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immolationsex
Sep 16, 2002
ASK ME ABOUT HOW I ENJOY RUINING STEAK LIKE A GODDAMN BARBARIAN


Brian Hodge, Dark Advent. I'm about a third of the way in and thinking of dropping it. The parallels between this and what I remember of The Stand (which also didn't much impress me) are obvious, and I think Hodge is even trying to imitate King's voice.

Am I correct in assuming things are heading for a showdown between the good guys (Jason, Caleb, the Cassandra girl whose actual name I've already forgotten) and the bad guys? With the Courier capering somewhere in the background, maybe steering the two parties towards an eventual showdown? Because I'm not interested in reading a further couple hundred pages of Travis the alcoholic wife beater and his goons rape and pillage their way across post-apocalyptic America. For gently caress's sake, he's even got a pet gimp literally called Pit Bull, who wears a spiked collar. I suppose I should be grateful they don't call themselves Master and Blaster.

Because if that's the case, I'm very disappointed in the author that also gave us Worlds of Hurt. Although, looking closer, it seems Advent precedes Hurt by 18 years, so I suppose he's developed quite a bit since then.

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immolationsex
Sep 16, 2002
ASK ME ABOUT HOW I ENJOY RUINING STEAK LIKE A GODDAMN BARBARIAN


Iím looking for (horror) fiction written from the perspective of an investigator, preferably an uninvolved outsider. I realised what a lot of the stories Iíve enjoyed have in common is a detached tone, and how they rely on the facts of the matter to paint the picture, rather than asking the reader to try from the beginning to empathise with a protagonist who acts as their stand-in. Telling the story from a third-person perspective is therefore almost a must.

It goes without saying that the best of these stories are subtle, letting the reader put the pieces together themselves, to form a picture of something disturbing. Thatís not to say that the supernatural canít have any place in the story, or even that unrealistic elements canít be present from the beginning; see for example the SCP linked below. What Iím looking for is that dawning realisation that things are not as they seem, or that while things look bad, itís actually much worse than was first let on. There doesnít need to be a plot as such; just paint me a disturbing picture.

I wish I could remember more examples of what I mean, but here are some. I'll add to the list as I think of more.

Mark Danielewski - House of Leaves
China Miťville - A Second-Slice Manifesto (short story)
John Langan - Technicolor (short story)
The SCP about the Red Sea Object, here: http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-093
HF Arnold - The Night Wire
Jeff VanderMeer - The Area X trilogy

Patton Oswalt once featured on his blog a list of 31 stories for Halloween, but I canít find the individual entries in that series. One of those stories fits the bill exactly: it was about a researcher performing some completely unethical but disturbingly imaginative experiments on human subjects, concerning ticklishness and the fear response (yes that sounds bizarre, but Iím sure I remember that correctly). The story is told as a series of study protocols or experimental session notes, or both. A detail that stuck with me is that he surgically modified his victimsí knees so they donít lock, but hyperextend, making running almost but not completely impossible. Anyone remember that one?

So there it is. Every recommendation and pointer you can throw my way will be very sincerely appreciated!

VVV Yes I have, very good example, thanks.

immolationsex fucked around with this message at 19:37 on Aug 1, 2020

immolationsex
Sep 16, 2002
ASK ME ABOUT HOW I ENJOY RUINING STEAK LIKE A GODDAMN BARBARIAN


Ornamented Death posted:

You'd probably dig Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg.
Thanks! Added to the list.

a foolish pianist posted:

I'm thinking this one is Adam Corbin Fusco's “N0072-JK1: Study of Synaptic Response of the Organism to Spontaneous Stimulation of Vulnerability Zones. Photographic Analysis.” I remember it from one of the Pseudopod Flash from the Borderlands episodes: https://pseudopod.org/2015/09/18/pseudopod-436-flash-on-the-borderlands-xxvi-official-reports/.

EDIT: Apparently the Borderlands 5 anthology that has this story is 3 bucks on the kindle store.
Thanks! Imagine trying to search for a title like that off a vague memory.

Thank you to to all you knowledgeable and generous people, you've put me on to a lot of interesting stuff over the years.

immolationsex
Sep 16, 2002
ASK ME ABOUT HOW I ENJOY RUINING STEAK LIKE A GODDAMN BARBARIAN


I checked this out. The writing on the first dozen or so entries is pretty bad, but it picks up quickly, so don't let that be the thing that makes you drop it.

immolationsex
Sep 16, 2002
ASK ME ABOUT HOW I ENJOY RUINING STEAK LIKE A GODDAMN BARBARIAN


One of you beautiful bastards recommended The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp and drat did it tickle me in all the right ways. I can't remember the last time I saw classic devices of horror storytelling used this effectively. I'm usually annoyed by the Unreliable narrator for example, which feels to me like a cheap way to insert a twist towards the end. I won't spoil it, but let's just say there's a bit more nous in evidence here. Same for the occasional use of epistolary format, which I admire, because it's a very effective tool but only in the right hands.

I also have to applaud Arnopp's sheer audacity in combining so many familiar tropes (I use the term with respect) of the genre. I won't go into specifics because honestly, I think this book is best experienced going in completely blind. In hindsight, I'm not sure the story had any right to work as well as it did instead of devolving into an incoherent mess, but he pulled it off with aplomb, and made me get emotionally invested with the protagonists in the bargain.

I second the recommendation for all you suckers who fell in love with the found footage genre of horror like I did.

Oh and while I'm here, I can confirm that Experimental Film by Gemma Files, mentioned earlier in this thread, is another solid entry in the subgenre.

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immolationsex
Sep 16, 2002
ASK ME ABOUT HOW I ENJOY RUINING STEAK LIKE A GODDAMN BARBARIAN


MockingQuantum posted:

I haven't read it yet, but TE Grau's I Am the River is set in North Vietnam during the end of the war. I think someone in here read it though. Bilirubin maybe?
Don't bother. The buildup is slow and meandering, and the payoff is a huge let-down. I couldn't be bothered to finish the last 50 pages or so once it became clear the book has no ability to fulfill the promises it made at the beginning.

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