Friday, December 11, 2015

My List of Favorite Heavy Metal Albums of 2015

Oh, hello. Here is my list of great heavy metal albums of 2015, just in time for Xmas or whatever the heck else you celebrate this time of year. Raise the horns high, and thanks for checking it out.

1. Visigoth - The Revenant King
2. Ghost - Meliora
3. Armored Saint - Win Hands Down
4. RAM - Svbversvm
5. Lords of the Trident - Frostburn
6. Denner/Shermann - Satan's Tomb (ep)
7. Stereo Nasty - Nasty by Nature
8. Satan - Atom by Atom
9. Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls
10. Enforcer - From Beyond
11. Girlschool - Guilty As Sin
12. Night Viper - Night Viper
13. Venom - From the Very Depths
14. Raven - ExtermiNation
15. Powerwolf - Blessed & Possessed

Friday, August 14, 2015

2009 Page Horrific Interview with Graham Masterton

Graham Masterton has published more than 100 novels – thrillers,  disaster novels,  historical sagas and horror novels, for which he is principally known. Born in Edinburgh in 1946, he started writing horror stories when he was still at primary school. He was trained as a newspaper reporter before being appointed deputy editor of Mayfair magazine at the age of 21, and three years later executive editor of the UK edition of Penthouse. He went on to write a series of million-selling books on sexual instruction before turning his hand to novels. His first horror novel The Manitou was filmed in 1975 with Tony Curtis and Susan Strasberg in the lead roles. After living in Cork, Ireland, for five years, he and his wife Wiescka now live in Surrey,  England.  He is currently working on several new horror novels.

1. You are one of those great horror authors who came out of the ‘70s. How does it feel to be writing in the genre after all these years?

GM: The 1970s may seem like a long time ago to you but it certainly doesn’t to me!  In any case I started writing horror stories when I was ten or eleven years old at school,  so technically I have been writing in the genre for much longer than that.  I won a school magazine prize for a short story called Sophonisba about a deranged man who decorated the exterior of his Gothic house with the dismembered remains of his unfaithful wife,  and for another story about a man who woke up to find that he was living his life backward […]. When I was fourteen I wrote a 400-page vampire novel that regrettably has been lost (or perhaps not regrettably:  I seem to remember it was very verbose and pompous.)  I got back into horror writing in the 1970s more by accident than design.  I was editor of Penthouse magazine in those days and having great success with “how-to” sex books such as How To Drive Your Man Wild In Bed.  But the market quickly became flooded and my publishers decided not to publish my next book even though they had contracted to bring it out.  As a substitute I gave them The Manitou which I had written in a spare five days that I had between sex books.  The idea was inspired by a feature about manitous in the Buffalo Bill Annual, 1955,  and my wife Wiescka’s pregnancy with our first son.  After the first four or five horror novels I turned to historical sagas for a while,  and it was only when I wrote Tengu,  my Japanese-demon-Hiroshima-revenge story,   that my publishers persuaded me to return to horror.  Writing for a writer is as natural as breathing,  so for you to ask me how it still feels after all these years,  all I can say is that it is part of an organic,  continuing and   developing process.  I have so many ideas that I will never be able to write all of them in my lifetime.  Bummer,  n’est-ce pas?

2. Who were some of the fiction writers who influenced you when you were starting out?

GM: At school I was strongly influenced by Jules Verne and Edgar Allan Poe and Bram Stoker,  as well as Ray Bradbury and several other science fiction writers.  In my mid-teens I was inspired by Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso and Lawrence Ferlinghetti,  the Beat writers,  and then by William Burroughs.  I corresponded with William when he was living in Tangiers,  and when he moved to London in the mid-1960s we became friends.  I was editor of Mayfair magazine by then and I commissioned him to write a series of revolutionary articles which became known as The Burroughs Academy.  I wrote a novel called Rules of Duel at that time,  using the technique which William devised with the writer and artist Brion Gysin,  known as “intersection writing”,  where you repeat and cut up phrases and sentences so that they reveal many different meanings…kind of a literary Cubism.  I have always been fascinated by the nuts and bolts and mechanics of grammar and syntax,  and one of the main influences that William had on me was to try and become invisible to the reader,  so that a novel seems more like a movie (or,  even better,  a real-life experience)  than words that a reader is looking at,  on a page.  I was trained as news reporter by several Fleet Street journalists,  including the late Brian Silk,  and they were ruthless in making me write with economy and precision.

