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Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

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It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

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I decided on a whim to reread The Willows by Algernon Blackwood, which I hadnít read since middle school, and god drat I like it so much more now that Iím an adult. Itís so lushly atmospheric and so foreboding and the prose doesnít come across asÖ I dunno, too ďold timeyĒ despite being written in the early 1900s. The epub on Project Gutenberg is nicely made and not-janky, too.

If youíre looking for a quick spooky monster read thatís all about tension and not revealing too much, I give it a hearty recommend.

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/11438

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Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

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It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

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filmcynic posted:

Just finished reading Michael Sheaís much-ballyhooed The Autopsy, and it deserves every accolade thatís ever been thrown in its direction.

*stumbles towards fainting couch*

Any recommendations for further reading from the author? It sounds like his Polyphemus collection is definitely worth hunting down.

Thanks to your post I finally dug this out and read it since Iíve had an epub of it for ages. drat, that was solid. I saw the ending coming from a mile away but that somehow didnít make it any less satisfying and boy does he have a gift for turns of phrase.

Unfortunately I donít have any recs, just wanted to say thanks for reminding me to read it!

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

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It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

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plz dont pull out posted:

I finished North American Lake Monsters and I can see why people like it but every time I pick up a horror book expecting something spooky I keep getting something else entirely. I just keep having bad luck and go in with the wrong expectations.

If you want to be straight-up spooked, I just finished The Hunger by Alma Katsu, a supernaturally-tinged retelling of the Donner Party story, and it checked that box for me. My first book by the author and I was impressed. I started it a while ago, then the device I was reading it on broke, and Iím kicking myself for not finishing it sooner. Good, menacingly creepy read. I grew up close to Donner Pass so it had the bonus of being a creepy book that reminds me of my childhood, which makes a creepy book even creepier.

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

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It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

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bloom posted:

The Dark Worlds of HP Lovecraft might be an obvious suggestion, but since you don't list it I'll mention it just in case. Even if you're not a Lovecraft fan, the narrator(Wayne June) is a joy to listen to.

Wayne June is a gift. Seconding this. I'm meh on reading Lovecraft but whoa Wayne June's voice.

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

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It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

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Ornamented Death posted:

If you want a good workout, lug around copies of both The Weird and their big sci-fi anthology at the same time (they were doing a signing).

I get ARCs of the Unfettered fantasy collections for some reason (seriously, not a publisher or reviewer, I just somehow got on the guyís mailing list and donít question itÖ) and between three of those and one The Weird, it takes up half a shelf on my bookcase. What a gorgeous-looking collection, though.

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

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It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

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MockingQuantum posted:

I want to read more Clark Ashton Smith, but it looks like thereís about a billion different collections of his work. Anybody have a good definitive one theyíd recommend? Or individual stories that are worth hunting down (since it looks like a lot of his stuff is online in some fashion)?

I see thereís a Penguin Classics collection, which Iím usually pretty happy with, but it looks like a lot of it is his poetry, which if Iím honest, I donít care about reading at all.

gey muckle mowser posted:

I have the Penguin Classics edition (The Dark Eidolon and Other Fantasies) and only maybe ~20% is poetry. I definitely enjoyed the book.

MQ, I think I know your tastes pretty well from our goon/discord interactions over the years. I think youíll like the Classics collection even with the poetry. And by god, I actually like the poetry. You might just find yourself enjoying it too.

Also re reading in the bathtub chat, I have an LG G6 waterproof phone and I get a lot of bathtub reading done that way. I never got bit by the kindle bug due to living in a country which Amazon basically doesnít service, so I donít know what Iím missing. Phone works fine for me.

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

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It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

*


I was surprised to see that Iain Reidís short novel Iím Thinking of Ending Things is getting a Netflix adaptation. It generated a decent amount of buzz back when it was released, but I was very whelmed by it at the time. It felt like most of the praise I saw for it describing it as so unique and mind-bending were reviews written by people who have apparently never read the gothic horror genre before. They were so excited by the concept of (twist ending spoilers ahoy) the real villain being MADNESS and the weird evil boyfriend and the worried girlfriend actually being two facets of the same mentally ill personís personality!

I donít know, maybe my standards for gothic horror are just much higher than ďmentally ill person trapped in an inescapable scary building / being haunted by weird localsĒ but it really didnít feel like anything groundbreaking to me. I still enjoyed it and itís well written enough, just a well-written retread of a story thatís been done better before. Instead of a creepy manor itís a deserted high school. Instead of a strange caretaker and maid itís Jakeís creepy parents. I had already figured out the twist by the time the narrative voice switched over and the reader was meant to realise that Jake had made the girlfriend up and their entire road trip was invented in his mind. It was telegraphed pretty well.

