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epoch.
Jul 24, 2007

When people say there is too much violence in my books, what they are saying is there is too much reality in life.


this broken hill posted:

the fisherman is really terrible help me lord. i regret this purchase

Finish the book.

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anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

a foolish pianist posted:

I just finished Curran's Dead Sea. It started pretty strong, but it overstays its welcome by quite a few pages, and the last act is pretty dumb.
Felt the same, honestly. I love stories connected with mysteries of the sea - deeps, beasties, mythology - but it really doesn't deliver what it builds up to.

chernobyl kinsman
Mar 18, 2007

a friend of the friendly atom



Soiled Meat

this broken hill posted:

the fisherman is really terrible help me lord. i regret this purchase

it blows yeah. its truly bad

this broken hill
Apr 10, 2018

by Lowtax


epoch. posted:

Finish the book.
i did, i started skimming after 100 pages but got the gist of it all and honestly it wasn't worth it. the whole novel felt like a second-rate creepypasta that had been filled out to book size with the most bloated, turgid, dead-bland narration i've ever experienced in my drat life. that's just my opinion though and i may be feeling unusually vicious because i actually paid for it lol. it had good reviews! it had good reviews!!

horror is in the doldrums at the moment but soon something horrific is going to happen irl and it will return to its former glory, i feel it in my psychic rear end

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012





this broken hill posted:

i did, i started skimming after 100 pages but got the gist of it all and honestly it wasn't worth it. the whole novel felt like a second-rate creepypasta that had been filled out to book size with the most bloated, turgid, dead-bland narration i've ever experienced in my drat life. that's just my opinion though and i may be feeling unusually vicious because i actually paid for it lol. it had good reviews! it had good reviews!!

horror is in the doldrums at the moment but soon something horrific is going to happen irl and it will return to its former glory, i feel it in my psychic rear end

I wanted to be skeptical, because I really like the idea of the book and have heard good things about it, but honestly my experience with Langan's short stories is that they swing wildly between well-executed, fairly decent ideas to "bloated, turgid, dead-bland narration", sometimes within the same story.

Thankfully I just requested it at the library and apparently they now approve purchase of any horror novels I suggest because this is like the sixth book I've asked for through ILL and had the library email to say "nah we'll buy it instead". Which I feel bad about, since a couple of the books they've bought have turned out to be either mediocre or outright bad.

Also while I agree the knockout books have been sort of infrequent lately, I think a lot of it is that the best stuff is coming from lesser known authors or smaller publishers so they don't always get the reach they deserve. I'd think with the mini-renaissance horror is getting in the movie world right now, horror novels will start to come back in vogue outside us silly, hopeful genre diehards. Anecdotally I have a lot more of my friends asking me for recommendations based on movies they've liked in the last year than I have since I was in high school a decade ago.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

Pew pew!



There's a lot of great horror out there. I just don't recommend much anymore because I'm friends with a lot of authors and while I absolutely believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion, it's hard to read something as stupid as

quote:

the whole novel felt like a second-rate creepypasta that had been filled out to book size with the most bloated, turgid, dead-bland narration i've ever experienced in my drat life.

about a book your friend wrote, even if I myself happen to think it's a mediocre novel. That poo poo right there is so loving hyperbolic as to be pointless.

I mean, at the end of the day we're reading horror (or sci-fi, or fantasy, or whatever). Maybe once a generation you'll get someone like Shirley Jackson, and folks like Brian Hodge come around only a little more often, but some of you folks seem to expect every genre book you lay your hands on to be written at that level. It just seems absurd to me.

Origami Dali
Jan 7, 2005

Get ready to fuck!
You fucker's fucker!
You fucker!


As a rule, I generally like the books I read to be good, yes.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

Pew pew!



Origami Dali posted:

As a rule, I generally like the books I read to be good, yes.

Define good then. Requiring every book you read to be genre-defining seems a tad excessive to me, but tons of posters around here do just that.