3. Each of your novels seems to take place in a different part of the world. Why is that?

GM: My novels are predominantly set in the United States,  which makes commercial sense since it is the largest English-speaking market on the planet,  and also other nationalities are familiar with American settings through movies and TV series.  But if I visit a place and find it interesting and atmospheric,  I do like to use it as a background for a novel.  Every city has its scary legends.  Apart from that,  it is very important for a novel’s setting to be believable,  especially if you are going to introduce a highly-unbelievable threat,  such as a demon or a monster or a drawing that comes to life.

4. Many of your novels are based on myths and legends. What are some of your favorite mythology books?

GM: I have scores of books on legends and demons,  so it isn’t easy for me to choose a favorite.  But one of the most interesting was given to me by my friend and publisher Lefteris Stavrianos when Wiescka and I were staying in Greece,  Modern Greek Folklore and Ancient Greek Religion,   by Judith Lawson.  It has some really insane creatures in it.

5. What is your process for writing a novel?

GM: The idea usually comes from an interesting news story or a profile of somebody with an interesting career.  Take Basilisk,  for example.  I read a piece about research biologists who were trying to recreate extinct species of animal.  It then occurred that maybe a fictional biologist could try to recreate mythical beasts such as the basilisk,  and the phoenix,  and gargoyles.  The purpose of the research would be to extract stem cells which would help to treat incurable illnesses such as Alzheimer’s.  So – in spite of the fact that the resurrection of a basilisk would be intrinsically ridiculous – the story was already grounded in modern scientific fact.  What I frequently do is take a terrifying legend and visit it on some ordinary,  everyday people,  and try to work out how they would cope with it.  As for actually writing the novel,  I start the day with what the American railroad pioneers used to call a cup of “horseshoe” coffee – so strong that a horseshoe would float in it.  Then I do The Daily Telegraph crossword just to give my brain-cells some PE.  Then I sit down and start writing.  But living the story,  rather than writing it.  Then I stop,  and that’s it for another day.  Writing isn’t very exciting,  especially for anybody watching a writer at work.  As my old chief reporter used to say,  “Writers are laborers.  The only difference is that laborers shovel shit and we shovel words,  and to be frank it’s sometimes it’s hard to tell them apart.”

6. You have provided many a chill for your readers. Who scares you most?

GM: I am not scared of the dark,  or ghosts,  or spiders.  I have had one or two serious car crashes which were scary at the time,  but only for a few seconds.  I think if anything scares me it’s losing control of my own life.  That’s why I am intensely opposed to CCTV surveillance and government intrusion in my private affairs,  such as income tax.  In 1974,  Wiescka and I drove all over England and Scotland for days and days and nobody knew where we were.  These days,  that would be impossible.  Our faces would have been recorded at every gas station where we stopped to refuel,  and in the lobby of every hotel,  and our car registration would have been noted along every motorway that we travelled.  I have a police detective friend who warned me never to scratch my ass while walking down the street “because you’re being watched.”  I find that frightening.

7. Which of your own books are you most proud of, and why?

GM: I always find it satisfying if a book becomes “real” to my readers -- such as Trauma,  and Unspeakable,  and the Jim Rook and Sissy Sawyer novels.  But a lifetime of writing is a continuous experience,  and each book is part of a large construction,  like bricks in a house,  and the eventual pride in what you have achieved or the disappointment in what you have failed to achieve only comes at the end.

8. What are the five greatest pleasures in life?

GM: You haven’t found out yet?  Not necessarily in this order,  they are sex,  lobster,  reading stories to your children,  laughing and winning the lottery twice in one week.

9. What news of upcoming projects can you share with us?

GM: A seventh Jim Rook novel Demon’s Door is almost finished.  A new Night Warriors novel The Ninth Nightmare has had its keel laid down.  Our monster hunter Nathan Underhill will be chasing gargoyles and Sissy Sawyer will be reading the DeVane cards again.  And of course I am continuously banging away at various Hollywood producers to get movies and TV made.

