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Old October 12 2007, 01:32 PM   #16
Greg Cox
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading 2007!

Spaceman Spiff said:
Does that mean you read it in an editorial capacity, Greg?

(I dream of being an author, but I don't know very much about the industry.)

I didn't edit DARK HARVEST, but I wrote the back cover copy. (This has been a sideline of mine for years, ever since I started out writing the cover copy for men's adult westerns for $80 a pop.)
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Old October 12 2007, 06:09 PM   #17
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading 2007!

Brendan Moody said:
I'm also reading H.P. Lovecraft's Favorite Weird Tales; the title pretty much says it all. The most recent story I've read from it is Blackwood's "The Willows." It had a few effective moments but isn't a favorite of mine. On the other hand, Lovecraft thought it was probably the most effective weird tale he ever read, so I'm probably missing something.
That's a good-looking book. I've read The Willows, and I liked it, but I like Blackwood anyway. The funny thing about that story is the sense of weirdness and tension contained in it, despite the fact that nothing really happens. I wonder if that's what Lovecraft liked about it so much; cosmic horror packed into something as mundane as a camping trip.


Superman said:
Before I re-read Dracula, I'll be reading Raymond Florescu's fascinating In Search of Dracula, which I also highly recommend as good Halloween non-fiction.
It's a good book, though in some ways I kind of blame it for the recent trend of tying the character so closely to Vlad III the Impaler. While everyone knows at this point that Stoker took the name and backstory from Vlad, the character was never really intended to be Vlad.

I'm sure you know all that, being so into the character. It's just one of those things that I wish moviemakers and fiction writers would ease up on; the idea that Vlad Tepes died in 1476, only to rise and become the Dracula in the novel. But I know it's not going away anytime soon.

That said, I'm still looking forward to reading The Historian. In fact, my most recent copy of Dracula is the edition that's sort of a companion to Kostova's novel. I just liked the cover.

RJDiogenes said:
Spaceman Spiff said:
^ I swear, you need to read Dark Harvest. It's right up your alley.
My dark alley. Bwahaha. It is now on order, along with the Blackwood book and a Lord Dunsany collection.
I hope you like it. I'm kind of afraid of overhyping it, especially with all the award talk. But I know you like your pulp, so there's a good chance you'll enjoy it.


Greg Cox said:
Spaceman Spiff said:
Does that mean you read it in an editorial capacity, Greg?

(I dream of being an author, but I don't know very much about the industry.)

I didn't edit DARK HARVEST, but I wrote the back cover copy. (This has been a sideline of mine for years, ever since I started out writing the cover copy for men's adult westerns for $80 a pop.)
Thanks for explaining. I've always kind of wondered who wrote those sorts of things for publishers. Cool gig, if you can get it.


Now I'm reading Trick or Treat: A Collection of Halloween Novellas, published by--guess who?--Cemetery Dance Publications.

The Cemetery Dance books are a little pricey, with their being an independent publisher, but the quality of the books is top-notch. RJDiogenes and I both bought several books from one of their recent (and frequent) sales, and we commented to each other about just how new the books seemed when they arrived. The books look like they roll right off the press and into the box to be shipped to your house.
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Old October 12 2007, 09:42 PM   #18
RJDiogenes
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading 2007!

Unicron said:
^ It's mainly a collection of stories by Schwartz, who is a folklorist, and some of them are fairly well known. What really makes the books great, though, is Stephen Gammell's creepy illustrations. And I do mean creepy. They help create the books' atmosphere. You can see some representatives below.
Ah, folklore. And those are nice illustrations. I'll have to add them to my list.

Spaceman Spiff said:
I hope you like it. I'm kind of afraid of overhyping it, especially with all the award talk. But I know you like your pulp, so there's a good chance you'll enjoy it.
I'm sure I will (and if I don't, that's life in the big city ).

The Cemetery Dance books are a little pricey, with their being an independent publisher, but the quality of the books is top-notch. RJDiogenes and I both bought several books from one of their recent (and frequent) sales, and we commented to each other about just how new the books seemed when they arrived. The books look like they roll right off the press and into the box to be shipped to your house.
Yeah, we both thought the same thing: It was that same feeling you got when you were a kid and you got a brand-new book. Good stuff.
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Old October 13 2007, 02:38 AM   #19
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading 2007!

You won't be disappointed. I wouldn't say most of the stories are hugely scary, but they're good and the pictures definitely add a lot - I think that's one reason the books became so popular. If they didn't have the illustrations, it would probably seem like another ghost collection. The only illustration that creeped me out as a kid was The Thing. It's not among the samples in my links, but when you read it you'll understand.
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Old October 13 2007, 12:14 PM   #20
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading 2007!

Yeah, I don't really care if they're scary; just if they're cool. I love folklore, especially when it comes in a classic antique format like that.
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Old October 13 2007, 12:37 PM   #21
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading 2007!

I'll probably pick up 'World War Z' after I finish the two books I'm working on right now. My NaNoWriMo entry this year is going to be a monster story, so it should be good inspiration.
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Old October 13 2007, 12:55 PM   #22
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading 2007!

I have 'World War Z' as well, and I'm looking forward to reading it. It's been highly recommended by some of my friends.

I read Stephen King's 'Cell' a while back and loved it.

I'm planning to read 'I Am Legend' again for the first time in many years in preparation for the movie.
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Old October 17 2007, 11:04 PM   #23
RJDiogenes
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading 2007!

