I had difficulty feeling much emotion while reading a paint-by-numbers slasher that expects postmodernism and a nontraditional Native protagonist to carry what is otherwise, frankly, an overlong and somewhat ridiculous mishmash of slasher movie clichés.

Jones’s novel suffers a bit as the second major postmodern slasher movie fan-service pastiche of the year, after Grady Hendrix’s The Final Girl Support Group, a book that I wasn’t enthusiastic about but found much more engaging and exciting than Chainsaw. Nevertheless, Chainsaw has garnered enthusiastic reviews, most of which praise is Native protagonist, its postmodernism, its laundry list of liberal social issues—and almost never its actual plot.

Chainsaw tells the story of Jade Daniels, a Native teen in rural Idaho obsessed with slasher movies—to the point that she only accepts the purest version of 1980s slashers as legitimate, all others being imperfect bastardizations—and finds herself stuck in a slasher movie when her town’s Fourth of July celebration becomes the scene of mounting horror. Bits of Halloween and Friday the 13th mix in with some more obscure 1970s and 1980s slashers, larded over with a heavy layer of Scream, but very little from after the 49-year-old author’s own adolescence. The mechanics of the plot escalate into a Grand Guignol that leaps between genres and takes a supernatural turn that I found dispiriting, undercutting the realism of the story overall. ...

https://jasoncolavito.substack.com/...-a-chainsaw?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=cta
 

brownmane

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Anyone who likes "weird" fiction - I know, a stupid genre description - anything by Laird Barron. He's an American author who resides in Alaska. He has never disappointed me with his writing. Unfortunately, "weird" fiction is what you have to search for his writing, for the most part.
 

Ogdred Weary

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Anyone who likes "weird" fiction - I know, a stupid genre description - anything by Laird Barron. He's an American author who resides in Alaska. He has never disappointed me with his writing. Unfortunately, "weird" fiction is what you have to search for his writing, for the most part.

I like his short stories, the few I've read at any rate, wasn't keen on his novel - The Croning.
 

Jim

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Watched Superdeep on prime 8/10. A solid suspenseful horror-sci_fi movie. At a great deep under artic tundra stands a Soviet research station. Unfortunately for them 1000's of feet below the surface they encounter a long buried parasite-entity that morphs into a horrible beatie. That's enough don't want to ruin it for y.
 

brownmane

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I like his short stories, the few I've read at any rate, wasn't keen on his novel - The Croning.
Actually, it's horror anthologies that I love, though they are difficult to find. Any anthology is difficult to find:(, unfortunately. There are some very good authors that only write short stories, and, unless you know of a small press company, the big publishers won't even publish an author unless they are guaranteed a huge return.

There are many authors that I enjoy, but can only find in anthologies such as Best Horror of the Year collections. Stephen Jones does anthologies (still? Not sure), Paula Guran, Ellen Datlow. These are the editors that I search for in order to find the short story authors.
 

Ogdred Weary

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Actually, it's horror anthologies that I love, though they are difficult to find. Any anthology is difficult to find:(, unfortunately. There are some very good authors that only write short stories, and, unless you know of a small press company, the big publishers won't even publish an author unless they are guaranteed a huge return.

There are many authors that I enjoy, but can only find in anthologies such as Best Horror of the Year collections. Stephen Jones does anthologies (still? Not sure), Paula Guran, Ellen Datlow. These are the editors that I search for in order to find the short story authors.

Do you mean new ones? I recognise Guran's name from The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu and Ellen Datlow's name from elsewhere. Jones used to do the Mammoth Book of New Horror didn't he? Those seem to sadly have died out a decade or so ago.

I've got most of ST Joshi's recent Lovecraft anthologies - The Black Wings of Cthulhu series and The Madness of Cthulhu ones.
 

brownmane

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Do you mean new ones? I recognise Guran's name from The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu and Ellen Datlow's name from elsewhere. Jones used to do the Mammoth Book of New Horror didn't he? Those seem to sadly have died out a decade or so ago.

I've got most of ST Joshi's recent Lovecraft anthologies - The Black Wings of Cthulhu series and The Madness of Cthulhu ones.
Yes, there are still new anthologies coming out. I checked, and apparently I'm a couple of years (only 2) late with obtaining them.

The problem with anthologies are that you have to know what the title of the anthology is, in order to find it.

Ontario only has Indigo-Chapters:rolleyes: to order books from. Shipping from anywhere outside of Canada, along with exchange rates make for ridiculous pricing of books that are not available here.

I like some of ST Joshi's writing, but can't read an anthology entirely related to Lovecraftian themes.
 

Sillyhuron

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The most horrifying (as in disturbing vs. "boo!" style frightening) thing I've read is CLAY by George Romero. It's about a young boy growing up in a hideously dysfunctional family and what happens when he's alone. The closing scene in his house bothered me for days after reading & still sticks in my head.

It's the only fiction Romero ever published.
But there's one problem. It only came out once, in MODERN MASTERS OF HORROR (1981).
Somebody, anybody, needs to re-publish this.
 
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