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Where can I find good intelligent thinking horror??

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Showing 1-25 of 225 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 11, 2010 4:21:16 AM PST
R T Twinem says:
I recently read The Season of Passage by Christopher Pike and thought what a brilliant and innovative read...I then read The Killing Kind by Bryan Smith and thought it was just full of gratuitous violence and sexual depravity....utter rubbish!!! so where can I find good and thoughtful horror/ dark fantasy??....books that will stay with you long after the last page rather than books written to titillate the uneducated masses!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2010 5:17:49 AM PST
Stephen King is a intelligent , thinking , horror writer. Koontz, also. But you will find, most horror, along with it`s cousin,sci-fi, is mostly rubbish, so do comb thru and find the gems, for the are awesome.

Posted on Dec 11, 2010 9:59:14 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2010 9:59:36 AM PST
JOA says:
I'd try Dismember by Daniel Pyle. It disturbed me and took me someplace I wasn't expecting, but it had a ton of heart, too. You might like it.


Posted on Dec 11, 2010 10:01:35 AM PST
JOA says:
Also, Digging Up Donald by Steven Pirie is a fantastic book, more comic dark fantasy (Brit style) than anything, but it's seriously one of the best novels I've read in the last ten or so years.

Digging Up Donald

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2010 10:50:15 AM PST
Nick Jones says:
Judging by what you say about Bryan Smith, I'd say you'd want to avoid Richard Laymon; I think almost every novel of his that I've read has had one or more rape or attempted rape; even the consensual sex is explicit, and so is the violence. I have no problem with it - he was a good storyteller - but he doesn't sound like your cup of chamomile. You'd probably want to avoid Edward Lee, too, and The Resurrectionist by Wrath James White.

If you haven't read them yet, I'd suggest Stephen King's first three novels, and Duma Key: A Novel, and Peter Straub's Ghost Story.

Dan Simmons is probably the most thoughtful writer in the horror and fantasy genres today (I haven't read any of his science fiction yet). His grocery list would probably be more intelligent than what passes for fiction today, in any category. I recommend Song of Kali, The Terror ( Terror: Roman ), and The Fires of Eden, a horror/fantasy/comedy(!).

Posted on Dec 11, 2010 4:10:58 PM PST
Anne Rice says:
Go for the classics: Algenon Blackwood, Sheridan le Fanu,
M.R. James.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2010 4:35:28 PM PST
Daisy says:
Are you the author, Anne Rice?
It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm a writer, too. Well, not published, but that's just a minor detail.
Merry Christmas to you.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2010 7:22:57 PM PST
Lee says:
Hey "freeloader", I see you are from the UK. I recommend an author from your side of the pond - Phil Rickman. His early novels are frightening supernatural works, CURFEW, THE CHALICE, CANDLENIGHT, THE MAN IN THE MOSS and others I cannot remember at the moment. His horror is not blood and guts but atmospheric and creepy, with good character development. His current works are also very good, leaning more towards mysteries with a touch of the supernatural. Happy reading!

Posted on Dec 11, 2010 9:30:04 PM PST
Sheldon H. says:
Douglass Clegg is awesome. Thought provoking, intelligent, heart felt, and knows how to pull you along with tone and mood.

Posted on Dec 11, 2010 9:36:56 PM PST
Sheldon H. says:
Get Neverland by Douglass Clegg. There 'is' a lot of great horror writers out there. Believe it or not. Just have to find them. If you don't like the ultraviolet then look for the authors who put an understory or theme beneath the overall story. Great horror should twist your emotions, create terror, fear, etc., but at the same time have something to say that lies within the story. Sci-Fi does this same thing but without the twisting part. :) so don't give up on your search. If younwant more author names I can give you more. But Douglass Clegg won't disappoint. Even Joyce Carol Oates writes good horror.

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 12:40:38 AM PST
N. M. Naske says:
T. M. Wright
Ramsey Campbell
Denis Etchison
H.P. Lovecraft

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 1:16:29 AM PST
On film try the BBC Ghost Stories at Christmas series based on the writings of M. R. James. Also, the films of Val Lewton are a cut above. I also enjoy Coppola's Dracula. Mario bava B&W stuff?

Stephen King can be up and down. Still, he's probably the best out there.

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 1:19:57 AM PST
Oh yeah, almost forgot a few -- any films by Guillermo Del Torres (Pan's Labyrinth), Jaques Annaud too.

Do you like to read Lovecraft? If you like him, please try Clark Ashton Smith's works, especially the Averroigne tales. They're more phantasy than out and out horror, but interesting stuff and well-writ.

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 8:14:05 AM PST
Cornboy says:
I'd recommend Stewart O'Nan--A Prayer for the Dying: A Novel is one of my favorites, though some might view it more of a literary novel. The Night Country: A Novel is supernatural.

Scott Nicholson
The Red Church
Speed Dating with the Dead

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 9:37:27 AM PST
Nick Jones says:
For true life horror, I'd recommend O'Nan's The Circus Fire: A True Story of an American Tragedy, about the terrible fire at Hartford, Connecticut, on July 6, 1944. The following two sentences have haunted me since I read it, and can provoke chills (no pun intended):

"Several survivors said the one thing they will never forget about the circus fire as long as they live is the sound of the animals as they burned alive. But there were no animals."

