Front Page

Content

Authors

Game Index

Forums

Site Tools

Submissions

About

MB
Michael Barnes
August 18, 2022
425 0

Godtear Beats the Odds - Review

Board Game Reviews
T
thegiantbrain
August 18, 2022
172 0
T
thegiantbrain
August 11, 2022
370 0
W
WadeMonnig
August 10, 2022
596 1
O
oliverkinne
August 09, 2022
670 0
T
thegiantbrain
August 04, 2022
547 0
O
oliverkinne
August 01, 2022
848 0

Scout Board Game Review

Board Game Reviews
O
oliverkinne
July 29, 2022
856 0
T
thegiantbrain
July 28, 2022
618 0
W
WadeMonnig
July 27, 2022
905 1
O
oliverkinne
July 26, 2022
1019 0
T
thegiantbrain
July 25, 2022
742 0

The Split - Review

Board Game Reviews
T
thegiantbrain
July 21, 2022
822 0
×
Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

Recent Topics paging, uploading images and preview bugs require a patch which has not yet been released.

Top Horror Books

More
27 Oct 2015 18:07 - 27 Oct 2015 18:10 #213513 by Matt Thrower
So the fort is full of threads and articles about horror games and films, just as it should be. But I thought I'd ask: what are your top horror reads?

Mine are mainly short story collections. It seems to lend itself well to the medium. Best of all are the works of M.R. James, a Victorian academic who pretty much put down all the conventions we follow today. The Ash-Tree, Count Magnus and the Mezzotint are particularly good. I think all his stories are available free online if you look - they're out of copyright.

Then there's Lovecraft of course. I always thought he was overrated as a horror author - his stories work better as weird fantasy. The whole cosmic nihilism effect he was aiming for is a tough thing to get right. But in Rats in the Walls, The Call of Cthulhu and his finest work, The Colour Out of Space, he got there to chilling effect.

Ramsey Campbell started out his career emulating Lovecraft. His collection of mythos influenced short stories, Cold Print, is a fascinating arc of his development as an author. Toward the end he adopted a dreamlike, almost psychedelic style which arguably did better at achieving Lovecraft's aims than his inspiration.

In terms of novels, I've found pickings to be much slimmer. A lot of modern horror novels are just tiresome pulp rubbish. Older classics are great reads but not scary. Stephen King is the master of that form, but even he has trouble. The Shining and Salem's Lot are the best I've read. But I'm sure you all know that already.

One you might not have heard of is Dark Matter. The story of a haunting in an isolated Arctic outpost, it uses the dramatic and lonely setting to full effect, building to a mysterious then unexpected climax.

What else do you recommend?
Last edit: 27 Oct 2015 18:10 by Matt Thrower.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
27 Oct 2015 18:15 #213515 by Black Barney
Replied by Black Barney on topic Top Horror Books
I only know King. That Dark Matter sounds really good, I should check that out. Salems Lot was more awesome than Horror for me.

His scariest stuff for me was the Mist, the Raft, the Mangler. Mostly the shorter stuff. But Misery was pretty scary.
The following user(s) said Thank You: the_jake_1973

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
27 Oct 2015 18:33 #213516 by jeb
Replied by jeb on topic Top Horror Books
Yep, King's THE SHINING. Pure gold. His early short stories are great too. NIGHT SHIFT and SKELETON CREW are both highly recommended. On that thread, Clive Barker's BOOKS OF BLOOD are also excellent.

HOUSE OF LEAVES has a disturbing vibe.

THE TURN OF THE SCREW is creepy. THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
27 Oct 2015 18:53 #213520 by Michael Barnes
Replied by Michael Barnes on topic Top Horror Books
The first book I ever read- not joking- was Firestarter. I was like 5 years old. My mom left the paperback in the back our Vega and when we would drive, I'd sit and work through reading it. I started asking her questions about it and she realized that I was actually reading it.

That said, most Stephen King is a mixed bag at best. Some of his stuff is actually quite good pop fiction. The short story collections mentioned above are all worthwhile. The Shining is great, but the movie is actually better.

I read some Dean R. Koontz and Robert McCammon back in the day, because my mom was reading that stuff too. We read a lot of the same stuff. It's kind of weird that she liked horror since she really doesn't now.