UCS Hellmaker
Mar 29, 2008

mega. milk.

Toilet Rascal

Criticism is needed and something authors have to have however, someones opinion on a book can help an author get better and fix things that they are doing that are fundamentally wrong. Also being able to understand where someone is coming from is important to understand why they think that book is bad.

in my own personal bad book opinion In the house of Mirrors by Tim Meyer blows and I struggled to finish it. the characters were horribly one dimensional and just unlikable, the plot was almost comically inept and so similar to other works that it felt like a retelling of much better books. Hell the drat author synopsis is a flatout lie. If you want a good laugh read this book on your kindle unlimited but don't waste the money or audible credit

Also the audible reader loving SUCKS

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

Pew pew!



UCS Hellmaker posted:

Criticism is needed and something authors have to have however, someones opinion on a book can help an author get better and fix things that they are doing that are fundamentally wrong. Also being able to understand where someone is coming from is important to understand why they think that book is bad.

in my own personal bad book opinion In the house of Mirrors by Tim Meyer blows and I struggled to finish it. the characters were horribly one dimensional and just unlikable, the plot was almost comically inept and so similar to other works that it felt like a retelling of much better books. Hell the drat author synopsis is a flatout lie. If you want a good laugh read this book on your kindle unlimited but don't waste the money or audible credit

Also the audible reader loving SUCKS

I don't disagree with any of this. It's the hyperbole that I find irritating. It's impossible to simply dislike a book for X, Y, and Z reasons. No, it has to be literally the worst thing you've ever laid upon eyes upon in your life, and reading it has left you emotionally and physically scarred and you are less a person now because of the book and so on. It's just..pointless. It doesn't actually relay anything about the book in question, it just tells others that you're kind of stupid.

And to be clear, this isn't a problem limited to this thread of this forum, it's become widespread. This just happens to be where I'm bitching about it today :v:.

chernobyl kinsman
Mar 18, 2007

a friend of the friendly atom



Soiled Meat

chill, ornamented. it's a bad book.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

Pew pew!



chernobyl kinsman posted:

chill, ornamented.

Only if you promise to read volume 5 of The Familiar.

chernobyl kinsman
Mar 18, 2007

a friend of the friendly atom



Soiled Meat

does anything happen in that one

this broken hill
Apr 10, 2018

by Lowtax


Ornamented Death posted:

I don't disagree with any of this. It's the hyperbole that I find irritating. It's impossible to simply dislike a book for X, Y, and Z reasons. No, it has to be literally the worst thing you've ever laid upon eyes upon in your life, and reading it has left you emotionally and physically scarred and you are less a person now because of the book and so on. It's just..pointless. It doesn't actually relay anything about the book in question, it just tells others that you're kind of stupid.

And to be clear, this isn't a problem limited to this thread of this forum, it's become widespread. This just happens to be where I'm bitching about it today :v:.
i killed myself because of your friend's terrible book and am now posting as a revenanf

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

Pew pew!



chernobyl kinsman posted:

does anything happen in that one

No idea, I learned Danielewski wasn't for me after that flip book he did.

chernobyl kinsman
Mar 18, 2007

a friend of the friendly atom



Soiled Meat

i will read every single volume of the familiar, then livestream myself cutting off my dick and balls and mailing them to danielewskis house

C2C - 2.0
May 14, 2006

Dubs In The Key Of Life


Lipstick Apathy

chernobyl kinsman posted:

i will read every single volume of the familiar, then livestream myself cutting off my dick and balls and mailing them to danielewskis house

:justpost:

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012





Not that I want to interrupt the self-emasculation chat, but I just finished Immaculate Void and it is quite good. It's my first real exposure to Hodge and I didn't really know what to expect (I didn't read any marketing anything on the book, so I actually expected it to be a little more sci-fi based on the name) but it was a very satisfying read and had a couple of really cool ideas in it. Also one of the few cosmic horror books I've read that actually features the "cosmic" part front and center.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

Pew pew!



