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Good modern horror
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 4 September, 2016 11:57AM
Hello,

Though I am heavily into classic horror stories, sometimes I want to have a rest from Smith, Hodgson or Blackwood and read something newer. Can anybody recommend me a good modern horror book?

Thanks a lot.

Re: Good modern horror
Posted by: jimrockhill2001 (IP Logged)
Date: 4 September, 2016 02:22PM
It depends upon your tastes in horror fiction, and how "new" you want to be. Among many books written since the '70s, I would recommend the following as starters:

Ramsey Campbell - the collections DARK COMPANIONS and ALONE WITH THE HORRORS, the novels INCARNATE and THE INFLUENCE

Thomas Ligotti - the collections SONGS OF A DEAD DREAMER and GRIMSCRIBE (both collections)

Karl Edward Wagner - the collection IN A LONELY PLACE

T.E.D. Klein - the collection DARK GODS and the novella "Events at Poroth Farm"

Jonathan Carroll - the novel THE LAND OF LAUGHS

Tim Powers - the novel THE ANUBIS GATES

Michael Shea - the collections NIFFT THE LEAN and POLYPHEMUS

Dennis Etchison - the collection THE DARK COUNTRY (and onward)

Tanith Lee - the collection DREAMS OF DARKNESS AND LIGHT and any of the Flat Earth novels (NIGHT'S MASTER, etc.).

Don't overlook any of Angela Carter's collections if you are not familiar with her work.

Any of Reggie Oliver's or Richard Gavin's collections.

Patrick McGrath's BLOOD AND WATER AND OTHER TALES

Any

This could be a very long list, but I highly recommend all of the titles listed above (as well as several that will pop into my head as soon as I push "send").

Re: Good modern horror
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 4 September, 2016 02:29PM
My tastes in horror fiction? Definitely, I do not like ghost stories. I am fond of horror tales dealing with other dimensions, monsters created by mad science and aliens. Simply scifi horror.
As fo what I mean by "newer", let us say the last three or four decades.

Thank you very much for the tips. I will look the books up to see what they are like.

Re: Good modern horror
Posted by: Ken K. (IP Logged)
Date: 5 September, 2016 03:38AM
Once again I must shamefully admit to my (almost) complete ignorance of modern Science Fiction (say, post 1995 or so). SF/Horror, though, is a narrower field and I do have a few suggestions there.

Feesters in the Lake & other Stories by Bob Leman, and The Autopsy and other Tales by Michael Shea.

These two collections are by authors who share a fondness for SF-style horror. They always seemed (at least to me) to be the type of writers that Weird Tales would have published had that magazine survived uninterrupted to the present.

Darkness, Mist & Shadow--The Collected Macabre Tales of Basil Copper (Vol. 1).

Not all of the contents are strictly SF/Horror, but it does contain two very powerful stories in that sub-genre: The Flabby Men and Shaft Number 247.

The Skinner and Prador Moon by Neal Asher.

Asher is the king of deadly alien lifeforms, a title previously held by the late James H. Schmitz, whose novel The Demon Breed is also recommended.

The Relic and Reliquary by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child.

Yes, this bestselling duo write massive summer-vacation thrillers--but don't hold that against them. They have legions of fans for a good reason.

Hope these suggestions help!

Re: Good modern horror
Posted by: wamartin2 (IP Logged)
Date: 5 September, 2016 10:19AM
I second the recommendation of Reggie Oliver, one of the best short story horror writers. Also of excellent quality are the several collections of Robert Aickman. His stories are not really ghost stories in the classic sense but more like "strange stories". If you want ghost stories M.R. James is the best.

Re: Good modern horror
Posted by: jimrockhill2001 (IP Logged)
Date: 5 September, 2016 11:17AM
I am acutely embarrassed to have forgotten Bob Leman's collection on my list!

Re: Good modern horror
Posted by: Ken K. (IP Logged)
Date: 7 September, 2016 12:54AM
Dear Jim, I had forgotten that you edited Leman's collection!

