October/Halloween Recommendations

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by ensignoftheunit, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. ensignoftheunit

    ensignoftheunit Registered User

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    If your like me, you try and get any new Fall/Halloween books before October. I personally start down the Halloween path on September First, and typically rotate books in and out every other year. Once I hit October I read all the classics that I never rotate out; Halloween Tree, Something Wicked This Way Comes, A Lonesome Night in October, H.P. Lovecraft, ect.

    If there's one seasonal book you pick up this year, it’s Deadfall Hotel by Steve Rasnic Tem. I caught it out of the corner of my eye earlier this year, and somehow it got unintentionally shelved until September. It was simply amazing; hauntingly beautiful and perfect for the season. Reminiscent of Bradbury and the Addams Family; I’ve got a feeling that this book will be on my permanent October list.

    Thus far, this is the first new item I’ve added to my fall queue. Last year, based on this site’s recommendations I added The Wendigo, and The Willows by Algernon Blackwood, and I’ve got to admit out of all the horror I’ve read, I never expected two stories from before 1910 would horrify me the most. (I literally could not read The Wendigo at night).
     
  2. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    We had a countdown last year: Countdown to Halloween 2011! and our resident horror expert Randy M. did somthing two years ago: Randy M's Horror Reads for October 2010

    As for me personally, I've been saving the newest Caitlin R. Kiernan - The Drowning Girl - for this time of year as well as my reprint of George R.R. Martin's Fevre Dream
     
  3. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    We're working on something on the run up to Halloween 2012, ensign: Randy M's already dusting down the ancient tomes and perusing with his expert eye this year's selections...

    More in a couple of weeks or so.

    Mark
     
  4. CodanOfCanada

    CodanOfCanada Lord of the Frozen Wastes

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    I don't often read horror books much these days, except in October. I dig Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and Matheson's Hell House. Pretty much the same story, but approached differently. Really great Halloween reads.

    I'm gonna try something new this year though. A neighbour of mine lent me a book by a local author by the name of David Annandale called Gethsemane Hall. A new haunted house story. If I polish it off quick enough maybe I will finally pick up Frankenstein.
     
  5. Mithfânion

    Mithfânion Lord of the Wild Hunt

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  6. Randy M.

    Randy M. Registered User

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    Great reading list. I suspect you read faster than I do. I couldn't read all that in a month.

    I read Deadfall Hotel earlier this year and I don't think I liked it quite as much as you did, but still liked it quite a bit and second your recommendation. I'll comment on it more in October -- right now it's the second work I plan on commenting on -- and I hope you'll discuss it, too.

    Love "The Willows" and "The Wendigo." In the latter there are some lines that should be hokey but actually add to the chill because Blackwood has set it up so well. I'll be including some works by other writers from around that time period in October as well as some newer works.


    Rob: I won't be discussing the Martin -- lots of discussion on the site about that and I seem to recall Hobbit reviewing it -- but the Kiernan's another book I'll be recommending. (I will say I thought it a darned hard book to comment about without saying too much while still showing my enthusiasm for it.)

    Love the Jackson. I discussed it last year: http://www.sffworld.com/forums/showthread.php?p=663265&highlight=shirley#post663265

    I don't admire Matheson's as much, but I really enjoyed it. Good fun. And both have been made into entertaining movies. (Avoid the 1999 version of The Haunting, though.)

    I look forward to hearing what you have to say about both, and I hope you'll add comments on both to the October thread.


    Randy M.
     
  7. RedMage

    RedMage There is no tomorrow

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    I am not a horror reader but, for the simple enjoyment of the season, I try to read either Brom's The Child Thief which is a horror version of Peter Pan, or Robert Holdstock's Mythago Wood series. Holdstock was a master of imagery and I can't read his books without believing that it is Autumn outside.

    Mith, thanks for citing the Halloween anthology. I saw it at Barnes&Noble a few weeks ago and picked it up. I plan to read one story a night starting October 1. But, again, I'm not a horror reader so I wasn't really sure of all the authors in it. I know you didn't say much, but the fact you did keeps my hopes up for the quality of the stories. Thanks!
     
  8. ensignoftheunit

    ensignoftheunit Registered User

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    I picked that one up last year; it has some definite winners in it. There's four or five that I've included in my yearly seasonal readings.

    I'm looking at picking up the October Dreams anthology this year, as it has pretty good recommendations.

