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Old November 21 2007, 01:09 AM   #56
Spaceman Spiff
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction

I'm not very familiar with Maturin, but I've read a bit of Le Fanu and recommended one of his short stories, Green Tea, to RJDiogenes. I've bought the Penguin edition of Uncle Silas, though I haven't yet read it. I suppose horror readers are probably most familiar with Carmilla. And horror movie fans are probably familiar with some of its more titillating adaptations.

I tend to go through weird little moods. I'll want pulpy stuff for a while, then I'll want to read something from the 19th century, etc. Uncle Silas is waiting for that particular mood to strike again. I'm looking forward to it.


Brendan Moody said:
I also went to a nearby used book store today, where I found the new Datlow/Link-Grant Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. I don't generally follow this annual collection because it tends toward a particular variety of literary tale that isn't to my taste, but it was an as-new copy at 1/3 of the cover price, so I couldn't resist. I also grabbed the Joyce Carol Oates anthology The Collector of Hearts: New Tales of the Grotesque. Like her earlier collection Haunted, this includes a range of horrific stories both "mainstream" and "genre," all written in Oates's usual hypnotic-disturbing style.
Do you ever read the Best New Horror collections edited by Stephen Jones? I haven't yet read one, though I've got several. I've bought them mostly because of name recognition (Ramsey Campbell seems to be in every volume), and telling myself that I'm getting a feel for "what's out there," for that "someday" when I might try submitting a few things to magazines.

Some of the covers are a little embarrassing, though. I'd expect to get a few weird looks reading that on the train. I buy them anyway; I think I just like the idea that each one's got 500+ pages of short stories. (Though the first 60 pages or so are a summary of horror publishing in that particular year.)

One more suggestion in regards to anthologies is Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural. This is a great book. Its selection is all over the place, and you're guaranteed to get some repeats, but I can't recommend it enough. At over 1,000 pages (yet still fairly compact), it's a wealth of good stuff. I haven't gotten through it all (I tend to pick it up, read a few, then save the rest for later), but I'm very glad I ordered it.
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