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What a great thread! I must have written down about 20-25 new authors that I did not know about. At this point there have been a lot of books and authors mentioned so I am trying to recommend some I did not see listed. (I read almost all 30 pages of this thread but skimmed a bit of it). I Lucifer by Glen Duncan was good, his werewolf series is great too. Dog Blood and Hater by David Moody were good (zombie apocolypse) American Gods by Neil Gaiman was fantastic (borderline horror, could be fantasy) Deathbird Stories by Harlson Ellison (collection) Draculas A Novel of Terror by multiple authors including F Paul Wilson was great too. Speaking of vampires and I did see this mentioned at least once in the thread, the Anno Dracula books by Kim Newman are great. The premise is that Van Helsing did not kill Dracula and Dracula eventually conquors England. Very fun and a lot of cameos by other English Lit characters (like Sherlock Holmes.)
 

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Tony Richards said:
Another very nice guy when you meet him.
As are you, Tony! ;)

God I miss conventions. Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker *and* Joe Hill - all in the same room! Will be back at FantasyCon next year hopefully - if it's up north!
 

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I'm a horror reader and writer. When writing my latest novel, I realized after some time that I needed a good lesson or two on writing scenes of violence, violence of the sexual kind as well. I started reading books by Jack Ketchum and Edward Lee, especially Ketchum. Books like Off Season and The Girl Next Door. His style and prose are so gruesome its unbelievable, but he has quite a knack for doing it. Even Stephen King appreciates that about him.
 

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Lynn McNamee said:
I have long been a fan of King, Koontz, and Laymon.

I have to admit I prefer my horror to be somewhat realistic.

I mean, I like "real" monsters, the human kind. Those are far scarier to me than vampires, werewolves, or supernatural entities.
When it comes to horror reading, I'm your polar opposite. I can see human monsters on the news any minute of the day. I don't want to read about them for pleasure too.
 

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williammeikle said:
When it comes to horror reading, I'm your polar opposite. I can see human monsters on the news any minute of the day. I don't want to read about them for pleasure too.
For me, it depends on how well it's written. I get tired of the same old serial killers after awhile. I prefer when the plots go outside the box.
 

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I definitely prefer supernatural horror, though I do enjoy some things with human monsters as well. On the whole I think that horror works best when it's underpinned by a very real fear, no matter how fantastical the supernatural monster, it should in some way represent, or at least reflect something real.
 

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I prefer supernatural horror too. I like to be terrified as opposed to horrified. Maybe it's just me and my preferences, but I think that it takes more skill to write something truely terrifying (like that scene in The Shining when Danny is in a small tunnel...so good!!), than to write something horrifying. 
 

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Supernatural horror.  Stories about the human monsters you pass by every day on the street.  I like both kinds of horror stories.

But what do I find really chilling these days?  A few examples:

A couple of lines in the closing monologue in Robert Anderson's play (and the film of same) I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER, Gene's lines about his father dying in the nursing home, staring at the television without comprehension, without even an orange in his hand.

The moment in Stephen King's HEARTS IN ATLANTIS (in the chapter "Why We're in Vietnam") when Diffenbacker sees the obituary of an old friend, sees that the services were arranged by his bank.

And that moment in King's book echoes an essay in Barry Malzberg's ENGINES OF THE NIGHT (expanded edition available as an ebook under the title BREAKFAST IN THE RUINS, and highly recommended) on the last days of Cornell Woolrich, a giant of mystery fiction who died alone, five names in the visitation guest book, flowers sent by his bank; the closing lines of that essay are, I think, both horrifying and unspeakably sad (and no, I won't quote them because I think they need to be read with the essay in its entirety).

In his short story collection SHATTERDAY (one of his best, and if you've not read it, you're cheating yourself), Harlan Ellison quotes several times a line from Jack Gelber's play THE CONNECTION: "You are not alone." 

It's nice to think that, but it ain't necessarily so, and that possibility holds more terror than most of what passes for horror fiction.  But maybe that's just me getting old...

 

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I love supernatural horror. The really creepy "it's from beyond" stuff. I was never a fan of "slasher" horror, either in film or books (though I have to admit that I have ended up enjoying some over the years.) I grew up reading science fiction because it could take you to far away places... but then I started reading Stephen King and Anne Rice and Clive Barker and realized that the "faraway places" I loved to escape to could be places just beyond your line of sight.

Over the last few years, I have to admit I've fallen away from reading King/Rice/Barker in favor of stuff that is a little more "out there."

My absolute favorite author working in the horror genre these days is Edward Lee. His was one of those books that kept me locked in my hammock (I read it on a 4th of July a few years ago in my backyard) literally the entire day. I only got up to go to the bathroom and eventually, to get a reading light so I could finish it after dusk had fallen!

A couple of my favorites of his (Slither, Flesh Gothic) are currently not available, but some of my other favorite Lee books include:

.

He's got an amazing catalogue of over-the-top erotic horror! (And yes, I am an unabashed Edward Lee fan!)
 

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johneverson said:
My absolute favorite author working in the horror genre these days is Edward Lee. His was one of those books that kept me locked in my hammock (I read it on a 4th of July a few years ago in my backyard) literally the entire day. I only got up to go to the bathroom and eventually, to get a reading light so I could finish it after dusk had fallen!
Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I haven't read it yet. Just downloaded it.
 
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