A Long Spoon December 18, 2014 A Long Spoon Jonathan L. Howard A Johannes Cabal story. Burnt Sugar December 10, 2014 Burnt Sugar Lish McBride Everyone knows about gingerbread houses. Father Christmas: A Wonder Tale of the North December 9, 2014 Father Christmas: A Wonder Tale of the North Charles Vess Happy Holidays from Tor.com Skin in the Game December 3, 2014 Skin in the Game Sabrina Vourvoulias Some monsters learn how to pass.
From The Blog
December 9, 2014
The Eleventh Doctor’s Legacy Was Loss and Failure
Emily Asher-Perrin
December 9, 2014
Tor.com Reviewers’ Choice: The Best Books of 2014
Tor.com
December 8, 2014
How Fast is the Millennium Falcon? A Thought Experiment.
Chris Lough
December 8, 2014
Tiamat’s Terrain: Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange
Alex Mangles
December 4, 2014
Potential Spoiler Leak for Star Wars: The Force Awakens Reveals Awesome Details
Emily Asher-Perrin
Showing posts by: Will Errickson click to see Will Errickson's profile
Fri
Oct 31 2014 10:00am

The Bloody Books of Halloween: Anno Dracula by Kim Newman

Anno Dracula Kim Newman

Grady Hendrix, author of Horrorstör, and Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction are digging deep inside the Jack o’Lantern of Literature to discover the best (and worst) horror paperbacks. Are you strong enough to read THE BLOODY BOOKS OF HALLOWEEN???

So now it’s Halloween and you want one read, one that’s scary and smart, entertainingly macabre, a book you simply have to recommend to friends, one in the great tradition of classic horror. And I have just the book for you: Anno Dracula.

Kim Newman’s 1992 novel is one of the most accomplished and thoroughly enjoyable books I’ve read in recent years. It’s big, bold, brazen, showcasing Newman’s prodigious knowledge not only of Draculean lore and legend, but also of 19th century London, Jack the Ripper, Holmesian detection, and British literature both classic and vampiric. With the kind of breathtaking effortlessness that instills burning jealousy in horror-writer hearts everywhere, Newman weaves together the twin nightmare mythologies of real-life monsters Vlad Tepes and Jack the Ripper into a sumptuous whole. “What if Dracula had won?” Newman has posited, and what a cracking yarn that question inspires, a dense yet deftly written 400-page novel in which readers can lose themselves completely.

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Fri
Oct 17 2014 8:00am

The Bloody Books of Halloween: The October Country by Ray Bradbury

The October Country Ray Bradbury

Grady Hendrix, author of Horrorstör, and Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction are digging deep inside the Jack o’Lantern of Literature to discover the best (and worst) horror paperbacks. Are you strong enough to read THE BLOODY BOOKS OF HALLOWEEN???

Isn’t autumn the most nostalgic, the most contemplative of seasons? Something about the cooling weather and changing leaves, as well as the nearing of year’s end, causes one’s mind to look back. When I lived in the South I was often disappointed by the brief fall season, and found myself aching to recapture the excitement of awaiting Halloween.

To what could I turn to give myself a feeling of autumn? What could provide the scent of burning leaves, apple cider, pumpkin spice, the early darks and the bone-white moons, the chilled air that nuzzles your neck, the growing thrill of the arrival of All Hallow’s Eve and the macabre treats upon which to feast...? You guessed it: Ray Bradury's collection of poisoned confections entitled The October Country.

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Fri
Oct 3 2014 11:00am

The Bloody Books of Halloween: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist

The Exorcist William Peter Blatty

Grady Hendrix, author of Horrorstör, and Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction are digging deep inside the Jack o’Lantern of Literature to discover the best (and worst) horror paperbacks. Are you strong enough to read THE BLOODY BOOKS OF HALLOWEEN???

The preeminent 1970s bestselling horror novel. Millions of copies adorning nightstands and coffee tables everywhere. The unfocused cover photograph of a young girl in torment. The exotic, sibilant title—exorcist—why, the word itself sounded evil. If you were of an impressionable age at the time, surely the iconic imagery of the book alone made a nightmarish impact, even if you didn’t read it. Perhaps even more so, because I’m not even sure The Exorcist (first published in May 1971), the fifth novel from William Peter Blatty (b. 1928, NYC), really is a horror novel.

