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Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

Proudly supporting vanilla legends 1994-2014



MockingQuantum posted:

Also, I'd love to have at least some recommendations for non-American/UK/Western Europe horror novels, just to show what's out there. I'm aware of some Japanese horror novels, though I haven't read any, but beyond that I'm pretty unfamiliar with horror from the rest of the world.

John Ajvide Lindqvist is your number 1 stop. He's most famous for Let The Right One In, as adapted twice to movies (and the movies are better, which I won't say often), but everything he's written is worth your time. Handling the Undead is a very different take on zombies, and both it and LTROI are sequelised in the short story collection Let The Old Dreams Die. Harbour (aka Human Harbour) is a classic ghost story in a way. His most complete book, though, is Little Star.

I'll also push Sergei Lukyanenko's six book Watch series, although technically they're urban fantasy.

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Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Cymoril posted:

There was a recent sale on Robert McCammonís novels in Kindle format so Iím currently reading Swan Song for the first time in twenty years. Iím about halfway through and enjoying it, although the moments where characters suffer from situational stupidity are jarring. I read a few of his other books as a teenager but donít remember them.

Of the ones I've read:

Stinger is a classic B-movie in novel form. There's nothing on the page that you can't imagine on the screen.

The Wolf's Hour isn't strictly horror, but it has elements of horror. High concept: what if James Bond fought in World War 2, and was a werewolf?

Usher's Passing is a glorious mishmash of American Gothic and Poe-esque horror wrapped around the conceit that the House of Usher didn't die out and instead became massive arms dealers who settled in North Carolina and built the Winchester Mystery House.

Baal, Bethany's Sin and They Thirst I wouldn't really bother hunting for. They're serviceable novels of their type, but pedestrian.

Lastly there's the short story collection Blue World, which like all such collections is variable. When it's good it's really good, though.

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Dec 10, 2011

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chernobyl kinsman posted:

jesus christ, man

Is that positive or negative?

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Dec 10, 2011

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chernobyl kinsman posted:

i dont care whether an ending is happy or miserable as long as it doesn't suck. salem's lot has a (mostly) happy ending which is very good. needful things has a happy ending which is crap.

Salem's Lot does not have a happy ending. A potentially hopeful ending, yes, but it was previously acknowledged that no matter how good the deed was you need to be a psychopath to kill vampires without it getting to you.

On which note, I'd like to recommend the Pat Cadigan short story The Power and the Passion, which is about a psychopath who hunts vampires.

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Dec 10, 2011

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Interesting list. The inclusion of Infidel surprised me - it's only just finished. Worth reading though.

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Dec 10, 2011

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Franchescanado posted:

Are there any good horror books/stories with about people forced into a survival-of-the-fittest/kill-or-be-killed anarchy game?

Obvious choices are Battle Royale, Lord of the Flies, and films like The Belko Experiment.


I've only seen the film, but I consider it essential watching for horror fans, despite Polanski being a rapist.

The Long Walk by King isn't quite what you're looking for.

If you want a movie, Series 7: The Contenders is your man. It's massively better than Battle Royale and stars the girl from the pit in Silence of the Lambs.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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If you read Books of Blood volume 1, you'll find some fairly definitive evidence that Barker sucks.

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Dec 10, 2011

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Ornamented Death posted:

The first one is bad in an entertaining sort of way, but they get real stupid, real fast after that.

I would say the original trilogy is worth reading. If you liked 3, read 4 and 5 - they were initially meant to be one book, but the story had too much compression that way. If you're still enjoying yourself the Vampire World trilogy has some good ideas and individual beats but it's starting to get repetitive. Don't bother with the Jake Cutter books or The Lost Years.

Ultimately, your tolerance of Necroscope will be determined by your threshold for the use of ellipsis followed by an exclamation mark and, later, extremely weird sex.

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Dec 10, 2011

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MockingQuantum posted:

I should read more MR James. I think I've only ever read the two that show up in every collection (Casting the Runes and... Oh Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad or something like that) and they were good, but didn't fire me up to read more of him. Any other standouts?

If the BBC adapted it, it's probably good.

Regardless, I don't see any point in picking out places to start when you're most likely to be reading any given one of James's ghost stories in a single volume collection. He only wrote 34, and you can get 33 of them for under £1 on Kindle or the main 30 for free.

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Dec 10, 2011

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anilEhilated posted:

Tangentially related to the Klein talk - where would you folks recommend starting with Ramsey Campbell?

Going back a little: Cold Print if you like Lovecraft, The Doll Who Ate His Mother if you don't.

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Dec 10, 2011

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MockingQuantum posted:

One of his most famous stories, "The Caterpillar," is about a veteran who is turned into a quadriplegic after getting his limbs blown off, also he can't talk due to his injuries, and honestly I can't remember where the story goes from there

Onto Metallica's fourth album?

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Dec 10, 2011

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anilEhilated posted:

I wouldn't classify McCammon's werewolf books as horror, to be honest; they're basically James Bond pastiches.

