The Colonel July 29, 2014 The Colonel Peter Watts The hives are sleeping giants. <em>To Eternity</em> July 24, 2014 To Eternity Wesley Allsbrook and Barrie Potter If all things were normal, Stuart would be considered quite a catch. Brisk Money July 23, 2014 Brisk Money Adam Christopher It's hard out there for a robotic detective. A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star July 20, 2014 A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star Kathleen Ann Goonan A rocket story.
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Showing posts tagged: horror click to see more stuff tagged with horror
Fri
Jul 25 2014 9:00am

Summer of Sleaze: The Alternative Horrors of Kathe Koja

Kathe Koja

Summer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

In January 1991, a new line of horror paperback originals from Dell Books appeared under the imposing imprint of Abyss. Spearheaded by editor Jeanne Cavelos, the Abyss line even included in each book an ambitious mission statement on the very first page.

[Horror unlike anything you’ve ever read before...]

Fri
Jul 18 2014 2:00pm

Summer of Sleaze: James Herbert’s The Rats and The Fog

James Herbert The RatsSummer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

Books win awards. Books drink white wine. Books are discussed in hushed tones by earnest scholars. Books are genteel, books are mellow, books are housed in libraries where there is no talking. It’s hard to remember that books can be a punch in the nose, a bottle of beer broken over the head, a gob spat in the eye. Amiri Baraka’s in-your-face plays, Tom Wolfe’s go-go new journalism, Kathy Acker’s punk poetry. These writers set literature on fire and readers could either get on board or fuck off. James Herbert was one of them.

By the time he died last year he was a mainstream success, but his two earliest books are nasty, mean, angry pieces of anti-establishment sleaze torn straight out of his id, redeemed by Herbert’s complete conviction to Go There. That conviction is what keeps these two books in your hands long after you might otherwise throw them across the room. Read Herbert and you’re like a baby gripping a 10,000 volt cable, hands smoking, unable to tear them away even as your brain turns to cinders.

[Read More]

Thu
Jul 17 2014 4:30pm

Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, and More to Team Up in New “Avengers”-Style Films

Universal classic Movie Monsters reboot Alex Kurtzman Chris Morgan The Mummy reboot

With Marvel and DC’s superhero films proving that geeky franchises can flourish, it makes sense that Universal is peering back into the vault at its OG franchise: classic monster movies.

We’re talking, of course, about the black-and-white Frankenstein, Dracula, and Creature From the Black Lagoon on which we all grew up—or, for younger movie audiences, watched other movies parody and reference without achieving the same staying power as these horror masterpieces.

We’ve known for a while that such a massive revival was in the works, but now we know who’s helming it: Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan.

[It’s aliiive!]

Thu
Jul 3 2014 3:00pm

Playing the Fool: The Child Eater by Rachel Pollack

The Child Eater review Rachel Pollack

Representing Rachel Pollack’s first original genre novel since Godmother Night in 1996—a World Fantasy Award winner in its day, and a classic now, by all accounts—the release of The Child Eater is bound to be a big deal in certain circles. How her returning readers respond to it remains to be seen; this was my first of her works, I’m afraid... but not likely my last.

Based on a pair of tales from The Tarot of Perfection, Pollack’s last collection, The Child Eater tells two separate yet connected stories. Separate in that the boys we follow are worlds apart, and divided in time, too; connected, though neither knows it, by the parts they’re fated to play in the downfall of the eponymous monster: an immortal man wicked in the ways you’d expect, not least because of the innocents he eats.

[Read More]

Tue
Jul 1 2014 12:00pm

Short Fiction Spotlight: Aickman’s Animals

short fiction spotlight robert aickman cold hand in mine

Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a weekly column dedicated to doing exactly what it says in the header: shining a light on the some of the best and most relevant fiction of the aforementioned form.

Last month, to mark the centenary of horror author Robert Aickman’s birth, Faber & Faber made good on the first part of their promise to bring the best of his sinister fiction back into print. New editions of several of his short story collections are now available, including Cold Hand in Mine and Dark Entries, alongside reissues of his exceedingly rare novels The Model and The Late Breakfasters. The Wine-Dark Sea and The Unsettled Dust will follow in August and September respectively.

But why wait? In truth, I couldn’t resist rummaging around the aforementioned collections for favourites, and in short order I came up with a characteristically controlled tale that scared the pee out of me when I was still in single digits. Wonderfully, I found ‘The Same Dog’ to be every bit as effective as I remembered when I reread it recently.

[Read More]

Mon
Jun 30 2014 2:05pm

Bruce Campbell Wants to Make The Expendables With Horror Icons

Bruce Campbell The Expendables horror Robert Englund Kane Hodder Ash Williams Evil Dead sequel Sam Raimi

Bruce Campbell has always understood that you need a healthy dose of humor with your horror. While reminiscing on the Evil Dead films with the LA Times’ Hero Complex blog recently (way back in 2010, thanks for the correction ya'll!) he emphasized how his famous, chainsaw-handed, shotgun-wielding character Ash Williams started out as a pretty dopey Everyman for the audience to laugh at, and with.