The more I think about it though, the more I think the story might actually work better as a film than as a book. Thereís some neat visuals they could play with. Anyway, to anyone considering reading it because itís been picked up by Netflix: itís a decent short horror read but I donít think anyone whoís a seasoned reader of the genre will find it as mindblowing as the general public.

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

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It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

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pospysyl posted:

I pretty much agree with this. My only quibble would be that I wouldn't call it gothic horror, exactly, but then I don't know that I have a specific genre in mind that it would fit. I would definitely recommend that people wait for the movie before reading the book. I also think that Plemons is very well cast as the lead.

I think Plemons is well cast in anything but yeah, he'll knock this particular role out of the park.

And yeah maybe calling it gothic horror was simplifying things a little but I felt it was structured very much like a traditional gothic horror tale and hit a lot of the same plot points.

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

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It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

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I canít remember if it was recced in this thread or not, but I ended up giving up on Bone Music by Christopher Rice. It has an intriguing enough premise even if I found a lot of the elements kinda cliche, but the main character just didnít grab me or interest me much and the breakneck pacing meant that I never felt like I got to know anyone well enough to appreciate the stakes. The villain ended up being the most interesting character to me and then he doesnít get nearly as much time on-page as the setup would lead you to believe.

If you like horror stories that are more like techno murder thrillers with horror elements this one is pretty good for that. It reminds me a lot of an airport thriller type of bookĖand thatís not a knock on those, I read a lot of them. Itís more that those types of books tend to serve a very specific purpose and one of them isnít ďlong ruminations on the nature of abuse and bad childhoods from the POV of a sympathetic protag.Ē This book tries for that and ends up feeling more like Dean Koontz.

Still, the writing is decent, and the premise is really cool. What if you were a traumatised person who was raised by some truly horrifying people and your psychiatrist gave you a drug that gave you super strength and other associated minor super powers to cope with your Ďanxietyí? And this isnít done to the protag knowingly, so it presents an interesting conflict right off the bad. Sheís getting what she thinks is a Xanax or whatever, haha.

I got about 1/3 of the way in. I might return to it when Iím in the mood for a light thrillery type read thatís almost more of a dark superhero story than anything.

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

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It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

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I havenít read it in a while but I have real fond memories of that one and have read it more than once, which means itís a top tier King for me.

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

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It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

*


I'm glad I'm not the only one who just couldn't get into The Ruins. It has so many thematic elements I love but somehow despite being a perfect mishmash of my fave tropes it felt like the book equivalent of reading a really sarcastic editorial. If I want to read about assholes getting their just desserts that badly I'll reread Peter Watts or watch the Twilight Zone.

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

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It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

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http://www.thebramstokerawards.com/...thomas-ligotti/

Owl Goingback and Thomas Ligotti announced as 2019 HWA lifetime achievement winners. It's kind of bonkers Ligotti didn't have one of those already.

Goingback I didn't even realize wrote horror, ha. I have a lot of nieces and I thought he was a kids' book guy. Time to do a back catalogue read I guess! Anyone got any recs of his?

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

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It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

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COOL CORN posted:

I have an Audible credit I need to use. What's cool that I can get on Audible?

edit-- I can get the complete Blackwater for 1 credit, that's like 30 hours of content. Is it good?

edit2-- Blackwater is part of a 2-for-1 sale right now so I got it. Thanks for coming on this journey with me.

Fyi if anyone here who isn't this satisfied customer is looking for a really well done audiobook, the sci-fi necromancer murder mystery Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir is just one of the best made audio books I've ever listened to. It's not quite full on horror but it has enough solid horror elements (there's necromancy for every body system, not just bones--vein and body fat based necromancy yiiiikes) that if you don't totally hate wacky space fiction it will scratch many horror fan itches. The monsters are disgusting and scary and the plot is very horror in a lot of ways (people keep dying in a mysterious goth af space mansion). It's probably my book of the year last year and the audio edition is just superb. I read way more horror than sci-fi these days and it bridges the gap between the two very well.

Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

rock
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It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

*


Also wasn't a fan of Ghosts and kept waiting for the good, meaningful parts to show up because people kept saying they were there. Also I felt like the weird dad stuff needed more foreshadowing to not feel like a twist for the sake of a twist.

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Anomalous Blowout
Feb 13, 2006

rock
ice
storm
abyss



It makes no attempt to sound human. It is atoms and stars.

*


We weren't particularly close but I used to beta read for Matt and just. This sucks. Torn between feeling weirdly guilty and glad that I apparently dodged yet another bullet. Boy it's a lot.

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