jack_ryder

Beware the Creeper!

Iain's life as a psychotic crimefighter


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jack_ryder

Recommended Reading?

Both Carnies and Prismatic are on the AHWA Recommended list, which is as it should be.

The Lamplighter is also there, but what is interesting is the omissions from the International List:

There's no Ramsey Campbell, no Robert Bloch, only one Richard Matheson and it's not his Shock books. Poppy Brite, Ellen Datlow and Mary Shelley are the only women listed (slight edit - L.A. Banks - who I've never heard of - is probably a woman); no Lucy Taylor, Caitlin Keirnan, Kathe Koja or Anne Rice?

And an overabundance of Stephen King compare to the other authors. (Only Blue World listed for Robert McCammon? C'mon!)

I assume this list was compiled from the Southern Horror mailing list, but it only confirms my suspicion that many writers in the scene today aren't that interested in the genre's history (or, to be fair, are only interested in a certain type of horror - hence the inclusion of Jack Ketchum and Robert Laymon.)

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Hey, I never even HEARD about this list until I found out I was on it. Trust me, I'd have recommended more than a few books not on it. :)

I'd be interested in what you would recommend. I just thought the list showed a little historical ignorance on behalf of the compilers (or the post-modern conceit that taste is far more important than influence as far as recommended books go.)

PLEASE finish the Lamplighter. I want to read it again (and discuss it with you).

It is an odd list. I think the problem was that it was compiled quickly and without a lot of focus. But if you were a member, you could add your own recommendations :-)

Yeah, I did tell Marty I'd join, didn't I?

But that would mean taking responsibility for my actions, and less whining from behind the scenes. A whole new paradigm shift!

I'd put it down to a lot of folk not knowing the list existed to make recommendations. It appears to me to be a list hastily thrown together by a handful of folk, the start of something a lot bigger.

And would you seriously recommend Anne Rice to anyone, and if so, how much?

I'd put it down to a lot of folk not knowing the list existed to make recommendations. It appears to me to be a list hastily thrown together by a handful of folk, the start of something a lot bigger.

Yeah, that appears to be the case. And rather than whine about it I really should contribute to it. I guess I thought it was symptomatic of something I'd notice in the horror scene - a sense of a lack of history.

And would you seriously recommend Anne Rice to anyone, and if so, how much?

I'd seriously recommend "Interview with A Vampire" and, maybe, "The Vampire Lestat". "Interview" is important from a historical and influential point of view in popularising the sympathetic vampire protagonist. Without Rice, you probably wouldn't have had Tanya Huff and Laurell Hamilton and the popularity of the supernatural romance.

But, yeah, Rice probably represents a regressive step in horror, the sidelong shuffle into "dark fantasy" and necroporn.

I would seriously recommend Anne Rice to people. I think she has done some excellent work, including Interview and Lestat, and The Witching Hour. Her series tended to go on too long, and she inspired many lesser imitators, but I think her actual achievements are significant.

And would you seriously recommend Anne Rice to anyone, and if so, how much?

Depends on how big a fire they wanted to build :)

The list is obviously just a starter, and yeah, I doubt Marty would have the slightest problem with people coming forward to offer recommendations. In fact, I think he'd encourage it. The fact that Rob Hood's 'Shades' books aren't up, and there is a lack of Richard Matheson, hadn't escaped my attention...

I suspect there's a lack of Matheson on the list because there's a lack of Matheson on bookshop shelves in Oz (though Gollancz, bless 'em, have reprinted both I am Legend and The Shrinking Man in their Masterworks series). I remember the Shock! series, which had covers so goddamn awful that I may've been the only person who bought them (I also have a copy of his older and even better collection The Shores of Space) - but with those so long out of print, which Matheson collection do you recommend people go looking for? Which Bloch? Which Sturgeon? Which Bradbury?

Small presses have put a lot of their collected work out -

if you're prepared to take out a massive bank loan, Matheson (Collected Stories) and Bloch (Psycho) are available from Gauntlet Press

I believe Bloch's short stories were recently collected - but all these are small press and very expensive.

There's a couple of mass market editions of Matheson stories: Nightmare at 20,000 Feet and Duel available from Amazon.

They'd probably be a good start.

Sturgeon's a good choice too - there's a new edition of Some of Your Blood available.

When I get a chance (i.e. when I've signed up to the AHWA) I'll send them and post here what I think are missing classics.


But with Abebooks, is any book really unavailable?

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