Read more Hodge my friend.

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012





Ornamented Death posted:

Read more Hodge my friend.

I've got Worlds of Hurt and Whom the Gods Would Destroy hanging out on my Kindle now, I'll likely jump on them soon.

...after I quit reading Amityville Horror because it's not very well written. Seriously, I wonder what this book would be like if it were written now, by someone competent, and not under the steam of the supposed "true story" origins. There's some interesting scares that happen in it but at this point I'm about ready to be done with it.

scary ghost dog
Aug 5, 2007


Ornamented Death posted:

Define good then. Requiring every book you read to be genre-defining seems a tad excessive to me, but tons of posters around here do just that.

stephen king or better

chernobyl kinsman
Mar 18, 2007

a friend of the friendly atom



Soiled Meat

genre fans' tolerance, even defense, of mediocrity is the absolute worst

Spite
Jul 27, 2001

Small chance of that...


There's some really bad stephen king imo.

scary ghost dog
Aug 5, 2007


Spite posted:

There's some really bad stephen king imo.

im willing to accept the worst stephen king as representing the lowest possible threshold for a “good book.” the regulators is still much better than skullcrack city

a foolish pianist
May 6, 2007

(bi)cyclic mutation



scary ghost dog posted:

im willing to accept the worst stephen king as representing the lowest possible threshold for a “good book.” the regulators is still much better than skullcrack city

This opinion is insane. Every single Stephen King book is worse than Skullcrack City. Maybe bizarro just isn't the genre for you?

GreyjoyBastard
Mar 28, 2010


Ornamented Death posted:

I'm not trying to be a dick or anything, but you can't find horror stories with endings you like because they don't exist, because happy endings fundamentally do not work in horror stories.

You can't write a story about all kinds of horrible things happening to people and then end on a happy note, it rings hollow and readers recognize that pretty much instantly. A kind of neutral, "we killed the monster but a lot of our friends/family/neighbors died and we are emotionally destroyed" ending is really the "happiest" horror stories should aim for.

what if it ends with something happy from the POV of the monster :mad:

chernobyl kinsman
Mar 18, 2007

a friend of the friendly atom



Soiled Meat

a foolish pianist posted:

This opinion is insane. Every single Stephen King book is worse than Skullcrack City. Maybe bizarro just isn't the genre for you?

lol

this broken hill
Apr 10, 2018

by Lowtax


i feel guilty about my harsh words now, so here is some actual measured criticism. if you know, or are, the dude who wrote the fisherman - i was being facetious, it's far from the worst book i've ever read and there was probably a really good 20k-word novella in it so my initial reaction was more from disappointment than anything else. but there just wasn't enough material there to sustain a book of that length. please, please resist the urge to pad the narration in future. i know lovecraft did it, but lovecraft's strength wasn't actually his writing, it was that he was an insane autistic racist with a phobia of shellfish and that gave rise to a unique worldview. there was some genuine good horror spots and ominous tension in the fisherman, but the general verbosity messed with the pacing and sparked a "get on with it already" response from me until eventually i just couldn't wade through anymore waiting for a pay-off that may or may not come. character voice is also not the writer's greatest strength. it got to the point where i was like three characters deep into nested flashbacks, but i was losing track of whose story was being told because all the voices sounded the same.

however. it was not the worst book i've ever read. in fact it had promise. i'll read another book by the same dude if i see it in the library. i'm sorry for being mean :smith: (but if the next book is bad i'll be mean again)

sicDaniel
May 10, 2009


All the features in Langan's writing which you are describing are much more prominent (ie worse) in his novel House of Windows. It's valid criticism of Fisherman but to me it's also striking how much Langan's writing improved between the two books.

scary ghost dog
Aug 5, 2007


a foolish pianist posted:

This opinion is insane. Every single Stephen King book is worse than Skullcrack City. Maybe bizarro just isn't the genre for you?