I know, I know, that old argument: what makes horror fiction, well, horror? The Exorcist has some of the most infamous and eternal moments of shock and terror in popular culture, but is horrifying readers its sole raison d’être? I’d argue non.

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Fri
Sep 19 2014 1:00pm

Summer of Sleaze: Ray Russell’s Incubus

Ray Russell Incubus

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.

Here we’ve reached the Summer of Sleaze’s final chapter, mere days before the beginning of autumn. For this last part I present one of my sleazier favorites of the 1970s, a bit of salaciousness called Incubus, first published in hardcover in 1976—yes, hardcover! Fancy.

Author Ray Russell (b. Chicago, 1929; d. LA, 1999) may not be a familiar name to you, but you’ll appreciate his credentials: as an editor and contributor to Playboy magazine from the 1950s to the late 1970s, he brought to that esteemed publication authors like Kurt Vonnegut, Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, as well as the writings of one Charles Beaumont, the all-too-soon-late scribe who contributed so much to the horror genre, most notably through episodes of “The Twilight Zone” and screenplays for some of those Roger Corman Poe flicks from the ’60s.

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Fri
Sep 5 2014 10:00am

Summer of Sleaze: The Manitou by Graham Masterton

The Manitou Graham MastertonSummer 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.

Just about every horror paperback that came out in the mid-’70s had to have blurbs on its cover comparing it favorably to bestselling horror novels like The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, The Other, ’Salem’s Lot, and/or The Omen—that was simply a fact of publishing then.

But every now and again there’s a book like The Manitou, the 1976 debut from Scottish author Graham Masterton (b. 1946, Edinburgh), which is entirely its own kind of horror novel. With little use for good sense or good taste, Masterton uses only a few elements of those contemporaneous famous and popular works but then one-ups—nay, a dozen-ups!—them (for another example of his over-the-top style, check out his 1988 novel Feast) and gives readers a damn-near perfect example of vintage ’70s horror fiction.

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Fri
Aug 22 2014 10:00am

Summer of Sleaze: The Unsung Horrors of Ken Greenhall

Hell Hound Ken Greenhall 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.

A confession: although I come here to sing the praises of little-known horror writer Ken Greenhall, I myself know nearly nothing about him! He was born in Detroit in 1928 and in the 1970s and ’80s wrote a handful of paperback horror novels under his own name and the pseudonym Jessica Hamilton (I was able to learn that was his mother’s birth name). No interviews or photos are online, and only the scantest biographical info is available.

Shame, because would I love to know more about the guy who penned two obscure yet virtual masterpieces of vintage horror fiction: Elizabeth, written under the Hamilton pseudonym, published in 1976, and Hell Hound, by his own name, from 1977.

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Fri
Aug 8 2014 8:00am

Summer of Sleaze: The Southern Gothic Horrors of Michael McDowell

Michael McDowell Blackwater

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.

The idea of a paperback original series in the horror genre was a unique one when the six-volume Blackwater began publication by Avon Books in January 1983. Written by the prolific Michael McDowell (1950-1999), it was a many-generational story set in Alabama, a Southern Gothic-lite, mixing soap opera and horror tropes with equal ease, to be published one a month for six months.

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Fri
Jul 25 2014 8:00am

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 11 2014 8:00am

Summer of Sleaze: The Universal Horrors of Charles L. Grant

Charles L Grant

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.

Moonlight over a lonely town. Fog swirls. Whispering shadows. Footsteps in the forest. A voice from the darkness. A movement seen from the corner of the eye. A slowly spreading stain of red.

New Jersey-born writer and editor Charles L. Grant (1942–2006) championed these hallmarks of old-fashioned horror tales, even in spite of their simplicity, their overuse, indeed, their corniness, because he knew in the right hands such subtle details would build up to an overall mood of dis-ease and weirdness. Evoking fear of the unknown, not the graphic revelation of a psychopath with a gore-flecked axe or an unimaginable, insane Lovecraftian nightmare, is what a truly successful horror writer (or, for that matter, filmmaker) should do. And especially during the 1980s, when he published dozens of titles through Tor Books’ horror line, Grant did precisely that.

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Fri
Jun 20 2014 8:00am

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.

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Fri
Jun 6 2014 10:00am

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.

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