    I read pretty fast but it comes at a price; I retain general plot lines versus specific details.

    I've read a lot of horror, but it almost always feels abstract to me. Blackwood genuinely chills me. The fact that three out of my top five favorite authors stopped writing before 1940 might contribute to this though. In my opinion, writers during that period had a better mastery of the English language.

    I think you recommended M.R. James one year, I liked his work, but it didn't really feel like Halloween reading, more like winter or Christmas readings.
     
  9. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    The Halloween anthology's good, got it last year. There is some variable stuff but generally more hits than misses.

    That'll be because the majority of his stories were written to be read out to the boy choristers after the Christmas Carol concerts at Kings College Cambridge. In the UK there's a tradition of MR James at Christmas, thanks to the BBC (and a new set of them on DVD soon.)

    But, for me, that creepiness, that feeling of unease as the nights draw in works for both Christmas and Halloween: actually, most Autumn & Winter nights.... :)

    Mark
     
  10. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    Hallowe'en this year will largely be my illustrated copy of Dracula. Never read it!

    But in the build up I might read Clive Barker's Cabal, which became the film Nightbreed.
     
  11. Bob Gray

    Bob Gray Registered User

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    Here's a few I haven't seen mentioned yet:

    Charles L. Grant- The Hour of the Oxrun Dead (really any of his Oxrun Station novels would be a great Halloween read)

    Brian Keene- Dark Hollow
    Ghostwalk
    A Gathering of Crows

    T.E.D. Klein- The Ceremonies

    Richard Laymon- Night in the Lonesome October

    Jonathan Maberry- Pine Deep Trilogy
     
  12. MattNY

    MattNY Registered User

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    I am looking forward to Randy's writeup..I have really enjoyed reading recommendations the last few years I have been here.

    This year, I hope to read both Necroscope III: The Source and The Passage. I don't think the latter is too much horror from what I understand, but it does have vampires I guess.
     
  13. DurzoBlint

    DurzoBlint http://tinyurl.com/363ogv

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    Currently reading Fading Light, an anthology of things that go bump in the night. Nearly done and I would say more good than bad. Definitely worth checking out for a Halloween read.

    It was edited by Tim Marquitz, author of the Demon Squad and blood War series, and has his brand of creeps in there.
     
  14. Randy M.

    Randy M. Registered User

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    I agree. "Count Magnus," "Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad" and "Lost Hearts" are just creepy no matter when you read them.

    That said, I do tend to read ghost stories toward the end of the year, in particular in December. This year I'm thinking a collection by Walter de la Mare and/or The Ghost Writer by John Harwood, although there are a couple of others that look very interesting, too.


    Randy M.
     
  15. HeclaBull

    HeclaBull Registered User

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    Barker was who I thought of when I read the OP, I think I'll reread his Damnation Game this Halloween season.
     
  16. Luke_B

    Luke_B Diamond Dog Staff Member

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    My Halloween reading plans consist of Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce, as well as this:

    [​IMG]

    INTRODUCTION: WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HORROR? by Stephen Jones
    THE LITTLE GREEN GOD OF AGONY by Stephen King
    CHARCLOTH, FIRESTEEL AND FLINT by Caitlín R. Kiernan
    GHOSTS WITH TEETH by Peter Crowther
    THE COFFIN-MAKER'S DAUGHTER by Angela Slatter
    ROOTS AND ALL by Brian Hodge
    TELL ME I'LL SEE YOU AGAIN by Dennis Etchison
    THE MUSIC OF BENGT KARLSSON, MURDERER by John Ajvide Lindqvist
    GETTING IT WRONG by Ramsey Campbell
    ALICE THROUGH THE PLASTIC SHEET by Robert Shearman
    THE MAN IN THE DITCH by Lisa Tuttle
    A CHILD'S PROBLEM by Reggie Oliver
    SAD, DARK THING by Michael Marshall Smith
    NEAR ZENNOR by Elizabeth Hand
    LAST WORDS by Richard Christian Matheson
     
  17. Randy M.

    Randy M. Registered User

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    That looks like a solid line-up.


    Randy M.
     
  18. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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  19. Matt Molgaard

    Matt Molgaard Registered User

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    that randy m thread is AWESOME!!
     
  20. Randy M.

    Randy M. Registered User

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    Thanks, Matt. I appreciate your appreciation.


    Randy M.