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Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

Man, I hope they focus on the human misery that just has a bit of supernatural poo poo boiling in the background instead of putting the spooky stuff front-and-center.

On that note, am I crazy or is Monsters of Heaven is a thinly-veiled allegory for dealing with the fact that climate change is going to probably murder us and definitely all our children?

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Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

nankeen posted:

the good husband is just... wow.

:same:

What a note to end on. Great book, but drat.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

chernobyl kinsman posted:

yeah collapse owns

:emptyquote:

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

chernobyl kinsman posted:

im begging all of you to read Aickman

I'm just getting into the collection Compulsory Games and it owns hard. So far Marriage and Le Miroir have really stuck with me.

MockingQuantum posted:

Dark Entries or Cold Hand In Mine are both good, but I'm not sure you could go wrong with any of the collections

edit: some of his stories are floating around online or in anthologies, so if you go looking, just know that you're probably most likely to run into Ringing the Changes, which is not typical of his normal work and style. It's much more conventional of a horror story than most of his work, and by extension isn't as good.

Yeah this sounds kind of disappointing, from what I've seen so far the main "horror" of his stories have been normality (and with it any sense of security) dissolving around the characters rather than overtly supernatural stuff.

Big Mad Drongo fucked around with this message at 14:28 on Jan 16, 2020

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

I liked The Troop, but didn't care much for The Deep, haven't read anything else. A lot of body horror in both of those, not sure if that's the same across everything he's written.

On a balance I would say he's firmly "okay" but not a heavy hitter.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

I feel like The Troop worked, insofar as it worked at all, because the actual effects of the body horror were relatively subdued. You're you're agonizingly hungry at all times to the point where you'll eat anything as opposed to having your body actually melt or become an alien or whatever.

While I'll stand by it overall, I agree it kind of fell apart when the worms started speaking to (and maybe mind controlling? it's been a few years) the infected characters. "This horribly virulent disease makes you starve to death because you literally can't eat fast enough to live, and you're going to infect other people as you desperately search for more food" is way creepier than "lol psychic worms want to torment you and make you infect other people."

I actually disliked The Ruins and The Deep for the same reason: they both seemed like excuses to torture unpleasant people to death. I don't mind books full of unlikeable characters, but those two seemed to be full of cardboard cutouts designed to die for your reading pleasure.

Also seconding The Cipher, that book felt even more gritty and dirty and full of awful characters, but in an earned way, for lack of a better description.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

I enjoyed A Collapse of Horses by Brian Evenson. I'm too stupid to say whether it's properly literary and/or easily Googleable, but if nothing else it's a cut above most horror schlock.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

Skyscraper posted:

gotti gang?



This is good. Also I need to read more Ligotti.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

I would pay very good money for a Ligotti commentary track for any Muppet movie/Muppet Show episode.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

COOL CORN posted:

It would be an hour and a half of existential screaming punctuated with body-heaving sobs

I feel like listening to GonzoCharles Dickens crack jokes about the back of his hand while Ligotti wails with heaven-splitting violence would really set a certain mood. I remain undeterred.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

Mods, please gimme dat Gotti.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

Reading through The Imago Sequence and Laird Barron seems to feel about old people the same way Ligotti feels about puppets.

Just finished Hallucigenia and it's definitely the best in the collection thus far. I also liked Procession of the Black Sloth, but all the others have felt kind of samey, if competent.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

I actually read The Wasp Factory a few months ago, and while it's intense it's bearable because the narrator is so detached. He's describing awful things, but it's all in a matter-of-fact way, so it's more a look into the mind of a budding serial killer than WHAT'S GROSSER THAN GROSS? READ ON TO FIND OUT!

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

So Night Film sure gets transphobic in a hurry, huh?

The main character is a consistently racist, misogynist piece of poo poo, so I can deal with a lot of the stuff in here, but when they visit an ultra-exclusive night club that can only be found through riddles and requires an invite from an elite patron, it's the tamest party in the world except for the fact that some of the women inside are trans. This is apparently the reason for the insane security and secrecy surrounding the place, and enough to make it a den of otherwise indescribable hedonism.

Like, I know the main character is expected to overreact upon seeing a woman with an Adam's apple, but there is nothing else in the narrative to make this place worthy of being spoken of in fearful whispers. It's a lame nightclub with a vaguely weird/interesting layout, elevated to apparent bachannalia status by the mere existence of trans people.


Am I overreacting or missing something here?

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

the_enduser posted:

Uh, from what I remember it was run by Russian mobsters or something to do with drug trade.

My problem is, unless something changes later in the book, the only difference between that place and any other lovely nightclub is that it has trans people. It's described as this insane party that defies belief and that gets used to build up the Cordova mythology, but what's actually shown is vanilla as hell.

They even call back to "I spoke to a lady there, or was it even a lady?" in a later chapter for no real reason.