His skewering extends to Bruce Campbell himself—or rather, the public’s perception of Bruce Campbell the horror movie icon. In 2008, he starred in the satire My Name Is Bruce. Now, he wants to do a sequel—basically, The Expendables, but starring horror greats.

[Groovy.]

Fri
Jun 27 2014 9:00am

Summer of Sleaze: Graham Masterton’s Feast

Graham Masterton FeastSummer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

So far this year I’ve read the powerful Thank You For Your Service, David Finkel’s look at the shattered lives of servicemen returning home from Iraq. I’ve read Donna Tart’s The Goldfinch, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. I’ve read Austin Grossman’s deceptively experimental You that transmutes the lead of early computer gaming into the gold of transcendence. I’ve read Allie Brosh’s so-personal-it-hurts Hyperbole and a Half, Neil Gaiman’s emotional and revealing The Ocean At the End of the Lane, and two new books by Stephen King, one of America’s greatest storytellers. None of them—none of them—has provided me as many moments of pure joy as a little mass market paperback from 1988 called Feast by Graham Masterton. John Waters once said, “Good taste is the enemy of art.” If that’s true, and I believe it is, then Feast is the Mona Lisa.

[Read more]

Wed
Jun 25 2014 7:30am

Strange Chemistry Closes

Strange Chemistry

Welcome back to the British Genre Fiction Focus, Tor.com’s regular round-up of book news from the United Kingdom’s thriving speculative fiction industry.

I got a dash distracted by the publication of the programme for the Edinburgh International Book Festival last time we did this, so we’ve got a couple of things to catch up on in this edition, including the announcement of an awesome new annual anthology and a striking-sounding space opera, news of the continuing dominance of Claire North and Jasper Fforde’s next novel, and any number of other items.

But the big news in the British genre fiction industry this week was bad. And sad. Angry Robot’s YA fiction imprint has closed its doors, folks.

[Read More]

Fri
Jun 20 2014 9:00am

Summer of Sleaze: The Erotic Horrors of Thomas Tessier

Thomas TessierSummer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

I was fortunate enough to discover the horror novels of Thomas Tessier back in 1989, when I began working in a used bookstore just out of high school. Horror junkie that I was, my favorite authors were still limited to King, Lovecraft, Barker, Campbell, and a few of the splatterpunks. So I was grooving on the fact that I had access to all the beat-up old paperbacks in our horror section; it was time to branch out.

[Read More]

Thu
Jun 19 2014 10:00am

Forbidden Spheres and Cosmic Gulfs: The Weird Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft

HP Lovecraft At the Mountains of Madness During the summer between my freshman and sophomore years in high school, I spent the whole of a steaming afternoon reading Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness,” a novella that left me chilled and horripilated in spite of the oppressive heat.

Whoa, that really happened, I told myself. By which I didn’t mean that the government had buried the findings of the hapless Miskatonic University expedition to the Antarctic, though burying the findings is just what the expedition leaders do in the story. I didn’t (much) believe that there was a ruinous megapolis of barrel-bodied and star-headed Old Ones in the icy waste, or that protoplasmic shoggoths still oozed through its halls and tunnels, merrily detaching the heads of all they encountered via a suction that would make a Dyson convulse with envy.

What I did believe, and what had happened, was that I had found another path into the stories I wanted to tell as a fledgling writer. It was a path darker than Tolkien’s road going ever on, and even more far-flung than Cherryh’s star routes, despite coming so perilously close to home.

[Read More]

Wed
Jun 11 2014 5:00pm

The Mithras-Man Cometh: Mr. Shivers by Robert Jackson Bennett

Mr Shivers Robert Jackson BennettI resolved to read everything Robert Jackson Bennett has written after reading American Elsewhere. Because I am somewhat obsessive about these things, I decided to read his books in order of publication, so last year I started out with Mr. Shivers, a book I’d maybe not have picked up elsewise because it’s billed more as horror than fantasy.

But then, what do I discover? It’s set during the Great Depression. Dear reader: I’ll read almost anything set during the Great Depression, particularly if it also touches on the Prohibition—an endlessly fascinating period in US history.

[Read more]

Wed
Jun 11 2014 9:00am
Original Story

Chapter Six

“Chapter Six,” by Stephen Graham Jones, is an anthropological zombie story about Crain, a grad student, who has a theory of mankind’s evolution. As he and his former professor scavenge on bone marrow left behind by the local zombie horde, he makes his well-reasoned argument.

This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by consulting editor Ellen Datlow.

[Read “Chapter Six,” by Stephen Graham Jones]

Tue
Jun 10 2014 5:00pm

Roommates From Hell: Chasing the Moon by A. Lee Martinez

Chasing the Moon A Lee Martinez reviewDiana’s had a tough time of it lately, but finally a stroke of luck comes along: after a long search, she finds the perfect apartment. It’s affordable. It’s furnished exactly the way she likes. There’s even a jukebox with all her favorite songs.