10. What are your five favorite music albums?

GM: I once did a “Desert Island Discs”-type programme for a BBC radio station,  and I found it almost impossible to make a selection of my favorite albums,  because the music I like depends on so many things…my mood,  the weather,  the place I’m in.  When I lived in Ireland I liked fiddly-diddly music.  When I was in San Francisco I liked flowery-hippy music.  Today I happen to like Days Like These by Van Morrison,  but I’m already starting to find the arrangement a bit too clean and abrupt,  and I won’t play it again tomorrow,  or the day after,  or possibly for months,  if not years.  Musicians are the same as writers.  They’re like laborers,  and we all know what laborers are doing.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

2005 interview I did with Gene Wolfe for Hellnotes

GENE WOLFE interviewed by David Wilbanks (2005)

Gene Wolfe is the author of THE FIFTH HEAD OF CERBERUS, PEACE, THE DEVIL IN A FOREST, The Book of the New Sun, CASTLEVIEW, THERE ARE DOORS, SOLDIER OF THE MIST, SOLDIER OF ARETE, The Book of the Long Sun, The Book of the Short Sun, and others.  His work has won two Nebula Awards and three World Fantasy Awards, the Deathrealm Award, the British Science Fiction Award, the British Fantasy Award, and others.  His short fiction is collected in THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR DEATH AND OTHER STORIES AND OTHER STORIES, CASTLE OF DAYS, ENDANGERED SPECIES, STOREYS FROM THE OLD HOTEL, STRANGE TRAVELERS and INNOCENTS ABOARD.  STARWATER STRAINS will appear soon.  A two-volume fantasy, The Wizard Knight, is complete now with the publication of THE WIZARD.

HELLNOTES: At what point in your life did you consider yourself a writer?  Did you write as a child?

GENE WOLFE: I considered myself a writer when I started trying to earn enough for Rosemary and me to make a down payment on some furniture.  That was in 1957.  I wrote a tiny bit as a child, and wrote three or four little pieces for a college magazine before I went into the army.  I started writing seriously when I saw that I needed to earn more than my salary so we could move out of our furnished apartment.

HN: Who were some of the influences on your writing and your life?  And how were they influential?

GW: My mother; she had never finished high school, but she was an intelligent woman and a voracious mystery reader.  I'd read her mysteries behind her, and we'd talk about them.  My father; he had read a lot of history and biography, and was an H.G. Wells fan.  The first Wells I read was THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU.  Fred Pohl; my second sale was to him, and it was that sale that really began my career.  My wife, Rosemary; she tolerated my writing when I hadn't sold anything and has been my secretary, PR woman, and cheerleader ever since.  Lloyd Biggle, Jr.; he got my into SFWA.  H.L. Gold; he was the first editor who encouraged me to write.  And Damon Knight; he bought my work regularly and taught me a great deal.

HN: Who are some of your favorite horror or dark fantasy writers, and why?

GW: Neil Gaiman, of course.  He's the master of the quirky idea and the great guru of dialog; and he has more talent and energy than a whole page of the HWA Directory.  Brian Hopkins, my friend and a thoughtful writer who knows more about horror than anybody else I've ever met.  M.R. James, the Past Master.  William Seabrook, for the horror of his real life and because he wrote "The Caged White Werewolf of the Sarban."  Jean Ingelow for MOPSA THE FAIRY.  Carolyn See for DREAMING.  I could go on and on.

HN: Where would you recommend a horror enthusiast begin reading your work?  For instance, The Book of the New Sun has its darker moments; the main character is a torturer and the action takes place beneath a dying sun.  Would this be a good place for a new reader to begin exploring?

GW: …I agree that would be a good start.  Other readers might prefer to begin with a few shorter pieces.  If so, I would suggest STRANGE TRAVELERS, particularly "Bluesberry Jam," "One, Two, Three for Me," "Counting Cats in Zanzibar," "The Death of Koshchei the Deathless," "Queen of the Night," "And When They Appear," "The Haunted Boardinghouse," and "Ain't You 'Most Done?"

HN: If a publisher asked you for a collection of your darker stories, which ones would you include?

