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fluffy bunny
October 12th, 2003, 08:17 PM
There are so many types of horror novels out there. I was wondering what is it people look for in a horror novel? Also what types of book manages to scare/shock/creep out the readers on this board? Obviously different writers manage to bring out different aspects of fear, but is there a particular type of novel that stands out as one of your favourite?

For example, is it the undead monsters lurking around the corner? Is it the fear of the unknown? The madness of the Lovecraft type? Haunted houses and ghosts? Serial killers?

Clarkesworld
October 13th, 2003, 12:10 AM
There things that scare me the most are so inhuman and smart that you can't predict what will come next. I like surprises. A good ghost story is always fun as well.

On the flip side, clowns and gore just leave me yawning.

-Neil

juzzza
October 13th, 2003, 08:04 AM
I really like 'Creature Features' in the horror genre. Things like The Relic, or Stephen Laws Daemonic. Clive Barker is good, and you can't beat a good ghost/vampire/werewolf story.

The last horror book that I read was Demons by John Shirley. Very enjoyable.

Kaz
October 13th, 2003, 09:22 AM
If it has everyday life gone seriously wrong / evil elements in it I'm suckered. I find that I can deal with creatures, demons and vampires far easier than I can with the friednly old man who is in fact an evil soul stealer.


***minor spoilers.....hardly worth being called spoilers, but just in case***

Stephen King is of the master at giving me the heeby jeebies with his tales of 'normal' people or things we take for granted as being 'safe' being totally the opposite! IT will always scare me - I've had a fear of clowns since I was small and after reading IT and watching the movies I'll NEVER take my children to a circus. He did the same with Needful Things, though not one of his best I got chills thinking how the store owner was able to corrupt people, simply by giving them that one thing they'd always wanted (albeit secretly).

I guess I get scared easier if an author taps into an existing fear of mine........so if there are clowns and spiders in it, doing evil, I'd probably be scared witless of turning the page, yet eager to see what happens next.

AuntiePam
October 14th, 2003, 10:41 AM
I'm with you -- take something everyday and tweak it, very effective.

What I don't like is splatterpunk horror, where gore is more important than the characters.

It's hard to give me a chill, but I got one recently in a fantasy, The Bone Doll's Twin by Lynn Flewelling. There was a scene where a ghost simply turned and looked at someone with an angry look, I had to go get a blanket I was so cold. Great book.

I like a chase too -- what Robert McCammon did in Stinger worked well for me.

Olivaw
November 8th, 2003, 03:46 AM
I go for the 'gross-out' (as Stephen King would put it,) sick, twisted and squishy, that's how I like my horror.

A good ghost story, or science gone bad story is welcome too.

AuntiePam
November 8th, 2003, 01:36 PM
Olivaw, the last really good gross-out I read was Book of the Dead, the zombie stories by Skipp and Spector. I don't know if it's in print or not, but it's worth a look.

Dead in the West is good too -- it's a zombie western by Joe Lansdale.

Usually I like gross-outs in small doses, they seem more effective that way.

Have you read Bighead by Edward Lee? That's an all-out gross-out.

Olivaw
November 8th, 2003, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by AuntiePam
Olivaw, the last really good gross-out I read was Book of the Dead, the zombie stories by Skipp and Spector. I don't know if it's in print or not, but it's worth a look.

Dead in the West is good too -- it's a zombie western by Joe Lansdale.

Usually I like gross-outs in small doses, they seem more effective that way.

Have you read Bighead by Edward Lee? That's an all-out gross-out.

You know, I really haven't read all that many different horror authors. I've stayed in the mainstream I guess. I will keep an eye out for your recommendations however. I've been meaning to pick up a few new authors.

:D Dead in the West sounds awesome. A zombie western, now that's something I've never read.

AuntiePam
November 8th, 2003, 02:01 PM
Well, I wouldn't recommend The Bighead unless you're really into grossness. Someone gave it to me, it wasn't something I would have bought on my own. I managed to finish it, but it was like driving by a bad car wreck. You want to look away but there's something that makes you turn your head and look for icky bits.

On the other hand, Dead in the West is a very funny sendup of westerns and zombie movies, and it was a heck of a lot of fun. Joe Lansdale is definitely a writer to check out. The problem is that he has cult status, and much of his horror/fantasy stuff is pricey.

You said you liked ghost stories too. You might like Shirley Jackson then -- The Haunting of Hill House is a classic haunted house story. Ghost Story by Peter Straub is on a lot of people's Ten Best Horror lists.

If you're serious about getting into horror, there are a couple of neat reference books -- Horror: The 100 Best Books, and My Favorite Horror Story. They're in print and in paperback.

If you haven't already, try Stephen King's Danse Macabre -- he talks about horror and about his favorites, and there's a reading list. I think there's a reading list in On Writing too.

skinsfan
March 26th, 2004, 03:57 AM
What do you truly find to be scary? Is it invading aliens? Scarecrows come to life or masked killers like Jason and Freddie? What brings the hair up on your neck?


Sorry! Still new here and should of checked the forum a little closer.