Those Necroscope books by Brian Lumley (?) were total junk, but they were really fun. At least they were like 20-25 years ago.

But it was really Clive Barker that I got caught up in...I read EVERYTHING starting with those Books of Blood with the stupid Halloween mask covers. He was WAY more literary and aggressively unpleasant than King and the other bestseller-class horror writers. I think I read everything up to Galilee, which just kind of lost me. Some really awesome short story work in particular.

The only modern horror writer of note that I've read is Thomas Ligotti...his stuff is REALLY good.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
27 Oct 2015 20:47 #213523 by Chaz
Replied by Chaz on topic Top Horror Books
Joe Hill's a good modern horror read. Heart Shaped Box is an excellent creepy ghost story. N0S4A2 is maybe less scary, but definitely a good read too.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
27 Oct 2015 21:44 #213527 by John Myers
Replied by John Myers on topic Top Horror Books
If we're counting comics Junji Ito has written some of the best horror stuff I have ever read, it's very body-horror focused, so obviously your enjoyment will depend on your tolerance for horrible things happening to the human body. Uzamaki is the best place to start, it's a collection of connected short stories about a town corrupted by spirals.

Alan Moore's Swamp Thing run, from Love & Death, American Gothic and the Brujeria storyline is pretty great as well.
The following user(s) said Thank You: jeb

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
27 Oct 2015 22:36 #213528 by drewcula
Replied by drewcula on topic Top Horror Books
Oh, this topic is right up my alley! I'll start with more literary recommendations and devolve from there...

In the vein of 'Turn of the Screw,' I highly recommend Sarah Waters 'The Little Stranger.' A slow burn in a British Manor, it still creeps me out three years after reading it.

Already mentioned, 'House of Leaves.' Danielewski has made a name for himself with "post-modern" fiction, but this title is his first and best.

***

King's ode to Lovecraft came out last year. 'Revival' is pretty good, especially compared to the garbage he published months earlier (ahem, 'Dr. Sleep'). King's short story "N." is even better Lovecraft-eque, but the credits are misplaced with Machen.

****

Short story writing at it's dirtiest and most "internet" can be found in Dathan Auerbach's 'Penpal.' The stories can probably still be found online somewhere, which may be the preferable vehicle.

*****

And if King has become too predictable for you (i.e. you've read 10+ books), give Dan Simmons a try. 'The Terror' is a fine alternative history piece with evil in the Northwest Passage and 'Drood' is a fine alternative history piece with evil in the development of Charles Dickens last novel. Stay away from his book 'Abominable.' It sucks.

If anyone is considering re-reading King's 'It,' try Simmons 'Summer of Night.' It's a pastiche, but entertaining enough.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
27 Oct 2015 22:43 #213529 by RobertB
Replied by RobertB on topic Top Horror Books
Drewcula wrote:

And if King has become too predictable for you (i.e. you've read 10+ books), give Dan Simmons a try. 'The Terror' is a fine alternative history piece with evil in the Northwest Passage and 'Drood' is a fine alternative history piece with evil in the development of Charles Dickens last novel. Stay away from his book 'Abominable.' It sucks.


Carrion Comfort is good too.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
27 Oct 2015 22:51 #213530 by drewcula
Replied by drewcula on topic Top Horror Books
RB,
Maaannnn....
I'm 2/3 through 'Carrion Comfort' as we type. I know it has a lot of love in the genre, but I'm having a tough time with it. I'll reserve final judgment until I finish, but thus far I can't find the mass appeal.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
28 Oct 2015 02:51 #213534 by Space Ghost
Replied by Space Ghost on topic Top Horror Books
Dan Simmons is excellent. Carrion Comfort was one of the best "vampire" books I have read in quite some time -- probably my favorite of his. His Children of Night is pretty good too.

My two favorite classic horror books are Dracula and The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Modern vampire books are a bit different because so many people do them so poorly. I think that Martin's Fevre Dream is quite good. As is Kostova's debut novel, The Historian --- which isn't necessarily a horror book, but one that is interesting in its own right.