GW: I've already named a few.  Some others are "The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories," "The Hero as Werwolf," "Three Fingers," "The Death of Dr. Island," "Hour of Trust," "The Doctor of Death Island," "Seven American Nights," "The Tree Is My Hat," "The Friendship Light," "How the Bishop Sailed to Inniskeen," "Houston, 1943," "A Fish Story," "The Eleventh City," "The Night Chough," "A Traveler in Desert Lands," and "The Walking Sticks."  Recent stories: "The Card," "The Vampire Kiss," "My Name Is Nancy Wood," "Pulp Cover," "Hunter Lake," and "Black Shoes." 

If any editor would like to buy a little ghost story, my agent has "The Gunner's Mate."  Inquire at the Virginia Kidd Agency, Inc.

HN: What's an average work day like for you?  Do you take any time off from writing?

GW: My radio is set for 5:30; but if I wake up any time after 4:00, I generally stay up.  I brush my teeth, make tea, take my eye drops, shave, do some exercises (sometimes...), make coffee, pray, eat breakfast (generally toast or cold cereal), and look at my email.  After that I write, usually until eleven.  Eight thirty to eleven is pretty typical.  After that I take vitamins and play chess against a little computer.  If I lose, I let myself know in no uncertain terms that I am a %$&*@#!  And a caitiff knave to boot.  If there's still time before lunch, I check for email again.  After lunch, things get flexible.  I may write more, write letters, shop, garden, pay bills, read, research, or what have you.  Eventually I take a shower and go to bed.  I don't write much on Sunday -- not at all, some Sundays.  I don't write when we travel or at cons.

HN: What are you currently working on, and what can we look forward to in the future?

GW: I'm working on SOLDIER OF SIDON, a third novel about Latro.  I've almost finished the third draft.  I think I'd call the Soldier books historical fantasy.  A pirate novel is in the works.  Please understand that neither may sell, though I hope they will.

HN: I'm a bit of a music nut, so I always want to know everyone's favorite piece of music.  Yours?

GW: Rosemary's the musical one.  I like songs, and they are
generally songs most other people don't much like.  Read "Bluesberry Jam," "Ain't You Most Done?" and "Flash Company."  Also CASTLEVIEW.  I like Blow Ye Winds in the Morning, Little Black Kiss, Witch of the Westmoorland, Barrette's Privateers, Claire de Lune, Spanish Ladies, Santa Anna, and such like.  Hey, I never said I was perfect.  I like The Washington Post March because I marched to it so often in high-school ROTC, college ROTC, the Texas National Guard, and the Army.  I can hear the sling-swivels jingle again, the rattle of the drums, the tramping boots, and the shouted orders.  I like China Night and Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes.

HN: Could you recommend five books everyone should own and tell us why?

GW: Yes and no.  The books: The Bible; Rawlinson's four-volume translation of Herodotus' HISTORY; Pope's translations of Homer [THE ILIAD and THE ODYSSEY], and a good dictionary.  Explaining
why I picked those five would take a lengthy essay.

…I’ll be happy to furnish other titles.  What about THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ATLAS OF THE WORLD?  Or THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE?

HN: Wonderful.

It's been a pleasure.  I'm excited about your upcoming work, especially the pirate novel.  The world needs more pirate novels.

GW: I feel the same way.  Run out the guns!  Signalman, run up the black ensign!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Stephen King's REVIVAL

Here's a review I did of of REVIVAL by Stephen King for the King For A Year blog. Check out other reviews while you're there and watch for more coming up!

REVIVAL by Stephen King

Friday, April 17, 2015

Bartlett's List of Horror

Author Matthew Bartlett likes his literature weird as you'll be able tell for yourself as you check out his much appreciated guest post/horror fiction list below...

Matthew M. Bartlett is the author of Gateways to Abomination, Anne Gare’s Rare Book and Ephemera Catalogue, and the forthcoming illustrated chapbook The Witch-Cult in Western Massachusetts. His short stories have appeared in Resonator: New Lovecraftian Tales From Beyond, Faed, and High Strange Horror. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts with his wife Katie and a small squadron of cats.

