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Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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MockingQuantum posted:

There will probably be an OP covering some of the major genres along with suggestions, once I get around to writing it.

I'll get you some stuff for this later today sometime.

And a good haunted house book is Slade House by David Mitchell. It ties in to his novel The Bone Clocks, but you don't need to read that one first.

William Meikle also has a series of novellas about haunted apartment buildings that is pretty good from what I've read. The first two are Broken Sigil and Pentacle.

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Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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drrockso20 posted:

Non-fiction but Paperbacks From Hell is a really great book

This is an outstanding book, and if you're thinking about getting it, I cannot stress enough that you NEED to get the paperback edition because a huge part of what makes it such a great book are all the full-color photos and scans of insane horror paperback covers and you lose a lot of that on a Kindle.

Also, if you get inspired to start collecting vintage horror paperbacks because of this book, don't. The market is all sorts of hosed up right now precisely because of this book, and will probably stay that was for the foreseeable future. No one should be paying top dollar for William loving Johnstone books.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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drrockso20 posted:

On the other hand it gives a great excuse to trawl through thrift store book shelves, and some of the better books brought up in it have been reprinted in more recent years and/or made available electronically, like for example Blackwater which I had mentioned in that post as well(and gets brought up multiple times in PBFH as one of the better books in it)

Blackwater confuses the hell out of me because even on eBay you can find first editions of all the paperbacks for pretty cheap. The only editions that are going to cost any serious money is the set put out by Centipede a few years ago and, well....it's Centipede.

But yeah, diving through the offerings at a second-hand store is fine to pick up old horror paperbacks; it's when you start looking for specific titles and have to check eBay or Abe or something that the prices start getting dumb.

Also, MockingQuantum, check your PMs :v:.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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drrockso20 posted:

True, also I'm honestly kinda amazed that no one has ever tried adapting Blackwater, it would make an amazing HBO or Netflix series, it's even season formatted due to originally being released as six books

I think it'd be a hard sell to producers, honestly. The temptation would be to bill it as horror, but the actual horror elements are so infrequent and subdued that I can't see it going over well. Conversely, trying to sell it as a southern gothic would work right up until you explained the river monster part of it, which would drive potential showrunners away even faster I'd think.

Don't get me wrong, I think it'd make a tremendous limited series, I just think the people with the money need a little more time to acclimate to the world of quiet horror before having something like this sprung on them.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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MockingQuantum posted:

Bizarro Horror. I don't really know what bizarro horror is or how to categorize it. John Dies at the End seems to be the ur-example, but be warned that if you go looking for Bizarro beyond some of the more popular books that have been around for a while, you will likely run into at least one book about putting non-euclidean polygons in Lovecraft's cosmic haunted rear end in a top hat or some such nonsense.

You motherfuckers ain't ready for the depths of bizarro!

You're god damned right there's a sequel!

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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MockingQuantum posted:

I genuinely dont know if these are better or worse than the fake example I came up with

I have not personally delved that deep into bizarro, so i couldn't tell you. These just always come to mind, after hearing about them on Brian Keene's podcast a couple of years ago, because it's just so loving weird.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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anilEhilated posted:

I'm reading a collection of stories called The Devil and the Deep and so far it's utter poo poo. Any good water monster horror out there?
FWIW, I've read North American Lake Monsters and Blackwater and both are great but come a bit short on the monster front.

Dead Sea by Tim Curran is full of underwater monsters. It is not as well-written as the two books you named, but like most of Curran's work, it's a lot of fun.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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Earlier this week I finished Alice Walks by Michael Aronovitz. It's a pretty good take on the ghost story. The ending flounders just a bit in my opinion, but everything leading up to that is amazingly solid. I recommend it for anyone after a good ghost story.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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There was a bit of discussion on the last page about 2017 being a bad year for horror. Now that I have some time to put together an effort post, I wanted to respond.

Last year was not a bad year for horror. It was perhaps a bad year for horror from major publishers, but a lot of really great stuff was released last year. With modern horror, if you're relying on the big publishers to put out anything good, you're going to be disappointed. Sure, sometimes they stumble into something like A Head Full of Ghosts, but by and large their idea of "good horror" is whatever door stop Stephen King or Joe Hill are putting out on an annual basis.

That said, I recognize that knowing where to look for quality small press horror can be difficult because the advent of ebooks has all but eliminated the barrier of entry to getting published and any lunatic can pretend to be an author and/or publisher. So let me make some recommendations for small publishers that are putting out consistently good work.