As for King, I think the Shining and It are probably my favorite books of his. I am also partial to Needful Things, but that may be because Max von Sydow stars in the main role in the movie version. I also thought that Cujo stood a little above his others.

I agree with Barnes that Barker is a great author. My favorite by him is probably Weaveworld, although that might be classified as "dark fantasy". In the dark fantasy vein, my favorite is probably Bradbury's Something Wicked this Way Comes -- which is probably one of the bigger inspirations for much of King's work and at least Gaiman's American Gods.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
28 Oct 2015 06:59 - 28 Oct 2015 08:06 #213537 by Vistula Lurker
Replied by Vistula Lurker on topic Top Horror Books
M.R. James happens to be be my favourite. He usually gets an amazing effect of rapid transition between reality and supernatural that really shook me the first time i read one his stories. Up until then it only happened to me while reading "Rats in the Walls".

Short stories cover all my need for horror literature. Apart from James and Lovecraft i also very much appreciate Artur Machen, Algernon Blackwood and William Hope Hodgson.
Last edit: 28 Oct 2015 08:06 by Vistula Lurker.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
28 Oct 2015 07:38 #213538 by Turek
Replied by Turek on topic Top Horror Books
Ghost Story by Peter Straub is very good.
The following user(s) said Thank You: RobertB

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
28 Oct 2015 08:32 #213540 by drewcula
Replied by drewcula on topic Top Horror Books
I've dabbled with Simmons for years, but I've plowed through four titles of his this fall;
Abominable
Summer of Night
Winter Haunting
and now
Carrion Comfort

I feel most of his works are average at best. What's interesting are the themes he revisits. IMO, his persistence paid off with the back-to-back successes of 'The Terror' and 'Drood.' As most of his work, they suffer from the absence of a critical editor. However, I think they represent his most mature offerings. It's a shame that he hasn't been able to strike similar chords with newer work like 'Abominable' and 'Flashback.' 'Black Hills' was merely okay.

As far as older alternative vampire fare: most critics agree it's 'I Am Legend,' 'Salem's Lot,' 'Carrion Comfort,' and to a lesser extent - 'The Hunger.'

I'd add these contemporary titles to that list; Joe Hill's 'Nos4a2' (already mentioned) and Justin Cronin's 'The Passage.' Big, epic stuff. Mind you, Cronin's sequel is terrible. Here's hoping he doesn't cock up the third.

'Dracula' is my all time favorite, but a good ol' rollicking adventure that includes Dracula is Elizabeth Kostova's 'The Historian.' Less scary, but beautifully written and well paced.

Just my two cents. I know I can be a bitchy book snob. This, despite occasionally enjoying the gutter trash writing of Richard Laymon.

Has anyone tried Adam Nevill?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
28 Oct 2015 08:56 #213542 by the_jake_1973
Replied by the_jake_1973 on topic Top Horror Books
I like Stephen King when he writes in short form much more than most of his long form. This may be because 'Night Shift' was the first adult book I remember reading. I still get a squicky feeling when swimming in an isolated body of water thanks to 'The Raft'. I remember reading that in Twilight Zone magazine before King's second anthology was released.

'The Descent' by Jeff Long was quite enjoyable. Lovecraft and Barker are a given in a Top Horror list.

Richard Laymon, Douglas Clegg, and Edward Lee have decent horror, but in a 'throw blood and tits in the your face' kind of way.

Simon Clark is also enjoyable.

My list of authors reads like a half-price book store because that is where I pick up horror novels at. Fun to read for 2-3 bucks.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Black Barney

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
28 Oct 2015 08:57 #213543 by Josh Look
Replied by Josh Look on topic Top Horror Books
Oddly enough, this isn't an area I'm particularly well versed in. When I was a kid I read pretty much exclusively kid-level horror stuff and Tales From the Crypt comics. I actually don't read much horror now though. I do like Stephen King, despite some inconsistency. When he's on his game, he's phenomenal. I love Salem's Lot, easily one of my favorite books. There's a chapter in there where he described the onset of autumn in small town New England that is just perfect.

I recently found that his son, Joe Hill is pretty good, too.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: Gary Sax
Time to create page: 0.156 seconds