The White Hands - Mark Samuels
The Other Side - Alfred Kubin
The Nightmare Factory - Thomas Ligotti
The Croning - Laird Barron
Ana Kai Tangata - Scott Nicolay
The Collected Strange Stories - Robert Aickman
Every House is Haunted - Ian Rogers
Dark Gods - T.E.D. Klein
The Collected Works of H.P. Lovecraft
Pet Sematary - Stephen King
Tales of the Grotesque - L.A.Lewis
Burnt Black Suns - Simon Strantzas
The Sea of Ash - Scott Thomas
The Black Spider - Jeremias Gotthelf
Autumn in the Abyss - John Claude Smith
The Nickronomicon -  Nick Mamatas
We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson
North American Lake Monsters - Nathan Ballingrud
Three Impostors - Arthur Machen
Harvest Home - Thomas Tryon

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

McMahon's List of Horror

Today's guest blog post comes from horror author Paul McMahon, who brings us another fine list of frightening fiction...

Paul McMahon's work has appeared in both previous NEHW anthologies EPITAPHS and WICKED SEASONS, and will also be featured in their third anthology: WICKED TALES as well as in the upcoming were-beast anthology FLESH LIKE SMOKE. His work has also appeared in the anthologies THE DARKEST THIRST and DAMNED NATION, as well as a slew of smaller press magazines.

PM: The twenty horror books that have helped shape the person I am. I've arranged this list in roughly the order I discovered them. I've also allowed only one book per author to keep it from consisting solely of Stephen King, Charles Grant, Ramsey Campbell and Kathe Koja.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: 12 Stories They Wouldn't Let Me Do On TV (In particular, I've never been able to shake the creep factor in Margaret St. Clair's tale "The Perfectionist.")
The Dark by James Herbert
The Pet by Charles L Grant
The Boys From Brazil by Ira Levin (More than Rosemary's Baby, wondering if the concept behind this story was possible haunted me for years.)
The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells
The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
Misery by Stephen King (Besides King's usual suspects, the idea that something you create could be meaningful enough to drive someone batshit crazy should make any artist worry at least a little.) Dracula by Bram Stoker
Ancient Images by Ramsey Campbell
Winter Wake by Rick Hautala
Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney
The Cipher by Kathe Koja
Nightlife by Brian Hodge
Perfume by Patrick Suskind
Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons
The Ghost Pirates by William Hope Hodgson
The Off Season by Jack Ketchum (I'm talking about the real-life ending the author intended.)
A Choir of Ill Children by Tom Piccirilli
The Caretaker of Lorne Field by Dave Zeltzerman
A Requiem For Dead Flies by Peter N. Dudar (Watch this Dudar guy, he's going places!)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Kidd's List of Horror

Today's guest blog is by author Chico Kidd with her top twenty horror books!

Chico Kidd's ghost stories have been published in the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. Author of two anthologies, her first novel, The Printer's Devil, was recently reprinted. The first two novels about reluctant demon-fighter Captain Luís da Silva, Demon Weather and The Werewolf of Lisbon, are also now available. 

Collected Ghost Stories by M R James
Carnacki the Ghost-Finder by William Hope Hodgson
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Duma Key, The Dark Half, Doctor Sleep, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, & Revival by Stephen King
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Bones Of The Moon & Sleeping In Flame by Jonathan Carroll

Dark Matter by Michelle Paver
Long Lankin by Lindsay Barrowclough
Bad Men & all the other Charlie Parker novels by John Connolly
Last Days by Adam Nevill
Darkly Dreaming Dexter & its sequels by Jeff Lindsay
True Blood novels by Charlaine Harris
The Glass Demon by Helen Grant

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Newman's List of Horror

Today's guest blog post is from horror author James Newman with his list of twenty horror books. James becomes more popular by the day so it was nice of him to set aside some time and provide this list. Take it away, James...