Undertow Publications: Run by Michael Kelly, Undertow is probably the best press out there when it comes to quiet horror. I think he only publishes collections and anthologies, but drat they're good. I'm particularly fond of the Shadows & Tall Trees anthologies and was excited to see it make a return last year. He also publishes The Year's Best Weird Fiction anthologies, and the choices and and the guest editors make tend to hew closer to weird horror than something you'd see someone like Jeff Vandermeer choose.

ChiZine Publications: Another Canadian press, run by Brett Savory and Sandra Katsuri. ChiZine's books run the gamut as far as horror subgenres go - no matter what you like, they have probably published a book or two about it. They do both novels and collections/anthologies. Several of the recommendations in the OP are published by ChiZine.

Tartarus Press: A UK publisher run by R.B. Russell and Rosalie Parker. Tartarus is kind of hard to peg to a genre. They publish some horror. They publish some weird fiction. They publish what can best be called thrillers. They publish classics (Poe, Machen). They publish non-fiction about the fiction they've published. It's an eclectic mix, but it's all good. The one caveat I'll toss out is that they do not always offer paperbacks and/or ebook editions of their stuff, so it can get pricey.

Cemetery Dance: An American publisher run by Richard Chizmar. They publish a lot of stuff associated with Stephen King. You can make your own decisions about the stuff written by King. However, I want to call attention to their anthologies, which are pretty good. The editors they work with have a good eye for talent. They also keep a few older horror authors, such as Bentley Little, in print. I'm not a huge fan of Little, and I doubt most people that post in this thread would like him, but I figured I'd point that out. They'll also do special editions of stuff that's already in print, and they make some beautiful limited editions if you're in to that. Word of warning, though: they sometimes take loving FOREVER to actually publish a book they announce. If it doesn't have Stephen King's name on it, it'll get bumped in the production queue by something that does have his name on it.

Night Shade Books: They're much more into publishing sci-fi and fantasy, but I'm mentioning them here because they publish Ellen Datlow's The Best Horror of the Year anthologies, which are always worth picking up. Volume 10 is due out next month. They'll also occasionally do big multi-volume sets for authors that are largely out of print, such as William Hope Hodgson and Manly Wade Wellman. If you can get these, they are awesome.

Necro Publications: Another American press, run by David Barnett. This is probably a more controversial recommendation as they publish a lot of extreme horror, particularly works be Edward Lee. Lee is...an acquired taste, I suppose. I'd recommend steering well clear of him, to be honest. On the other hand, they publish authors like Charlee Jacob, Joe Lansdale, Jeffrey Thomas, and Mehitobel Wilson, all of which are very, very good authors and the stuff they've published with Necro is great.

JournalStone: Yet another American publisher (I have no idea why I included nation of origin on these...). This is probably the most commercial publisher I've recommended (well, them and Night Shade). They cover most of the horror subgenres, with perhaps a slight emphasis on cosmic horror. Their stable of authors includes Laird Barron, Christopher Golden, Jonathan Maberry, Adam Neville, and Greg Gifune, among others. Unlike a lot of the other publishers I've mentioned, I can't give a universal recommendation for everything they publish, but they put out a fair amount of good stuff.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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MockingQuantum posted:

Any particular standouts for you from last year, besides the couple you mentioned here? Only one from last year that leaps to mind, for me, was The Grip of It. I know there's others that I really liked, though.

Just based on stuff I have physical copies of...

The Secret of Ventriloquism by John Padgett
I'll Bring You the Birds From Out of the Sky by Brian Hodge (obviously :v: )
Containment by Charlee Jacob
Shadows & Tall Trees 7 edited by Michael Kelly
Something Violent by Kristopher Rufty
The Endless Fall and Other Weird Fictions and Haunted Worlds by Jeffrey Thomas

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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It was never a secret that Klein suffered from career-crippling writer's block, he's been pretty open about it through the years. It's a damned shame and a huge loss for the horror genre, honestly.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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Babylon Terminal by Greg Gifune might scratch that itch.

The Immaculate Void, but you probably already read it.

Facial by Jeff Strand for something REALLY different.

Just off the top of my head.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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MockingQuantum posted:

Any chance Babylon Terminal goes by another name in the States? The only copies I can find go for $90 used...

Looks like he hasn't gotten around to putting it back in print - almost everything Gifune had in print was through DarkFuse, so he's had to (slowly) get his books placed with other publishers. I'll ask him about Babylon Terminal.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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Robot Wendigo posted:

I haven't read them yet, but John Connolly's Charlie Parker series might work for you.The first book in the series is Every Dead Thing.