lmao skullcrack city is terrible and i challenge u to identify what designates it as “bizarro,” its boilerplate horror written for retards whose primary literary intake is SCP blogposts

drrockso20
May 6, 2013

Has Not Actually Done Cocaine


this broken hill posted:

i feel guilty about my harsh words now, so here is some actual measured criticism. if you know, or are, the dude who wrote the fisherman - i was being facetious, it's far from the worst book i've ever read and there was probably a really good 20k-word novella in it so my initial reaction was more from disappointment than anything else. but there just wasn't enough material there to sustain a book of that length. please, please resist the urge to pad the narration in future. i know lovecraft did it, but lovecraft's strength wasn't actually his writing, it was that he was an insane autistic racist with a phobia of shellfish and that gave rise to a unique worldview. there was some genuine good horror spots and ominous tension in the fisherman, but the general verbosity messed with the pacing and sparked a "get on with it already" response from me until eventually i just couldn't wade through anymore waiting for a pay-off that may or may not come. character voice is also not the writer's greatest strength. it got to the point where i was like three characters deep into nested flashbacks, but i was losing track of whose story was being told because all the voices sounded the same.

however. it was not the worst book i've ever read. in fact it had promise. i'll read another book by the same dude if i see it in the library. i'm sorry for being mean :smith: (but if the next book is bad i'll be mean again)

I know it's very likely that Lovecraft would have been diagnosed with some form of autism if he was alive today, but please don't be using it in the same context as calling him insane or racist

scary ghost dog
Aug 5, 2007


ya just to be clear, when i said retards i meant extraordinarily stupid people, not mentally disabled people

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

scary ghost dog
Aug 5, 2007


though the difference can be subtle in some cases.

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

I didn't think The Fisherman was all that bad a read. I really liked a few elements in fact. Just super glad the greatest length wasn't written in the voice of the first narrator (although I found that evened out later in the book).

TOOT BOOT
May 25, 2010



Stephen King is scary in the same way jumping out and saying boo is

Fire Safety Doug
Sep 3, 2006

99 % caffeine free is 99 % not my kinda thing

Keep the spicy one-line takes coming, can't get enough of them!

DrVenkman
Dec 27, 2005

I think he can hear you, Ray.


Anyway, just starting on Dan Simmons' SUMMER OF NIGHT. It's alright so far though it's early days. I think the comparison to King is going to be inevitable given the subject matter, but he kind of lacks his gift for how well he can sketch out a town and its characters. He tries for the same thing but at the moment I'm just thinking hang on, who's this he's introducing now.

For people a bit more in the know, was there a decade when the genre was particularly prolific? I guess it's easy to say it really blew up big in the 80s, but for instance, what would horror fans have been reading in the 50s/60s?

moths
Aug 25, 2004







Ornamented Death posted:

I'm not trying to be a dick or anything, but you can't find horror stories with endings you like because they don't exist, because happy endings fundamentally do not work in horror stories.

Horror has more trouble sticking the landing than just about anything else, and it's not always because the endings aren't happy.

The format encourages limiting a reader's access to information, since too much familiarity with the horror makes it less scary. So it's like a mystery in that way, except until there's a reveal and the "clues" often don't add up.

I'm specifically thinking of It, but that's not the only time a writer finished the puzzle but left interesting pieces in the box.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

Pew pew!



That's why horror tends to work best in shorter forms. The authors generally don't have the time to let the narratives get away from them.

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a foolish pianist
May 6, 2007

(bi)cyclic mutation



moths posted:

Horror has more trouble sticking the landing than just about anything else, and it's not always because the endings aren't happy.

The format encourages limiting a reader's access to information, since too much familiarity with the horror makes it less scary. So it's like a mystery in that way, except until there's a reveal and the "clues" often don't add up.

I'm specifically thinking of It, but that's not the only time a writer finished the puzzle but left interesting pieces in the box.

Well, not to mentioning ending on a a preteen gang bang. That's got to be up there for worst King endings, and that's saying something.

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