Re: Good modern horror
Posted by: jimrockhill2001 (IP Logged)
Date: 7 September, 2016 01:08AM
I must have forgotten momentarily too, Ken! :-)

Re: Good modern horror
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 7 September, 2016 02:30PM
Thank you very much for the suggestions.

As for Shaft Number 247, I have got a book Cthulhu 2000 containing the story. To be honest, it made no impression on me but I remember the claustrophobic underground atmosphere and the attempt of the main character to escape reminded me of The Machine Stops by E.M.Forster (1909).

Re: Good modern horror
Posted by: Ken K. (IP Logged)
Date: 7 September, 2016 09:14PM
When I first read Copper's story (in the Arkham House anthology New Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos) I remember wondering if it really belonged there since it contained none of the seemingly-requisite Mythos terminology. Also, Copper's style in that story was very terse--quite unlike most other Mythos tales. But as you noted, it does fit perfectly with the claustrophobic, subterranean setting. I appreciate this story more, now, because of its reticence.

Re: Good modern horror
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 7 September, 2016 11:18PM
Minicthulhu Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have got a book Cthulhu
> 2000 ...


How did you like Michael Shea's "Fat Face" in that collection?

It is one of my favorites, together with his science fiction horror story "Polyphemus". Somewhat humorous and cartoonish in style, but in a good way. I understand that Shea also had an active interest in visual art.

Re: Good modern horror
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 8 September, 2016 01:02PM
> How did you like Michael Shea's "Fat Face" in that collection?


Well, frankly, I have not read all the stories, only some of them. I clearly remember reading The Adder, The Picman┬┤s Modem, On the Slab, The Barrens, Shaft No. 247, The Last Feast of Harlequin, The Unthinkable and The Faces in the Pine Dunes. I can remember what the tales were about but they did not impress me much so I put the book aside and shifted, as far as I can recollect, to China Mielville┬┤s collection Looking for Jack which was way better than Cthulhu 2000.

Re: Good modern horror
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 15 October, 2016 09:04AM
I had a period in the 1980's of reading Stephen King. The Stand (1978) was the first "real" horror book I read in my teens. I liked it very much then (with little else to compare to), but that was partly because of the vivid picture it gave of mundane American life! I can't say today if the book is inflated, or not. And I don't really remember the nature of its horror elements, ... except shocking corpses.
If I were to reread it, I would consider the unabridged version (1990). However, King chose to update all dates in the text to the 1990's and make changes to contemporary political and social issues, conceivably to increase sales. Which I think is a grave mistake, from artistic perspective and integrity. The Stand was a reflection of the times and particular social culture of the 1970s, and to blend in such updates is likely to cause discordance in harmony.

I also read Salem's Lot (1975), but remember nothing from it. I much preferred Tobe Hooper's TV adaption Salem's Lot (1979).

Re: Good modern horror
Posted by: GreenMan (IP Logged)
Date: 22 October, 2016 03:55PM
Greetings to you all from a newby...

I would like to add a few authors to the above lists:

Dan Simmons: "Summer Night" (1991), "Children of the Night" (1992) and the very Lovecraftian "Fires of Eden",(1994).

Robert Holdstock: Mythogo Woods and its sequel The Hollowing (1994). Also his "Ancient Echoes" and "Unknown Regions"... (1996 and 1998 for the paperbacks).

And perhaps my favorite...Robert R. McCammon. He seems to have stopped writing fiction now, but from about 1981 with "They Thirst" to 1992 with "Gone South" he turned out over a dozen novels covering pretty much every subgenre of horror and the supernatural.
All excellent reads.

Re: Good modern horror
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 4 November, 2016 02:35PM
How do the supernatural parts in Stephen King's Pet Sematary compare in writing quality to those in Blackwood's "The Wendigo" and Machen's "The White People"? They use similar concepts, ... the wendigo, and old ceremonial mounds.

I read Pet Sematary in my teens, and think I liked it, but remember it only vaguely. I wonder if it's worth rereading? Would it be something for an old connoisseur, who has become more and more discriminating and demanding over the years?

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