Spaceman Spiff said:
It's unusual in that most of it is written in the second person, which gives it a sense of urgency that pervades the whole book.
Hmmm, a combination of second and first person, judging from the first few pages; I wonder if that will have some significance later on....
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Old October 19 2007, 11:38 PM   #24
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading 2007!

Out of nowhere last weekend I got onto on a Thomas Ligotti kick. Ligotti is one of those obscure but highly-praised writers of horror, frequently compared with Poe and Lovecraft but possessed of his own distinctive voice.

In keeping with the theme of the thread, I'll mention Ligotti's two stories that are set at Halloween. "Alice's Last Adventure" is the narrative of an elderly children's fiction writer. The past year of her life has been odd. Strange things have been happening. Nothing big enough to be truly alarming, but there are these strange... inversions, moments that seem to be building to something but don't. Ligotti manages to make these trivial occurrences quite unsettling, and the story builds to a grim crescendo.

The other Halloween story, "Conversations in a Dead Language," deals with several successive Halloweens in the life of a solitary young man with an unpleasant past. It's difficult to say more about the plot without giving the story away, but it combines unpleasant real-world horrors and the supernatural in a way that is both satisfying and disturbing.

"Alice's Last Adventure" is available in The Shadow at the Bottom of the World, a nice sampler of Ligotti's work. "Conversations in a Dead Language" is probably most easily found in October Dreams, a Halloween-themed collection originally published by Cemetery Dance.
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Old October 29 2007, 10:25 PM   #25
RJDiogenes
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading 2007!

Dark Harvest was great. I read it over the weekend. It's a real page turner, as this guy writes at about ninety miles an hour. It's got a bunch of surprises, a few lingering mysteries and a really nice ending. I recommend it.

I also watched The Abominable Dr Phibles last night. Halloween Week has begun!
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Old October 29 2007, 10:48 PM   #26
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading 2007!

Dr. Thoss said:
"Alice's Last Adventure" is available in The Shadow at the Bottom of the World, a nice sampler of Ligotti's work. "Conversations in a Dead Language" is probably most easily found in October Dreams, a Halloween-themed collection originally published by Cemetery Dance.
I could kiss you right now. I went to Borders about a month or so ago, and I saw The Shadow at the Bottom of the World, and thought about getting it, but didn't. A week later, I went back and it was gone, and I couldn't remember the title or author. And searching the horror section of Amazon with "shadow" as a keyword...well, there were a few results.

So, thanks.

RJDracula said:
Dark Harvest was great. I read it over the weekend. It's a real page turner, as this guy writes at about ninety miles an hour.
I'm glad you enjoyed it. I was pretty confident you would. I might have to read it again next year.

There was an interview on Partridge's website (I can't seem to find it now), where the interviewer said that it felt like the book was written in one sitting. The pace really makes it feel like that.

RJDracula said:
I also watched The Abominable Dr Phibles last night. Halloween Week has begun!
Such a weird little movie. I'm a sucker for revenge tales.
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Old October 30 2007, 12:20 AM   #27
RJDiogenes
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading 2007!

Spookman Spiff said:
I'm glad you enjoyed it. I was pretty confident you would. I might have to read it again next year.

There was an interview on Partridge's website (I can't seem to find it now), where the interviewer said that it felt like the book was written in one sitting. The pace really makes it feel like that.
Yeah, really. I felt like I could have read it in one sitting, if circumstances permitted; or maybe not sitting, but pacing back and forth.

Such a weird little movie. I'm a sucker for revenge tales.
I had forgotten about the silly bits. I saw it when I was very young, so I remembered it as being more serious. Tonight, I'll either watch the sequel or start reading The Willows.
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Old October 30 2007, 02:31 AM   #28
Brendan Moody
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading 2007!

Spookman Spiff said:
So, thanks.
Glad it helped.

In addition to the things I've mentioned above, I'm now reading 20th Century Ghosts, the first short story collection by Joe Hill. Hill's real name is Joseph Hillstrom King; he's Stephen King's son, but started writing under a pen name so as not to trade on his father's influence. He made a big splash earlier this year with his first novel, Heart-Shaped Box. I read it after my mom was bowled over by it. She thought he was a better writer than his father. I wasn't so sure. On a sentence-by-sentence level he's probably better at prose than his father, but there's more originality in King's best work than in the rather conventional Heart-Shaped Box.

I'd heard that the stories in 20th Century Ghosts were more inventive, but I've read about half of them so far and I'm not seeing it. That said, a couple of the pieces are effective as traditional horror. "Best New Horror" has a nicely-executed description of creepy backwoods life, and the spirit in "20th Century Ghost" has the chilling effect of the best ghost stories. Not all the stories in the collection are horror, or even genre; there are a couple of slice-of-life pieces, though in my opinion they tend to mark the low points of the book.
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Old October 30 2007, 06:01 AM   #29
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading 2007!

A Rose for Emily a very good short story.

Night Shift by Stephen King
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Old October 30 2007, 12:03 PM   #30
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading 2007!

My Halloween reading consisted of re-reading "I Am Legend" and "Hell House" by Richard Matheson. I'm still working on "The Terror" by Dan Simmons. It's a great book about two British exploration ships (circa 1848) that become icelocked in the Artic Circle. If that's not enough there's a mysterious Eskimo woman, and an enormous creature feeding on the crews. It's a good read.

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