The book is mostly pulpy fun, but that part left a bad taste in my mouth.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

...we're joking?

But North American Lake Monsters, if you somehow read this thread but haven't read that book, fits the bill. A lot of Brian Evenson's stuff works too, but it's more things falling apart under the veneer of normalcy in general rather than U.S.-specific.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

Untrustable posted:

I heard it's exceptionally good but touches on issues much deeper than "spooky scary monsters" and I don't wanna think that hard. I started The Only Good Indians, and the writing is weird. I'ma stick it out, but the writing is weird.

NALM does get real grim, it's pretty much Capitalism Is The Real Monster: The Book. Here is a series of spoilers for the second story, Wild Acre, which is a good representative of the rest of the book:

The main character owns a small construction firm. Someone has been making GBS threads inside of and causing property damage to a stalled development he's working on, so he and his two friends/employees stake out the place expecting rude teens.

Surprise, it's actually a werewolf! It murders the hell out of the employees, but the main character runs to their truck and escapes.

The rest of the story is about how the development never resumes construction, the main character's business goes under and he can't afford to pay the families of the friends he got killed or even his own mortgage. He lamely pretends it was a wolf that killed his buddies as his life unravels.

The piece ends with him returning to the site and demanding the werewolf come back and either he will shoot it or it will kill him too, but it never shows.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

Also if you want a lighter Ballingrud check out Wounds, it's still real good but it's very straightforward if weird stories about hell without the underlying messages of NALM. The last story in particular is a swashbuckling novella about a ship full of pirates, cannibals and satanists sailing to the far shores of Hell and evading Hell's navy while being chased by transdimensional parasite-angels. Good times.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

e: Misread, these aren't really modern so feel free to skip

Can't go wrong with The Weird edited by Jeff Vandermeer, it covers more than a century of weird horror with names from Lord Dunsay to China Meiville and plenty of more obscure authors in between. A great way to discover new writers.

If you like classic ghost stories, Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories is excellent. They're not very scary for the most part, but they're all solid and obscure enough that you won't find them elsewhere.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

a foolish pianist posted:

I'm further along in this collection, and I'm kinda running out of steam. The first story (about a young actress caught up in a strange occult film) was pretty good, but the rest feel kinda like factory seconds from other authors - there's even a bad sequel to Laird Barron's Hallucigenia. I've still got about 20% of the book to go, but the collection has been pretty weak.

That's my favorite Barron story and by the sound of it I'm not gonna bother with the collection, so I'd love to hear about this one if you care to tell. :allears:

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

With the second book, I thought the first two-thirds was the worst part of the trilogy but the last third or so was the best, truly a novel of contrasts.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

Just finished White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi and really enjoyed it. Very slow paced and I think the first half could have been cut down significantly, but overall a good read.

I've heard some people complain about the bluntly racist haunted house and the fact that it is one of the book's several narrators, but I think Oyeyemi does a good job weaving that element directly into the supernatural parts, which makes them stand out from fiction I've read with similar themes.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

Just finished The Raw Shark Texts and it's a killer intro that steadily goes downhill. Overexplains unnecessary things while leaving cool concepts unexplored, randomly falls in generic action genre pastiche for long stretches and has the worst secondary villian I ever read he doesn't actually appear in the book or even do anything besides send a single goon to drop a plot macguffin, we're just repeatedly told he's a Bad Dude and the main driver of events for 2/3 of the novel.

Despite what it sounds like I didn't hate it or even regret reading it, but man the squandered potential.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

I don't have much to add other than to nth The Cipher as a good read, it's grimy but in all the right ways.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

Anyone looking for something new should check out The Weird edited by edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. It's got over 100 stories, each by a different author, so it's a great sampler platter of all sorts of weird horror and an excellent way to discover new writers. There's also a few stories in there that are hard to find elsewhere.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

I'm like a year late to the party but The Only Good Indians was really good. The first section was the strongest (which seems to be the norm for horror for me, evil forces tend to become less scary as they become more familiar), but it stayed strong overall to the end.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

Retro Futurist posted:

I really want to check out that Lesser Creatures book from the OP, but there's no ebook I can find, nothing at the library, and all the copies in Amazon are going for $800 for some reason?

This seems to be the curse of obscure horror books with small print runs. I've wanted a copy of Feesters in the Lake by Bob Leman since reading one of his stories in an anthology, and the cheapest copy I've seen is $600.

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Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

https://twitter.com/UweBollocks/status/1435234604940734465

Anyone know this book? I've been trying to get a vibe on it without too many spoilers, and it seems like it may be my cup of tea (an epistolary novel about a two LBGTQ+ women in an early 2000s chatroom that explores the nature of relationships and features body horror) but the negative reviews seem to harp on the gore being over-the-top and the relationship shallow. Reading about a relationship going sour in a very, very bad way sounds interesting, but I generally hate books where people are tortured for the hell of it while the grounded parts of the narrative exist as background noise.

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