Horror Literature

Articles and posts that deal with the literature of horror and its sub-genres.

Buying a Book for its Cover

So you know you’ve done it. I’m sure we all have at one point or another. You know what I’m talking about, right? You walk into a bookstore and there it is… the cover that just jumps out at you. You see it and you know you have to have it. Maybe you skim over […]

Self Publishing for Beginners

This week I became an author. After reading about Hugh Howey, I was inspired to collect the three installments of The Carrion Files into an e-book which I then put on Amazon (as part of the Kindle  Digital Publishing Select program). It started with a desire to actually get the story out there, in a […]

Review: At the Mountains of Madness by HP Lovecraft

While delving into the realm of science horror, I had the goal to read all of HP Lovecraft’s work. Having already read or listened to a significant portion of his fiction, I thought it would be a piece of Cthulhu-shaped cake to finish the rest. Turns out my goal was bit more ambitious than I realized. […]

Review: The Games by Ted Kosmatka

I’m glad I started with The Games by Ted Kosmatka as my first foray into science horror. I don’t think I could pick a better book that seamlessly melded horror and SF tropes. The year is 2044 and the 38th Olympic games are about to begin. In this amoral future, genetically engineered gladiators fight each other in an […]

We Can Hear You Scream: An Overview of SF/Horror Literature

The fear of the dark, the unknown, the monster standing right behind you ready to tear you limb from limb…is part of the human condition. Since the dawn of civilization we have been terrified by creatures we can neither comprehend or defend against. Even as the mysteries of the universe unfold before us thanks to […]

Ora Pro Nobis. The Zombies Are Coming

Pope Benedict XVI stunned the world on February 11th by announcing his abdication. In related news on your Amazing Stories channel, the zombie apocalypse is coming. Even Snooki agrees! “One day, I know that the world is going to end with zombies.”

American Gothic: Bellefleur by Joyce Carol Oates

As I mentioned in my post Stephen King: A Beginner’s Guide I became interested in the work of Joyce Carol Oates because of her association with King. As early as Danse Macabre (1981) King was writing admiringly about Oates’ work. The compliment was returned when Oates introduced King’s speaking engagement at Princeton in 1997. Bellefleur […]

Mini-Review of Felicity Savage’s “Black Wedding”

It’s been so long since I’ve heard a “new voice” in horror writing that I’d forgotten what it feels like. Felicity Savage’s “Black Wedding” in her collection Black Wedding and Five More Funerals gave the kind of “jolt” of sudden awareness that I felt when I read Susanna Clarke for the first time. Part of […]

Welcome to my world….

I had thought for my first post that I would review a story that I’ve just finished reading, but then I thought to myself “I really should let everyone know a bit more about me before I start reviewing other’s work.” So here goes. I am Terence Jackson. Most of my friends call me Jack. […]

Unstuck #2

Genres Get Unstuck, or My New Favorite Literary Magazine

Prior to the 1991 introduction of SoundScan, record stores self-reported what was moving off their shelves. That system, open to bias and shaky math, created rigid separation in sales charts that ensured you didn’t find country albums on the pop charts. But SoundScan’s precise, computerized measurement revealed an uncomfortable truth for the music industry: The […]

Stephen King – A Beginner’s Guide

For a long time I paid no attention to the writing of Joyce Carol Oates. But I kept seeing her mentioned in the context of modern American Gothic, being recommended by writers whose work I loved, particularly Stephen King. The admiration was mutual. In 1997 Oates introduced King when he gave his first reading at […]

Supernatural Horror In Literature

The appeal of the spectrally macabre is generally narrow because it demands from the reader a certain degree of imagination and a capacity for detachment from every-day life. Relatively few are free enough from the spell of the daily routine to respond to rappings from outside, and tales of ordinary feelings and events, or of […]

Objects in Dreams (Imaginings Volume 4) by Lisa Tuttle

Lisa Tuttle has long been one of the masters of the deeply unsettling tale. Last year her short story Objects in Dreams may be Closer than they Appear opened Jonathan Oliver’s excellent anthology, House of Fear, a collection of haunted and otherwise strange homes. That was one of my favourite books of the year, and that […]

Synthetic Voices’ Top Podcasted Stories of 2012

Over at the Synthetic Voices podcast, I see a LOT of fiction over the course of a calendar year.  Now, the 2012th year of the Common Era is coming to a close, so I thought I’d look back over my selections and pick out the cream of the crop.  The podcast has only been running since […]

Dead Cosmonauts and Other Eldritch Horrors

Space Eldritch Nathan Shumate, ed. Cold Fusion Media Tpb $13.99, ebook $5.99 Kindle Nook Smashwords Two of the most popular subgenres of the fantastic are space travel (with its myriad sub-subgenres) and cosmic entities with malevolent intentions, popularized by H. P. Lovecraft.  Now Cold Fusion Media has brought them both together in the anthology Space […]

Synthetic Voices #13 – December 2012 Top Picks

This month has been a tumultuous one – travel, holidays, and illness.  Podcasted fiction seems to have also had a hard time, December representing the weakest month for fiction that I have yet seen.  Even so, we shake off the snow from our cloaks and gather round the fire to discuss the best stories from […]

How SFX Can Ruin a Horror Film

It recently struck me how most of the films that, IMHO, were truly scary were the ones that had little or no digital special effects. The reason is simple: what makes something scary is mostly what you don’t see rather than what you do see. Compare, for example, Alien (1979) with it’s putative prequel, Prometheus […]

Crossroads: Where Genres Meet in the Night

Speculative fiction’s ability to stay fresh is a direct result of its ability to blend with other genres: the mash-up, the hybrid, the literary crossroad are where science fiction has always found innovation. We’re a magpie genre, and I think that should be celebrated and explored.