Maybe she should have been more suspicious about how perfect it was, because once she’s moved in, she discovers that the apartment has an extra inhabitant: a monster who goes by the name Vom the Hungering and who tries to eat everything in his path. Before Diana knows it, she has acquired a small menagerie of eldritch horrors from the beyond, and she learns that the universe is infinitely more complex—and dangerous—than she ever imagined.

[Read more]

Fri
Jun 6 2014 11:00am

In a Dark Country, Red Dreams Stay with You: The Horrors of Dennis Etchison

Will Etchison The Dark Country

Summer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

Dennis Etchison (born Stockton CA, 1943) didn’t set out to be a horror writer. While Etchison has been referred to as a writer of “dark fantasy” or of “quiet horror,” in an interview with journalist Stanley Wiater in Dark Dreamers (1990), the author states that he found himself in the horror genre “sort of by accident.” Etchison began writing and publishing science fiction stories in the 1960s, but as the short genre fiction market changed he found his work gained more acceptance in the burgeoning horror fiction field of the 1970s.

[Read More]

Fri
May 30 2014 9:00am

Summer of Sleaze: The Little People

Summer of Sleaze John Christopher The Little PeopleSummer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.

John Christopher (born Samuel Youd) is an author best known for his young adult science fiction stories that were turned into comics in Boy’s Life magazine, most notably The White Mountains, The City of Gold and Lead, and The Pool of Fire. But he also wrote for adults, and his The Little People published in 1966 has a cover by Hector Garrido (reproduced here) that might be paperback publishing’s Mona Lisa.

[Read More]

Thu
May 29 2014 12:00pm

Why Horror is Good For You (and Even Better for Your Kids)

Greg Ruth

One of the core reasons I make books now is because Ray Bradbury scared me so happy, that what I am perpetually compelled to do is, at best, ignite the same flame in a young reader today. Most of my comics, certainly the ones I write myself, are scary ones or revolve around scary themes. In the last ten years I began to notice that they also featured, as protagonists, children. Even when the overall story wasn’t necessarily about them, there they were: peeking from behind some safe remove, watching.

[Read More]

Thu
May 22 2014 2:00pm

Mysterious Ways: The Three by Sarah Lotz

The Three Sarah Lotz U.S. cover

Before the Frankfurt Book Fair a few years ago, a partial manuscript of The Three was sent to a selection of editors. A perfect storm of offers followed, and less than a day later, a substantial six figure sum from U.K. publisher Hodder & Stoughton coffers proved sufficient to secure the company Sarah Lotz’s phenomenal first novel. On the strength of an excerpt alone, this was practically unprecedented, especially for an author absent a track record to trade on.

But that, as a matter of fact, isn’t entirely accurate: though The Three is the first book to bear her name in such a prominent place outside of South Africa, Lotz has been around the block and back—in the publishing business, that is. In the past, she’s worked with her daughter Savannah on the Deadlands saga and she’s one of three writers behind Helena S. Paige’s pseudonymous Choose Your Own Erotica novels. The Three, however, has most in common with the scathing urban horror Lotz and Louis Greenberg collaborated on as S. L. Grey: not enjoyable novels, no—the events the Downside descents document being altogether too terrible to take pleasure from—but blerrie good books, to be sure. As, in its way, is Lotz’s latest.

[Read more]

Tue
May 20 2014 3:30pm

Short Fiction Spotlight: “The Men From Porlock” by Laird Barron

The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All Laird Barron

Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a weekly column dedicated to doing exactly what it says in the header: shining a light on the some of the best and most relevant fiction of the aforementioned form.

Last week, the winners of the Bram Stoker Awards were announced at a ceremony in Portland, Oregon, and amongst the authors honoured by the HWA was the lord of cosmic horror himself, Laird Barron, for Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection.

The fiction collection referenced is his third, after Occultation and The Imago Sequence, and The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All is, in my opinion, undoubtedly deserving of the association’s acclaim. I read it piecemeal around its release in 2013, after being completely creeped out by The Croning, and although I remember it well, it’s a book I found myself tentacularly happy to go back to.

[Read more]

Tue
May 6 2014 9:00am
Original Story

The Madonna of the Abattoir

In Victorian-era Arkham, Redemption Orne observes that art is indeed long and life only too short when a painter chooses Orne's wife Patience, mistress of the Outer Gods, for his model.

This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by assistant editor Miriam Weinberg.

[Read “The Madonna of the Abattoir” by Anne M. Pillsworth]

Wed
Apr 30 2014 9:00am
Original Story

The Mothers of Voorhisville

From multiple World Fantasy Award winner and Nebula, Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, Sturgeon, and British Science Fiction Award nominated author M. Rickert comes a gorgeous and terrifying vision of the Mothers of Voorhisville, who love their babies just as intensely as any mother anywhere. Of course they do! And nothing in this world will change that, even if every single one of those tiny babies was born with an even tinier set of wings.

This novella was acquired and edited for Tor.com by editor Liz Gorinsky.

[Read “The Mothers of Voorhisville” by Mary Rickert]