JN: I suppose it could be argued that a few of these aren’t quite HORROR. Some probably lean more toward thriller/suspense. And you’ll notice that I’ve cheated a bit here and there by including several titles as one “set”. But this is my list, take it or leave it:

1) Lightning by Dean R. Koontz
2) Boy’s Life by Robert R. McCammon
3) By Bizarre Hands, High Cotton, and Bumper Crop by Joe R. Lansdale
4) The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
5) the Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark series by Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell (these are a lifelong fave of mine not necessarily because of the fiction, but because of the unrelenting nightmare fuel that was Stephen Gammell’s artwork)
6) The Shining by Stephen King
7) Christine by Stephen King
8) Cujo by Stephen King
9) Fear by Ronald Kelly
10) Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland (don’t think this seminal graphic novel is horror? Tell that to poor Barbara Gordon after the Joker comes knocking at her door . . . plus it’s got an abandoned amusement park, the Clown Prince of Crime doing everything in his power to drive a good man insane, not to mention dwarves running around in BDSM leather).

11) The Children’s Hour by Douglas Clegg
12) Knuckles and Tales by Nancy A. Collins
13) Cage of Night by Ed Gorman (one of those tales in which you’re never sure: is there are isn’t there something supernatural going on? Maybe, maybe not. Probably not. But such ambiguity does nothing to hinder the tone of utmost DREAD that permeates Gorman’s novel from the first page to the last. This one influenced my own Midnight Rain more than any other in the coming-of-age subgenre)
14) The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum
15) Saying Uncle by Greg F. Gifune
16) Animals by John Skipp and Craig Spector
17) The Books of Blood by Clive Barker
18) Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (my favorite debut novel of the past twenty-plus years . . . if you were to accuse me of being a big fat Gillian Flynn fanboy, I wouldn’t say you were wrong)
19) Cabal by Clive Barker
20) Moonchasers and Other Stories by Ed Gorman

James Newman is the author of the novels Midnight Rain, The Wicked, Animosity, and Ugly As Sin, the collection People Are Strange, and the quizbook 666 Hair-Raising Horror Movie Trivia Questions. Next up is Dog Days o’ Summer, a short novel co-written with Mark Allan Gunnells. James lives in the mountains of North Carolina with his wife and their two sons. They have a five-year-old and a fifteen-year-old . . . and you think YOU know “scary?”

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Cato's List of Horror

I should change the name of this site to LISTS OF HORROR because that's all I've been posting here lately as you may have noticed.  So what; the kids love 'em.

Today's special guest blogger is Nick Cato, one of the nicest guys I've ever met in the horror community, who also happens to be interested in a lot of the same stuff that I am. He's a writer, editor, publisher, columnist, rock 'n' roller and probably a bunch of other things I don't even know about. Despite being the owner of two dachshunds, he's still one of my favorite people and you should all check out his link below. 

Here is his list of top horror books!

1) The Sentinel by Jeffrey Konvitz (1974)
2) The Guardian by Jeffrey Konvitz (1979) 
3) Night Show by Richard Laymon (1984) 
4) A Manhattan Ghost Story by T.M. Wright (1984) 
5) A Choir of Ill Children by Tom Piccirilli (2003) 
6) The Indifference of Heaven by Gary A. Braunbeck (2000) 
7) Eutopia by David Nickle (2012) 
8) Night of Broken Souls by Thomas F. Monteleone (1997) 
9) Westlake Soul by Rio Youers (2012) 
10) Goat Dance by Douglas Clegg (1989)
 11) The Devil Rides Out by Dennis Wheatley (1934) 
12) The Ignored by Bentley Little (1997) 
13) A Dark Matter by Peter Straub (2011) 
14) Every Sigh, The End by Jason S. Hornsby (2007) 
15) Deep in the Darkness by Michael Laimo (2004) 
16) Ash Wednesday by Chet Williamson (1989) 
17) The Cipher Kathe Koja (1991) 
18) Like Death by Tim Waggoner (2005) 
19) Sineater by Elizabeth Massie (1992) 
20) Wax Work by Philip Nutman (1993)

NICK CATO is the author of the novel DON OF THE DEAD, the novellas THE APOCALYPSE OF PETER, THE LAST PORNO THEATER, and THE ATROCITY VENDOR, as well as the short story collection ANTIBACTERIAL POPE AND OTHER INCONGRUOUS STORIES. He writes the SUBURBAN GRINDHOUSE MEMORIES column for the acclaimed website, Cinema Knife Fight. A collection of this column in book form is forthcoming.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mason's List of Horror

I met fellow author Jamie Mason online only recently but it didn't take long to figure out that this talented guy knows his way around literature. He has kindly taken the time to provide us with a list of his top horror books, including a caveat, which you can read below:

Jamie Mason: You'll note that a few of the books (*) may not be considered horror in the traditional sense, but because I find the psychological dimension of dark fiction to be the most compelling I would contend these works contain horror in sufficient measure to qualify. The fact that Caitlin R. Kiernan appears three times should tell you something.

4. FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley
5. DRACULA by Bram Stoker
9. THE CRUCIBLE by Arthur Miller *
10. THE SHINING by Stephen King
 11. BLIND DATE by Jerzy Kosinski
12. THE COLLECTOR by John Fowles
13. THE STAND by Stephen King
14. FEVRE DREAM by George R.R. Martin
15. THE NAME OF THE ROSE by Umberto Eco *
16. THE HANDMAID'S TALE by Margaret Atwood *
17. A MURDER OF ANGELS by Caitlin R. Kiernan
19. THE ELEMENTARY PARTICLES by Michel Houellebecq *
20. THE RED TREE by Caitlin R. Kiernan
21. THE DROWNING GIRL by Caitlin R. Kiernan

Jamie Mason is a Canadian writer of dark fiction whose stories have appeared in On Spec, Abyss & Apex, White Cat and the Canadian Science Fiction Review. His zombie novel KEZZIE OF BABYLON was published in March of this year by Permuted Press. He lives on Vancouver Island.

Learn more at

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Soares' List of Horror

For his list, author L.L. Soares told me that he couldn't keep it down to just 20 books; that's why we get five bonus items this time around. He also mentioned that he doesn't necessarily consider this a "best of genre" list, however he does consider it a list of great horror books. And, in his own words: "I didn't include Poe, Lovecraft, or Robert W. Chambers, because I think they're in a class by themselves."

Books of Blood by Clive Barker
Our Lady of Darkness by Fritz Leiber 
I am Legend by Richard Matheson 
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson 
The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum 
Dark Gods by T.E.D. Klein 
By Bizarre Hands by Joe R. Lansdale  
The Dark Country by Dennis Etchison 
The Blackwater Series by Michael McDowell 
Deathbird Stories by Harlan Ellison
Abomination by Michael C. Norton 
Grimm Memorials by R. Patrick Gates 
The Night Runners by Joe R. Lansdale 
Live Girls by Ray Garton 
The Scream by Skipp & Spector 
The Safety of Unknown Cities by Lucy Taylor 
Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z. Brite 
The Stand by Stephen King 
The Cellar by Richard Laymon 
The Kill Riff by David J. Schow 
Tales of Pain and Wonder by Caitlin Kiernan 
The Drive-In by Joe R. Lansdale 
A Choir of Ill Children by Tom Piccirilli 
The Bighead by Edward Lee 
Skin by Kathe Koja

L.L. Soares is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of the novel Life Rage. His other books include Rock ‘n’ Roll, Hard, the short story collection In Sickness and the novella Green Tsunami (both with Laura Cooney). His fiction has appeared in magazines like Cemetery Dance, Horror Garage, and Bare Bone and anthologies like Insidious Assassins and Living After Midnight (the latter also features a story by some guy named Wilbanks). His new novella called "Nightmare in Greasepaint" (written with G. Daniel Gunn) is coming out soon from Samhain Publishing.

He co-writes the Stoker-nominated horror movie review column
Cinema Knife Fight, which can be found at:

For more about his endeavors, go to

Friday, March 20, 2015

Kronfeld's List of Horror

Who is Kronfeld?, you may ask. Well, I'm married to her and she asked--nay, demanded!--that she have her say here on the blog in regards to favorite horror books. She's a big reader and always has been, so why not? Who am I to say "no" to such a loving, caring, beautiful--well, you get the idea. Take a look!