Plural? I didn't know there was a sequel to The Wolf's Hour.

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Dec 10, 2011

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Kestral posted:

Where should I start with Ramsey Campbell? Heard a description of his work recently and was instantly sold, but it didn't include a "start here with Campbell" recommendation.

Sorry, only just catching up with the thread. If you want to read Campbell's entries into the Cthulhu Mythos, begin with Cold Print. If you're more interested in his original novels, you can't go wrong with The Doll Who Ate His Mother.

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Dec 10, 2011

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Opopanax posted:

Answering my own questions again and read Darkly Dreaming Dexter, the first Dexter book. It was good, but plays out quite differently from the show. It's also kind of oddly paced, the Ice Truck Killer doesn't actually show up until about 20 pages to the end and the ending itself is pretty abrupt, but I'm interested to move to the next one and see this new status quo.
The one real issue is in the story telling itself; its all first person narration from Dexter and he talks like Hannibal Lecter crossed with a 14 year old posting on LiveJournal, and he's way too on the whole time. It's good despite that and it does calm down a bit as the book goes on, but it was a little grating.

That "always on" thing is an important part of Dexter's personality. Code or no code, he's still a high functioning psychopath and everything has to be all about him.

The books do play out extremely differently to the show, usually for the better (especially after Scott Buck wrecked it). The first two are probably the best, but Dexter's Final Cut is very nearly as good. At the other end of the quality scale: Jeff Lindsay has profusely apologised for Dexter in the Dark on many occasions. With the sole exception of Cody killing for the first time the entire book was jettisoned from future continuity, so you can skip it if you want.

Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Shitstorm Trooper posted:

So I guess I could talk about Necroscope here instead of the What Did You Just Finish thread. I finished the first one today and started the second and I said to myself "These are fun. How many of them are there?"



This is absurd. How many of these do I actually read? Should I stick to the Necroscope series itself or should I just give up on that at some point too?

I just answered this in that thread because I haven't read this one in a while, but to copy myself: it's like Dune. Read in chronological order till you hit one you think is bad then stop. For me personally that was The Lost Years volume 1; the decline is steep from there. But the original five and the Vampire World trilogy all have some good stuff in.

And yes, Lumley likes immuring as a punishment for immortal regenerating creatures. Let's face it, though, it's about the only way to deal with a creature like that if you want it put in a position where you don't want it dead.

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Dec 10, 2011

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nate fisher posted:

While as I said above I didn't enjoy THGWSWLS, I am still tempted to pick these up based on the covers. Just amazing artwork.

Funny, I feel the exact opposite: any desire I have to read those books has been killed by the covers. They're so utterly unappealing.

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Dec 10, 2011

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a foolish pianist posted:

I think that was 4ballís mom that did that?

It was, yes. It's also called out by the characters as being seriously loving weird, so it's not a candidate for the Bad Sex Awards or anything.

Koontz has done a few other good books that I've read as well. Twilight Eyes is another hidden world narrative, although it feels like the first book in a series that was never written. And The Face of Fear is a solid thriller about a mountaineer who developed a phobia of heights after an accident on the slopes and finds himself trapped in a skyscraper at night with a psychopathic killer. That one got made into a decent TV movie as well, which is worth checking out just to see Kevin "Batman" Conroy in a live action role.

The thing with Koontz is that people often muddle him up with Richard Laymon, who is the guy you go to if you want dubious hetero sex in your horror. I believe they had the same publisher in a lot of markets in the 1990s, and said publisher used a very similar format for the covers.

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Dec 10, 2011

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Dr.D-O posted:

How do people feel about Clive Barker's The Great and Secret Show?

I'm about 50% through and I'm finding it to be a chore to read compared to his other books and short stories I've read.

TGASS has a lot of interesting ideas in it, but it could have stood to be shorter. It's also the first book in a never-completed series and the second book is awful.

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Dec 10, 2011

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Ornamented Death posted:

You should read better books :v:

Really, though, Lumley is bottom-tier horror.

That depends on how big the bottom tier is. I've re-read Lumley, but there's some authors that I wouldn't even want to finish their books once.

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Dec 10, 2011

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MockingQuantum posted:

Since we're on the subject, which Koontz books are actually worth reading if you're not already a Koontz fan? My in-laws really pushed me to read some Koontz a few years back since they knew I was a big King fan and I only read one, but it was dumb enough that I had very little desire to read any more. I'm sure there are some that are probably worth reading though, right?

The Face of Fear might be the one you read, and it's one of the better ones. Retired mountaineer being pursued through a skyscraper by a serial killer - ring a bell?

Beyond that the only Koontz that stuck with me was Twilight Eyes, which is set in and around a carnival in the early 60s and was a big influence on They Live.

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Jedit
Dec 10, 2011

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Franchescanado posted:

I thought you liked The Funhouse, his novelization from the Hooper film?

Oh, no, and neither does he. Koontz quite bluntly states in the preface that he did it for the money and that there was so little actual plot in the movie that he basically ended up getting paid adaptation rates to write an original novel.

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