This is a solid recommendation. That said, the horror elements are very light at first, but slowly ramp up as the series progresses.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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Len posted:

I'm enjoying Hex and I'm curious if the original version has a translation? I'm curious what the differences between the English and not-English are. Apparently the ending is different for us?

I posted this in the cosmic horror thread some time ago:

quote:

I found this posted in the comment section of a review from three months ago. I do not know how accurate it is.

Okay. So. The ending! MASSIVE SPOILERS ALL AROUND of course.
This is slightly complicated, since apparently he's changed the names, as well?

The ending is kind of long, I'd say it starts when the youngest son is admitted. But skipping to the end of the ending: it turns into into an orgy of torture like an Hieronymus Bosch painting of Hell. This is, of course, imagery we are all more or less familiar with over here, since the guy was Dutch and we all learned about him in
school. Nice echo of the 'just a village like all those you know so well'-horror trope.

The dad is led through all these horrors and recognizes each of them as a mirror image of things the villagers did
to the witch (I thought this was a bit far fetched at times, your mileage may vary). In the end, he realises that he must choose the thing he loves most. He runs between dozens of pot holes filled with people while it rains burning coals, carrying a single pot hole cover, finds wife + youngest son but jumps in the seemingly empty hole next to them, because we've know which son he would choose since chapter two or so.

He then wakes up in his own house to someone thumping the front door, and doesn't open it, because he knows that even if it is the person he wants it to be, it wouldn't end well.

And then the author apologizes for throwing us into a pit of despair.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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Robot Wendigo posted:

I was half looking at that series for when I finish HoL. Please give me details of the rage inducement.

I haven't read it, but at least one potential source of rage is that it likely won't ever be finished due to poor sales.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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Robot Wendigo posted:

Thanks, Chernobyl. I will avoid it.

I'm finding it a chore to get through the Truant sections of House of Leaves. I just want to smack him.

Nothing wrong with just reading the Navidson parts and calling it a day.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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chernobyl kinsman posted:

anything good come out lately?

Not especially. There's the usual steady stream of midlist (or what would be midlist, if such a thing still existed in any meaningful form) horror authors churning out stuff. For example, Bryan Smith has releases out on a pretty regular basis - but you need to be down with Bryan Smith's particular quirks as a writer for that to be considered "good" in most cases.

Shiloh by Phillip Fracassi came out back in April and is probably the only thing I can think of that's been on my radar in the last few months that would appeal to folks here.

I mean, besides The Immaculate Void, of course, but we covered that one pretty thorough when it came out.


UCS Hellmaker posted:

A lot of editors want to have a nice happy ending to a horror novel when more realistically it ends with either no one winning or the MC and supporting cast losing and I feel like for a lot of books that is an issue that keeps coming up. That and a writing getting writers block at the end of the book.

I'm not sure what sorts of horror you've been reading, but I find the exact opposite to be true far too often: editors push authors towards bleaker endings because "lol it's horror!" Or the authors themselves feel compelled to make an ending bleaker than it needs to be. At best I'd say most horror stories end somewhat neutrally: the monster or whatever has been vanquished, but at great personal cost for the heroes.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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It was me.

Ornamented Death posted:

I found this posted in the comment section of a review from three months ago. I do not know how accurate it is.

Okay. So. The ending! MASSIVE SPOILERS ALL AROUND of course.
This is slightly complicated, since apparently he's changed the names, as well?

The ending is kind of long, I'd say it starts when the youngest son is admitted. But skipping to the end of the ending: it turns into into an orgy of torture like an Hieronymus Bosch painting of Hell. This is, of course, imagery we are all more or less familiar with over here, since the guy was Dutch and we all learned about him in
school. Nice echo of the 'just a village like all those you know so well'-horror trope.

The dad is led through all these horrors and recognizes each of them as a mirror image of things the villagers did
to the witch (I thought this was a bit far fetched at times, your mileage may vary). In the end, he realises that he must choose the thing he loves most. He runs between dozens of pot holes filled with people while it rains burning coals, carrying a single pot hole cover, finds wife + youngest son but jumps in the seemingly empty hole next to them, because we've know which son he would choose since chapter two or so.

He then wakes up in his own house to someone thumping the front door, and doesn't open it, because he knows that even if it is the person he wants it to be, it wouldn't end well.

