Tor.com content by

T. Frohock

Is it Grimdark, or is it Horror?

This isn’t the first time I’ve discussed the grimdark. I keep worrying the subject, like a bad hangnail. Part of it is because whenever a discussion arises about grimdark, I am asked to participate. I’ve noticed some readers tend to see an overlap between grimdark and horror. While there are numerous similarities between the two, grimdark and horror are not the same.

Since I don’t write grimdark—I write dark fantasy (what Charles L. Grant called “quiet horror”)—I wanted to discover the characteristics that sets horror apart from grimdark. However, before I could understand the differences between the two, I had to begin with clear definitions as to what constitutes horror and grimdark.

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