Stephen King - The Stand
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Stephen King - Carrie
Stephen King - 'Salem's Lot
Stephen King - Pet Sematary
Clive Barker - Coldheart Canyon
Clive Barker - The Books of Blood
Poppy Z. Brite - Lost Souls
Poppy Z. Brite - Exquisite Corpse

Gillian Flynn - Gone Girl
Gillian Flynn - Sharp Objects
Gillian Flynn - Dark Places
Shane Stevens - By Reason of Insanity
Joe Hill - NOS482
Joe Hill - Heart-Shaped Box
Paula Hawkins - The Girl on the Train
Anne Rice - Interview with a Vampire
Bentley Little - The Ignored 
Charlaine Harris - True Blood books
Charlaine Harris - Midnight Crossing 

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Langan's List of Horror

Today, I am pleased to welcome horror author John Langan to the blog, with his generous list(s) of top horror books. Take it away, John: 

My Top Twenty, er, Thirty (three) Horror Novels

I’m a champion of the idea that it’s possible to write great horror stories at novel length. So when I sat down to come up with twenty horror books that have meant a lot to me, I thought it would be fun to focus my list on novels. The list I wound up with, however, was (a lot) longer than I’d anticipated: 

Mary Shelley Frankenstein (1818/1832)
James Hogg The Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824)
Robert Louis Stevenson Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886)
Arthur Machen The Great God Pan (1894)
Henry James The Turn of the Screw (1898)
H.P. Lovecraft The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (1927/1943)
Fritz Leiber Conjure Wife (1943)
Shirley Jackson The Sundial (1958)
--The Haunting of Hill House (1959)
Ray Bradbury Something Wicked This Way Comes (1963)
Philip K. Dick The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (1964)
Anne Rice Interview with the Vampire (1976)
Stephen King The Shining (1977)
--Pet Sematary (1983)
Peter Straub Ghost Story (1979)
--Shadowland (1980)
Thomas Tessier The Nightwalker (1979)
Ramsey Campbell Incarnate (1983)
--The Darkest Part of the Woods (2002)
Ian Banks The Wasp Factory (1984)
Clive Barker The Damnation Game (1985)
--Cabal (1988)
John Skipp & Craig Spector The Light at the End (1986)
Jonathan Carroll A Child Across the Sky (1989)
Michael Cisco The Divinity Student (1999)
Jack Cady The Hauntings of Hood Canal (2001)
Sara Gran Come Closer (2003)
Lucius Shepard Floater (2003)
Steve and Melanie Tem The Man on the Ceiling (2008)
Sarah Langan Audrey’s Door (2009)
Colson Whitehead Zone One (2011)
Laird Barron The Croning (2012)
Paul Tremblay A Head Full of Ghosts (2015)

So much for arguments against the horror novel. I also realized that there was another list I should give alongside this one, and that’s of novels I keep meaning to get to but haven’t yet:

Jeremias Gotthelf The Black Spider (1842)
E.H. Visiak Medusa (1929)
Jack Williamson Darker than You Think (1940)
Ray Russell The Case Against Satan (1962)
Roland Torpor The Tenant (1966)
Fred Chappell Dagon (1968)
Ramsey Campbell The Face That Must Die (1979)
--The Grin of the Dark (2007)
Anne Rivers Siddons The House Next Door (1978)
Michael Bishop Who Made Stevie Cry? (1984)
Thomas Tessier Finishing Touches (1987)
Mark Danielewski House of Leaves (2000)
Bennett Sims A Questionable Shape (2013)

Mea culpa. Finally, I felt I should give a few titles that, while not horror novels in the strictest sense of the term, seemed at least cousins of those I’d already listed.

Charlotte Bronte Jane Eyre (1847)
Emily Bronte Wuthering Heights (1847)
Charles Dickens Dombey and Son (1848)
--Great Expectations (1861)
Henry James The American (1877)
--The Portrait of a Lady (1881)
Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness (1899)
Nathanael West Miss Lonelyhearts (1933)
William Faulkner Absalom, Absalom (1936)
William Golding Lord of the Flies (1954)
Cormac McCarthy Blood Meridian (1985)
Toni Morrison Beloved (1987)
Ian McEwan Black Dogs (1992)

John Langan

John Langan is the author of two collections, The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies (Hippocampus 2013) and Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters (Prime 2008), and a novel, House of Windows (Night Shade 2009). With Paul Tremblay, he has co-edited Creatures: Thirty Years of Monsters (Prime 2011). He lives in upstate New York with his wife, younger son, and many, many animals.

John Langan keeps an irregular blog at