And then the author apologizes for throwing us into a pit of despair.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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Drunken Baker posted:

Horror fans were born to suffer weak endings.

Sad, but true.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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drrockso20 posted:

That's definitely one area where I heavily disagree on, but then I'm one of those people who can't stand bad endings

drrockso20 posted:

That's unfortunately an issue I have with Horror as a genre, very few of them have endings I like

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.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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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.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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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.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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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:.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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chernobyl kinsman posted:

chill, ornamented.

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

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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chernobyl kinsman posted:

does anything happen in that one

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

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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Read more Hodge my friend.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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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.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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TOOT BOOT posted:

Amazon had it as a Kindle book for like $5 for a while but they took it down for some reason.

The publisher went out of business. Rights reverted back to Hodge, though, so hopefully it's just a matter of time before he puts it back in print. Same for Whom the Gods Would Destroy and Without Purpose, Without Pity.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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I asked Brian about bringing his DarkFuse stuff back in to print. He had planned to do it earlier this year, but both of his parents died within a few weeks of each other so he's been taking care of estate stuff. He says the books are coming, he just doesn't know when.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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GrandpaPants posted:

Has anyone heard of the judges before? I'm not as well read as my Tinder profile says I am.

https://www.npr.org/2018/06/21/621953925/summer-horror-poll-meet-our-expert-panelists

I've heard of three of the four.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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the_american_dream posted:

Where can I read the short story? Googling just gives the me the book

The short story is "The Events at Poroth Farm."

Edit: Just to be clear, there's no actual short story version of The Ceremonies; Klein took the ideas he played with in "The Events at Poroth Farm" and expanded it to novel length in a different setting with different characters and whatnot. It's a thematic connection, not a plot connection.

Ornamented Death fucked around with this message at 23:45 on Aug 23, 2018

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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You could get ebooks.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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I like filling bookshelves more than the majority of posters here but I still get ebooks because it's sometimes inconvenient to haul books around.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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I feel like I missed something with The Loney. It's not a bad book, necessarily, but it didn't really strike me as a horror novel. Just...kind of melancholy with a touch of weirdness.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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chernobyl kinsman posted:

it's good and it's definitely a horror novel, even a folk horror novel. not everything has to have actual monsters in it or whatever

A horror novel should have some element of horror in it. The Loney doesn't, unless you get extremely generous with what you define as horror.

I guess what I'm saying is that The Loney is a good book but a bad horror novel.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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chernobyl kinsman posted:

do you not count the rituals surrounding the supernatural nightmare child who seems to be able to absorb the sins or illnesses of others into itself, or what

its a very subtle and slow novel which relies heavily on the haunting and desolate atmosphere it tries to build so if you dont like those things i can see why you wouldn't like it, but to say its not a horror novel because its not overt enough is silly

The circumstances around that didn't seem horrific to me, just, as I said, melancholy and weird. To each their own. I do think it's a good book, for what it's worth.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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chernobyl kinsman posted:

i cant imagine listening to horrostor as an audiobook because the catalogue gimmick is like the defining characteristic of the book

This.

To add to the list of horror books that take place in a single location...

The Nightly Disease by Max Booth III (a hotel) (this is a really weird book for what it's worth)
Zero Lives Remaining by Adam Cesare (an arcade)
The Tower by Simon Clark (a house) (not a great book, but it may scratch the itch)
The Nightmare House by Douglas Clegg (a house) (start of a series; better than the previous book listed, but still kind of by-the-numbers)
The Deep by Nick Cutter (an underwater lab)
Lot Lizards by Ray Garton (a diner)
The Sorrows by Jonathan Janz (a mansion) (presumably the sequel also takes place in a single location but I haven't read it)
The House of Many Doors by Brian Lumley (a house) (lol don't read this, also I think there's a sequel)
William Meikle has a series of interconnected novellas set in single locations, it starts with Broken Sigil (an apartment building)
Slade House by David Mitchell (a house)
The Deceased by Tom Piccirilli (a house) (not his best by a long shot, but it's decent after a rough start)
Wild Fell by Michael Rowe (a house)
Lights Out by Nate Southard (a prison)

I tried to keep this to a single structure or building as the setting. Something like Brian Keene's The Complex predominantly takes place at an apartment complex, but one made up of numerous buildings rather than just one.

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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Ship of Fools if you haven't read it.

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Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

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Tor has The Ballad of Black Tom up as a free download. It is very good so I recommend everyone go get it.

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