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Michael Barnes
August 18, 2022
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Godtear Beats the Odds - Review

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Scout Board Game Review

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The Split - Review

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July 21, 2022
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Top Horror Books

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28 Oct 2015 09:20 #213545 by edulis
Replied by edulis on topic Top Horror Books
I think Bird Box by Josh Malerman is the best horror book I've read recently, holy Christ it was creepy.

From Amazon: Written with the narrative tension of The Road and the exquisite terror of classic Stephen King, Bird Box is a propulsive, edge-of-your-seat horror thriller, set in an apocalyptic near-future world—a masterpiece of suspense from the brilliantly imaginative Josh Malerman.

Something is out there . . .

Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now, that the boy and girl are four, it is time to go. But the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat—blindfolded—with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them. But is it man, animal, or monster?

Engulfed in darkness, surrounded by sounds both familiar and frightening, Malorie embarks on a harrowing odyssey—a trip that takes her into an unseen world and back into the past, to the companions who once saved her. Under the guidance of the stalwart Tom, a motely group of strangers banded together against the unseen terror, creating order from the chaos. But when supplies ran low, they were forced to venture outside—and confront the ultimate question: in a world gone mad, who can really be trusted?

Interweaving past and present, Josh Malerman’s breathtaking debut is a horrific and gripping snapshot of a world unraveled that will have you racing to the final page.
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28 Oct 2015 09:26 #213547 by Black Barney
Replied by Black Barney on topic Top Horror Books
I ordered the Bird Box at KFC last week and I can assure it was far more terrifying
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28 Oct 2015 09:36 #213548 by ubarose
Replied by ubarose on topic Top Horror Books

Vistula Lurker wrote: 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.


Glad to see there is another Machen fan here on the Fort. I also noticed a Shirley Jackson mention. I think Lovecraft, Machen and Jackson are my three favorites.

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28 Oct 2015 10:06 #213549 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Top Horror Books
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson might just be the scariest novel that I have read. Jackson has a subtle way of building atmosphere, and the horror is a mixture of psychological and supernatural elements.

Early books and short stories by Stephen King are good. I also recommend his non-fiction work, Danse Macabre, for anybody looking for additional recommendations of excellent horror stories, movies, etc. King does an amazing job of deconstructing the horror genre to see what works and why it works. His post-'70 writing is also fine, but less focused on horror.

Edgar Allan Poe is the master of the short horror story. Nobody else has ever packed such searing imagery into so few pages.

I agree that H.P. Lovecraft dealt more with fantastic elements than horror, but he definitely wrote some scary and disturbing short stories. My first exposure was The Dreams in the Witch-House, and that is definitely creepy. The Rats in the Walls and The Colour Out of Space are both very good. Herbert West, Re-Animator, and From Beyond are both decent, but not as scary. Everything else that I can remember is more eerie than scary.

I'm less impressed with Dan Simmons, at least with respect to horror. My favorite was Song of Kali. Carrion Comfort had some good sections, but I've never felt the urge to re-read it. Summer of Night was okay, but the sequels were forgettable. I've read a couple of his short story collections, but remember none of the stories.

Fritz Leiber is best known for his sword-and-sorcery tales featuring Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, but he wrote some good short horror stories as well. Oddly enough, his horror stories remain entertaining, but his short science-fiction stories all seem hopelessly dated. If you can find them, I recommend his collections titled Night's Black Agents and also Heroes & Horror.

I will take a look through my bookcase later and come up with more for this thread.
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28 Oct 2015 11:10 #213559 by Columbob
Replied by Columbob on topic Top Horror Books
I'd add Pickman's Model to the list of Lovecraft horror shorts.

For weird horror, you can't really go wrong with Jeff Vandermeer's Veniss Underground. Some of his stories from Ambergris are certainly chilling, but his latest Southern Reach trilogy, yeah I'd say that's definitely horror, ecological horror perhaps. He plays a lot on the fears of the unknown.

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28 Oct 2015 13:45 #213577 by stoic
Replied by stoic on topic Top Horror Books
I'll second the mention of Dean R. Koontz. I think most of his books are beautifully written. I admire his use of language. He has a natural flow and an uncanny ability for narrative description. My favorite horror book by Koontz is Ticktock. My favorite Koontz books are Mr. Murder and Dark Rivers of the Heart.

Of course, Stephen King is the contemporary horror book master.

Regarding Lovecraft, I classify half of his works as a science fiction and the other half in the fantasy horror realm. His vision taking the microscopic world of bizarre creatures preying upon others and transforming that environment into the macro world of galactic creatures swimming through inter-dimensions with sprinklings of the supernatural is pure genius. I also recommend Lovecraft, but, most folks don't get "it" so I start them on Lovecraft's "Reanimator." The rest of his stories are an acquired taste.

arkhamarchivist.com/free-complete-lovecraft-ebook-nook-kindle/

Finally, the absolute master of the horror genre in prose and poetry has to be Edgar Allan Poe.

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28 Oct 2015 16:29 #213604 by SebastianBludd
Replied by SebastianBludd on topic Top Horror Books
My favorites by Stephen King would be Night Shift, Skeleton Crew, Salem's Lot and Pet Sematary. I also like From a Buick 8 when it comes to latter day King but I'm probably in the minority.

I think Lovecraft works best when the stories are on a small scale like Colour Out of Space, Shadow Over Innsmouth, The Dunwich Horror, Whisperer in Darkness, Cool Air and, one of my favorites, The Thing on the Doorstep.

I think I'm done with Richard Layman, not because I think he's bad, but because it seems like the antagonists in his books are always some combination of psychos, cannibals and rapists. No, I haven't read The Traveling Vampire Show.

I've also read some Jack Ketchum and Brian Keene but none of their books really made an impression.

I also really like Scott Smith's The Ruins. It's bleak and very enjoyable if you can suspend your disbelief regarding the premise.

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