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 9:40:15 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Jun 23, 2011 1:57:15 PM PDT]

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 9:42:40 AM PST
Sean T. Page says:
I have just read Grey Dogs: Zombie Survival - I like it - a bit more to it than your average zombie novel - the guy is a bit of a short story specialist so seems like he's taken more care over it than most authors.

If you want a bit of survival distraction - and enjoy thinking about the detail - then give mine ago - it's zombie survival from across the pond....
The Official Zombie Handbook- The Ministry of Zombies

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 11:38:55 AM PST
Rodney C. says:
If you want some good horror, REAL HORROR, check out Gary A. Braunbeck's books: In Silent Graves, Keepers, Mr. Hands, Coffin County, Far Dark Fields, To Each Their Darkness (which blows Stephen King's On Writing out of the water, IMHO), and In the Night Museum.

Posted on Dec 12, 2010 12:22:33 PM PST
R T Twinem says:
What a great response!! Just ordered Neverland by Douglas Clegg and some Algenon Blackwood (thanks for taking the time Mz Rice to reply!) I am a guy who was brought up on a diet of James Herbert ( I will always remember reading The Rats on a beach in Greece in the mid 70's....then going to sleep with the sound of the tide in the background...being woken to the feel of my sleeping bag being pulled and guessed it a rat....I kid you not...horror becoming life :)) Stephen King and Mr Koontz....who used to have little hair :))....and look at him now. I know we are in agreement there is some terrible horror out there but your response has certainly lifted my spirits (...em..)

Posted on Dec 13, 2010 2:13:29 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 13, 2010 2:14:30 PM PST
Cornboy says:
Yeah RT I cut my teeth on that Herbert Rats trilogy but enjoyed his Haunted books more. And Ramsey Campbell, another good atmospheric writer. Clegg's The Children's Hour is my favorite by him if you can find it.

Nick, that IS a chilling line.

Scott Nicholson
The Red Church
Speed Dating with the Dead

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2010 2:58:55 PM PST
And any of you looking for intelligent horror could do a lot worse than check out the previous poster. Scott Nicholson. He wields a cold blade.

Willie Meikle
Carnacki: Heaven and Hell
Whispers From The Darkside

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2010 9:15:57 PM PST
Lee says:
I second William's recommendation of Scott Nicholson's novels. They are a perfect fit for this discussion on intelligent horror. Scott, I have been a fan since you published THE RED CHURCH and have just ordered DRUMMER BOY in the printed version - it sounds great. William, it appears all your works are in the Kindle format only, which is a shame, since I do not own a Kindle. Maybe it's time to buy one!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2010 5:41:40 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 14, 2010 5:42:26 AM PST
Read Robert McCammon's BOY'S LIFE and MINE. Those are fantastic. And Joe Hill's short stories (Joe Hill is Stephen King's son--and he's got the genes, big-time.) Peter Straub's books, especially his classic, GHOST STORY. John Connolly's books mix crime fiction with the paranormal. Oh, and if you've never read the truly great classic by Ray Bradbury, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, you are in for a treat.

If you can find them (amazon used and new books?) there are a few really good books by Marlys Millhiser---THE MIRROR and NIGHTMARE COUNTRY are good ones.

Also, check out my own ghost story, DARKSCOPE, now on Kindle for the first time. A woman finds an old camera that takes pictures of the past---with horrific ramifications:

"Chelsea blew at the layer of dust on the viewfinder. A faint odor drifted up. The smell she associated with her father's old schoolbooks. Dust. Age. But underneath the musty smell was something else. The stench of decay.

"A strand of hair fell into her face and she was aware of perspiration condensing on her cheeks and forehead. The camera slipped in her hands.

"A rustle came from behind her. A rat scuttled across the road. It had been hiding in a pile of boards near the tin shed. Pigeons flew off the roof of Central School and strung like a kite tail across the sky.

"The canyon became eerily quiet.

"As she squinted into the wavy glass, eyes adjusting to the dark shapes in the tiny rectangle, Chelsea realized she was looking at a house. A house, where only steps should be. A long one-story clapboard house painted dark green. Tin cans overflowing with roses had been placed at intervals along the porch. Below, the dirt road was scored by cracks and seamed together by loose rocks, as if a flood had eroded the earth."


Posted on Dec 14, 2010 5:59:46 AM PST
R T Twinem says:
I think I will have to invest in a Kindle ie if I want to read Scott Nicholson's The Little Church it is available but only on download..unless I can source through abebooks etc and if my memory serves me right Rochester publishing in New York has decided to convert to the eformat. I think those of us in the UK interested in horror are in difficutly most book shops (and they are disappearing fast...Borders this long will Waterstones last?) have only a very small horror section and these are usually filled with the mainstream guys King, Koontz etc...fantasy readers are able to make choices from a much larger selection and why should that be!! Those who choose to source or read good horror have to search and communicate with the rest of the world....hellelujah for the internet :))

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2010 12:43:00 PM PST
Nope, not just in Kindle -- here's some in print for you :-)

The Watchers Omnibus
The Midnight Eye Files: The Amulet
The Midnight Eye Files: The Sirens
Eldren: The Book of the Dark

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Discussion in:  Horror forum
Participants:  93
Total posts:  225
Initial post:  Dec 11, 2010
Latest post:  Mar 26, 2013

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